EcoTechne (Steel) Roof Rack Install and Review For the 5th Gen 4Runner
Overlanding with a 4Runner can sometimes be challenging due to the nature of its design. Without access to a bed, storage can be very limited and this is why a roof rack is so essential.
Having access to a roof rack makes your 4Runner much more versatile. Whether you’re looking to add a rooftop tent or just want more storage, adding a rack is one of the best solutions.
Are you tired of seeing the same roof racks over and over again? Do you want your build to be different than everyone else’s 4R? If so, then the EcoTechne Roof Rack may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. In my opinion, this rack has the sleekest, sportiest design out of all the racks on the market. EcoTechne did an outstanding job of complimenting the design of the 4Runner when coming up with their rack.
Find it online
- EcoTechne Roof Rack For 5th Gen 4Runner: Check Price
Quick Pros and Cons of EcoTechne’s Rack
- Extremely Strong
- Little to No Lead Time
- Sleek, Sporty Design
- Not Very Configurable
- Hardware Could Be Better
- Powdercoat is Questionable
- Wind Noise is Noticeable Without a Lightbar
- Not USA Made
When it comes to ordering the rack, there aren’t a whole lot of options that come with it. The rack comes with three crossbars and the front fairing comes lightbar ready with various mounting options. The rack seems to be able to support a lightbar up to 40” (with the brackets turned inwards). A luggage tray is offered but sold separately.
One of the main selling points of this roof rack is how strong it is. The side rails are CNC plasma cut and brake-formed steel which is contoured to the roofline. By the nature of this design, it creates a great amount of strength without a whole lot of weight.
I only have two complaints about this rack, the powder coat, and its configuration. The powder coat is extremely questionable and I would recommend taking a rattle can to it to add an extra layer of protection. When I installed the rack, I didn’t add paint since it was only going to be on temporarily before having my wrap finished. Well, that night it rained and sure enough, I ended up with a little bit of rust. The other issue is that the crossbars are limited to their predetermined mounting points.
With all of that being said, I am still extremely happy with the rack. I will be redoing the powder coat, but for its selling price, I am perfectly ok with that. As far as the mounting points… well, I make it work.
Who is EcoTechne?
EcoTechne is an offroad company based out of Venezuela. Since they are not US based, 4WD Adventures USA is the only company in the US who offers their gear. 4WD Adventures USA is located in Orlando, Florida, and carries the racks in stock, eliminating lead times.
If you don’t mind buying non-American made products, the EcoTechne rack is a great option. I am a huge fan of the strength and design of the rack, which is one of the main reasons I decided to go with it. I’ve enjoyed people asking me what rack I have and where I got it since not many people are running it.
Tools & Materials
- 9/16 Socket Wrench
- 9/16 Wrench
- Allen Key
- Marine Grade Silicone
- Extra Set of Hands
- Plastic Trim Removal Tool
Step 1. Remove Factory Roof Rails
The first step is to remove the factory roof rails. To gain access to the bolts, you need to pop off the plastic covers with a trim removal tool. Once you’ve got the caps off, take a 12MM socket wrench and remove the two bolts at each corner (8 in total). After removing all of the bolts, you can take the rails right off. Make sure to keep the washers from those bolts, since it is a good idea to use those instead of the washers supplied.
After removing the factory roof rails, you can wipe down the mounting points to ensure a proper seal with the silicone. Once your surface is clean, you want to apply the silicone around each hole to prevent any potential leaks in the future.
Step 2. Install Roof Rack
To be able to install the rails, you must first install the four brackets supplied. Since the washers it came with are extremely weak and are just metal, I decided to reuse the original washers. The original washers are much stronger and also have a rubber ring allowing a better seal.
Once your four brackets are installed, you can place the side rails on the weatherstripping. After lining up the rails with the holes in the brackets, insert the bolts but do not tighten them down. It is critical that you don’t tighten the rails down because then it will be difficult to attach the front and rear sections.
Now that the rails are all put in place, you can begin installing the front wind fairing (this is when an extra set of hands may be helpful). It was extremely difficult lining up the fairing while trying to tighten it down. Next, you want to install the rear piece of the rack which is essentially the same process as the front, only much easier.
After installing the front and rear section, then you can tighten the side rails to the mounting brackets. If you don’t wait to tighten the rails until afterward, you will never be able to get the front and rear pieces to line up properly. Tightening these eight bolts can be difficult since the front two brackets make it tough to get your wrench into place. The back two brackets are much easier than the front since you have more space to work.
Step 3. Install Crossbars
Lastly, you can install the crossbars. This was pretty quick and easy since there are only 3.
You want to decide exactly how to space them out before installing, this way you don’t have to keep shuffling them around. Even when you have decided which holes to mount them to, do not tighten them all the way since you may want to adjust them with the little room allowed.
Once you’re certain of where you want them, tighten them down and you’re all done!