Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack Install – 5th Gen 4Runner

 In 5th Gen 4Runner Mods, Aftermarket Install, Off-Road Accessories, SR5 4Runner Mods, T4R Accessories, Trail 4Runner Photos, Trail T4R

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack Install 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray - 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Pioneer CXB Platform Roof Rack Install 5th Gen 4Runner – Backbone Mount Coming Soon

Recently, we went over the full review on the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack for the 5th Gen 4Runner. This roof rack is fully capable of competing with some of the other off-road roof racks in the 5th Gen 4Runner world. We discussed the differences between the Rhino-Rack, Front Runner Slimline 2, Gobi Stealth, 5th Gen 4Runner Baja Roof Rack and the K9. These roof racks are all well-made utility racks for the 5th Gen 4Runner.

We decided to go with the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack with the Backbone Mount System but they were back ordered on the backbone mount. Being impatient when it comes to 4Runner Accessories, we decided to get the CXB leg kit and just mount the rack using the leg kit for the time being.

If you have any off-road ambitions at all, a roof rack is an off-road accessory that you can’t live without.

Part Numbers for Rhino-Rack + Backbone Kit – 5th Gen 4Runner (700lbs Load)

  • Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack (60″ x 49″)
  • Rhino-Rack Backbone Mount (Factory Rail Replacement)

Part Numbers for Rhino-Rack + CXB Leg Kit – 5th Gen 4Runner (175lbs Load)

The Backbone Mount System is relatively new to the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform lineup. The Backbone Mount removes the factory rail system (like most top-level roof racks) and is then replaced with factory bolt placements. The biggest difference between the Backbone Mount System and the Factory Rail Kit system is load rating. The Backbone Kit has a load rating of 700lbs while the factory rail mount system has a load rating of 175lbs.

We wanted to move forward with this rack because it is incredibly slim, lightweight and has a competitive load rating among the other major roof rack brands. Being that they were out of stock on the backbone mount system and we already had the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform, we had to get something. So, we opted for the CXB leg kit.

We mounted up the Rhino-Rack with the factory rail mount CXB leg kit system and it looks great. From functionality to looks, the Rhino-Rack with the factory rail kit is still a great choice and much cheaper. The biggest difference in functionality is whether or not you are going to mount a tent on top of your rack or will be standing on top of it. If you are planning on mounting a roof-top tent or standing on your roof rack often, buy the Backbone Mounting Kit.

After installing our new set of tires (Toyo Open County AT ii – 285/75r17) and wheels (Fuel Anza Bronze 17×9 -6), we should have a completely new look for our 2014 Trail 4Runner. Also, we have an upcoming Icon Suspension to replace our ToyTec Leveling Kit. Pretty stoked for this all to come together.

For now, let’s jump into the install on the Rhino-Rack + CXB Leg Kit for the 5th Gen 4Runner. In another post, we will be doing an install of the Rhino-Rack + Backbone Kit for the 5th Gen 4Runner.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #1 – Unpack all Parts (Pioneer Rack)

The first and most important thing when starting any projects is making sure you have all your parts. The Rhino-Rack Pioneer came separately for us, so we made sure everything was in the box for the rack first. Unpack your Rhino-Rack Pioneer and make sure everything is organized and ready to go.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform 5th Gen 4Runner

Rhino-Rack Install Step #2 – Unpack all Parts (CXB Leg Kit)

Same goes for your CXB Leg Kit. This one is pretty self-explanatory. There are four legs and one universal allen tool.

Unpack & Account For all Parts (CXB Leg Kit)

Rhino-Rack Install Step #3 – Slide CXB Legs to Pioneer Rack Crossbars

The first step for this incredibly easy install is to slide your legs onto the Pioneer Rack Crossbars. There is a metal spacer bracket that bolts down to the Pioneer Rack Crossbars. Slide the Pioneer Rack Crossbars under this section and then under the plastic section as well. They just slide right on. A piece of cake. Repeat this process for all four legs.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #1 - Slide CXB Leg to CrossbarsRhino-Rack Install Step #1 - Slide CXB Leg to Crossbars

Rhino-Rack Install Step #4 – Hand Tighten Leg To Crossbars

Once your legs have been added to your Pioneer Rack Crossbars, hand tighten your legs to the crossbars. If you do not hand tighten your legs to the crossbars, the legs will slide back and forth while you are measuring, and adjusting a few other items. With the legs hand-tight, you will still be able to slide them around for adjusting the width of the legs. Repeat this process for all four legs.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #4 - Hand Tighten Leg To Crossbars

Rhino-Rack Install Step #5 – Slide Pioneer Crossbars Into Rack

Once you have your legs on your crossbars, drop the cross onto the rack, while the rack is upside down. You want to start with the crossbars at an angle so that you can swing them perpendicular to the stationary crossbar. The crossbar will slide underneath the edge of the Pioneer roof rack under-rail to which you will bolt down with given hardware and a spacer.

Slide Pioneer Crossbars Into RackSlide Pioneer Crossbars Into Rack

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 – Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware

Step 6A – Drop in spacer provided perpendicular to the crossbar. 

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware 

Step 6B – Drop washer onto spacer. With the index finger, turn spacer 90 degrees. 

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware 

Step 6C – With the index finger, push the spacer underneath the Pioneer rack rail & screw down

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Insert Spacer & Screw Down Hardware 

Rhino-Rack Install Step #7 – Measuring Crossbars Width (41.5″ on Center)

You will not have to do this step, as we did it for you. The distance from the center to center on the factory roof rails is about 41.5″. So, you want your width of the openings on the legs to match up with this.

Rhino-Rack Install Step #6 - Measuring Crossbars Width

Rhino-Rack Install Step #8 – Bolt Down CXB Legs to Crossbars at 41.5″ on center

BEFORE YOU DO THIS STEP: Open up the spacing of the legs all the way. Using the provided allen, loosen up the leg space on all four legs before bolting down. This will open up the legs and allow the rack to drop right into your factory rails.

MEASURE & BOLT LEGS: Set legs about an inch away from the edge of the rack. This will give you 41.5″ on dead center. Using a 1/2″ socket, bolt down the legs to the crossbars once you have the perfect inch spacing.

Bolt Down CXB Legs to Crossbars at 41.5" on center

Rhino-Rack Install Step #9 – Turn Rack Over & Mount Bracket Hardware

Once everything is buttoned up below, turn your rack over and mount your brackets from the top down.

Turn Rack Over - Mount Bracket Hardware

Rhino-Rack Install Step #10 – Mount The Rack!

Everything should be nice and tight. Ready to mount!

Using two people, lift your pioneer roof rack up onto your 5th Gen 4Runner’s factory rails. Everything should line up perfectly. If the legs do not automatically seat into place, just give them a little pressure and they should pop right in. Once all of your legs are into place, you can tighten down the legs to the factory rails.

Super Easy!

Rhino-Rack Install Step #9 - Mount Roof Rack

Finished Product & Thoughts on Performance

Super clean, low-profile, easy to install and affordable. What’s not to love about this rack. You can also buy additional hardware for the Pioneer Roof Rack that allows you to strap down just about anything you can imagine. Highly recommend this roof rack for the 5th Gen.

Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray - 5th Gen 4Runner

I think this a great start for anyone looking to install a rack while not spending over $1000. This is a great introductory roof rack that will serve well for most uses for the life of their 4Runner. This is an incredibly easy to install roof rack for the 5th Gen. Also, if you ever want to go another direction, it is super easy to take off and mount a new rack on. Try it on for yourself and let us know what you think.

We have not taken it off-road yet or used the Rhino-Rack Pioneer mounting brackets, but as soon as we do, we will write another post on that. As for the on-road performance, you can hear a little bit of wind drag but that is normal with any roof racks, even with wind deflectors. Once you start adding aftermarket parts to your 4Runner, things are just going to be a little different. The wind is definitely not bad, you can just hear it. On a level 1 – 10, I would say it’s about a “2” noise level.

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