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SP Rides: Locked and Loaded

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Dylan Nakashima
Age: 32
Occupation: Lyft driver
Hobbies: Guns, off-roading, photography
Year, Make, Model: 2017 Toyota 4Runner
Color: Nautical Blue
Exterior: Ecotechne steel front bumper, Ecotechne full-length roof rack, ARB touring awning, Extreme LED 42-inch light bar, Baja Designs S2 Pro cornering lights, Smittybilt X20 10,000-pound capacity winch, TRD skid plate, Rago Fabrication ditch light brackets, Rago Fabrication ladder mounts, Gobi hatch ladder, Factor 55 1.5 fairlead, Factor 55 pro link, Factor 55 hitch link
Interior: Switch Pros 8100 control module, ARB single air compressor, Rago Fabrication modular storage panels, emergency kit, patches everywhere
Suspension: Radflo Suspension Technology 3-inch lift, Icon upper front control arms, RESZ Fabrication rear adjustable lower solid link, RESZ Fabrication rear adjustable upper control arms
Wheels & Tires: Relations Race Wheels R4 18-by-9 0-offset, Toyo Open Country M/T tires 285/70/18

Dylan Nakashima became an import enthusiast in 2006 starting off with a Honda Accord. He spent the next few years working his way through fifteen other rides. Of course, owning an import caused him to be “noticed.” Sick and tired of dealing with police and recon, eventually the opportunity arose to purchase something different, which is where I introduce Nakashima’s loaded 2017 Toyota 4Runner.

Although originally meant to be a stock, point-A-to-point-B, work truck, Nakashima couldn’t resist looking online for all of the different ways to modify his vehicle. Soon enough, impulse purchases became a thing. This was much like the same vein an import enthusiast would boast to modify a show car, but the only difference is that instead of testing the limits on a racetrack, now, it’s hitting the mountains.

Being a 2017 model, the idea of trashing it in a huge mud puddle seemed a bit insane at first. However, within weeks, the truck was getting dirty everywhere from Kaena Point to Peacock Flats. Getting stuck in the mud requires a different list of modifications than a mall crawler, so that’s where Nakashima started.

Right off the bat, the most noticeable feature is the replacement of the stock bumper with an Ecotechne steel front bumper equipped with a Smittybilt X20 10,000-pound capacity winch. Equipped with a wireless remote, it’s usable both in the ride as well as out of it. Factor 55 components provide a healthy upgrade to the already sturdy winch system. The exterior is completely transformed with this addition and includes a TRD skid plate to help further protect the undercarriage. An ARB single air compressor is installed within the engine bay for possible emergencies.

The exterior modifications help to transform the 4Runner translate to a well-equipped utility vehicle. An Ecotecne full-length roof rack and ARB touring awning have been installed for additional carry surface — 4,500-pounds worth. These provide mounting points for the Extreme LED 42-inch light bar, while Baja Designs S2 Pro cornering lights will light up any area as needed. Rago Fabrication provided additional equipment such as the ditch light brackets, ladder mounts for the Gobi hatch ladder, and interior modular storage panels.

The entire truck has been lifted for more aggressive travel thanks to a Radflo Suspension Technology 3-inch lift, mated with Icon upper front control arms, as well as RESZ Fabrication rear adjustable upper control arms. RESZ also provides the adjustable solid links for the vehicle. Of course, all of this rides on the Relations Race Wheels R4s wrapped with Toyo Open Country M/T tires.

Interior wise, it’s “Patch City” with a plethora of collectible patches mounted everywhere from the dash to the ceiling. The rear storage compartment is heavily equipped with emergency supplies of all types including a first aid kit, ropes, and other much needed goodies.

All of this comes together in a package that looks absolutely awesome to take off the beaten path. Which might make the fact that this beast doubles as Nakashima’s Lyft vehicle quite a surprise. He’s put 40,000 miles on it carrying passengers to and fro. It is all definitely a change from the import scene altogether, but he’s also having fun in an entirely new way.

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