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Old 02-23-2019, 02:57 PM   #1
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5th gen 4Runner Mods.

First off I want to say that I did a SEARCH on towing with a 4Runner. Not only that but I to copious notes I recent purchased a 2019 4Runner Limited.

I ordered a 21 Escape and yes I know I should have jumped into something like a Tundra but I didn't want a truck. I like what the 4Runner will do for me 90% of the time I'm not towing. Here's my questions.
1. On the shift lever transfer case you can move from Drive to S-mode in a blink of the eye. On steep descents where it's important to increase engine breaking force or when ascending increase torque which of the 5 levels in S- mode is advisable? Default is "4" according to the manual.
2. On relatively flat terrain should I stay put in the drive mode?
3. There has been some discussion about installing an auxiliary tranny cooler. Several list members report that a cooler reduces the tranny temperature by between 20 - 30 degrees. Any input on that would be appreciated.
4. For peace of mind would it make sense to monitor the tranny temperature with a Scan Gauge 11 ( like a few members have)? Or is this just another distraction?
5. Is it a valid argument to, as one member recently wrote to: "swap out the hitch and beef up the suspension a bit." What is wrong with the current hitch that it would need to be swapped out? Has anyone beefed up their suspension?
6. Does beefing up the suspension imply that you don't need a WDH?

Okay sorry for the rat-a-tat-tat series of questions.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
I ordered a 21 Escape and yes I know I should have jumped into something like a Tundra but I didn't want a truck. I like what the 4Runner will do for me 90% of the time I'm not towing. Here's my questions.
1. On the shift lever transfer case you can move from Drive to S-mode in a blink of the eye. On steep descents where it's important to increase engine breaking force or when ascending increase torque which of the 5 levels in S- mode is advisable? Default is "4" according to the manual.
Those "levels" are gear ratios (or "speeds", or "gears"). There is no single correct answer, because the right gear depends on your road speed. When you move the lever to "S" the transmission picks a gear (usually 4th), and whether you go to even lower gears - or higher - depends on what you need to produce enough engine braking or climbing power (without making the engine speed too high).
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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5. Is it a valid argument to, as one member recently wrote to: "swap out the hitch and beef up the suspension a bit." What is wrong with the current hitch that it would need to be swapped out?.
There was a generation of 4Runners which had a hitch receiver integrated with the frame that wasn't quite strong enough to take advantage of the vehicle's maximum towing capacity, especially when using WDH. The solution was to bolt on an accessory or aftermarket receiver. I don't know how you would do that with a 2019 4Runner: I don't think anyone makes an aftermarket hitch receiver to fit the current 4Runner, and there are no mounting provisions allowed for one by Toyota, because the vehicle now already comes with a suitable hitch.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:23 PM   #4
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Transmission temperature

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Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
3. There has been some discussion about installing an auxiliary tranny cooler. Several list members report that a cooler reduces the tranny temperature by between 20 - 30 degrees. Any input on that would be appreciated.
4. For peace of mind would it make sense to monitor the tranny temperature with a Scan Gauge 11 ( like a few members have)? Or is this just another distraction?
If you drive along staring at the transmission temperature monitor, that's definitely an undesirable distraction. If you glance at it once or twice on each particularly challenging high-speed hot-weather grade climb, I don't see a distraction concern. I would have this sort of monitor on my Sienna, except that the CAN system code to read the transmission temperature is not available for that vehicle.

I would certainly monitor transmission temperature to see if there is actually any temperature issue before second-guessing the vehicle's manufacturer and adding another transmission cooler.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Those "levels" are gear ratios (or "speeds", or "gears"). There is no single correct answer, because the right gear depends on your road speed. When you move the lever to "S" the transmission picks a gear (usually 4th), and whether you go to even lower gears - or higher - depends on what you need to produce enough engine braking or climbing power (without making the engine speed too high).
Yes. This was the answer I was expecting. Thanks
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
If you drive along staring at the transmission temperature monitor, that's definitely an undesirable distraction. If you glance at it once or twice on each particularly challenging high-speed hot-weather grade climb, I don't see a distraction concern. I would have this sort of monitor on my Sienna, except that the CAN system code to read the transmission temperature is not available for that vehicle.

I would certainly monitor transmission temperature to see if there is actually any temperature issue before second-guessing the vehicle's manufacturer and adding another transmission cooler.
Understood. Thanks for the time to address my concerns. About the auxiliary tranny cooler, I'm going to error on the side of caution and install one.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:59 PM   #7
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I'm going to error on the side of caution and install one.

That would not be the cautious thing to do. Best discuss with your Toyota service manager.
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:19 PM   #8
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Something else you can do is switch to full synthetic oil and transmission, they have a higher temperature rating than standard fluids which are partially synthetic. You will have a larger margin before any damage.
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
There was a generation of 4Runners which had a hitch receiver integrated with the frame that wasn't quite strong enough to take advantage of the vehicle's maximum towing capacity, especially when using WDH. The solution was to bolt on an accessory or aftermarket receiver. I don't know how you would do that with a 2019 4Runner: I don't think anyone makes an aftermarket hitch receiver to fit the current 4Runner, and there are no mounting provisions allowed for one by Toyota, because the vehicle now already comes with a suitable hitch.
4th gen 4Runners like my 2005 and my father’s 2007 with the V6 have 5000# tow capacity but manual says no WDH. The V8 was available with a higher tow capacity and these have a beefier hitch and can use WDH. The 5th gen 4Runners only have the V6 but the 2019 manual doesn’t specifically mention the use of WDH or not. Best to check with Toyota.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:03 PM   #10
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This is what I found in 2007 4Runner manual in regard to WDH.
I don't see anything prohibiting WDH
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