ARB 3/4 Base Rack For the 5th Gen 4Runner: A Versatile Flat Aluminum Alloy Platform For All Of Your Needs – Installation Guide & Review
If you’ve been in the off-road scene for any amount of time, you know that ARB stands for quality.
ARB roof racks have gone through many revisions over the years. From their old-school steel construction welded basket systems and the upgraded aluminum basket to their aluminum-alloy flat mesh rack, ARB has pushed out quite a few offerings over the years. The roof rack was actually the first product that ARB ever made. Pretty wild, right?
The current and most popular ARB system today, dubbed the “Base Rack” is nothing short of impressive. Spawning from four decades of roof storage experience, ARB has once again established its place in the community, but it’s not for everyone – and that’s why we like it.
As always for our ARB products, we get everything from Mudify. Mudify.com has most ARB products in stock and they ship fast!
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Trail Tested Review
We tested this rack over the last 3-4 months now and it’s been great. We tested its durability off-road at 60+ mph driving through rough terrain in Ocotillo Wells trying to keep up with our pre-runner friends pushing 100+ mph. The rack is stout! It did not rattle once and all the accessories remained in place with no movement as well. We also tested the wind noise around town for months in addition to a week-long road trip from Sacramento to San Diego and then back to Sacramento. We put this rack through its paces. Let’s jump into the details and see how our experience with the platform has gone so far.
After testing the roof rack for a few months, let’s look at the Pros & Cons.
- Non-Drill Roof Rack
- Plug-and-Play (Utilities 4 Factory Mounting Points)
- Lots of Accessory Options
- Easily Adjust Mounts with ARB Alloy Slide Blocks
- Minimal Simple Design
- No Wind Noise (With Fairing)
- Easy To Grab Rack Without Handles
- Wider footprint than CNC racks
- Can Get Pricey with all the Mounts
- Not Compatible with Full-Length Rooftop Tents
- No Full-Length Option Available
3/4 Aluminum Flat Rack
At first glance, many 4Runner owners might look at this and wonder why it’s not a full-length system or why it doesn’t look like all the other CNC-cut aluminum panel offerings on the market. Well, ARB has never been one to follow trends and that’s what sets them apart from the entire industry.
They don’t care about what’s popular now or what the most profitable product is on the market, no. ARB cares about one phrase overall – form and function. The company wants its product line to look great and provide killer utility at the same time.
The ARB Base Rack does just that; it’s clean, simple, looks amazing, and offers a multitude of accessory mount options that you can configure for your needs. It’s a 3/4 system designed for the daily driver and weekend warrior who wants a clean, low-profile, and capable look that doesn’t look like every other overland rig out there.
The Base Rack doesn’t require drilling and can be optioned flat or basket style with the add-on. On top of that, they offer a ton of well-thought-out accessory mounts for any occasion. Whether it’s overlanding, rock crawling, or just for some added utility on a daily driver, this system offers a lot of functionality for a 3/4 offering.
Specs & Features:
- Dimensions (L x W x H ): 66″ x 56″ x 3″ inches
- Part number: 1770020
- UPC: 9332018068521
- Weight: 52lb
- Designed and manufactured in Australia
- Weight rating: 350 lbs
- Basket style or flat
- Lots of accessory mount
Step 1. Remove OEM Rack
Remove the OEM crossbars by popping the plastic clips off with a plastic pry tool. Then, remove each 12mm bolt. Once all the bolts have been removed, set your factory roof rails to the side.
Step 2. Prepare Hardware
Sort out the provided hardware and prepare for the installation.
Step 3. Clean Channel
Clean the roof channel with your preferred cleaner and a microfiber towel.
Step 4. Tighten Down Mounting Brackets
Place the provided gasket down first, then mount the brackets in place with an extended Allen head wrench. Since the brackets are angled, it’s a bit harder to get a standard Allen head socket to fit.
Step 5. Measure the Distance of Brackets
Once all of the brackets are in place, measure the distance between the eyelets of both the rear brackets and the front brackets. Pictured above, you can see that our measurement is 4′ 7.75″ (eyelet to eyelet) for the rear brackets.
Measure both the rear and the front as they will be needed for fixing the side rails to the platform. The rear measurement will be smaller than the front measurement.
- Rear measurement: 4′ 7.75″
- Front measurement: 4′ 9.625″
Step 6. Side Rail Mount Brackets
These are the brackets that attach the side rails to the platform.
Step 7. Side Rail Placement
Lay out all your brackets and side rails on the platform.
Step 8. Loosely Connect Brackets to Siderails
Loosely connect the side rails to each bracket.
Step 9. Measure the Distance of Siderails
Measure the distance from the side rails eyelets. They should match the same measurements you just took from the brackets mounted to the roof. Pictured is a measurement of the front mounting points. It’s about 2″ wider than the rear creating a “V” shape.
- Rear measurement: 4′ 7.75″
- Front measurement: 4′ 9.625″
Step 10. Fully Assemble Siderails
Now that we have our exact measurements, we can tighten the brackets down to the platform rails.
Step 11. Place Rack on 4Runner
Grab a friend and lift the roof rack into place. If you don’t have friends, find a tool that will allow you to safely lift the rack on top of your 4Runner.
Step 12. Mount Platform on 4Runner
Secure the side rails to the roof brackets previously installed.
Step 13. Tighten Down All Brackets
Check all your nuts and bolts one last time.
Tie Down Points
The channels on the aluminum bars let you adjust the tie-down points and all other accessories wherever you want.
You can choose from the inner portions of the crossbars or on the outside of the platform along the sides and/or front and back. I quickly installed the tie-down points on the inside of the platform, however they can be positioned in any configuration you want.
The tie-down points are a must for this platform to provide real-world utility.
Size & Functionality
The platform pictured measures 66″ x 56″ x 3″ and is a great size for fitting a wide variety of gear – outside of a rooftop tent.
The platform can support around 350 lbs so technically, you can run a rooftop tent on top, you just wouldn’t be left with much room for additional accessories on top.
That said, you can still leverage the outside rail system to mount accessories such as the Hi-Lift, Awning, Shovel, and other side-mounted accessories.
At first glance, I thought that the platform was too wide for visual purposes but after running it for a few weeks, it’s starting to grow on me. I like how the edge of the platform aligns perfectly with the body of the 4Runner.
Weight Rating Reference:
- 61″ (L) X 51″ (W) with 6 Crossbars: 330.7 lbs
- 72″ (L) X 45″ (W) with 7 Crossbars: 385.8 lbs
- 72″ (L) X 51″ (W) with 7 Crossbars: 385.8 lbs
- 84″ (L) X 51″ (W) with 9 Crossbars: 440.9 lbs
There is no weight rating for the 66″ x 56″ x 3″ rack with 6 crossbars so considering the above ratings, I assume it’s somewhere in the 340-360 lb range.
One of the biggest selling points of the Base Rack is its accessories. ARB offers a ton of accessory mounting options in their platform ecosystem. You can find everything from shovel and recovery board mounts to Hi-Lift mounts and so much more. Every mount that we have tested has been of extremely high quality and appears to be very well thought out.
Although I don’t run a Hi-Lift jack often, their mount is incredibly detailed. The rubber bushing-backed brackets combined with the locking latch make it very easy to use.
The shovel mount can be configured with or without a spacer allowing for standard shovels or wider diamiter accessories. Each shovel mounting bracket can be independently configured. For example, you can clamp one mount to the handle side of the shovel, and another to the smaller diameter shaft, and both can be adjusted for exact fitment.
The recovery boards can be mounted with either two or four mounting pins. Since we’re only running two boards, we decided on two, however after seeing a little bit of play in the boards moving around, we’re going to grab another set of pins. I would recommend four pins even if you run two boards.
The wind fairing is absolutely needed. We tested the wind noise at 70+ MPH without the wind fairing and there was quite a bit of wind force coming through the platform. After the testing, we installed the wind fairing and the noise stopped completely.
Each mounting bracket is designed specifically for the aluminum crossbars and/or aluminum side profiles of the rack. The brackets are all adjustable and can slide around the aluminum bars to the exact position you desire.
We have another post dropping soon on just the accessories where we’ll go into more detail on even more accessories and how they attach to the rack.
If you’re looking for a lightweight 3/4 rack with a wide range of accessory options, the ARB Base Rack is a killer option. Its ability to mount gear on the front, rear, and sides in addition to directly on top is impressive. I think that’s what sets this system apart from the competition; the accessory mounts and available gear that’s compatible. I will eventually run a clamshell-style rooftop tent, so I don’t know if I’ll hold onto this system forever but it’s nice to have something that looks different than all the other overland builds out there.
I’ve run the Rhino-Rack in the past, a Pioneer Platform, and although that was nice too, the mounting options were confusing and expensive. The Base Rack offers more affordable accessory mounts, direct-fit gear, and a much better mounting system than the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform.
At the end of the day, we know ARB is quality so you won’t lose there. It comes down to whether or not you’re going to run a clamshell tent. If so it won’t work for you. If you plan on running a fold-over tent or no tent at all, this is a great option.