5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Camping, Gear, Install, Off-Road, Overland, Reviews

BOSS StrongBox Drawer Install + Review – 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 7/1/20 / Read Time: 10 mins

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner


If you’re like us, you’ve yearned for a storage solution for your 4Runner. If you’re not like us and actually took action, you’ve likely either built one yourself, went with a universal drawer system (like Goose Gear or Nomad Kitchen), or you’ve opted for storage boxes. That or you’ve overloaded your glove box, your center console, and probably shoved tools and spare parts in every crevasse your rig has to offer… even in that weird pocket on the passenger side of the cargo area.

If you don’t have a secured storage solution and keep tools/parts exposed, then you’re running the risk for potential vandalism. Even with tinted windows, creepers will get a glimpse of what’s inside your rig and want whatever you have, regardless of the cost. A $400 replacement window for a $20 item just isn’t worth the risk. Plus, the inconvenience, your time, and whatever it cost to replace the stolen item can all add up quickly.

Besides security, storage solutions/drawer systems can help keep your gear and tools well organized. Whether you’re out camping, stuck in a ditch or you’re just having fun on the trails, organization is key. Recoveries can be stressful and the last thing you want to add to the mix is not being able to find the right tool for the job.

If you never addressed your storage issues and are now frightened your precious rig is going to get broken into, don’t stress, there’s a solution for all of this. Actually, this solution is specifically made for the 5th Gen 4Runners; the BOSS StrongBox.

BOSS StrongBox has been producing high-security vehicle storage solutions for local and federal law enforcement like the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, ICE, countless Police Departments, and many others. The company makes top loaders and pull-out drawers in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most notably, BSB recently launched a storage solution specifically designed to fit the cargo area of the 5th Gen 4Runner.

Find it online:


Weight115 lbs
Drawer Dimensions37”w x 32”d x 9”h
Top Platform55.5”w x 34”d
Outside Frame Dimensions41”w x 34”d x 12.5”h
Top of Platform to Headliner Edge23”h
Top of Platform to Headliner Center26”h
Material16-gauge cold-rolled steel
FinishBlack wrinkle powder coat


BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

We knew when we ordered our StrongBox, it was going to be a slightly larger shipment. However, we didn’t know it would ship on a pallet and get delivered by an 18-wheeler! BSB takes every precaution to protect and secure your package, just like they do when making their storage solutions.

The actual drawer itself is pre-assembled in the larger of the two boxes you’ll receive. The “wings” (which we’ll get into later) ship in a slightly smaller box. Everything is strapped together and like we said earlier, shipped on a flat pallet. The packaging has fluorescent yellow stickers all over it saying “DO NOT DOUBLE STACK”. From the looks of it, and much to our surprise, nothing ever sat on top, the boxes were in great shape and the contents were in perfect condition. 10-points for shipping quality on an oversized package!

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Once you remove the drawer from the box, all of the hardware, installation instructions and carpeting are located inside the drawer itself.

Step-By-Step Installation Process

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Tools & Materials

  • 5/8 open-end wrench
  • Philips head screwdriver

Parts Included

  • (2) keys – to lock the drawer
  • (2) side ‘wings’ – creates the “platform”
  • (4) turnbuckles – holds the box into place
  • (5) small black screws – for outside wing support
    • (4) for outside wing support
    • (1) for center divider support
  • (4) large black screws – used on the center divider
  • (4) locking nuts – used on the center divider
  • (1) drawer stop paddle – stops drawer from closing when fully opened
    • Paddle package comes with two (2) small black screws
  • (22) silver screws
    • (6) for the ‘wings’
    • (16) for the D-Rings
  • (8) D-Rings
    • (4) for the top of the platform
    • (4) for the turnbuckles to keep the box mounted in place
  • (1) interior drawer carpet
  • (1) carpet – for the top platform
  • (26) plastic anchors – to keep the platform carpet in place

Step 1. Install D-Rings

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Locate the two (2) holes on each side corner of the box and install the D-Rings. Using your Philips head screwdriver, slide the ring behind the bracket and install the two (2) silver screws. Repeat this process on the remaining three corners of the box and fasten tightly as these will be used to attach the turnbuckles to your existing D-Rings.

Pro tip: The included instructions tell you to slide the box into your trunk as the first step. Having completed the installation per their instructions, we suggest installing the side D-Rings first. If you decide to follow their instructions vs. this article, that’s fine; you’ll just need a smaller Philips head screwdriver to get the D-Rings in on the side of the box once it’s in place.

Step 2. Set Box Into Place

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

This step is pretty easy and requires no tools… grab a friend and drop the storage box into place. Start by folding down both rear seats (they’ll need to be down for Step 3).

Fortunately, the box is measured to fit perfectly up against the plastic trim along the gate up to the rear seats, so there’s very little “calibration” that needs to be done here.

Additionally, leave the rear seats down until the entire installation is complete.

Step 3. Install Turnbuckles

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Now that you have all four (4) D-Rings installed and the box is in place, it’s time to attach the turnbuckles.

Our turnbuckles came threaded all the way in, so you may need to back them out to get them fully extended. Loop one turnbuckle hook to the box D-Ring and the other hook to your OEM D-Ring and hand tighten. We used a 5/8 open-end wrench to snug-up the turnbuckle. Make your way around all four (4) turnbuckles and tighten them down.

Step 4. Add Wings To Box

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Both included wings are identical, so grab any wing, pick a side, and lay it in place on top of the rear wheel tubs. Using the four (4) black small screws, locate the hole in the front of the box that lines up with the wing and tighten with the Philips head. Loosely tighten the front screw and make your way to the back, installing the second screw.

Once the two (2) screws are installed in the front and back of the wing, repeat the process on the other wing.

Secure Long Side of Wings To Box

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

With the wings loosely mounted, slide the drawer open and locate the three (3) holes that connect the long side of the wing to the box. Screw three (3) of the silver screws through the holes and tighten down.

Repeat the process on the opposite wing. Once everything is tightened, tighten down the two (2) black screws on the front and back of both wings.

Step 5. Install Center Divider

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

While installing the divider is optional, BSB notes that it gives the box itself some added strength. With the drawer fully extended, decide which row you want the divider installed into (you’ll notice the divider can be installed slightly to one side or the other with the provided holes). The included drawer carper has precut holes in it. After you decide which row will receive the divider, slide the carpet into place lining up the holes.

Then, move divider into the drawer…

With the carpet in place, move the divider into the drawer. You’ll use the last (1) small black screw to loosely tighten the drawer down on the interior backside of the drawer behind the lock. Fully extend the drawer and make your way along the bottom towards the back installing the four (4) large black screws, threading through the backside with the four (4) locking nuts.

Pro Tip: The screw on the furthest side of the drawer can be difficult to do by yourself, so have someone hold the nut behind the drawer half-opened as you tighten the final large black screw into place. We made the mistake of removing the drawer carpet when initially taking everything out of the box. If you kept your carpet in and removed everything else, this step will be a lot easier than described above! It also goes without saying, but the carpeting is optional.

Step 6. Install Drawer Stop Paddle

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

The drawer stop paddle prevents the drawer from sliding closed when you’re not on level surface. The StrongBox only comes with one (1) drawer paddle (one is all you’ll want and need) but you have the option to install it on the left or right side of the box. So, pick which side you’ll want it on and begin the install.

The paddle comes in a separate plastic bag with two black screws. Fully extend the drawer and screw the paddle into place with the bent edge facing out and back towards the box frame. When you want to close the drawer, push the paddle in and close the drawer.

Step 7. Add D-Rings To Top

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Since you’re utilizing (and losing) your OEM D-Rings from the cargo area, BSB made sure to give them back by including the parts and six (6) pre-drilled spots for them on the top platform.

The carpeting is pre-cut to have the D-Rings on all four (4) corners, but you can either add two additional D-Rings or cut the carpet yourself to install two in the center of the platform. It’s something to consider if you eventually want to install a fridge on your platform on one side or the other, or you just want more mounting points.

Similar to Step 1, locate the two (2) holes on each top corner of the box and install the D-Rings. Using your Philips head screwdriver, slide the ring into the bracket and install the two (2) silver screws. Repeat this process on the remaining three corners of the box and fasten tightly.

Step 8. Add Carpet

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

The final step to installing the StrongBox is to add the carpet and carpet anchors. While this needs little explanation, slide the carpet into place and begin setting each anchor into the pre-drilled holes. The pins are on the tighter side, which is a good thing, but they shouldn’t require anything more than a good ‘ol thumb press into place (i.e., don’t grab a hammer and crack the pins).

Make your way around the box until all twenty-six (26) carpet anchors are in place.

Step 9. Push Seats Back & Fill It Up

Don’t be alarmed when you push your rear seats back into place if it requires a little force. The box sits tightly in place with the D-Rings and turnbuckles, but the rear seats being tight also provides a bit of structure and rigidity to the box.

Earlier this month, Max Sheehan wrote an article on The Ultimate 2-Person Overland Camp Kitchen Storage Box for The 4Runner.

In that article, he spoke about utilizing TrekPak dividers for his storage cases and linked to a DIY article on how to make your own TrekPak dividers.

Since the drawers are long and deep, you may want to consider smaller plastic totes, TrekPak dividers, or just make your own.  Or if you have enough gear to shove in to keep everything tight, go for it!

Final Review

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

It goes without saying that we could not be happier with our BOSS StrongBox.

The fit is perfect, install was a breeze and for a company that hadn’t really focused on a vehicle-specific system, what they designed for the 5th Gen 4Runners is spot on.

  • The platform
    • The top platform wings stretch from each end of the cargo area still giving you a surface to lay things on without the concern of them rolling off the sides into the wheel tub areas. For some owners with more aggressive lifts on their rig, accessing the cargo area through the rear window can be difficult and require you to open the liftgate. The added benefit to the platform top is that you can simply roll the rear window down to access things on the top, like grocery bags, beers from the cooler, etc. without having to open the entire liftgate.
  • The box itself
    • The drawers are deep and run the length of the cargo area, so you can fit a ton. BSB’s drawers may be the deepest we’ve seen on the market, which is good for those looking to pack in and secure a lot of tools and camping gear.
    • The side molle-style pattern cuts down on the weight of the box, gives it a cool design and while we’re not sure what you can mount to it that would make it easily accessible, they’re actually functional (maybe spotlights?).
    • Looking in through the glass, you wouldn’t even know there’s a storage system in your trunk filled with goodies.
  • Security
    • When the drawer handle is turned to the closed position (locked, but not key-locked), it’s tight and has no wiggle room at all. This is obviously a good thing because when you’re bumping along trails or accelerating or slamming on the brakes, you don’t want to hear the drawer sliding even the slightest bit.
    • With the box actually key-locked, it feels impenetrable. The steel cover on the lock is free-spinning and helps protect the lock cylinder against drilling and pulling.
    • The recessed drawer door surrounds front design eliminates the ability for someone to pry it open. Once key-locked, the drawer locks at three separate points in the drawer frame. Not that we want anyone to break in, but it truly provides peace of mind for us with the tools and gear we’ve been keeping in it. When you twist the lock, the three-point latching system locks the middle cam and rods extend from each side into the sides of the box.

The Takeaway

BOSS StrongBox Custom Drawer System Step-By-Step Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner

  • Does it add weight? Yes, roughly 115 lbs. It will also depend on how much you load into the drawers.
  • Does it take up your entire cargo area? Yes.
  • Can you drill through the top to mount gear, like a fridge slide or a Pro Eagle mount? Yes.
  • Can you still access the power supply and outlet on the right? Yes.
  • Does it help secure and organize your gear and is it beyond bad ass? Absolutely.

We all know the gear game; it’s generally expensive and super disappointing when you buy something that lacks in quality and takes three months to ship. That’s not the case here. During the install of the BOSS StrongBox, we had a few long drawn out “Daaaaaamn” and “Oh hellllll yeah” comments because we were truly impressed with the quality and finish. And, it shipped out pretty quickly compared to the months and months it can take to get a set of rock sliders.

We couldn’t be happier with the BOSS StrongBox system and suggest you consider this storage solution for yourself.

Comments or Questions? Leave them below!

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Tom Magner
Tom Magner
October 23, 2020 6:32 am

Does anyone let their dogs ride on top of the box, of course with a net or barricade?

September 21, 2020 7:23 pm

Great article as usual. Just installed and am already loving the organisation. Any tips on using the TrekPak as a divider system?

Matt ~M~
Matt ~M~
September 1, 2020 9:46 pm

Will called my Strong Box last week and couldn’t be happier with the construction and quality of it, Ryan and team installed it for me onsite and walked me through everything I needed to know at no extra cost (pretty rare these day’s), communication from the time I ordered and will called was outstanding. Many nights since in the shop reorganizing and adding different bins and ammo boxes. Great write-up Ryan –

FYI: They also offer Pelican Cases and Tactical Supplies: boss tactical

Ryan Gibbons
Ryan Gibbons
September 2, 2020 4:16 am
Reply to  Matt ~M~

That’s awesome – they’re good guys over there. Glad you’re digging it!

July 29, 2020 11:27 am

Super nice! I love how it isn’t permanent to the vehicle and if you can take it out if you need to.

Joseph D Stronko
Joseph D Stronko
July 19, 2020 6:10 am

Is this compatible with models that have the factory slide system? I understand you would have to remove the factory slide but will it still mount?

Jeremiah Richards
Jeremiah Richards
July 13, 2020 10:43 am

This box is the one that is closest to my needs, without paying to have one specifically tailored. Great review, and very informative. I may have missed it, so pardon a possible redundant question: I intend to put a 21 gallon water tank on top, pushed back to the seats, and strapped down. 21 gallons is roughly 179 lbs. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? and installing tie down points onto the existing box looks possible as well. I may need some kind of shallow drip tray for any leakage, but I believe it will work. Thanks for the informative and… Read more »

July 9, 2020 5:42 am

I want this, but with a 5-6″ deep drawer. This one just seems a bit to tall for me. However. does it seem like the side wings could be attached with a hinge to make the Molle panels and jack accessible? That would be a great spot to store an ax, machete, and such.

July 9, 2020 6:45 pm

Have you used this in conjunction with a fridge? That’s my main reason for wanting it lower, I use the fridge every day.

Nick @ Michigan Overland
Nick @ Michigan Overland
July 3, 2020 10:32 am

Great write up! We bought one very early on after they released the 4Runner drawer. Purs has no Molle on the aides, which is fine. Love the drawer so far. Only issue we had was the turn buckles not staying right and having to re-tighten every few days. We got a hold of Boss Strong and explained what was happening and suggested some reverse threaded nuts for the opposite ends. They sent them out not long after and we haven’t had any issues since.

July 1, 2020 9:51 pm

Thanks Ryan, I saw you mentioned room for a slide for a refrigerator, any limits on sizes (height) of a refrigerator?

July 1, 2020 9:33 pm

Do you guys know if there a specific reason it is not compatible with the 4runners w 3rd row? I’m never gonna use the third row but this looks perfect

July 1, 2020 9:14 pm

Does it rattle while out on the trail?

July 1, 2020 8:33 pm

Can you recline the rear seats or is that lost?

July 1, 2020 9:01 am

Very cool write up, question not about the box but the cargo net you have installed between the cargo area and rear seats, can you share info about that? I’ve been looking to get a solid one like that! Thanks in advance.

July 1, 2020 8:25 am

Wondering if there’s an issue getting to the spare?

July 1, 2020 4:37 am

Here’s a couple of question I haven’t seen answered yet with this setup:

Can you still use the storage slot on the right side with the platform in? Similarly, can you still access the jack on the other side?

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