Comfort, durability, and off-road prowess have made the Toyota 4Runner a legend in the off-road world. While the solid front axle and removable hardtop may have gone away decades ago, that hasn't stopped 4Runner enthusiasts from transforming the modern SUV platforms into formidable wheeling machines. We recently caught up with one such modern and well-built 4Runner piloted by Bradley Scoggins.
Throughout the day we watched as time and time again Bradley's '97 4Runner conquered the massive wet rocks and mud-soaked hillclimbs of the Southeast with ease. It's not every day we run into such a luxurious ride on hardcore trails, and often when we do see the once high-end rigs on tough terrain there's not much more than a grille and a few dash knobs to remind us of what it once was. Though body damage is fair game when you head out into the dirt, sometimes wheeling finesse and proper upkeep can conceal the rig's trail scars to even the most trained eye. So while it may be another decade before we see an '07 model on a Black Diamond trail, one thing is for certain: The legend of the 4Runner is still going strong.
1997 Toyota 4Runner
Engine: 3.4L V-6
Transfer case: Stock with Marlin Crawler gearbox
Front Axle: Spidertrax 609 with True Hi-9 3rd member, ARB Air Locker, 5.38 gears
Rear Axle: Semifloat Dana 60, ARB Air Locker, 5.38 gears
Springs & Such: Mossyrocks three-link front and four-link rear, 16-inch Fox coilovers
Steering: PSC hydraulic assist
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x14.50 Maxxis Creepy Crawlers on 16x8 Pro Comp wheels with KORE weld-on beadlocks
Other Stuff: 1091/2-inch wheelbase, 84-inch track width, Mossyrocks front bumper, T-Max winch, custom cage and body work