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SP Rides: Peace Be The Journey

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Ray O.
Age: 41
Occupation: Service Manager
Hobbies: Spending time with my kids, modifying
Year, Make, Model: 2013 Toyota 4Runner SR5
Colors: Magnetic Grey
Exterior: Retrofitted headlights with Morimoto projectors with HIDs, LED Concepts RGB Halos, Rear 2014-2018 Tail light conversion, Gobi stealth rack and ladder, ARB 2000 awning with Gobi awning mounting brackets, Cali Raised Sharpshooter ditch lights and brackets, three lightbars (40-inch double roll slim series on Gobi rack, middle grill 22-inch Avec lightbar, bottom grill 20-inch Slim Series single roll lightbar), Custom Car Grills front grill, NFAB nerf bars; all emblems are custom made, all chrome blacked out
Interior: TRD shift knob, AOB light switches, Huskyliners Weatherbeater floormats, Wet Okole seat covers, all interior lights upgraded to LEDs, Kenwood Excelon DDX795 with Kenwood speakers
Suspension: (Fronts) Bilstein 5100s w/Toytec 3-inch coils — soon to be Replaced with ICON coilovers with adjusters; (Rears) Icon 2.5 rear shock with reservoirs with 3-inch ICON overland coils; Toytec 1-inch bodylift
Wheel/Tire: 17-by-8.5 Methodrace Wheels Grid 309 wrapped with Nitto Trail Grapplers MT 285/70/17

When Ray O. purchased his 4Runner in 2013, it wasn’t his first choice, but rather, his wife’s. Although the attraction wasn’t immediate, the vehicle grew on him as he began to spend time online on various forums — most specifically T4R.org — and realized the potential was literally limitless.

However, even with research, Ray was undecided on his upgrade path. That’s when he met his forum buddy Paul, aka “T4RWarrior,” who gave him the inspiration he needed. With the help of Paul, who has a 2014 4Runner, Ray’s path to modification nirvana slowly began to take shape.

The buzzword is “overlanding” (a style of travel that is more about the journey over destination) and this was the key look and feel that weighed heavily on Paul’s modification mind. It’s a true utilitarian look: functional and built specifically to go camping, trail riding, and be truly useful in a rugged environment. Paul helped Ray to learn the ins and outs of ascribing to this vehicle lifestyle.

You might be fooled in thinking that Ray’s 4Runner SR5 is a newer model thanks to the 2014-2018 rear taillight conversion and the sweet headlight modifications. The headlight retrofit was handled by another friend in Arkansas and features Morimoto projectors with HIDs, as well as full color change LED concepts RGB Halos. The end look is menacing and in your face, thanks to the additional Cali Raised sharpshooter ditch lights and three super-bright lightbars.

The overlanding look continues with the inclusion of a Gobi stealth rack and ladder. Mounted on the rack is an awesome ARB 2000 awning with Gobi mounting brackets. This allows Ray to set up camp wherever he pleases. The front grill has been replaced with a different model by Custom Car Grills. NFAB nerf bars have also been included to match the custom emblem replacements while all chrome has been fully blacked out.

The interior has been modified to feature custom installed AOB light switches that match the factory look. Huskyliners Weatherbeater floormats soak up the punishment while Wet Okole seat covers do the same. All the interior lights have been upgraded to LEDs and the stock sounds are now all Kenwood components.

The chassis and suspension are built entirely for function. Sporting a combined 5 inches of lift thanks to some special mentoring, Ray loves the feeling of riding high on a lifted suspension.  The body has been lifted 1-inch thanks to Maui Off-Road and Toytec while 4Wheel Parts helped with the use of Bilstein 5100s with Toytec 3-inch coils and ICON 2.5 rear shocks with 3-inch ICON overland coils. All of this rides on meaty, chewy Nitto Trail Grappler MTs wrapped around 17-by-8.5 Methodrace Wheels Grid 309s.

Throughout this build, inspiration was the name of the game. It took an evolution of natural progression supported by his online friends to get to here and Ray has been committed through and through, and will continue to take it overland.

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