The Toyota 4Runner is a versatile and capable SUV that is highly popular among outdoor and off-road enthusiasts. Whether you're a longtime 4Runner owner or a recent buyer, several modifications can enhance your vehicle's performance, style, and functionality.
Why modify? While the 4Runner is a great vehicle, it can be improved with aftermarket modifications. Modifications can help make your 4Runner more capable of tackling tough trails and steep inclines. They can also provide additional features and amenities unavailable from the factory.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the top 10 must-have mods for your Toyota 4Runner:
1. Pedal Commander PC27 - Enhance Throttle Response
The throttle response is one of the most frustrating aspects of driving a 4Runner. The electronic throttle body and computer-managed input from the throttle pedal often result in a noticeable delay when pressing the pedal. To address this issue, consider installing the Pedal Commander PC27.
The Pedal Commander PC27 connects to your throttle pedal and allows you to adjust the throttle response timing of your 4Runner. With 32 individual settings, you can customize the throttle response to your liking and driving habits.
Not only will this mod improve throttle response, but it may also lead to improved fuel economy and overall driving satisfaction. And when it’s time to switch back to stock settings, the Pedal Commander can be easily disconnected.
2. Ditch Lights - Improve Visibility on Dark Trails
Driving in the dark can be challenging, especially when off-roading. Adding ditch lights to your 4Runner can significantly enhance visibility and eliminate poor visibility on dark trails. Ditch lights are typically mounted on the hood of the vehicle, providing increased peripheral vision.
When choosing ditch lights, consider options with narrow beam patterns for focused lighting or broader patterns for a wider field of illumination. Whether you opt for spot ditch lights or flood ditch lights, these affordable mods are essential for safe off-roading adventures.
3. GRMS Radio - Reliable Communication on the Trails
Spending a lot of time on off-road trails means you might encounter areas with no cell service. In such situations, having a GRMS radio in your 4Runner is a must. GRMS radios serve as a backup communication method, ensuring you can always seek help if needed.
GRMS radios are relatively inexpensive and come in various brands and models. Opt for a two-way communication GRMS radio with an antenna for efficient communication with your group during your off-road adventures.
Yeah, yeah, we know that cell phones exist. But what happens when you're out of range? That's where GRMS radios come in handy. So, if you're serious about off-roading, then a GRMS radio should definitely be on your list of go-to 4Runner mods. FCC requires a license to operate GRMS radios.
4. Light Bars - Illuminate the Trails
Similar to ditch lights, light bars offer additional lighting to improve visibility on dark trails. But unlike ditch lights which provide peripheral vision, light bars focus light in one direction—forward. This makes them ideal for illuminating the path ahead and warning oncoming vehicles of your presence.
Light bars are usually mounted on the front bumper or roof of a vehicle and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you plan to install a light bar, make sure the size and shape are compatible with your vehicle's design.
When choosing a light bar, opt for high-quality options made in America to ensure durability and reliability. To fully utilize the light bar, consider installing a roof rack on your 4Runner for optimal positioning and functionality.
5. Sliders - Protect Your Rocker Panels
Investing in a good set of sliders is essential for 4Runner owners who spend significant time on trails. Sliders protect your rocker panels, preventing damage and dents caused by rocks, logs, or other trail obstacles.
There are two main options for mounting sliders: welding or bolting. Although drilling holes in the frame may be necessary, bolting sliders are easy to install and remove when needed. Welding sliders provide a permanent solution but require professional installation.
6. Skid Plates - Safeguard Your Undercarriage
Skid plates are a must if you plan to engage in heavy trailing with your 4Runner.
These metal shields install underneath the vehicle to protect vulnerable components, such as the differential, transfer case, and fuel tank. Skid plates can also help prevent rocks and other trail debris from damaging the radiator or related components.
Look for skid plates made of aluminum or stainless steel alloy—these materials are lightweight yet strong enough to withstand off-road hazards. Additionally, opt for skid plates specifically designed and tested for your 4Runner model for a precise fit.
7. Winches - Get Unstuck Quickly
A winch can be a lifesaver when you're stuck in mud, sand, or snow. These devices use motorized spools to generate power to pull objects of varying weights. Look for winches with high-tensile steel cables and motorized spools that are corrosion-resistant.
Winches come in a variety of sizes; choose one that is rated for your 4Runner's weight and specific off-road needs.
Generally, the larger the winch, the more power it will have to pull you out of difficult situations. Many modern winches have a wireless remote control, so you won't have to leave your vehicle to operate it.
8. Roof Rack - More Room on the Road
A roof rack is a perfect solution if you want extra storage space for items like luggage or camping gear.
Roof racks come in various sizes and styles to fit your 4Runner's design. They typically attach securely to the vehicle with bolts or clamps and can even be adjusted to accommodate different heights and widths.
If your 4Runner has a sunroof, select a roof rack that will fit properly without interfering with the sunroof. When choosing a roof rack for your 4Runner, look for one made of strong materials like steel or aluminum alloy—these materials are built to withstand off-road conditions and won't rust over time.
9. Engine Snorkel
Here's a mod you don't see every day—a snorkel. This device is designed to extend the air intake of your 4Runner's engine, allowing it to breathe easier and perform better in wet or dusty conditions.
When shopping for a snorkel, look for one made from durable materials like polyethylene and ABS plastic. These materials are resistant to heat, moisture, and debris from the outdoors.
10. Locking Differential
Finally, a locking differential is invaluable for taking your 4Runner off-road. This device helps to keep the vehicle in control during rugged terrain by preventing the tires from spinning freely when they encounter obstacles. When you're ready to hit the trails, a locking differential is an excellent addition to your 4Runner's setup.
Be sure to pick the right one for your 4Runner—several types are available, from mechanical and electric lockers to limited slip differentials. An excellent locking differential should be easy to install and maintain so you don't have any trouble setting up your 4Runner for off-roading.
Hit The Road With These 4Runner Mods
These mods aren't required for off-roading but can take your 4Runner's performance to the next level.
If you're ready to take your vehicle out on the trails, equip it with these essential mods first! Not only can you ensure you have an enjoyable time, but also a safe one. Do you have an item to list to our 10 Must-Have Mods for 4Runner Off-Roading? Post in the comments below!
Now that your 4Runner is ready to rock the trails hit the road and enjoy some off-roading adventure! And while you're at it, why not add some mods to your clothing with gear from Goats Trail Off-Road Apparel Company? Check out our store of 4Runner-ready clothing and apparel for the ultimate off-roading experience.