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Loud and Proud

Posted in Features on May 27, 2003 Comment (0)
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Most of the prerunners and race trucks we feature in this fine publication are of the form-follows-function mindset; that is, design and build for function, and if the finished product also looks killer, well, that's OK. However, some builders of prerunners march to the beat of a different drum.

Case in point: Shawn Bennett and his fab 4Runner.

What makes Bennett's Toyota different from most prerunners lies in the form-as-well-as-function concept. This '98 2WD SUV is highly detailed and stuffed to the gills with high-end electronics, verifying its status as a show truck. To counter the claims of all show, no go, Bennett's toy sports a Camburg long-travel front suspension and King coilovers in front and rear, along with a TRD supercharger for the DOHC V-6 engine.

Power of an altogether different type is found within the cockpit: a Panasonic head unit signals multiple Audiobahn amplifiers, which power Audiobahn component speakers in the doors. The 4Runner's cargo area is stunning, stuffed with a quartet of Audiobahn subwoofers and the aforementioned amps displayed on scratch-built brackets.

The buildup of almost any vehicle will cause compromise to its overall function and usability, but certain vehicles -- and select enthusiasts -- seem to be able to overcome the bane of compromise, creating a machine that is adept at multiple tasks. In the case of Shawn Bennett's 4Runner, we see a vehicle that's quick and composed on the pavement, is a bona fide show winner, and is more than capable on the dirt -- a true multipurpose, go anywhere, do anything kind of machine that's an inspiration to truck enthusiasts who want it all.

Specifications

Year/make/model:'98/Toyota/4Runner

Owner/hometown: Shawn Bennett/Orange, California

Suspension: Camburg long-travel control arms, King Technologies coilover shocks, Sway-A-Way air bumpstops, 15 inches of wheel travel (front); custom multilinks, King Technologies coilover shocks, Sway-A-Way air bumpstops, 14 inches of wheel travel (rear)

Engine: 3.4L V-6 with TRD supercharger, Nitrous Express N2O system, Downey headers, Gibson exhaust, K&N air filter

Wheels/tires:16x9-inch Axis Regulator/35x12.50R16 Pro Comp Xterrain Radials

0307or 01z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Front Passenger Side In The Air
The V-6 powering the 4Runner displaces a mere 3.4 liters, but it cranks out gobs of power, thanks to a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger and an N2O system (don't ever, ever say NOS) from Nitrous Express. Equipped as such, the sixer is rated at 320 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. Camburg's handiwork -- a custom engine 'cage -- is seen snaking around the engine. The V-6 powering the 4Runner displaces a mere 3.4 liters, but it cranks out gobs of power, thanks to a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger and an N2O system (don't ever, ever say NOS) from Nitrous Express. Equipped as such, the sixer is rated at 320 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. Camburg's handiwork -- a custom engine 'cage -- is seen snaking around the engine.
Bennett fitted the Toyota interior with leather-covered Sparco racing seats, a Panasonic/Audiobahn ear-splitter, and copious amounts of sound-deadening materials. There's the Nitrous Express bottle lurking just to camera left. Bennett fitted the Toyota interior with leather-covered Sparco racing seats, a Panasonic/Audiobahn ear-splitter, and copious amounts of sound-deadening materials. There's the Nitrous Express bottle lurking just to camera left.
Tim at Glassworks Unlimited went all out and scratch-built a set of prerunner fenders that are 4 inches wider than stock, allowing full wheel travel for the Axis wheels and the Pro Comp Xterrain tires. Tim at Glassworks Unlimited went all out and scratch-built a set of prerunner fenders that are 4 inches wider than stock, allowing full wheel travel for the Axis wheels and the Pro Comp Xterrain tires.
The 4Runner's cargo area won't be carrying any mountain bikes, groceries or muddy canines; it's home to powerful, stylish-looking Audiobahn amplifiers, Audiobahn subwoofers, and lots of meticulous detail. The 4Runner's cargo area won't be carrying any mountain bikes, groceries or muddy canines; it's home to powerful, stylish-looking Audiobahn amplifiers, Audiobahn subwoofers, and lots of meticulous detail.
0307or 06z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Interior Door Paint Detail Close Up View
0307or 07z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Image Graphic Detail
0307or 08z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Front View Underbody and Suspension
0307or 09z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Front Passenger Side Close Up View Of Shocks
0307 10z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Front Passenger Side Jumping In The Air
0307 11z+1998 Toyota 4Runner+Passenger Side View On Hill

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