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5th Gen 4Runner Adventure Build

Written by  Phillip Jones
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Build 5th generation 4Runner

Marc Fossi purchased a 2011 Trail Edition 4Runner primarily for improved trail accessibility for fishing. It wasn’t long before Marc saw the potential for what his new truck could do. We asked Marc about the evolution of his build, where his truck has taken him, and what the future holds.

Like many serious off-roaders, when they purchased their 4Runner, they didn't have plans to take their new truck down the off-road modification path. Something along the way occurs that ignites the pursuit of a more aggressive rig. What's your story?


I formerly drove an Acura TSX, which I loved, but I also love fly fishing. The TSX wasn't really made for the gravel roads and dirt tracks I encountered when heading to my favorite fishing spots. The forestry service roads along many of the steelhead rivers in B.C. are especially challenging. When the Acura lease came to an end, I decided to get a 4x4. I'd always loved the look of the 4Runner along with Toyota's reputation for reliability. Since it was also my first 4x4, I wanted to learn how to use it properly to avoid being stranded and having to be rescued. I found a local group called the Canada Toyota 4WD Association. I registered for the association’s off-road driving course. The day after the first course, they always conduct a trail run. I chose to participate. I loved the scenery out on the trails and developed an off-road addiction. As I started going out on more trails, I realized I wanted to do modifications so that I could tackle bigger obstacles and more trails.

What armor and suspension components have you installed?

I have a full set of BudBuilt skid plates along with Bud's bump-out sliders. The front bumper is an ARB, which carries a Warn 9.5xp winch. I currently have a CBI rear bumper on order. The wheels are matte silver Stealth 6 from Stealth Custom Series. On top, I went with a Baja flat utility rack for holding an ARB rooftop tent. I recently upgraded to Icon shocks and Total Chaos upper control arms.

Any engine, electrical, or interior modifications?

I added a pair of X-Ray HID off road lights, ARB fridge, and a Yaesu three-band radio.
 Build 5th generation 4Runner

What future modifications are you planning?

When the rear bumper arrives, I'll install a set of Icon Expedition coils in the rear to hold up the extra weight. I also have some Total Chaos gusseted tabs and rear lower link skids waiting to be welded on. A long-travel suspension might be in my future.

What adventure destinations have lured you and your off-road buddies?

I've been out to Whipsaw Trail a couple of times now and it's a beautiful trail with lots of scenery. Eventually I'd also like to make it down to Moab. For me though, I really love doing some exploring, especially down in Crowsnest Pass. It's a great place to camp and there are so many trails in the area that I've never been on.

Anything happen on the trail that made you appreciate your 4Runner?

Everything on the trail makes me appreciate my 4Runner. It's an excellent combination of comfort and capability in a reliable package.


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