Bilstein 5160 & 6112 Lift 5th Gen 4Runner Review

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.

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Simo Krneta
Simo Krneta
9 months ago

Chris, thanks for shedding some light on suspensions for the 4Runner. I just got a 2015 TRD Pro. You don’t mention what 4Runner you are working on. The OEM shocks on mine are Bilstein. I don’t see the model numbers though. Is this the setup I’m already sporting or will your recommendation be an upgrade to OEM.

gtan
gtan
11 months ago

Hello Clint, thank you for the wonderful and informative blog. I read your blog and all the comments multiple times before I decided to go with 6112/5160 setup. I have a 2020 Toyota Forerunner Off-Road premium with KDSS. One of my goal was to reduce the front rake and for this reason I went with the clip on the second notch for a lift of 1.4″ and went with stock height in the back. I have to say, My observation is that 6112/5160 ride is stiff compared to the stock shocks. For me ride quality is awesome with significantly reduced nose dive and body roll.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  gtan

Awesome, glad to hear the nose dive and body roll was reduced quite a bit!!

Joe
Joe
11 months ago

Hi Clint, this is easily the best, most informative write up on Bilsteins and 4Runner suspension upgrades out there! Thank you so much for the perspectives and expertise. Question as I couldn’t find this in the comments below. Have a 2020 4Runner TRD Off Road (no KDSS). Looking at 6112 up front and 5100 in the rear.

1) With a 6112 at 1.2″ lift setup in front, 5100 in the rear with stock springs, I’ll still have some rake, correct? Good with that as I also like rake and not the level look!

2) With this setup, going up to 275/70/17 (Wildpeak AT3s) on TRD Pro wheels (no spacers or any junk like that) should fit/work without any rubbing, correct?

3) Sounds like this setup will reduce nose dive when braking by 50% or so, based on comments below. About right?

Thank you again for sharing your expertise!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Glad you liked the article Joe! It’s always nice hearing an article helped someone out.

1) Yes! Probably around .5-.75” of rake.
2) More than likely yes. You might have very minor fender liner trimming (super easy though).
3) I’m not sure I could put a definitive answer as to how much reduction there is…but the Bilsteins definitely help tremendously!

Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Thanks for the super-quick response Clint! Appreciate the knowledge share!

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

Thanks for the comprehensive explanation Clint. I did a full ARB/OME lift on my 2016 Trail two years ago and have never been 100% happy with it. I installed the OME front springs recommended for the weight added (lo-pro bumper + winch) and stock weight rears, but I found the rake was bad (if not worse?) than stock and the front end is still too soft for my liking. Like you I drive on road 95% of the time (sucks, right?) and yet one of the rear shocks has already failed, which led me to researching replacements and thus this article. I’ll have to decide if remote reservoirs are for me though…

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

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

Sim
Sim
1 year ago

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 right balance between what is best for both scenario having in mind that I want to do a few more upgrades and I don’t have endless amount of money.

I was curious to know what tire size you’re running. Also I am not really interested in levelling the vehicle as such expecially because I will be having a rtt on most of the time, so what kind of height do you think I should be looking for to set the suspension in the front?

Best of luck and keep up the nice work!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Sim

Sim, I’d be happy to help you out! I think this suspension would be great for what you are looking at doing…maybe you could even consider Bilstein 5100s all around for a cheaper alternative too (if you aren’t looking at going too extreme off road). At the time of this article I had 275/70R17, but I have since upsized to 285/70R17. If you aren’t interested in leveling you can simply set it at the lowest setting. Or for just a little bit of a front lift you can set it to a .8″ or 1.2″ lift. I’d suggest the .8″ setting if you aren’t wanting to level it out. The 1.2″ setting still won’t be completely level and might be good too. Hope this helps out!

Sim
Sim
1 year ago
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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Sim

The stiffness or softness of suspension doesn’t affect clearance for bigger tires. Bigger tires typically require fender trimming, body mount chops, different wheels / spacers, etc.

Ricardo C
Ricardo C
1 year ago

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 saying thanks!

Bert
Bert
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricardo C

I too have the 16 Trail w KDSS. Just bought the 6112/5160 solution. Get them installed next week. Might keep the 265 but go to the KM3 instead if the KO2 I now run.

Ricardo C
Ricardo C
11 months ago
Reply to  Bert

Bert, How do you like the KDSS? I love the feel! One of the reasons I’d like to stay low enough to keep it.

Have you installed your lift? I haven’t found the time. I hate it when adulting gets in the way of your plans.

Bert
Bert
11 months ago
Reply to  Ricardo C

Yes installed 2” front on the 6112s.. no problems with the KDSS. Also installed the 5160 in the rear. Total package…looks great, ride is a bit stiffer but not a problem for me or the Mrs. Took it out in the sand and washboard of Anza Borego and at speed they worked perfectly. No roll no nose dive Tire stayed on the ground.

Jon C
Jon C
9 months ago
Reply to  Bert

Bert, how much of a lift did you do in the rear to go along with the 2” in the front and what size tires are you running. Any pictures you could share?

Thanks

Jon C
Jon C
9 months ago
Reply to  Bert

Bert, with the 2” lift how do the 265/75/17 tires look? What size lift did you do in the rear?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricardo C

Ricardo, thanks! I always enjoy hearing feedback…especially positive feedback! I hope you get this supsension setup soon. I think you’ll really like it.

Judy Shorrock
Judy Shorrock
1 year ago

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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Shorrock

Awesome, I’m glad you found it helpful! No I haven’t replaced them. If you put in a spacer lift you definitely should put in new bump stops; however, for the particular setup I have there isn’t a need for new bump stops.

Alex Young
Alex Young
1 year ago

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 the front will change the difference from 0.2″ to 0.5″-0.9″. And the second would be replacing the rear coils with 1″ coils and raising the front to 2″, giving a 1″ difference.

Thank you

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Young

Putting in the 1.5″ rear coils essentially made it where your setup doesn’t have much different rake than factory. With a 1.5″ rear lift you will need to max out the front shocks to 2.5″. I would recommend adjusting the front to 2″ lift and replacing the rear coils with 1″. From there you can adjust the front a little to suit your needs / style.

Dustin
Dustin
1 year ago

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 1 year ago by Dustin
Greg S
Greg S
1 year ago

Clint,

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

Klinsman55
Klinsman55
1 year ago

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 to me more so over being able to do extreme off roading.

** I would like to upgrade to the 6112’s and 5160’s suspension, this seems like a good mid ground of what i am looking for. With the added weight of all the other extras (front bar, roof rack etc) do you think I would need a different suspension system, if so which kind?

** Also, as far as tires I am looking at the Cooper AT3 4s (265/70/17 C) due to good on-road performance, less noise etc. Do you think with the added extra weight of my other upgrades I would need to step up to say the Cooper AT3 LT (275/70/17 E)? If so does this tire have any noticeable more road noise and less dry/wet/snow road performance?

Last edited 1 year ago by Klinsman55
David S
David S
1 year ago
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 instagram @760_4rnr

Adam J
Adam J
1 year ago

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

Adam J
Adam J
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam J

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

Sean G
Sean G
1 year ago

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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean G

Sean, if you go with a 1.6″ front lift and the 1″ Bilstein springs in the back you will essentially have lifted the front of your 4Runner .6″ more than the rear. In consideration of this, the forward rake will be 0.6″ less than a stock 4Runner. It really just depends on what you are wanting. I think this would be a good look, but a lot of people like a near level stance…which requires raising the front of your 4Runner approximately 1.5″ in proportion to the rear. I hope this helps!

Grant
Grant
1 year ago

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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Grant

At the time I published this article I had stock springs. However, I have since replaced my rear springs with some from Bilstein that provide a 1″ rear lift.

Joe
Joe
10 months ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Clint, with the Bilstein springs you put in the rear, does the truck have a level look or a slight forward rake? I installed the 5160/6112 combo with the 6112’s at 1.2 and at times it seems like the front sits higher than the back. This is with stock rear springs, so I’m wondering if 1″ rear bilstein springs will lift the rear just enough to get the rear a tad higher than the front. Thanks!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
10 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I had just a slight forward rake with a 1.2” front setting and nothing in the rear. I now have a 2.5” lift up front, so I’m using the 1” Bilstein coils in the rear. I still have a slight forward rake.

Joe
Joe
10 months ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Stupid question…if I swap my rear toyota oem springs with bilstein 1” rear springs and leave the front 6112’s at 1.2” in the front, will the truck have a slight rake about 1” higher in the rear?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
10 months ago
Reply to  Joe

The simple answer is your rear will be approximately 1” higher than it is now. I’d estimate that you’d have 1-1.5” of rake.

James
James
1 year ago

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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  James

James, at the time I published this article I had AT3s in 275/70R17 load C…but unfortunately Cooper doesn’t make them in load C anymore. I now have gone to the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT in load E, and I personally don’t notice a firmer ride. I actually think the new AT3 XLT could be better riding than the older tires.

Tim
Tim
1 year ago
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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

Tim, that’s correct. I got AT3 XLTs in 285/70R17. I did adjust my front suspension setting to 2.0” and added a Toytec front spacer which provided an additional .5” front lift…for an approximate total front lift of 2.5”. In the rear I installed Bilstein springs which provided a 1” rear lift. In addition, I had to do a body mount chop, trim / move my front fender liners, and trim my mud flaps substantially (or you could just remove them). I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Craig Dixon
Craig Dixon
1 year ago

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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig Dixon

Craig, when I purchased the 5160s they already had the rubber protective boot installed.

Mike
Mike
1 year ago

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) ?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike, unfortunately the 5160s from Bilstein are only recommended for a 0-2″ rear lift…so the 3″ rear springs are not recommended. You might be able to reach out to Bilstein and see if they have a special shock that would suit your application though. Hope this helps you out!

James
James
1 year ago

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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  James

James, the shocks have held up very well for me. I have put over 20,000 miles on my setup without any noticeable degrading performance. These shocks cannot be rebuilt.

Chris
Chris
7 months ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

6112s can be rebuilt fyi

John Wallet
John Wallet
1 year ago

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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  John Wallet

John, as far as I know you can mount the reservoir to the shock. One thing to note is that the reservoir clamps from Bilstein are sold individually.

John Wallet
John Wallet
1 year ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

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

Jason Morris
Jason Morris
1 year ago

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 Greene
Admin
Scout
1 year ago
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
1 year ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

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 ?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason Morris

Nope, no rear coils needed for that setup!

John Miller
John Miller
1 year ago

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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  John Miller

John, I do not have KDSS. At the time of this article I was running 275/70R17. However I recently went to 285/70R17. If you have Factory wheels, you have a decent chance of running 285s without issues (maybe minor fender trimming required), but if you have wheels with less offset than factory wheels (which are +15 I believe), then you will most likely need a body mount chop. This all varies depending on the exact tire, suspension setup, wheels, and even particular 4Runner.

Ray
Ray
1 year ago

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 spacers or new coils?
3) Can someone with this setup chime in?

Thank you!

Brenan Greene
Admin
Scout
1 year ago
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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray

Thanks Ray! I do not have experience with a KDSS 4Runner and 5100s, but essentially you can do the same setup with four 5100s as you can with the 6112 and 5160 setup. The one thing to note is that the 6112 and 5160 are a “more premium” shock than 5100s, so the 5100s probably won’t perform quite as well (but still very good). This is primarily a result of the 6112s up front having a much larger diameter shock body in comparison to the 5100s, and the 5160s in the rear having a remote reservoir whereas the 5100s do not. All in all, the 5100s would be a great setup if you were wanting similar characteristics that the 6112s and 5160s offer, just at a cheaper price point. Hope this helps you out some!

Ray
Ray
1 year ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

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

Francis
Francis
1 year ago

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 Greene
Admin
Scout
1 year ago
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 want to decide whether you want 2″ or 3″ of lift in the back, then decide how much weight you need to support. If you know you are going to add 500lbs to the back of your 4Runner, get a spring rated to support 500lbs. Check out this Dobinsons spring guide. This should help.

Sean G
Sean G
1 year ago

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!!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean G

Hey Sean, thanks! For this install, I did keep the rear springs stock, and it worked great for what I was wanting. In the change that you wanted a higher lift, you could install the ICON 2″ springs that are mentioned in the article, or Bilstein makes some great (cheaper) options that can provide you with either a 1″ or 1.5″ rear lift. I hope this helps you out.

Francis
Francis
1 year ago

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 Greene
Admin
Scout
1 year ago
Reply to  Francis

Done.

Allen Jones
Allen Jones
1 year ago

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 potholes & washout’s each time I go in & out of camp.
I want to make a couple of mods. to the vehicle that will mostly give it some better clearance & help with the off road travel in & out of camp.
Sooooo I’ve been researching my butt off looking at all kinds of lifts & tires & etc. Talk about make my head spin & a guy like me who is NOT a mechanic nor am I mechanically inclined doesn’t help….

It was not until I read your article on the install of the Bilstein 6112/5160 combo that I truly understood what I want to do.

Your article was EXCELLENT, it explained & answered every question that I had.

Just wanted to thank you for being honest & sharing your information with everyone.

Al Jones

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Allen Jones

Allen,
Congratulations on your recent 4Runner purchase! I’m very glad to hear that this article helped you out some and gave you a good idea of the direction you want to go. Thanks for reaching out!

Developer
1 year ago

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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Developer

I’d recommend the suspension recommended in this article (6112 front and 5160 rear), it has served me great and is an awesome bang for the buck setup. The 6112 suspension kit comes with new coils so you should be good to go there (unless you are running a heavy aftermarket front bumper). For the rear, Bilstein makes some coils that provide some extra lift (if desired) that are reasonably priced and pair well with their shocks. For UCAs, I’d recommend JBA Off-Road High Caster UCAs. As for the removal of the XREAS system, I wouldn’t be able to give you a good recommendation. I hope this helps you some!

Mikko
Mikko
2 years ago

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!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikko

Mikko, that is correct. The install instructions from Bilstein tell you what height to set each circlip at. The circlip setting on the driver side will not be the same as the passenger side. I hope this helps.

Mikko
Mikko
2 years ago
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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikko

Mikko, I have a TRD Off-Road 4Runner without KDSS, and I had to have the circlips set at different levels. The installation manual Bilstein provides outlines what setting to set the circlip at depending on if your 4Runner is 4WD or not, KDSS or not, etc.

Eric Anderson
Eric Anderson
2 years ago

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
2 years ago
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
2 years ago

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. I have 3 girls all under the age of 5, so off roading is really not in my future. I don’t see me adding a Gobi and doing overloading, rock climbing. The most I would do is add a Thule roof rack and add a cargo carrier, bike hitch.

I once owned a BMW M3, but this was before I was married or had kids. Sort of hard to get a car seat in a coupe!

So again, I was thinking of getting the 6112’s in the front and the 5160’s in the back with Icon coils. But what I was wanting to do is have the mechanic install them to the exact height that the original 2018 TRD Pro came off the factory line. In addition I don’t see adding a winch, bumper front or back or anything else that would add weight. I think the combined weight of my girls is 60 pounds!

If I were to buy the 6112 coil over and keep the OEM rear what should I set the height to, or is that already at OEM specs?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike, no bother! A couple things. I also have been cautious to change some of my 4Runner’s angles, heights, suspension, etc…however, you can easily upgrade your 4Runner to much better than it left the factory floor – you just have to use quality parts and do a good job on the install. This said, if you want to be as close as possible to the 2018 TRD Pro suspension, I’d just buy the actual TRD Pro suspension (costly though). If you want to use the 6112 & 5160 setup (pretty much identical, but a lower cost because it doesn’t have TRD on it), then I’d set the front to 1.2″.

To be honest, you don’t have to lift it at all if you don’t want to, you will get a lot of performance from the upgraded shocks regardless of what height you ultimately go with.

ICON coils are great, but I’d take a look at the coils offered by Bilstein. They are a little cheaper, probably a better spring rate for what you are wanting, and they are made by the same company you are getting the shocks from…Bilstein. ICON would be great if you were adding a little more weight and or installing ICON shocks.

Last, I wouldn’t just install the 6112s in the front and do nothing to the rear – bad idea. I installed my 6112s a week before my 5160s, and the car felt off. The front was real composed but the back was “loose”. Then I installed the 5160s and everything felt really composed, big difference in my opinion.

All this said, I’d recommend getting the 6112s and 5160s. Set the 6112s to a 1.2″ height.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

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 be a Thule or Yakima for a cargo box to go skiing. Maybe even to put a kayak on the roof but nothing like a Gobi or Baja. I am still confused about the lifting the front, why even do this? Is it necessary? Why not just keep it a “0” especially if I am going with the stock wheels at 265. Do you know what the original setup was for the 18 TRD Pro?

Thanks again for the info, I’m just getting started and appreciate all the good information on your page.

Mike

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
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
2 years ago

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. I want to say that I am looking at around a 100- 150lb increase in weight to the front which causes the nose dive. I want to get the 6112 in the front but I need to know about the correct spring to get. I heard the stock suspension has a 600lb front spring. there is an option for a 600 and a 700 lb spring. (I’ve heard there may be a 650 but I am unsure and that seems close to 700). I want to keep a leveled look at about the 1.6 mark but I do not want to do overkill with the spring and have a harsh ride for no reason. I am also uneducated in terms of preload and if that is adjustable. would you recommend the 600 or the 700 lb coils to get rid of the nose dive but still providing a smooth front end that is not overkilled.

Don Love
Don Love
2 years ago

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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Love

Jonathan, going off what Don said, I think you should be fine with the stock coils that come with the 6112 shocks. The Bilstein 6112 setup will reduce nose dive over the stock suspensions quite a bit. This said, it may be worth trying out the Bilstein 6112s coils, and if for some reason you are satisfied with the feel of the vehicle you can install beefier springs down the road. Installing heavier springs right from the get go may result in “too firm” of a ride, resulting in a harsh ride. This is entirely up to you though. Hope this helps you out a bit.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

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
2 years ago
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
2 years ago
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
2 years ago
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
2 years ago

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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Hao

Hao, I think you should be fine with the springs that come with the 6112s, especially if you are lifting the front any. If I am understanding correctly, the front bumper you want to install weighs 59 lbs. If this is correct, you won’t actually be adding 59 lbs, but less because you will have to remove some of the factory bumper to install your new one, thus saving some weight. This said, you may only be adding 50 lbs, which is still significant, but I don’t think it should cause a problem. You can always send me the type of bumper you are looking at and I can help you out a little bit further. Thanks!

Eric
Eric
2 years ago

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
2 years ago

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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones, the Bilstein 5160 & 6112 are a great suspension setup for both on and off road. Without a doubt I’d recommend Cooper Discoverer A/T3 tires in 275/70R17. Here is a link to an article I published over them: https://trail4runner.com/2018/07/04/cooper-discoverer-at3-review/.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Kevin, I’m glad the article helped you out! I kept the rear springs but used new springs in the front. As you said, the 6112s come with new coils. The Icon link for the rear is if you wanted some extra lift, however, I used factory springs in the rear.

JT
JT
2 years ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  JT

JT, the ICON coils give you a 2 in. lift in the rear. These coils do not alter the front lift, only if you want to lift the rear.

JT
JT
2 years ago
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
2 years ago

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? I’m certainly not expecting the handling of a sports car, but I guess I’m used to a Grand Cherokee which handles much sportier and composed than the OEM 4Runner on the road. Also, have you noticed any difference in ride because of the tires? I appreciate any input you have.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Jake

Jake, if you are wanting to increase the on road handling of the 4Runner this suspension is great. It reduces nose dive significantly, reduces body roll significantly, and simply gives it a more “sporty” and controlled feel…while still giving you a more capable off road suspension than the factory setup. Just to make sure you are aware, I have Cooper Discoverer A/T3 in 275/70R17. I highly recommend these tires. I have tried many all terrain tires and these have been the quietest and given the best traction on road. They are amazing on road when it is raining too, lots of traction. These tires do weigh a little more than the factory tires and they are a little bigger so expect a little drop in your fuel economy, but not much. They do seem to smooth out small bumps in the road much better and also help to make my 4Runner feel a little more planted both on and off road. I hope this helps you out!

Jake
Jake
2 years ago
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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Jake

For a tire that is better suited for the road, I’d go with the A/T3 LT (this is the most current version of the A/T3 offered). If you plan on doing a significant amount of off-roading, I’d consider the K02s. The AT/3s are a little better on-road and K02s are a little better off-road, just depends on what you use your 4Runner for. As far as all-terrain tires, the A/T3 and K02s are the best I’ve found. Not that there aren’t other options out there that are good, these are just the best I’ve found and have personal experience with. I don’t have any experience with the Pirelli Scorpions AT Plus, but I have heard pretty good things about them.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago

William, that was the large intent of this article – a reasonably priced suspension system that most 4Runner owners would benefit from. As to your questions I’ll try to address them as best as possible.
1. This is a difficult question to answer. To me, this suspension handles gravel roads much more controlled than the factory suspension, but it may feel a little stiffer depending on the particular gravel road. I live in a city with quite a few potholes to say the least and this suspension can really soak up the potholes. The important thing to remember is the digressive valving of these shocks. These shocks will be a little “stiffer” on smaller bumps but really soak up the larger bumps well. I’ve found that I can go much faster on washboard roads with these shocks and this is probably due to the digressive valving. So to sum this up, washboard roads may be slightly more harsh, but you have better control and can go at a higher speed.
2.You probably wouldn’t be able to run 285’s with just the 1.2″ front lift and no rear lift like I have. You can run 275’s with this setup, but not 285’s. In general, you need about a 3″ front lift and 2″ rear lift to run 285’s…in general. For the rear, you could use the 5160s and buy aftermarket coils that provided the additional 2″ lift. For the front, you could set the shocks to 2.5″ and see how much rubbing you have. Depending on your wheel offset and particular tire you might be able to do some fender trimming and be good to go. If not, you could put in a small spacer lift to give you the additional .5-1.0″ lift in the front. You still might need to do some trimming, but maybe not as much.
Hope this helps out!

William
William
2 years ago
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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  William

William, I also mountain bike (Specialized Camber Comp 29) so I can relate. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a good article that explains the difference in progressive, linear and digressive valving. The best way I can explain digressive valving is that it is kind of like high speed compression. It aims to soak up bumps (typically medium to larger bumps) that make the shock shaft travel at a fast velocity. In consideration of this, the Bilstein’s do a great job at smoothing out medium to larger bumps. However, the smaller bumps can be felt slightly more. Of course you can purchase shocks for the 4Runner that have low and high speed compression settings…but these cost multiple times more than this Bilstein setup. To sum it up, digressive valving gives the 4Runner better on road handling and soaks up medium to larger bumps much better. I hope this helps you out. If you need some further explanation please ask. Thanks!

William Alexander
William Alexander
2 years ago

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 285s, or would there be too much rubbing? What about if I want to increase travel with new upper control arms?
Thanks!

Dan
Dan
2 years ago

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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan, if I am understanding your question correctly it is entirely up to you. Assuming this is a true leveling kit (meaning you only installed spacers in the front), you could either install the front shocks at “level 0″, or you could remove your Daystar leveling kit and set the Bilstein 6112s to a 1.2″ or 1.6″ setting. My recommendation would be to remove the Daystar leveling kit and set the Bilstein 6112s to 1.2″ or 1.6”. This removes components, weight, and simplifies your front lift. I hope this helps you out some.

Jacky Yeung
Jacky Yeung
2 years ago

Very helpful article. Thank you!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Jacky Yeung

Jacky, awesome! Glad it helped you out!

Hao
Hao
2 years ago

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 trails) 3-4 times a year. What tires and what sizes do you have on your trd off road? Would you recommend 265 or 285 for us daily driver?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Hao

Hao, I’m happy to hear this article was of value to you. The new TRD Pros are awesome, however, I do believe they are one step closer to even more of an “off-road” side. I am running Cooper Discoverer A/T3 in 275/70R17, load rating C. For a daily driver I wouldn’t go any larger than the 275s I have. 285s look good and are great off road, but they require a substantial lift, potential regearing and impact your fuel economy quite a bit. The 275s are a good choice if you want to go to a slightly larger tire. Here is an article I published on the A/T3 from Cooper in 275s…I highly recommend them: https://trail4runner.com/2018/07/04/cooper-discoverer-at3-review/

Hao
Hao
2 years ago
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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Hao

It definitely is very pavement and highway friendly for an all-terrain tire. I haven’t found an all-terrain tire that has better wet roads handling either. There are a lot of factors that play into that decision. I would just recognize that you are paying for a lot of extra off-road features by getting a TRD Pro 4Runner. If you are in the market for a new car I’d say test drive a TRD Pro and see what you think. If you are just wanting it for the color I’d consider getting your current 4Runner painted. Either way it’s up to you, hope this helps!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago

Bradford, I am glad this article helped you out some! From what you are describing, I think this suspension setup would be great for your 4Runner. I am actually running Cooper Discoverer A/T3 in 275/70R17…so a slightly larger tire than what comes stock on the TRD Pro 4Runners. I highly recommend the A/T3 in 275s. Whatever direction you go with in regard to tires, this suspension seems to be a solid fit for what you are wanting in a suspension system.

Zane
Zane
2 years ago
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 but with the lift and all just figured I’d ask. Thanks in advance!

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Zane

Zane, if you have stock wheels, you should be able to run 275’s without rubbing. I have TRD Sema Wheels which have a +4 offset instead of the factory +15 offset (essentially pushes the wheels out .45″ on each side). With these wheels I did encounter slight rubbing on the fender liners. Each 4Runner is slightly different though and I am not sure what impact the BFG K02’s will make in comparison to the Cooper A/T3’s. In consideration of this, you could have some minor rubbing but it can easily be addressed with a very minor fender trim. I did not want to do any sort of fender trimming, but it is extremely easy to do and will give you the necessary clearance you will need should you have rubbing.

Zane
Zane
2 years ago
Reply to  Clint Taylor

Awesome thanks for the info!

Bradford
Bradford
2 years ago

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 article, I am going to go with your setup. I think it looks great and will give me a good balance of on road performance as well as some mild off-roading capabilities. Plus I won’t be killing my MPG.

I am planning to run the matte black TRD wheels along with the Nitto G2s at the same 265/70/17 stock size. Your tires are 265 yes? My ORP will have a Pro look and stance which I’m super happy with.

Thanks again for this write up. I’ve been a daily visitor to your site for the past 3 months ever since I sold my Tacoma and started hunting for my 4runner. Keep up the great work!

Shaf
Shaf
2 years ago

@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 VA and do not have a garage which sets me back. I have this huge box sitting in my family room for the past 3 months containing a GOBI rack since the weather has not been agreeing with me 🙂

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Shaf

Shaf, it isn’t the engine oil I am referring to, it is the shock oil. Since the Bilstein shocks are larger in diameter (or have a remote reservoir) you have more volume to hold additional oil…which in hand gives you a higher performing shock because your shock will be less likely to overheat. As to the front suspension, if you want to gain additional travel you do need to install aftermarket control arms. As to which control arm you need, there are various makes and models. Here are a few companies I’d recommend checking out: Camburg, Total Chaos, and Icon. These three companies all make a good upper control arms for a 5th Gen 4Runner. As to your Gobi roof rack….hopefully the weather clears up soon for you, that will look nice on your 4Runner.

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

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).

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Adam,

I am glad the article helped you out in figuring out a good suspension for your 4Runner!

I did a quick search on Bilstein’s website and I believe these are the part numbers you need for a 2006 SR5 V6 4×4:

Front 6112s: 47-260153
Rear 5160s: 25-227611

Please double check before you order.

Don Love
Don Love
2 years ago

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 D.
Kevin D.
2 years ago
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
2 years ago
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.

Sam
Sam
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Love

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

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam

Sam, I have the TRD Sema wheels and at the time, Cooper Discoverer AT3s in 275/70R17. I have since gone to the same tire in a larger, 285, 70R17 size.

Kevin D.
Kevin D.
2 years ago
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
2 years ago
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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Love

Don, in my opinion, you described the 6112/5160 suspension for the 4Runner right on!

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
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?

Eric
Eric
1 year ago
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 was installed. Hope that helps anyone looking for any additional input.

Don Love
Don Love
2 years ago
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.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Love

Glad to hear the suspension is treating you well. I know i love it!

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

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?

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Karen, I got them front Autozone but you might be able to get them off Amazon as well. They are made by Slime.

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