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Project 4Runner TRD Pro Installs: Airaid Intake, Pedal Commander, Gobi Rack
BY Christian Reyes //
April 5, 2022
Photography: Darrien Craven
  • Together with cooling specialist CSF, Pit+Paddock is building a Lime Rush green 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro.
  • The project’s first stage is complete with an Airaid intake and throttle body spacer, Pedal Commander controller, and Gobi roof rack.
  • The completed 4Runner build will debut at a Pit+Paddock Cars+Coffee: Overland Edition pop-up meet on May 1st at CSF headquarters.

We’ve officially made it through the first week of the Pit+Paddock x CSF 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro build, and we’re off to a fantastic start! Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:


We kicked off the build by adding a little something extra to the tried and true 4.0-liter V6 engine with Airaid’s SynthaFlow MXP Series cold air intake as well as its throttle body spacer. While intakes generally don’t offer massive performance gains, every little bit helps and will enhance our off-road adventures. The system removes the stock airbox in favor of a less-restrictive intake that houses a synthetic dry flow filter. Dry flow filters are important because oiled filters tend to clog up faster anytime there’s a lot of dust, and there’s no easy way to clean them on the go. The system features a built-in velocity stack which further quickens airflow, while an added throttle body spacer has been engineered and tested using a patented Helix Bore design to improve off-idle torque between 800rpm and 3,000rpm. The combination of these Airaid parts gives us a slight bump in the low to mid-range, where we’ll be spending most of our time while also maintaining proper mass air flow readings and air/fuel ratios, eliminating the need for a recalibration.

The installation was surprisingly very quick, and Airaid does a great job providing clear instructions. So far, we’re quite happy with the little lift in acceleration, and we’re very pleased with the new induction noise it makes.

Disclaimer: Please note the Airaid intake is not for sale or to be used on the streets in the state of California due to emission standards.


The next item on our hit list is the Pedal Commander. If you own a fifth-gen 4Runner N280 (or almost any newer Toyota truck for that matter), you know how delayed the throttle response can feel. We’ve heard great things about Pedal Commander as it’s one of the most advanced and talked about throttle response controllers in the market, so we were excited to see how much of an improvement it could make in both daily driving and off-road.

It works by removing that annoying delay you get when pressing the gas pedal, often giving off a mushy or sponge-like feeling. It does this by bypassing the actuator, communicating quicker with the engine, and thus rapidly improving acceleration from the moment you touch the pedal. Should note, we’re not adding horsepower or torque here but merely optimizing the computer and its sensors.

Sensitivity can be adjusted with eight different settings, and there are also four driving modes – Eco, City, Sport, and Sport+. Eco obviously provides the least amount of acceleration assistance but adjusts for better fuel economy (up to 20-percent better than stock), while Sport+ gives you full engine power at about 30-percent pedal depression.

The installation is as easy as hanging up an air freshener. Simply disconnect the gas pedal assembly, plug the male and female connecters of the Pedal Commander to their coordinating plugs, then route the control unit, so it’s easy to access. We mounted ours just above the driver-side climate control knob.

We can testify that it really is everything Pedal Commander claims it be. The pedal response has gone from sluggish to almost instant, with a much more linear response as you modulate the throttle. It also doesn’t void the factory warranty as it can be easily removed and put back to stock.


Last but not least, for stage 1 of our 4Runner build was a Gobi roof rack. Now you may be thinking, “Why are they doing a roof rack when the TRD Pro comes with a nice one already?” This is a totally reasonable question. The answer is simple: The TRD Pro roof rack is great and one of our favorite upgrades the 4Runner came with; however, it’s still only a half roof rack that doesn’t extend all the way to the front of the rig. We’re not just picking up groceries with our rig, so we needed to have as much cargo space as possible to carry supplies while on excursions. We found the Gobi Stealth Rack is the best balance of having that extra cargo space while still durable and powder coated black with an anti-rust undercoat. The Gobi rack also doesn’t look overly bulky, hence the “stealth” name, and can handle a 300-pound load capacity while driving and 800 pounds while parked up. It comes with a rear ladder, wind deflector, and two removable cross bars.

While installing the rack is pretty straightforward without requiring any drilling as it uses the factory mount points, the entire process was definitely more difficult than anticipated. After struggling to get a cross-threaded bolt out on the factory rack, it was just a time-consuming and methodical process to install all the Gobi brackets without scratching the paint.

We must say, though, that we absolutely love this rack! It has a super clean and rugged look, feels incredibly solid, and the addition of the ladder will make loading and strapping things down a lot easier.

Stay tuned next week for the second part of our build as we continue to update the functionality and toughness of our Lime Rush 4Runner TRD Pro!





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