4runner Notes

Read The Story below.


Tundra Brake Upgrade

I did run into a few oddities I wasn’t expecting with the 4runner. First off being, the brakes. Every 4runner I test drove was frightening when high speed braking (freeway off ramps, etc.) and I thought they all simply had bad brakes. After looking for a few months and finding one that was fairly rust free and a fairly good deal I had a 2001 Toyota 4runner. I took the front wheels off to inspect the brakes… they looked perfect, almost no wear on the rotors and the pads were perfect. Researching a bit more, I found what 4runner folks call the “Tundra Brake Upgrade”

After the oil change, tires, and a couple other things, It was time for the brake upgrade. It turns out, in most cases, you can mount 2005 Toyota Tundra brakes on to the 4runner. Brakes for a 5000 lb vehicle with towing capacity of up to 10500lbs on a 4000 lb vehicle.

Before we start… Check your Wheels and your spare tire too. This post at toyota-4runner.org (Near the bottom) has a list of what works/what doesn’t. You can get by without a new spare, however if you have a flat on the front, you’ll be changing 2 tires.

Wheels Alloy; 5 Spoke; Size: 16 x 7; Bolt Pattern Dia: 5.5; 6 Lugs ALY69354U #4261160150

After checking that my wheels were on the list, I knew I wanted to rotate my 5th wheel with rotations, so I picked up a spare from Rock Auto

The Brakes

Power Stop Brakes

I went with the Power Stop KC2324

There is a clearance issue with the dust guard. Not a big deal, It took all of 12 seconds per side to remedy with an angle grinder.

I was a little liberal with the removal.

Power Stop Brakes

Bed-in. Especially with slotted rotors, you need to Bed-In the brakes. This basically involves 5-10 rapid decelerations, without actually stopping, and then a cool down period. I drove down the highway around 60 (with the hazards on) and braked down to about 10mph, rapidly back up to 60/brake to 10, and repeat at least 5 times (you should smell the brakes). Now drive for as long as you can without touching the brakes. I drove about 20 miles without stopping.

Verdict: If you like stopping without all of the shaking and potential hazard; Do this upgrade.

How to link the keyfob to your 4runner


[The Keyfob]()

1. Start with the following conditions: you are in the vehicle

a. Key is out of the ignition
b. Drive door is open ( all other doors are closed)
c. Driver door is unlocked (other door locks don't matter)

2. Insert the key into the ignition (don't turn it) and pull it out.

3. Perform these steps within 40 seconds:

a. Cycle the power locks 5 times. Use an even pace and try
to go relatively fast.

b. Close, then open the drivers door.

4. Perform these steps within 40 seconds:

a. Cycle the power locks 5 times (same as before).
b. Turn the ignition to ON then back to OFF.
c. Turn the ignition to ON then back to OFF.
d. Remove the key from the ignition.

5. Within 3 seconds, the power door locks should cycle (automatically)
indicating successful entry into programming mode. Return to step 1
if the locks do not cycle at this point.

6. Perform these steps within 40 seconds:

a. Press the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons on the transmitter
simultaneously for 1 second.

b. Immediately after letting go of the lock and unlock buttons,
press the lock button by itself and hold for 2 seconds.
Within 3 seconds, the door locks should cycle ( LOCK then
UNLOCK) once-- indicating successful programming. If
the door locks don't cycle, or cycle twice. Repeat steps
6a and 6b--this remote has not been accepted.

c. Repeat steps 6a and 6b for EACH transmitter that will
operate the vehicle. Including any old transmitters.

7. Close the driver door.


Fuel mileage

If you are a moderate with the accelerator you should be able to get 20+ MPG.
When I first picked up the 4runner, I was getting only 16ish. So I looked into what need to be changed, purchased, installed and I’m now getting 20+ MPG.

If you are not here are some things you can try.

This should give you 20mpg.


Oil Change

Oil Filter Access

Note: Flap on the Driver side wheel well to access the filter. Ahem… you do not need to remove the rock shield to access the filter… :)

Choose a filter

A synth blend is good for the budget. If you go long between changes go for full synthetic and high mileage where applicable.

Rotate tires with oil change

Tire Rotation

2001 Toyota 4runner Parts


Oem Brakes

I highly recommend the Tundra Brake Upgrade

But Brakes are important either way.

OEM 4runner brakes

2005 Toyota Tundra Brake upgrade

Oil Change Supplies


Spark Plug Change

Other bits that will help things run smoother


I’ve always had good luck with Gates.


The Story

A little backstory…. I was looking for something mobile to live/camp in. A cargo van was my initial idea. The van seemed inexpensive and I figured they would be plentiful. No luck finding one that met my spec requirements (However they are regularly all over the east coast) So… I started looking at the second option, a Towable trailer. Then, what to tow it with? A SUV seemed the best option, Offroad capabilities, large enough to sleep in and sit up in (Otherwise I’d have gone with a subaru outback).

Once I started looking into SUV’s the 4runner kept popping out as the best solution. 3rd generation specifically (1995-2002)The car I’ve loved driving for over 10 years was a Toyota. So once I test drove a few 4runners, I knew it was the right vehicle for me.

The hunt was on, I started looking within about 200 miles of my location. A few would pop up for very high price and low mileage in the middle of Iowa or Missouri. A couple months later, A 4runner popped up that looked like a great mix of what I was looking for.

So here is the plan:

Once the reliability bits are out of the way, starting on the setup of a mobile base station

Other great resources