When last we met, I was busy roofing the inside of the 4Runner project with Lowe’s Peel and Seal aluminum roof patch. The goal was to reduce road noise. I ended up covering the entire floor and wheel wells, but not the door panels.

Illustration for article titled Peel and Seal Verdict, plus ongoing 4Runner project updates
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The whole time I was installing it, I was thinking that I would sure hate to ever have to take it off. When I opened up the first door panel to begin coating it, I just knew that I would be peeling that tar-y shit off in the very near future to replace a window motor or something. So I passed. Which is unfortunate, because I think that’s where the biggest difference could be made. However, I do think that lining the floor made a large difference as well. It does seem quieter, but I have no data to prove it. At any rate, I don’t regret it, and if you ever happen to have the entire interior already torn out of your car, I say go for it.

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So then I installed my new stereo. I went with all Kenwood, and ordered from Crutchfield. I got this head unit, which I have been pretty impressed with. I put this small powered subwoofer right under the driver’s seat, and it adds the perfect amount of punch to a system that I’m mainly going to use to listen to Stuff You Should Know podcasts. I finished it off by replacing all four door speakers, and kept the factory tweeters near the A-pillars. It all sounds great, and I only spent about 750 bucks all in.

Then I replaced the power antenna with one I bought on Ebay for 18 bucks from this seller. It was a pain because off course the plastic guide was broken off in the motor, so I had to remove it, and you can’t take the fender liner off to get to it without all kinds of hassle, and the one-and-only bolt holding it on snapped off. But after much swearing I now have a working antenna.

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Then I ripped off the rotted through rear bumper and ugly hitch. I’m on a quest to find a reasonably priced custom rear bumper with an integrated hitch. Any suggestions?

Illustration for article titled Peel and Seal Verdict, plus ongoing 4Runner project updates
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Next I peeled off all the rotted and cracked fender flare rubber gasket, and painted the faded grey flares black with Duplicolor acrylic enamel. I think it looks better with black, but it’s not much of a difference. In this picture you can’t even really tell the color change between the flare and the piece on the front bumper that I didn’t paint. Eventually it will have black steel bumpers, so this should all tie in. I ordered new rubber from this awesome factory parts store. Oh ya, I also got rid of the old purple window tint on the front doors.

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And now for the bad news. I was getting ready to POR 15 the entire underside when I found this:

Illustration for article titled Peel and Seal Verdict, plus ongoing 4Runner project updates
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Dammit, I was doing too much bragging about how clean this thing was I guess. You know, I even checked this area before I bought it, because I read that it was a weak point, but apparently only looked at the driver’s side before I said shut-up-and-take-my-money. Oh well. I’ve seen worse, and I already sourced a welder that will strengthen it up for me. Also my brake pedal dropping to the floor issues requires a new master cylinder and booster, and is more expensive than I anticipated. But you know, brakes are important.

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