‘Operation Mall Crawler’: The Ultimate Daily Driver 4Runner

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Toyota 4Runner Operation Mall Crawler

YotaTech forum member is building his dream 4Runner.

We always enjoy reading about project vehicles here on YotaTech, especially when it’s a cool build being done by one of our members — but it helps when the truck has a good name. RedRunner87’s “Operation Mall Crawler” 1996 Toyota 4Runner Limited ticks all the boxes for a day-to-day driver that can tackle off-roading chores on the weekends. Let’s take a look at this project a little closer.

Toyota 4Runner Operation Mall Crawler

RedRunner87 picked up this third-generation 4Runner Limited in 2015 and immediately set to work building it out. The 4Runner came with a 3.4-liter 5VZ-FE V6, a four-speed automatic, and electronic-locking differential. The project soon earned its “Mall Crawler” moniker from a 4Runner-doubting, Jeep-owning friend.

Toyota 4Runner Operation Mall Crawler

In his first 12 months of ownership, RedRunner87 threw a serious list of parts at the Mall Crawler before tackling the trails in it. Among the first was the “Grey Wire” mod that allows use of the eLocker in all modes. He kept engine mods minimal with only an AIRAID modular intake (MIT) and a Hilux snorkel. To monitor the systems, he also installed an Ultra Gauge OBD reader with real-time readout.

Toyota 4Runner Operation Mall Crawler

Obviously, the big changes came with suspension and other off-roading upgrades. A Toytec BOSS suspension upgrade improved ground clearance with Superflex coils in the rear. That allowed fitment of BF Goodrich All-Terran T/A KO2 tires with a 285 section width. To that lift, he added an adjustable panhard bar. With Relentless Fab’s Predator Bumper and Adventure Off-Road rock sliders, the Mall Crawler should have little trouble on the trails with his buddy’s Rubicon.

Toyota 4Runner Operation Mall Crawler

Now 18 months into the project, the Mall Crawler has morphed from a plain-jane, actual mall-cruiser to a mean-looking machine. Recent upgrades include bigger Tacoma front brakes and new ball joints with plans for a new steering rack and other upgrades.

Check out Operation Mall Crawler in the forum for more project details and action photos.

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