TRD 4Runner Lift Kits & Suspension

TRD Pro Suspension 5th Gen 4Runner

TRD Coil Overs, and Aftermarket Suspension Lift Kits for 4Runners (5th Generation)

Your car’s chassis takes the brunt of all the stress you put on your car, and it’s often the area of the car that people think about the least when it comes to improving it or giving it support. The torsion that the chassis experiences when you corner hard is enormous.

By upgrading your suspension with a suspension upgrade, you will have a stiffer ride and reduce the strain and stress on your car’s underbody. The 4Runner will also see less body roll, less nose dive when braking and less steering wheel shake when braking, depending on the suspension. By installing an upgraded suspension kit, you can raise your body, increase flexibility and enhance the look.

You can also go with a leveling kit. There is nothing wrong with a leveling kit, but you may sacrafice ride quality here. A large percentage of lifted 4Runners are running some type of front leveling kit or front/rear leveling lift kit. And, dealerships install leveling kits on some SR5’s before they are even sold to make them look more appealing.

TRD has the PRO Bilstein Shocks w/ TRD-Tuned Red Front Springs

Yeah, TRD Makes an aftermarket system but is it worth it? 

Parts included in the This TRD Pro system:

  • Front Bilstein Coilovers (Shocks & Struts)
  • Rear Coils
  • RearBilstein Shocks with Remote Reservoir
  • Upper Control Arms (UCA’s)
  • Lower-End Links
  • Upper-End Links
  • Rear Spring Seats

Those pretty red shocks may look tempting but you might want to think twice about buying

TRD PRO Bilstein Shocks w/ TRD-tuned Front Springs cost about $1500. These shocks help to give you a smooth ride, going over bumps, humps, whips and dips either on and off-road. The other thing the TRD Bilstein Shocks give you is better handling.

The understeering of your car determines how sharply it can handle curves, how much the back swings out when you turn, and how much control you have when driving. We all know 4Runners have quite a bit of body roll, and any aftermarket system will help to limit this. 

With the Bilstein Shocks & tuned front springs, you can take corners harder and feel less body roll. This is great for driving a little more aggressive.

The only drawback to the Bilstein Shocks & tuned front springs is that they do not offer a variety of height options. The TRD coilovers are not adjustable like other Bilstein shocks (6112s) or the ICON, KING, and FOX suspensions.

The Bilstein Shocks are 2.5″ in diameter and offer a stock lift height of 1″ with no options to adjust the height. The rear shocks are 2″ shocks which feature remote reservoirs.

You can always add shims over the coils to gain an additional inch and then buy new springs for the rear if you want an additional lift.

Bilstein 5100 Adjustable Shocks 0-3″ Lift Options

Some of the Bilstein 5100 adjustable shocks offer 0-3″ lift options while most are 0-2.5″. While Bilstein offers quite a few options for shocks and coils, they are by no means the best. But, Bilstein shocks also have a reputation for being one of the most commonly installed systems on the market, mainly because they are affordable, dependable and fairly simple to install.

If you are looking for a middle of the road system, look no further than Bilsteins.

Also, they have great support and many 4Runner owners are running them. So, if you ever have any questions, just hop in the forum or give support a call. You have hundreds of people standing by with a world of knowledge.

Bilstein 6112/5100 Options

See the outcome of the following packages on our 4Runner here

Option 1 (0 – 2.65″ Lift) Package:

Option 2 (0 – 2.65″ Lift) Package:

In the rear, the 5160’s are the same diameter piston as factory, however, they come with a remote reservoir so once again you gain the benefit of increased oil capacity…but more importantly the remote reservoir gives you more suspension travel by allowing components that would otherwise be in the main monotube to be located in the reservoir, and therefore giving you extended travel. Check out this article for an in depth overview

Other Options for our 5th Gen 4Runners

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit - 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

There are a handful of different options out there for aftermarket systems:

  • Icon Vehicle Dynamics
  • King
  • FOX
  • Radflo

These companies above, to name a few, have some pretty amazing options. Some of these systems can range from $2000-$10000 for a complete suspension with adjustable coilovers, rebuildable coilovers, tuned front struts, advanced rear shocks, remote shock reservoirs, advanced (UCAs) upper control arms and much more.

If you are going this route, be prepared to spend more money than Bilsteins. With that money comes incredible performance and ride quality.

Keep in mind, ride quality is relative. What is comfortable for some drivers is miserable to others. Some of the more expensive off-road shocks like KING and Icon are stiffer than Bilsteins causing a more ‘bumpy’ on-road feel. You will feel more bumps while on-road as opposed to Bilsteins.

Bilstiens are a good happy medium in terms of off-road and on-road performance but the 6112s for example, lack the ride height above 3″ which some may be looking for.

Suspension Lift Guide to 5th Gen 4Runners

  1. Spacer Lift Kits (not really a suspension lift)
  2. Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks (Adjustable & Non-Adjustable)
  3. Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks

Also, long travel (LT) systems but we will touch on that in another post.

#1 – Spacer Lift Kits

Spacer Lift Level Kits 5th Gen 4Runners

Spacer kits, like the Pro Comp we installed, and the Toytec 2.5 are not in the suspension lift kit category. But, spacer kits are still technically a “lift”. The difference between a lift kit and leveling kit being that a leveling kit only levels out the front and does nothing to the rear.

Spacer lift kits add spacers between the front shocks/struts as well as the rear springs and sit on top of the spring seat. In the photo above, you can see two images on the left (front spacers) and one on the right (rear spacers).

Spacer Lift kits offer an extremely cheap introduction to getting your 4Runner off the ground. If you have never installed any aftermarket parts, you can always get started with a spacer lift. These are fairly straightforward and you can get familiar with the undercarriage of your 4Runner.

If you still aren’t happy or want to go a little further, you can always move on to something bigger.

#2 – Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks (Adjustable & Non-Adjustable)

Bilstein 4Runner Rear Shocks 5100

Coilovers (coil over shocks), rear shocks and UCAs make up a complete suspension lift. This is what most off-road equipped 4Runners want to install.

Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shock systems are among the most popular because they are relatively inexpensive compared to a rebuildable system.

The average cost of a quality system is about $800-$1200 compared to a high-quality rebuildable system at $3000-$8000.

With a quality system, you can achieve most of the same functionality as a rebuildable suspension system all while saving quite a bit of money but you lack a few features.

With a suspension lift, you will often want the following parts: 

  • Front Coilovers (Shocks & Springs)
  • UCAs (Upper Control Arms)
  • Rear Shocks
  • Rear Springs

Most Popular Choice 2010+ Toyota 4Runner (Bilstein B8 6112’s)

Here is the set-up we just bought for our 2016 SR5.

From here, we can add parts accordingly. It is not uncommon for owners to rebuild or add to their set-ups. Sometimes, owners take off previous systems and start from scratch with other manufacturers. Once you start driving your 4Runner more, you start to better understand your specific needs.

This is why our builds are constantly changing and we adapt accordingly. When adding parts, the goal is to increase performance on and off-road along with flexibility, stability, and articulation.

Some of those parts may include the following (Applies to Buildable & Rebuildable):

  • Remote Shock Reservoirs
  • Lower Control Arms
  • Lower Control Arm Skids
  • Cam Tab Gussets
  • Diff Drop Kits
  • Urethane Bushing Kits
  • Sway Bar Relocation Blocks
  • Upper Coil Bucket Tower Gussets
  • HD Coils
  • Extended Rear Brake Lines
  • Lower and Upper-End links
  • Rear Shin Guards
  • U-Bolt Kit
  • Bump Stop Drop
  • Rear Adjustable Track Bars (Pan Hard Bar)

#3 – Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks (Rebuildable Suspension Lift)

  • Do you want adjustable options?
  • Do you plan on off-roading often?
  • Do you want to stiffen up your ride quality?

If yes, consider some rebuildable CO’s (Coilovers)

Rebuildable Coilovers are pretty damn expensive. A good rebuildable system ranges from $3000-$6000+. If money is not an issue, go this route! Icon Vehicle Dynamics, KING, FOX, and Radflo all have rebuildable options. There are many others, but these seem to be the most popular in 5th Generation 4Runner world at the moment.

In most cases, the non-rebuildable systems will do great for most applications. Going the rebuildable route is for 4Runner owners that want a little more out of their system.

Adding weight with aftermarket accessories

  • Steel Front Bumper: 150-200lbs
  • Winch System: 80lbs
  • Roof Rack: 70-100lbs
  • Backend drawer system: 100-200lbs
  • Steel Rear Bumper: 150-200lbs
  • Rear Bumper Swing Out + More?

If you are running aftermarket accessories like this, you may want to look into a rebuildable system. Even if you plan on eventually getting to this point, it is a good idea to invest early and make sure your 4Runner is prepared to handle an extra 500+ pounds of weight.

Rear springs that are built to handle extra weight are key if you are going this route. Metal Tech and Icon both make great extended travel and overland style rear springs.

The Importance of Suspension

The chassis of your car is what holds it all together. It is the metal underbody of the car. You might think that it doesn’t do much beyond giving a basic shape to your car, but the chassis actually performs the essential function of creating the “ride” of your car and determining how well all the wheels work together.

Your suspension controls how the axles work. In turn, this controls how well each wheel stays on the road at any given time, no matter what the other wheels are doing. Depending on your system, you could have a super smooth ride or a really bumpy ride.

Aftermarket systems will absolutely increase the ride quality and capability for your 4Runner. The higher stages of kits you go up, the more capable the platform will be.

There is a big difference between a $150 coilover and a $500 coil over. Rear springs/shocks and front coilovers play a huge role in the comfort of your ride quality and performance. It is important to get a quality system if you want better on-road and off-road performance.

Different Types of Suspension

  • Independent suspension means that one wheel can hit a bump and none of the other wheels are affected by it at all. For independent front suspension (IFS) trucks, there are many different components that can affect the ride of the car and the way the car handles. The spring rates, the amount of shock absorption and damping, the configuration of the stabilizer bar, the geometry, and the rigidity of the chassis are all components that come into play with this system.
  • Rigid suspension means that the left and right wheels are connected by a rigid axle, so that a bump on one wheel causes a reaction in the other wheel as well. Rigid means a bumpier ride. So why would anyone want rigid? The upside to it is that it is very strong. Therefore trucks often use rigid suspension because of the heavy loads they might be carrying.

Types of 4Runner Suspension

  • Stock or Shocks and Springs: You have a coil-spring, independent double-wishbone front suspension (IFS) with stabilizer bar in the front. For the rear, you have a coil-spring 4 link with lateral rod rear suspension with stabilizer bar in the rear. (SR5 models)
  • X-REAS Independent Counterpart Shocks: (Connects the Passenger Rear right to Driver Front Left and Vice Versa). X-REAS helps lessen body sway, pitch, and roll.
  • K.D.S.S. Great for On and Off Road:
  • K.D.S.S. OFF-ROAD: Hydraulic Oil flows in loops from the front and rear cylinder which means the cylinder is not locked.
  • K.D.S.S. ON-ROAD: Hydraulic Oil flow against each other from the front and rear cylinder which means the cylinder is locked. (Comes on early model Trail, and now the TRD Off-Road).