Leveling Kits & Spacer Kits

 In 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install, Off-Road

5th Gen 4Runner Leveling Kits & Spacer Lift Kits

5th Gen 4Runner Pro Comp Spacer Leveling Kit - After

Pro Comp Vs. Toytec and Options for Leveling Kits on the 5th Gen

If you want to level your 4Runner without spending an arm and a leg, consider a leveling kit. If you are looking to remove that raked look (front-end slant/ pointed down), without spending close to $1000 on a decent suspension lift, then a leveling kit might be a good option.

Before looking into a leveling kit, it is a good idea to understand to types of leveling kit options out there, how much they cost and then weigh the pros and cons of a leveling kit vs. a suspension kit.

Types of leveling kits

For the 4Runner, you have two different types of leveling kits.

#1 – FRONT Strut Extensions

Secure Strut Spacer to Front 4Runner Strut

These extensions (spacers) sit on top of your coilover (front struts). With a spacer on top of your factory coilover struts, you can add anywhere from 1″ of height up to 3″ of height. This is standard on most spacer kits for the 5th Gen.

At 3″ of height, you may want to look into a differential drop kit (diff drop) as this may help the alignment of your CV axle, put less stress on your CV boots and hopefully protect your CV joints. Some leveling kits come with a diff drop.

Once you get to 3.5″ and higher, you should probably upgrade your UCAs (upper control arms) but very few leveling kits, if any will reach heights of 3.5″.

#2 – REAR Coil Spacers

Rear Coil Spring Spacer Assembly - 4Runner 5th Gen

This is just like strut extensions, except the spacer in the rear is placed on top of your spring. On top of your rear spring, you have a spring seat. Most coil spring spacers will sit directly on top of this coil spring seat.

The benefit of a rear coil spacer is that you can keep the OEM quality ride while giving the 4Runner a better overall stance and slight clearance when needed. This is what most spacer kit suppliers say, but that is heavily debated.

Leveling Kit Options

  • Leveling Kit (1.5″ front): (Check Price)
  • Spacer Leveling Lift Kit (3″ front/ 2″ rear): ProComp – Check Price

Leveling Kit Options for Limited

What we purchased and Why (ProComp)

Pro Comp Level Kit - 5th Gen 4Runner

We looked at many leveling kits out there for our second 4Runner (no off-road) and decided that the Pro Comp Nitro kit was the best option. At less than $400, the Pro Comp kit was everything that my girl wanted for her set-up. We wanted a lift without spending a bunch of money on coilovers, UCAs, and springs. This kit was the best option because it came with everything packed in one box; front and rear spacers as well as the differential drop.

We explored many other options in the suspension department and leveling kits. Seeing how this 4Runner will see very little off-road (maybe, the occasional easy tag-along adventure), we didn’t need anything robust or overpriced for this application.

We wanted to spend money on a suspension system, just because. But we also could not justify spending over $1000 or close to on a decent suspension system. If I was going to buy a suspension (coilovers, rear springs, and UCAs), I would like to do it right and buy Icon, KING, Fox, OME or a Toytec Boss. These systems are all rather pricey.

Pro Comp Suspension 65210K Level Lift

They call it a “suspension” leveling kit but to be a real suspension kit, you would need to swap in new coilovers, UCAs, and rear springs. With this kit, it will work for you as advertised and the install is fairly simple. It will give you 3″ of lift in the front and 2″ in the rear.

By adding this kit, you can now add 33″ tires, but smaller 33″ tires. I would not plan on adding large 33″ tires with this spacer kit. By smaller 33″ tires, we are looking at 285/70R17s (32.7″) and not 285/75R17s (33.8″). Basically, the kit will allow bigger than the stock 265/70R17s (31.6″) with more than enough room to prevent severe rubbing on anything around 32.5″. With anything closer to 33″, you will run the risk of trimming your fender liners, having your body mounts chopped (BMC) along with other areas.

This is one of the largest leveling kits out there for the 4Runner. Any larger than this and you should consider a suspension system.

Toytec, Daystar, Revtec and other Spacer Kits

The combination of the Toytec 2.5″ leveling kit in the front and the Daystar 1.5″ lift in the rear is a common leveling kit. This is the combination that the dealership uses to level out 4Runners on the lot. This is the leveling kit that we came how with from the lot off the showroom floor. If you want to go with something comfortable, affordable and easy to install, these spacers are a good option.

With all of the leveling kits out there being so similar, it may be hard to choose one. Just use your best judgment and buy a leveling kit that makes sense for your daily driving and Off-Road needs.

Ride Quality with Spacer Kits

In the 5th gen world, it is important to understand that everyone has a different application so take everything you read, see or hear with a grain of salt. You have SR5s with stock shocks and springs, Trails and Off-Road with KDSS and Limited Editions with XREAS. Each of these is going to feel different with a spacer kit.

Our experience has been with an SR5 and a Trail Edition with KDSS. I will break them down.

Leveling Kit Ride quality on SR5

Was ride quality sacrificed with the ProComp kit on the SR5? Yeah, maybe a little.

On the stock SR5, you may feel body roll, nose dive, slight steering wheel shake when braking, and bad cornering (again, body roll). This is all normal with the 4Runner.

After installing the ProComp kit on the 4Runner, I noticed the body roll more. I felt the body roll when I backed out of the driveway more. As each wheel drops the curb, you can fell a slight sway from left to right. I also noticed more roll when cornering one-lane winding roads. Braking and nose dive stayed consistent as before, so nothing major here.

Keep in mind, my daily driver is the Trail Edition with KDSS, not the SR5. My daily experience is much stiffer so going from a 4Runner with KDSS to Non-KDSS is a big difference.

The kicker: My girl didn’t notice a difference one way or another after the spacer kit was installed.

If you have an SR5 and you are looking to install a spacer kit, just know that more roll may be possible. Or, you may not even notice a difference at all.

An upgraded suspension is the only real way to have increased on-road stiffness as well as off-road flex.

Leveling Kit Ride quality with KDSS

My experience was off the lot with a leveling kit on 2014 Trail with KDSS. On the test drive, I noticed a difference from the SR5 to the KDSS but I wasn’t focused on it as much as I should have been. I only really noticed a difference after we bought the second 4Runner a couple years later in 2016.

The point here is ride quality on a 4Runner with KDSS is better than an SR5, even with a leveling kit. This is also my honest as can be personal opinion, take it with a grain.

With KDSS, I do not think ride quality will be sacrificed as much as an SR5 stock suspension.

If anyone has comments or questions, leave them below. Thanks!

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Jason
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Jason

I’ve heard these lifts do not work with the TRD Pro. Can you help? I’m looking to level my 2018 TRD Pro. Not to much but 2 in front and 3 in back or something close to this would be great.

Thanks!

Amir
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Amir

I wanted to tell you that you have a super helpful website that has really been helping out with the process of playing with my newly acquired car. I have a question that you might be able to answer and since I have not found it anywhere else, I thought I might as well ask you: Do you know what kind of leveling kit I can buy for the sr5 so that I can match the lift look of the TRD PRO without having to change anything else?

Marc Herzog
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Marc Herzog

I just put on a 2/3 Rough County , is there anything needed for the 4runner after the lift is complete? Example like a diff drop or anything ? When I get under my truck I can see where the drive line isn’t painted and looks to have came out a bit after the lift. Is that normal ?

Eric D
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Eric D

When you installed your leveling kit did your ABS light, traction control light and 4wd light turn on when it was done? I just finished mine and all of these light are on now. Rough country says the alignment just need to be done and the lights will turn off.

Kevin
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Kevin

Hi Brennan, I was interested in the PRO COMP NITRO 3″ LEVEL KIT. I have a 2017 4runner Limited w/ XREAS. Will this kit work for me? Do i have to get rid of the xreas to make it work?

Scott
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Scott

Hi. Can you switch to 285 tires with the Toytec kit, or only with the Pro Comp?

Jeff
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Jeff

What is the best option to level out a 2012 T4R limited edition with Xreas suspension? I do occasionally drive down gravel roads with minor off-road and towing (tent trailer).

Ace
Guest
Ace

Thanks for sharing , this web is a great source of info for 4R guys. I have a 2015 4R LTD and I heard good review about Revtek spacer lift. What is your thought?

Rob
Guest
Rob

At the dealership today I almost bought a 3” ready lift for my new off road premium w/ KDSS but then I didn’t anyway I’m now thinking about the 2.25 readylift leveling kit, any suggestions? Yes do it or no don’t ?

Raj
Guest
Raj

Brenan,

I installed the same kit and found that the rear is too high even with 2″ lift. Even though I could able to change the tires to 33″ ,the ride quality is close to OEM and also the whole body is leveled, I dont like the rear rake. What can be done to improve the Vehicle stance? I checked with my Mechanic for options and they said there’s none.

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

Hey Brenan,
Great post! I have a 2017 TRD Off Road Premium, and am thinking about doing the spacer kit. You mentioned that the ride quality was better with the KDSS, but here is my question for you. What are the biggest affects to the overall ride quality that I should expect after leveling? I’ve been driving it for a few months, and I love how smooth the vehicle is for my every day driving. However, I love the look of a leveled 4R too! 🙂 just trying to know what to expect as far as overall “feel”? Thanks!

Rob
Guest
Rob

Quick question,
I have a 2018 4Runner off road premium w/ KDSS. I’m running 275/70/17 ko2’s with TRD pro wheels. I’m looking to do the bilstein 5100’s series shocks and struts with day rear spacers I’ll use my stock springs, looking to do 2.5 front 1.5 rear. I was also quoted only $30 for a diff drop, but will I require it with such a small lift ? And will I require UCA’s ? I just want to do this right .

SGW
Guest
SGW

Love this site! I have a 2002 4Runner Sport Edition and just bought a 2018 TRD Off Road Premium. I want to beef it up..look is what I am going for but I can’t do the install. I’m having a hard time finding a dealer that carries/installs the ProComp. I was told today that the only thing compatible with the KDSS is a 4” suspension. I’m in Northern California, Sacramento area…. if anyone has any suggestions, they would be appreciated!

Eric
Guest
Eric

I have a 2018 4runner trd off road. I would like to get rid of the rake and the nose dive when stopping. If at all possible I would not like to raise the truck more then 2 inches (little kids don’t want to go higher). What would you recommend. Thanks

Toby
Guest
Toby

Love your site!

I have what is probably a really dumb question. I bought a 2012 Trail Edition from a dealer. The CarFax makes no mention of a level kit or aftermarket suspension (I understand that the prior owner could have done this himself), so how do I know if one has been put on already or not? The suspension would seem obvious to the naked eye I think, but not so much the leveling kit.

I am brand new to all of this, but have found so much valuable information here! Thanks in advance!

Blue Wesley
Guest
Blue Wesley

Do you have links to the:

“The combination of the Toytec 2.5″ leveling kit in the front and the Daystar 1.5″ lift in the rear”

With this combo is the 4runner completely level or still have a slight rake? Im not positive what the original rake of front to back is (For 2015 Trail with KDSS)

Thanks!!

John
Guest
John

Hi Brenan,
I have the same question as Eric. Just bought a 2018 TRD off-road w/kdss. I also want to just level the front & reduce the nose-dive (so annoying). It’s sounds like your saying this can be accomplished with the Bilsteins, is that along with the spacers, or just on their own.
Thanks for a great website!

John
Guest
John

Ok, thanks very much!

Ken
Guest
Ken

Brenan,
Great site with lots of info. I just got off the phone with a Toytec tech and he stated the 2018+ limited with XREAS has a one inch shorter rear shock and will over extend with their 3/1.5 leveling kit. Can you confirm this, and if so, will a 2” front spacer only be ok to level?

Ross
Guest
Ross

Hi Brenan,

Maybe I am overlooking it but does the 65210k kit work on a 15 Trail with KDSS?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Awesome site! Quick question. I just bought a stock 2012 trail edition. I want to lift and level and drop a set of smaller 33s on as mentioned above without cutting anything up. I called pro comp today as there site said they didn’t have a leveling kit for the trail. They told me they don’t have a leveling kit for it yet but it’s currently in the works. Any thoughts on that? If your using something that’s currently working , please advise. Also, assuming you’ve got something, would you also suggest wheel spacers at all or will that involve… Read more »

Zach Walters
Guest
Zach Walters

Hey Brenan! Great site with lots of good info. I’m looking at installing this leveling kit (https://www.roughcountry.com/toyota-suspension-lift-kit-764c.html) on a stock ‘17 SR5. The instructions say it’s 2” in the front and 1” in the rear. Two questions: 1. Do you think this will require spacers for the differential? 2. How hard is this install to do on my own? I’ve done break, starters, etc. the install videos don’t look terribly difficult.

Camie Turney
Guest
Camie Turney

Hi Brenan.
I have a 2018 TRD Premium. From what I’ve gathered from all previous questions is that I can level the front with the 6112. What I’m wondering is, do I have to replace UCA’s?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Hey! I have a 2018 off road with KDSS. Do all of these leveling options you mentioned work with the KDSS system? Or are there preferred leveling kits specifically for KDSS. I have been trying to research this online and it’s proven to be a little difficult to find. Also, I would like to eventually install a low profile bumper with a winch. If I get a leveling kit, will this drop my front end down down again? If so what would you recommend to keep it level with the weight of a low profile bumper and winch? Thanks for… Read more »

Randall Haney
Guest
Randall Haney

Hey Brennan,
I have a question about shocks. I havent seen any talk about it yet. I want to do the daystar 2.5″ spacer front and rear level. It’s 95% daily driver as it is my wife’s. My question is will a 2.5″ level require longer shocks? Ive done a few in the past that said get longer shocks or they offered shock spacers with their kits. Just curious how it worked on the 4runners. I have a 16 trail KDSS. Thanks

Ashlee
Guest
Ashlee

I have a 2016 4Runner SR5 with a 3″ lift (leveling kit) with LT258/65 R18 Nitto Grapplers tires. Would by any chance you know how high my car is? I’m shipping my car from Hawaii to California and it can’t be more than 7′.

Will
Guest
Will

Is the rear spacer true to lift? For example, 2inch rear spacer would give me a 2inch lift?

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hey! I have recently got my hands on a 2016 sr5. I’m pretty clueless when it comes to what fits with the car in terms of wheels and tires. I definitely want bigger/fatter tires, and I certainly want to get rid of the plastidipped stock rims. Is this kit you have here a solid one? http://amzn.to/2gY7Xr6. With that, do you know what would be a good size for wheels/tires? Thanks!

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