The Swell Runner Build Story

A build page is one of those things that’s difficult to get going once you’re significantly down the road of your journey. I’ve been hemming and hawing about actually putting something out there for so long, I’ve forgotten the one thing I try and live by every day – JUST SHIP IT.

This is my first 4×4 vehicle and really only the second time I’ve had some rendition of a methodical approach to customizing a vehicle to best suit my needs (or wants). The first time – well lets not count that. It was a fun experience, but it was a product of my youth – a 2002 VW GTI. Man that was a fun car.

This post will be the first of many documenting all of the modifications I have done and the reasoning behind them.

The process of my build is going to live in the form of a blog posts here on my site. Just thinking about the daunting task of creating this thing is making me want to stop now. So I’m just going to breath, and tell myself to do this in one little bite at a time, and move forward. If you’re here and not seeing details on something you know I have, it’s because I haven’t gotten around to adding info about that yet. It will come, just be patient.

The Origin Story

The reason I bought the 4Runner really started with just wanting a Toyota. And the reason I wanted a Toyota was because I wanted something RELIABLE. Coming out of 4 years of driving newer BMW’s left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I grew tired of having to drive it an hour away to get little bugs fixed and fearing the end of warrantee that would certainly result in going broke in repairs (the fear was very real).

The search went from Toyota to 4Runner, to Overlanding to mind blown.

I picked a Trail model with KDSS, after tons of research, specifically because it had a locking rear diff, crawl control, ATRAC and good road manners. Although when I actually bought, I really didn’t know what any of that meant.

I relied heavily on the wisdom and feedback of others, mostly in the T4R.org forum to help direct me to what I would ultimately need in order for me to do what I was thinking I wanted to do.

Although the Toyota 4Runner was quite capable from the factory, I knew that I was going to want to enhanced capability out of it that would require some modification that would suit our adventures.

So, without further ado, let the build journey begin!

First Things First – Lift, Tires, and Rack

My Motivation to Mod

I Picked the Ugliest Sliders Available – And They’re Beautiful


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