5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 3 – Lift Kits
5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 3 – The Lift Kit & Leveling Kits
Lifting your 5th Gen 4Runner and Gearing up for an Overland Adventure
Jump To Another Section:
- 5th Gen 4Runner Suspension Systems (COMPLETE GUIDE)
- 5th Gen 4Runner Icon Suspension Lift (Overview)
- Spacer Lift Kit Install (Step by Step)
- Suspension Lift Kit Install (Step by Step)
After reading our posts on 5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 1 and 4Runner Mods Part 2, you may be thinking about going the extra mile. We covered some of the most popular areas of 4Runner mods in part 1 and part 2 but there are still many mods to explore. We will finally get into lifting your 4Runner in this section. We will also get into 5th Gen rear bumper kits and front bumper kits in part 4.
Making the next move to lift your 4Runner requires some major changes all the way around. Everything needs to be taken into account when lifting your 5th Gen. One of the most important factors when lifting your 5th Gen is wheels and tires. Are your current wheels and tires going to work? After your lift is complete, should you buy new wheels and tires? If you paid attention in part 1, you should already have a set of wheels and tires. So, you should be fine if you want to lift your 5th Gen. But, if you still have stock wheels and tires, you should probably look into getting a new set to match your lift.
Are your current wheels and tires going to work? After your lift is complete, should you buy new wheels and tires? If you paid attention in part 1, you should already have a set of wheels and tires. So, you should be fine if you want to lift your 5th Gen. But, if you still have stock wheels and tires, you should probably look into getting a new set to match your lift.
As for options when it comes to the front and rear bumper options, there might not be as many good options as you think. There are a core set of manufacturers out there who make aftermarket front and rear bumpers for 5th Gen 4Runners. Please check out part 4 for 5th Gen 4Runner Bumper Mods.
Round 3 for 5th Gen 4Runner Mods – Lift Kits and Leveling Kits
- 4Runner Mod #1 – Lift Kit
- 4Runner Mod #2 – Leveling Kit
Things start to get serious on your 5th Gen when you have a lift combined with a custom front and rear bumper. Below we are going to look at the best lift, bumper, and lighting options for your 5th Gen 4Runner. In our 5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 2, we discussed grill options and below we are going to take it a step further.
4Runner Mod – Lift or Leveling Kit?
When it comes to a 5th Gen 4Runner, it only looks right with a lift or leveling kit. There are a few different types of lift kit options available for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Deciding on a lift or leveling kit is a big decision because there are so many options. In the details below, we only cover the top or most popular options. This is not every option out there. If you know of a kit that needs to be mentioned below, please comment and let us know.
Leveling Lift Kit Example
Pro Comp Level Kit – 5th Gen 4Runner – $350
Suspension Lift Kit Example
Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 5th Gen 4Runner – $3000
Understand the Types of Suspensions
- Stock or Shocks and Springs: You have a coil-spring, independent double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar in the front. For the rear, you have a coil-spring 4 link with lateral rod rear suspension with stabilizer bar in the rear. (Comes on most SR5 4Runners) – Check out our post on the strut spacer leveling kit install for the SR5 4Runner for more information on this lift.
- X-REAS Independent Counterpart Shocks: (Connects the Passenger Rear right to Driver Front Left and Vice Versa). X-REAS helps lessen body sway, pitch, and roll on the 4Runner.
- K.D.S.S. Great for On and Off Road: OFF-ROAD: Hydraulic Oil flows in loops from the front and rear cylinder which means the cylinder is not locked. ON-ROAD: Hydraulic Oil flow against each other from the front and rear cylinder which means the cylinder is locked. (Comes on Trail and TRD Pro 4Runners).
Types of 5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kits
- Spacer Lifts (1″-3″)
- Non-Rebuildable/Adjustable Coilovers & Shocks (1″-3.5″)
- Rebuildable/Adjustable Coilovers & Shocks (1″-3.5″)
- Full Lift Kit – Not many 5th Gen owners run Full Lift Kits (Think 6″+)
Top Brands for 5th Gen 4Runner Lifts & Leveling Kits
- Readylift SST
- Total Chaos
- Rough Country
- Old Man Emu (OME)
Best Options for 5th Gen 4Runner Lift & Leveling Kits
- TRD PRO Bilstein Shocks w/ TRD-tuned Front Springs – $1500+ (1″ Lift)
- Leveling Kit: Daystar – $150
- Leveling Kit: Toytec – $250
- Lift/Leveling Kit: Pro Comp Nitro – $350
- Spacer Kit With Coils: Rough County – $200
- Spacer Kit with Coils: Toytec – $320
- Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks: Bilstein 5100 – $400
- Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks: OME – $900-$1200 with Options
- Non-Rebuildable Coilovers & Shocks: Pro Comp – $600
- Rebuildable/Adjustable: Icon – $1800-$6000 (Multiple Stages)
- Rebuildable/Adjustable: Total Chaos Long Travel – $3000+
How to decide which lift or leveling kit is right for you?
Deciding which of these lifts is for you will depend on how you drive your 5th Gen 4Runner. If your 4Runner is a street princess, you might want to opt for a basic leveling kit. If you go on the occasional 4×4 adventure, you should probably look into a mid-level leveling kit or spacer kit with coilovers as this will have the most flexibility on and off-road. If you plan to hit some serious trails or go on an overland adventure, you need to look into an Icon lift or Total Chaos Long Travel leveling kit.
Below are my choices on what I would install given my cruising altitude.
- Cruising around town: Toytec 2″ Level Kit or Pro Comp 3″ Nitro Level/Lift Kit
- Occasional 4×4 adventure: Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Kit
- Serious Off-Roading: Icon Lift Kit Stage 2 – 5th Gen 4Runner
- Overland Adventure 1: Total Chaos Long Travel Lift Kit – $3500
- Overland Adventure 2: Icon Lift Kit Stage 7 – $6000
5th Gen 4Runner Lift Kit Conclusion
FIRST: Before making the jump on any 5th Gen 4Runner lift kit or leveling kit, understand which suspension you have. If you have stock suspension, the options are going to much different than if you have an aftermarket X-REAS suspension. Alternatively, if you have K.D.S.S. suspension on your Trail 4Runner or TRD Pro 4Runner, your options are going to be different as well. Most websites and manufacturers do a good job of categorizing their products so you will know for sure if the lift or leveling kit fits.
SECOND: Do your research and understand what you are buying. If you purchase a $1500 l5th Gen 4Runner lift kit and plan on doing it yourself, you better have the tools. If you are buying a “$300.00” lift kit, it probably won’t last for that long if you plan on hitting some serious trails. Just do your research.
THIRD: You don’t need a full lift kit if you intend on rolling around the business parks. A mid-grade leveling kit should be fine. The Pro Comp 3″ Spacer Level/Lift Kit is a nice in-between kit that should suffice for all street driving and a touch of off-roading here and there.
FOURTH: If you are spending $6000 on a 5th Gen 4Runner lift kit then… well have fun!!