Installing Low Profile Front Runner Roof Racks on our Overland Toyota
Trail Ready Tundra: Part Four, Using All Available Space
Trail Ready Tundra: Part One
Our Off-Road Mods Continue with ADD, Rigid & Warn
Adding an ARE Shell, Bed Rug, and Topper Lift to Our Overland Project Toyota
We're getting down to the wire on our Toyota Tundra Overland project. If you've been following along the last few months, you know that we've come a long way with improvments to our 2014 Tundra, which is a joint effort between Truckin and Fuel Offroad. We began with a clean 2014, then took care of the suspension with a BDS upper arm and Fox coilover kit. We added 35-inch Fuel tires to the existing Fuel wheels (but we've got some custom Fuel wheels coming in the final installment for the big reveal). Next we added ADD bumpers and steps filled with Rigid LED lighting. We also added an ARE shell, Bedrug, and TopperLift to Tunrda to make it as functional when it's parked as it is when it's on the trail. But no truck built in the overland style is worth its salt if it has nothing going on above the roofline.
Custom roof racks are nothing new, but they've become big business in recent years. After all, once you outfit the interior and bed area, there's nowhere left to go for additional accessories but up! For our build, we knew we wanted to cover most of the roof area with rack space, but we also have the Topper Lift that raises the ARE shell, so a rack on the roof could not overlap onto the shell and vice-versa. With that in mind, we opted for a pair of matching Slimline II Cargo Roof Racks from Front Runner Outfitters. Front Runner offers a great low profile design, and delivers a world class rack system that is lightweight, strong and corrosion free thanks to black epoxy powder-coated T6 aluminum construction. The Slimline II features an easily configured modular approach with over 50 perfectly integrated accessories to fit any vehicle and every adventure. This includes everything from bike and kayak mounts to bottle openers and awning holders- even showers and dutch oven mounts! We headed back to Fuller Truck Accessories in Fullerton, CA where the crew made quick work of the simple and easy install. This would also be suitable as a DIY driveway install.
Check out the install below and make sure to check for the final story where we tie up a few loose ends and call this project done. Be sure to check out the websites in the source box to see what is available for your trail rig, and check out all the related stories to see our Tundra build in its entirety.
Our Tundra project has really come a long way already, but that roof area looks a little boring. Just think of all that storage potential we're missing out on. We Turned to Front Runner Outfitters for our solution(s)!
The 61.4-inch full-size Slimline II cargo roof rack kit comes complete with the Slimline II Tray, Wind Deflector and 2 Low Profile Foot Rails to mount the Slimline II Tray to the roof of our Toyota Tundra Crew Max. A similar kit, in a slightly longer size, Slimline II Rack is perfectly sized for the camper shell and 5 -foot bed. The Slimline II Tray mounts to supplied risers that slide into the supplied Track. As you'll see, the Track is easily mounted to the shell or trailer with the supplied fasteners.
With the Tundra out at Fuller Truck Accessories, we wasted no time unboxing the Front Runner racks and test fitting the rails on the roof. We began by peeling up the factory drip moldings, which was pretty easy since they have a habit of removing themselves from this era of Tundras.
With the points marked from the rack mounts, we proceeded to drill out our holes- with a small bit at first. Then we moved to the recommended bit.
Next, a nutsert, or rivet nut in each of the 12 total holes. The bolts and wrench are included to expand the nut around the sheetmetal for good.
Now we could bolt the four mounting brackets into place with three bolts each. As opposed to some other racks that bolt elsewhere on the roof, you can remove the Frontrunner, reinstall the bolts and reattach the drip molding with no one the wiser.
At this point the low profile foot rails could be bolted up to the mounting brackets. You can also see the plastic caps that install over the mounting bolts for a monochromatic look.
With the foot rails in place, we bolted the wind deflector brackets to the Slimline tray.
We then lifted the tray up over the foot rails.
The tray was carefully lined up with the mounting bolts before being set into place.
Now we could snug the tray down on the foot rails.
We were already loving the look of the Front Runner roof rack, but we were only halfway there.
Before any drilling of our new ARE truck cap takes place, we first marked the center line for the length of the roof to base our measurements for the mounting rails on. The rails, hardware, and everything else we needed all comes as part of the kit.
The rails were taped in place and measured one more time before drilling for the mounting hardware.
Before setting the rails onto the shell, the mounting bolts, riser bracket bolts, and end caps were all popped into place ahead of time.
To avoid leaks down the road, a dab of silicone was placed over every hole we drilled.
Now we were ready to carefully set each rail into place so each so the mounting bolts drop into the holes.
The hand-nuts were threaded onto the bolts from inside the shell.
And then one person held onto the nut while the other gently buzzed the bolt tight.
Next we set the riser brackets into place on the rails and tightened them up with the supplied hardware.
Then the second tray was set onto the brackets.
The brackets attached to the tray slide over the risers and are ready to be bolted together.
Finally, we bolted each set of brackets together and worked our way around the truck. We also added more of the black plastic bolt covers.
At this point we wrapped up the install and now had the entire roof covered in Slimline rack!
Also notice how the two racks are perfectly level with each other, even though the mounting points are different. It was that attention to detail that led us to use the Front Runner system in the first place. We love the final look and can't wait to add at least a few of the over 50 different accessory options available from Front Runner!