Icon Stage 2 Lift Install 5th Gen 4Runner

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

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Install – 4Runner (KDSS)

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Install - 4Runner (KDSS)

Coilovers, Upper Control Arms, and Rear Spring Installation with KDSS

After weeks of looking forward to the Icon Suspension, things didn’t really go as planned. After our write-up and overview on the Icon Stage 2 Suspension, we were like little kids waiting for Christmas morning. When Christmas morning arrived and it was time to do the install, one thing after another went wrong. As we got into the suspension, everything was fine until we realized one part was completely wrong.

As we were throwing in the coilovers and lining up the lower strut bolt, it would not go through. We thought that maybe we just did not read the installation instructions good enough.

That was not the case. Icon Vehicle Dynamics (IVD) sent us the wrong part. The strut spacer was 1.2mm too narrow for the OE bolt to fit through. It must have been a similar part that was for another vehicles strut, not a 5th Gen 4Runner. Being that we were doing the installation on a Saturday, we were limited in options.

We needed to solve our installation problems that day or else I would have been out a car for the week. Our best option was to bore out the spacer with a 9/16 drill bit. And, of course, we did not have one. Neither did Home Depot, Lowes, Neighbors or any other friend in the neighborhood. After spinning our wheels making phone calls and driving around for hours, we finally ran across one at the third Home Depot we called.

From here, our installation was back on track. We headed back to the shop and drilled out the spacer literally to the spec of the other spacer (that it was supposed to be). From there, the install returned to smooth operations. But, after driving around for three hours, we burned most of our day. Pretty irritating to say the least. Also, we sent IVD an email, called multiple times and it took them two days to get back to us.

Icon 3.5″ front and 2″ rear – Stage 2

Icon Stage 2 Install With KDSS

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift - 5th Gen 4Runner

Install was done on 2014 Trail Edition Premium 5th Gen 4Runner 

If it was not for IVD sending the wrong strut spacer, this install probably would have taken two guys with basic shop tools, maybe 6-7 hours. Instead, the install took us closer to 10-12 hours with the driving around and few headaches.

At the end of the day, we got it done.

Step by Step Install Video

UPDATE FOR KDSS: 

KDSS accumulator assembly and shutter valves

You do not need to remove your KDSS sway bars. Just loosen the shutter valve bolts 1.5-2.5 turns maximum. Do not go further than this. Once you have the shutter valves open, you should have more flexibility with the KDSS.

Step 1: Break Nuts, Jack Up Truck, Remove Tires

Break Nuts, Jack Up Truck, Remove Tires

Step 2: Remove Cotter Pin from Upper Control Arm & Spindle

Start by removing the cotter pin that connects the OE bolt on the bottom of the Heim Ball Joint Pivot Pin. You will not be reusing the cotter pin, so set aside and save if you wish to.

Icon Stage 2 4Runner Lift - Remove Pin

Step 3: Unbolt UCA & Knock Spindle Loose

Once you have the cotter pin removed, unbolt the Ball Joint Pivot Pin from the spindle. Once the bolt has been removed, just knock the spindle loose. It’s really tight. You may have to knock a few times, and hard.

Step 4: Unbolt ABS Bracket from UCA

While the spindle is still connected to the upper control arms, unbolt the small nut that is mounted to the ABS bracket. Just set to the side. You will not be using the OE hardware, so just set aside and save if you wish.

Icon Install Step 4: Unbolt ABS Bracket from UCA

Step 5: Remove Spindle & Zip Tie Wheel Assembly

Completely remove the nut that is holding together your upper control arms and your spindle. Once your spindle is free, shove back into the wheel well and zip tie down your wheel assembly.

Icon Install Step 5: Remove Spindle & Zip Tie Wheel Assembly 

Step 6: Pop Plastic Push Tabs For Access to Upper Control Arm

Pop off the plastic push tabs that cover access to your upper control arm bolt. You may need to use a pair of needle nose pliers for this as they are pushed in there pretty tight. Once you have access to the upper control arms, find your hardware and get ready to remove your upper control arms.

Icon Install Step 6: Pop Plastic Push Tabs and Unbolt Upper Control Arm

Step 7: Unbolt Wiring Harness Blocking Upper Control Arm Bolt

This is an optional step, you may need to remove the wiring harness that is blocking access to the Upper Control Arm bolt. If you find that you do not need to, don’t worry about it.

Unbolt Wiring Harness Blocking Upper Control Arm Bolt

Step 8: Unbolt Upper Control Arm & Save OE Hardware

On the lower end or towards the rear of your 4Runner, remove the nut on your upper control arm bolt and save the OE nut. You do not need to save the OE washer as Icon Vehicle Dynamics provides nice shiny brass ones for you. But, you may want to save them just in case.

Unbolt Upper Control Arm & Save OE Hardware

Step 9: Slide OE Bolt Through UCA’s into Engine Bay

Once your hardware has been removed, you are ready to slide your upper control arm bolt out of the assembly and up into your engine bay. There is not enough room to pull the bolt out of the well, just leave it sitting up in the engine bay as you are going to need to slide it right back down through the new Upper Control Arms.

Slide OE Bolt Through UCA's into Engine Bay

Step 10: Remove Upper Control Arms – 5th Gen 4Runner

Remove your upper control arms and set them aside. It is now time to remove your shocks.

Icon Stage 2 Tubular Upper Control Arms - 5th Gen 4Runner

Step 11: Remove Three Bolts from Coilover Housing

Remove the three nuts that secure your shocks to the shock housing. There are two nuts to remove in the front and one in the back. You can see we used a socket for the front two and an open end wrench for the nut in the back as there was not enough room to fit a socket in the back.

Icon Install Step 11: Remove Three Bolts from Coilover Housing

Step 12: Unbolt Lower Strut Bolt & Knock OE Bolt Loose

The strut bolt is really tight so you will need to knock it out with a hammering pin and a rubber mallet. You may need to hit it more than once.

Icon Install Step 12: Unbolt Lower Strut Bolt & Knock OE Bolt Loose

Step 13: Unbolt KDSS from Lower Control Arm & Remove OE Shocks

If you are one of the lucky 4Runner KDSS owners, this step is for you. Unbolt the KDSS bar bracket that is connected to your lower control arm. You will need to unbolt the bracket here and in more location, located almost directly under the vehicle. Just follow the KDSS bar up and you will see it. You need to unbolt these KDSS brackets holding on your KDSS Suspension in order to lower the lower control arms.

After you are done, you can push down on the lower control arm to remove the shock. Or, you can jack up the opposite side of the vehicle to force the lower control arm and wheel assembly down. This second option is much easier.

Icon Install Step 13: Unbolt KDSS from Lower Control Arm

Step 14: Installing Icon Extended Travel Coilovers

Throw in those new pretty Coilovers! Make sure you align the bottom of the strut so it is aligned with the lower control arm strut bolt location.

Icon Install Step 14: Installing Icon Extended Travel Coilovers

Step 15: Mount Coilovers With Provided Hardware

Using the provided hardware in your stage 2 kit, thread the bolts down through the open holes and into the Coilovers. Hand tighten them for now.

Mount Icon Extended Travel Coilovers With Provided Hardware

Step 16: Jack Lower Control Arms Into Place & Bolt in Coilovers

You will be reusing the OE bolt. Once you have the Coilovers in (with new spacers), slide the OE bolt through the strut and thread the nut back on.

KDSS INSTALL NOTES: You need to reconnect your KDSS. This was kind of a pain in the ass. Because the new Coilovers pushed the lower control arm down, the KDSS was not lining up. You may have to play around with jacking up your lower control arm on the opposite side of the 4Runner in order for the KDSS brackets to line up again.

Icon Install Step 16: Jack Lower Control Arms Into Place & Bolt in Coilovers

Step 17: Grease Upper Control Arms

Step A: Pull out your grease gun for this one, things are going to get messy. Using rubber gloves, grease the inside palm of your hand with some grease and go to work on the bushings before you pop them into your new Upper Control Arms. You can never have too much grease all the way around, just make sure you do not get any grease into the center, where your OE bolt is going to slide through.

Step B: Now is also the time you need to drop in your Ball Joint Pivot Pin into your Upper Control Arms. To remove the nut on the top of the ball joint pin, we used an impact driver, and it popped right off. Try this the first time. We tried everything before and it was not coming off. The impact drive takes it off in a flash. Once you have the nut off the top of the ball joint pin, slide it into place and rethread the bolt back into place.

You are now ready to install your Upper Control Arms.

Icon Install Step 17: Grease Upper Control Arms

Step 18: Installing Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms

Grab your Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms and set them into place. The only tricky part about installing the Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms is getting the washers to stay in place when sliding the OE upper control arm bolt down.

Icon Install Step 18: Installing Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms

Step 19: Slide OE Bolt Through Upper Control Arms

Start with the first two washers at the top. Once you have the first two washers in and the bolt halfway through your upper control arms, move to the third washer and then the fourth (washer on the end). Thread on your nut and bolt down to spec.

Icon Install Step 19: Slide OE Bolt Through Upper Control Arms

Step 20: Knock Heim Ball Joint Pivot Pin Into Place

After you have the upper control arms bolted into place, we want to connect the upper control arms to the pivot arm with the new ball joint pin. The ball joint pin in the Upper Control Arms is TIGHT. Really tight.

Take a rubber mallet and knock the pin into place until it lines up with the OE pivot arms. Slide the ball joint pin into place and thread on new nut provided in your kit.

Icon Install Step 20: Knock Heim Ball Joint Pivot Pin Into Place

Step 21: Screw Down ABS Bracket to Upper Control Arm

In your kit, they provide the hardware to reconnect your ABS line. Simple enough. Nut down and get this thing installed.

Icon Install Step 21: Screw Down ABS Bracket to Upper Control Arm

Step 22: Apply Loctite to Pivot Pin Hardware & Bolt Down

After your Upper Control Arms are in place, we have one more step before we lower the vehicle. Grab the Loctite that Icon provides in your kit and apply it to the Ball Joint Pivot Pin bolt. Using your socket, bolt it down.

Icon Install Step 22: Apply Loctite to Pivot Pin Hardware & Bolt Down

Step 23: Lower 4Runner and Torque All Hardware to Specs

After you are finished with the Upper Control Arms and the Extended Travel Coilovers on both sides, throw your tires back on and lower your 4Runner. Double check all nuts and bolts to ensure everything is on tight and not just hand tight. Once you have all nuts and bolts on, you want to double check any nuts and bolts that need to be torqued to the 5th Gen 4Runner specs.

Done with the Front Suspension, let’s move to the back.

Rear Installation

Step 1: Jack up Truck and Remove Tires

Icon Rear Step 1: Jack up Truck and Remove Tires

Step 2: Unbolt lower Shock Nut & Unbolt KDSS

Icon Rear Step 2: Unbolt lower Shock Nut & Unbolt KDSS

Step 3: Unclip Trackbar & Zip Tie to Secure

Icon Rear Step 3: Unclip Trackbar & Zip Tie to Secure 

Step 4: Unbolt 2nd KDSS Bolts & Loosen Shock

Icon Rear Step 4: Unbolt 2nd KDSS Bolts & Loosen Shock

Step 5: Using Vice Grip & Ratchet – Remove Top Shock Nut

Icon Rear Step 5: Using Vice Grip & Ratchet - Remove Top Shock Nut

Icon Rear Step 6: Loosen KDSS & Unbolt Brake Line

Icon Rear Step 6: Loosen KDSS & Unbolt Brake Line

Step 7: Installing New Rear Coil Springs

Icon Rear Step 7: Installing New Rear Coil Springs

Step 8: Rear Coil Spring Fitment

Icon Rear Step 8: Rear Coil Spring Fitment

Step 9: Connect KDSS and Disconnect Trackbar from Zip Tie

Icon Rear Step 9: Connect KDSS and Disconnect Trackbar from Zip Tie

Step 10: Installing Rear 2.0 Aluminum Series IR Shocks

Icon Rear Step 10: rear 2.0 Aluminum Series IR Shocks

Step 11: Tighten KDSS & Check all Nuts/Bolts

Icon Rear Step 11: Tighten KDSS & Check all Nuts/Bolts

Final Shot new Wheels and Tires

5th Gen 4Runner Fuel Anza - Icon Stage 2

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ICON Vehicle Dynamics
Guest
ICON Vehicle Dynamics

“Also, we sent Icon Vehicle Dynamics an email, called multiple times and it took them two days to get back to us.” Hi Brenan! We hope you are enjoying this setup and getting some use out of your 4Runner. While we understand your frustration in having a small part hold up your install, please let it be know that you contacted us on a weekend, and we overnighted the part out to you as soon as your messages were received by our sales team. Should you have any issues in the future don’t hesitate to reach us right away at… Read more »

MIKE S
Guest
MIKE S

ICON HAS THE WORST CUSTOMER SERIVCE AND TERRIBLE QUALITY SHOCKS… TRUST ME I INSTALL SUSPENSION FOR A LIVING ANF HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS WITH ICON… ABOUT 4 DIFFRENT ISSUES ALL SEPERATE PROBLEMS. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMANY

Guest
Guest
Guest

Mike. I am new to this site, and to 4Runners in general. I am fully invested into the overlanding experience. I could not decide between King or Icon, but their response provided sufficient resolve. An ICON STAFF member chose to browse Trail4Runner.com for this article, wrote an unapologetic [PR spin] discouraging response, and vilified their sloppy quality assurance/customer relations: “….please let it be know that you contacted us on a weekend, and we overnighted the part out to you as soon as your messages were received by our sales team.” Please let it be know (not known). This feels like… Read more »

Jason
Guest
Jason

Damn, this is impressive. Thanks for putting this together, we are in between suspensions right now. Either going KING or Icon. After reading your other post, it looks like both suspension are a good fit for the 5th Gen. If we go Icon, this will definitely help as we are running KDSS as well. Everything is always so different on our KDSS suspension.

Boomer
Guest
Boomer

This is such an educational post and video. Thanks you both Trail4R and Snail Trail 4×4 for the info! Looking forward to my build and will certainly be using this as my main reference point!

You guys rock.

Mike Porter
Guest
Mike Porter

Did you have to buy extra pieces because of the KDDS?

William
Member
William

After talking to Brenen, I went ahead and got a stage 2 for my 5th gen. Took it to a shop to install it since I don’t have proper lifts. The whole install took the shop roughly a day. My comments for the suspension is that it rides so much better than stock. Cruises though highways and pot holes effortlessly. I didn’t take the truck heavy off road yet beside some fire roads and it handled alot better at higher speeds. I did want to mention to add on some shock boots to the rear shocks. Mine didn’t come with… Read more »

Jay - @jhemp00
Member
Jay - @jhemp00

Well I installed the Icon Stage 2 suspension system over the weekend. It took me 1.5 days with my 10yr son helping me with a few things. Other than the F%$king KDSS, it all went smooth. Got it aligned yesterday and had a little bit of time to take it out on some washboarded fire roads. I was expecting the new suspension to ride stiffer but I found it to be smoother and much more controlled everywhere. I was still getting rattled pretty good on the real heavy washboard crap like braking into corners but I wasn’t getting kicked around… Read more »

Jay - @jhemp00
Member
Jay - @jhemp00

I have noticed that my 4runner is setting lower in the front after the Icon Install. Maybe an inch or two? Im not sure where to measure as a reference point. Do you know of I can just adjust the spring preload to lift the front end a little bit? I have the right tool.

Jay - @jhemp00
Member
Jay - @jhemp00

Got the 33in(285-70-17) BF AT KO2’s on today and unfortunately I have rubbing in the front tires in the back of the wheel well when turning sharply. Looks like it will be an easy trim or hopefully just a loosening of some bolts and moving the fender around to gain some more room. I’ll find out tomorrow when I have time to play around with it. I’m rolling these tires on my 2012 4runner Trail Edition with the Stage Two Icon suspension lift.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin

Thanks for this! My son and I did the front install a few days ago and I have to echo the frustration with the KDSS. We followed your written instructions, not the video (which I just watched) and coincidentally ended up using a similar method to line it up. Question… I’m about to do the rear. Wondering if I need to disconnect the sway bar if I loosen the dampening bolts for the KDSS first? In your KDSS update it reads like you don’t need to disconnect it. Fingers crossed that’s the case as I don’t feel like dealing with… Read more »

Dustin
Guest
Dustin

I read the rest of the thread and think I answered my own question 🙂

William
Member
William

Don’t forget to do a proper wheel alignment after the install. I forgot that step and the car was all driving funky. After the alignment it drove perfect.

Coyote
Guest
Coyote

I called up MetalTech a while ago to help me decide whether to get KDSS, which I ended up doing, and now I am starting to think about lift. But I remember them saying it is tricky doing a lift in that you have to make sure it is “clamped” it in place to do the suspension work or it can be damaged. Did I miss something in the above? it seemed like an unbolt KDSS and rebolt later was all that was done in what I read here. Please clarify. Thanks!

Bobby
Guest
Bobby

I just installed the Icon stage 2 on my 2016 Trail premium with KDSS a week ago. My question is has anyone installed a front diff drop (lowering the front differential) and is it recommended?

Chris
Guest
Chris

So I’m looking at doing the icon stage 2 lift on my 2018 with kdss. Do you know off the top of your head what spec is for tightening the hardware back up? Or where I could find that information?
Thank you for a very thorough write up!

Nick Kaufman
Guest
Nick Kaufman

I love your guys site… I read it daily! I’ve got an ’18 4Runner OFP (non-KDSS) and I have a Pro Comp level kit on it. I am not totally happy with the way it drives so I am thinking of going to the Icon Stage 2 lift kit. Just a few questions. 1: On this 4runner what size tires are you running? I have BFG KO2 285/70-17 on Pro Comp Vertigo 17×9 but not sure if I’ll need spacers or bigger tires for that “bulldog stance” I have now. 2: On the grill of this 4runner, did you wrap… Read more »

Nick Kaufman
Guest
Nick Kaufman

Thanks for the response. What about the bumper bar on the grill under the Toyota emblem? Did you wrap that as well?

John
Guest
John

I bought a 2016 4runner Trail Kdss to use as my Hunting truck. I’m not an avid offroader but do read these blogs occasionally to find useful information, Suspension, gear reviews, trail reviews, & Diy installs etc. Everything on my SUV was setup to get deep the woods on mainly fire roads, jeep trails etc to get in deep enough to get away from the other hunters then hike in further. Bought the Icon 2.5 external resi shocks 5k total for the suspension and installed them when the truck had 9k miles, fast forward ONE hunting season 20k miles later.… Read more »

Nick Kaufman
Guest
Nick Kaufman

I am curious your thoughts on the SPC adjustable UCA versus the IVD for the stage 2 suspension system. I’m leaning towards the IVD UCA, but the local dealer is heavily pushing the SPC.

Raymond
Guest
Raymond

I had the Icon Stage 2 Installed on my 18 4Runner Off-Road Premium back in June. This suspension has a great ride and minimizes the Sway side To Side, Nose Dive when Breaking and Squat when Excellerating. Wash Board dirt roads and Pot Holes are actually better at speed than going slow. The Icon also has a vey nice highway ride as well. I added the Upper and Lower Links with the Adjustable Trac Bar to the rear, the Sway Bar Relocation Brackets and the Differential Drop Spacers. I have Toyo 285/70/17 ATIIs installed on Method 17×8.5″ Con 6 Wheels… Read more »

Nick
Guest
Nick

I just had the Icon stage 2 installed on my ’18 ORP 4runner with SPC upper control arms. I noticed that the wheel gap in the front is about an inch lower than the rear. Any suggestions how to level this out? I am looking for the stance to be as level as possible. I had the ProComp level kit on it before but the ride sucked so bad. Thanks for the great site.

Steve P
Guest
Steve P

Hey Brenan just wondering what is the torque specs for the TrackBar, Rear KDSS the 2 bolts and the lower bolt for the shocks im doing the same setup for my t4r w/ KDSS

Vince
Guest
Vince

Are the 2” icon springs the same size? I know there is that issue about the drivers lean. Does icon make these springs different sizes?

Ty
Guest
Ty

I’ve read more than a few bad experiences with leaking shocks and horrible customer service from Icon. I wonder how much this same kit would cost to piece together using King and TC UCA’s instead.

Vince
Guest
Vince

I have the King/TC setup with Icon 2” springs. You’re looking at $3,500-$4,000. Well worth the cost, however I do have infamous the drivers side lean which I’m trying to figure out if its weight related.

Loh
Guest
Loh

Hi Brenan,

Good morning, I don’t know if this thread is done. I really appreciate you sharing your projects. I recently got Icon Stage 5 installed by a shop, since I dont have the proper tools. The front sits at 2.75” and I have 275/70/17 BF KO2s installed. I thought there will be no rubbing issues with the size tires, Im having major rubbing issues when reversing to the right, is this an issue with the install? I really apprecite your help. Thank you!

Otto
Guest
Otto

You do not need to remove your KDSS sway bars. Just loosen the Shutterfly valve bolts 1.5-2.5 turns maximum. Do not go further than this. Once you have the shutter valves open, you should have more flexibility with the KDSS.

About to do this with 6112s in the front, my question is when you loosen the shutter valve,I’m assuming you turn tighten them back up after everything is done?

Thanx for a awesome website, it has helped me out alot and the directions and pictures. KEEP IT COMING!!!

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