The 4Runner Unlimited Gets A Bumper
It would've been easy to showcase a bumper with five or six shots that point out the features of the product. Most of the time, a half-dozen captioned photos are enough to do justice to a product, especially something as seemingly simple as a front bumper. We're going into greater detail this time because the bumper that now adorns the front of our '03 4Runner is a custom creation. We're showing the process that takes an idea and turns it into tangible off-road hardware.
When the current editorial team got hold of the keys to this 'Runner, the stock front bumper cover was zip-tied in place with the structural element behind it completely missing. This meant we had a very blank slate to work with. This also meant we were up against a ticking clock because the zip ties weren't going to hold the bumper cover on for long!
A few criteria were noted. We weren't looking for a winch bumper this time. We were after something simple and lightweight, but it still had to be strong. We wanted a much better approach angle than the factory front bumper allowed. We wanted a bumper that would complement the vehicle's body lines and overall look. Finally, we wanted it to bolt on.
We took these criteria and our 4Runner to Desolate Motorsports in Whittier, California, where Greg Gilbert and crew took note of our criteria and used their skills and equipment to build a bumper for our needs. Here's what takes place when skill meets metal.