July 2015 | Volume 8 | Issue 3

July 2015 | Volume 8 | Issue 3 (15)

The Toytec SEMA 4Runner

Written by Shane Williams


You probably saw a few photos of this very nicely built 5th Gen 4Runner from our SEMA 2014 coverage last year. Toyota was kind enough to place this truck in their outdoor featured vehicles area and it was very well covered.

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a weekend of sunshine, it was a weekend of rain (a lot or rain, oh and there was the snow too!).’  Despite the less than desirable weather, the Overland Expo team pulled off an amazing event.  I think the weather actually brought everyone closer together.  In fact, I don’t remember seeing anyone angry or frustrated due to the weather.  I do remember seeing a lot of smiling faces, and I am positive I was grinning from ear to ear the entire weekend. This weather helped me, at least, slow down and really take my time to talk to the instructors, vendors, and attendees. 

In 1894 David W. Brunton, a geologist working in Colorado, revolutionized modern navigation with the introduction of the Pocket Transit.  Geologists and engineers of the time routinely carried around survey transits and compasses, tripods, clinometers, and plane tables while developing exploratory mineral maps.  Originally manufactured for Mr. Brunton by Wm. Ainsworth & Sons, the Brunton Pocket Transit successfully combined the ability to measure compass bearings, horizontal and vertical angles, and obtain clinometer readings into an ‘instrument sufficiently small and light to be carried in a vest pocket.’  The Pocket Transit virtually eliminated the need for tripods, or an assistant, to sight and read the bearing of distant objects and was built strong enough to remain accurate in the most demanding of professions.  

What is Rock Therapy? It’s a Moab adventure created by wheelers for wheelers. It’s an outlet for many to get away and clear their minds. It’s an excuse for many to take their rigs out in one of the best known off-road trail systems in the country. It’s a gathering created to bring together crowds from all over North America and experience what Moab has to offer.

From blown 3rd members and near-death rollovers to a 2016 Tacoma and sponsor dinners, there were many highlights that made this year’s Rock Therapy one for the ages.

Most of us have in the back of our minds those ideal modifications we still want done. When I registered for the Ghost Divide Expedition, I realized I needed to fulfill some of those backburner items. Here’s what I did…

In January 2015, I had the opportunity to borrow a fully loaded XVenture XV-2 for a multi-day expedition on the 4x4 roads of Big Bend National Park (see story in April 2015 issue). I was quite impressed with the trailer – so impressed, that I decided to buy the lighter weight version:  the XV-1. In the first 2 months of ownership, I used the XV-1 at Lone Star Jamboree, on a weekend expedition in Oklahoma, and again on the Ghost Divide Expedition to Overland Expo.

It’s been nearly three years now since that Colorado January when my boyfriend and I brought home a rig I've coveted for years and it still feels great!  

It began just over 9 years ago when a woman had posted on one of the forums that she needed help getting her Land Cruiser running.  A friend and I volunteered to swing by and give her some direction.  What we found in that garage was a 1962 FJ40 that had barely been touched by the previous owners (read: previous owner unbutchered).  Her boyfriend at the time had bought it years before with the intention of getting it back on the road.  Eventually he determined that he didn't want it anymore, and he gave it to her.

All-Pro has paired up their U-bolt flip kit for the 2005+ Tacoma with Timbren’s Suspension Enhancement System to create the ultimate bumpstop upgrade.  Ok, well ultimate is debatable, but after years of trying out numerous bump stop systems in my 2006 Tacoma, I am very pleased with the ride and support that this system provides. 

Looking for a roof rack for your Toyota Tacoma, but limited on your options due to your Access Cab?  Look no further, Zach Scott with Prinsu Design Studio offers his AccessRac option to not only solve your roof rack deficiency, but also includes an option for a recessed light bar, adjustable crossbars all in a lightweight aluminum package.

Prinsu is a small company in comparison to some of the other roof rack manufacturers, but what they lack in flashy packaging, they make up for in care and quality in designing and producing their products.  The hardware was nicely labeled and packaged in separate zip-lock bags for the different components of the rack system, and the powdercoated aluminum rails were well wrapped to minimize chances for damage during transportation.  

There are many dual battery systems available on the market. Some of the more famous ones kits being National Luna, Dirty Parts and Painless Wiring. You can easily build your own system as well using solenoids and isolators. The IBS DBS system is a relatively new system available in the states for the past several years. It was created by Swiss, Beat Wyss after having suffered two dead batteries while traveling in Australia’s Great Victorian Desert with his 60 Series Land Cruiser. IBS has created and made Intelligent Battery Systems for over 15 years in Switzerland. We chose the IBS DBS system due to its proven solid state design and if the starter battery dies or discharges to 10v or below we can self jump from the auxiliary battery with the optional RBM module. Our kit came from ExtemeOutback.com, the US distributor for IBS Switzerland. 

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