View Full Version : 2006 4Runner - Alaska Expedition/Adventure
I just purchased a 2006 4Runner (V8, Limited) and I intend on making a road trip to Alaska this summer. Not exactly a full-on expedition... I'll be sleeping in hotels/motels mostly... but never the less am looking to make some preparations for the trip.
I guess the first order of business will be my tires and suspension. I am leaning heavily towards the Donahoe coilovers with deaver springs in the rear. The question is what tire/wheel combination will be best for this setup?
Any suggestions whatsoever would be appreciated.
12-19-2005, 05:13 PM
I really like the softer lines of the 06 4Runner. What a great platform. Your plans are right on the money IMO, as you will need a good quality suspension to handle the load you will be carrying, and the miles of corrugated roads.
I do not believe deaver is making coils (I could be wrong though), so you will likely be fitting Donahoe's in the front and OME heavy rear coils.
For tires, I like the 265/70 R17 BFG All Terrain (if you have 17" wheels)
You might also want to consider a set of driving lights for your mileage in the lower 48. You will not likely need lights after hitting Canada.
Have a great trip :)
12-19-2005, 05:32 PM
We use lights in Canada! It helps us distract the wolves while we get from our dog sled to the igloo. As soon as those wolves smell the caribou meat you're done for :elkgrin:
I agree with Scott on the mods he suggested, but I would add something simple. Depending on how far north you want to go in Alaska, consider either 3M taping the front of the truck or putting on a nose bra. Personally, I would cringe at some of the rocks on those roads smacking up a pretty, brand new truck. Be prepared to replace your windshield when you get back as well.
Again depending on how remote you want to go, consider a roof rack that can handle an additional spare tire and extra fuel.
Well if you plan to stay on normal gravel and pavement roads I would not even lift it. Get slightly taller/ more aggressive tires and be done.
I would put some running boards on it or sliders that actually protect the rockers. If you don't they will be bare metal by the time you get back.
A bra is a wise choice. Also a GPS unit would be handy.
12-19-2005, 10:45 PM
Even if you plan to stay at hotels, an ARB/Engel/Norcold fridge will pay for itself on just that trip alone.
Depending on how remote you want to go, I would consider buying an extra spare and throw it on top of the truck.
Hey everyone, thanks for the good info.
As for the Deaver Coils, yes they are making coils custom for the 4runner... here's a writeup about the combo on Yotatech:
Domello offroad did his install.
Now he is running 33X12.50's and has a bunch of rubbing to contend with.
Speaking of tires... my truck came with these lovely 18" rims. But from what I gather: 1. I should run a small wheel for airing down, etc. 2. Nobody makes a suitable off road tire for that rim anyway. I was looking at the BF Goodrich AT KOs which come in 285/65/18, but they are 32.8 inches tall, and rather wide - I think they would be too big. Maybe doable, but minimum rim size is 8.0 and I believe the toyota rims are 7.5 inches wide. So I guess they're out.
Now I see that this guy is running 275/70/17s and they seem to be doing a good job for him: http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=163
are these a better or worse choice than the 265/70 R17s?
Now... as for the road hazards. New Windshield? Bare Metal? With only 1K miles on my new truck I cringe a little. I read the report of the XXXpedition run to deadhorse, and yes that road seems pretty nasty (love that windshield gaurd) , but is that the condition to expect throughout Alaska - should I expect body and window damage as par for the course?
If so, I'll just have to get used to the idea, because I'm goin!
Thanks for the advise on the fridge... I'll definately have one for the journey.
Excuse the long post - lots to think about.
A little more detailed agenda would help understanding what you need. For the record the trip to AK is not that bad. I drove a BMW 325IS to Skagway back in March of 96. I went up the Cassiar and back home down the Alaska Highway in Sept. without incident. You'll get a few rock chips on the wind shield and some paint chips no doubt. I've driven to Alaska from Utah 5 times and never had to replace a windshield. I took my Taco to Deadhorse in 2003 and the road is indeed rough but again it can be driven without incident if you're prepared. I've suffered nothing worse than a flat in all my trips
So as I said an agenda or route will help us help you. The paved roads up there are sometimes rougher than the gravel. The Glenn highway is the worst road up there.
12-21-2005, 04:08 PM
I must admit to a teensy weensy bit of buyer's remorse when I saw the new 4Runner in Galactic Gray Mica after buying my Taco. I wish the Tacoma came in that color! :)
I know that clear-bra material is now available in kit form for the '05+ Tacoma. The full front end kit, which covers half the hood, all the bumper and lights and most of the front fenders retails for around $500. A local shop quoted me $500 installed. You might consider it since your 4Runner is new, pretty and expensive to fix if the rocks eat it. The kits also cover the lights, which we all know cost a fortune to replace on modern vehicles. If you buy a vinyl bra instead, the light kits are available seperately so you can fully protect the front of your vehicle.
Here's some offerings for your 4Runner:
You might also consider having Line-X applied to the lower rocker areas, or along the underside of the body between the wheels, to protect from rocks eating up the undercoating. Definitely do not remove your mudflaps!
12-21-2005, 09:25 PM
If you have stock running boards and flaps, you have pretty solid protection from rock chips. The only place is the rear underside of the plastic rr bumper- it could do with some clear protection adhesive there.
front end- maybe diy headlight stickers and a bra? (easy to put on/take off after the trip). The most rock chips happen on the front plastic bumper, not too much on the metal.
DO you have XREAS? If so, your shocks won't overheat very easily. Maybe some 265/70's on 17's and that way you dont mess with gearing and trimming/removal of mudflaps.
Or just use your stock tires and replace when you come back- just wear out the stock tires.
Maybe go stock suspension and see how it does on the trip- doesnt sound like you need ground clearance and the stock setup will give the best mpg's.
I just picked up an Alaska Atlas and Milepost, so I am going to start planning out my route.
Thanks for all the advise on vehicle protection - the protective film seems like a good investment. I also noticed some interesting rock screens people have devised for Alaska travel. I'm wondering if one could integrate a screen with a grill gaurd... so it would be more attractive than this example: http://husseytravel.cas.psu.edu/Alaska/AlPho3pge04.htm
I don't have XREAS, I purposely didn't buy the xreas because I was planning to get the Donahoes. I'd like to do some wheeling while in Alaska (nothing too hardcore) so I think my stock suspension and tires may be a little weak for that.
Any opinions on the 275/70/17s ...too big?
12-23-2005, 06:46 PM
275 will work but you have to remember two things,
It will rub alot if you dont lift and the spare will not fit under the truck anymore. Check with expat on T120 to see if he got any resolution to the spare tire issue
If you want no hassles, just go 265/70-17 or similar. You can wheel alot of terrain with that size, which is comparable to a 32". You can still fit the spare, you wont have rubbing/trimming issues.
Your rig is brand new so I would think anything you plan on doing alone can be done with a stock rig. It has surprised me where a stock 4R has gone.
Are you planning on lifting the truck before you go?
Yes, I have spoken with Domello offroad about getting the Donahoes installed and ordering custom springs from Deaver. I will need to figure out how much spring rate I want those rear springs to have. I don't want a miserable ride when empty... since I drive this every day.
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