2014 Toyota 4runner
April 19, 2023

Toyota 4Runner overlanding Upgrades

Always a work in progress

Jenny is a 5th Gen, 2014 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition Premium, equipped with a factory installed KDSS option. KDSS is an acronym for Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. It is a passive system that unlocks the beefy front and rear stabilizer bars independently for more flex when negotiating uneven terrain while off-roading at low speed. At high speed, with the combination of the electrical, mechanical and hydraulic components, the stabilizers will stiffen up for more control while cornering.
 
Penny, a 2002 4Runner Sport Edition, the identical twin sister of Baja Betty, was traded in for Jenny. We love our 4Runners but also admire the builds of others. Penny and Jenny are eastern driven 4Runners. Being from Pennsylvania, the road salt is harsh on vehicles during the winter months. This was the sad ending for Penny.
 

2002 Toyota 4Runner
Penny – Pennsylvania girl 2002 Toyota 4Runner 3rd generation

Since 2014, the goal was to build Jenny to take to Baja and explore all the peninsula has to offer. It was put off until after the warranty period ended. For light-duty off-roading, the stock setup was good enough. However, as we learned more about overlanding, we realized improvements needed to be made. To this day, it’s still a work in progress.

The first thing done was to set up the suspension. With guidance from Accutune Off Road in El Cajon California, we installed new Fox 2.5 coil-overs, rear springs and shocks.

2014 toyota 4runner coilover install
Installing coilovers

This suspension upgrade made a tremendous difference in the handling with all the additional weight we would carry going off-road. We test it on our six weeks adventure in Baja Mexico in November 2022 and it worked flawlessly!

The next thing we did was to install White Knuckle Off-Road Rock Sliders. Off-roading in Baja can be unpredictable when exploring new areas for future trips, so we try to protect the vehicle as much as possible. We chose this brand because they are heavy-duty made and a no-drill installation. Skid plates are in place but will be upgraded soon.

Rock Slider install
White Knuckle rock sliders – easy no drill install

Upgrades to Jenny completed so far:

  • Fox 2.5 mid travel front coilovers w/remote reservoir and DSC adjusters
  • Fox 2.5 rear shocks w/remote reservoir and DSC adjusters
  • Eibach Pro-Lift-Kit Rear springs
  • Icon Vehicle Dynamics Delta joint tubular upper control arm kit
  • Sherpa Crestone no drill roof rack
  • Extreme LED 44″ X6S Slim Series amber/white lightbar
  • White Knuckle Off-Road rock sliders
  • Greenlane Offroad rear ladder
  • iKamper 3.0 Mini
  • Two sets Maxtrax recovery boards
  • ARB 50 QT refrigerator
  • Secondary battery, deep-cycle AGM and wiring
  • Redarc BCDC 1225 battery management system
  • All LED headlights and fog lights
  • Powder coated OEM wheels
  • BFG KO2 10-ply tires 275/70/17

    More additions will be added as necessary. Overlanding vehicles are always a work in progress.
2014 Toyota 4runner
Jenny – 2014 Toyota 4Runner 5th generation in Baja

Frank "Paco" Lacenere

Author & Trip Leader
Web Design by atomic
chevron-down