7 Suspension Setup Examples For The 5th Gen 4Runner in 2023: A User-Sourced Reference

Popular 5th Gen 4Runner Suspension Options

Here are 7 Different Suspension Setups for the 5th Gen 4Runner in 2023 – A User-Submitted Reference for Suspension Ideas in 2023

When I purchased my 4Runner, I immediately knew I wanted to lift it. At first, it was just for aesthetic purposes. However, I found a love for off-roading, and that quickly changed.

While I am still sporting a spacer lift, which hasn’t caused me any issues, I’m now looking to take my 4Runner to the next level and need a full suspension kit upgrade. So I spoke to 7 seasoned off-roaders about their suspension setups and why they chose them. Then, I took it upon myself to determine what these brands offer and how they differ in functionality, durability, and price point. If you’re in the market for a new suspension, I hope this guide helps you!

Note: The brands listed below are in no particular order

Why Upgrade Your Suspension?

I’m sure someone has told you that a stock 4Runner (or really any Toyota truck) is very capable as is. While that may be true in some cases, it wasn’t true with mine.

I’ll preface this part by saying that if you want to upgrade the suspension on your 4Runner, evaluate your needs and pick a setup that works for you. No matter where you look, everyone will have an opinion on which brand is the “best” or “worst”. Let’s look at a few key things to understand before diving into the world of suspensions.

Weight 

If you’re constantly adding more weight to your truck, you must ensure the suspension can support it. Shocks dampen movement while the springs hold the weight. In short, they determine basic handling characteristics.

Both of these components need to be matched to work together optimally. The springs determine your suspension’s travel and where the weight will be transferred. The shocks decide how fast this process happens.

The stiffer the shock, the slower the spring will move up and down. If they end up being too stiff, your springs won’t be able to compress all the way. This will cause your tires to bounce and result in less traction. If you want to add a moderate amount of weight, you’ll most likely want to get the medium springs. For a full-blown overland setup with a swingout bumper, you’ll likely want the stiffest springs available.

Ride Comfort

All of the upgrades won’t be worth it if your ride is uncomfortable and each brand of shock is designed for different speed/terrain types.

Springs are the main component in whether or not a vehicle rides stiff or soft. When you’re driving through uneven terrain, the spring weight will dictate how easily the suspension will rebound.

Heavier weight springs will resist body roll, whereas softer springs will allow for more body roll. As you can imagine, the ride comfort in either of these situations isn’t ideal (too stiff vs. too soft). This is why it’s important to pick the appropriate springs according to your overall vehicle weight. The best thing you can do to understand for yourself is to talk to people. I’d recommend calling a few shock shops to explain your driving habits. From there, ask important questions about the specific details.

Some of those questions include:

  • What’s the best front and rear spring rate for a daily driver, and why?
  • What’s the best rear spring rate for a mild overland build with 300 lbs constant load?
  • What’s the difference in stiffness between Bilstein 6112s vs. the OME nitrochargers?
  • What’s the difference in ride performance between Fox 2.0 and Fox 2.5?
  • What’s the difference in ride performance between shocks with and without reservoirs?
  • Do I need reservoirs on my daily driver?
  • Etc.

A few good companies to call include; YotaMafia.com, Accutune, Shock Surplus, Runnin4Tacos, and local shops like StellarBuilt.com (Sacramento), RSG Off-Road (Colorado), among others. The more places you call, the more you’ll better understand your needs.

Ride Height

We know the term “suspension lift,” but how does upgrading our suspension heighten your ride?

With a spacer lift, you’ll increase ride height by adding a spacer above the coil spring or struts assemblies. This option is the most basic form of lift and the most budget-friendly. However, it comes with cons, mainly in the form of reducing suspension travel and ride quality.

If you chose a kit that provides new struts/shocks and coils, you’ll typically gain anywhere between 0.5″-3″ of lift depending on the model. These kits will cost more, but also won’t limit suspension travel, but increase it.

Coilovers & Coil Springs

Suspension 5th Gen 4Runner (FRONT COILOVER)

Before we dive into the different lift options, it’s important to note the difference between coilovers and coil springs. You may see these terms being used interchangeably; however, they have two distinct purposes.

Coilovers are basically springs that sit over a shock. With some kits, you can also adjust the preload of the spring using a tool that either compresses or decompresses it. This helps you customize ride height and comfort. More preload will increase lift height but limit up travel. When adjusting preload, you’ll want to know what the max preload specified by the manufacturer is.

In the rear of the 4Runner, the coils are separate from the shocks. This is why they’re referred to as coil springs and not coilovers. In the rear, the lift will come from the coils, while the shocks are just compression and rebound absorbers. In the front, the coils and shocks are a single unit that works together.

1. Dobinsons – @4Runnersaurus

Dobinsons IMS, SPC UCA and Sumo Springs Bump Front & Rear Bumptops

Suspension Setup

Why did you pick this setup? 

I picked Dobinsons for its reliability and low maintenance. As much as I want a race shock like King or Fox, I don’t have the time to maintain them properly.

What do you like about your setup?

Dobinsons produces its coils in-house and offers “several options to suit your load capacity needs best. Their shock bodies are “about 2.2″ in diameter, which sits right between the entry-level 2″ and performance 2.5” shocks.

How is the ride quality when off-roading?

I have hit some seriously rutted-out roads at street speeds with little to zero shock fade. This translates to better handling and off-road control, paramount on loose dirt and gravel surfaces.

Product Offerings

Dobinsons 1″–3.5″ MRR Lift Kit

Dobinsons is a very popular brand among the Toyota community. They make superior-quality lifts for a fraction of the cost of other manufacturers. Each kit is designed and tested to perform in the harshest conditions across the world. Quality is an essential component of all of their products.

You have the option of purchasing a kit with twin tubes or mono tubes. The twin tubes utilize two cylinders; an interior one that allows the shaft and piston to move and an outer one that stores the oil. The fluid travel within the shock will determine the amount of damping force.

Twin tube shocks are preferred for easy to moderate off-roading and good ride comfort. If you want to do more extreme off-roading, these shocks may not be the best option for you. For that, you’ll want to step up to the mono-tube or reservoir models.

The mono-tube is a bit better option if you want to go on more challenging terrain. They are more responsive, have increased body control, reduced fluid aeration to minimize performance fade (which negatively affects tire-to-road contact), and better ride comfort.

As the name suggests, the mono-tube has a single cylinder and a wider piston. There are two chambers; an upper one for the fluid and a smaller one underneath for nitrogen gas. On lighter movements, you’ll feel a more cushioning effect. On harsher and faster movements, the gas pressure will increase, thus offering additional resistance. You’ll see a variable amount of performance based on your driving conditions.

Lift Kit Options

Dobinson’s lift kits range from 1-3.5″ of lift. For all options, you can customize your kit with different colors and weight-rated coils. They are also offered for 4Runners with or without KDSS. Their lift kits are broken down into three categories.

Nitro-charged Lift Kit: This kit features coils suited for additional weight and twin-tubed Nitrogen Gas Charged Shocks. These low-pressure gas shocks provide a stiffer suspension. These offer better handling at higher speeds while maintaining a comfortable ride quality on different terrains.

IMS Lift Kit: This kit is designed with their Nitro Gas Monotube Shocks, allowing for thicker walls and more extended travel. The shocks feature larger bodies and bores and increased valving performance to increase vehicle handling and control while reducing shock fade. The coil springs are heat-treated, fully scragged to eliminate spring sag, and powder coated to ensure a prolonged life.

MRR 3-Way Adjustable Lift Kit: This kit offers adjustable shocks with maximum adjustability and the perfect ride quality. Whether looking for high-speed off-roading or crawling over rocks, the shock’s compression can be adjusted between high and low-speed compressions.

This Dobinsons lift kit also allows you to adjust the location of your remote reservoir with its rotating fitting attached to the hose. The third adjustment you can make to these shocks is adjusting the rebound at the end of the shock. The rebound can be adjusted to allow the shock to rebound very slowly and allow the shock to rebound very quickly.

You will want to adjust the rebound cautiously, as over-adjusting and under-adjusting can change how your 4Runner performs and cause traction issues.

Control Arms

Dobinsons offer front and rear upper control arms and rear lower control arms.

Adjustable Rear LCAs: Suitable for 4Runners with a lift of up to 4″. They feature rubber bushings pressed into the arms to reduce maintenance and noise and allow for greater flex.

Adjustable Rear UCAs: Suitable for 4Runners with a lift of up to 4″. They come standard with the rubber bushings installed and are made from high strength low alloy and powder coated. These adjustable rear arms will allow for a correctly set rear pinion angle due to adding lift and strength over the stock arms.

Front UCAs: Dobinsons offers Front Adjustable Billet UCA Kit ($1,095) and a Front UCA Kit ($715). With both, you get OE-style sealed ball joints for a maintenance-free life. The most significant difference between these UCAs is the adjustability and the ball joints.

On the adjustable UCAs, you can adjust the camber for perfect vehicle alignment. The adjustable UCAs will allow you to dial in your suspension angles and put less strain on other components.

The standard UCA kit has 3 degrees of caster built in without the adjustability option.

Other Components 

Dobinsons Extended Rear Swaybar End Link Kit: Adjustable sway bar extensions to suit 2-4″ of lift and allows your sway bar to work correctly and rest to factory riding angles on the road. Extended links will allow the swaybar to stay in a stock-like orientation, thus reducing stress on the system and allowing more flex than stock links.

Dobinsons front IFS Diff Drop Kit: May be needed depending on how much you lift your 4Runner. This modification will drop the differential to bring the CV axles closer to the factory angle to lessen the strain on the joints of the CV axles.

Dobinsons Rear Adjustable Hydraulic Bump Stop Kit: Allows you to set the bump stop clearance height to the axle.

2. Kings – @alexbbruce

5th Gen 4Runner Toytec Lift Kit

Suspension Setup 

Why did you pick this setup? 

I daily my 4Runner, so as I’ve been building it, I’ve kept that in mind. Since most of the miles I put on it are on-road, it needed to be comfortable on pavement. That’s why I bought a KDSS-equipped 4Runner, and also one reason why I chose to get Kings.

The other reason I chose Kings was that I wanted a suspension that would be just as good off-road as on-road. From my research, Kings felt like the best option. I had read that they were smooth and extremely capable on many different surfaces. Regarding my upper control arms, I wanted something I knew would be strong enough to handle any abuse I would put them through, which is why I chose Total Chaos.

What do you like about your setup?

I love almost everything about this setup. The adjustability of the front coil overs is impressive. The ability to adjust the ride quality instantly is also a great feature. They’re also much more responsive than the stock suspension and have a fraction of the nose-dive under braking. Plus, I love how they improve the truck’s look and height.

How is the ride quality when off-roading?

Ride quality off-road is a considerable advantage of this suspension setup. When driving off-road, I often prefer to tackle easy-moderate trails at high speeds over technical trails at low speeds. Not only do I have the confidence with Kings and Total Chaos to power through bumps without damage, but the feel is terrific.

They give more of a sports car-type of communicative feel on trails than anything I’ve ever driven. I constantly know what all four corners are doing and how much grip I have.

Product Offerings

KING Lift Kit w/ Total Chaos UCA For 5th Gen 4Runner

King Shocks is one of the top suspension kits you can install on your 4Runner. They provide the performance you long for without sacrificing comfort through the adjustable ride height. Most importantly, they are built with durable components that provide dependable off-road performance.

There are a few things to note about having a King setup. Besides having a high price tag, they must be maintained regularly with about a week of a turn-around for a shock rebuild. You’ll also want to consider a tune for your Kings. It’s not absolutely necessary, but if you want to feel all the benefits of your suspension, it is absolutely worth it (from what I’ve heard). If you’re ok with these downsides, you won’t have any regrets about this setup.

Kings only come as a remote reservoir shock, meant to help with shock fade and cooling, and offer optional compression adjusters. These 16 levels of compression range from a very soft to a very firm ride, giving you the ultimate off-roading comfort if you choose to purchase this addition.

Lift Kit Options

King Shocks offers a single lift kit for the 5th Generation 4Runner. This lift kit can be purchased for both KDSS and non-KDSS 4Runners. You can also buy the front and rear setups separately.

King Lift Kit ($3514): Has adjustable or non-adjustable front coilovers and rear shocks. You will have to choose the front spring weight rating. King Shocks’ remote reservoirs decrease operating pressure allowing for a smoother ride and longer life span. The extended travel allows for a lift height of up to 2.5″ without the suspension overextending upon articulation.

3. Icon – @csarge81

5th gen 4runner with Icon Ext Travel 2.5 VS RR CDCV Coilover Kit 700lbs Suspension

Suspension Setup 

Why did you pick this setup? 

My first lift kit on my Limited 4Runner was the stock X-REAS suspension with a 3.5″ spacer lift. After getting new wheels and tires, I found this setup needed to be upgraded, so I ordered regular Icon coil overs and standard shock.

After adding an RTT, I needed stiffer rear shocks due to the new extra weight in the rear. I decided on the Icon CDCV rear shocks as replacements and the drive and handling were so much better. I later swapped my fronts to CDCVs with 700lb coils to help with the added front-end weight of the bumper.

What do you like about your setup?

I like the adjustability of the firmness of the shock. Since this is my daily driver, I can set them firm for on-road driving and soften them up to flex off-road. I also like that if I add more weight to my 4Runner, like the full steel bumper, I can turn the knob to handle the weight! No need to worry about a too-soft, spongy ride anymore! The adjustable route is the way to go!

How is the ride quality when off-roading?

I’m happy with this setup because when I am off-roading, I can adjust the sensitivity of the suspension based on the terrain and then change it when I am back on-road. For me, adjustability is essential for handling weight and comfort.

I also feel the stability improvement from the bump stops and sway bar link. The only decision I’m hung up on is if Im going to run a full steel rear bumper. If so, I will have to upgrade the rear coils as I will exceed their weight capacity for the needed height in suspension.

Product Offerings

Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 2

Icon Vehicle Dynamics is one of the most expensive lift options on the market. With Icon, durability, and precision are the most important factors when building products.

Icon has a ton of different options to fit your needs. Each of the stage kits builds onto the next. If you’re looking to do little to no off-roading, Stage 1 will be your best option. This kit will give you the lift you are looking for and increase ride comfort.

Stage 8 has everything you’ll need to tackle any terrain but comes at a much higher price point. Icon sets you up for success with various stages to suit your needs.

Another benefit to purchasing Icon shocks is that they are made from aluminum. Aluminum shocks dissipate heat faster than steel bodies, thus allowing for better shock performance. They are also a lot lighter in weight.

Compression Damping Electronic Valve (CDEV)

Icon’s Compression Camping Electonic Valve, powered by their Intelligent Control technology, is one of the coolest technologies I’ve seen for your suspension.

The combination of IIC and CDEV allow for automatic, instantaneous adjustments to the shock’s damping to provide the absolute best setting for any given situation

The Intelligent Control computer will monitor, analyze and compute data in real-time, allowing it to predict terrain and wheel position. The electronically controlled valve, CDEV, monitors the oil flow to regulate the damping force created by the shock when compressed. In under 40 milliseconds, you’ll see almost instant adjustments to your shock’s damping, providing the best setting for any terrain.

If that wasn’t cool enough, all of this can be controlled at the tip of your finger if you want to make any changes. Via Bluetooth connection, you can monitor, record, and adjust the system’s performance on your phone’s app.

Lift Kit Options

Icon’s lift kits are broken down into eight stages. Each stage will have two options depending on the Upper Control Arm you would like to select, except for Stage 1.

2″ Spacer Kit: An affordable leveling kit for 5th Gen 4Runners. This kit was designed to level the front end and rear end of the 4Runner. Another benefit of the leveling kit is that you can clear 33″ tires.

Stage 1: This stage includes ICON 2.5 Series front Coilover adjustable Shocks that can go up to 3.5″ in lift. The rear includes 2.0 Aluminum Series shocks and 2″ lift rear coil springs that are tuned to match the front shocks.

Stage 2: Uses the same struts, shocks, and coils as Stage 1, but with extended travel front coilovers. Extended travel offers increased wheel travel, enhancing on and off-road performance. This kit will require an upgraded UCA. You’ll have the option to pick between the Tubular or Billet UCA.

Stage 3: This stage uses the same components as Stage 2 and adds the Icon Tubular Steel Rear Lower Link kit. This kit features a low-maintenance multi-durometer bushing that can be adjusted for optimal pinion angle.

Stage 4: Includes everything up through Stage 3, but upgrades the rear shocks to the 2.5 Aluminum Series Remote Reservoir for balanced damping characteristics. The reservoirs feature Icon’s Bump Zone technology which helps to increase damping ability in the last 2″ of compression travel. This prevents the harsh bottom-out sensation, thus giving the 4Runner a more controlled ride quality over different terrain.

Stage 5: Includes everything in Stage 4 but upgrades the front coilovers to the remote reservoir version for increased performance.

Stage 6: Adds the tubular rear upper link kit and an adjustable rear track bar. The tubular rear upper link kit features PTFE-lined FK rod ends to increase suspension articulation, reduced deflection, link arm length adjustability, and a noise-free ride due to the multi-durometer bushing. You’ll also see that there isn’t a need for periodic grease or other maintenance of these parts.

Stage 7: With this kit, you’ll receive everything listed above plus Icon’s Compression Damping Control Valve (CDCV) for the front and rear. The CDCV system allows the driver to instantly change the compression, providing optimal ride quality no matter the vehicle’s weight or the terrain it is driven in.

Stage 8: Includes everything above with the addition of the hydraulic bump stop kit. Hydraulic bump stops are definitely geared toward desert running or hitting bumps at increased speeds.

    Upper Control Arms

    The primary difference between these two upper control arm kits is the adjustability.

    Tubular UCA DJ Kit: Offers Caster and Camber adjustability, allowing for fine-tuning of vehicle handling.

    Billet UCA DJ Kit: Has built-in caster correction to allow for optimal alignment specifications.

    These UCAs are built with CNC bent 1026 DOM steel tubing and finished with a semi-gloss black powder-coated finish for maximum strength and corrosion resistance. They also both feature Icon’s very own Delta Joint, which is a heavy-duty high-angle ba l joint that has the durability of a ball joint with the performance characteristics of a traditional uni-ball.

    Other Components

    Rear Air Bump Kit ($997): A bolt-in hydraulic bump stop kit for your 4Runner. These bump stops are velocity-sensitive, meaning the faster they engage, the more energy is absorbed. This helps the overall performance when off-roading. The Icon bump stops are also fully rebuildable and can be tuned for a custom ride with the valve stack, oil volume, and nitrogen pressure adjustments.

    Adjustable Rear Track Bar ($367): This helps with the overall handling of your truck and rear axle alignment to avoid premature tire wear and unwanted handling characteristics. The track bar helps center your axle from left to right. If the length is incorrect for your lift, your truck can have significant alignment issues.

    4. Ironman – @nogear_andrew

    5th Gen 4Runner Ironman 4x4 Suspension

    Suspension Setup 

    Why did you pick this setup? 

    Every Ironman 4×4 part has to adhere to the strict standards of Australian regulations. This helped make my decision easier because of these parts’ build quality and performance.

    What do you like about your setup?

    I can have peace of mind when over anding that this equipment doesn’t disappoint me. Plus, it won’t void my 4Runner’s warranty, which was a huge factor in my decision.

    How is the ride quality when off-roading?

    The ride quality is buttery smooth off-road and stiff when it needs to be. It doesn’t pop or make noises, giving me more peace of mind when facing obstacles.

    Product Offerings

    Ironman 4X4 Foam Cell Pro 2” Suspension Kit Stage 2

    If you’re in the PNW, you know about Ironman 4×4. They are a one-stop shop for all things off-roading and provide many quality products for all types of trucks. You’ll get a pretty good setup for a much lower price point with Ironman 4×4.

    There is one main difference you’ll see in the different suspension kits, and that is the type of shock. The 35mm piston nitro gas shock absorbers are perfect for everyday use.

    The other option is the 41mm piston Foam Cell shock absorbers. Instead of the nitro-gas, the shock absorber has a cellular foam sleeve inside, allowing for more oil capacity. The oil helps with cooling by pushing the heat out of the shock absorber via the outer casing. The better a shock is at dissipating heat, the better the performance.

    Due to the larger diameter and stiffer ride, these shocks are a great option for heavier vehicles. That’s especially true when you have steel bumpers, rooftop tents, work equipment, or even increased towing weight.

    One downside to Ironman 4×4 kits is the lack of adjustability. If that is something you want or need, this may not be the brand for you.

    Lift Kit Options

    There are 4 stages to the Ironman 4×4 lift kits. Each kit comes with either KDSS or non-KDSS options.

    Stage 1: Within the Stage 1 lift kits, there are two different options that you can pick from.

    • Nitro Gas Suspension Kit: This suspension is an entry-level kit with just the struts and springs and the option to pick the load of the springs (medium, medium plus, and heavy load). This will be a good option if you are looking for something durable for your light to moderate off-roading that won’t break the bank.
    • Foam Cell Pro Suspension Kit: This kit comprises a tough, military spec, big bore 3″ twin-tube shock. Ironman 4×4 claims that it is the largest, strongest shock on the market and that they are nearly indestructible. They carry no internal parts that can malfunction, require little to no service, and are rebuildable.

    Stage 2: The second stage is exactly like Stage 1 but adds the Ironman 4×4 Pro Forged Upper Control Arms. Like the shocks, they require little to no maintenance. However, they are adjustable to achieve perfect alignment.

    Stage 3: Includes everything in Stage 2 and adds rear extended sway bar links and rear adjustable panhard bar. 

    Stage 4: Includes everything in Stage 3 and adds rear adjustable lower trailing arms. 

    Upper Control Arms

    Pro-Forge Upper Control Arms: These UCAs are forged with 4 degrees of caster correction for the best wheel alignment and help correct the geometry back to OEM specs. They use OEM-style ball joints and bushings for a maintenance-free life. The fully hardened stud-bound feature in a watertight sealed machined housing prevents contaminants from being introduced into the joints.

    These UCAs are wrapped in a hardened zinc coating, producing up to 75% more corrosion resistance than paint or powder coating. Zinc coating is exceptional at preventing oxidation, which typically leads to rust and corrosion.

    Other Components

    Adjustable Rear Panhard Bars: Helps correct axle shift angle after lifting the suspension. These easily adjustable bars are compatible with or without KDSS.

    5. Old Man Emu – @hbuff_akrnr

    5th Gen 4Runner OME Nitro Suspension

    Suspension Setup 

    • Old Man Emu 3″ Medium Load Suspension Lift Kit w/ Shocks: Check Price

    Why did you pick this setup?

    This lift is quite popular in Alaska, so it was an easy option since it was in stock and ready to go on at my local shop. Other than that, Old Man Emu is a great middle-of-the-line option with excellent value. OME accomplishes the look I wanted and the durability I need for my off-roading.

    What do you like about your setup?

    I love how smooth my setup is compared to a stock suspension. With everyday driving, you definitely notice a difference in ride quality. I also love the price point and how easy the maintenance is.

    How is the ride quality when off-roading?

    On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, I would give it a 7. With this setup, I get the clearance needed for rocks and other obstacles I may stumble upon. However, if I were off-roading more frequently, I would have chosen a different setup that fits my needs better.

    Product Offerings

    Old Man Emu (OME) Nitrocharger Lift Kit

    Old Man Emu provides a lift for everybody’s needs, including those looking to go higher than the popular 3″ lift. This Australian company designs all of its products keeping in mind the harshest conditions throughout the world.

    The Nitrocharger shock absorbers are meant to give more ride comfort and stability to keep your 4Runner from getting knocked around by the different terrain off-road. However, I will say that OME tends to run stiffer with their firmer valved shocks & stiffer springs. Of course, this is subjective. 

    Lift Kit Options

    3″ Nitrocharger Lift Kit: This kit was manufactured to provide optimal levels of comfort both on and off-road with load-carrying capability and control characteristics kept in mind. The rear set of nitrogen-charged N3 shocks gives passengers a comfortable ride quality. You can choose between standard, medium, or heavy-load coils depending on your needs and preferences.

    BP-51 2-3″ Lift Kit: This adjustable lift kit is perfect for anyone upgrading their suspension. The BP-51 lift kit is an adjustable lift kit that allows you to adjust the ride comfort on and off-road. This kit features compression and rebound settings and OME’s very own internal bypass technology. 

    BP-51 3.25-3.5″ Lift Kit: This kit is very similar to the smaller BP-51 kit; however, it accommodates a bigger lift and tires.

    Upper Control Arms

    OME UCA: Helps adjust the camber and caster of your 4Runner to ensure they are within factory spec. These UCAs feature a heavy-duty greaseable ball joint.

    6. Bilstein – @roaming4runner

    Bilstein 5100 5th Gen 4Runner

    Suspension Setup 

    Why did you pick this setup?

    My budget was the main factor in choosing this setup, along with many positive reviews from others with similar setups. I also upgraded to an aftermarket spring to obtain more ride height and less sag when loaded.

    What do you like about your setup? 

    This setup is great because it gives you a ton of flexibility regarding budget and ride height. The Bilstein 5100 shocks can be run with factory springs which are a great option if you only want to level the front and have a less spongy ride while keeping the cost low.

    However, if you desire more lift, you only have to upgrade to longer rear shocks or a spacer lift to obtain up to 2″ of lift in the rear. The front shocks can be adjusted to provide up to 2.5″ of lift.

    How is the ride quality when off-roading?

    These shocks perform decently well off-road, absorbing impacts and smoothing out the ride. There are some limitations, but it is plenty sufficient for most off-roading I encounter in the PNW. I am delighted with this setup and the added lift I have installed.

    Product Offerings

    Bilstein B8 8112 Suspension

    Bilstein products are a great entry point into the suspension world. There are many different brands that they can be paired with and are at a lower price point. In fact, Toyota also utilized Bilstein products on many of their other vehicles proving that it works well with the Toyota brand in general.

    Like OME, Bilstein also has a stiffer feel, putting them in a better position in terms of body roll and towing ability. The digressive shocks will give your 4Runner a much more stable feel on-road especially. However, when it comes to any bump, you’ll feel it.

    Bilstein may suit your weekend warrior needs better than technical off-roading. They come in at a really good price point and have the reliability that’s so important to the Toyota community. You can’t go wrong with any of their products, especially if you want to keep some of the stock components to save some money.

    Lift Kit Options

    • B8 5100 Adjustable Shock Absorbers: The multiple snap-ring grooves give an adjustable setup on these shocks, providing up to a 2.75″ front lift with stock springs. Bilstein B8 5100 shocks provide increased wheel travel and improved handling. 
    • B8 5160 Remote Reservoir Shock Absorbers: The remote reservoir will offer more cooling capacity and wheel travel to optimize performance. The shock comes as a monotube design; as you may know, these are much better for heat dissipation and cooling. 
    • B8 6112 Leveling Kits: These leveling kits are designed to add clearance, allow for larger tires, and increase wheel travel. You can get up to 2.75″ of lift on your 4Runner. These kits come with two 60mm shock absorbers allowing increased damping control, two custom-matched cold wound coil springs, and two billet aluminum spring seats. 

    Stage 1: Perfect for a daily driven truck that does almost no off-road driving but is looking for the aesthetic of a lift for ground & tire clearance. This option includes B8 5100 front and rear shocks and will utilize your stock front coil springs.

    Stage 2: Perfect for light off-roading. The rear shocks are replaced with B8 5160 shocks that are better for load capacity and comfort if you increase weight. This kit includes B8 5100 front and B8 5160 rear shocks and will utilize your stock front coil springs.

    Stage 3: This kit comprises the B8 6112 front coilovers, including the front coil springs and shocks. The B8 6112 front coilovers allow more dampening control on-road & off-road, which will ultimately give you better control, traction, and ride comfort. The rear shocks are the B8 5160 series.

    Bilstein B8 8112: This flagship kit features the ZoneControl CR from Bilstein. The kit offers position-sensitive damping with 3 compression zones and 2 rebound zones controlled by 3 independent pistons. 

    Upper Control Arms

    Bilstein B8 Control Arms: Bilstein’s upper control arms help lifted suspensions by correcting the caster alignment for better straight-line stability. They also help by improving pivot angles to increase wheel travel and reduce stress.

    These tubular-designed UCAs allow for more spring and shock clearance and feature greaseable bushings paired with heavy-duty ball joints for the highest ride quality and durability.

    7. Toytec – @runnin4lugo

    Toytec Suspension 5th Gen 4Runner

    Suspension Setup 

    Why did you pick this setup?

    I decided on this setup because I thought it would look good on the 4Runner. Also, it was very convenient, and it did the job. 

    What do you like about your setup?

    I love the aggressive look of my suspension setup. I’m also confident in its abilities. No matter where I go to explore, I’ll know I can manage any obstacle and safely get to my destination. 

    How is the ride quality when off-roading?

    When I go off-roading, the driving quality is fantastic. When I switched to the heavy-duty rear coil, the ride got a lot stiffer, which is much more enjoyable; in my opinion, I’m not a massive fan of a bouncy ride.

    Product Offerings

    Toytec Aluma Series Boss Suspension System For 5th Gen 4Runner

    Toytec offers a variety of lift options that can be combined with other brands to make the optimal suspension setup for your 4Runner.

    You have two options: the Boss Suspension or the 2.5 Performance Suspension. The shocks in both of these kits are aluminum, allowing for better cooling, and are also adjustable from 2-3″ of lift. They are also completely rebuildable.

    However, due to their limited spring selection, I wouldn’t suggest these if you want to add a ton of weight. While they offer heavy-duty coils, there are better options on the market for this specific situation.

    Lift Kit Options

    Spacer Lift Kits: Ranging from a 1/4″ lift all the way up to a 3″ lift. Spacer lift kits are a popular option if you want to lift your vehicle for aesthetic purposes and may do very light off-roading. They sit on top of your coilovers to increase your vehicle’s lift. 

    Lift Leveling Kit: With this kit, you’re able to increase the front height by 2.5-3″. The rear will be increased by 1.5″.

    Body Lift Kit: This is something that many other brands do not currently offer. Body lifts don’t really increase ground clearance but provide the ability to fit larger tires. They do not affect the drivetrain or suspension components and can be added to suspension lift kits.

    Budget Suspension Lift Kits: Toytec’s kits include either rear, front, or both coils with spacers to give a lift of 2-3″, depending on the kit. The TRD Pro Coil Kit is a great option for those with TRDs as it uses stock Fox shocks that come equipped on the TRD Pro models. These are great options if you are looking for a lift option that doesn’t break the bank but can handle light off-roading. 

      • FJ3-RCC
      • TT3-FRCC
      • Toytec TRD Pro Coil Kit

    If money isn’t the issue and you are looking for a full suspension setup, Toytec has many options. The great thing about Toytec is they are very customizable.

    Toytec/Bilstein Lift Kit: Can be customized by keeping the lighter coils or adding heavier-duty ones. You can also swap out the Bilstein shocks for Toytec Alumna Series shocks.

    Toytec Ultimate 3″ Lift Package: This kit has everything you need. It includes Toytec/Bilstein 5100 adjustable coilover shocks in the front and either Bilstein 5100 or Toytec Aluma Series 2.0 IFP shocks in the rear.

    You’ll also be able to pick between the Toytec Superflex rear coils or the Toytec Superflex HD coils (additional load capacity). Also, the kit finally comes with spanner wrenches for adjustment, sway bar relocation brackets, a front diff drop kit, Toytec rear bump stop extensions, and the option between SPC UCAs or Total Chaos UCAs.

    Toytec Aluma Series Boss Suspension System: The Boss suspension system is very similar to the Ultimate Lift Package. However, you get more variety in your options, such as bump stops, diff drop kits, and UCAs.

    Aluma Series 2.5 Performance Suspension System: The Performance suspension system is Toytec’s flagship kit. It is the only suspension that has the option to add remote reservoirs. If you choose to go with the 2.5 series, the shocks will have a much thicker diameter than the regular Boss suspension kit.

    Other Components

    Front Differential Drop Kit: Lowers the front differential, reducing the angles on your CV axles and boots, and prolonging the life of these components.

    Front Swaybar Relocate Kit: Relocates the front swaybars to eliminate contact. It has a very easy and straightforward bolt-on design. 

    Rear Bump Stop Kit: Allows you to relocate and extend your factory bump stop to the rear and re-align aftermarket lifts.

    Final Thoughts

    King Shocks 5th Gen 4Runner

    In my personal opinion, suspension is one of the hardest modifications to do. Not only are there a lot of components, but also a ton of options. Breaking down what these companies offer and their price points helped me immensely in picking my setup. Hopefully, this guide will help you in a similar way.

    If I had to give any advice when it comes to suspension, don’t spend a ton of money on the most expensive setup just because it’s cool. Kings and Icons are some of the most superior setups on the market. However, do you need to spend $3K+ on a suspension setup when you only go off-roading occasionally? Of course not. If you want to go all out though, then by all means!

    Many other brands mentioned above have offerings for various needs and budgets. Evaluate what is the most important for you and make your selection based on that.

    My goal for this post was to give you real testimonials about suspension setups. For an even more in-depth guide on some of the most popular brands, check out our 5th Gen Suspension Lift Kits post.

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    Jeff Cardin
    Jeff Cardin
    6 months ago

    I went with option #8, Elka 2.5 DC Reservoir’s in front and rear. I just bought a 23′ 4Runner SR5 Premium in December and immediately knew I was going to swap out the suspension. The notorious Toyota body lean and roll had to go so after some research I went with the Elka’s and I’m so happy I did. The cornering and handling is superb and I recently added a C4 Fabrications Lo Pro bumper with the high clearance additions and a Warn VR Evo 10-s winch and I can’t tell the before and after install of the bumper difference in handling, the Elka’s handle the extra weight no problem and I didn’t lose any height on my 3″ lift.

    ceol
    ceol
    7 months ago

    Dobinsons IMS for me. I over-researched this topic for about a year before I finally pulled the plug and purchased this system. I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision. It immediately improved all aspects of the ride both on and off-road (TRD OR KDSS). Night and day in my opinion. I’m sure other suspensions systems are equally as great and there’s likely no “wrong” choice, but I’m entirely satisfied and don’t regret my purchase one bit — I’d completely do it again.

    Chuck B.
    Chuck B.
    7 months ago

    I have definitely been enjoying my ironman fcp’s. The no maintenance was a huge selling point for me.

    tobey yardub
    tobey yardub
    7 months ago

    very informative, thanks marie!

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