5th Gen Mods, Install, Off-Road

Bilstein 5160 & 6112 Lift 5th Gen 4Runner Review

Updated 3/23/20 / Read Time: 13 mins

Bilstein 5160 Complete Guide for the 5th Gen Owner

Bilstein 5160 & 6112 – The Complete Guide for the 5th Gen Owner

A suspension is crucial to any vehicle – whether you have a performance sports car, off-road vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, or anywhere between. The reason you need a good suspension is that suspension heavily controls how your vehicle handles and keeps your tires on the ground.

For some people, they want a solid ride on the road and don’t care much about off-road handling. Others want something that resembles a trophy Baja truck that can fly through bumps at 50+ mph. Of course, there is everything in between as well.

The important thing to remember is that although a Baja truck can fly through rough terrain, it is nowhere near ideal for daily driving… and almost dangerous if you ever have to do a quick maneuver.

On the other hand, you are not going to have a nice ride if you take a vehicle with on-road suspension off-road, you might even break something.

Although the 5th Gen 4Runner comes with a solid suspension from the factory, it can be drastically upgraded.

What suspension upgrade?

  • Fox shocks
  • King
  • Icon
  • Bilstein

I will admit, I wasn’t as knowledgeable about suspension as I thought I was until I decided I was going to upgrade the suspension on my 2017 4Runner TRD Off-Road and researched it heavily – and I mean heavily.

Bilstein 6112 and 5160 Lift:

  • Bilstein Coilover (6112): Check Price
  • Bilstein Rear Shock option 1 (5100 1.25-2″ Lift): Check Price
  • Bilstein Rear Shock with Resivoir option 2 (5160 1.25-2″ Lift): Check Price
  • Rear Spring (ICON 52700): Check Price
  • Upper Control Arms – not needed

Fox, King, Icon, and Bilstein?

Fox, King, Icon, and Bilstein?

I’d heard of Fox, King, Icon and Bilstein, but what makes one better than the other? The answer is neither one is “better”, one is just better suited for your application and style.

Going straight for Fox

When I first started looking for some new suspension on my 4Runner I went straight to Fox. The reason being the popularity, following, and publicity that Fox has. Another reason was my 2018 Specialized Camber Comp 29 mountain bike has Fox suspension with adjustable compression and dampening… and man it is amazing. It can soak up bumps like I never knew possible. I also have a friend who has a semi-trophy truck loaded with the finest shocks Fox has to offer.

The problem is that my bike only has two wheels and 4Runners have four, and I don’t have or want a trophy truck… or thousands of dollars to spend on suspension. Although my mountain bike and my friend’s truck with Fox shocks handle off-road amazingly, I have a 4Runner that I use as my daily driver and spend at least 95% of the time on-road. I also don’t want to add any more body roll or nose dive to my 4Runner.

Suspension upgrade that was under $1,500

As I researched further into shocks it became evident that the engineering that goes into the valving and design of shocks is unbelievable. As an engineer myself, I began to understand the differences, benefits and negatives of each type of design.

Each company and each shock has its own unique valving and characteristics that can make it handle better in one situation, but potentially not as good in another area. Basically, I am trying to say it is nearly impossible to have a shock that is perfect both on and off-road.

Of course, as with everything, money can get you a much fancier shock with adjustability, bypass zones, and much more. However, I was looking for a suspension upgrade that was under $1,500 for new front and rear shocks so aspects such as adjustable compression, rebound, and bypass zones were somewhat out of the picture.

The need for on-road shocks vs. off-road shocks

I really wanted to get Fox shocks, but the more I researched I realized how much these shocks were actually meant to be utilized off-road… just like the shocks on my mountain bike. You can no doubt drive on road with this suspension, but there are other suspensions far better suited for on-road use than Fox shocks can provide, it really just depends on the type of performance you are looking for.

I want to be completely honest that although I have an extremely capable 4Runner, I drive it on road at least 95% of the time, maybe more.

I don’t want to sound like some hardcore off-roader. Even though I do take my 4Runner in some extreme terrain when I do go off road for fishing, mountain biking, traveling and just weekend drives, I am still on road 95% of the time and it didn’t seem practical to decrease the on-road handling of my 4Runner just to improve the 5% of time that I am off-road.

What I wanted was a suspension system that would benefit me on-road as well as give me more off-road capability. But is there such a shock?

Making my way to Bilstein Shocks

Here is where Bilstein shocks come into the picture. All TRD Pro 4Runners (prior to the new 2019s) came with Bilstein shock absorbers.

Although the new TRD Pro 4Runners come with Fox shocks, these shocks have bypass zones and other technology that drastically increase the price of the suspension making it far more expensive than other options and therefore out of my budget.

You might ask why Toyota went away from the Bilstein setup on the TRD Pros and switched to Fox.

Well, quite frankly I believe it is because Toyota wanted the TRD Pro 4Runner to be even more off-road worthy, and when it comes down to it, the Fox shocks they put on the 2019 TRD Pro are more off-road worthy…but not necessarily more on road worthy.

If you don’t want this type of off-road shock, then you get the next best 4Runner…the TRD Off-Road. This is simply my opinion, but I think it makes sense.

Bilstein 6112 and 5160 Suspension Setup

Bilstein 6112 and 5160 Suspension Setup

Essentially, the suspension that I decided to go with is what the TRD Pro 4Runner (2018 and older) came with. In the front, the 6112 shocks have ride height adjustability so you can lift the front of your 4Runner anywhere form 0 – 2.5”.

They also have a larger, 60mm digressive piston so you are increasing the amount of oil you have significantly, which correlates to a more rugged shock that prevents shock overheating and can handle longer periods of continuous suspension demand in comparison to the factory shocks.

The overall shock construction is more rugged than the factory front shocks and other options such as the Bilstein 5100s, as the 6112 come with a larger diameter shaft for increased durability. The 6112 also give more suspension travel (new upper control arm needed to gain the extra travel though).

In the rear, the 5160’s are the same diameter piston as factory, however, they come with a remote reservoir so once again you gain the benefit of increased oil capacity…but more importantly the remote reservoir gives you more suspension travel by allowing components that would otherwise be in the main monotube to be located in the reservoir, and therefore giving you extended travel.

The 5160s also come with a larger diameter shaft for increased durability and rigidity just like the 6112s.

Bilstein 6112 (Front Shock)

Bilstein 6112 and 5160 Suspension Setup

As to the design of these shocks, they have digressive valving.

I will need to publish a different article on the three types of valving, but for the purposes of this article digressive valving means the shock dampening curve digresses as the shaft speed increases.

This might not make sense, but it essentially means that these shocks react more when the shock shaft is traveling at a higher velocity. This typically corresponds to larger impacts and bumps, meaning these shocks won’t make smaller bumps silky smooth, but they do a great job at making larger bumps not so jarring.

In my opinion, this is why I think these shocks are so good for someone who uses their 4Runner as a daily driver and spends 95% of the time on-road.

Body Roll and Nosedive

Depending on where you live, roads should be relatively smooth. Of course, your suspension still does a lot of work, but not as much as off road. One thing a lot of people notice with a 4Runner is that it nosedives when braking… a lot. This is because it has a relatively soft suspension from the factory in order to smooth out bumps when going off-road.

When off-road at slower speeds, this is a good thing; however, on road, this gives the 4Runner a clumsy feel with not much composure and also is not the best at higher speeds off-road.

The 4Runner has quite a bit of body roll when changing lanes quickly, going around a tight corner, or if you ever have to make a maneuver to avoid an accident, debris in the road, etc.

All of this nose-diving and body roll decreases the reactiveness and handling of the 4Runner. In general, if you install progressive dampening shocks (like Fox shocks) you will tend to only further increase the nose-diving and body roll while driving on road. Considering most of us are on road the majority of the time this isn’t the best handling for driving on the highway and around cities.

The Bilstein 6112s and 5160s aim to improve on-road handling while still giving a capable off-road suspension… and I think they do just that.

What Front Lift?

A big question that many people might debate is how much lift to get. The 6112 shocks allow you to raise your 4Runner anywhere from 0 – 2.5 inches.

Here are the following heights you can go with:

  • 2.5”
  • 2.0”
  • 1.6” – almost exactly level
  • 1.2”
  • 0.8”
  • 0.0”

As you can see, you have quite a few options, but which one should you pick? It all depends on your application. If you are not going to lift the rear of your 4Runner in some form or fashion, I’d stay under a 1.6” front lift. The 1.6” front lift will be almost exactly level.

If you do decide to level your 4Runner, remember that it will look nice and level… but not if you are towing something or have a significant amount of gear in the back. The extra weight in the back will cause your nose to point up.

Higher lift = decrease on-road performance? 

Another point to mention is the more you raise the front of your car the more you are raising the center of gravity. If you think about it, lifting the front of your car lifts the whole front of the car, including the engine which contributes a lot of weight. In consideration of this, lifting the front will improve off-road capability but decrease on-road handling.

CV axle angles

Lastly, you are also changing the angle of your front CV axles. This isn’t necessarily bad, but increasing the angle of the CV axle will create more wear and tear when 4WD is engaged as well as not transfer power as good as CV axles with flatter angles…however, these are small changes we are discussing so don’t be too alarmed, it is just something to consider that you might not think of.

To me, the 1.6” front lift looks good, however, I do carry quite a bit of gear in the back at times and didn’t want to “pop a wheely” down the road during these times. I also wanted to maintain solid CV axle angles as small of a reason as that may be.

What ride height is right for you? 

I narrowed it down to the 1.2” front lift and 0.8” front lift. Ultimately, I decided to go with the 1.2” lift. Why? It was a good middle ground. The 0.8” lift wasn’t quite enough and the 1.6” lift was too high. I have just a slight forward rake and when I put some gear in the back I am pretty much level. Depending on the amount of gas I have in my tank, I have about a 0.5” – 0.75” difference in height from the front and back. With all my fishing and camping gear loaded up, it’s right around 0.25” difference.

Whatever front lift you decide to go with, if any, make sure to get an alignment afterward. The lift alters the geometry of the front suspension and alignment is needed to get it back to where it needs to be.

Extended Travel?

Bilstein 5160 Complete Guide for the 5th Gen Owner

One of the benefits of installing the Bilstein 6112s and 5160s is increased suspension travel.

Why is this important? Have you ever been off road and one of your tires is in the air or almost in the air? Well, if you had more suspension travel your tires might have stayed on the ground, therefore giving you better traction and improving your safety while off road.

With the Bilstein 6112s and 5160s, you get extra suspension travel but not exactly “extended travel” like a Total Chaos Long Travel suspension. With this suspension, you will see about an inch of extra travel. However, you don’t get this travel right out of the box.

In the rear, the 4Runner has a solid axle. When you install the 5160s in the rear you gain the benefit of about 1.0” of extra travel just by installing the new shocks. The front isn’t quite so simple.

The front suspension has double wishbone independent suspension, and this means you don’t gain the additional travel unless you install aftermarket upper control arms. Even though you don’t gain the extra travel right out of the box, you are one step closer to having more travel in the front suspension by installing the 6112s.

Installation

Installing the 6112s and 5160s can be completed in your garage, but installing the front 6112s will require more time, tools and effort.

For a full reference on the 6112s and 5100s, check out this write up.

I will cover the installation of the 5160s briefly and then conclude with a summary of my overall impression on the suspension.

Step 1

Since you will need to jack your vehicle up off the ground, it is important to be safe. Place blocks under the front tires to ensure your 4Runner will not roll forward or backward.

After doing so, loosen the lug nuts on one of the rear wheels. After loosening all the lugnuts (but not removing them) go ahead and position a jack under your 4Runner’s rear axle and lift it up so you have just enough clearance under the rear tire to remove it.

Note: it is important to lift your 4Runner in the rear by the axle so that it is under load. I place a jack/jack stand under the frame for safety reasons as well. Remove the tire and set it aside.

Step 2

Remove the factory shock. This is straightforward and very simple to do. There is a nut at the top and a bolt at the bottom. I suggest removing the top nut first and then remove the bottom bolt.

Step 3

Install the brackets and worm clamps that hold the reservoir in place. I think Bilstein does a good job with their instructions so I will leave the actual instructions up to their instruction manual.

Step 4

Position the top of your shock into the upper shock mount. Make sure that the shock stem has the lower washer and lower busing in place before pushing the shock stem through the upper shock mount. After placing the shock in the upper shock mount place the upper bushing and upper washer on the shock stem. Then secure the upper assembly with the M12 locknut.

Step 5

Using an assistant, slowly compress the shock and position into place on the lower shock mount. It does take quite a bit of force to compress the shock so two people are best. After positioning the lower portion of the shock in the lower shock mount, install the factory bolt and tighten.

Step 6

Bilstein 5160 Complete Guide for the 5th Gen Owner

The last step is to simply install the reservoir into the worm clamps. Make sure to route the hose to the reservoir behind the main shock tube. After putting the reservoir into position, slowly tighten each worm clamp until the reservoir is secure.

Step 7

Fox, King, Icon, and Bilstein?

Enjoy your new suspension and a much more composed 4Runner – both on and off road.

On Road Handling

On road, the 6112 and 5160 shocks are unbelievable. They drastically transform the 4Runner into a much sportier and reactive vehicle. Due to the digressive valving, the Bilstein suspension makes the 4Runner feel much more composed.

There is much less nose diving when braking, body roll is significantly reduced and overall my 4Runner feels much more reactive and controllable.

I have also noticed I don’t get moved around by high winds on the highway as much either. Going around tight corners and quick unexpected braking have been drastically improved, and as I said, my vehicle is simply much more composed.

There is one road in particular where I live that has some turns that have pot holes right in the radius of the turns. With stock suspension, I would skip just slightly when I hit these holes going 50 mph around this corner.

With these new Bilstein shocks installed I can go around the corner and only feel a slight bump from the holes in the road. Without any hesitation, if you want to increase the on-road handling of your 4Runner, this is a great suspension system to install.

Gravel Roads

Here is where things get a little tricky to describe.

On relatively flat gravel roads the 6112 and 5160 suspension combination does great. You can really fly down the road and feel safe and composed while doing so.

If you are on a gravel road (or on road) with some potholes, the suspension might feel a little stiff or harsh. This is because of the digressive valving. It is hard to explain, but smaller bumps don’t make the suspension react very much.

This is why you have decreased nose dive and body roll, but also smaller bumps are a little harsher. However, if you are hitting some bigger bumps, these shocks react a lot and smooth out the ride much better than the factory suspension.

Off-Road Performance

Off-Road Performance

Off road (slow, crawling) these shocks are pretty good. Although I would need to install new upper control arms to gain the additional travel that the 6112s can provide, I do gain additional travel in the rear from the 5160s and this helps out a lot.

Some obstacles that I used to cause a rear tire to be in the air no longer occur, as the extra travel (about 1-inch of extra travel) allow my rear tires to stay more planted. This gives me more traction, ride quality off road, and an overall safer vehicle.

Vehicle Loaded with Weight

One thing I have noticed with the installation of the Bilstein 6112s and 5160s is that they handle incredibly when the vehicle is loaded with a little bit of weight.

In fact, if you plan on overlanding, or just haul your family around a lot, these would make for a great setup. The extra oil capacity, increased suspension travel, and excellent ride quality when loaded up a bit make for an awesome overland suspension setup.

Overall Thoughts

A suspension can be really tricky to understand, especially since some people might understand terms like digressive, progressive and linear valving while others may not.

What I can say is that after installing the Bilstein 6112s in the front and 5160s in the rear I gained a lot of on-road performance, increased my suspension travel for off-road, and overall improved my cars handling capabilities.

These shocks really shine on the road and are great off-road as well. The extra travel has already benefitted me off-road by helping my tires stay in contact with the ground.

Lastly, although smaller bumps may be transferred a little harsher into the cabin of my 4Runner, larger bumps have been significantly smoothed out by the digressive valving and has therefore given me a much more composed, and smoother ride.

Great suspension upgrade for around $1000

If you are looking for a suspension that is right around $1,000 that will significantly increase the 4Runner’s on-road handling, this may be a good option.

This setup also allows you to lift/level the front of your 4Runner, increase your suspension travel for the times you are flexing your suspension off-road.

If you are looking for these benefits and a more composed ride quality then I would consider installing the Bilstein 6112 and 5160 shocks.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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Chris
Chris
September 22, 2020 11:37 am

Hi Clint, would you know if the TRD Pro 2018 shocks would fit just fine to 2014 4Runner Limited?

Sim
Sim
September 15, 2020 11:56 am

Hi Clint. Thanks so much for the write up. I have spent a lot of time researching upgrades for the 4runner which I am planning to buy in the next few months and it wasn’t until I read your post that the suspension issue started to become clearer. I am not really interested in lifting the 4runner but I would like to improve the handling both on the road and off road. I live in Vancouver Island and although it will be my daily driver I do quite a lot of off roading too so it’s important to find the… Read more »

Sim
Sim
September 20, 2020 1:23 pm
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Thanks so much for your input Clint! I’m looking forward to start my project soon! I guess that the bigger size tires it’s possible without rubbing issues because of the suspension being stiffer?

Ricardo C
Ricardo C
September 12, 2020 10:52 am

Clint, just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you’ve done on this site! I’ve spent a lot of time reading your stuff and the comments, where I’ve found answers to most of my questions. I like what I read about this set up (5160 & 6112) and hope to get it done soon. One of the reasons I like it is that it allows me to keep my KO2s, 265s for a longer time while leveling my 2016/trail/KDSS. Once its time for new tires I may get a slight lift and 275s. Again, no questions. Just a… Read more »

Judy Shorrock
Judy Shorrock
August 26, 2020 4:54 pm

Clint, I really found your article so helpful and want to do the 6112/5160 Bilsteins on my 2020 4Runner. Did you replace the stock bump stops for your original set up (1.2 in. front – stock rear) or when you later changed to a 1 inch rear lift coil and 2.5 inch front lift?

Alex Young
Alex Young
August 25, 2020 9:44 am

Awesome website with some great reviews on products for the 5th gen 4Runner! I just bought and installed my Bilstein 6112 set at 1.7″ in front and Bilstein 5160 rear w/Bilstein 1.5″ coil. The question I have for you is that I am still encountering a bit of a rake, and would like to have my 4Runner as level as possible. What do you recommend me setting the front to to make it as level as possible? The two options I was thinking is: One looking to raise the front to 2″-2.4″ so I can get a level look. Adjusting… Read more »

Dustin
Dustin
July 31, 2020 3:16 pm

Solid review!! My concern with upgrading the suspension on our 2020 is knowing we plan to upgrade the rear bumper and once completely loaded could add 190 lbs, and then factor rooftop tent and gear a total of nearly 450 extra lbs. In your opinion would this setup prevent the rear from sagging?

Thanks again for an excellent review!

Just notice the response to Francis concerning the Dobinson Spring guide so I will research that as well.

Cheers!!

Last edited 2 months ago by Dustin
Greg S
Greg S
July 8, 2020 2:44 pm

Clint,

Did you measure the actual lift result of the 1.2″ setting? I’ve read that the results can vary.

Klinsman55
Klinsman55
June 1, 2020 9:01 am

Great informative post Sir! I have 2020 off-road stock and looking to do some upgrade myself. Like you I do 90-95% on-road and rest off-road (dirt/gravel roads to maybe medium challenging off road at best). I may occasionally tow an ATV. I had some questions for you if you, any feed back that would be great. I am looking to add a front bumper/bar ~60lbs, a roof rack ~60-90lb, rock sliders & a rear bumper w/ tire holder ~200lbs. I mainly drive on-road so good on-road handling (less nose dive, body roll, good breaking, mild snow driving etc) is important… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Klinsman55
David S
David S
July 9, 2020 11:11 am
Reply to  Klinsman55

I have the 6112 at highest setting (2.5″) and also go the heavy duty B12 coil springs which added another 0.5″. I’m running the 5100 in the rear with the ICON 2″ coil spring. I have a front bumper, full roof rack, spare tire hitch swing out. I’m happy with the setup on and off road. Makes me want to drive over almost anything. Also I’m running 285/70R17 BFG KO2s C load. In my opinion, better to get the 285 in the C load than the 275 in E load. I would have regretted getting the 275s. Check out my… Read more »

Adam J
Adam J
May 10, 2020 2:02 pm

@texaskayakfisher did you use the Icon 2″springs for this install that are linked above?

Adam J
Adam J
May 10, 2020 3:14 pm
Reply to  Adam J

Jk I just found the answer I was looking for further into the comments!

Sean G
Sean G
March 10, 2020 2:08 pm

Clint,

I noticed you’ve changed your set up since this article. I want to do a 1.6” lift in the front, but don’t want spacers in the back. If I use the 1” Bilstein springs in the back do you think it’ll give too much forward rake?

Grant
Grant
March 9, 2020 7:36 am

Did you use the icon springs in the rear or is it just stock?

James
James
February 14, 2020 10:15 pm

Thanks for the write up. I would like to run 275s — either BFG AT KO2s or Cooper AT3s, but I can only find these tires in load range “E”.

Were you running these in load range “E”? I’m concerned the ride might be too firm.

Tim
Tim
March 4, 2020 7:03 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Clint, I’m assuming you went with the 285s in the AT3 XLTs. Did you alter your suspension from the initial 1.2 inches in the front and zero in the rear to accommodate the larger tires? I have the same Bilstein setup and will move from 265s to 285s during my next tire change on my 2018 ORP. Thanks for taking the time to write your articles and reviews, they are very helpful.

Craig Dixon
Craig Dixon
February 14, 2020 8:22 am

I see you have boots on your 5160 where did you buy them from? I had a 5 gen 4 runner now have a 2020 tundra. I’m installing 6112 on the front and 5160 on the rear. But I want to add dust boots to the rear shocks. Because just like you I will be doing a lot of roading driving and dont want the shocks getting blast by rocks on the road.

Mike
Mike
February 2, 2020 8:18 pm

I bought my 2017 4Runner OR used and it came with a factory installed “lift”. The rake is insane and I really would like to purchase this set up to raise the front and level it out more. I believe I have the 3” rear Icon springs partnered to rancho shocks- upfront I know I have rancho but unsure on coil.

Throughout this thread is mention of 2” rear springs but is it possible to run the 3” rear spring with the 5160s (so I can save that money for the alignment/BMC lol) ?

James
James
January 25, 2020 11:51 am

What about durability? And how many miles until you have to rebuild?

John Wallet
John Wallet
January 18, 2020 5:52 pm

Great write up. I’m going to pull the trigger on this setup. My question is can the oil reservoir be mounted to the shock with the Bilstein parallel clamp or does it have to be mounted off to the side on the frame?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009FU4ENK

Bilstein Mounting Kit

John Wallet
John Wallet
January 19, 2020 3:08 pm
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Right. I found them on Amazon. There are also generic anodized aluminum clamps on Amazon too.

Jason Morris
Jason Morris
January 6, 2020 7:13 pm

Clint, I noticed in the beginning of your write up – which was awesome by the way – you included an ICON Rear Coil in the parts list. However, I didn’t see that you actually installed them. Could you explain?? Thanks

Brenan - @Trail4R
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Noble Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
January 6, 2020 7:57 pm
Reply to  Jason Morris

Jason – I think I added that in there as a suggest kit to buy as I installed damn near the exact same setup – just Bilstein 5100 & 6112. The Icon spring is a great option for lifting the rear 2″. So is the entire Dobinsons lineup. Dobinsons probably even more so because you can get sp precise with your preferred weight ratting.

Jason Morris
Jason Morris
January 7, 2020 8:32 am

Ok great! I don’t plan on lifting my 2018 Off Road Premium in the rear, just a simple 1.2” in the front. Based on that, are the rear coils even necessary ?

John Miller
John Miller
December 30, 2019 2:51 pm

Forgive me if this has already been answered, I didn’t find it…. Does your 4Runner have KDSS or no? I also believe you said you’re running 275/70/17 correct? Do you think a 285/70/17 would work? Again, I apologize if I’m repeating the conversation.

Ray
Ray
December 12, 2019 8:49 am

Fantastic write up Clint! I have a 2016 Of Road Premium with KDSS. 90% city/10% offroad. I have 3 objectives and want to spend a little less than the 5160/6112 combo. They are: reduce nose dive, reduce body roll and if possible raise the front end a bit to reduce rake. I was looking at Bilstein’s B8 5100 on all four corners. 1) Will this combo help with “dive and roll”? and; 2) Since the B8 5100 shocks are height adjustable will I be able to raise the front end a bit with just the shocks or do I need… Read more »

Ray
Ray
December 12, 2019 3:16 pm
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Thank you Clint! Do you have a comment regarding my 2nd question?
Anybody: question number 3?
Cheers!

Brenan - @Trail4R
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Noble Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
December 12, 2019 8:03 pm
Reply to  Ray

Coming from KDSS:
1) YES
2) YES – 5100 will provide your lift height as they are adjustable. YOu don’t need 6112. Like clint said, it’s just a larger diameter shock.
3) DONE

Francis
Francis
December 11, 2019 2:57 pm

Does it matter what coil springs you get? I’ve seen some setups with OME springs and this build has ICON springs. What about/why not the Bilstein springs? What are the pros and cons for either of those?

Brenan - @Trail4R
Admin
Noble Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
December 11, 2019 5:36 pm
Reply to  Francis

It does not matter what brand springs you get for the rear. We used Icon springs because I pulled those off my old build. You can use OME, Dobinsons, Bilstien, etc. Any brand will work with the other parts installed. The real difference between these springs is their load rating. 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… Read more »

Sean G
Sean G
December 11, 2019 11:54 am

Great thorough review! I have an SR5 4wd and wanted a mild lift that mirrored the TRD Pro to be more capable off roading in the rare event I need to “go places”. So based on my understanding you kept the rear springs stock is that correct? Bc I noticed on the parts list it mentioned the ICON 2” springs. Thanks!!

Francis
Francis
December 6, 2019 2:28 pm

This should get added to the “MODS 3 – LIFT & LEVELS Jump To” list. In addition a link from this other Bilstein Install article: https://trail4runner.com/2018/07/03/bilstein-6112-5100-install-5th-gen-4runner/

Brenan - @Trail4R
Admin
Noble Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
December 6, 2019 8:47 pm
Reply to  Francis

Done.

Allen Jones
Allen Jones
November 21, 2019 8:56 am

Sir, I recently purchased a 2012 Toyota 4Runner Limited with about 85,000 on it. I’ve been a pickup kinda guy most of my life, but I’ve been wanting to get away from a pickup & quite frankly go with a better looking vehicle that had the capiblilities of being able to haul some load & also have 4wd. I live in northern Michigan I’m retired & I have a camp in northern Ontario. Bottom line is yes the vehicle is going to be on the road a lot but it’s going to be traveling some pretty rough gravel roads with… Read more »

Developer
Developer
October 23, 2019 11:15 am

Great write up, thank you. Can you recommend the BEST Bliestien set up (got budget, so going for best in Bliestien world) . How about coil springs? How about UCA ? I am planning to rip Xreas off from 2015 Limited and install Blistien. What all products I need to require to get the installation done?

Mikko
Mikko
October 8, 2019 10:01 am

i drive a 2019 SR5P – ive been seeing on forums that one side (either left or right) of the vehicle must be circlipped 1 notch higher than the other side per bilstein’s instructions to avoid a weird lean? if anybody could chime in if thats accurate, that would be great!

Mikko
Mikko
October 8, 2019 10:12 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor

that helps! to note, i dont have kdss though, so does that matter?

these arent the easiest adjustable and i just want to make sure i do it right the first time and save me the cost of going to a shop or renting a spring compressor and redoing alignment.

Eric Anderson
Eric Anderson
August 22, 2019 6:16 pm

Great write up. I really appreciate the detail. I would love some info on hat brand springs you went with and what spring rate thy were. Thanks.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
August 22, 2019 8:11 pm
Reply to  Eric Anderson

Eric, for the front I used the Bilstein coils that came with the 6112 kit. In the rear, I just used the factory coils.

Mike
Mike
August 18, 2019 3:59 am

Sorry to keep bothering you. But let’s say I want the exact same suspension that came in the 2018 TRD Pro, with no lift adjustment. My reasoning being is that I feel when the vehicle leaves the Toyota plant the engineers design the car to function as a whole. When you start changing the angles of the car (I know some people do because of looks or funtction, ie approach angle) it might add stress or change drivability. I’ll be honest, I mainly want to run on paved roads, and in the winter add winter tires to ski Steven’s Pass.… Read more »

Mike
Mike
August 16, 2019 1:01 pm

Hi Clint, I really enjoyed your reading your post. Though I couldn’t understand everything especially the part of raising the front I liked how you outlined the fact that this was an OEM product on the 18, TRD Pro. I have just bought a 19 TRD ORP. I elected to get the TRD wheels and most likely I will be doing about 95/5 road/offroad and am considering upgrading my suspension. However that is probably the only I will upgrade. Basically nothing to add weight to either the front or the back. I will add a roof rack but it will… Read more »

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
August 16, 2019 9:24 pm
Reply to  Mike

Hey Mike, typically people lift the front of their 4Runners for two main reasons – looks & better ground clearance / approach angle. Most 4Runners (excluding TRD Pro) come with a forward rake. I like a slightly more leveled look so I lifted the front. You also gain a little ground clearance up front, thus better approach angle. The TRD Pro 4Runner comes with a slight front lift. All this said, it is entirely up to you on what you want. Whether you decide to lift the front or not, the Bilstein 6112/5160 setup is a great upgrade!

Jonathan R Duffey
Jonathan R Duffey
July 7, 2019 8:42 pm

I’ve got a 16 4runner and I am looking to redo the suspension. Initially, I wanted the Toytec boss kit but after reading I think the 6112/5160 will fit my needs a lot better since it is my daily and 96% of my driving is on road. I currently have a toytec leveling kit and the appearance has been great. The problem is that I have nosedive. On the front, I have a sso slimline bumper, 30 inch light bar, and a trd-pro slid plate. In the next 2 months, I will also have my winch installed with synthetic line.… Read more »

Don Love
Don Love
July 7, 2019 9:52 pm

I used the springs that came with the 6112. I have a aluminum hidden mount winch bumper and X20 Smittybilt winch, it added 108lbs to the front. I also have a full set of aluminum skids from RCI and aluminum sliders. I set the circlip on the second notch from the bottom which gave me 1.4 hours inches of lift in the front. My 4Runner sits almost level with just a bit of rake. I have KDSS.

Kevin
Kevin
May 3, 2019 9:01 am

I apologize but probably a silly question (still new to all this) but what is the correlation between the rear coil spring height and the 5160 lift? Like if I wanted to lift the rear, is that done with the 5160s adjustment or with the spring?

Thanks!
Kevin

Don Love
Don Love
May 3, 2019 12:04 pm
Reply to  Kevin

You don’t gain any lift with the 5160 shock alone. You either have to add a new spring to give you added height or a spacer. The 5160 have more travel than a regular shock so you can put on a spring or spacer that doesn’t exceed 2” in height.

Kevin
Kevin
May 3, 2019 12:21 pm
Reply to  Don Love

Alright, final silly question I promise.

If I wanted to do a lift with the Icon 2″ springs yet keep the rake close to stock, that means I’d select the 2in setting on the 6112s? (was hoping to just do a 1.6 overall lift but ICON only as 2″ as their shortest spring)

Don Love
Don Love
May 3, 2019 12:45 pm
Reply to  Kevin

I believe that would be correct but I don’t have any experience with the icon springs. So I don’t want to give you bad advice.

Hao
Hao
March 13, 2019 10:02 pm

Clint, do you know if the 6112 can handle extra 59 lbs in the front without sagging? I am planning to install an aluminum bumper in the front that weighs 59 lbs and I am wondering if I should pair the 6112 with heavier springs?

Hao
Hao
March 14, 2019 6:05 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor
Eric
Eric
February 23, 2019 1:29 pm

ahh should have waited for the 6112 & 5160 combo when i bought my 5100s. They were out of stock and backordered for a good 2 months when i was shopping for a set.

Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones
February 19, 2019 3:25 pm

Wow, Great write up and great information! I just purchased a 2015 SR5 and I am looking get a bit of a lift and go up on tire size without getting too drastic. It seems the BILSTEIN 5160 & 6112 are great for getting increased performance both on and off road. What tire size would you recommend for a weekend warrior looking to get more out of his 4runner?

Kevin
Kevin
February 17, 2019 6:25 am

Clint, thank you for this write up. I have been researching suspension for far too long and this as steered me into the direction I’m going to go. In your setup did you change out the front or rear springs. I noticed on the link for the 6112’s it includes them and you also have a link for the Icon rear. I was originally thinking about going with 5100s all around and keeping the stock springs but this setup seems like a much better option.

JT
JT
March 5, 2019 5:39 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor

How much extra lift would you get using the icon over the stock spring?

JT
JT
March 5, 2019 6:33 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Any chance you post post some more side pictures. Trying to get an idea what it will look like. I ordered the shock combo and will get the rear spring later. Thanks.

Jake
Jake
February 14, 2019 5:09 am

Thanks for this write up. Like others have mentioned, your timing is impeccable. I am getting ready to purchase a 5th gen 4runner and have also noticed the questionable handling dynamics on the road. That and the “underpoweredness” have given me cause for pause when considering a 4runner (planning on the supercharger, but that’s a separate discussion). In your write up, you seem to indicate that this set up (6112 + 5160) is the best bet for optimizing the handling dynamics of a 4runner. I guess my question is how big of a difference has this made for your vehicle?… Read more »

Jake
Jake
February 14, 2019 9:30 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Thanks Clint- it does help. In terms of tires, you’d take the at3 over the ko2 or any other all terrains? You have any thoughts on the new at3 LT? Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus?

William
William
February 13, 2019 6:13 pm
Reply to  Clint Taylor

My understanding of suspension dampening comes from mountain biking, where High Speed and Low Speed Compression Damping are individually tunable. Low speed damping addresses brake dive and weight shifting. High speed damping deals with larger impacts and ensures you don’t blow through all suspension when hitting an obstacle. Is there an article you recommend that further explains Bilstein’s digressive valving?

William Alexander
William Alexander
February 13, 2019 2:00 pm

Hey Clint – Thank you for writing a review that addresses how most of us use our rigs, 95/5 city to offroad. My 2019 SR5 currently has a “lift” (stock components with offsets) to run a set 285 KO2s, which looks awesome and drives acceptably, but other than the bigger tires the lift doesn’t aid in its ability off HWY. 1. How does your setup address washboard and other abrupt but not large amplitude impacts on gravel roads and poorly maintained streets? My setup feels pretty harsh. 2. Would your setup, with the lift, allow me to continue to run… Read more »

Dan
Dan
February 12, 2019 8:51 am

Hello Clint
Sounds like a great setup –
I have a question with relation to the lifts/heights you mentioned.
I currently have a Daystar leveling kit installed on my 2016 Limited- I also have the AREAS shocks of which I would have to remove (System) to install these – this is understood.
What would the preferred height setting be for the shock when I install them ? would this be set to 0 as the vehicle already has a slight lift from the leveling kits?

Thanks

Jacky Yeung
Jacky Yeung
February 11, 2019 9:20 pm

Very helpful article. Thank you!

Hao
Hao
February 11, 2019 6:08 pm

I appreciate you for taking your time and effort to write this article, Clint! You just saved me thousands of dollars as I was seriously considering trading in my 2017 Limited for a 2020 TRD Pro in army green since I REALLY love the appearance of the Pro and I am all about OEM reliability(not into mods). But you mentioned that the new Fox suspension on the 2019 and newer TRD Pro was really designed for “true” off-road enthusiasts which I am not since I spend 95% of the time on the highway every day and I only off road(exploring… Read more »

Hao
Hao
February 12, 2019 8:25 pm
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Thank you, Clint, for the reply. Cooper Discovery A/T3 seems to be the best all-around tires since it is very pavement and highway friendly compared to most all terrain tires, I will definitely consider that.
In your opinion, is it worth getting an army green pro if you are really into the color and new features but not into off-roading that much?

Zane
Zane
July 15, 2019 11:32 am
Reply to  Clint Taylor

First of all thank you for taking the time writing this, it solidified my buying choice and also answered a ton of questions since I am completely new to this whole thing. I am probably going to set mine up very close to how you did. I am running a 2018 TRD-Off Road non-KDSS. When it comes to tires though I plan on using BFG KO2’s according to Discount Tire 275/70R17 won’t fit but I assume they’re pulling info from stock measurements. With your 275’s did you have any rubbing issues I know they’re different tires from what you run… Read more »

Zane
Zane
July 15, 2019 1:01 pm
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Awesome thanks for the info!

Bradford
Bradford
February 11, 2019 1:42 pm

So funny. This post couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. I just got my white 2018 TRD ORP non-KDSS yesterday and I can definitely feel the body roll and nosedive. It’s super smooth on road, but the trade off is that floaty feel that I don’t really like. This is my DD and will be taking a few road trips this year to Big Bear, Mammoth, and some road trips to hit some national parks. I was going back and forth between a 2-3 inch lift and bigger tires vs a Pro type look and driving feel. After reading your… Read more »

Shaf
Shaf
February 10, 2019 10:32 pm

@Clint, I appreciate the time you took to document your findings and you communicated them well. I got a bit lost when you made the comment of the extra oil capacity. How is the engine oil effected? Also you made the comment that the upper control arms are not required for the front but I took it that you found that to match the long travel of the rear it would be a necessary add-on. If this is the case do you mind updating the link to the proper upper control arm. I have a 2017 model. I live in… Read more »

Adam
Adam
February 10, 2019 8:17 pm

This article was very timely for me! I recently purchased a 4th gen 4runner. I came to the exact same conclusions about priorities, and I’ve been trying to figure out a suspension setup with these exact attributes. Thanks for outlining the principles so clearly! It really helped me understand the what and why.

Now I am wondering what about compatibility or what equivalent part options are available for my rig (2006 SR5 V6 4×4).

Don Love
Don Love
February 10, 2019 1:51 pm

I have this set up with KDSS on my 2019 OffRoad. It has been the perfect combination. We do about 80/20 pavement/off road, going to trails around Big Bear, out into the desert, and occasionally to Moab. I am very happy with this choice for the same reasons mentioned in the post.

Kevin
Kevin
February 17, 2019 6:15 am
Reply to  Don Love

Don, did you have any issues with KDSS lean with this setup? Is there anything you needed to do to balance out the system?

Don Love
Don Love
February 17, 2019 6:50 am
Reply to  Kevin

I have had no lean, and did no adjustment to the KDSS. I set the 6112 on the second circlip which gave me 1.4” lift in the front. I put a aluminum hidden winch bumper from Greenlane OffRoad that weighs 46lbs and a Smittybilt x20 10k winch with synthetic cable weighing about 60lbs. I also put on a full set of RCI aluminum skids and sliders. I sit pretty much level and very much like the suspension.

Eric
Eric
December 24, 2019 9:39 am
Reply to  Kevin

Late response lol My 4runner did experience about a 0.6” rear lean after doing 5100’s on all 4 corners with the front set at 0.85” (netted about 1.25” total front lift in the front). I actually felt the understeer when turning left. I countered the lean with a commonly used OME 10mm rear spring spacer on the passenger side rear spring which leveled both front and rear within 1/16th” on a full tank and the understeer went away. Please note that I had the KDDS lean prior to the shock install but it definitely became more apparent until the spacer… Read more »

Kevin D.
Kevin D.
May 2, 2019 2:02 am
Reply to  Don Love

Hey Don,

I also have a 2019 OR with KDSS and RCI skids + sliders and was considering a 6112/5160 set up. Also would like to check out several of the areas in California (esp Big Bear and Death Valley) so would love to get in touch with you about how your set up has been working out for you.

Don Love
Don Love
May 2, 2019 6:47 am
Reply to  Kevin D.

I really like the Blistein set up. It is a very comfortable ride on pavement, not harsh at all very smooth feeling. OffRoad has also been great. Once you air down the tires, going over washboard roads, is very nice. We do limited rock crawling because I don’t want to damage a $40K vehicle, but I am very satisfied with the performance of the 6112/5160 set up. I think it’s perfect for someone who uses their 4Runner as a daily driver and spends their time off running around the desert or up in the mountains.

Kevin D.
Kevin D.
May 2, 2019 10:58 am
Reply to  Don Love

Hey Don,

Thanks for the quick reply! We also don’t intend to do too much rock crawling but would like to be somewhat set for MOAB-like trips and Barracks/Zion.

We will likely be 85% on-road/15% off-road so I feel that the 6112/5160s will be ideal. Don’t get me wrong, I want a set of Kings/Icons but…I don’t think I really need them haha.

Regarding rear spring, what did you end up going with? and how do you decide on the 1.4 lift? what about rear? I don’t plan on leveling out the car.

Thanks for the help!
Kevin

Don Love
Don Love
May 2, 2019 2:48 pm
Reply to  Kevin D.

I didn’t do any lift to the rear just put on the 5160s. I wanted it to sit mostly level with a little rake so when I put equipment in the back it wouldn’t sit nose high. Plus I have 100lbs of winch and bumper up front so it pulls down the nose.

Sam
Sam
May 21, 2020 11:25 am
Reply to  Don Love

Hi Don,
What wheels and tires is your set up?

Karen
Karen
February 10, 2019 1:35 pm

My son in Colorado owns a Toyota 4 runner, so I have ordered the new Rav4 XLE Premium, red. I do not have the vehicle yet, but I think those red stem caps would look good , where do I purchased them? Can you help?

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aftermarket valve stem capsKing Suspension Install - Step 12