Are you in love with your 3rd Gen 4Runner and want to make it look a little tougher? Do you wish there were a way to heighten the experience when you take it off the beaten path? If so, then you need to start by looking into some 4Runner upgrades.
Doing so can help you improve the functionality and aesthetic of your third, fourth, or fifth-gen 4Runner. Your baby will look almost unrecognizable once you install these beautiful mods on her.
See below for an in-depth guide on the best 3rd Gen 4Runner upgrades to put on your SUV and get the party started.
3rd Gen 4Runner Bumpers
Those of you that are true blue 4Runner fanatics know that the third generation 4Runner fulfills every need that you could have. Regardless of whether you have the 4-cylinder engine or the V6 engine, they're the best 4Runner model for going off-roading.
That said, the stock bumpers in the front and rear don't exactly support an off-roader's lifestyle. If you're going to take the path less traveled, you need a bumper package that can withstand all kinds of terrain and protect the integrity of your 4Runner's frame.
For the best results, we recommend that you invest in a welded armor package like this one. It contains a frame mounting plate, winch plate, skid supports, vertical plates, underwing supports, shackle mounts, and so on.
Just to clarify, this is not a DIY kit. There is some modification required to ensure the tightest and strongest mounting design. If you have a body lift, then this specific bumper package will not work; thankfully we have several others that you can invest in!
This 96-02 4Runner True North Armor Package has a front bumper and rear bumper, with options for swingouts and sliders. Whether you're commuting to work or hitting the trails on the weekend, these awesome bumpers will give you even more pride in your car.
4Runner Skid Plates
Even though the third generation of 4Runners were made with offroading in mind, hitting the open trails can take its toll on any vehicle. All it takes is one firm object or big bump to wreck a critical component underneath your car.
Skid plates are used to help you protect all of the important components on your car's belly. Most cars don't come with a high-quality skid plate unless you invest in the top trim level.
Even if your 3rd Gen 4Runner had a skid plate on it when you purchased it, you need to make sure you have a trusted brand on it. If we could point you in the right direction, we'd recommend investing in ones like the CBI full skid plates.
These are created with 3/16" plate steel, making for the perfect material to guard the undercarriage of your third-generation beauty. Imagine being able to offroad without worrying about whether or not your vehicle took critical damage while hitting a huge divot or running over a large rock.
For an additional price, you can even have the CBI full skid plates powder-coated to ensure a longer lifespan for your new skid plates—and a more attractive one, at that!
3rd Gen 4Runner Grilles
Stock grilles are for the uncommitted. If you're planning on running your 3rd Gen 4Runner into the ground, then you should separate it from all other 4Runners on the road today.
There are many different exterior improvements you can make to differentiate your SUV, but in our minds, nothing is more important than a new grille.
Make no mistake about it, grilles aren't just for aesthetic purposes. They also play a huge role in allowing air to enter and exit your vehicle. They allow for a breathable hood, all while protecting the engine and radiator from debris, bugs, weather, etc.
There are many different grille options out there, but we recommend the 3rd Gen flush grille. It offers you a plethora of options for colors, lighting, mesh, and so forth.
3rd Gen 4Runner Suspension
To offroad without an upgraded suspension is like you attempting to run a marathon in bare feet. Eventually, you'll get worn out without anything to absorb the shock of contact with the ground.
Make sure that you upgrade your 3rd Gen 4Runner for the trails with a high-quality suspension system. It will ensure that your car is kept in top condition, as well as help you enjoy the ride a lot more.
Don't worry, you'll still be able to feel the swaying and bumping when riding offroad, but it will be more tolerable for you and your passengers.
3rd Gen 4Runner Taillights
Before we let you go, there's one more subtle (yet noticeable) upgrade that we think you should add to your 3rd Gen 4Runner: new taillights.
The BXBult LED taillights offer an incredible aesthetic. They have a darkened filter that perfectly contrasts the vibrant colors of the LED bulbs inside.
These LED taillights fit perfectly on almost any 4Runner. They can be a compliment to your murdered-out third-generation 4Runner or offer a stark contrast to your white 4Runner with black details (such as tinted windows, a black powder-coated grille, etc.)
Invest in 4Runner Upgrades for Your Third Gen Today
Now that you have seen all of the 4Runner upgrades that we recommend for your 3rd Gen beauty, be sure to use these to your advantage.
Take the time to read this article for more information on the 2022 buyer's guide for all 3rd gen and 4th gen 4Runner accessories.