General questions from one new to the world of Mods

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General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by Vitruvius on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:03 pm

Hopefully you guys don't find the following thread too noobish. But since you guys are veterans in the nebulous world of mods, I figured, 'who would be better to ask for advice'? I am definitely excited to start turning my 4runner into the perfect Utah exploring vehicle, able to access areas of Utah not every vehicle can go, making it a UTV (Utah Terrain Vehicle) Cool

Anyway, as I start my journey I have decided to begin with some simple mods like the Deckplate Mod, ISR mod, Tundra brakes, fixing my busted antenna, getting new wheels, possibly doing the satoshi mod (the beginning of setting my rig apart from other stock 4runners), and adding rock sliders. And now comes the question 'where to begin?' I have found and read and re-read many tutorials on various sites, so I think I have the basics on instructions, How-to's, and outlines, even though I am sure you guys could do theses mods in your sleep. My real question is this: Where do you guys go for the materials and parts? I understand that for the deckplate mod, you need a deckplate from a marine store (boat store) and that typically you can get antenna or a tacoma whip from a parts store in a dealership. I just naturally assume dealerships are the most expensive place to buy stuff (I may have a subconscious dealership-distrust). For example: for a tacoma whip mod, would you guys get the parts from a dealership/ parts store, order them on-line, or go to a pick-and-pull and find it in a scrap yard? Speaking of scrap yards, wheres a good one? I went to one down here and they only had 2 runners on site so I found what I needed from a Tacoma that I happened to stumbled upon. Smile

Wow, sorry for the long post - I guess I could have asked 'where do you guys get your stuff to do your stuff?' Anyway, if you guys have any advice I will take it!
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Re: General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by Kevin on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:51 pm

Modding is fun. Making your truck more capable or just more "you" is a time and money consuming hobby that can rapidly get in the way of actually using your truck for it's intended purpose, if you let it.

Having said that, I would propose to you that the perfect "Utah Terrain Vehicle" is what you've already got. Your stock truck can go over 99% of the places you can legally drive in Utah right now, and that includes some things that don't really look like roads. I'm pretty big on letting form follow function - I mod my truck as much as I need but as little as I can get away with to make the truck go where I want it to go, and my truck looks good. Not because I've got a blingy thousand dollar roof rack or a nice set of wheels, but because it looks like it's owned by a guy that uses it. I think you should avoid things like the Satoshi mod or the ISR removal that just change the aesthetic but don't add capability to your rig. There's nothing wrong with taking pride in the appearance of your ride, but if all you're doing is changing the appearance, then you're all bark and no bite, and you're taking away from the stock reliability of your rig. Do the upgrades you need to in order for the truck to function how you want it, and let the appearance take care of itself, you know?

A good set of tires to get you in and out. Rock sliders and maybe a rear bumper to protect your panels from sneaky granite. A CB or ham radio for trail and emergency communications. A well stocked tool bag, a spare CV shaft, recovery gear in case you get in trouble, these are things that make a rig look good to me. I see those things and I have respect for the owner of that rig, I know he uses it and I know he makes thoughtful choices in order to be prepared for what he might run into.

I know the guys on t4r.org are big on the visual mods, but consider that most of those guys think a graded dirt path is "offroading" and get a thrill from splashing through a puddle. Look at the build threads of the guys that actually use their trucks, and see how many Satoshi grills you can count Smile. Don't worry so much about the mods - wheel your truck first, get a feel for where it can take you and what you need to go further. Form will follow function. Anyway, I know that maybe wasn't the answer to the questions you asked. But I think it's advice you needed. Come play with us on Saturday and I think you'll see you don't need a deckplate mod for your truck to get you out and about.

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Re: General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by dutchman on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:02 pm

This thread isn't noobish. Kevin's given some good advice and I like what he said about the guys over at t4r.org, I don't see as many of those guys wheeling regularly. Get out and drive your truck! If I remember correctly you made it up the first rock garden at Forest Lake just fine so your truck doesn't need a ton of mods if you can avoid catching the disease.

I personally wouldn't do the deckplate mod, as it doesn't seem to add much to the truck. If you're really itching to do something to your intake system, I've got a system I can sell you for a good price. I would add sliders first because with those you can get up and down most trails in the area. Any plans to get a lift?

Car-part.com is a pretty good place to look for parts. It'll give you results from a lot of local wrecking yards.

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Re: General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by Vitruvius on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:26 pm

Wow, the response time is amazing here. I like that, I might have to so some restraint while I am at work. Smile

@Kevin, I have to admit after reading so many build threads and seeing some pretty sweet rigs over on t4r.org I have caught the mod bug. Thanks for the advice, I do take it to heart. It reminds me of a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", which is what I hope my rig can embody someday.

I don't plan on doing blingy things. That being said I do like the look of the satoshi grill, I think it gives a nice retro-look; a lot less lines in the front and simple text, nothing too flashy.

I figured for 8-10 bucks on the deckplate mod I couldn't go wrong, even if I experienced minimal gains or just flat-out messed up, I could find another filter box from a wrecked runner somewhere.

I do feel my truck can get up and down the local trails; over the last three months I have taken it up and down Timp on the bow hunt up in Timpanogos basin and big cottonwood canyon. My main worries there are a little protection underneath and on the sides. But i have this little switch on my dash that keeps tempting me with 'RR diff Lock'. I have a desire to press it and see what this baby can really do.

Anyway, I appreciate the advice - I will definitely be there Saturday, even if its just to check out your guys' rigs.

@dutchman,

My boys still talk about heading up to Forrest Lake and the Red Ford that almost toppled over onto you or uterunner. It was a blast, I hope to create more of those memories for my boys. As for the CAI, send me a link on it and i will check it out.

I think a slight lift is in the future, but i am not highly educated on all the details for a lift or even have a clue how to do one. That's one of the many things I plan on researching to get it right.

thanks for the recommended website I will be checking it out.

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Re: General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by dutchman on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:41 pm

Here's a link of the intake system I've got lying around: SB Filters

We can press that RR Diff Lock button on Saturday!

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Re: General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by sixstringsteve on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:50 pm

I'm not a huge fan of the deckplate mod. if you want, I'll swap you airboxes. mine has a deckplate on it, and I'd rather have a stock box.

Don't be afraid of noob questions, even the veterans ask noob questions all the time. I'm all about mods that help you get more places, so I rank cosmetic, or "just for looks" mods at the bottom. I think these are the most important mods, in order of most important first.

1) sliders
2) front IFS skidplate
3) gas tank skid
4) rear bumper


That being said, remember that a lot of mods reduce the value of your vehicle. if you want to trade your runner in someday and it has a deckplate mod and a grill mod and blacked out trim and all that, it'll actually be worth less than stock. Ask me how I know. Smile

And the most important advice I give to people, noob and veteran alike, is: don't wait to wheel. you don't need any mods to enjoy Utah's terrain. You'd be amazed at where a stock runner will take you. Also, mods don't = more fun. And tougher trails don't equal more fun either. It's all about getting out and creating memories. The more you wheel the more you'll realize what you like. It's taken me about 15 rigs, over a long period of time, but now I've found my happy balance between long-distance trips and medium difficulty rock crawling.


Last edited by sixstringsteve on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: General questions from one new to the world of Mods

Post by sixstringsteve on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:51 pm

Kevin wrote:Modding is fun. Making your truck more capable or just more "you" is a time and money consuming hobby that can rapidly get in the way of actually using your truck for it's intended purpose, if you let it.

Truer words have never been spoken.



Except for maybe these:

Kevin wrote:I would propose to you that the perfect "Utah Terrain Vehicle" is what you've already got. Your stock truck can go over 99% of the places you can legally drive in Utah right now, and that includes some things that don't really look like roads. I'm pretty big on letting form follow function - I mod my truck as much as I need but as little as I can get away with to make the truck go where I want it to go, and my truck looks good. Not because I've got a blingy thousand dollar roof rack or a nice set of wheels, but because it looks like it's owned by a guy that uses it. I think you should avoid things like the Satoshi mod or the ISR removal that just change the aesthetic but don't add capability to your rig. There's nothing wrong with taking pride in the appearance of your ride, but if all you're doing is changing the appearance, then you're all bark and no bite, and you're taking away from the stock reliability of your rig. Do the upgrades you need to in order for the truck to function how you want it, and let the appearance take care of itself, you know?

A good set of tires to get you in and out. Rock sliders and maybe a rear bumper to protect your panels from sneaky granite. A CB or ham radio for trail and emergency communications. A well stocked tool bag, a spare CV shaft, recovery gear in case you get in trouble, these are things that make a rig look good to me. I see those things and I have respect for the owner of that rig, I know he uses it and I know he makes thoughtful choices in order to be prepared for what he might run into.

I know the guys on t4r.org are big on the visual mods, but consider that most of those guys think a graded dirt path is "offroading" and get a thrill from splashing through a puddle. Look at the build threads of the guys that actually use their trucks, and see how many Satoshi grills you can count Smile. Don't worry so much about the mods - wheel your truck first, get a feel for where it can take you and what you need to go further. Form will follow function. Anyway, I know that maybe wasn't the answer to the questions you asked. But I think it's advice you needed. Come play with us on Saturday and I think you'll see you don't need a deckplate mod for your truck to get you out and about.

Kevin's entire post was 100% spot on.
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