The Rago Fabrication Aqua Tank Washer Fluid Reservoir Relocate For The 5th Gen 4Runner – Installation & Review
Popular mods such as high clearance viper cuts, upgrading to a super rad aftermarket front bumper, or even fitting oversized tires always involve some level of trimming/cutting away of the inner fender liner to make them work. A major issue with this is the 4Runner’s stock windshield washer reservoir. It is located in the front passenger wheel well and becomes exposed once you cut away the fender liner. This puts it at risk of getting damaged by trail or road debris.33
One option to protect that reservoir is using a washer reservoir skid plate sold by several aftermarket off-road armor companies. These skids work, but only protect the stock reservoir to a certain point. Rago Fabrication has come up with a new solution that is a surefire way to solve this problem. That is, a replacement tank made of aluminum that relocates the washer fluid from the wheel well to behind the grill. Meet Rago Fabrication’s “The Aqua Tank”.
Find It Online:
- Rago Fabrication The Aqua Tank: Check Price
Installation Prep (Optional)
This step is completely optional and you could use any paint, bed liner, or engine enamel coating of your choice. If you like the raw aluminum look, feel free to skip this step.
The Rago Fabrication Aqua Tank comes in raw aluminum. In its final mounting location, that raw metal finish would be visible through the grill. My 4Runner has a pretty stealth look and I didn’t want to see the metal shining through. So, before installing the Aqua Tank, I opted to give it a stealthy paint job.
Using blue painter’s tape, I masked off the top billet cap area along with the mounting bolts to shield the threads from any primer/paint. I also put a strip of tape where the pump gaskets would go. I’m not sure if this was necessary but I didn’t want to risk any sealing issues with those rubber gaskets. This section of the tank is pretty hidden and mostly covered by the pumps, hoses, and wiring anyway, so wouldn’t be visible after installation.
Then, I cleaned the tank really well with some rubbing alcohol to give an oil/dirt-free surface for the primer. The tank then got a few coats of primer followed by a few coats of flat black Rustoleum.
After allowing the paint coating to “bake” and cure in the Texas sun for a day or so, the tank was ready to be installed. Overall, the removal of the stock reservoir and installation of the Rago Fabrication Aqua Tank is pretty simple. In a nutshell, you remove three bolts from the stock tank and install two bolts to mount the new tank, along with transferring the pumps over.
Tools & Materials
- Plastic Trim Tool (optional)
- Socket Wrench + Socket Extension
- 10mm Socket
- Flat Head Screwdriver
- 14mm Socket
- Sharp Pocket Knife/Utility knife
- Masking Tape
- Rubber Mallet
- 9/64 Drill Bit
- 3 1/2 in Circular Saw
- Dremel Tool
- Edge Trim
Step 1. Remove Radiator Cover
First, we need to remove the radiator cover. Push down on the center (looks like a button) of all 13 clips until they click. Then, gently pull up to remove each of the clips. Set the cover and clips aside.
Step 2. Remove OEM Washer Fill Tube
To remove the washer-fill tube, squeeze the two tabs on the clip circled in the photo above.
While pinching those tabs together, lift straight up on the tube and it’ll slide out of the fluid tank below. It’s only secured with that clip, so once the clip is free, it’ll come right out.
Step 3. Remove The First Bolt On OEM Tank
The first bolt to remove is located in the upper right when looking directly into the passenger side wheel well. This is a 10mm bolt.
Step 4. Remove Plastic Washer Cover
With the first bolt removed, look at the bottom of the reservoir and unclip the plastic liner/cover piece that covers the back side of the reservoir. This plastic is a bit thicker than the fender liner and will be completely removed in the end.
Step 5. Remove Second Bolt On OEM Tank
On my truck, this bolt was already exposed due to my previous fender liner cut. You may need to pull back your fender liner and look up into the wheel well at the top of the water reservoir to find this bolt. It is also a 10mm bolt.
Step 6. Disconnect The Pump
Before removing the third and final bolt on the stock reservoir, disconnect the wiring plugs for the washer pumps. Mine were a bit difficult to remove by hand so I used a screwdriver to help me press down and unclip the connectors.
The one on the right is especially tight. If you’re unable to get it disconnected, follow the wires over to the left and you’ll see another connection where both pump wires run; you can disconnect that end instead. A plug just needs to be disconnected to allow more wiggle room to get the reservoir out.
Note: Do not remove any rubber hose connections only electrical connections.
Step 7. Remove Final Bolt On OEM Tank
The third and final bolt on the washer reservoir is a bit hidden. Looking from the top down, it’s just under the bolt that bolts to the cross member. The picture above is looking from underneath the bumper with the 10mm bolt circled in red.
Step 8. Remove OEM Tank
With all three 10mm bolts removed and the wiring disconnected, all it takes is some wiggling to pull the OEM tank out. Turning the tire outwards would have probably given more room to work with, but is not needed.
Step 9. Remove Pumps On OEM Tank
The two pumps can easily be pulled out of the rubber gaskets. I used a screwdriver to gently pry the pump away from the rubber seal and after working around the sides, I was able to wiggle and pull them out.
Step 10. Transfer Rubber Seals
With the pumps removed, transfer the rubber seals from the stock reservoir to the Aqua Tank. After cleaning them up really well, I placed them in the new tank and made sure they were seated correctly. Check to make sure they aren’t rolled or pinched anywhere.
Step 11. Place The Aqua Tank
There are two ways to get the new tank in place. One way is from the top, but it’s tight. It would also require disconnecting a few more things to make room to feed it down into position.
A better option for me was to feed it up through the bottom. In the photo above, you can see the Aqua Tank under the cross member. That cross member is where the tank will be mounted to. Feed the Aqua Tank under and up along the right side of that cross member with the bolt threads pointing towards the passenger side.
Step 12. Locate The Correct Mounting Holes
Once the Aqua Tank is in position, you’re ready to bolt it to the cross member. The correct two mounting holes are the two lowest holes out of the three holes on that cross member, circled in red in the photo above.
Step 13. Mount Aqua Tank To Cross Member
Using the supplied bolts and washers, mount and secure Aqua Tank to the cross member using a 14mm socket
Step 14. Reconnect Wiring To Pumps
Now it’s time to reconnect the wire connection for the pumps. Match the wire length with the length of the rubber hoses; the short connection to the pump on the short hose and the long connection to the pump on the longer hose.
Step 15. Insert Pumps Into Aqua Tank
The pumps can now be pushed into the rubber seals on the new Aqua Tank. The longer one goes on the right and the shorter one goes on the left.
The pumps took a bit of pushing to get them to sit all the way in, but that’s a good thing. If you’re having a hard time getting them all the way inserted, wet the rubber seals with some soapy water or a little washer fluid. They need to be positioned in a certain way to get them to fit properly without crimping the rubber hoses.
The right pump plug faces the right and the left pump plug faces the left.
Step 16. Filling & Testing System
Now that everything is all secured and connected, it’s time to fill up and test the system. Since I was reusing my old washer fluid, I used a coffee filter to ensure clean fluid. If you’re using new fluid, just fill the Aqua Tank sans coffee filters.
Step 17. Trim Excess Fender Liner Plastic
After confirming that everything is working properly and there are no leaks in the system, I removed the excess fender liner and plastic washer reservoir cover. I used a sharp pocket knife to cut and follow the existing line from the previous cut all the way across. A utility knife could be used as well.
Step 18. Find The Center Of The Cap
Here’s where things get a bit creative. Now that the Aqua Tank sits behind the grill, a hole needs to be cut in the radiator cover to allow it to sit flat and be reinstalled. That hole also will allow access to the Aqua Tank cap for refilling when fluid runs out.
In order to find the right place to cut a hole in the radiator cover, first determine where the center of the cap is in relation to the cover when it’s in place. One way to do this is to lay the radiator cover in place and try to eyeball it. I felt that method was a bit of a guessing game. So, I put a couple of layers of masking tape on the tank’s cap to mark on the cap the center without it smearing off. This also protects the cap from getting scratched or marred in the process.
Find Something Short, Sharp, & Flat
I keep every bolt, screw, nut, spacer, and everything else that I take off my 4Runner. You never know when you might need them for future projects!
The screw pictured above came out of the bottom of my stock bumper when I installed my C4 Lo Pro bumper. It’s short, has a sharp tip, and it’s got a wide washer. I stood this up on that center mark of the cap and taped it down to create an index point. You could also use a roofing nail or something similar.
Step 19. Index Center Cap Position On The Radiator Cover
With the screw secured down with tape and in position, set the radiator cover in place. Make sure all the cover’s clip mounting holes are lined up.
Once it’s all in the exact position, take a rubber mallet, or use the palm of your hand to give it a good wack right on top of where that screw is. This should leave a good dimple on the underside of the plastic cover.
Step 20. Drill A Pilot Hole In The Cover
With a good index mark on the radiator cover, this gives us a great spot to drill a pilot hole; I used a 9/64 drill bit. After drilling the small hole, remove the screw from the tank’s cap but try to leave the tape layer that has the center mark visible.
The radiator cover can then be placed back to see if the pilot hole lines up with that center mark. If it’s off a little, adjust by moving it over to where it needs to be and drilling a slightly larger pilot hole. Mine was maybe off about 1/8th of an inch which was close enough for me.
Step 21. Cut Hole In The Cover
Using a 3 1/2-inch hole saw, carefully cut a hole into the radiator cover.
Step 22. Clean Up Installation
Using a Dremel tool or some sandpaper, smooth out the plastic from the hole saw. A nice sharp utility knife can be used as well. I cleaned it up pretty well with a Dremel and finished it out with some leftover edge trim that I had laying around. Finally, reinstall the radiator cover and that’s a wrap!
The Rago Fabrication Aqua Tank is such a nice product from Rago Fabrications. I really appreciate the detail of the billet cap and the edge trim really makes for a very clean look.
One thing that I realized after the fact, is that the edge trim also helps protect your fingers when removing and replacing the tank’s cap. I’m also happy that I decided to paint the Aqua Tank black, it really keeps the tank discreet.
One important note is that the Aqua Tank doesn’t hold as much fluid as the stock reservoir. That means you’ll be filling it up more often but with the added protection of the relocation, it’s worth it. Overall, I think this is a great mod, especially if your reservoir is currently exposed or you’re thinking about doing mods that will end up exposing it.