March 31, 2019.
Ever since we picked up the 3rd Gen 4Runner back in September 2018, we knew that it needed some work to really be a viable family adventure vehicle. Some of that work is cosmetic, and some is mechanical - but all of it took a back burner to the various trips that we had planned and the winter weather that prevented too much work on any of the trucks.
But now, things are starting to look up for the 4Runner. Spring is here - or at least threatening to be - and it's time to start getting on the list that I created when we bought this beast:
- Change most of the fluids (engine, diffs, transfer case, brakes, power steering, transmission).
- Remove the side steps and replace them with sliders.
- Replace the brakes, which are clearly in need of replacing.
- Get some new tires. We need something a bit more capable than these passenger-rated tires off a second-gen Tacoma :).
And - of course - there are a few more items that have popped up since we've started driving it:
- The interior smells...perfumed. I think two things are needed here: some seat covers, and a thorough washing of the rug. And by thorough, I mean it needs to be taken out and pressure washed. And I wonder if we can somehow was the seats too.
- It needs a roof rack. I mean, if we're going to mount the @Cascadia Tents (CVT) Mt. Shasta RTT on it when we venture out, we aren't going to be able to use the OEM rack.
- It needs a storage system for the back to hold the fridge, our gear, and provide a sleeping area for @mini.turbodb.
- I want to get the lower ball joints (LBJs) changed as preventative maintenance - especially since we'll be taking it off-pavement. I'll likely switch these to the 1st gen Tacoma variant, so that the parts are interchangeable between trucks.
- It's got some sort of oil leak, somewhere. This needs more investigation before I even know what the issue is.
So, that's what's in store for the 4Runner in the reasonably near future. Well, most of it is in store - I did already take care of two of these items already...
First, all of the fluids got changed before we really started driving it - because it's always good to know that the fluids are in good shape. Second, a few weeks ago, it got some new shoes.
I knew what I wanted here from my previous experience with the Tacoma. I wanted something that would:
- Fit without rubbing - that would mean that it's smaller, but that's fine for how we'll use this truck.
- Provide good on- and off-road performance - since this is going to be our daily driver as well.
- Be C-load, rather than the much heavier E-load that I have on the Tacoma, because I'm getting too old to lift those E-load tires all the time, and because I still care about MPGs.
With those things in mind, it took me about 7 seconds to decide on the tire I was going to run: Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs, in a 265/75R16 size, and with C-load range. I ran similar Duratracs on the Tacoma for a couple of years and really liked them. They were reasonably quiet on-road and did amazingly well on the dirt and snow - performing flawlessly through The De-Tour, my first two week trip.
Oh, and while I was at it, I got some new wheels to replace the 2nd Gen Tacoma wheels that looked a bit funky in my opinion - so now I'm running the Duratracs on the same Limited 4Runner wheels that I have on the Tacoma, and they look just as sharp if you ask me.