1996 Toyota 4Runner - Running Man

True Love For Trulove

Dan Ward
May 1, 2007
Photographers: Mark Halvorsen
Photo 2/3   |   Each plastic panel was smoothed and painted blue to match the body.
In an attempt to occupy his free time while his wife bettered herself by attending college, Berry Trulove built one insane Toyota 4Runner and is the first to tell you it is actually done. A 4Runner that is complete is almost like a mini trucker winning the lottery. One of the great things about this story is Berry's dedication and willingness to do the work himself. Of course, being a police officer in Smyrna, Georgia, during the day, we're not sure if the 'Yota is legal in every regard. But hey, at least he knows a guy who can get him out of a ticket.
Up front, Berry used 2x3-inch boxed steel to create the custom, front frame and used that boxed tubing underneath the cab resulting in a stock-floor 3-inch body-drop. Two-inch Chassis Tech spindles and Firestone 2500 'bags provide the huge suspension drop. Out back, the independent rear was yanked out of a '90 Supra, then welded into the rear framerails. Firestone 'bags also lowered the back end and get air from 1/2-inch lines with eight 1/2-inch fast valves. Filling up the wheel wells are 18-inch Boyd Coddington Turbine billet wheels with 215/35R18 Kumho tires protecting the hoops. Powering the 4Runner is a factory 3.4L equipped with a chromed intake plenum, Spintech muffler, and K&N filter.
Photo 3/3   |   Berry and Chris Johnson built the audio system that includes three Powerbass amps and four 12-inch Powerbass subs.
Satisfied with the slammed stance and engine compartment, Berry turned to the body where the '96 was updated with an '01 4Runner grille, headlights, and front bumper. Berry also shaved the door handles, roof rack, the license plate recess in the hatch, and tubbed the front and rear wheelwells for the tires. While he was at it, he also grafted on a hood scoop from an SR5, tubbed the rear door jambs, and added '01 4Runner taillights. With the body in one piece and the welds ground smooth, he delivered the Toyota to Eddie, who is from Black of Color Body Shop in Marietta, Georgia, where Eddie applied the PPG Mazda Winning Blue paint on the 4Runner. Now the mid-size SUV was looking great, but it still needed a clean interior to be considered finished.
Audio and video chores are handled by a Kenwood in-dash DVD player that sends the frequencies to a total of three Powerbass amps. Those amps power components found in each door and four 12-inch Powerbass subs in a fiberglass box in the cargo area. Berry teamed with Chris Johnson to build the system, which also features two 4-inch speakers in the center of the dash. Kustom Kreations supplied the one-off 15-inch Turbine billet steering wheel. Albany Auto Trim, in Albany, Georgia, wrapped the bucket seats in silver leather, with silver and blue suede, while blue suede also covered the headliner. Finishing touches included having the dash and every interior panel painted to match the body.
Berry completed the 4Runner, from start to finish, in three years and the end result looks great. He wanted to extend a special thanks to his wife Jill, Max Krause, Powerbass, Chris Johnson, and his club Severed Tires.

2015 Toyota 4Runner Specifications

Fair Market Price $31,372
MSRP $33,210
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 17 City / 22 Highway
Engine 4.0L V6
Horse Power 270 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 278 ft lb of torque @ 4,400 rpm
See all Specifications
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Truck Trend Network


Toyota 4Runner

Fair Market Price
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $33,210
Mileage: 17 / 22
Engine: 4.0L V6
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