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Front Runner product thread

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by GrilledCheese, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Jul 13, 2020 at 8:39 PM
    #21
    ghost2

    ghost2 Well-Known Member

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    Nice truck. The more I see of that green, the more it grows on me.
     
    GrilledCheese [OP] likes this.
  2. Jul 13, 2020 at 9:58 PM
    #22
    cactushead

    cactushead Well-Known Member

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    2017 MGM DCSB 4x4 TRDOR
    Front hitch, 5100's, 885's, Snugtop XV, Slimline II, Sumos, bed platform, AAL, interior LED lights in cab and bed, exterior camp/backup LED's, Rigid DOT Fogs and D2 Pro Spots, Mega Ultra +130 bulbs, heavy-duty fog light, spot light, and low beam wiring harness, Weathertech mats, Re-routed dif breather and A/C drip line, dash cam, front and side cameras, anytime rear camera and nav, Blue Seas fused bus bars to cab and bed, heavy-duty bus bar w/Anderson quick disconnects under the hood for powering winch, solar, air compressor, and other accessories.
    Back in the day when it seemed @ramonortiz55 was doing a Group Buy every week, I got in on a few of them: most notably the FrontRunner and ARB GB's. I didn't even have my truck ordered yet, and I already had a FR rack and ARB awning (but I digress)! The rack has been on my 2017 truck for 3 years and has served me well. Here are a few of my observations.

    I thought the powdercoating was going to be impregnable, but I live a mile from the ocean and the salt air has pitted the surface. I contacted FR Customer Service and asked for their recommendation to inhibit the pitting. I was told to periodically spray it with silicone. Some of the corner pieces are also showing signs of corrosion, with blistering under the paint.

    Other than that, I love the rack. I have built adapters for Yakima kayak mounts, as well as created my own mounts for an awning, an adjustable solar panel, hi-lift, shovel, leveling boards, wheel chocks, milk crates, under-rack lights, etc.

    Aside from the higher load capacity and ease of adding bolts to the cross members and rails, one of the main advantage of the FR rack over the Prinsu and the other racks that use T-slotted extruded aluminum is that the FR hardware is easily sourced. You can pick up 8mm SS nuts and bolts at most hardware or marine stores. Not only are they beefier, but also cheaper than the specialty T-nut/bolts.

    Although slightly smaller in diameter, 5/16" nuts and bolts will also work. These are even more readily available. Just don't use the 5/16" for critical or load bearing points. For example, if you have a fishing rod tube, you can mount a pair of large quick fists to a couple of 3” x 8” boards and then attach them to the rack with (4) 5/16” bolts. I like to use eye nuts with my mounts so I have additional lashing points.

    I carry with me a plastic box with compartments for my rack hardware. I have both 8mm and 5/16” stainless bolts (in various lengths) and a wide assortment of flat, fender, lock washers and nuts (standard, nylock, flange, winged). I would suggest getting a bulk package of eye nuts (10 or 20 count) to give yourself ample number of lashing points.

    On eBay, the stainless bolts and nuts from China are dirt cheap. However, it is a slooow boat from China to the USA. More importantly, I have had rust issues with some of the bolts and nuts I received from China. With that being said, I haven't had any issues with the quality of the China made eye nuts. I have some eye nuts on my rack now that have been there for years.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2020 at 2:56 PM
    #23
    FishinCrzy

    FishinCrzy Well-Known Member

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    Rob
    South Carolina
    Vehicle:
    '17 4WD Limited Taco
    3" Lift, BFG LT275/70R 18, Frt. Hitch, Diamondback cover and Rack, RTT, 52 qt.freezer, House Batt.
    Is there a wind deflector on there? Doesn't look like it but I can't really tell. I have been looking at the low profile slimline II. I see FR has them in stock again. Seems like everybody likes them. Are they aluminum? I haven't seen the rod holder in their accessories but I might go with the rod tube I have for a while.

    Another qwershon, how would you use the hi-lift on those stock bumpers or where else? Bumpers are expensive. I put a receiver on the front and have been using it to carry large cooler and sometimes a generator as well as some surf rod holders. I know it cuts down on the angle of approach but I'm not a rock crawler.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
  4. Jul 16, 2020 at 3:08 PM
    #24
    FishinCrzy

    FishinCrzy Well-Known Member

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    Rob
    South Carolina
    Vehicle:
    '17 4WD Limited Taco
    3" Lift, BFG LT275/70R 18, Frt. Hitch, Diamondback cover and Rack, RTT, 52 qt.freezer, House Batt.
    Do you use the adjustments for the solar panels much? How far do they elevate? I was thinking of strapping mine on the rack (that I don't yet have). Just wondering how much that helps. Nice work! A milk crate is lots cheaper than the accessory. I see you like to lock all your stuff up too.
     
  5. Jul 16, 2020 at 7:24 PM
    #25
    cactushead

    cactushead Well-Known Member

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    Vehicle:
    2017 MGM DCSB 4x4 TRDOR
    Front hitch, 5100's, 885's, Snugtop XV, Slimline II, Sumos, bed platform, AAL, interior LED lights in cab and bed, exterior camp/backup LED's, Rigid DOT Fogs and D2 Pro Spots, Mega Ultra +130 bulbs, heavy-duty fog light, spot light, and low beam wiring harness, Weathertech mats, Re-routed dif breather and A/C drip line, dash cam, front and side cameras, anytime rear camera and nav, Blue Seas fused bus bars to cab and bed, heavy-duty bus bar w/Anderson quick disconnects under the hood for powering winch, solar, air compressor, and other accessories.

    The picture is showing the underside of the aluminum rack. The wind deflector is the V-shaped attachment on the leftmost cross bar.
    In regards to using the Hi-Lift jack, check out the Hi-Lift Lift Mate (LM100). It will enable you to lift the truck by a wheel.
    I mainly use the solar panel to keep my X2 battery from getting too low since I have a fridge constantly running. I would only use the articulating feature if I were camping/tailgating and using a lot of amps. Basically, I had a 5" RAM arm and I challenged myself to see what I could make. After building it, I realized the 5" arm was too short and ended up buying a 9" arm. Maximum elevation is approximately 45 degrees.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
    CrazyAirborne likes this.
  6. Jul 16, 2020 at 7:26 PM
    #26
    Matmo215

    Matmo215 Baylor ΣΑΕ

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    How do those fishing rod holders mount? I wonder if I can make those work with my prinsu
     
    sbl23 likes this.
  7. Jul 17, 2020 at 5:28 AM
    #27
    GrilledCheese

    GrilledCheese [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As @cactushead pointed out, the deflector is beneath the rack and is adjustable. Every piece of the Front Runner rack is Aluminium as well. The lift-mate by hi-lift is your best bet unless you want sliders and intend to use it conventionally.
    All front runner accessories mount with M8 hex bolts and M8 nylon washers.you just feed them into the track, put them where you want, and throw your accessories on. After looking at a few yakima and rhino rack rod holders the choice was obvious. Nothing else looks nearly as rugged; all Aluminium.

    4B5049AD-C2E1-48B8-A515-23156EB50A5E.jpg
     
    FishinCrzy and 71tattooguy like this.
  8. Jul 17, 2020 at 10:32 AM
    #28
    dave5623

    dave5623 Well-Known Member

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    Were you able to mount the rack alone or did you need help? Mine is arriving soon and wondering if I need to try and figure out what I need to get this done safely
     
  9. Jul 17, 2020 at 2:40 PM
    #29
    GrilledCheese

    GrilledCheese [OP] Well-Known Member

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    SLIMLINE II RACK INSTALL-(low profile)
    Assembly of the rack is simple. The only issue I ran into is keeping it square. The corner caps will not install correctly unless everything is perfectly square.

    Lesson learned: Only finger tighten everything until it is all in place.8E898F0E-EC8E-4D6C-93ED-DDC55CEFDF99.jpg

    Anticipating the holes I would have to place in the weather stripping I bought a Lenox 20mm hole saw. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. Although the instructions suggest a hole punch, nobody sells them in-store around me...so I wrongfully improvised. After my mistake it was clear that nothing replaces a good old razor blade.
    0C855D94-15B6-4BAF-954F-D7A71D12849A.jpg 796053F7-70F5-4776-939B-F5C37367F5FE.jpg
    DO NOT PURCHASE A HOLE SAW FOR INSTALLATION (explanation will be below)

    First of all, take your weather stripping off. Underneath it you will find 10 holes hidden under some crudely painted stickers. I used my razor blade to bust open the holes and pre-fit my bolts. I drew on the back of them with sharpie, returned the weather stripping, and used the marks on the stripping as a guide to cut holes for the bolt/spacers.
    2A1CBC86-C199-4FDB-8CF8-D934D321F42E.jpgD0702290-6FB5-49A9-B956-3C3252A6F248.jpg 5379C5F8-CA63-4D4B-BA96-634E86279E99.jpg

    The marks may not look center...but cut center. The spacers are awfully wide and if you shift to match the marks you will cut your stripping in half. The spacers have enough play for the bolts to be off center. USE THE MARKS AS A LATERAL GUIDE ONLY, MAKE SURE YOUR HOLES ARE EQUIDISTANT FROM THE EDGE OF THE STRIPPING


    Next you will cut channels into the bottom of the stripping just wider than your spacers. There is a metal band inside the stripping that I used so-cutters to remove. Before cutting holes for your spacers I lined both driver and passenger side by side and transferred marks/spacing. It worked out perfectly, don’t be afraid to take this shortcut.
    3E70963D-EBE8-4860-A28E-5A0569A2C369.jpg 42F677E7-C283-4995-A22E-87B77BB4A20A.jpg 53D9BE48-293A-4DE0-B0C5-6C88CB02E174.jpg

    Place the weather stripping back on the truck with the bolts still in, you’ll be able to tell if your cuts were correct or not.
    8464ED2C-8853-44D4-A18E-8F1565A9E08E.jpg

    DO NOT USE A HOLE SAW
    Use an x-acto knife or hole punch (if you can find one)

    ...this is why...
    E40E4544-6FC0-451F-9AFE-BCBD46DAB32A.jpg

    Place your spacers on the stripping, trace with the x-acto knife, and cut. It will fit all of the spacers like a glove with a clean cut. If you already made the mistake of butchering your weather stripping don’t worry, when you install the side-rails your shoddy work will be hidden beneath the feet.
    9C2019E4-744E-4344-AE54-36FDCA7FDD65.jpg

    Next you fill in/around the holes with silicone. Don’t worry, you can’t use too much.
    164A31F7-B051-4C0E-9389-94D199BD899C.jpg

    Once you fill the hole with silicone you place the side rails on top of the spacers AND THEN put the bolt through. The bolts will not fit through the slits in the side rail’s feet. Additionally, I was not able to use all of the provided crush washers because the exceedances were too tight (even after tightening all of the other bolts to compress the rails to the roof). This did not concern me seeing as there were already washers there too.
    1B78CE54-3EB0-4793-8343-0532C7D33960.jpg
    2683EB9D-069B-4701-BC49-B3133A3EA4C8.jpg
    A5FD584F-4174-453E-B16B-43FD637AD22E.jpg

    Next you have to install your pre-assembled rack on top of these rails. I did it by myself but it was super frustrating to line up all ten bolts to the holes alone. It’s possible, but annoying.

    Install your hex bolts to the bottom of the rack (without bolts), this will require you to shift the wind fairing over to both sides. I’d suggest you postpone installing it until after the roof mounting bolts are in.
    4CD60B50-89CD-4C6C-896C-41D35DCAB3F6.jpg
    3DBDAE77-3C44-4F5D-A79A-A43BE568B525.jpg
    The wind fairing covers the holes to feed your bolts as you can tell by the above picture.

    Next place the rack on top of the side rails, make sure it is even/square (measure the distance from side rails to edge of top rack), and tighten bolts underneath. This would be easiest with a low profile socket wrench but I made it work with a standard socket wrench and a crescent wrench. Once all of the bolts were tightened I stood back to enjoy the fruits of my labor and then drove around slamming on my brakes to see if anything would rattle.
    F66A556D-026E-48D3-84B3-21F78A590F50.jpg
    6A09AFD0-CE72-4DF1-AEAB-8907EF6402EF.jpg
    5E927D40-96D0-4B7D-B659-6593ABFA369B.jpg

    And you’re done! Here are some finished photographs without the accessories. I will be writing about the accessories and installations in future posts. Let me know if y’all have any questions!
    434168E8-B079-4B1F-887C-118AB44C648A.jpg
    D3329C6C-822C-4948-9845-39785E5A67EA.jpg
    7C09CFA3-7531-4271-AB8F-2F82103940B6.jpg
    81960AA9-95A9-4134-8190-C8253B765346.jpg
    D070B1A9-2C5B-4FD7-A54E-2B7A5FA63DD2.jpg
    DB8CCC81-5CF3-40A3-B5A5-17EB68A02B5F.jpg
    3785AE47-DA6A-48D7-8995-434FD696FF30.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Jul 17, 2020 at 3:29 PM
    #30
    FishinCrzy

    FishinCrzy Well-Known Member

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    Rob
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    '17 4WD Limited Taco
    3" Lift, BFG LT275/70R 18, Frt. Hitch, Diamondback cover and Rack, RTT, 52 qt.freezer, House Batt.
    Most excellent instructions! Thanks!
     
  11. Jul 17, 2020 at 5:58 PM
    #31
    GrilledCheese

    GrilledCheese [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Where are your lights mounted beneath the rack? I’ve been considering getting some KC Flex Duals and mounting them up front/under to use as ditch lights.


    She is my green queen, my girl Fiona.
    I was able to mount it alone, although it wasn’t fun. It’s not necessary but would be helpful. I wish I had someone else more when I was tightening all of the bolts down in the end more than lining it up. Hard to reach places and all.
    Although they weren’t super detailed I tried to point out any issues I ran into that were worth mentioning. I appreciate it brother!
     
    FishinCrzy likes this.
  12. Jul 17, 2020 at 7:54 PM
    #32
    cactushead

    cactushead Well-Known Member

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    San Diego
    Vehicle:
    2017 MGM DCSB 4x4 TRDOR
    Front hitch, 5100's, 885's, Snugtop XV, Slimline II, Sumos, bed platform, AAL, interior LED lights in cab and bed, exterior camp/backup LED's, Rigid DOT Fogs and D2 Pro Spots, Mega Ultra +130 bulbs, heavy-duty fog light, spot light, and low beam wiring harness, Weathertech mats, Re-routed dif breather and A/C drip line, dash cam, front and side cameras, anytime rear camera and nav, Blue Seas fused bus bars to cab and bed, heavy-duty bus bar w/Anderson quick disconnects under the hood for powering winch, solar, air compressor, and other accessories.
    Just about any rack accessory can be modified to work with your Prinsu rack. You may have to make an adapter plate to mount between the rodholder and the Prinsu because the mounting hardware used on Front Runner racks is larger than the T-nuts/bolts used on the Prinsu. That's what I had to do in order to adapt some of my accessories to the FR rack, such as my Yakima kayak mounts and my Rigid Ignite lights.
    Kayak Rear Mount-closeup.jpg Kayak Rear Mount-bottom side.jpgKayak Mounts-rear.jpg
    As GrilledCheese pointed out, there are quite a few other companies that make similar style ski/fishing rod carrier. Everything that Front Runner makes is quality, but that quality comes at a price. GC is willing to pay the price because he is a fly fisherman and he is used to paying a premium to play! :rofl:

    If you don't need the best or can't afford $200 for the FR accessory, you could get something like the Rhino Ski & Snowboard Rack. AutoAnything has it for $104 + tax, and free shipping. The quality is definitely lower than the FR, however, it has a lifetime warranty. If you want something nicer, stop by a rack store to see the other options.
    Those KC Flex Duals would look sharp under the rack! Looking at your pictures, it appears your only option for under mounting would be to use the slot under the front rail. The first cross bar (behind the front rail) has only 5" on either side of the wind deflector and the lights are 4.5" wide. I think the side brackets will be in the way if you want to angle them like ditch lights.

    I have my Ignite lights mounted in the rear, under the last cross bar. See the picture above. These are quite a bit smaller than the KC lights. I use them for backup/work lights. Two 3-way switches allows me to turn them on from the cab or the bed. Another switch allows me to control which light turns on: L, R, or L+R.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
    Matmo215 likes this.
  13. Jul 17, 2020 at 8:13 PM
    #33
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    stock
    Craving a grilled cheese with spam
     
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  14. Jul 17, 2020 at 8:16 PM
    #34
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 Not A Well-Known Member

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    Muenster cheese
     
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  15. Jul 24, 2020 at 1:31 PM
    #35
    Ferbag1972

    Ferbag1972 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent write up. I’m assembling mine this weekend so it’s ready to install when my truck arrives
     
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  16. Jul 24, 2020 at 1:41 PM
    #36
    averagejp

    averagejp Well-Known Member

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    Work in progress
    Thank you for taking the time to document the entire process. Not only the steps but the pictures and other insights. Great job and very much appreciated. Makes me feel like I could do this ... :)
     
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  17. Jul 24, 2020 at 2:16 PM
    #37
    Ferbag1972

    Ferbag1972 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone know the size of the spacers? I want to buy a hole punch to make a hole in the weather stripping
     
  18. Jul 24, 2020 at 2:26 PM
    #38
    dave5623

    dave5623 Well-Known Member

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    22mm. I bought this one off Amazon and the review of it is clearly someone who also installed an FRO. Gaosi Tools Professional DIY Leathercraft Tools,The Heavy Duty and Bigger Size Black Carbon Steel Changeable Hole Punch (22mm) https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01HRI41C0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_gh1gFbCARJQ0Y

    mine gets delivered Monday so I can’t confirm it’s the right one.
     
    Ferbag1972 likes this.
  19. Jul 24, 2020 at 3:39 PM
    #39
    Ferbag1972

    Ferbag1972 Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff, if it’s not too much to ask can you let me know if it’s that right size.
     
  20. Jul 27, 2020 at 5:48 PM
    #40
    GrilledCheese

    GrilledCheese [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate it, hopefully some of my write-up could prove to be beneficial. Just take your time and it'll all work out, the directions that come with the slimline rack are poor at best.
     
    averagejp likes this.

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