Did you know that in 2021, Digital Trends rated the Toyota 4Runner as the most reliable off-road vehicle? With the COVID-19 pandemic, off-roading became an even more popular sport with the ability to remain distanced while enjoying the great outdoors. A reliable off-road vehicle became a must-have for the nature-enthusiast.
With off-roading, even the most reliable vehicle needs a few mods to keep you safe. One of the most important considerations is the Toyota 4Runner off-road bumper, among other Toyota 4Runner accessories.
Whether a novice or a veteran off-roader, you're probably familiar with the off-road trail ranking guide that rates trails according to difficulty and types of terrain.
The Toyota 4Runner is built with a double-wishbone front suspension with a solid rear axle. It has a durable body on frame construction and can sustain a real beating out on the trails. A few Toyota 4Runner accessories will make this great vehicle unbeatable.
Sand and Dirt Tracks
This type of trail has a rating of 1 or 2. You can encounter some small rocks of under 5", unstable gravel surfaces, and the occasional shallow water crossing.
Your stock 4Runner accessories are probably sufficient to meet the challenges for this type of trail, though you may want to look into installing off-road tires with reinforced sidewalls and deeper grooves.
If you have AWD, you should be able to handle any challenges these tracks may present.
Tracks and Formed Trails
This off-road trail rating is 3 or 4. On these trails, you'll be dealing with rocks under 9", gulches, water that's up to 24" deep, and some mud. You may have to deal with grades up to 15° and side slopes up to 15°.
Your Toyota 4Runner accessories need to include off-road tires measuring 31-33" with the reinforced sidewalls and off-road deeper rutted tread and lower tire pressure for better grip. For off-roading, 15-20 PSI is recommended.
You will need a lift kit for added clearance and visibility in difficult areas. You may even want to look into modifying your exhaust system, and your air intake system might benefit by installing a snorkel.
This trail rating recommends you have 4WD for the added benefit of all four wheels receiving equal power and rotating together. A locking differential will also provide traction in a situation where you may find yourself stuck.
Body protection is essential with a steel skid plate and a 4Runner off-road bumper. You're better off getting a winch as well, since the mud may be quite deep, or you may get into some deeper gullies.
Challenging and Extreme Trails
This type of trail is rated 5 or 6. On these trails, you may encounter rocks up to 12", deep sand or mud, narrow (SUV-width) shelf roads with possible drop-offs, and unstable stream bottoms with possible rapid currents. You may deal with side hills up to 30° and steeper grades.
You can be going through areas with low-growing bushes and stumps and more wildlife.
You will frequently need a spotter for these types of trails. The deep and rutted muddy sections will probably require a winch to get out even though you have the large, deeply rutted off-road tires and the lift kit.
If you have a lift kit on your 4Runner, you want to make sure your sway bars are not connected. You need more suspension movement and articulation when off-road and sway bars are designed to limit this movement.
The extremely rocky terrain and narrow clearances require body protection on the sides and undercarriage. A 4Runner off-road bumper is a must to protect your front end from rocks and other hazards.
The Toyota 4Runner Off-Road Bumper
There are many benefits to installing a Toyota 4Runner Off-Road Bumper. The features of these bumpers include the following:
Strength: The stock Toyota 4Runner bumper is made of lighter weight alloys and plastic for better gas mileage. A Toyota 4Runner off-road bumper is made of laser-cut 7-11 gauge steel that is welded together. It protects the front end of your vehicle from rocks, trees, stumps, brush, and animal strikes.
Approach-angle: Stock Toyota bumpers do not account for sharply inclined surfaces. Installing an off-road bumper allows for increasing the maximum angle the vehicle can climb from a horizontal plane without interference.
Lighting: If you're planning on off-roading in limited visibility, such as heavy rain, snow, or even a sandstorm, you'll need good lighting. Many Toyota 4Runner off-road bumpers have light bars available for additional clarity in inclement weather.
Winching: This is one of the most essential features of a Toyota 4Runner off-road bumper, though it is optional. With an installed winch, you can get yourself out of some deep holes, mud, or sandy streambeds.
A winch is a hauling or lifting machine composed of a rope, cable, or chain that winds around a rotating drum. The power from your motor turns the drum to spool up the line.
If you have a winch installed on the front end of your Toyota 4Runner, you probably will have some additional mounting points on the frame of your vehicle to account for the strain from running a winch to haul you out of difficulty.
Other benefits: You can opt to install bull bars on your Toyota 4Runner off-road bumper. Bullbars are made of heavy-wall, tubular steel welded to the front of the bumper. These will help to protect the vehicle from hazards in the backcountry, such as trees and branches.
If you get the full option off-road bumper, you'll probably be installing the Toyota 4Runner grille. This grille is made of high-quality materials to protect your front end. It can feature cut-outs for additional fog lights, which will also help your clarity in inclement weather.
Most front-end mods for off-roading will include skid plates with the bumper. Going through uneven terrain, your 4Runner's undercarriage will be fully protected.
Head For The Hills
As you delve into the joys of off-roading with your Toyota 4Runner, you will probably attempt all these types of tracks and trails.
It's best to get started now by installing your Toyota 4Runner off-road bumper today.