5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 3 – Lift Kits
5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 3 – Lift Kits & Leveling Kits
Lifting your 5th Gen 4Runner and Gearing up for an Overland Adventure
- 5th Gen 4Runner Suspension Lift Kits
- 5th Gen 4Runner Suspension (Complete Guide)
- 5th Gen 4Runner Icon Suspension Lift (Overview)
- Icon Suspension Lift Install (Step by Step)
- 4″ Lift 5th Gen 4Runner
- 4Runner Spacer Lift Kit (Overview)
- 4Runner Spacer Lift Kit Install (Step by Step)
When it comes to a 5th Gen 4Runner, it only looks right with a lift or leveling kit. There are a few different types of lift kit options available for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Deciding on a lift or leveling kit is a big decision because there are so many options. In the details below, we only cover the top or most popular options. This is not every option out there. If you know of a kit that needs to be mentioned below, please comment and let us know.
After reading our posts on 5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 1 and 4Runner Mods Part 2, you may be thinking about going the extra mile. We covered some of the most popular areas of 4Runner mods in part 1 and part 2 but there are still many mods to explore. We will get into lifting and, or leveling your 4Runner in this section.
Making the move to lift or level your 4Runner requires some major changes all the way around. Many things to be taken into account when lifting your 5th Gen, but mostly your wheels and tires. One of the most important factors when lifting your 5th Gen is wheels and tires. We get questions almost daily on “What is the biggest tire size I can fit on my 4Runner“. So, please read that post before asking that question.
- Are your stock wheels and tires going to look right with a lift kit?
- Should you buy new wheels and tires before or after you lift?
- Do you plan on running larger tires than stock?
- Are you prepared to start chopping away at your body, fender liners, and wheel well if you buy oversized tires?
If you have stock wheels and tires and you are looking to lift or level, you should probably look into getting a new set to match your lift. If you add a leveling kit or lift kit on your 4Runner with stock wheels and tires, your set-up won’t look right. Your wheels and tires will look pretty small under your 4Runner with a new leveling kit or lift kit, so this is something to consider. If you have any questions about tire size on your 4Runner, you should check out that post. There is a lot of really good information in there about fitting the correct size tire on your 4Runner (stock, level or lifted).
Your Options for Lift Kits and Leveling Kits are pretty simple
The most common set-ups will be the first three below. You have basic leveling kits (front spacer only), lifted leveling kits (front and rear spacer), and then you have a suspension lift kit (coilovers, Upper Control Arms “UCAs”, rear springs, and rear shocks).
The next level of lift kits would be a little more involved. To start, you have your Long Travel Suspension Lift Kits which include a wide variety of upgraded parts (usually between 3″-5″ of lift). Then, you have full lift kits (FabTech & ProComp) which are 6″ lift kits. Then, you can add a body lift (usually 1″) which separates the body from the frame. Body lifts are a touchy subject among many people in every automotive circle. Enter into a body lift at your own risk.
4Runner Suspension Options
- Front Leveling Kit
- Spacer Lift Kit (Lifted leveling kit)
- Suspension Lift Kit
- Long Travel Suspension Lift Kit
- Full Lift Kit
- Body Lift Kit
Suspension Lift? The most common lift kit option out there would be a suspension lift. This is going to include upgraded coilovers, Upper Control Arms (UCAs), rear springs, and rear shocks. Here is a good example: Icon Suspension Lift on 4Runner.
Lifted Leveling Kit? The next option is going to be your leveling kit. Leveling kits are great for people who want a lifted look without enhanced off-road functionality and performance of an upgraded suspension system. Here is a good example: Spacer Lift on 4Runner.
Front Leveling Kit? You really just want to level your 4Runner. If you do not like the raked look (slanted from back to front) look on your 4Runner and want to level everything out, you want a front leveling kit. Here is a good example: Toytec Leveling Kit.
PRO COMP 4RUNNER LEVELING KIT: MODEL #65210K
- Pro Comp Model #65210K (Check out Amazon’s Price on this Kit here)
- Similar Kit listed for 2018+ 4Runner (Check Today’s Price)
- Lift Height: 3 Inch Front, 2 Inch Rear
- Front lift method: Strut Spacers
- Rear lift method: Coil Spring Spacers
- Max Tire Size: 33 Inch
ADD SHOCKS TO LEVELING KIT
- Recommended Front Coilover: Bilstein 47-259768 B8 6112 (Adjustable 0-2.55″)
- Recommended Rear Shock: Bilstein 33-187174 2″ Lift Rear Shock
LIMITED EDITION 4RUNNER’S WITH XREAS (FRONT LEVEL ONLY)
- 1.5″ Spacer = Exactly Level (Check this kit out)
- 2.0″ Spacer = 1/8″ Higher in the front (Check this kit out)
5th Gen 4Runner Mods – Lift Kits and Leveling Kits Overview
- 4Runner Mod #1 – Leveling Kit
- 4Runner Mod #2 – Lift Kit
Things start to get serious on your 5th Gen when you have a lift. Below we are going to look at the best lift and leveling options for your 5th Gen 4Runner. In our 5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 2, we discussed grill options and below we are going to take it a step further.
Leveling Lift Kit Example
Pro Comp Level Kit – 5th Gen 4Runner – $350
Suspension Lift Kit Example
Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 5th Gen 4Runner – $3000
Understand the Types of Suspensions
- Stock or Shocks and Springs: You have a coil-spring, independent double-wishbone front suspension 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. (Comes on most SR5 4Runners) – Check out our post on the strut spacer leveling kit install for the SR5 4Runner for more information on this lift.
- 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 on the 4Runner.
- K.D.S.S. Great for On and Off Road: OFF-ROAD: Hydraulic Oil flows in loops from the front and rear cylinder which means the cylinder is not locked. ON-ROAD: Hydraulic Oil flow against each other from the front and rear cylinder which means the cylinder is locked. (Comes on Trail and TRD Pro 4Runners).
Types of 5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kits
- Spacer Lifts (1″-3″)
- Non-Rebuildable/Adjustable Coilovers & Shocks (1″-3.5″)
- Rebuildable/Adjustable Coilovers & Shocks (1″-3.5″)
- Full Lift Kit – Not many 5th Gen owners run Full Lift Kits (Think 6″+)
Top Brands for 5th Gen 4Runner Lifts & Leveling Kits
- Readylift SST
- Total Chaos
- Rough Country
- Old Man Emu (OME)
Best Options for 5th Gen 4Runner Lift & Leveling Kits
- TRD PRO Bilstein Shocks w/ TRD-tuned Front Springs – $1500+ (1″ Lift)
- Leveling Kit: Daystar – $150
- Leveling Kit: Toytec – $250
- Lift/Leveling Kit: Pro Comp Nitro – $350
- Spacer Kit With Coils: Rough County – $200
- Spacer Kit with Coils: Toytec – $320
- Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks: Bilstein 5100 – $400
- Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks: OME – $900-$1200 with Options
- Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks: Pro Comp – $600
- Rebuildable/Adjustable: Icon – $1800-$6000 (Multiple Stages)
- Rebuildable/Adjustable: Total Chaos Long Travel – $3000+
How to decide which lift or leveling kit is right for you?
Deciding which of these lifts is for you will depend on how you drive your 5th Gen 4Runner. If your 4Runner is a street princess, you might want to opt for a basic leveling kit. If you go on the occasional off-road adventure, you should probably look into a mid-level leveling kit or suspension kit with coilovers as this will have the most flexibility on and off-road. If you plan to hit some serious trails or go on a week-long adventure, you might want to look into an Icon suspension, KING suspension or Total Chaos Long Travel set-up.
Below are my choices on what I would install given my cruising altitude.
- Cruising around town: Toytec 2″ Level Kit or Pro Comp 3″ Nitro Level/Lift Kit
- Occasional 4×4 adventure: Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Kit
- Serious Off-Roading: Icon Lift Kit Stage 2 – 5th Gen 4Runner
- Adventure 1: Total Chaos Long Travel Lift Kit – $3500
- Adventure 2: Icon Lift Kit Stage 7 – $6000
This is all completely subjective and heavily relies on your knowledge of your suspension needs.
5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kit Conclusion
FIRST: Before making the jump on any 5th Gen 4Runner lift kit or leveling kit, understand which suspension you have. If you have an SR5 suspension, the options are going to much different than if you have X-REAS suspension. Alternatively, if you have KDSS suspension on your Trail 4Runner or TRD Pro 4Runner or TRD off-Road, your options are going to be, somewhat similar compared to the SR5 suspension. X-REAS suspension is really the only thorn that will get thrown in your side. Most websites and manufacturers do a good job of categorizing their products so you will know for sure if the lift or leveling kit fits.
SECOND: Do your research and understand what you are buying. If you purchase a $3000 5th Gen 4Runner lift kit and plan on doing it yourself, you better have the tools. If you are buying a $300 lift kit, it probably won’t last for that long if you plan on hitting some serious trails. Just do your research.
THIRD: You don’t need a full lift kit, or suspension lift kit if you intend on rolling around the business parks. A mid-grade leveling kit should be fine. The Pro Comp 3″ Spacer Level/Lift Kit is a nice in-between kit that should suffice for all street driving and mild off-roading here and there.
FOURTH: If you are spending $6000 on a 5th Gen 4Runner lift kit… well have fun!!