Jon G. Snaeland is one of the most active 4 wheelers in Iceland. He is in the board of the Icelandic 4x4 club and owns this "slightly" modified Toyota 4 Runner. The 4Runner is fully equipped to handle the most demanding terrain and is supported by a set of 44 inch Dick Cepec tires.
Jon is commonly known as "Ofsi" which translates literally into "Fury" - even though he is quite the opposite once you get to know the man. His last name is perhaps more fitting since it means "Snowland" - and that's where he's most often found. Jon has in fact written two books about 4 wheeling routes all around Iceland.
Toyota 4Runner - 44 inch Dick Cepec Tires
Setting the 4 Runner up with a set of 44 inch tires makes it one of the lightest 44 inch 4x4 vehicle.
I once heard that 70% of all 44 inch DC tires are sold in Iceland. The 4Runner's 44 inch Dick Cepec are fitted on 16 inch extra wide LandCruiser wheels resulting in an effective 17¼ inch width the beadlock. Rims are bolted with 50 8mm bolts and two tire valves - one for letting air out and the other for measuring the pressure.
44 inch vehicles are know to behave considerably less well on the highway than even 38 inch trucks do. The tires seem to follow minor imperfections in the road and the strain on all bearings and joints is way more than usual. Small wear and tear can mean big vibrations and these things have to be replaced at least once a year.
Jon is happy with the off road capabilities - they more than make up for all the inconvenience. The 44 inch 4Runner is hard to get stuck. It's light weight along with the big tires allow him to simply back out of most situations.
Toyota 4Runner - Rear Axle Modifications
Axle moved back 15 cm (6 inch). Lower bar moved up in stead of the weaker upper bar. New stronger lower bar made 15 cm longer.
Lower gear ratios of 1:5.71 with no-spin locker. Driveshaft length increased 15 cm. Front half of the shaft is from a Trooper and the rear from a 4Runner. New sway bar 2mm thicker than original . Sway bar brackets made longer. Heavy duty coil springs from Arctic Trucks Toyota with an added 130 mm seat block.
Toyota 4 Runner - Front Axle Modifications
Ready made plates for shocks, coils and more. OME Nissan Patrol coil springs 50 mm (2") longer than original and with extra strength allowing 50 kg more weight.
Modified Koni shocks. Toyota LandCruiser bump stops. Modified Toyota tie rod. Specially made pitman arm and pull bar. All steering ball joints are now original Toyota.
In order to control the large wheels the Toyota 4 Runner is now equipped with a steering shock and a steering jack to help with the strain.
The 4Runner steering box is drilled to connect with the steering jack by special hoses.
The drag link comes from a Land Rover. Radius arms come from a Range Rover with extra stiff bushings.
The axle comes from a Toyota Hi-Lux Double Cab. It is moved forward some 5 cm (2") with lowered 5.71 gear ratios and ARB air lockers. The manual hubs and disk brakes are still without air cooling.
Brake hoses made longer and axle breathing moved higher.
The sector arm has been made with a hole in stead of the steering ball joint.
Toyota 4 Runner - Engine and Driveline
The Toyota 4Runner has 300.000 km (190.000 miles) on the clock with the Isuzu Trooper 2.8 liter turbo diesel intercooler engine for the last 20.000 km or so.
The transfer case is from a Trooper as well as the 5 gear manual transmission.
"Standard" body lift of 100mm (4 inch) for 38 inch tires. Height from ground to sidesteps is currently 800mm (32 inch).
Toyota 4 Runner - Other Modifications
Main fuel tank takes 65 liters (16 gallons) with a 80 liter (20 gallons) auxiliary tank. Fuel brackets for two 20 liter (5 gallon) containers in the rear as well as an 80 liter fuel barrel in the front. The gives the 4 Runner an impressive total fuel capacity of 265 liters (66 gallons).
Toyota 4 Runner - Communications and Navigation
For secure navigation through the Icelandic highlands and ice-caps it is equipped with a Garmin GPS 128 connected to a laptop computer with Nobeltec Visual Series and MapSourse mapping software. To power the PC and for other uses is an 300 W electrical converter for the Icelandic 220 Volt system.
Three ways of communicating are the NMT mobile phone, CB radio and the VHF Yaseu 2000.
Toyota 4 Runner - Other Accessories
The modified Toyota 4Runner 1994 model weighs in at 2240 kg with 100 liters of fuel and everything needed for a weekend of wheeling.
Homemade spare part box on top. Two roof racks. IPE 100 W remote controlled searchlight. High-lift jack with a special seat bracket, pinch bar, winch and a winch coupling. Bull bar in front and working lights on the sides, extra electrical system, ready for 8 front facing roof top auxiliary lights as well as 6 working lights to the sides. 2 large 100 W Hella lights in the front. 50 mm trailer hitches in front and rear.
Toyota 4Runner - Off Road Trip Pictures
After crossing Thjorsa river the Trooper engine had a problem with drinking all the glacier river water.
Inside the ice-cave in Flosajokull in the north side of Langjokull ice-cap.
This is what can happen when others try their skills at the forerunner role.
Crossing a small river with high icy banks on the way south Sprengisandur.
What would Jon would change in his Toyota 4Runner?
Install a big and POWERFUL 8 cylinder engine!