In 2020, iSeeCars analyzed over 11 million cars to determine which models are the most reliable and long-lasting. The Toyota 4Runner was found to be the longest-lasting midsize SUV.
Is it any wonder that a Facebook group called Toyota 4Runner Enthusiast has more than 18 thousand members?
The 3rd gen 4Runner is considered by many to be the most versatile and most revered off-road vehicle you can buy. A total of 749,871 units were sold between the 1996 and 2002, and if you're looking for one, you can probably find one still going strong.
If you want to try a DIY build, why not save yourself some money and try some cheap 3rd gen 4Runner mods ?
What are Some Cool 3rd Gen 4Runner Mods?
The first 4Runner that came out in 1984 was basically a Helix pickup truck with rear seats and a molded fiberglass bed cover incorporated into the design.
This compact SUV became very popular and by the 3rd gen, Toyota had added front airbags, four-wheel drive and a lot more power. They improved the suspension and the steering to make it handle better on or off-road. You could get it in 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual in base trim, SR5 and Limited.
Third gen 4Runners came in three phases: '96-'98, '99-'00, and '01-'02. Each phase has their differences, however all are genuine body-on-frame SUVs, designed to be rugged and used off-road.
Third Gen 4Runner Exterior Mods
A favorite exterior mod for the DIYer is the Toyota 4Runner grille kit. It is laser-cut out of 16 gauge HRPO steel and you have the option to have cutouts for two LED cube lights. This makes a killer look and for night runs it's amazing!
If you're looking for a cool front bumper mod, you can choose an open-wing or closed wing 4Runner front bumper. You can opt for a DIY hybrid bumper kit as well for a real badass look! The way our DIY kits are made, all the parts are laser cut and press bent with slotted and tabbed edges which reduces the need for grinding and welding multiple parts together.
If you're planning on going places, a T4R3 Full Roof Rack is just the thing! It is a non-drill version and is extremely strong.
For a whole new look for your 3rd gen 4Runner, you can go for a front end kit that includes the SRQ Fabrications flush grille, LED front lights and corner lights and even a skid plate!
If you're a avid off-roader and take your 4Runner into the backcountry, you might want to look into a Toyota off-road bumper along with some skid plates and even armor plating for your panels.
Just wait until your friends see what you can do!
Third Gen 4Runner Suspension Mods
A lifted 3rd gen 4Runner has got to be the coolest thing on the trails - or the road!
For an off-roader, lifting your 3rd gen 4Runner is actually advisable due to increased clearance and visibility on the uneven trails.
SRQ Fabrications offers a complete 5100/OME lift kit that includes OME coil springs, Bilstein 5100 struts and shocks for the front and back. You can choose your lift, from 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches. You'll probably want a panhard correction kit and extended brake lines with this.
With a lift kit, you might want to improve stability on the road. Installing some sway bars will help in this area, though if you do a lot of off-roading, this is a choice you may want to avoid in order to keep all your tires on the uneven ground to maintain traction.
Another kickass choice you might want to look into is a full body lift. You can get these with 1"-2" lift pucks and all the necessary hardware.
You want to go big with your tires? You'll need a put gear differentials on your front and rear tires.
Third Gen 4Runner Lighting Mods
Lighting mods are no longer just for greater clarity at night. They can be an integral part of your vehicle's cutting edge automotive design!
You can opt for a 4Runner LED upgrade kit that includes multiple LED bulbs like brake lights, side lights, door lights and tail lights among others.
One of the coolest lighting choices you can make for your 3rd gen 4Runner is the LED Retrofit. This BxBuilt projector kit will not only upgrade your 4Runner's lighting to today's car manufacturer's standards, but has many options such as shrouds, halos, and demon eye kits. These amazing add-ons will allow you to show off your show quality retrofit headlights.
To personalize your 3rd gen 4Runner, you may be looking at adding an above-windshield light bar which you will install with a decorative light bracket. You can choose the Toyota emblem or even demon horns on your brackets!
A Grille Raptor Light kit will put the finishing touch on your front grille. You can wire it to your corner lights to turn on when they're on and off when they go off.
Third Gen 4Runner Interior Mods and Other Accessories
It's the finishing touches that really add your personality to your 3rd gen 4Runner.
On the exterior of your 4Runner you can add brake light covers and fender flares.
If you're an off-road enthusiast you'll want to look into a 3rd gen 4Runner Magnaflow Cat Back Exhaust System that will provide greater clearance for your backcountry adventures and add character and distinction to your ride.
An ARB Universal Awning will provide shade when you stop for a break. If you get stuck in the mud, an ARB Weekender kit would be just the thing to get you out.
Inside your 3rd gen 4Runner, you can get advanced floor protection with molded WeatherTech FloorLiners. You can also install Corbeau Racing Seat Mounts for added comfort.
Pride of Ownership Starts Today
You shopped for your 3rd gen 4Runner. It's sitting in your shop waiting for you to make it totally badass. Now all you have to do is select which mods you're going to choose to make it stand out from the crowd and make you proud.
Whether you're looking for 3rd gen 4Runner DIY mods or you're going to get your local mechanic to help you with it, for the best 3rd gen 4Runner mods check out our selection today!