Top 10 5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kits – What Suspension Is Right For Your 4Runner?

4Runner.TX TRD Pro 4Runner Black on Black SEMA Wheels

Pictured: @4runner.tx Westcott Design Lift kit for TRD Pro Fox-Shocks 2.75″ front & 1.25″ rear on 285/70R17 KM3s, with no BMC

Top 10 Lift Kits and Suspension Kits for the Toyota 4Runner + a Few Leveling & Shim Kit Options

Upgrading your suspension is without a doubt one of the best mods you can do for your 4Runner. The better handling and performance you gain from a nice lift kit makes it worth every penny.

The hard part is choosing which lift kit is right for you. Whether you’re just going for looks, or want something that’ll perform under harsh wheeling conditions, there is a lift kit out there for everyone.

Why a lift? 

For starters, you get more ground clearance on the body of the truck. This is useful for anyone who takes their 4Runner off-road whether it’s twice a year or once a week. The upgraded suspension will also produce a bit of a stiffer ride on the pavement which will improve the handling of your vehicle (less body roll on corners and less nose dive when braking). If you choose to go with a full-on suspension lift kit, then you will most likely see an increase in articulation (flex) while off-roading.

Progressive, Digressive, or Linear?

5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kit Options

Pictured: @trail4r Icon Stage 2 Tubular with 3″ overland spring and Ekstrom Designs Strut Shims +1″ with Cooper EVO MT 35X12.5R17 on Fuel Anza 17″ -6 offset running 1.25″ Spacers

It’s safe to say that each lift is different in its own way, which means each lift is going to vary when it comes to what you should expect (on-road, off-road, price, features, etc). Damping plays a big role when it comes to the way your shocks perform. Whether they’re progressive, digressive, or linear – each type of damping is going to be beneficial for different types of off-roading.

Progressive

Most progressive shocks are those that have a tune-able bypass but not always. This type of damping is really nice for rough terrain. They handle bumps really well which makes it extremely beneficial if you plan on doing some serious off-roading in your 4Runner. The downside to progressive shocks is the handling is less than ideal and in some cases feels sloppy or loose.

Digressive

Icon and entry-level Bilsteins are a good example of digressive shock. This style of damping is really good for daily driving because the suspension feels tighter and more responsive. The downside to digressive damping is that you will feel every bump, especially at slower speeds. The good thing is that when you start to increase your speed, that low-speed load begins to wear off, producing a much smoother ride.

Linear

Shocks with linear damping are the best of both worlds. In fact, many progressive shocks can be tuned to perform like a linear shock. Such brands include shocks made by Fox or King.

With all that being said, what you plan on using your 4Runner for should play a big role when it comes to choosing your lift.

Lift Kit Options

Lift Kit Options for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Pictured: @KCSnowRunner Toytec Boss Lift Kit on 285/70/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers

Whatever you plan on using your 4Runner for, there is a lift kit out there for you. With so many different brands available, how do you decide which one to choose? There are a couple of things to consider before buying a lift.

While going over your options, it’s important to consider what you want to get out of your lift. Whether you’re building an overlanding rig, or want to go all out with a weekend warrior build, it’s important to consider which type of suspension would benefit you the most. The first thing you should consider is how much you plan on going off-road and what kind of trails you plan on doing.

Off-Roading

If you go offroading often and plan on hitting moderate to advanced trails, then you might look into getting a high tier lift kit like the OME BP-51, Fox, King, or Icon. Another thing to consider is how much weight you plan on bolting up to the frame. If you plan on doing a full overland style build, then you may consider companies like Old Man Emu and Dobinsons since they offer a wide variety of spring rates.

Price

If you’re like most of us, price plays a big role in which products you are considering buying. If you don’t plan on offroading that often or maybe you just want to stick to fire roads, then it’s hard to justify the price tag on a set of coilovers. Spacers and shims are an inexpensive way to lift or level your 4Runner. The downside is you may lose a bit of ride quality.

Adjustability 

Adjustability also plays a role when it comes to choosing the perfect lift for your 4Runner. Why does it matter if your coilover is adjustable? Adjustable coilovers are extremely nice to have. You can pick and choose how much lift the coilovers give you. You can raise one side or the other to combat against driver side lean. You can also determine how level your 4Runner sits. All of this is very useful because it allows you to dial in your suspension to where you want it.

What to expect

Quicksand 5th Gen Overland 4Runner build with Gobi Rack and Rooftop Tent

Pictured: @4xploration Icon stage 7 with 3″ overland springs on Nitto ridge grappler 285/75R17s

When you lift your 4Runner you will notice a couple of differences.

For starters, your center of gravity is now a little bit higher. This means you may notice added body roll while going around corners, and you may even get a little tippy on the trail. Depending on which lift kit you get, you will also notice a difference in ride quality. Suspension lifts tend to increase ride quality, while spacer lifts may feel a little stiff can even feel looser – depending on the kit. Flex and articulation also depend on which lift kit you get. Spacer lifts will offer no added flex due to the fact they utilize the stock suspension, whereas coilovers will offer the most travel.

The handling on the road will increase since the suspension will feel a little stiffer. Potholes will start to feel a lot better, and you will feel a lot more comfortable going down a rough road. Adding a bigger lift may decrease the gas mileage of your vehicle, and leveling your 4Runner with only shims will keep the mileage at a lost low.

Tires & wheels

Red Lifted 5th Gen 4Runner - Leveling Kit & Lift Kit Overland Build

Pictured: @evergreen_rnr 2.5″ Bilstein 6112/5160 with C59-329 Rear Spring on 285/70R17 BFG K02s

Suspension lifts will definitely set you on the right track when it comes to fitting tires. The added ground clearance from the lift allows you to stuff some bigger tires in your wheel well.

When you install a lift kit you gain ground clearance on the body and the frame. Moreover, when you add larger size tires you gain ground clearance on your axles which gives you a bit of an advantage when it comes to rough terrain.

Please read our largest tire size guide before asking tire size questions. Thank you.

Styles of Lift Kits

White Lifted 5th Gen 4Runner (Icon Stage 2)

Pictured: @CalebKerr 3” Icon Stage 2 on 285/70R17s BFG KO2 with Method MR701s, no BMC, no rubbing

  • Shims: Shims are an inexpensive way to level your truck out with stock suspension. The shim is placed on top of the strut and bolted back into place. Generally, they are used for leveling your 4Runner or for a small lift kit, but they can also be used to fix driver side lean. Additionally, sometimes they are installed on top of coilovers to prevent the need for maxing out coilover pre-load.
  • Spacers: Spacers are another inexpensive way to lift your 4Runner. Some spacers bolt between the strut and the shock tower, while others are placed inside the strut assembly. These can also be used with stock suspension and generally provide more of a lift than shims do.
  • Coilovers: The unique thing about coilovers is that a majority of them are adjustable (like these Icons). Similar to a strut, a coilover is a spring that is mounted around the outside of the shock. Coilovers tend to be priced higher than any other type of lift kit since they tend to perform better off-road. A lot of these coilovers offer a performance level of damping while maintaining better valving, and better cooling methods. Many companies offer different spring rates for coilovers which means your 4Runner isn’t going to sag with a full front bumper and winch. Coilovers also generally tend to have a larger shock diameter so they can withstand a much larger impact and faster compression/rebound without damaging the shock.
  • Springs: When you order a full suspension lift, the springs are generally what provide the lift in the rear. They provide a little better ride quality than spacers do, and they are usually priced pretty fairly. Some springs will work with your stock shocks, but to obtain the best performance out of your lift kit, it is recommended that you order new shocks as well. Some companies sell the entire lift packaged as a kit, while others sell the spring and shock separately.

Types of Driving

Icon Stage 7 billet with Dobinsons 749V springs on 315/70/17 BFG KM3 (SCS BR6 17x9 -38 offset wheels)

Pictured: @expo_t4r Icon Stage 7 billet with Dobinsons 749V springs on 315/70/17 BFG KM3 (SCS BR6 17×9 -38 offset wheels)

It really comes down to what you plan on doing with your 4Runner. What kind of driving you do should point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a lift.

  • Daily Driving: There’s no shame in keeping your 4Runner on the pavement. If you don’t plan on taking it off-road often but want to give it a more aggressive look, then a shim or spacer lift could be perfect. On pavement, you most likely wouldn’t notice too much of a difference in ride quality but will notice some. Your suspension will feel either little tighter or looser while handling – it really depends on the kit and how high you go along with the level of compression/rebound damping you have your shocks set at. There are many variables that go into the ride quality of your suspension.
  • Light Off-Roading: Sometimes you have to take the beaten path to find that perfect campsite. If you like cruising down fire roads or getting lost in nature, then maybe you need a lift kit that is a little more dirt road-friendly. A mid-level Bilstein 6112/5160 would work well in these types of situations. The Bilsteins are cost-effective and they work perfectly for light off-roading. Strut and spring pacers would also work fine for this situation but again the ride quality may a little rough on/off road.
  • Advanced Off-Road: The more serious trails require more serious suspension. For trails like these, you may want to consider 2″+ coilovers. With these types of lifts, you’ll be able to flex your suspension a lot easier. The ride on the rough terrain will be a lot smoother and the truck will handle better on and off the trail.
  • Fast & Hard Off-Roading: Extended travel coilovers with remote reservoirs are the best choice for drivers who enjoy going fast and hard off-road. One of the main reasons for this is the larger shock diameter (2.5″-3″) and more suspension travel (flex). Coilovers alone may offer increased shock size and travel, however, they can still overheat if you push them too hard. Coilovers with remote reservoirs are designed to prevent overheating. If you are really looking to push your suspension, get remote reservoirs.

Supreme Suspensions Shims + Others

Supreme Suspensions Front Shim Level Kit

Made out of carbon steel, the Supreme Suspensions shims are a great way to level out your 4Runner. They come in varying sizes and are very easy to install. They utilize the stock suspension so they are very cost-effective. Depending on where you buy the shims from, you may only have the option to buy 1 single shim. The reason for this is because shims are very useful when it comes to combating drive side lean, KDSS lean and even to increase ride height on high-end aftermarket coilovers. If you lifted your 4Runner, you may notice it tends to lean a little bit to the driver’s side. All you have to do is buy a single shim and install it on that side. Problem solved.

Companies like Ekstrom Designs and Westcott Designs both make shims for Toyota applications. If you are looking for a wide selection, go with Ekstrom Designs. If you have a TRD Pro, look at Westcott Designs.

Aftermarket UCAs and diff drop are not a requirement at this stage but can be added.

ProComp Spacer Leveling Kit: 3″ front 2″ rear

ProComp Spacer Leveling Kit: 3" front 2" rear

A spacer lift is a great way to get your 4Runner off the ground. The ProComp 3″ level kit is very affordable and gives you the ability to put a little bit bigger tire size on your 4Runner. Since it’s a spacer lift the stock suspension is still utilized. This means that the ride quality may be compromised (more body roll, more nose dive, Etc.). Nonetheless, the 3″ ProComp spacer lift is a great way to give your 4Runner a bit of an aggressive look while working on a budget.

UCAs and diff drop are not a requirement, but of course, can be added.

1. Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit: 2.75″ front 1″ rear

Eibach Pro-Truck Lift Kit: 2.75" front 1" rear

The Eibach Pro-Truck lift kit is a great bang for your buck suspension for the 5th Gen. Eibach produces a majority of the springs on the market for many companies and is highly reputable. This suspension lift has amazing ride quality and is very affordable. The kit comes with everything you need to start your 4Runner build. For the price, it’s actually a decent size lift at 2.75″ in the front. It will fit a bigger size tire such as 33s while remaining completely daily driver-friendly. Not only does Eibach make their lift kits in the US, but they come with a million-mile warranty. Since this a complete suspension lift kit, you will likely see an increase in flex and articulation while off-roading.

Eibach uses a digressive piston with a linear feel at a bit higher speeds, making it a great lift for someone who tends to stay on the pavement but goes off-road a few times a year. This lift kit is great for the overlanding scene because the front struts allow for clip adjustments. Meaning however much weight is upfront, you’ll still be able to adjust and maintain your ride height. With that said, this is not a threaded shock body that will give you fine-tuning adjustments.

UCAs and diff drop are not a requirement but recommended for this kit.

2. Bilstein 5160/6112 Lift Kit: 2.5″ front 1″ rear

Bilstein 5160/6112 Lift Kit: 2.5" front 1" rear

The 5160/6112 combo is tried and true. This lift kit comes standard on some TRD models (2015-2017) and since this is a digressive shock, they offer a very comfortable ride for daily driving and light trails. With the 5160/6112 combo, you would be able to fit a little bit of a bigger tire (285/70R17 likely to fit with minimal trimming, and 275/70R17 will clear all day) as it is a pretty mild lift.

The 2.5″ 6112s are also clip-adjustable allowing you to dial in the lift height of your 4Runner. The rear 5160s come standard with a remote reservoir (5100 = no remote reservoir), which helps keep the heat under control. Toyota definitely knew what they were doing with they started equipping the TRD models with this lift – it’s been trusted for decades. Not only does it add a little bit of height to your 4Runner, but the ride quality is exceptional. This would be the perfect lift kit for someone who does most of their driving on the pavement but takes the road less traveled now and then.

UCAs and diff drop are not a requirement but recommended for this kit.

3. Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Kit: 2.5″ – 3″ front & rear

Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Kit: 2.5" - 3" front & rear

Old Man Emu (OME) is an Australian suspension company that tests all of its products in the Outback. This makes them one of the most reputable companies when it comes to off-road suspension. The OME lift kit provides a nice soft ride on the road and a bit stiffer ride off the pavement to prepare your ride quality for whoops, dips, and ruts. One of the unique things about OME is they provide a ton of options for spring rates (much like Dobinsons – however, OME is typically more affordable). With this lift kit, you have the option for light, medium, or heavy coils for the front and rear. This comes in handy if you have aftermarket bumpers. The added spring rate makes the added weight from the armor unnoticeable. Most companies will give the option to add these coils at checkout. We have linked most of the page to YotaMafia as they have made the selection and checkout process pretty easy. A bigger sized tire would be doable as this lift kit offers around 3″ of lift. You are looking at a similar tire size option on this kit compared to the Bilstein (285/70R17 likely to fit with minimal trimming, and 275/70R17 will clear all day). This is a progressive shock so it would be perfect for someone who off-roads pretty frequently but also does a lot of daily driving.

UCAs and diff drop are not a requirement but recommended for this kit.

4. Falcon Tow Haul: 0-2″ front 1″ rear

Falcon Tow Haul: 0-2" front 1" rear

If you’re coming from the Jeep world then you may have heard of Falcon or their parent company; Terra Flex. This kit is exceptional if you plan on doing a lot of towing with your 4Runner since it contains a digressive linear valve and comes with piggyback reservoirs to control the compression damping. That basically means this kit will give you optimal control on the road when it comes to daily driving and towing. The Falcon 2″ Tow/Haul Lift Kit always comes with bump stops which makes that ride quality even better. Since it is a 2″ lift kit your tire sizes will be limited (275/70R17 no trimming and 285/70R17 trimming likely) but you will still have a bit of an increase in flex on the trail. We actually ran this lift on one of our 4Runners and here is an example of trimming you will need to do for 285s to fit. Overall Falcon is a great brand with a proven background and offers a great middle-ground lift kit – especially if you plan on towing. Knowing those piggyback reservoirs are there to keep the shock cool is… very cool.

UCAs and diff drop are not a requirement, but of course, can be added.

5. OME BP-51: 3.5″ front 2″ rear

OME BP-51: 3.5" front 2" rear

The Old Man Emu BP-51 offers an internal bypass shock. Not only are the 2″ threaded shock bodies adjustable, but they have progressive valving. This means the ride quality on the road is soft but off-road the damping stiffens up a bit at higher speeds. The BP-51 kit can be compared to similar companies such as Icons, Kings, and Fox, but for a little bit less money. OME also offers the BP-51 for models with and without KDSS (different mount brackets), as well as varying spring rates. The BP-51 is a progressive shock which means it will go above and beyond off-road. This lift kit would be perfect for someone serious about getting into the off-road world without breaking the bank on Icons, Kings, or Fox with DSCs. We recommend pairing Old Man Emu’s upper control arms with the BP-51s. The OME uppers come with a greasable balljoint and are also adjustable so you can dial in your alignment to fit bigger tires all while keeping it street-able.

The BP-51 is really special because you can control the compression/rebound damping on all shocks. With a simple turn of the coilover adjustment or rear shock, you can set your preferred compression adjustment and preferred rebound adjustment (both independently of each other). The OME BP-51 was the first suspension company to really offer a fully adjustable system that you can dial in on your own. This suspension system is by far the most affordable, most DIY adjustable kit on the market. With the BP-51s, you can really dial in your suspension without going to a shock tuner.

UCAs and diff drop are recommended for this kit.

6. Dobinsons 1″–3.5″ MRR Lift Kit

Dobinsons 1″–3.5″ MRR Lift Kit

Dobinsons offers a complete suspension system for the 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner with various lift height and coil load options to suit whatever accessory weight you have added to your 4Runner. This also lets you dial in your desired lift height. This is a progressive setup that is designed to give you ultimate flexibility in terms of adjustments. The MRR has 3-way adjustable valving which gives you low-speed and high-speed compression/rebound adjustments. To start, you have a 10-stage high-speed compression adjustment for aggressive, high-speed off-roading through ruts and whoops. Then you have a 20-stage low-speed compression for crawling and cornering and finally a 15 stage rebound that controls your coils to prevent bucking. This suspension system is robust, to say the least. This kit will give you complete control of how your 4Runner handles off-road and on-road, much like the BP-51.

They feature a 2.2” (56mm) shock body, an upgraded 3 stage sealing system, super high-quality CNC machined components, high-end parkerTM braided high-pressure hoses, and much more. The Dobinsons MRR is a fully rebuildable design much like many of the other high-end shocks on the market. They include 2 front MRR struts, 2 rear MRR shocks, and 4 coil springs. They also include front and rear spacers to correct driver side lean which is notorious on the 5th Gen 4Runner and even most Tacomas.

For the rear, you can really dial in a Dobinsons suspension with their rear springs. Check out their entire offering on this PDF guide (45mm = 1.7″ and 60mm = 2.36). They offer a ton of springs for you to choose from. Keep in mind that none of them are exact to the inch but that’s okay if you plan on dialing in your coilovers upfront to match.

For a lift of 3″ in the rear, new extended brake lines and a minimum of 2″ bump stop extensions are required to be used with their long travel rear shocks.

UCAs and diff drop are highly recommended for this kit.

7. Icon Vehicle Dynamics: 0-3.5″ front 2″ rear

Icon Vehicle Dynamics: 0-3.5" front 2" rear

Icon suspension is one of the bigger names in the Toyota world. And for good reason. The 2.5″ adjustable shock body can give you up to 3.5″ of lift all while providing a good stiff ride (Icons are known for being stiffer than most) quality. This digressive shock will add about 3.5″ of lift so you will definitely have room to throw on some bigger tires, but keep in mind this kit will give you a little bit more travel. In other words, you may find yourself rubbing on a technical trail or while driving fast through the desert.

Not only does Icon offer a wide variety of suspension products, but they categorize their lift kits into stages. This makes it easy to compartmentalize which items you will be receiving in your kit. For example, the stage 1 kit just includes front coilovers, as well as rear shocks and springs. The most common kit is their stage 2 extended travel kit which includes extended travel coilovers, UCAs, rear springs, and rear shocks. You can top out at their stage 7 kit comes with coilovers with reservoirs, upper control arms, rear links, in other words, the whole 9 yards.

Icon makes their own upper control arms which comes in handy for dialing in your alignment after you lift your 4Runner. They give you two options, a tubular style, or a billet aluminum boxed style control arm. Both styles are not only designed to be much stronger than stock control arms, but they come standard with built-in caster correction. They also feature Icon’s very own Delta Joint. The Delta Joint provides both features from a standard ball joint and a uniball. This allows for full articulation and very little chance of binding within the joint.

UCAs and diff drop are highly recommended for this kit. If you choose a 3″ Icon overland spring, we recommend extended brake lines.

Stages:

8. FOX: 0-3″ front 2-3″ rear

FOX: 0-3" front 2-3" rear

Fox is another company that has quite a reputation for being an outstanding shock. The 2.5″ progressive shock is not only adjustable but an absolute beast off-road. These coilovers also come with a remote reservoir which helps in cooling the shock. But that’s not all. The reservoir can also double as an adjuster for the Dual Speed Compression (DSC) if you choose to opt for that feature. This allows you to change the way the coilover performs, whether you’re driving fast or slow, on-road or off-road, etc. In other words, you can adjust the shock to perform more linearly than progressive. Many guys are starting to move to Fox given their reputation and credibility. And now, Toyota is equipping all their TRD Pros with these shocks. We recommend aftermarket control arms with the fox coilovers.

UCAs and diff drop are highly recommended for this kit.

Kit Options: 

9. KING: 3″ front 2″ rear

KING Lift Kit for 5th Gen 4Runner: 3" front 2" rear

King shocks is a very reputable brand that has been in the off-road industry for quite some time. They manufacture different suspension components for pretty much every application imaginable. King coilovers are a 2.5″ adjustable coilover that comes with or without a remote reservoir. These coilovers can be customized to give you more travel out of your 4Runner as well as providing a great ride quality. This is a linear shock so they are essentially the best of both worlds when it comes to shock valving. You can make a King shock more progressive by stacking a shim on top of the coilover. Upper control arms are recommended for this suspension set up to maintain maximum durability and articulation. Kings are well known as one of the best shocks in the market.

UCAs and diff drop are highly recommended for this kit.

Kit Options: 

10. Bilstein B8 8112 – 0-3″ front 2″ rear

Bilstein B8 8112 - 0-3" front 2" rear

Bilstein hit it out of the park with their B8 8112 coilover. What makes the B8 8112 stand out from the other coilovers is the 8112s use a triple piston design. The triple piston design allows for three stages of compression valving, and two stages of rebound valving. This means that the 8112s would provide excellent ride quality on and off the road. Like the other coilovers, the 8112s are fully adjustable offering up to 3″ of lift. Not only are they equipped with a remote reservoir to assist with cooling, but the telescoping internal compression stop eliminates the need for an external bump stop. These coilovers are rebuildable and come standard with a 2-year warranty.

UCAs and diff drop are highly recommended for this kit.

Kit Options: 

What’s for you?

@asigiamchris High Clearance Viper Cut on 5th Gen 4Runner KING Lift Kit

Pictured: @asigiamchris Kings 2.5 with remote reservoirs long travel custom length for Total Chaos +2″ kit. Part# TC5119-03 +2 long travel kit. Extended sway bar and RCV long travel axles. Strapped. Gusseted Spindles. Cooper EVO 35X12.5×17 on Black Rhino PRIMM 17×9, -12 offset.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping your 4Runner on the pavement. If you don’t plan on taking it off-road that often or at all, then there is no sense in paying thousands of dollars for off-road coilovers. In this situation, spacers or shims may be more than enough. They will still provide an aggressive look and give you some ground clearance if you ever need to take it off-road. Since spacers are put on top of the stock suspension components, the ride quality may be a little stiff, but nothing majorly horrendous, however, that is to be debated.

Mild Fire Roads/ Beginner Off-road:

Sometimes that perfect campsite requires taking the path less traveled. A lift kit, without a doubt, is peace of mind when leaving the pavement. Especially if it’s a fire-road that does not get maintained regularly. If that’s the case then maybe you want to invest a little more in your suspension. Although a spacer lift will give you the added ground clearance, this is where you would start to notice the lack of ride quality. This is why we recommend a suspension lift for mild fire roads or easier trails. This type of lift handles great on pavement and off-road all without breaking the bank. Not only will you see an increase of articulation, but it will also be an all-around smoother ride.

Great Options

  • Bilstein 5160/6112 2.5″ Lift Kit
  • Eibach Pro-Truck 2″ Lift Kit
  • Falcon Tow Haul 2″ Lift Kit
  • Old Man Emu (OME) 3″ Lift Kit

Moderate/ Advanced Off-Roading:

Some of the coolest places your 4Runner will take you are accessible by moderate to difficult trails. This means it’s time to start thinking of more advanced suspension lifts. A good coilover will take whatever you throw at it. They are designed to give you more travel which means you’ll see an increase in articulation as well as providing a plush ride quality. Not to mention they’re adjustable so you can tune your front end to get the perfect amount of lift. Coilovers come with a hefty price tag so if you don’t plan on off-roading frequently, then maybe they aren’t for you.

Great Options

  • OME Bp-51
  • Icon Stage 2
  • Bilstein B8 8112
  • King Shocks
  • Fox with DSCs
  • Optional Long Travel Suspension: Total Chaos
  • Optional Long Travel Suspension: Dirt King

Final Thoughts

Icon Stage 2 Lift Kit with 35" Tires on 5th Gen 4Runner

At the end of the day, whichever lift kit you decide to go with must suit your intended needs. Not only does suspension improve the look of your 4Runner, but it also greatly increases performance on and off the road. The added performance and looks make suspension the perfect first mod for your 4Runner.

Whether you’re just building a clean daily, an overland build, or a bad-ass crawler, a lift should be one of the first mods you buy, next to tires. This opens up the possibilities for your next mods such as bigger tires or front and rear armor. Not to mention it’ll drastically change the look of your 4Runner. Something as simple as adding a shim to level out your truck can make it look much better than it looked before.

Depending on whether you choose a progressive, digressive, or linear shock setup, the difference in ride quality will be noticeable. This is why it’s important to evaluate what you want to get out of your suspension first. Do your research, find out what would work best for you. What you choose to buy shouldn’t be influenced by what someone on Instagram claims to be the best. You should consider looking into more than one lift and compare them side by side to find out which you prefer.

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N00b
N00b
1 month ago

So i recently bought a 2010 SR5 4Runner last winter and a buddy if mine has a tacoma and we took them out for camping totally want to do that more and right now Im hella stock so im getting tires soon 275 or 285 between DISCOVERER AT3 XLT, wildepeaks, or the toyos. But really though i am stuck that i want to get a kit soon too, because this is my daily but also i want to take it camping and to the beaches so like what is something that im taking all the off road not rock crawling but something that can overland and have a good ride quality . Any recs? appreciate it too

A Ghost to Most
A Ghost to Most
1 month ago

Before you choose your suspension, decide what you are building for. Gofast in the desert? Heavy duty rock crawling? Spend the big bucks on suspension. Overlanding and the high rock roads? You can save some bucks, and still get a rugged suspension. My Old Man Emu suspension, takes heavy abuse on the high rock roads every year.

Rock rails and armor are worth the money you can save on suspension.

/2006 heavily modified 4Runner

Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

I currently have a 2014 limited that I put TRD wheels with Nitto tires. I thought it looked pretty good until we just got the Sequoia TRD pro a few weeks ago. Now my 4Runner looks like a baby in the driveway next to my wife’s. I have a few questions. Can I buy a TRD pro front grille and put it on the limited? Is it going to look stupid? Also if I was going to lift it a bit just to look awesome to drive around town and keep the same wheels, what would be a good option?

6E952702-E086-4046-8884-D79C92497FF6.jpeg
Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago

I just purchased a 2021 TRD Off Road 4Runner and am considering lift options. I want around a 3 inch lift and a suspension that will do well on our 900 mile road trips out to Colorado as well as handle (with clearance) the rough terrain on 4WD roads when we get there We are not into rock crawling or high speed off-roading but we do enjoy navigating some rough terrain that gets us deep into the backcountry. I have Bilstein 5100s and 285/70/R17s on my 2005 4WD 4runner (SR5). I like the ride on roads but it can be a little stiff off road.
I’m interested in coil over options and am not overly concerned about budget. However I would like something super durable that doesn’t require frequent servicing/rebuilding. I don’t know if this is true, but I’ve seen a discussion that the higher end racing shocks such as King and Fox may require rebuilding/servicing at 30,000-40,000 mile intervals. This might be a deal breaker as I don’t want to have my vehicle down that often. I also have heard that on road performance may be a concern for some of the higher end systems, and just wondering if that’s true.

It’s challenging to choose from all the options, especially with some variation in availability. I’ve seen some reports of durability problems with Icon Stage II shocks. I’m also wondering if the Bilstein 6112/5160 might be worth considering for simplicity and durability with reasonable off road performance. I would be willing to move up to a Fox/King/OME top of line system if on road handling was good and servicing is not required and if it would get me a soft ride off road and comfortable safe performance on road.

My vehicle will be a daily driver with a few trips totaling maybe 4 weeks/year of off road use. I’d like to have the option to run 275/70r/17 or 285/70r/17 tires and would prefer not to do any trimming or encounter any rubbing issues.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Ryan

A Ghost to Most
A Ghost to Most
1 month ago
Reply to  Ryan

See my comment above. Decide what you are building for. My 2006 4Runner (mechanically identical to yours) is built for driving the high rock roads of Colorado. Many build for going fast in the desert.

I have an Old Man Emu suspension, with 3″ inch lift, and SPC upper control arms for better articulation. It takes an immense amount of abuse, at a much lower price.

If rocks are a constant companion, real rock rails and armor are well worth the money. The have saved us several times. Cheap rails, running boards, and rails with lower steps are called “damage multipliers” by off-roaders.

Locking differentials make an enormous difference. The back far more than the front, but I have driven through 27″ of snow, and chewed up snowplow piles, with both engaged.

I hope this helps.

Alex Milogradov
Alex Milogradov
4 months ago

How come Radflo is never mentioned in any of the kit suggestions?

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

I just wanted to say, the revtek level kit, which are spacers for the front at 1.5 inches may make the runner level. But it doesn’t look level, it looks like a half inch too much

max cullen
max cullen
5 months ago

i want to run 33/12.5 tires. would a 3 in the front and 2 in the back work?

A Ghost to Most
A Ghost to Most
1 month ago
Reply to  max cullen

I run 32″ Toyo Open Country M/Ts, and they still fit in the spare tire holder. 33s need to be deflated, and forced in. Is it worth it for 1/2″ additional clearance?

Scott McLain
Scott McLain
5 months ago

I plan on installing a Frontrunner roof rack and a roof top tent. Would that call for heavy duty OME springs in the rear?

Greg
Greg
5 months ago

When discussing lifts, how come its not talked about on the 2020 and up? do they not make a kit? will the Toyota safety sense have problems?

Christian Broussard
Christian Broussard
5 months ago

I’m looking for a 2.5 leveling kit for my wife’s four runner but most of the ones I’m finding will not fit or work due to the fact she has the X Reas Hydraulic Suspension. Any way anyone can help me? I have a budget and would prefer to just use a strut spacer

jay
jay
5 months ago

because the x-reas system is connected to all 4 shocks, to replace a new different shock, you would have to remove it, it doesn’t cause it code error or anything like that. even toyota recommend going to bilstein when x-reas goes bad cus it does sometime. going with spacer may work short term, but i doubt the ride quality would be good. hope this help a little. i plan to removed it on a 2010 4runner limited with bilstein 5100s or 6112s

Seth T
Seth T (@seth-t)
7 months ago

I just purchased a 2021 Venture which is based on the Off-Road Premium. I want to upgrade the suspension but I have been told that there are no available options for the 2021 models yet since the upper connectors are different. Is this true and what are your suggestions? I was originally considering upgrading to Fox. No KDSS.

A Ghost to Most
A Ghost to Most
6 months ago
Reply to  Seth T

Consider replacing the upper arm when installing a suspension lift. It will give better articulation in the rocks.

I don’t run fast in the desert, just the high rock roads of Colorado. My OME suspension and SPC upper control arm work great there.

Mitchell
Mitchell
6 months ago
Reply to  Seth T

I put Bilsteins on my 2021 Venture just fine.

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

Hello! I was wondering if you all can help point me in the right direction for a lift kit on my 4Runner. I have a 2016 Trail Edition with no KDSS. I am looking to install a 1-3” lift. I already have a RevTek spacer lift and 285 tires. Essentially I’m looking for a kit where I can upgrade it over time if need be (control arms, etc) but also something preferably around 2K but willing to spend up to 3. I would also like the ability to overland outfit my runner with bumpers, RTT, and other goodies. Let me know what y’all think, I’m kinda thinking Dobinsons, King, Icon, or OME. Definitely willing to splurge on that OME kit if it’s worth it. Let me know what you think, y’all have a great page with tons of info. Thank you!

A Ghost to Most
A Ghost to Most
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I have an Old Man Emu 3″ lift on my 2006 4Runner, with an SPC upper control arm for full articulation.

For driving the rock roads of Colorado, it’s great and tough. It’s not meant for gofast in the desert, though.

Jayde
Jayde
8 months ago

What lift is suggested on a 19 4Runner TRD pro? I’d like to keep my fox shocks. Would spacers be my best option? Light off-roaring. Mainly just interstate.

Alex
Alex
7 months ago
Reply to  Jayde

Get the wescott designs lift kit that adds lift to the OEM fox shocks

HENRY J. JASKULSKI
HENRY J. JASKULSKI
8 months ago

I have a 2021 trd offroad premium. What lift to use with kdss?

Seth T
Seth T
7 months ago

I have a 2021 without kdss and would like to see an answer here.

eric
eric
7 months ago

Great question. I hope you get an answer here because I also bought a 2021 TRD Premium with KDSS. It would be nice to see this addressed here.

Adrienne
Adrienne
5 months ago
Reply to  eric

Same. Cant seem to find any answers.

Louie
Louie
8 months ago

i have a gen5 4runner with Eibach Pros with 25k on them i mostly do city driving here in there midwest simple driving habit. at 20k the front left shock was leaking and now right shock is leaking… garbage shock for simple driving. My opinion is to spend your money on a better product. i can believe that this site claims the Eibach Pro as number one, they shouldn’t even be listed. take this site with a grain of salt and do your home work from various sites. Upgrading to FOX or ICON more linear type but have options to adjust for driving.

Maine
Maine
9 months ago

From my 97 4runner I had in college which still runs great. In addition, I just purchased a 2021 SR5 Premium. So far simple mods with led interior lights, steering wheel overlay logo emblem, ceramic coat and ceramic tints. Looking to purchase wheels, trd rims and blacked out tail lights. Slowly but surely and will make major mods down the rode. Any suggestions send them my way. Mahalo.

Chris Perron
Chris Perron
9 months ago

I put the OME 2.5-3in lift on my 2019 off-road premium 4runner this past year and decided to go with 275/70R/17s so that I wouldn’t have to worry about trimming. After installation I had a pretty severe front-end rake that caused rubbing when at full wheel lock in reverse, but settled a bit after a few weeks. I trimmed the front fender and have had no issues since, but would really like to upgrade to 285s in the future. The rake is still noticeable, but it isn’t nearly as severe as it was after installation. I don’t have an aftermarket front or rear bumper, and no other additional weight added to the truck yet. Does anyone have an idea of how to ensure I won’t have any rubbing once putting bigger tires on? Thanks for any help!

Traci Pandya
Traci Pandya
9 months ago

I’ve been reading posts on this site for about a year and finally pulled the trigger on upgrading my ride. I’ve been super happy with the outcome! I went with the Bilstein shocks and 2″ Icon springs in the rear. My 4Runner is mostly a daily driver but I wanted to be able to take the kids camping and play around a bit off-road. This combo fit my budget and my needs for what I’ll actually do when I’m off-road (at least for now).
I’m loving the setup so far. It made a big difference in the nosedive and body roll, and overall feels like a better/firmer ride. I also went with BFG 285/70/17 KO2s – no rubbing or need for trimming. With the suspension and tires, I ended up with just under a 3″ lift in the front and 2″ in the back. The rake is gone and my Yota is fun to drive! Thanks for all the info you guys put on this site – it is an awesome resource!

Chas funk
Chas funk
9 months ago
Reply to  Traci Pandya

Did you put new ucas on?

Justin
Justin
10 months ago

I feel like Radflo should’ve been included here. I ran the progressive setup that had compression and rebound dampening adjustments on my FJ for years and it was fantastic. I’ve been running the OME BP-51 kit on my 4R now but the Radflo was just as smooth.

Jesse
Jesse
9 months ago
Reply to  Justin

I can’t speak for Toytec, but Radflo should not be on this list. I ran a set of their shocks a few years ago. I had many problems with slight leaking on both coilovers and then a straight blown coilover. The guys at Radlo were super rude, and seemed super stuck up.. like it was my fault their parts failed. It took a lot of effort to get them to honor their warranty. They finally replaced one coilover (under 6 months of use). After running them for another 9 months, the rebuilt coilover blew again! Minimal wheeling, no hard rock crawling, and suspension flexing, no fast desert whoops, etc. Really mild stuff. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of taking my suspension off and sending the coils in again. I will never work with Radflo again. I ended up going with ADS and the guys at ADS literally cut open my Radflo coilovers and showed me the difference of their oil, shims, and pistons compared to Radflo. Radflo is garbage, you guys. The internal shock body build quality is cheap and their team is rude. I have heard some people love them but I had a pretty crappy experience. For such an expensive shock, I would go with anyone else; Icon, King, ADS, etc. If any suspension should be on this list, ADS should be.

Last edited 9 months ago by Brenan Greene
Andy@ATWProjects
Andy@ATWProjects
10 months ago

It’s only a matter of time before America realizes that Ironman 4×4 is a true player in the Toyota suspension game. Until then, lists like this will use valuable space for “tow lifts?!?!” instead of a truly Aussie Outback proven legacy product.
I guess what I’m saying is: I’m butthurt that my kit isn’t on your list. Lol… Great article still.

Brian
Brian
8 months ago

Ironman’s going on mine this Saturday!

Calvin Tran
Calvin Tran
10 months ago

I have the Eibach pro truck lift and it is a good upgrade to stock. I also bought new UCA, diff drop kit and front strut top hats instead of reusing the stock ones. Had it all installed and aligned at a pro shop. Ride quality is very nice and smooth for daily street uses and occasional off-road camping trips. The springs did take about 1 month to fully seat. Overall this is a great kit for the budget off-roader.

JSB
JSB
10 months ago

Regarding #2. BILSTEIN 5160/6112 LIFT KIT. Anyone have any input or experience – what setting would the front 6112’s need to be set to in order to duplicate/get close to the setting for a pre-2019 factory TRD Pro Bilstein setup w/out KDSS?
Recently installed Bilstein 5160/6112 but left the stock rear springs. Looking to swap them out with B12 Bilstein 1.5″ springs for the rear.
I have a 2018 Off Road Premium, but would like to replicate the look of a TRD Pro, currently at 1.2″ (4/2) setting on the front 5160’s and the 6112’s on the rear still have the factory springs. Wondering if 1.5″ B12’s on the rear will get me at just the right height to have just the slightest forward rake +/- 1″ from the rear. Thanks in advance! This is my first 4Runner, so I apologize if I’m the newbie asking too many questions, off the bat.
I’m currently level at 21.5″ front and back, but once I add any cargo weight to the rear, the truck seems to sit with a reverse rake.

Michael Mullins
Michael Mullins
10 months ago

No mention of the new Toytec Aluma 2.5’s?

Kim Strothkamp
Kim Strothkamp
10 months ago

What happened to Toytech’s BOSS 2.5 series? I purchased my kit in March, 2019 along with SPC’s adjustable upper control arms. So far so good, but I don’t rock climb, just Midwest forest roads and some stream crossings. 20,000 miles on the lift so far. I installed it, Toyota checked my alignment and a year later Toytech double checked in Colorado.
Have you come across some issues? Sure would like to know. Thanks for your input.

Thibaut
Thibaut
10 months ago

Hi, thanks for all this great info as always!
I have an OME lift (as n3) but didn’t change the UCAs yet, would you recommend the OME or SPC ones?

DanLeens
DanLeens
10 months ago

Well, aside from the suspension, you should still mount appropriate and compatible tires on it. 4WheelOnline has a whole set of them. You might want to check them out.

Christian Eaton
Christian Eaton
10 months ago

After doing lots of research Im still slightly confused on my situation. Our 4Runner is a daily driver but take it on simple backcountry roads sometimes. I would love to have the ability to take it on more intense off roads (very) occasionally… Look up Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona or similar. (We live in Sedona AZ.)

It is time to put new tires on the car. (Stock SR5 btw…) I would love to put a bigger size tire on, so moving from 265/70/17 to 275/70/17 (32.16″). From your write up it looks like this will work without doing any mods. Is there anything to be aware of like gearing or other affects by doing this?

It would also be nice to do a small lift/suspension upgrade and it seems that your Billstein 5160/6112 would be a great solution. What I’m curious about is how this would affect things and if it would be worth it to do?

I appreciate all your help, it has been super helpful to have all theswe in depth write ups! 🙂

MARCUS M DIAZ
MARCUS M DIAZ
10 months ago

If I can offer my two cents it would simply be, plan out what your end goal might be…

When I first got my runner, I practically lived on this website constantly devouring any information related to suspension/tires etc. I finally pulled the trigger on the Icon Stage 2 kit along with BFG KO2 A/T 275/70/R17 tires and the TRD wheels you see on most of our rides.

After going out in the hot Vegas desert I quickly learned that I loved exploring trails and roads that I had never before known about nor seen. It’s like a new world opened up to me. But,…Icon’s at Stage 2, are absolute garbage, the bleed with the smallest of bumps. Biggest mistake I made was this particular purchase. After a really awful experience with the Icon Stage 2s, I went ahead and purchased the 7’s (because most of the parts were already part of the upgrade and I wanted to keep everything with the same brand.)

The Stage 7 Icons are incredible. (Icon shouldn’t even sell the Stage 2 crap) I have literally trashed these things flying over crappy roads that would otherwise take twice the time to traverse compared to this new suspension kit. I loved everything about the speed and the handling I got with the Icon 7’s with no fading at all ever. Fast forward a bit and after tons of cool trails and trips simply with the new tires, wheels and maxed out suspension system, I am in the process of changing my ride to a more overland-centric vehicle… This simply means, slower speeds, less need for such a beefed up suspension and money I could have saved had I known that the camping in remote locations would be more enjoyable then crash and burn runs near the house.

Again, there are so many different options to pursue but if you have buddies that ride hard in the side by sides or others that go camping a lot, find which avenue suits your needs most.

A simple build with bigger tires wont require new gears and bumpstops or change in springs. You could do a lot with this vehicle as is. The clearance you get from the bigger tires and even entry level Bilsteins would probably be enough. But if you want to rip, do it right the first time and drop the money once instead of going through the hassle of two installs and lost time like my dumbass did.

Christian Eaton
Christian Eaton
10 months ago
Reply to  MARCUS M DIAZ

Thanks for that info! I think we’re sticking to stock for right now.

I just decided on the Falken Wildpeak A/T3W. They seem great. I looked at their specs and it shows the stock size 265/70/17 at 31.7″ circumference. However the next size up275/70/17 are 32.4″.

Do you think that this would work without any rubbing from your experience?

Mike Mason
Mike Mason
10 months ago

Hey Christian- great questions and I’m in the exact same boat in terms of how I’ll be using my 4Runner. I’m thinking of upgrading to the 275/70/17 KO2’s first and then gauging if I want to add any additional lift/suspension. The below article has been a helpful guide in determining what tire sizes rub or require additional modifications. Looks like 32.4″ could possibly rub.
https://trail4runner.com/2018/01/03/largest-tire-size-4runner/#:~:text=Largest%20Tire%20Size%20on%205th%20Gen%204Runner%3F,%2F70R17%20%E2%80%93%2031.61%E2%80%B3).

Christian Eaton
Christian Eaton
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Mason

Thanks for that Mike…yea – I’ve read tons of articles on here. Such an amazing resource, big props to everyone involved including Brenan! 🙂

Josh
Josh
4 months ago

Christian & Mike – Not sure where you guys are at with this upgrade, but I can provide some insight. I recently just purchased SCS wheels that are 17×8.5 -10 offset, they are wrapped in the Falken Wildpeak AT3W 275/70/17. I am still sitting on stock suspension because I am still researching on what I want. Me being impatient wanted these on before the new suspension, so with that said, I have rubbing on the fender and I also need to do a CMC (cab mount chop). The CMC needs to be done due to the -10 offset wheels. Hope this helps you guys and others on this thread.

Mike Mccoy
Mike Mccoy
11 months ago

Why no mention of Toytec? I am running them on my 2020 and they are excellent performers. I would highly recommend them and Toytec has great customer service.

Justin
Justin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Mccoy

Agree, ToyTec and Radflo should be included here

Jeff
Jeff
11 months ago

I put the Dobinsons MRR’s on mine a few months back and love them. They perform really well on and off road and the adjustability is really nice. They are pretty kick ass for the price.

Zachary Humphrey
Zachary Humphrey
11 months ago

Any tips for KDSS? Thanks!

Steve
Steve
11 months ago

Hey this is Steve one of the trucks above. I have KDSS and have had good experience with it. I’ve run two different Toytec set ups in the past 3 years and they both had KDSS options that are required to specify during the online checkout process. Some of it just has to do with mechanical clearances of the KDSS sway bar and hydraulics. For example my Toytec 2.5″ Boss Performance Coilovers do not have reservoirs due to KDSS clearance issues. On the other side, I have a pair of Dobinson’s springs and the Dobinson’s spacer (made specifically for KDSS lean) on the driver’s side coil that helps mitigate KDSS lean. When buying online, many lift kit manufacturers will require you to specify KDSS compatible or non-KDSS when adding items to your cart. Be sure to double check the options as you don’t want to waste money/time buying a non-compatible kit!

Brenan Greene
Admin
Scout
Brenan Greene (@brenan-greene)
11 months ago

Most of the same kits apply with or without KDSS. Some make KDSS specific kits. Some of those include different brackets for their remote reservoirs and some come with preload adjusted on the passenger side to account for the notorious KDSS lean (some come with both). For my KDSS builds, I prefer to go with a threaded shock body in order to dial in the lean as close as possible; Fox, King, Icon, OME-BP, Etc. Also, if you don’t want to spend that much money on a lift, just go with a shim or spacer to level it out. Call Westcott Designs or Ekstrom Designs and tell them you have a 5th Gen with KDSS – they will set you up with a solution that will work with a shock that’s circlip adjustable not a threaded shock body.

Kevin
Kevin
11 months ago

I think the general guideline is to not go above 2.5inches in the rear or it will develop more lean. Also, check out these instructions regarding opening the valves.

https://exitoffroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/KDSS-Instructions-4Runner-Exit-Offroad.pdf

Lakota
Lakota
10 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

I have a 5th gen with KDSS, I run Bilstein’s 6112/5100’s. 3″ lift on the front, and 1″ over-stock Bilstein springs on the rear, for a levelled stance.

Sergio Palacios Jr
Sergio Palacios Jr
9 months ago
Reply to  Lakota

Kevin, you have Instagram? I would love to see what your 4Runner looks like with this set up.

Jason
Jason
11 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

There’s actually better documentation on adjusting the KDSS accumulator assembly here: https://trail4runner.com/2018/02/12/4-4-5-lift-on-5th-gen-4runner/

Kevin
Kevin
11 months ago

The Dobinson MRAs are a 2.2inch body (56mm)! Also, progressive valving isn’t just exclusive to bypass shocks.

Brenan Greene
Admin
Scout
Brenan Greene (@brenan-greene)
11 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

Kevin, thanks bud – this has been updated to 2.2, not 2. Thanks! Also, the progressive syntax was revised, I can see how that may have sounded unconditional to bypass.

Trevor Varney
Nomad
Trevor Varney (@trevor-varney)
11 months ago

I would absolutely add Ironman 4X4 Foam Cell Pro to the list! I would say it is the best lift for the price and even better than lifts twice the price!

https://trail4runner.com/2019/12/17/ironman-4×4-suspension-lift-kit-4runner-install/

WokkerAbout
WokkerAbout
11 months ago
Reply to  Trevor Varney

Im with Trevor on this one. The price is right and the Ironman Foam Cell Pros punch way out of their weight class for what they cost.

Karl
Karl
11 months ago
Reply to  Trevor Varney

I would also like to add Elka to this list , they offer a few high quality suspension systems for the 4Runner.

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