Icon Stage 2 Extended Travel Shock Install with KDSS on 5th Gen 4Runner
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 vehicle’s 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.
- Stage 2 Lift Kit (Full Suspension): Check Price
- Rear Shock: Check Price
- Rear Spring: Check Price
- UCAs (Upper Control Arms): Check Price
YotaMafia (Stage 1-5):
- Icon Stage 1: Check Price
- Icon Stage 2: Check Price
- Icon Stage 3: Check Price
- Icon Stage 4: Check Price
- Icon Stage 5: Check Price
Icon Stage 2 Install With KDSS
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.