Battery upgrade in 2010-2020 5th Gen 4Runners. For reference, mine is a 2016 TRD Pro.
The stock battery in all 5th gen 4Runner’s is a Panasonic. It’s rated at 530 CCA, and a reserve capacity of 20hrs at 65ah, BCI Group 24F, and comes in about 60#.
While this battery is only a few months old, I decided to upgrade it to a Group 31. The factory Panasonic battery was testing out at 560CCA, but was dropping to 8-9 VDC when cranking. My added electronics didn’t like this voltage drop, as they would go off and come back on.
I was originally looking for a Group 31 Diehard Platinum, aka Odyssey. These are no longer sold from Sears. Rumor has it that Northstar is a split off of Odyssey. The X2 batteries sold by Batteries Plus are made by Northstar. Here is the actual battery:
I ordered the battery online for pickup in my local store. Usually they are running some type of a promo, in my case a 10% off items ordered for pickup in the store. There was also a $30 mail-in Rebate. List price on the battery is $379. 48 Month Free Replacement (60 month if you just get the stud terminal version) 1150 CCA and 220min reserve, and about 75#, 15# more than the stock.
When you pickup the battery at the store have them test it in front of you. This ensures that your battery is good before beginning the project, and that you have a baseline in CCA for your notes.
If you look closely, you will notice the terminals are more in the middle to the front. The Odyssey battery has terminals located at the rear. I mention this because in order to make this battery work you will need to extend your cables. Forums report the Odyssey battery working without cable extensions. That’s great until you need a battery replacement, and the replacement has the terminals in a different location and the cables won’t reach! Best to be safe than sorry, as it will happen at the least convenient time.
Other needed items (I’ve included links to Amazon for your connivence!)
10″ Battery Hold Down Bolts Appx $6
Positive Jumper Cable Appx $25
Negative Jumper Cable Appx $25
Group 31 13″ Noco Battery Tray Appx $26 (Found locally at a non-chain store for $20)
Blue Sea Terminal Covers Appx $7
Blue Sea Dual Cable Caps Appx $16
Insulated Power Junction Posts Appx $15
Heat Shrink Wrap
Misc Bolts (metric), washers, and nuts,
Cable ties (Black and Red Preferred, 2 each)
Drill, 3/8″ Bit
Bolt Cutters or hack saw
WD40 or LPS1
2 pairs of pliers
Various sockets, ratchet, extensions, std and metric (I used 10mm, 12mm, 1/2″, 7/16″ and 9/16″. All 3/8″ Drive.
- Remove your old battery and tray. You can disconnect the cables from the clamps, and leave the clamps on the old battery. We won’t be reusing the battery terminal clamps with the new battery. (Some say one is better than the other. Semi’s use the studs. N’uff said)
- Remove the original hold-down bolts. Store with old tray in case you decide to go back stock. We will re-use the stock hold-down bracket.
- Install new tray. Getting two bolts in this tray is tricky, but can be done. The first bolt to install is the one closest to the fender. It actually has to be installed before the tray. take a bolt and fender washer, drop it in the hole. Now take a nut, locknut and washer, and place it on the back side loosely. Now put the tray in and massage the bolt and fender washer through the + shaped slot in the tray. This may take a couple minutes to get the right angle. Patience. Install the Metric bolt and washer in the side closest to the engine, just a couple threads. Line up the tray how you want it, and tighten the bolt. A little upward pressure on the tray may be needed until the slack is taken up. Now tighten the bolt closest to the engine
4. Using your 3/8″ Drill bit and drill, enlarge the stock battery cable holes. There are two positive cables, and one negative cable.
5. Install the battery in the tray. The negative post will be closest to the fender. Use the stock hold down clamp, and the new hold-down bolts.
It’s time to extend our cables.
6. Get your negative jumper cable, and your negative insulated post, and your negative dual cable cap. Spray one side of the cable cap with WD40. We are doing this to help the stock battery cable slide into the cable cap. using your finger, spread it around inside. Slide the stock negative cable into the lubed cable cap housing (you will have to flatten it first). Slide the jumper cable into the other side of the cable cap housing. (jumper should be on bottom, stock on top) Now place the insulated post through the middle. Using the included lock washer and nut, tighten it down. Close the cap.
7. Install the negative jumper unto the battery stud using the washer and nut provided with the battery.
8. Using the correct color cable tie, install the terminal cap over the stud and jumper
9. The positive cables are tricker. Before inserting the cables, you need to bend them flat, then bend the tabs off, and file them down. Since the one cable is at an angle, you need to slit the side of the dual cable cap where it will reside (be sure to note the top/bottom, so you slit the correct side!) This same cable (shown in 2nd photo below) needs another 1″ of electrical tape also.
10. Repeat step 6-8 with the positive cables.
11. Install 1 cable tie around each traditional terminal cap. This will help hold them on.
12. Using bolt cutters, cut off the excess on the tops of the battery hold down bolts. File smooth. Using heat shrink tubing, put a piece on each of the remaining hold down bolt threads. Heat evenly. This will help prevent you from scratching yourself as your reaching around the engine compartment.
If you use all the parts listed above and follow these instructions, it should take you about two hours to do the swap. That’s taking your time.
All my electronics are happy, as the voltage drop with the stock battery is now gone.