The 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner, perhaps, has become the modern flagship vehicle within the overlanding community. With an exceptional platform, ergonomically inspired design, and robust electronics the 5th Gen with OEM equipment can tackle surprisingly challenging problems presented within the overlanding sphere. Moreover, the T4R seems adequately powered at a factory weight just shy of 5,000 pounds and fairs well from tarmac to trail. However, I noticed as the weight increased towards expedition ready build levels, the rig lacked the economical benefits and practical power it should possess. Unsurprisingly, after slinging on a TRD Cold Air Intake, I consulted the authority on proven aftermarket performance for Toyota Trucks and SUV’s, Underdog Racing Development (URD).
Having been a Toyota enthusiast for well over a decade, I have followed the likes of URD on multiple media outlets throughout the years including the illustrious Tacoma World domain. I dialed up URD and immediately was engaged in a 30 minute overlanding conversation with Gadget, the mastermind behind Underdog’s craft. After swapping pleasantries and trail stories, I informed Gadget of my concerns on my 2015 TRD Pro 4Runner at expedition weight. Gadget took my information in whole-heartedly and thought the URD Y Pipe and CAT Back Exhaust would give me the affordable performance and economy I was looking for, additionally complimented by an exhaust note that resembled the note of an exotic European sports car.
Instinctively speaking, the deal felt right and the URD upgrades seemed like the reliable and sensible choice for the Pro. After all, the Y Pipe eliminated 2 restrictive baffles and cleaned up the extremely exposed exhaust bend; while the CAT Back optimized airflow while adding tasteful bling to the rear. After finalizing the order, Gadget took down my shipping info and then learned of my hometown, Knoxville TN. This sparked a memory of the time one of Gadgets client’s with a boosted Toyota has issues with a supercharger fit kit. Immediately, Gadget jumped in his rig and headed south in an aggressive effort to fix the problem and make it right. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what happened and Gadget had the rig up and producing that notoriously sweet supercharger whistle in a flash. That being said, the only thing left to do was sublimely pass the time before the precious cargo landed at my door…damn was that tough.
I chose to have a professional install the kit and leaned in towards Jason Cooper at Rock Your 4X4 in Knoxville, Tennessee for the job. Ultimately, it was Jason’s unfettered passion for off road rigs and experience based resolve that gained the necessary trust to operate on BOLD Overland’s flagship TRD Pro. Throughout the install, there were a couple issues that needed to be addressed with the CAT Back Exhaust. Consequently, the Exhaust was loose and causing some vibration where the exhaust arches over the rear cross member. After a quick conversation with Gadget, Jason quickly added some additional support by popping a couple advantageous tac welds on the supremely lightweight, yet robust exhaust. With the exhaust now installed, it was time to fire her up for some much anticipated testing and evaluating. Immediately after cranking up the Inferno Pro, we all stood silent while listening to the aggressively refined growl of the freshly enhanced T4R.
Since the addition of the URD Y Pipe and Exhaust, I have put a couple thousand miles of tarmac and trail on the Pro with and without our Highland Expedition Outfitters T3 Overlanding Trailer. Tackling mud, snow, rock, and gravel; throttle response and power gains seem to be exponentially compounded. Moreover, fuel economy has increased by 1 to 2 miles per gallon, depending on my driving habits. Additionally, departure angle clearance has yet to become an issue on the trail for the CAT Back and the Y Pipe continues to prove architecturally sound. That said, I have yet to get the Pro on the dyno to gain real world statistics on the rig, however, I am confident that the information presented when that time comes will be beneficial as prescribed. If you’re looking for highly reliable and usable power for your coveted Toyota, check out urdusa.com and what they bring to the overlanding table; you wont be disappointed.