5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kits & Leveling Kits

5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kits

Suspension Upgrades, Lift Kits, and Leveling Kits – Which solution is right for you?

Below is a compiled list of links to other lift kit pages on the site. This is not everything but we do try to update it often. If you see a link on the site that needs to be updated here, let us know.

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4Runner Lift Kits – What to Consider?

Lifted 5th gen 4Runner Overland Build

When it comes to a 4Runner, it only looks right with a lift or leveling kit. There are quite a few different options available. Deciding on a lift kit is a big decision because of the wide variety of offerings on the market. If you are new to lifting your 4Runner or lifting an SUV – this overview should help you understand the different types of lift kits and leveling kits.

Cost, Options & Intended Use

You can lift your 4Runner in a wide range of prices but in most cases, you get what you pay for. Lift kits and leveling kits range from $100 – 10K+. Although you can lift your 4Runner for around $100 – it might not give you the results you’re looking for. First, consider your intended use before shopping. Once you have determined your intended use, then set yourself a budget. Seeing how there are such a wide variety of options, narrowing down your budget and intended use will drastically reduce the number of options to choose from.

Wheels and Tires

One of the most important factors when lifting your 4Runner is wheels and tires. We get questions almost weekly on “What is the biggest tire size I can fit on my 4Runner” along with trimming areas in your wheel well. Please read those posts before asking that question, please.

If you have stock wheels/tires and looking to upgrade your suspension, you should probably look into getting a new set of tires to match your lift. If you are upgrading to a 2″ or 3″ lift kit and leave on your factory 265/70R17 tires, it’s going to look… silly. If you are upgrading to a 2″ or 3″ lift kit, you should consider upgrading to at least 275/70R17 tires. This will give you a well-balanced look. Some guys prefer to reach the 285/70R17 mark, however that does come with a fender liner push back and 285 trimming.

With a 1.5″ front leveling kit only, your 4Runner will look somewhat normal with factory tires, although I would still personally prefer at least 275/70R17 tires with a leveling kit. Depending on the kit, your tires may look pretty small with the added height, so this is something to consider.

Quick Overview: Types of Lift Kits

5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kit - KINGS

Pictured: @anbu.rnr with KING suspension 

Types of Lift Kits 

  1. Front Shim or Spacer
  2. Front & Rear Spacers
  3. Strut Lift (Coilovers + Rear Springs) – most common
  4. LT (long travel)
  5. 6″ Drop Bracket Lift Kits
  6. Body Lift
  7. SAS (straight axle swap)

#1 – Front Shim or Spacer (front only = leveling kit)

For the most basic options, you have front spacers and shim kits. These are small metal or plastic spacers that rest on top of your factory struts. These are cheap and often designed to level the front of your 4Runner only. This is what you want if you are looking to reduce driver side 4Runner lean, KDSS passenger side lean, or remove the factory rake. It’s important to note that a .5″ spacer offers 1″ of total ride height lift.

#2 – Front & Rear Spacers (front & rear = leveling lift kit)

Then you have front and rear spacer lift kits (front and rear spacers – metal or plastic). The only difference between these kits is that they come with both front and rear spacers. You are adding a spacer on top of your front struts and rear spring which will lift both the front and rear of your 4Runner. Most common is a 2″ front and 1″ rear (2″/1″) but you can go with 3″/2″ as well.

Rule of thumb for ride height: 1″ in the front is level (removes factory rake). So for example, if you want to lift 4Runner 1″ all the around around, you want to 1″ in the rear and 2″ in the front.

Leveling lift kits are great for people who want a lifted look without enhanced off-road functionality and the performance of an upgraded suspension system.

#3 – Strut Lift (Coilovers + Rear Springs) – Most Common

For the most common lift kit for 4Runners, you have a strut and spring lift. With these lift kits, you get new shocks and springs which are also known as struts or coilovers (coil over struts), upper control arms “UCAs”, rear springs, and rear shocks. The height of these kits ranges from 1″ in the front to 3.5″+. The actual ride height or “lift” portion of a coilover is adjusted by threads wrapped around the front shock body. You can adjust the 4Runners ride height in the front to your desired setting by turning a collar on the shock. The more you adjust this collar, the more it will compress the spring around the shock (adjusting the pre-load). The more pre-load you have – the higher your ride height. Keep in mind, the more preload you have, the stiffer the ride quality will be. To lift the rear of the 4Runner, you do that by a certain size rear spring.

#4 – Long Travel Suspension

The next level would be a little more involved. To start, you have your Long Travel Suspension which includes a wide variety of upgraded parts including long travel coilovers, extended upper control arms, extended lower control arms, extended CV axles, extended tie-rods, extended brake lines, and more. This usually gives you more shock travel up and down. LT provides usually between 3″ – 5″ of lift height but more important than the height is that you are gaining more shock travel.

#5 – Drop Bracket Lift Kits

These types of lifts are controversial.

For drop bracket lift kits, you cut out your front crossmember and weld in a new crossmember (drop bracket). Companies like FabTech & ProComp make these kits – most are around 6″ kits. They are supposed to keep the factory suspension geometry in place. The lower control arms, upper control arms, CV axles, and tie-rods are supposed to maintain close to the factory location while the bracket lifts the body of the 4Runner. The results are supposed to mimic close to factory ride quality all while allowing you to gain a lifted body appearance which also allows you to run larger tires. However, you sacrifice off-road performance in ground clearance as the new crossmember (provided bracket) will sit closer to the ground. The result is that you will end up bottoming out over obstacles quite often. Those bigger tires may get you over obstacles, but that lower crossmember will get you hung up.

#6 – Body Lift

Body lifts (usually 1″) 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.

#7 – SAS (straight axle swap)

Straight axle swaps are you when you remove your factory IFS (independent front suspension) and replace your front CV axles with one front straight axle. This requires many expensive modifications and can cost well into the $10K-$25K+ range. If you are looking to build an off-road powerhouse out of your 5th gen – look at a SAS project. With a SAS build your goals will have to aim for the Rubicon, Fordyce, and other pretty rugged rock crawling trails.

Real-World Options: What to Buy

4Runner Lift Kit (OME BP-51)

Pictured: OME BP-51 Lift Kit + 295/70R17 Cooper STT Pros

Shim Kit (driver lean or level front only)

  • Ekstrom Design Strut Shims (2005-2019 4Runner): Check Price
  • Street Dirt Track (2003-2020 4Runner): Check Price

TRD Pro Lift Kits

ProComp Leveling Kit

Bilstein Lift Kit

Eibach Lift Kit

Old Man Emu Suspension

Icon Stage 2 Suspension

These are the parts that make stage 2. If you buy all the parts separately, you will save almost $200 (depending on state tax) as opposed to buying from Icon directly. I wish I would have known this before we bought ours. We paid almost $3000 after tax buying directly. Parting these options together will get you closer to $2500, and yes these are all the correct part numbers regardless of what Amazon says.

Limited Edition XREAS front level

  • 1.5″ Spacer = Exactly Level: Check Price
  • 2.0″ Spacer = 1/8″ Higher than level in the front: Check Price

Top lift kit & leveling kits (non-adjustable):

  • Ekstrom Design shims: $20
  • Daystar leveling kit: $150
  • Rough County leveling kit: $200
  • Toytec leveling kit: $250
  • Pro Comp Nitro leveling kit: $350
  • Westcott Design Preload Collar Lift Kit (great for TRD Pro and more): $350
  • Dobinsons 3.5″ front 2″ rear: $1000

Top Non-Rebuildable & Adjustable with clip:

  • Bilstein 5100/5100: $400
  • Eibach Pro-Truck 2.75″ front 1″ rear: $779
  • Bilstein 5100/5100: $600
  • Bilstein 6112/5160: $1100
  • ARB/OME 3″ front 2″ rear: $1200
  • Falcon Tow Haul Kit: $1200
  • TRD PRO Bilstein Shocks w/ TRD-tuned Springs – $1500+

Top Rebuildable & Adjustable Threaded Shock Body

  • ARB/OME BP-51 0-3.5″: $3000+
  • Icon Stage 2 – 3.5″ front 2″ rear: $3000+
  • Elka 3.5″ front 2″ rear: $3000+
  • FOX 2.5 lift kit 3.5″ front 2″ rear: $3500+
  • KING 0-3.5″: $3500+

Long Travel

  • Dirt King Long Travel UCAs and LCAs: $3000+
  • Total Chaos Long Travel UCAs and LCAs: $3600+

All Brands

  • Daystar
  • Revtek
  • Readylift
  • Rough Country
  • Toytec
  • Procomp
  • Radflo
  • Bilstein
  • Old Man Emu (OME)
  • Falcon
  • Fox
  • Icon
  • KING
  • Dirt King (Long Travel)
  • Total Chaos (Long Travel)

Leveling Kit Vs. Lift Kit – Explained

Lifted White TRD Off-Road with Massive Negative Offset Wheels (Blue)

Pictured: @mtn_4r KING Suspension

Below we are going to look at the lift and leveling option as well as suspension options.

#1 – Leveling Kit – Pro Comp Level Kit – $350

Pro Comp Level Kit - 5th Gen 4Runner

A leveling kit is typically done through a set of spacers on top of your factory struts and springs. Spacers are made of metal, rubber, or a wide variety of other materials. Spacer kits offer a good introductory solution to getting your truck off the ground. Spacers come with benefits and downsides.

The reason why most owners install a leveling kit (front only) or a leveling-lift kit (front and rear) is cost. Spacer kits are cheap. With an average range of $100-$300, spacers offer an affordable solution to lifting your truck. Some owners might also install a leveling kit because that might be all they need.

With a leveling kit, you are not going to see an increase in on-road or off-road performance. If you buy a leveling kit, do not expect your 4Runner to handle any better (body roll, nose dive, etc.). This might actually get worse with a spacer kit. With the addition of a spacer kit, you may experience a more floaty feel, more body roll, and even more nose dive than stock. But, this all depends on what leveling kit you buy. Not all leveling kits are made the same.

For the most part, leveling kits and leveling-lift kits serve as an affordable alternative to a suspension lift but lack the important functionality of a true suspension (coilovers, rear springs, rear shocks, and UCAs).

#2 – Suspension – Icon Stage 2 Suspension Kit – $3000

A complete suspension upgrade is going to offer better on-road and off-road performance.

Coilovers (Front Shocks)

Icon Extended Travel Coilover Kit - 5th Gen 4Runner

In the picture above, you see a set of coilovers (coil spring over shock). These specific coilovers are adjustable which means you can adjust your ride height in the front. This is also known as preload (adjusting the height on your coilovers). In this case with the Icons, we can adjust our preload from 0-3.5″ and even higher but above 3.5″ is not recommended. Too much preload can make for a very stiff/bouncy/uncomfortable ride.

Aftermarket coilover suspension systems are designed to perform better than factory struts and springs for use on and off-road, although there is a fine line between the two. With an aftermarket suspension, you want to find a happy medium of increased on-road comfort (less nose dive, less body roll, etc.) while also offering better off-road performance (looser, more flex ride).

Shock manufacturers tune shocks differently. Shock tuning can be progressive, digressive, or liner. If you want to learn more about shock tuning, camping, and valving – see this video for an explanation between those three.

Digressive shocks are bad at small bumps and large bumps, but good at handling and g-outs (wash outs). Progressive shocks are good at small bumps and big hits, but bad at handling and g-outs. Linear shocks provide the best all around performance. – AccutuneOffroad.com

Icons, for example, are digressive – that means they will be a bit more stiff on road. The OME BP-51, for example, is an internal bypass shock which is typically designed to be a progressively tuned shock – that will offer a more comfortable ride quality on-road. The Bilstein line of shocks is also progressive.. a very comfortable ride quality on road with great performance offroad. There is nothing wrong with Icons, they are just a stiff shock on-road.

For the everyday driver with occasional off-road use, I would recommend the well rounded and affordable Bilstein 6112/5160. If you’re an everyday driver looking for a threaded shock body for max adjustability the OME BP-51 Suspension is a great option.

Upper Control Arms (UCAs)

Delta Joint Retrofit on Icon Tubular Upper Control Arms

Then you have upper control arms (UCAs).

UCAs are a part that connects your suspension system to the frame. This articulating part manages the up and down range of motion that your wheels go through. Depending on the height/ preload on your coilovers, you may need UCAs.

With a height of 3″ on your front coilovers, most companies recommend aftermarket UCAs. Aftermarket UCAs combined with larger shocks usually allow you to reach that happy medium 2° to 4° of caster or returning close to factory alignment.

If you are running 2″ of lift in the front, lots of guys still run aftermarket upper control arms in order to dial in their caster. SPC and JBA are both popular affordable options when it comes to aftermarket upper control arms.

Rear Springs 

Icon 4Runner Rear Spring Kit - 5th Gen 4Runner

In the back, you have rear springs. Springs handle your actual lift and can range in levels of load rate capacity. You have multi-rate springs, progressive-rate, dual-rate springs, and linear-rate springs. Each of these springs has their place in different suspension systems. Depending on the type of system you are going for will depend on the type of spring you will want.

Buying Rear Springs

Check Dobinsons PDF for fitment on rear springs

In the rear springs section, you will see KG (kilograms). Just convert these Lbs to understand how much weight that spring can support (100KG = 220lbs). Dobinsons is a great resource for rear springs. OME also makes great springs; their most common is the 889 (medium) and 898 (heavy).

If you are planning on an aftermarket rear bumper (200lbs) rear drawer system plus a fridge (300lbs), then you want a spring that is designed to support that much weight. You are not just looking at the lift height of the springs but the weight rating as well. You first want to decide whether you want 2″ or 3″ of lift in the back, then decide how much weight you need to support. If you know you are going to add 600lbs to the back of your 4Runner, get a spring rated to support 600lbs or in most cases – a “heavy” spring.

Rear Shocks

Old Man Emu Rear Shocks 5th Gen 4Runner (BP-51)

Rear shocks are simple, they range in travel (how long is the shock) depending on the ride height of your rear springs. Larger shocks allow for more travel (longer up and down range of motion). Shocks can come with remote reservoirs that have more oil. More reservoirs = more oil = more heat dissipation. The more heat dissipation you have, the harder and longer you can push your shocks. Think about a Baja trophy truck racing through the desert, you want large reservoirs to support that amount of abuse on the shocks.

Factory 4Runner Suspensions

Highway Tires on 4Runner

  • SR5 Stock or Shocks and Springs: You have a coil-spring, independent double-wishbone (upper and lower control arms) front suspension with a stabilizer bar in the front. For the rear, you have a coil-spring 4 link with lateral rod rear suspension with a stabilizer bar in the rear. (Comes on most SR5s) – Check out our post on the strut spacer leveling kit install for the SR5 for more information.
  • 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: 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 Off-Road models).
    • Note: KDSS will limit your travel due to the KDSS specific sway bar. If you intend on going past 6″ of lift or want to run a long-travel suspension, KDSS may give you extra challenges.

What’s for you?

Bilstein 6112/5160 4Runner Lift Kit

Pictured: Bilstein 6112/5160 4Runner Lift Kit

Deciding which of these is for you will depend on how you drive.

If your 4Runner is a street princess or you are going for appearance only, you might want to buy a basic leveling kit. But a leveling kit might also make your on-road driving a bit more floaty than stock. A leveling kit is just a means to an end. Leveling kits typically do not solve common issues like body roll and nose dive that are commonly experienced with our factory suspension.

If you plan for mild terrain, you may want to look at a mid-level suspension kit with adjustable clip coilovers as this will have the most flexibility off-road. This would be the Bilstein 6112 front coils and a 5100 or 5160 (remote reservoir) rear shock. You would also need a rear spring like a Dobinsons, Ico or OME spring.

If you plan to explore aggressive terrain, you might want to look into a fully adjustable threaded suspension like ICON, KING, Fox, or Radflo. These suspensions will offer the most up and down travel all while being rebuildable when that day comes. Taking it all the way with long travel would get you Total Chaos or Dirt King.

Conclusion

OME (Old Man Emu) BP51 Suspension Lift Kit

Understand your components

If you have an SR5, the options are almost endless and going to much different than if you have X-REAS. Alternatively, if you have KDSS on your Trail Edition Premium (TEP) or TRD Off-Road Premium (ORP), your options are going to be similar compared to the SR5.

Keep in mind, KDSS does have a hydraulic stabilizer bar front and rear that prevents you from going too high. We have hit 4.5″ of lift in the front with KDSS and have had no problems. So unless you want to go with a long-travel suspension, you should be fine with KDSS under around 4.5″. KDSS does make working on your suspension a little more challenging which is also important to note. If you want to utilize the most shock and suspension travel from an off-road perspective, look at an SR5 or a 4Runner without KDSS. If you want to ultimate in ride quality, then KDSS is your best bet.

Most websites and manufacturers do a good job of categorizing their products so you will know for sure whether that kit is made for NON-KDSS or KDSS equipped 4Runners.

You can always rip off your X-REAS or KDSS suspension (stabilizer sway bars and hydraulic lines) if you want to go higher, but do your research before you go pulling parts off.

Research Companies

If you need a solid company that you can call anytime, call Metal Tech 4×4. They are super cool, incredibly helpful and always around to answer any of your questions. Whether you are just getting started or looking to upgrade your current system, they make it all pretty simple and easy.

Research Parts & Prices

If you purchase a $3000 suspension and plan on doing it yourself, you should plan on having the right tools for the job.

If you are looking at spending $300 on a leveling kit, you may want to increase that dollar amount and just buy a Bilstein 6112/5100 kit. A full suspension is typically under $1000 and will work for many owners out there. Read that article. Lots of details in there.

Determine Your Budget

You don’t need a $2000 lift kit if you intend on rolling around your local mall. Sometimes guys overspend thinking they “need” extended travel lift kits like FOX, ICON, or KING. If you are going to do mostly forest service roads, a $1000 Bilstein kit with nice UCAs should get the job done.

If you are spending $6000 on an Icon stage 7 or big money on a Long Travel (LT) system… have fun!!

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Rome
Rome
2 years ago

Great article! I own a 2010 T4R Limited. Last year I finally replaced my XREAS with the FJ Bilstein TRD Pro kit #PTR13-35140 (includes the purty red 600lb 14”x3” coils). I’m happy with the how the runner handles, I got about 1” upfront reducing some of the nose dive and I was able to fit 285 KO2s! Now I’m interested in more clearance for my occasional offroad trails. In my research, I found that the FJ kit’s spring perch sits 1” lower than a T4R. With that said, what would you suggest if I wanted to get another 2” lift upfront and 1” in the rear? And would this height require aftermarket UCAs? Thanks in advance!

Charlie
Charlie
2 years ago

Will a suspension kit fix the rake issue, or will I need a level kit as well?

andy crisconi
andy crisconi
2 years ago

Thank you! This is a great article, but I’m still confused about the best option for me. I have a 2019 4Runner TRD Off-Road with stock suspension. I am looking to upgrade the suspension to improve the on and off road handing, nose dive… I am off-road probably 40% of the time on our rocky Colorado trails. I do not necessarily need a lift, but ok if the upgrade adds a bit of lift. I am open to your suggestions on what would be best.

Thanks,

Andy

Max Sheehan
Editor
Rambler
2 years ago
Reply to  andy crisconi

Andy // It all comes down to budget and how much you want to spend short term / long term. A basic kit such as an Old Man Emu Nitro lift kit is simple, cheaper and effective. It will help level the front, and reduce dreaded nose dive. If you want to upgrade performance, the King Shocks OEM Performance kit will work from stock height to 2.5″ without a problem. The shocks will be rebuildable and will perform much better off-road, but for a price… The route I took was to drive the heck out of the stock suspension, and when it needed to be replaced, determine which shock upgrade best suits your actual driving style! // Max

Andy
Andy
2 years ago
Reply to  Max Sheehan

Thanks Max. The sound advice is much appreciated.

Neal
Neal
2 years ago

I have a ’17 TRD Pro and am looking to get rid of a little front rake but not necessarily being completely level. I don’t want to risk being too nose up if I’m towing anything or have a loaded down back-end. What size/product would you recommend? 1″ level on the front?

Max Sheehan
Editor
Rambler
2 years ago
Reply to  Neal

Spacers, or levelers on the front can work if all you want is to change the height of the vehicle and add/change nothing about the performance. They’re cheap and effective, just be sure to add a spacer to your stock bump stops or upgrade to a Durobump bump stop to keep your stock shock undamaged in the event of a full compression cycle.

David Payne
David Payne
2 years ago

I have a 2019 TRD Pro 4 Runner was wondering if the make a leaving kit for the front since they change the shocks to Fox?

Jeff
Jeff
2 years ago

Hi Brenan.
I’ve read your posts many times, solicited opinions from groups and forums and watched hundreds of videos. Unfortunately, I’m still clueless about what I should do. I have a 2018 TRD OR with KDSS. It’s my daily driver and I love how it handles on road. However, I also want to hit the trails, get
wet and muddy and be able to climb an occasional rock pile or two. I figure lift/suspension and tires first and then maybe a lo pro winch bumper, skids and sliders as time and $$$ allows. Can you suggest the best lift /suspension for all of the above under $2k that will also retain or improve the on road experience I get now? Thanks for your time and for sharing your knowledge.

Charlie Nguyen
Charlie Nguyen
2 years ago

What tire size did you end up moving forward with on this lift? I’m considering on fitting closer to 34″ tires on my rig, something in between 285/75/17 or 305/70/17s. If I can go a tad bit bigger than 34s than that would be awesome! I know I’ll be looking on BMC and diff drop. Any suggestions?

Jake Haire
Jake Haire
2 years ago

I Have a 2018 4Runner SR5 and all I’m looking for is either a 1.5″-2.5″ Leveling Kit or a 2″-3″ Lift. I’m not too sure what to get as I’m fairly new to all of this. I’m not much of an offroader either, mainly just for looks. I’ve been looking around at some Fox parts along with Daystar but I honestly have no idea what I’m looking for and could really use some guidance for what I all need. Any suggestions?

Jake Haire
Jake Haire
2 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

I looked through the Bilstein article and I think I might settle on th 5100 considering that the Spacers might effect the ride quality. My local shop has a deal on a set of Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP Shocks I was wondering if those would work along with the Icon springs?

Jake Haire
Jake Haire
2 years ago

I Have a 2018 4Runner SR5 and all I’m looking for is either a 1.5″-2.5″ Leveling Kit or a 2″-3″ Lift. I’m not too sure what to get as I’m fairly new to all of this. I’m not much of an offroader either, mainly just for looks. I’ve been looking around at some Fox parts along with Daystar but I honestly have no idea what I’m looking for. Any suggestions?

Ben Slade
Ben Slade
1 year ago
Reply to  Jake Haire

Hey Jake, I am looking at getting a 2020 sr5 and was wondering what you ended up going with? Also did you get bigger tires? Thanks Ben

Doug Pierce
Doug Pierce
2 years ago

Do you know how much the 2″ in front and 1″ in rear raise the total unit? My tires/wheels are in and I need to make a decision on this but parking in a garage and hope to be able to add the ARB flat alloy rack as well. Just trying to get measurements down and couldn’t find it.

Doug
Doug
2 years ago

Thanks …I was leaning just 2″ in the front but now reconsidering.

Doug
Doug
2 years ago

For an everyday driver that will be on more soft terrain (forrest roads, etc.) vs true ‘offloading’, would you recommend 2″ level or 3″ lift (2 up front 1 in rear)?

I want to improve my 4Runner, but being an everyday driver I’m just not sure how big to go. Clearly, the 3″ looks much better IMO.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

What would you recomend for aftermarket suspension that offer no lift to lift and can withstand winter weather conditions. I’ve heard winter weather can be rough on aftermarket coil overs.

Kaela
Kaela
2 years ago

Hey there!
I have a 2017 4runner SR5 and just recently got the Revtek 432 3″ front/2.5″ Rear Suspension lift with the rear shocks included. I’ll be installing with a buddy of mine that has done one before, but I have not. Any tips or tricks that you recommend for me?? thanks so much, this site has been awesome for me as i am new in the 4runner world!!

Casey Chhetri
Casey Chhetri
2 years ago

Hi Brenan,
First of all, thanks for sharing the knowledge and creating this very informative site for 4Runner enthusiasts. I am considering a Pro Comp/leveling kit and wondering if new 2″ long studs are needed in the rear or just factory will work. If 2″ longer studs are needed (?) and can I combine factory (front) and Bilstein 5100 in the rears. If the lift is 3/2″ front/back what size tires can I run into TRD SEMA wheels?
Thank you.
Casey

Casey
Casey
2 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

If I elect to go with 285 size tire, does the trimming involves plastics only or metals too?

Casey
Casey
2 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Thanks Brenan,
But if it does not hurt the vehicle, can I still install +2” rear shocks (Bilstein 5100), and keep the original (factory ‘s setting) for front? or is there any benefit of doing this?

larry s broad
larry s broad
2 years ago

all i can say is bilstein do it rite the first time. don’t do like i did with spacers all that other crap the bilstein 5100 set up is perfect for me anyway mostly street. but i can still hang with the big boys.

Sean
Sean
2 years ago

I really like this blog with actual information.

I own a 2018 4Runner limited. I’m looking for a good strut spacer kit so I can fit a slightly larger tire. What spacer kit do you recommend?

Thanks,

Sean

James
James
2 years ago

Awesome! Thanks again for the help Brenan.

James
James
2 years ago

Brenan, I could really use your help. I recently bought a 2018 4Runner SR5 that the dealership already installed a Rough Country 3 in. lift, 295/55/R20 Toyo RTs and 20×9 Fuel Renegade rims. I unfortunately did not test drive it well enough because by the end of my first week of ownership I discovered the short comings of this setup…on-road comfort! My rig is very uncomfortable to drive on my city’s streets, surrounding highways and certain parts of the nearby interstate. I get a lot of steering feedback, bad roads feel even worse and most times it feels like my 4Runner is driving itself and I am just there fighting it, making sure the road patches, dished out lanes and potholes don’t throw me off the road or into the other lane. So what I am needing help identifying is what upgrades could be done to my existing setup to drastically improve my on-road comfort? I am still doing research on everything but there’s a lot of options so I am hoping you can help narrow down what would be best. I am willing to spend some money to get it right but nothing to crazy. It will be a pavement princess 99% of the time so on-road comfort, stability and ride quality are the priorities, Thank you.

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Brenan,

I appreciate your response and help on this. I will check out everything and make a decision. My Rough Country kit did come with rear shocks, so I might keep those, like you suggested, to keep costs down. What are your thoughts on upgrading UCA’s? Waste of money or useful for my situation?

James
James
2 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Okay, it’ll probably come down to how much I’m willing to spend at this point. I may see what happens when I upgrade to the 6112/2” spring in back combo and if I think I need them, then add them later on. If I have more questions, what’s the best way to continue this conversation? Instagram DM? I have several more so I don’t want to crowd out the comments section with them all. Thanks again for the help.

larry s broad
larry s broad
2 years ago

hey brenan well went to ojai and ventura had a great time went wheeling at the devils gulch and the locker made a huge difference i was awesome. also went to the swimming hole in matillaha canyon took me back to when i was a kid growing up down there. you need to go down one day i will send you directions of you want. talk to you later larry b

Ron
Ron
2 years ago

Brenan, I’m going to purchase a ’19 TRD Off-Road Premium then adding an ICON Stage 2 kit, should I be getting one with or without the KDSS option?

Ron
Ron
2 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Brenan, thanks so much for taking the time to reply

francisco
francisco
3 years ago

I was at the dealer and he told me I had to remove K.D.S.S. first.

Francisco Valenzuela
Francisco Valenzuela
3 years ago

If i have K.D.S.S. . Is it true that I cannot upgrade to, for example Bilstein shocks, and keep the K.D.S.S. system? I like the K.D.S.S. but i would like to reduce some of the nose dive and gain about 1 inch.

Is there a another option for me?
thanks

Gabe
Gabe
3 years ago

Cool. Thanks. I have a 3” lift and putting 33’s on this week. I don’t think I’ll have to trim as much as with your 34’s but I’m certain I’ll have to move the liner and possibly trim the front bumper. Great website!

Gabe
Gabe
3 years ago

Thanks. Do you have any videos of trimming the front bumper/wheel wells for bigger tires? Having trouble finding this information.

larry s broad
larry s broad
3 years ago

hey brenan i finally found a e locker going to install it this week end wasn’t cheep but i think it is worth it. i will find out when i go to so cal in a couple weeks.

Brian E
Brian E
3 years ago

Hey Brenan – love your website, packed full of great information! About to pull the trigger on a Bilstein 6112/5160 lift kit and am wondering if I should also throw in aftermarket UCA’s while I’m at it? My 2015 Trail w/out KDSS is a DD and 99% street princess so I’m wondering if new UCA’s would make any difference on-road? I noticed you kept your stock UCA’s on your Bilstein install post and was curious why?

Nathan Daniel Creach
Nathan Daniel Creach
3 years ago

Brenan,
You said in an earlier post that the “nose dive” was an issue. I wanted to get some perspective and had a few questions about that.
Is the “nose dive” caused by the factory rake ( lower in the front, higher in the back) ?
And is the factory rake there by design for towing and handling or is it more of an engineering over sight?
The reason I ask is I’ve been wanting to lift my truck 3 inches and increase tire size but Ive never been sold on the “leveling” for several reasons.
One, I like the look of a rake way better..it looks more aggressive to me T
Two, it seems to me that the designers and engineers of the 4runner designed the rake for a purpose. Again I could be totally wrong. All that to be said.
If you wanted to lift it in the front 3inches and lift in the back say 2.75 and keep some and not all of the factory rake how would you do it?? What are my midlevel pricing options. Not interested in spacer lift at all!

Mike K.
Mike K.
3 years ago

I just bought 18′ SR5 and see someone in my town selling a stock 17′ TRD PRO suspension with Toytec 2″ spacer lift and the UCA’s. I am looking for a raised look and want to throw on some 275/70/17 to the truck. How much of an “upgrade” will the TRD PRO suspension be from my stock SR5 suspension?

Larry steven Broad
Larry steven Broad
3 years ago

brenan i got my swag thanks so much already put some on my 4runner i really like the r 4 ones look cool on my rear window again thanks larry b

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

I’ve seen a few references to installing lift kit with KDSS but am still a little fuzzy on the answer. I have a 2015 trail premium with KDSS and have purchased a 1″ to 1.5″ lift kit with differential drop spacer bolts. Just trying to raise the front a little. Would like to know if there are issues I am getting into, aside from alignment.

Cole Gabrian
Cole Gabrian
3 years ago

Hello there, love the website and valuable information, as I am a new 4runner owner. I have the TRD off road with KDSS and was just curious if you could recommend a leveling spacer kit that would get me about 3 inches in the front and a 1 1/2 in the rear? I could be wrong, but seems like most spacer kits say they don’t work with KDSS.

larrybroad47
drifter
larrybroad47
3 years ago

5100 2.3 series did not want to go any higher because it wears out all your suspension parts very fast. But I also replaced all my suspension parts at the same time. Sold all the 3″ parts on craigslist for not much less then I paid for them, I got lucky.

larrybroad47
drifter
larrybroad47
3 years ago

also you do not want to go more than 2″ on your lift it will wear out all your suspension parts prematurely like half shaft ball joints bearings sway bar links just everything in general. and when you do replace your struts and shocks it a good idea to replace your sway bar end links or at least the rubber donuts on them and the lower ball joints and don’t get cheap aftermarket part get toyota part only that way you won’t have to replace them again trust me i made that mistake and had to replace all the work i did because the aftermarket part failed just after 2500 miles i was pissed. i learned the hard way i get all my parts from camelback toyota in arizona they are quite reasonable maybe 15 percent more than the cheap parts. best of luck larry b

Mel1725
Mel1725
3 years ago
Reply to  larrybroad47

Hi larrybroad47,

I got my 2018 Off Road Premium from Camelback Toyota also! I’m just curious what setup you’re running since I’m looking for a 2.5-3’ lift on mine. Did you change your setup after those issues you had with the suspension parts wearing out?

larrybroad47
drifter
larrybroad47
3 years ago

i have a 3erd gen 4runner and i got over size bilstein shocks and struts that gave me a inch and a half lift without any spacers and my truck is perfectly level and it drives great and has tons of travel when i go off road. larry b

larrybroad47
drifter
larrybroad47
3 years ago

wow i have a lot to learn!!

Max
Max
3 years ago

Hey Brenan, thank you for this awesome website. For my needs i will simply want a 1.5″ front leveling kit for a 2017 SR5 4×4. However my local shop (which has a good reputation) advised me against it stating that those spacers (no matter which brand) will create a lot of vibrations up to 65-75mph. both on 4runners and Tacoma. Have you heard or experienced anything similar? Thank you so much again!!!

Garrett
Garrett
3 years ago

I’m about to lift my 2018 4runner TRD Off Road Premium and put on 285/70/17 tires. How do you go about re-calibrating the speedometer for the change in tire size so that my speed is accurate? Is this something that my shop should do when they install? I have also read places that the re-calibration is not needed and that the 5th gens cannot be re-calibrated. Does anybody have any info on this when they changed to larger tires?

Todd
Todd
3 years ago

Ive been adding mods to my 2015 4rnr TRD Pro…3” readylift level adding 285/70/17…but with the pelfrybilt front bumper and CBI full swing gate rear bumper, gobi stealth rack…winches lights beer chest, recovery gear,….you get the picture, my weight is getting up there and loaded actually sitting low a tad in the rear. My question is where do I gain this back? Upgrade the rear coils (icon overland?) or coilovers? I was trying to stay away from messing with the stock TRD PRO suspension. Any more weight RTT? And I might have to….sorry fort the long post, your thoughts?

Todd
Todd
3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Thank you Brennan! That’s what I needed to to hear! I’ll try to post soon. Now I just need to find a reputable local to put this stuff on! Lol

Jeff B
Jeff B
3 years ago

What suspension mods and tire size are you running in the picture at the top of this page? Are you also running spacers?

John
John
3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Brenan this site is incredible. I just picked up my 18 ORP and am now getting ready to get it up to speed with the FJ I traded in.
Did you have to do any body work on the pic above to stop rubbing?
I love that look.

Jeff
Jeff
3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

It looks great.

Nick
Nick
3 years ago

I picked up a 2018 TRD Offroad ~2 months ago and negotiated to have the TRD Pro Suspension (PTR13-89160) installed ‘at port’ as a dealer option prior to picking up the vehicle for 1700$ Installed. Tough to be that price.

Mark
Mark
3 years ago

I have Bilstein 5100 ready to install on my 2016 sr5 and plan on the 2.5 lift in front. Original idea to put 1.5 spacer in back for the level. Since most 1.5 rear springs seem to really be more like a 2 inch lift, I just figured on the spacer to get level. This will be mostly daily driver with some very light off road. I just noticed the Dobinsons 1 inch spring which claims to be more like a 1.25 – 1.5 rear lift. Do you think that would be a better way to go?

Ivan Cruz
Ivan Cruz
3 years ago

Have a 2016 trail 4Runner. Wondering if the rough country lift will work with this model. The website says if you have the X-REAS it will not. And tried to call and they don’t even know. So if anyone has used that lift for any trails please let me know.

Travis
Travis
3 years ago

Bilstein 5100’s all the way around with factory springs (for now). Trying to decide on settings for the front. Ive looked at photos, but nothing in person. Either 0.85″ or 1.75″ in the front and no spacers, or would you do 1.75″ in the front and a spacer? Offroad shop said 1.75″ no spacer. Sticking with 265 70 17 tires. Probably a nitto G2.

Max
Max
3 years ago
Reply to  Travis

Hey I’m looking to do the same shocks but only in the front to avoid spacers. Leave the rear the way it is. Also stock size tires. What settings did you you decide eventually? Can you post any pics? Thank you

Gage
Gage
3 years ago

Brenan,
2018 SR5 Premium here. Looking for the best suspension kit that has the most value. I live by the rule of buy nice or buy twice. 1st goal is to achieve 3″ of lift and outfit my rig with 285 Nitto Trail Grapplers. 2nd Goal is to have a plush highway ride that also can handle MOST of what I throw at it offroad. I would classify myself as a noob when it comes to off-roading, but as my skill level progresses, I want my 4runner to be able to handle well. After doing much research, I’ve been leaning towards an Icon Stage 2 kit, but I also have been holding out on pressing the buy button as part of me wants resi’s. Any suggestions? I also may add that King has been catching my attention…

Gage
Gage
3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Thanks so much man! Have any suggestions on where to buy the kit from??

Brian
Brian
3 years ago

Brenan,
2017 LTD 4wd here, 80% of highway and 20% city drivings and I am planning to hit on some trails on weekends and I also plan to do some mild off-roading(gravel, sands) in the future.
What suspension lift kit would you recommend? The reason why I don’t want leveling kit is that I am a firm believer of you get what you pay for and according to guys who have used spacers, then replaced them with the suspension lifts on their 4runners and Tacomas, they only enhance the appearance of the truck and serve no true uses, so I decided to “do things right the first time.” So I don’t need to invest in more advanced parts later.
So far I have found OME,Toytec,Icon stage 2 and Dobisons to be quite popular on the market for my needs. What do you think?

Kale
Kale
3 years ago

So I just bought a 2018 4runner TRD Off-road Premium in Super White. I know you have lift options posted on here (the pro comp I believe) but, if I’m reading it correctly, when I go to the product, it says it either doesn’t fit my 18 or that they don’t make it anymore. I have found couple of other ones out there which leads to my second question. If I do a leveling kit, they have options with or without replacing the inner shocks. What is your advice on that? Should I get just the spacers for a couple hundred or should I do the combo? If so, do you have any recommendations on either one for my 18? Also, I don’t have KDSS. This would be my very first mod as ive only had it for about 2 weeks. Figured this was a good place to start. If not, where would you start?

Nicholas Sorrentino
Nicholas Sorrentino
3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

I have a 2018 as well, I think its just that some of the companys have not updated their info for 2018 models, so they’re just not in the system yet. If you look for 2017 parts you might have more success

Shaf
Shaf
3 years ago

I have a 2017 SR5 base and i am interested in putting the complete TRD Pro suspension system pictured on this page: https://trail4runner.com/trd-5th-gen-4runner-lift-kits-suspension/. I have gone to various links that sell the TRD suspension but I am not sure if it is all I need. The article on that page also references other parts that make up the complete TRD suspension system. Can you please direct me to the exact TRD Pro suspension system I need for my 2017 SR5? I want to to make sure I am getting it all and the proper parts. Thanks.

Shaf
Shaf
3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Thank you for the info.

Brian
Brian
3 years ago
Reply to  Shaf

I went through the same decision on mine and ended up with the ICON. My buddy was the trd pro with the bilistiens. Could be me making it up in m6 head but my stage 2 ICON feels better and I can upgrade it when freed up $$ allows or I ge5 more and more into this….

Kayla
Kayla
3 years ago

I have a 2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited. I have been looking for a leveling kit to fit mine. I have been have trouble because they are saying that it would make my tire sensors would go off.. or be faulty and cause issues. Do you have any suggestions? Or know if a leveling kit?

Jason Ocker
Jason Ocker
2 years ago
Reply to  Kayla

I have a 5th gen limited that I had lifted 3 inch front, 2 in the back, with revtek spacers, no sensor issues. However it steers like crap, didn’t know alignment would become an issue. Apparently if you only do 2 inch up front alignment can still be properly set.

David
David
3 years ago

So on the OME website, it doesn’t offer lift kits available for 5th Gen 4runners. Could someone help me find a lift kit by them for a 2011 5th gen 4runner trail?

JESUS QUINONES
JESUS QUINONES
1 year ago
Reply to  David

If it hasn’t been posted before, the OME site does not have 4R kits for 5th gen, you have to go to the ARB USA site.

https://arbusa.com/toyota-4runner-2010-on/old-man-emu-4×4-suspension/

scroll down to see the kits and part numbers, then do a search with those.

Oscar Mendoza
Oscar Mendoza
3 years ago
Reply to  David

Hello
First off I would like to thank you for this great information! It just doesn’t get better than this.
My question is, how do you prevent rake on suspension systems and are hard springs recommended only when there is significant weight from winches and bumpers?

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