King Shocks Step by Step Install on 5th Gen 4Runner

King Suspension Install

KING Lift Kit Installation with Total Chaos Upper Control Arms on 5th Gen 4Runner

Here is our step-by-step process on the installation of the King Suspension system on a 2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5.

This suspension lift aims to achieve 2.5” of lift in the front and 2.0” in the rear. This Install DOES NOT use KDSS required parts.

The King Shocks used can also be installed on certain year FJ Cruisers and Land Cruisers, however, please make sure to double check your part numbers!

We hope you find the following instructions useful!

Parts used:

  • King Shocks Front Coilovers w/ Remote Reservoir and Compression Adj. and Extended travel. (P/N 25001-278A) (*Note: Custom 600lb Spring used*) – Check Price
  • King Shocks Rear Struts w/ Remote Reservoir and Compression Adj. (P/N 25001-279A) (*Note: +3in Custom Extended Travel*) – Check Price
  • Total Chaos Upper Control Arms (UCA’s) (Part: TC 96504) – Check Price
  • 2.0” Toytec Superflex Springs (Part: 112620)
  • 2.0” Toytec Rear Bump Stop Spacers (Part: 43006-4R)

*Special Ordered. To get these specs, the King Shocks have to be special ordered. These specs do not come with the P/N shown. A custom order can be placed through Filthy Motors’ website if desired.

With this install, we also threw on a set of Falken Wildpeak A/T 3 size 285/70/17.

We HIGHLY recommend doing a body mount chop (BMC) for tire clearance. Check out Brenan’s article on the BMC using Metaltech’s 4Runner BMC kit.

Step 1. Preparation

King Suspension Install - Step 1.2

The King Suspension was purchased from Filthy Motorsports, LLC. We decided to go with them because they were very helpful, they will reach out to you to make sure you get exactly what you want, and they work very well with King Shocks.

They have some great videos which are very useful to help you learn about different suspension systems, the components involved, the installation process, and more.

Step 1-1. Watch Videos

Step 1-2. Read Instructions

**Disclaimer: The following instructions were created to break down and simplify the process of installing the OEM King Suspension Kit w/ Adjustment with a ~2.5” Lift in front and ~2.0” lift in the rear.

Do not solely rely on these instructions. Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions you received as well. Contact the manufacturer or your distributor if you have any questions regarding your install.

Step 1-3. Prepare Tools

It is recommended that you thoroughly read the entire instructions to make sure you feel comfortable and have all the proper tools needed for the installation. Below is a list of tools used:

  • Coil spring compressors (Only if adjusting preload)
  • 100 ft/lb torque wrench
  • Sockets and/or wrenches size: 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 17mm, 19mm
  • 21mm breaker bar to remove Lugs
  • 5.5mm Allen wrench
  • Hammer
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • A safe lift and stands
  • A friend or two to help

Step 2. Lift Your 4Runner

King Suspension Install - Step 2

Safety first! Make sure your 4Runner is lifted safely whether using a lift or jack stands.

Step 3. Remove Wheels

King Suspension Install - Step 3

Remove the wheels by removing the five M12X1.5 lug nuts from each wheel using a 21mm breaker bar.

Front Suspension Install:

Step 4-1. Remove Engine Skid Plate

King Suspension Install - Step 4-1

Some 4Runners will have plastic pins connecting the front bumper to the skid plate. Remove those first.

Step 4-2. Remove the four 12mm Nuts

King Suspension Install - Step 4-2

The skid plate should have two hooks in the front so the skid plate will hang and not just drop. It might take a bit of force and moving the skid plate around to get those hooks free the first time.

I ground down those hooks a bit so it was easier to remove and install for frequent oil changes, etc.

Step 4-3. Remove the Skid Plate Tubular Support Pieces

King Suspension Install - Step 4-3

Remove these pieces by removing the six M10 bolts with a 16mm or 17mm wrench.

Step 4-4. Reinstall Skid Plate Tubular Support Pieces

King Suspension Install: Step 4-4

Reinstall them using the provided spacers and M10x30mm hardware. The spacers allow for proper clearance of the Sway Bar.

Step 5. Remove Brake Line/ABS Sensor Wire Bracket

King Suspension Install - Step 5

Remove the ABS sensor brackets from the UCA and spindle by removing the 10mm head bolts from each bracket. Remove the brake line bracket attached to the chassis if you plan to remove the UCA’s (12mm head bolt)

Step 6. Disconnect Upper A-arms (6.1), Sway Bar Links (6.2), Tie Rods (6.3), and Lower Shock Mounting Bolts (6.4).

(Note that when completing the next 3 steps, the spindle will be able to freely hang and rotate so it is recommended to tie it somewhere so it won’t rip or bend any lines.)

6.1 Disconnect Upper A-Arms

 King Suspension Install - Step 6-1

Remove King Nut (19mm). Make sure to remove the Cotter Pin first!

6.2 Disconnect Sway Bar End Links

 King Suspension Install - Step 6-2

You can use an impact gun with a 17mm socket to break loose or a 17mm wrench and a 5.5mm size Allen. Once broken loose, continue using the Allen to remove and tighten the nut. We also used the impact toward the end to get it on tight again.

6.3 Disconnect Tie Rod End Links

King Suspension Install - Step 6-3

6.4 Remove the Cotter Pin

King Suspension Install - Step 6

6.5 Remove the Nut (19mm wrench)

King Suspension Install - Step 6

You will most likely need to use a hammer at the U-ball joint viciously to knock free. I was afraid to hit it hard until our main mechanic came over and start going almost full force at it and got it free with just a few taps.

6.6 Remove Lower Shock Mounting Bolts

 King Suspension Install - Step 6

Remove the lower bolt and nut using two 19mm wrenches.

Step 7. Disconnect the Sway Bar

King Suspension Install - Step 7

7.1 Remove the Four 14mm Bolts To Disconnect Bracket

King Suspension Install - Step 7

The Reservoir Mounts will mount here and shift the Sway Bar forward slightly for proper clearance of coils.

Note that brackets are side specific and must be oriented correctly for proper install. New hardware is provided to mount the Reservoir Brackets and Sway Bar Brackets.

Step 8.  Removal of Upper Control Arms (Step is only required if you are replacing your UCA’s)

It will also make it easier to remove and install shocks without UCA’s present.

Please refer to the Total Chaos Upper Control Arm Instructions for a complete detailed write up on installation.

Step 9. Remove Shocks

King Suspension Install - Step 9
Remove the three 14mm Nuts holding the upper section of the shock. This hardware will no longer be used. To remove the shocks, you may need to push down on the Lower Control Arm and also shift/rotate the Sway Bar out of the way.

Step 10. Differential Drop Kit

If you would like to install a Differential Drop Kit you can do this now. This suspension install does not require a diff drop, so I decided to opt out of doing it for the moment. I will be installing this kit if I decide to go any higher.

(At this point everything that needs be removed for the front has been removed. Time for install!)

Step 11. Install Reservoir Brackets

King Suspension Install - Step 11

Make sure you grab the correct Reservoir Bracket since they are side specific.

They should only be able to fit on one side so should not be difficult to get it wrong, however, the orientation is also shown in the pictures.

Mount the Reservoir Brackets using the existing Sway Bar holes and the four M10-1.25x40mm Allen head bolts provided.

Include a ⅜ washer on the slotted holes. We waited to connect the Sway Bar again so it can be kept out of the way when installing the coilovers.

Step 12. Install New King Shocks + Reservoirs

King Suspension Install - Step 12.1

2.2 Install King Shocks

King Suspension Install - Step 12

12.3 Install King Shocks + Reservoirs

King Suspension Install - Step 12.3

*Note: if your King Shocks include reservoirs, you will have to remove them from the car in order to adjust preload.

This is because the reservoir hose does not allow enough room for adjustment of the Coil Nut. Because of this, we recommend you calculate your preload and adjust your coilovers accordingly to your desired height.

For further assistance with King Shock specific preload adjustment please take a look at the King Suspension Preload Adjustment Instructions.

The shocks are also sided specific so make sure the correct one is installed on the correct side, obviously. The shock should be oriented so the reservoir hose is pointing toward the front of the 4Runner.

Also, pay attention to where the reservoir hose goes! It should be routed under the UCA as shown in the pictures. Place the shock in its correct position and begin by getting the upper ⅜ x 1” bolts provided tightened by hand.

Before tightening the upper bolts install the lower factory bolt and nut. The nut should be facing the back of the vehicle so the bolt should go in from the front end. Do not force the bolt in, but instead push down on the lower control arm and position the ball joint in the correct position if needed (~75ft/lbs). Tighten up upper bolts by hand!

Install the reservoirs with the hose clamps provided. Position the reservoir so it is centered between the hose clamps with the hose pointing straight back. Look at pictures for correct orientation.

Step 13. Connect Sway Bar

King Suspension Install - Step 13

Now that the shocks are in place, install the sway bar into the threaded holes in the Reservoir Brackets using the four ⅜” x ¾” bolts provided. (~30 ft/lbs).

Step 14. Connect Upper A-arms (14.1), Sway Bar Links (14.2), and Tie Rods (14.3).

14.1 Connect Upper A-Arms

King Suspension Install - Step 14.1

Install King Nut (19mm) if installing the stock UCA’s. Make sure to install the cotter pin! If installing Total Chaos UCA’s or something similar, please take a look at the Total Chaos Upper Control Arm Instructions. (~82ft/lbs)

14.2 Connect Sway Bar End Links

Similar to disconnecting it (Step 6.2). Use 5.5mm size Allen and 17mm wrench. An impact gun can also be used to tighten it, however, we recommend using the wrench and Allen method. (~52ft/lbs)

14.3 Connect Tie Rod End Links

*Note: After the install, we heard a weird noise when pressing on the brakes hard. It turned out to be that the sway bar was hitting the driveshaft from the car leaning forward while pressing on the brakes. Extend end links have been ordered to see if this will fix the problem. Update coming soon!

Install 19mm nut and Cotter Pin. (~67ft/lbs)

Step 15. Connect ABS Sensor Wire to UCA’s

King Suspension Install - Step 15

Install the ABS sensor brackets from the UCA and spindle by using the 10mm head bolt for the spindle and a zip tie for the UCA. Install the brake line bracket attached to the chassis if you removed it earlier the UCA’s (12mm head bolt).

Step 16. Skid Plate

If you want you can install the front skid plate again, however, I did this at the very end after doing the rear, and thoroughly double checking everything. Install using the four 12mm nuts and plastic pins.

Rear Installation:

Step 17. Remove the Stock Shocks/Struts.

King Suspension Install - Step 17

17.1 Remove the Top Nut and Lower Head Bolt

King Suspension Install - Step 17

Remove the top nut with a 17mm ratchet wrench if you have one. Remove the lower 19mm head bolt. The lower shock mount bolts will be reused, the top won’t.

Step 18. Remove the Rubber Bump Stops

King Suspension Install - Step 18

Remove the two 12mm head bolts holding the rubber bump stops from each side.

Step 19. Disconnect Rear Sway Bar

King Suspension Install - Step 19

Disconnecting the rear sway bar will make the spring removal and installation much easier.

You will have to remove the two 12mm nuts at the End links and four 14mm nuts on the chassis. Then disconnect the hooks as shown in the picture above.

Step 20. Remove Old Springs/Coils and Install New 2” Superflex Springs/Coils

King Suspension Install - Step 20
*Note: Extended brake lines can be installed at this point. We did not install extended brake lines. If going with anything higher than a 2.0” lift in the back we recommend installing extended brake lines and following the Extended Brake Line Install article by Brenan himself.

Installing the springs can be tricky, especially when installing that last spring. Take a look at the picture below. To install the second spring we had to jack up one end to the rear end would articulate, allowing for one side to drop while we lift the other. The OEM springs will be much easier to remove, however, you can use the same technique to make things easier. The springs will come right out and go back in without any bolts. Some force might be required to get the new ones in. Don’t forget to reinstall the rubber cap that sits on top of the coils. Make sure to watch your fingers and be safe!

20.1 Remove the Top Nut and Lower Head Bolt

King Suspension Install - Step 20.2

20.2 Remove the Top Nut and Lower Head Bolt

King Suspension Install - Step 20.3

Step 21. Install the Extension & Relocation Bump Stops, Reservoir Brackets, and the Rubber Bump Stops

King Suspension Install - Step 21

Install in this order from top to bottom: King Shocks Reservoir Bracket, then Toytec Extension & Relocation Bump Stops, and then finally the OEM rubber bump stops.

First, install the bracket and extended bump stops using the 8mm countersunk bolts provided by Toytech. Then install the OEM rubber bumps stop using the 5/16” bolt, washer and split washers provided by Toyech.

Install in this order: Rubber bump stop, flat washer, split washer, and then bolt. Check that things are fairly lined up and as flush as can be.

Step 22. Install your new King Shocks/Struts and Reservoir

King Suspension Install - Step 22

When installing the rear struts, the lower bolt will be reused. Insert the top of the strut first without tightening the nut, and then mount the bottom.

Once the strut is in place, tighten all the way. Tighten lower bolt to 72ft/lbs. The struts are side specific so make sure you are mounting the correct one on the correct side. The reservoir hose should be facing towards the rear of the vehicle as shown in the pictures.

Install the reservoirs with the hose clamps provided. Position the reservoir so it is centered between the hose clamps. Look at pictures for correct orientation.

Step 23. Connect Rear Sway Bar

Install the two 12mm nuts at the End links and four 14mm nuts on the chassis. Make sure the hooks are in place.

Step 24. Double Check EVERYTHING

Double check everything before reinstalling wheels. Make sure to recheck all hardware after 100 miles and periodically thereafter as routine maintenance.

Step 25. Install Wheels

Reinstall the 5 21mm Lugs to 85 ft/lbs Torque.

Step 26. Check Your Alignment

King Suspension Install - Step 26

CRITICAL: Make sure to get a PROFESSIONAL ALIGNMENT before driving at highway speeds.

Some people like to get an alignment directly after. Some people like to get an alignment after driving the vehicle slowly for 100 miles.

We recommend finding an alignment shop that will align your vehicle “immediately” after your install and will then fine tune after 100 miles or so.


King Suspension Install - Step 27King Suspension Install - Step 27.1King Suspension Install - Step 27.3

Make sure to check out @Venture4Adventure for awesome films, pictures, projects, product reviews, journeys & destinations, and more coming soon!

We want to give a BIG thanks to Niche Automotive Precision Automotive Service and Repair.

All the work was done at Niche Automotive.

Casey and Rob were a huge help and extremely knowledgeable. Make sure to check out @nicheautomotive.

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11 months ago

What sized tires did this have in the final photos? Are those stock?

4 years ago

Thanks for the write-up. This is the first time that I’ve read a BMC is recommended with 285/70/17. I would’ve thought that the lift that comes with this suspension would be enough to clear 285s. Would they rub otherwise on the body mount?

3 years ago
Reply to  Oscar

Yes for us they would rub. I have herd some have got away without rubbing. Also depend on the tire brand since they vary slightly in size.

4 years ago

Hey there, I’m looking at the same lift for my 2019 off road and it has a factory rake on it, I was Just curious if after doing the 2.5” in the front and 2” in the rear if it leveled out the 4runner or if it still ended up with a noticeable rake, I’d like to rid it of the rake and wondering should I be looking more at an 1.5” to a 1” spring for the rear to get a more level look

3 years ago
Reply to  Bron

Hey Bron,

Mine did still have a slight rake, however I could have adjusted the front suspension more to lift the front more. I decided not to do that so I would have a smoother ride. (If you go with 550lb I think you can lift the front more and still have that smoother ride. I had 600lb springs in the front b/c my plan was to add a steel bumper) Now that I have added the steel bumper, I have more weight in the front so I can adjust the front so it sits level with the back and it wont affect ride comfort. Hope this makes sense.

5 years ago

what did you end up getting for your endlinks?

5 years ago
Reply to  Kerry

Haha, been rocking no sway bar ever since!! Need to get it back on.
I have heard that some previous 4runner generations have longer endlinks that are exactly the same, just longer. This would be one way to go. I also saw there are some adjustable ones for sale on amazon. (I think like $150). I believe there is another company that makes some extended ones, I forget their name.
Hope this helps!

5 years ago

I am guessing since you removed the HOOKS from the skid plate, the skid plate bolted back on without issues? I think for those who left the hooks in tact, they must bolt the skid plate back on w/o hooking it into the subframe? That is an issue I am facing right now (waiting for replacement bolts from the dealership so I can reattach the skid plate.

5 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Hey Chris, Thats correct. Because of the spacers to clear the front sway bar, it drops the skid plate as well. We had actually removed the hooks from the skid plate a long time ago. This was so we could make it easier to remove for the oil changes, or else it was always a pain to remove. We ended up just grinding of the first lip on the hook and then bent the rest so it would just hook on slightly. We used the same bolts to attach the skid plate.

5 years ago

Skid plate back on. Had to bend the hooks but all is well now! Thank for this write up.

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