Photo Credit: @taco.rnr
How to Black Out the Roof Rack of a 5th Gen 4Runner and What are Your Options – Plastidip, Spray Paint, or Pre-Blacked Out Kits
If you spend some time on the site, you come to find out that there are lots of options when it comes to roof racks for your 4Runner. You have the option of buying something aftermarket or keeping the one that came with your 4Runner. That being said, it seems that the more I chat with people on Instagram and read other articles, fewer and fewer people actually want the one that came with their 4Runner.
The main reason I have found? Toyota absolutely loves the Chrome/Metallic/Silver accents all over their vehicles, and their customers…not so much. So, let’s chat about some other options to get rid of that color we all love to hate.
Option 1: Blackout via Paint, Plasti-Dip, or Vinyl Wrap
Photo Credit: @kevinaftanas
I chose to go over this option first because it is definitely the easiest and the cheapest option when it comes to blacking out your 4Runner’s roof rack. This one could take longer, but if you have the time and patience, it should be no problem to do.
The great news about this option is that you do not have to paint it black. You have several more color options by going this route, and it is going to be cheaper than the other options on here. This route takes a little more time since you need to pull the rack, throw some newspaper down, prep the rack for paint, and finally paint it. This route allows you to not only customize the color of your rack, but it will save you a few bucks as well.
- Black Spray Paint (plastic caps): Check Price
- Black Spray Paint (aluminum rails): Check Price
Plasti-Dip is an affordable, non-permanent, way to change the look of your 4Runner. With this method, there is hardly any prep involved. Just take the rack off, wipe it off really quick, and spray away. Check out this post on plasti-dipping your roof rack. The downside to Plasti-Dip is that it chips easily, and may not last as long as paint.
- Plasti-Dip: Check Price
- Plasti-Dip Protector: Check Price
3. Vinyl Wrap
Vinyl wrapping gaining popularity in the car scene. This option may cost a little bit more than spray paint and plasti-dip, but this will outlast both of those two options. You also have the option to choose from a wide variety of colors and patterns. While these racks are probably not that hard to wrap, if you’ve ever tried to wrap something before, then you know it’s no walk in the park. With that being said, you may consider taking it to a wrap shop and have them do it. There are many decal, striping, and sign shops that offer this service at a pretty affordable cost. If you want to inquire about pricing, just Google “sign shop” or “decal shop” near me. Sometimes taking this job to a professional is the best way to go.
- Satin Black Vinyl (3M): Check Price
I would honestly recommend taking this to a pro. After applying vinyl many times, it’s really easy to screw up your first time around. But with that said, if you have the patience to get it done, you will be fine.
Option 2: Replace With an Aftermarket Rack
Photo Credit: @taco.rnr
This option is my favorite option for a low-profile factory roof rack. The kit comes with everything you need to replace your roof rack, but it is the second priciest of the options. However, unlike the option above, which may require a re-do later on, these aluminum-alloy rails are fully blacked out. They are definitely more durable than the first option, and shouldn’t need much maintenance after installing.
Find It Online
- Blackout Roof Rack (full kit): Check Price
This kit comes with everything you will need to swap on a blacked-out roof rack.
This is the option that I went with, as it was about half the cost of the TRD Pro Roof Rack option, and still gives a sleek blackout look to the 4Runner. The Car Trim Home Blackout kit is definitely one of the easier options out there when it comes to blacking out your roof.
Option 3: Replace With a TRD Pro Roof Rack
Photo Credit: @_snowrunner
Let’s talk about another viable option when it comes to factory roof racks: The 2019+ TRD Pro Roof Rack. I know that doesn’t have much more functionality than the one that comes with the 4Runner, but it gives the 4Runner that classic “FJ Cruiser-look” for all you OEM junkies.
The good news about this option is that it can directly replace the existing roof rack on the 4Runner. You don’t have to cut into the roof or do anything super crazy for the install. The not-so-good news is that this thing is so expensive that for an extra $100-$200, you can buy a much more capable aftermarket roof rack.
Find it online:
- OEM TOYOTA roof rack: Check Price
- OEM Style roof rack: Check Price
I have been trying to buy one of these for my 4Runner for a few years now, and they go for almost the cost of a new one on Craigslist. I do not know what I could get for selling my old rack yet, but I know it wouldn’t begin to cover the cost of one of these.
Photo Credit: @_snowrunner
In conclusion, there are, in fact, options available when it comes to blacking out or replacing your factory roof rack to make it your own. Maybe you opt to start with a plasti-dip/vinyl wrap for now to save some cash. Or perhaps you want to go with the one from CarTrimHome.
This is the option you may not have thought of. Now I know that lots of folks want to keep their roof racks for more vehicle versatility. However, if you don’t really plan on using your rack, then you could simply delete it.
You can save yourself money and lots of time by doing this mod, and it will make your 4Runner look very clean and minimalist. It also may make it easier to keep clean and reduce any wind noise you might hear when it’s windy out.
As for me, maybe one day I will buy that TRD Pro roof rack from a Craigslist seller who’s offering a decent discount. Until then though, I am going to opt for the one from CarTrimHome. I still want the factory look, but I also don’t want to break the bank with a full-length rack.
Questions or Comments? Leave Them Below!
What is the recommended recovery hitch?
Contemplating roof racks. How do you dry the top of your truck with a full rack. Sorry if this seems like an odd question.
With how short the rails are, just replace them all together. There’s plenty of after market racks for them that bolt right into the factory mounting points. And they come in black.
I suppose this matters in town.
Looks don’t mean diddly on the trail.
Awesome thread! I would love to see a future DIY on A 2019+ TRD PRO ROOF RACK ONTO A NON-PRO..
Not sure if you saw that, but there is a link above for the Pro Roof Rack install:
Does the CTH rack allow use of OEM crossbars?
Great question Mike!
Unfortunately there is no spot for the OSM crossbars to go. You would have to get some aftermarket crossbars if that is something you wanted.
If anyone is going with plasti-dip, the DipYourCar.com Youtube channel has some great instructions on how to properly apply it. If you do it correctly, I’ve heard it’s pretty durable stuff.
Thanks for the comment Michael!
I’ve used Plasti-Dip in the past on several small projects and a few emblems on my previous vehicles. It is indeed durable!