Feature Friday: 10 5th Gen 4Runners With High Clearance Viper Bumper Cut

Cement Grey 5th Gen 4Runner with C4 Lo Pro Bumper & Aggressive High Clearance Bumper Viper Cut

We Asked 10 4Runner Owners About The High Clearance “Viper” Bumper Cut On Their Rigs & Why They Decided To Trim – Here’s What They Said!

This Week’s Topic: High Clearance “Viper” Bumper Cut

Hey guys, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and welcome back to another Feature Friday! If you missed last week’s FF, we looked at ditch light bracket setups for the 4Runner.

This week we are looking at several 4Runners that have an increasingly popular mod, the viper cut. We asked owners why they performed this mod on their 4Runners and also how they did it. There are a few considerations to make, mainly the aggressiveness of the cut as you can’t go back if you cut too much.

The cool thing about a high-clearance viper cut is that it is a DIY mod that you can do in your own garage. If you want though, you can always get this mod done at a local reputable shop.

Owners choose to do a viper cut on their 4Runners for a few reasons. The most popular of those reasons is to fit larger tires and increase approach angles. Looks pretty good too! Each owner below documented the journey of their high clearance mods and also highlighted the benefits.

As always, feel free to DM the owners on IG to ask any additional questions about their setup if needed.


1. Chris Carrasco (@trashpanda_t4r) – 2010 Trail Edition

5th Gen 4Runner with DIY Viper Cut & Low Profile Bumper

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

The viper cut I performed was DIY as there are no shops near me that work on this sort of setup. Also, I prefer to do all my own work from installation to fabrication.

The cut itself is on the milder side as I have seen others remove more of the lower portion than I have. I used a 2-inch piece of masking tape to mark my primary line which follows the body line just under the fog light. Using it as a guide and following that straight line around the side of the bumper gave me a base to follow closer to the wheels.

Toward the bottom of the bumper, I again used the lines from the recessed portion of the bumper where the fog lights sit and was able to measure a radius to follow. This provided a curved line between the two straight portions lined by the factory bumper shape and fog light recess.

Working off the lines of the bumper allowed me to ensure the cuts were even on both sides. Lining the workspace with masking tape gave me a good idea of what the final product would look like before cutting. I utilized an oscillating multitool with variable speed. This kept the cut clean while also keeping temperatures of the work surface down to avoid melting of the plastic or bubbling of the paint.

Once the cuts were made, the edges were lightly hand sanded and finished off with 1/4″ rubber door trim. Fender liners had been removed prior to this due to the 2014+ facelift and already damaged liners. The overall cost was less than $30 including tape and door trim. It took roughly 1 hour to complete.

I did the viper cut purely for tire clearance and approach angle purposes. Although the 4Runner sits on a 4″ front lift, the 305/70/17’s still made contact with the lower portion of the front bumper. I had already planned on doing the viper cut for cosmetic purposes and approach clearance when converting from the OG 5th Gen front end to the 2014+ as the new tire clearance and caster angle made it a necessity.

Although the gain in approach angle might be argued, I have approached obstacles recently that have scuffed the door trim placed on the portions where the bumper was cut. This is a definitive sign that without the viper cut, I would have damaged the lower portion of the front bumper.

The best advice I can provide to anyone wanting to give their 4Runner a viper cut is to take it slow and have a plan. I researched several images before deciding how I wanted to tackle the project. Once I decided, I used tape and slowly worked with the lines provided on the bumper to obtain my final angles. Before any cutting took place, I measured from multiple points to ensure an even cut was made to each side.

2. Blake Farnham (@wulf_runner) – 2015 Trail Edition

5th Gen 4Runner with C4 Fabrication High Clearance Additions & Viper Cut

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

I went with the viper cut and C4 Fabrication High Clearance Additions for their Lo Pro Bumper for around $600.

The main reason for the viper cut was to avoid any rubbing when I switched to bigger tires. I ran BFG KO2 285/70R17s with a 3″ lift for a while and with proper alignment, was able to avoid any rubbing without the need for a viper cut. However, I knew eventually I was going to want bigger tires so I started making those preparations early. The first few things I did was body mount chop, smashing pinch welds, and the viper cut.

C4 Fabrication’s Lo Pro Bumper has optional bolt-on High Clearance Additions that follow the line of the viper cut. I decided to go that route. Are they necessary? Probably not, but it’s added protection if you find yourself in the rocks and a cleaner look in my opinion. They also send you a viper cut template that you tape onto your bumper so you get the perfect cut on both sides.

I’m not paid or sponsored by C4, but I do like their products, including the optional High Clearance Additions for viper cuts.

3. Brad Le (@ghost_garagee) – 2020 TRD Pro

Super White 5th Gen 4Runner With Viper Cut

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

What’s up, everyone? I specialize in high clearance/viper cuts in the PNW Seattle area.

Prior to performing the viper cut, you need to determine your measurements. It all depends on how high or low you want your cut. Mask off the area you want to cut with blue painter’s tape. From there, cut the bumper and use a Dremel tool to round out the “viper cut” area. You would finish the cut by sanding off the cut edges to clean it up and finally, add edge trim.

Easy enough, right?

Typically, the costs to get these cuts done at a shop will probably run you $200-$300 dollars depending on where you go.

I cut mine initially because I was rubbing with 33s as the fender liner mod and light trimming were not doing their job. Viper cuts are intimidating since you’re cutting into a 60-70k rig (fully built). However, if you’re looking for an aesthetically good-looking rig with functionality, then I would definitely consider it.

I suggest consulting those who have done it and taking a look at one up close before deciding. Hit up my IG if you all have any questions and I’d be happy to help!

4. Mike Cabras (@cement_rnr) – 2021 Trail Edition

Cement Trail Edition 4Runner with High Clearance Viper Cut

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

I opted for the most aggressive viper cut which was professionally done by @shaukapal.

There are many types of viper cuts out there, and I went with one of the most aggressive options. My purpose for this viper cut is for better approach angles for obstacles and of course, to gain tire clearance for bigger tires. If you’re looking to put bigger tires on your 4Runner, I would definitely recommend a viper cut to prevent any rubbing.

5. Shaun Cacpa (@shaukapal) – 2016 Trail Edition

White 5th Gen 4Runner with Morimoto XB Headlights Amber & Aggressive Viper Cut

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

This was my first ever viper cut and it’s the most aggressive of all my high-clearance cuts on a 4Runner. I offer 3 stages of aggressive cuts that each cost about $130, including the automotive trim.

It all started when I got 285/70R17 tires with a wheel offset of -10mm and Spidertraxs spacers. The front tires would rub against the bottom of the front bumper. I watched a few videos on others doing the cut and finally tried it on mine, with some modifications.

I have now done 100+ 4Runners & Tacomas here in Vegas. The one tip I like to mention is to make sure to inspect behind the cut markings to make sure no wires get damaged from the blade. Measure three times and cut once.

6. Dom Cometa (@4runlbc) – 2020 SR5

Cement 5th Gen 4Runner with Mild Viper Cut & TRD Pro Skid Plate

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

If you want to DIY, don’t wait until after you install larger tires to start cutting as you can already see where the initial contact areas will be if you have someone turn the wheel for you. I just found where my tires would rub first and cut as minimally as possible.

I suggest using painter’s tape to outline where you’d cut and stand directly in front of your rig to verify uniformity on both sides. It’s pretty easy to see uneven angles with blue painter’s tape. I used a Dremel for cutting and a sander to make it even. Just make sure you give yourself some margin of error when cutting because you can always sand it evenly in the end.

I like the OEM look so I’m not a big fan of viper cuts. However, I was already rubbing with 285/70R17s so I had an idea of where to start cutting. When I upgraded to 315/70R17, there was some rubbing but I was still able to drive home. If you don’t want to cut aggressively, start cutting small. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that give you an idea of where and where not to cut.

Just keep in mind that everyone’s offset and alignment is different, so take any recommendations with a grain of salt. Also, don’t forget PPE because you don’t want that stuff in your eyes or lungs.

7. Dominic Lopez (@rnnr_domm) – 2014 SR5

Barcelona Red 5th Gen 4Runner with SCS Wheels & Alpharex Headlights

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

All cuts to my 4Runner were done at Runnin4Tacos in Denver. I decided on a cut that was more functional instead of going completely aggressive (running along the fog light housing’s body line). I wanted to cut the bare minimum on the off chance that I need to cut more down the line if needed. Sometimes less is better.

At the time, I was fitting 285s on the rig with a 3-inch lift. The fender liner needed to be cut to eliminate rubbing, which most people trying to fit bigger tires will need to do. We followed the viper cut line when cutting the fender liner for a clean look.

The viper cut is also such a clean look on a 4Runner that has bigger tires. Now that I have 315s, I will be looking at cutting higher to make room. For anyone looking to change the overall look of the front end to something more aggressive looking, I fully recommend it. To fit a bigger tire, this is usually the best place to start to make more room for them!

8. Taylor Wilkinson (@trdoffroad.lunarrock) – 2022 TRD Off-Road Premium

TRD Off Road 5th Gen 4Runner with Falken Wild Peak A/T3W tires

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

The viper cut on my 4Runner was done by Brad Le (@ghost_garagee) out in Everett, WA. I chose the more extreme cut for more clearance and a more aggressive look. The cost at the time was fairly cheap because Brad was building up his credentials. We would highly recommend him to anyone in our area!

The main reason for doing this cut to our rig was for the overall look of a more aggressive front end. Another reason that we did the cut was for more clearance for off-roading. One thing that we didn’t look into (which I recommend for others) is to check how high you want to cut, especially if you plan on installing a bumper later on.

We did the cut before we bought and installed our C4 Lo Pro bumper with high-clearance fender pieces, so the cut may be a bit too high. We still have to check ours but regardless, we love our cut!

9. Lance Antonio (@toyholo) – 2016 SR5

Silver 5th Gen 4Runner with Safari Snokel & DIY Viper Cut

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

We went with a mild cut, which I did myself. We love the aesthetic look of the cut, especially with the SSO hybrid bumper. However, as the build progressed, the cut actually became more purposeful once we started taking it off-road, with just enough approach angle and clearance for what we do.

10. Barak Hamlin (@b_rock_86) – 2021 TRD Off-Road

TRD Off-Road 4Runner with Bronze Method Race Wheels

Why Did You Do The Viper Cut Mod On Your 4Runner?

My viper cut is probably the most aggressive option you can do on the 4Runner and I love how it looks. It was very DIY-friendly and it cost less than $20 in total. The only real cost was the black trim from Amazon and an optional can of black spray paint.

I did this mainly for a more aggressive look. This cut also allows for clearance for bigger tires, although currently with 285s, this aggressive of a cut is not necessary. I wanted the room to grow in for bigger tires in the future, so I just did the cut anyway.

You also gain a lot of clearance in front of the tires for larger obstacles. I did look at the C4 high clearance extensions, but I chose this path because of the cost and felt the added weight was unnecessary.

Honestly, it did make me a little nervous chopping up a bumper on a car less than a year old. However, I’m glad I did and anyone that wants to can as well with just a few simple tools. My advice would be to take time with taping off the area to be cut (measure 3 times) and use sandpaper to de-burr the edges before the trim. This should give you the confidence that you need. All the details can be found on my YouTube channel.

Final Thoughts

High Clearance Viper Cut on 5th Gen 4Runner

Viper cuts are super popular and now I can see why after this week’s Feature Friday submissions. It was nice to see the different reasons and ways these owners went about cutting up their 4Runner’s front ends. I recently lifted my 4Runner, installed a low-pro aftermarket front bumper, and added 285/70R17 Nitto Recon Grapplers that rub ever so slightly. I may do a super mild cut on my 4Runner soon, just to clear the front bumper area.

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. Next week we will be showcasing 4Runners With Fiberglass Front Fenders to help inspire your future trimming needs. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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misty reed
misty reed
1 year ago

I’m trying to find a bumper for my 2022 4Runner TRD OFF ROAD that has a Bull bar and does not interfere with my TSS that Toyota has placed in the most awful location. Nothing too aggressive, I don’t rock climb.

1 year ago
Reply to  misty reed

Check out C4 Fab’s LoPro Bumper Misty!

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