Last month, we welcomed Ben Marriott as Outworld Overland’s Ops Director. Logistics expert, outdoor aficionado, and part-time freestyle rapper – Ben brings a healthy balance of professionalism and creativity to the project. Our first task was finding him a project rig, and that search ended with a 2007 4Runner Limited.
We took advantage of the stock fuel efficiency while we could with a quick trip to the Sierras, and after that it was time to get to work. Because the Lexus GX470 shares a common platform with the 4th gen 4Runners, much of our research is already in place which helped expedite the process. As with the Lexus, we decided on Toytec Lift’s Boss Performance package. This includes 2.5″ wide adjustable front coilovers, HD Superflex rear coils with remote reservoir rear shocks. We have been running a very similar setup on the GX with fantastic results so the decision was easy.
An increasingly popular complement to a full suspension lift are aftermarket upper control arms. Increased ride quality, strength and alignment precision make it worth the extra dough. Total Chaos are some of the market’s best, and with our 2 project rigs currently running their uniball arms, it was another easy choice. With all the parts acquired, we got to work this past weekend.
As any mechanic or DIYer knows, rust can turn a simple one hour job into an all day affair. Our 2000 4Runner did a stint in the Pacific Northwest, and while the frame and majority of undercarriage are in great shape, random nuts and bolts have been bested by rough winters. I envy mechanics with every tool at their disposal and their MacGayver-level ingenuity in overcoming those issues. For driveway mechanics like ourselves, it’s a painstaking process of trial and error with a generous helping of both praying and cursing.
All that said, it was a genuine relief when I crawled under the 2007 4Runner, the undercarriage was in excellent condition. Removing the running boards is usually a good indication of how cooperative and wrench-friendly a vehicle will be, and that first step validated my optimism of a smooth install. It was a welcome change of pace when everything moves, or doesn’t move, as designed.
The entire process was painless. Although the Lexus and 4Runner are built on the same chassis, Lexus has some extra bells and whistles like front shock actuators and rear air bags that add to the process. This had to be among the easiest installs I’ve done yet.
We opted for the same wheel/tire setup as the Lexus: 285/70 BF Goodrich KO2s on gunmetal TRD pro rims. Here is a current photo of how she is sitting. Gobi Stealth Rack and ladder are on the way and armor is soon to follow. Now it’s time to get this thing dirty!