Introduction – (episode 1)
March 23, 2022
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ve probably become accustomed to crazy race car builds or even restomods. Well, all that changes now because CSF is going Off-Road with this 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro.
Collaborations are a CSF specialty and this one is our first with Pit+Paddock (Turn14 Distribution’s media outlet). We’ve had a great relationship with Turn14 for many years, so when they approached us about being their first build feature we didn’t hesitate to dive right in.
It just so happened that our Operations Manager, Christian Reyes picked up a 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro at the end of 2021. Naturally he had long term plans to build his truck into a true off-roader, especially after attending King of the Hammers a couple months ago. So when he found out we might be using his 4Runner for our latest project, got about as excited as 5 year-old finding out they’re going to DisneyLand.
Christian spent the next few days shopping for parts and putting together a proposal for the build. Pit+Paddock accepted the proposal and we immediately got to work. Oh, did we mention the best part? This collaboration build is set to debut at the May 1st Event hosted here at CSF HQ. This means we have less than 6 weeks to completely transform this stock SUV into a full Off-Road beast. So strap yourselves in as we take you through the full build.
Week 1: first round of installs – (Episode 2)
March 31, 2022
Our first week of the CSF TRD build kicks off with the installation of the Airaid Intake & Throttle Body Spacer, Pedal Commander, and Gobi Roof Rack. We were hoping to do a themed install each week. We are however on a tight deadline we are going to be installing whatever parts arrive first.
Intake & Throttle Body Spacer:
We started off with the Performance Air Intake & Throttle Body Spacer from Airaid. Most modern naturally aspirated motors don’t see huge gains from intake systems. However, there are definitely modest gains to be seen. The 4Runner is going to need all the help it can get after we add some weight in off-road accessories and larger tires. Both the Intake and Spacer gives us a solid low to mid range power boost which is where we will spending most of our time on throttle. Now if you’re looking to do an intake on your own 4Runner (or other off-roader) you want to make sure you chose a dry flow filter. Oiled filters get clogged by dust and aren’t easily cleanable on the go. Nobody wants to get stuck in the mountains or desert with a clogged air filter and no easy way to clean it.
Installation was quite simple and straightforward. Airaid does a great job laying out their instructions and there are not special tools needed. The resulting power gain aren’t overwhelming but definitely noticeable, and the sound improvement is definitely a huge plus. After our test drives you could really hear the induction and engine noise a lot better. While not everyone’s cup of tea, it does make for a more exciting driving experience.
The second item on the install list for the day was the Pedal Commander. If you’ve driven or own a 5th gen 4Runner (or almost any newer Toyota), you certainly know how poor the throttle response can feel. A Pedal Commander can greatly improve this weak spot in both daily driving and off-road. With four pre-programmed driving modes (Eco, City, Sport and Sport+), you can really maximize the benefits in any driving situation.
Installation difficulty level was probably somewhere between installing a cabin filter and handing an air freshener. Honestly, it was that simple and the improvements are amazing. The pedal response has gone from sluggish to almost instant with a much more linear response under throttle modulation. We are really looking forward to testing the changes off-road.
Gobi Roof Rack
Last but not least was the Gobi Full Roof Rack installation. You may be wondering why we would be replacing the OEM TRD roof rack. Well, the TRD Pro roof rack is great but it is quite limited in its carrying capacity due to it being a half rack. Christian really wanted to have more space to carry supplies on his off-road adventures and didn’t want to be limited by the meager space the stock one provides. He settled on the Gobi Stealth Rack for a nice balance of extra cargo space while not being overly bulky.
While the installation for the rack is pretty simple and straightforward, it was definitely the most difficult of the bunch. After fighting a cross threaded bolt on the factory roof rack, it was just a methodical process of getting all the brackets installed and not scratching the paint. We absolutely love this rack. It has a super clean and rugged look, feels incredibly solid, and the included ladder is going to make loading and strapping things down a lot easier.