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2019 Nautical Blue Off-Road Premium Build

Discussion in '5th Gen Builds (2010+)' started by J.Miranda, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Nov 4, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    #1
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    Josh
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    2019 Nautical Blue TRD Off-road
    Hi Everyone,
    My name is Josh and I am located in Chico, CA
    I purchased my 4Runner back in May 2019 and decided to make a build thread for it. This won't be as crazy as a build as some of you guys out there. I want to keep the vehicle comfortable and practical as it will mostly be used to get me to and from work with the occasional camping trip here and there.
    My goal for making this thread is to document adventures and vehicle related projects as well as get some input from you guys on all things 4Runner related.

    Hope you enjoy!

    Vehicle Details-
    Year: 2019
    Package: Off-Road Premium
    Color: Nautical Blue
    Current Mods list:
    - Front leveling spacers
    - Spidertrax wheel spacers
    - Canopy cargo net
    - Custom carbon fiber roof rack

    Crappy picture from the day I purchased the 4Runner:
    IMG_0322.jpg
    First pics of the roof Rack Installed:
    IMG_0703.jpg
    IMG_0704.jpg
    Roof rack loaded with lumber:
    IMG_0763.jpg
    Murphy's Stamp of Approval:
    IMG_0501.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    DrewMan, golfguy, WallyT4R and 3 others like this.
  2. Nov 4, 2019 at 10:06 AM
    #2
    brownbear

    brownbear Relax

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    Brian
    OB Fl
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    NFab side steps TRD matte blk wheels K&N airfilter, go rhino rear hitch step,
    Welcome from FL. Good lookin pup.
     
    J.Miranda [OP] likes this.
  3. Nov 5, 2019 at 12:00 PM
    #3
    Firefly21

    Firefly21 New Member

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    Duane Frazier
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    18 off road premium trd
    Hid lows 3500 drl / high Led interior Led reverse Led oem fogs Sequential blinker Trd intake Unifilter pump mod Apex recover points Wild Peak ATS3 (matching trd spare) Kicker front tweeters Tvd overlays
    More info on:
    Custom carbon fiber roof rack

    Please
     
    J.Miranda [OP] likes this.
  4. Nov 5, 2019 at 1:06 PM
    #4
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    Vehicle:
    2019 Nautical Blue TRD Off-road
    Some info about the carbon roof rack:
    I have dabbled with composites, but never a project this big. A buddy of mine had a box full of unidirectional carbon that was going to just be thrown out. I gladly accepted it (not knowing what I would use for), you never turn down a 40 lb box of carbon fiber! The box sat in my garage for several months until I decided which direction to take with the roof rack.
    I saw the full length Victory roof rack and immediately fell in love with the style. I searched around and found some other manufacturers with similar styles but small tweaks to various components (mainly the Prinsu and EcoTechne).
    I didn't know exactly how the donated carbon would behave during the lay-up process, so I decided I'd start small and make the body brackets first. I quickly fabbed up a mold with Melamine MDF produced this piece which I could make 6 identical brackets from:
    59128841092__0E7DC214-34CC-4EF4-9596-0548D7AB7D17.jpg

    The brackets are about 1/8" thick (2 layers 2x2 Twill, 2 layers 0 Deg Uni, 1 layer 90 Deg Uni, 2 layers 0 Deg Uni, 2 layers 2x2 Twill). I was pretty happy with the lay-up schedule, the process was very smooth and produced a very strong part. I cut it into 6 equal lengths and drilled the OEM rack hole dimensions into 4 of the brackets. I referred to the EcoTechne review thread to get some insight into what hardware to use and how to prevent water from entering the cab. After a quick McMaster Order, I was able to mount the brackets to the body and give her "the ol' tug test". I was able to flex the suspension as I pulled with all of my body weight left and right on one of the brackets. Nothing broke, I consider that test a pass. (The funny thing is, once I had my OEM rack off, I left it off until I was done with the entire rack. In that time, I ended up really enjoying the way the 4Runner looks with no rack at all...)

    I work as an engineer, so that gives me access to Solidworks and some other tools that were helpful to the build. I took many more measurements and completed the CAD design for the rack (absolutely did not work on this while on company time...). Like i said earlier in the post, I love the Victory rack, so I used it as my inspiration-
    Full length: check
    Sheet metal to composite friendly: check
    Easy to assemble: check
    One thing I really wanted was for the entire rack to stay inside the roof from a top-view of the car. There is a guy who parks near me at work who has a Prinsu on his 5th Gen. I really do not like that the back of the rack extends past the roof curvature.
    I wanted the front to be as close to the windshield as possible.I also wanted the sides to be mounted as close to the roof line as I could get them.
    I needed to leave room for the sunroof tilt
    While a rooftop tent seems cool, getting the dog (Doodle pictured in my first post) up and down from the roof would be a pain. So the rack will be used mostly for bikes, lumber/house projects, and luggage for road trips where we sleep in the back.
    IMG_0501.jpg

    After everything went into CAD, I felt comfortable ordering the buy-outs and more materials. With the go-ahead from the wife, I ordered the remaining bits to motivate me to actually finish this project (sunken cost?)
    The extrusion ended up being about $200. I ordered 7 of the 1x2" black anodized extrusion from TNutz at 43.5" long with the ends tapped for M6 bolts. I added some stainless t nuts to that order for any random brackets/accessories I would want to add in the future.
    59233139682__8EF38DEB-C5C0-4E6C-931F-D20E4A67CCE6.jpg

    I needed Resin. A lot of it. I ordered the 1 Gallon epoxy kit from ACP composites to ensure that I would have enough for all of the large parts I was making. Another $200 after shipping
    While I had a ton of the unidirectional carbon from my friend, I felt like I needed some 2x2 Twill to hold everything "together", if that makes any sense. I ended up having to order another few yards from Soller Composites because I did not have enough left over from past projects. Add another $200 to the tally
    Stainless hardware from McMaster ran another $100

    I was pleased with the simplicity and ease of assembly of the melamine MDF molds. Handling a large 4x8' sheet of the stuff is a difficult when it is only me working in the garage, so I wanted another option. Home Depot conveniently sells melamine MDF shelving material. The pieces are 8' long and 14" wide i believe. This form factor is much easier for a single person to handle and ended up being around the same cost as a full sheet. Plus I didn't really want a whole bunch of this stuff left over because it would inevitably get stored outside where it would die a slow death until I took it to the dump 5 years later.
    I kind of already had an idea of that the molds needed to look like from doing the design work, so putting them together was a breeze. The front and rear use the same mold. Basically a 43.5" piece with a 90 Deg flange on either side. The left and right pieces use the same mold, just an 8" ripped piece with 3" strip fastened on top to give me the bend across the top for stiffness. A few hours of work in the garage and next thing I knew I had my molds done!
    The next part of the build took required much more work than I had anticipated. Since this was a "fly by night" operation, my work was pretty much limited to a few hours after work a couple nights a week and one longer day on the weekend. I measured and cut all of the carbon fabric one night so I could streamline my process a little bit. My routine with several weeks was:
    - Lay-up a part after work
    - Turn off the vacuum before bed once the resin had started to kick
    - Check the part in the morning before work to make sure there were no catastrophic failures
    - Think about the build all day at work
    - Go home and remove the part from the mold (shit's better than Christmas)
    - Clean up the part to a usable size (chop saw the ends and table saw the lengths)
    - Rinse
    - Repeat

    My garage was a total disaster for most of those weeks. I didn't take many pictures, but here are some of the parts after they were cleaned up a little bit
    IMG_0687.jpg

    IMG_0688.jpg

    Got everything assembled and actually snapped a pic before I put it on the 4Runner.
    59278190140__392B459E-25EE-4C62-94A2-E9EE2A63B8F7.jpg

    I was so pumped to get this on the car! I had to make some minor tweaks here and there but a couple hours later she was ready for a test drive. I pull out of my neighborhood and was greeted with a horrendous rattling at 20 MPH. I brought the truck back in to my driveway and did some soul searching. It was so bad that I ended up not driving the 4Runner for a few days and drove my track car to work. Luckily it is still street legal. Over those few days of driving my miata I asked myself, "Did I really just spend this much money to make a POS rack?!" "The Wife is going to be so pissed!!" "What will I do to fix this?!?" I credit this cool down period to helping me find a solution. I noticed that the front and rear fairings were not all that stiff when I put pressure on the middle of it, enough to hit the roof. I riveted a couple pieces of Aluminum U channel to the back of the front and rear fairings to stiffen them up. This helped, but only moved my "speed rattle" up to 50 MPH. As I came to find out, this rattle is not "Wife Approved" for weekend trips to Reno. I toyed with idea of bracing the front fairing with a piece of the u channel from the first piece of extrusion, which was only a few inches away as well as just chopping off the first couple inches of the sides and mounting the front fairing farther back from the windshield. Those were not "clean" solutions and I didn't want to go down that rabbit hole. I ended up just buying some polyurethane sealing foam that is rated for light impacts. A couple inches of that tape on the roof where it is closest to the rack completely solved all of my rattling issues, I finally have something that is roadworthy.

    Like I said earlier, this would be used for home projects. First test: Bring on the lumber!
    IMG_0763.jpg
    I loaded the rack up with probably 200 lbs of 2x6's for some garden boxes we are making. The rack handled it no problem! I added 4 tie down hooks near the OEM mounting locations. With those heavy duty ratchet straps, I was able to flex the aluminum extrusion a little bit. No problems though, the straps were plenty tight enough.

    I still want to do some clean up work to the sides, they don't exactly follow the roof line. Easy fix.
    I need to finish the carbon because is looks a little rough now. I don't want to rattle can it. I am still weighing my options here.
    I inherited some Yakima bike mounts that I would like to adapt for this rack. You'll probably see a write-up for them in the future on this thread.

    So, a final analysis of the rack:
    How much does it weigh? I don't know, but I can tell you that the Aluminum extrusion (30 lbs?) is most of the weight of the rack (I will come back and edit the post when I rake it off for finishing)
    Am I happy with the rack? Yes! Should be very useful and I love the way it looks
    Would I recommend anyone else do this? Not unless you love tinkering and have all of the tools at the ready
    Could someone else reproduce this? Yes, overall the design is simple. I'd consider selling these out of a less exotic material if I didn't already have my plate full
    Was this cheaper than just buying the Victory Rack? Yes*
    *In total, I spent around $800 on materials, hardware, consumables, and mold making material. But I also had most of the carbon "donated' to me from a buddy

    Thanks for reading this write up, I will update as I add "features

    TL;DR- Guy buys 4Runner. Guy finds roof rack he likes and thinks "I can make that". Guy makes it. Guy struggles for weeks to make it not annoying. Guy has a sweet roof rack.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    Lifeline, WallyT4R, Jimmycue and 3 others like this.
  5. Nov 6, 2019 at 6:28 AM
    #5
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    San Diego, Ca.
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    Slightly modded
    You definitely have skills, and your Doodle looks like he enjoys the ride.
     
    J.Miranda [OP] likes this.
  6. Nov 6, 2019 at 11:11 AM
    #6
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    2019 Nautical Blue TRD Off-road
    @SlvrSlug- Thanks!
    I have been playing with composites for several years now. Not a pro, by any means, but it is a fun hobby!
    The dog loves the 4Runner! Sometimes he'll just lay in the back when I leave the tailgate open while I am working in the garage
     
  7. Nov 7, 2019 at 2:51 PM
    #7
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    Snapped this picture after work the other day. I like it.
    17572C90-C498-433A-83A9-DB4689CFFF19.jpg
     
    WallyT4R, jgcaps and SlvrSlug like this.
  8. Nov 7, 2019 at 3:11 PM
    #8
    wawuzit

    wawuzit New Member

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    none
    Looks like the front wheels are wider than the rear. Maybe it's just the angle of the photo.
     
  9. Nov 7, 2019 at 4:07 PM
    #9
    jester243

    jester243 rabble rabble rabble

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    :laugh:

    came out sweet man :thumbsup:
     
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  10. Nov 7, 2019 at 4:24 PM
    #10
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    I think it’s the angle of the dangle. Front and rear both have the same size spacer
     
  11. Nov 11, 2019 at 10:58 AM
    #11
    glwood54

    glwood54 New Member

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    Details on the leveling spacers? Also, you spaced out the oem wheels just for a wider stance, no tire change?
     
  12. Nov 11, 2019 at 11:17 AM
    #12
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    I ended up buying the spacers off Amazon. Install was pretty straightforward, but reconnecting the front sway bar with KDSS was a huge pain!
    As for the wheel spacers, I installed them just to make the stance wider. The stock wheels and tires are now pretty much flush with the edges of the fender. I get a slight rub on the front bumper at full right lock in reverse. I’m hoping to buy some TRDPro wheels as soon as the wife lays me and tires will be changed to something more aggressive once I run the stock tires out.
     
  13. Nov 11, 2019 at 3:27 PM
    #13
    glwood54

    glwood54 New Member

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    Wha??
     
  14. Nov 11, 2019 at 3:30 PM
    #14
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    Whoops...
    As soon as she lets me buy the wheels
     
  15. Nov 12, 2019 at 12:04 AM
    #15
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Nice! Welcome! :thumbsup: Look forward to more of your build
     
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  16. Dec 1, 2019 at 3:37 PM
    #16
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    Small update: it’s pouring here in Northern California!
    I’ve had this sticker for ages and decided to slap it on the truck as a tribute to all of the tinkerers and wrench-turners in this country!
    8A26092B-5E92-4EDA-918E-2AD49223B20B.jpg
    Also, the storage compartment in the rear was getting a bit messy with the roof rack straps, flashlight and other random bits that I need to keep in the truck. I ran on over to Good Ole Harbor Freight and picked up an ammo can to store all of it. It was surprisingly the perfect size for everything that was overflowing in the storage compartment.
    BB31BA93-B334-4DD0-9789-0477457920A0.jpg
    Next minor project is to make a bracket to keep the ammo can from sitting awkwardly behind the wheel well.
    70526E36-ECC4-41F3-8F2D-A60D43B07A63.jpg
    Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
    Until next time,
    Josh
     
  17. Dec 8, 2019 at 1:15 PM
    #17
    J.Miranda

    J.Miranda [OP] New Member

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    We had a dry morning up here so I was able to take the “Grocery Getter” out for a spin!
    9557E822-5C60-4564-A7CF-E81667332C76.jpg
     
    WallyT4R and 4 Sticks like this.
  18. Dec 9, 2019 at 5:06 AM
    #18
    WAD4Runner

    WAD4Runner New Member

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