Icon Stage 2 Lift Install 5th Gen 4Runner

 In 5th Gen 4Runner Mods, Aftermarket Install, Off-Road Accessories, T4R Accessories, Trail T4R

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Install – 4Runner (KDSS)

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Install - 4Runner (KDSS)

Front Coilover & Upper Control Arm Installation – Icon Stage 2 – 5th Gen Trail Premium 4Runner with KDSS

After weeks of looking forward to the Icon Suspension, things didn’t really go as planned. After our write-up and overview on the Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit, we were like little kids waiting for Christmas morning. When Christmas morning arrived and it was time to do the install, one thing after another went wrong. As we got into the suspension, everything was fine until we realized one part was completely wrong.

As we were throwing in the coilovers and lining up the lower strut bolt, it would not go through. We thought that maybe we just did not read the Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 4Runner Installation Instructions good enough. That was not the case. Icon Vehicle Dynamics sent us the wrong part. The strut spacer was 1.2mm too narrow for the OE bolt to fit through. It must have been a similar part that was for another vehicles strut, not a 5th Gen 4Runner. Being that we were doing the Icon Stage 2 Suspension 4Runner Lift Kit Installation on a Saturday, we were limited in options.

We needed to solve our Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 4Runner Installation problems that day or else I would have been out a car for the week. Our best option was to bore out the spacer with a 9/16 drill bit. And, of course, we did not have one. Neither did Home Depot, Lowes, Neighbors or any other friend in the neighborhood. After spinning our wheels making phone calls and driving around for hours, we finally ran across one at the third Home Depot we called.

From here, our Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 4Runner Installation was back on track. We headed back to the shop and drilled out the spacer literally to the spec of the other spacer (that it was supposed to be). From there, the Icon Stage 2 Suspension Install returned to smooth operations. But, after driving around for three hours, we burned most of our day. Pretty irritating to say the least. Also, we sent Icon Vehicle Dynamics an email, called multiple times and it took them two days to get back to us.

Icon Stage 2 Install (Front) 5th Gen 4Runner With KDSS Suspension

Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift - 5th Gen 4Runner

Install was done on 2014 Trail Edition Premium 5th Gen 4Runner (Trail4R)

If it was not for Icon Vehicle Dynamics sending the wrong strut spacer for the 5th Gen 4Runner Suspension Kit, this install probably would have taken two guys with a decent sized shop, maybe 6 hours. Instead, the Install took us closer to 10 hours with the driving around and headaches.

Icon Stage 2 Suspension – 5th Gen 4Runner Install Video

Icon Suspension Install Step 1: Break Nuts, Jack Up Truck, Remove Tires

Break Nuts, Jack Up Truck, Remove Tires

Icon Install Step 2: Remove Cotter Pin from Upper Control Arm & Spindle

Start by removing the cotter pin that connects the OE bolt on the bottom of the Heim Ball Joint Pivot Pin. You will not be reusing the cotter pin, so set aside and save if you wish to.

Icon Stage 2 4Runner Lift - Remove Pin

Icon Install Step 3: Unbolt UCA & Knock Spindle Loose

Once you have the cotter pin removed, unbolt the Ball Joint Pivot Pin from the spindle. Once the bolt has been removed, just knock the spindle loose. It’s really tight. You may have to knock a few times, and hard.

Icon Install Step 4: Unbolt ABS Bracket from UCA

While the spindle is still connected to the upper control arms, unbolt the small nut that is mounted to the ABS bracket. Just set to the side. You will not be using the OE hardware, so just set aside and save if you wish.

Icon Install Step 4: Unbolt ABS Bracket from UCA

Icon Install Step 5: Remove Spindle & Zip Tie Wheel Assembly

Completely remove the nut that is holding together your upper control arms and your spindle. Once your spindle is free, shove back into the wheel well and zip tie down your wheel assembly.

Icon Install Step 5: Remove Spindle & Zip Tie Wheel Assembly 

Icon Install Step 6: Pop Plastic Push Tabs For Access to Upper Control Arm

Pop off the plastic push tabs that cover access to your upper control arm bolt. You may need to use a pair of needle nose pliers for this as they are pushed in there pretty tight. Once you have access to the upper control arms, find your hardware and get ready to remove your upper control arms.

Icon Install Step 6: Pop Plastic Push Tabs and Unbolt Upper Control Arm

Icon Install Step 7: Unbolt Wiring Harness Blocking Upper Control Arm Bolt

This is an optional step, you may need to remove the wiring harness that is blocking access to the Upper Control Arm bolt. If you find that you do not need to, don’t worry about it.

Unbolt Wiring Harness Blocking Upper Control Arm Bolt

Icon Install Step 8: Unbolt Upper Control Arm & Save OE Hardware

On the lower end or towards the rear of your 4Runner, remove the nut on your upper control arm bolt and save the OE nut. You do not need to save the OE washer as Icon Vehicle Dynamics provides nice shiny brass ones for you. But, you may want to save them just in case.

Unbolt Upper Control Arm & Save OE Hardware

Icon Install Step 9: Slide OE Bolt Through UCA’s into Engine Bay

Once your hardware has been removed, you are ready to slide your upper control arm bolt out of the assembly and up into your engine bay. There is not enough room to pull the bolt out of the well, just leave it sitting up in the engine bay as you are going to need to slide it right back down through the new Icon Uniball Upper Control Arms.

Slide OE Bolt Through UCA's into Engine Bay

Icon Install Step 10: Remove Upper Control Arms – 5th Gen 4Runner

Remove your upper control arms and set them aside. It is now time to remove your shocks.

Icon Stage 2 Tubular Upper Control Arms - 5th Gen 4Runner

Icon Install Step 11: Remove Three Bolts from Coilover Housing

Remove the three nuts that secure your shocks to the shock housing. There are two nuts to remove in the front and one in the back. You can see we used a socket for the front two and an open end wrench for the nut in the back as there was not enough room to fit a socket in the back.

We had a leveling kit on the 2014 Trail 4Runner, that is why you see the Toytec Leveling Kit in there. Yours will not be any more difficult to get out. With the leveling kit in there, it makes it a bit more difficult to pull the shocks out but not much.

Icon Install Step 11: Remove Three Bolts from Coilover Housing

Icon Install Step 12: Unbolt Lower Strut Bolt & Knock OE Bolt Loose

The strut bolt is really tight so you will need to knock it out with a hammering pin and a rubber mallet. You may need to hit it more than once.

Icon Install Step 12: Unbolt Lower Strut Bolt & Knock OE Bolt Loose

Icon Install Step 13: Unbolt KDSS from Lower Control Arm & Remove OE Shocks

If you are one of the lucky 4Runner KDSS owners, this step is for you. Unbolt the KDSS bar bracket that is connected to your lower control arm. You will need to unbolt the bracket here and in more location, located almost directly under the vehicle. Just follow the KDSS bar up and you will see it. You need to unbolt these KDSS brackets holding on your KDSS Suspension in order to lower the lower control arms.

After you are done, you can push down on the lower control arm to remove the shock. Or, you can jack up the opposite side of the vehicle to force the lower control arm and wheel assembly down. This second option is much easier.

Icon Install Step 13: Unbolt KDSS from Lower Control Arm

Icon Install Step 14: Installing Icon Extended Travel Coilovers

Throw in those new pretty Icon Extended Travel Coilovers! Make sure you align the bottom of the strut so it is aligned with the lower control arm strut bolt location.

Icon Install Step 14: Installing Icon Extended Travel Coilovers

Icon Install Step 15: Mount Icon Extended Travel Coilovers With Provided Hardware

Using the provided hardware in your Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit, thread the bolts down through the open holes and into the Icon Extended Travel Coilovers. Hand tighten them for now.

Mount Icon Extended Travel Coilovers With Provided Hardware

Icon Install Step 16: Jack Lower Control Arms Into Place & Bolt in Coilovers

You will be reusing the OE bolt. Once you have the Icon Extended Travel Coilovers in (with new spacers), slide the OE bolt through the strut and thread the nut back on.

KDSS INSTALL NOTES: Once you have the Icon Extended Travel Coilovers in place with the OE hardware on, you need to reconnect your KDSS. This was kind of a pain in the ass. Because the new Icon Extended Travel Coilovers pushed the lower control arm down, the KDSS was not lining up. You may have to play around with jacking up your lower control arm on the opposite side of the 4Runner in order for the KDSS brackets to line up again.

Icon Install Step 16: Jack Lower Control Arms Into Place & Bolt in Coilovers

Icon Install Step 17: Grease Upper Control Arms

Step A: Pull out your grease gun for this one, things are going to get messy. Using rubber gloves, grease the inside palm of your hand with some grease and go to work on the bushings before you pop them into your new Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms. You can never have too much grease all the way around, just make sure you do not get any grease into the center, where your OE bolt is going to slide through.

Step B: Now is also the time you need to drop in your Ball Joint Pivot Pin into your Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms. To remove the nut on the top of the ball joint pin, we used an impact driver, and it popped right off. Try this the first time. We tried everything before and it was not coming off. The impact drive takes it off in a flash. Once you have the nut off the top of the ball joint pin, slide it into place and rethread the bolt back into place.

You are now ready to install your Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms.

Icon Install Step 17: Grease Upper Control Arms

Icon Install Step 18: Installing Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms

Grab your Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms and set them into place. The only tricky part about installing the Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms is getting the washers to stay in place when sliding the OE upper control arm bolt down.

Icon Install Step 18: Installing Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms

Icon Install Step 19: Slide OE Bolt Through Upper Control Arms

Start with the first two washers at the top. Once you have the first two washers in and the bolt halfway through your upper control arms, move to the third washer and then the fourth (washer on the end). Thread on your nut and bolt down to spec.

Icon Install Step 19: Slide OE Bolt Through Upper Control Arms

Icon Install Step 20: Knock Heim Ball Joint Pivot Pin Into Place

After you have the upper control arms bolted into place, we want to connect the upper control arms to the pivot arm with the new ball joint pin. The ball joint pin in the Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms is TIGHT. Really tight.

Take a rubber mallet and knock the pin into place until it lines up with the OE pivot arms. Slide the ball joint pin into place and thread on new nut provide in your Icon Stage 2 Suspension Kit for the 5th Gen 4Runner.

Icon Install Step 20: Knock Heim Ball Joint Pivot Pin Into Place

Icon Install Step 21: Screw Down ABS Bracket to Upper Control Arm

In your Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 4Runner Installation, they provide the hardware to reconnect your ABS line. Simple enough. Nut down and get this thing installed.

Icon Install Step 21: Screw Down ABS Bracket to Upper Control Arm

Icon Install Step 22: Apply Loctite to Pivot Pin Hardware & Bolt Down

After your Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms are in place, we have one more step before we lower the vehicle. Grab the Loctite that Icon provides in your Stage 2 4Runner Suspension Kit and apply it to the Ball Joint Pivot Pin bolt. Using your socket, bolt it down.

Icon Install Step 22: Apply Loctite to Pivot Pin Hardware & Bolt Down

Icon Install Step 23: Lower 4Runner and Torque All Hardware to Specs

After you are finished with the Icon Tubular Uniball Upper Control Arms and the Icon Extended Travel Coilovers on both sides, throw your tires back on and lower your 4Runner. Double check all nuts and bolts to ensure everything is on tight and not just hand tight. Once you have all nuts and bolts on, you want to double check any nuts and bolts that need to be torqued to the 5th Gen 4Runner specs.

Done with the Front Suspension, let’s move to the back.

Rear Icon Stage 2 Suspension Lift Kit 4Runner Installation

Icon Rear Step 1: Jack up Truck and Remove Tires

Icon Rear Step 1: Jack up Truck and Remove Tires

Icon Rear Step 2: Unbolt lower Shock Nut & Unbolt KDSS

Icon Rear Step 2: Unbolt lower Shock Nut & Unbolt KDSS

Icon Rear Step 3: Unclip Trackbar & Zip Tie to Secure

Icon Rear Step 3: Unclip Trackbar & Zip Tie to Secure 

Icon Rear Step 4: Unbolt 2nd KDSS Bolts & Loosen Shock

Icon Rear Step 4: Unbolt 2nd KDSS Bolts & Loosen Shock

Icon Rear Step 5: Using Vice Grip & Ratchet – Remove Top Shock Nut

Icon Rear Step 5: Using Vice Grip & Ratchet - Remove Top Shock Nut

Icon Rear Step 6: Loosen KDSS & Unbolt Brake Line

Icon Rear Step 6: Loosen KDSS & Unbolt Brake Line

Icon Rear Step 7: Installing New Rear Coil Springs

Icon Rear Step 7: Installing New Rear Coil Springs

Icon Rear Step 8: Rear Coil Spring Fitment

Icon Rear Step 8: Rear Coil Spring Fitment

Icon Rear Step 9: Connect KDSS and Disconnect Trackbar from Zip Tie

Icon Rear Step 9: Connect KDSS and Disconnect Trackbar from Zip Tie

Icon Rear Step 10: Installing Rear 2.0 Aluminum Series IR Shocks

Icon Rear Step 10: rear 2.0 Aluminum Series IR Shocks

Icon Rear Step 11: Tighten KDSS & Check all Nuts/Bolts

Icon Rear Step 11: Tighten KDSS & Check all Nuts/Bolts

Final Shot of the Icon Stage 2 With New Anza Wheels and Toyo Open Country AT 2

5th Gen 4Runner Fuel Anza - Icon Stage 2

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Showing 15 comments
  • ICON Vehicle Dynamics
    Reply

    “Also, we sent Icon Vehicle Dynamics an email, called multiple times and it took them two days to get back to us.”

    Hi Brenan! We hope you are enjoying this setup and getting some use out of your 4Runner. While we understand your frustration in having a small part hold up your install, please let it be know that you contacted us on a weekend, and we overnighted the part out to you as soon as your messages were received by our sales team. Should you have any issues in the future don’t hesitate to reach us right away at 951-689-4266!

    Thank you,

    ICON Staff

    • Bgreene
      Reply

      Icon,

      We understand things happen. As we mentioned above, the frustration was that we called several times on Monday, to which we did not get an answer. We left a few voicemails and emailed again, to which we did not hear back. Then comes Tuesday, we called again to which we did not receive any answer. Again, we sent another email and then finally on Tuesday we got a response. No hard feelings and again, I understand that these things can happen. Thank you for sending out the replacement part, which I think is not asking a whole lot. The issue was not even with the wrong part, it was really just the response time and level of customer service. The response time was almost 48 hours into a work week, which you have to admit, is a bit long for a company of your size and caliber.

      Also, just kind of a bummer because I have to pull apart the suspension again to swap in the new part. As you know, it doesn’t take 10 minutes.

      In any case, we plan to upgrade many components of the suspension. So, moving forward hopefully we have a better response time if it get’s to that point.

  • Jason
    Reply

    Damn, this is impressive. Thanks for putting this together, we are in between suspensions right now. Either going KING or Icon. After reading your other post, it looks like both suspension are a good fit for the 5th Gen. If we go Icon, this will definitely help as we are running KDSS as well. Everything is always so different on our KDSS suspension.

    • Bgreene
      Reply

      Jason,

      Awesome, glad you like it. Hope it would at least help someone out there with the KDSS. Let us know what you decide to run with for your 4Runner and how the install turns out.

      Both KING and ICON make great products, so I don’t think you will have a problem going either way. Shoot us an email after you finish your suspension, we would love to see the final product.

      Thanks!

  • Boomer
    Reply

    This is such an educational post and video. Thanks you both Trail4R and Snail Trail 4×4 for the info! Looking forward to my build and will certainly be using this as my main reference point!

    You guys rock.

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      Boomer!!
      Thanks man, really appreciate the comment and the support. If you have any specific questions about the Stage 2 Icon Suspension or any other stage Icon Suspension, shoot us a direct email. We can help you out and point you in the right direction. #cheers! Also, on behalf of SnailTrail4x4, he says thanks!

  • William
    Reply

    After talking to Brenen, I went ahead and got a stage 2 for my 5th gen. Took it to a shop to install it since I don’t have proper lifts. The whole install took the shop roughly a day. My comments for the suspension is that it rides so much better than stock. Cruises though highways and pot holes effortlessly. I didn’t take the truck heavy off road yet beside some fire roads and it handled alot better at higher speeds.

    I did want to mention to add on some shock boots to the rear shocks. Mine didn’t come with any and dirt/debris can mess up the rear shocks fast.

    My truck is pretty leveled front and back without any rake.

    I also added the icon track bar that they recommended for KDSS models. Not too sure if it was a necessity, but I got it anyways just in case.

  • James
    Reply

    Well I installed the Icon Stage 2 suspension system over the weekend. It took me 1.5 days with my 10yr son helping me with a few things. Other than the F%$king KDSS, it all went smooth. Got it aligned yesterday and had a little bit of time to take it out on some washboarded fire roads. I was expecting the new suspension to ride stiffer but I found it to be smoother and much more controlled everywhere. I was still getting rattled pretty good on the real heavy washboard crap like braking into corners but I wasn’t getting kicked around like before. But all the small and medium sized stuff just kinda melted away and this will make the miles of fire road I drive sooo much more tolerable. I assume it will only be better aired down.

    I wanted to ask you another question. From your experience have folks been ok running 33s with no rubbing? I’m looking at the BF AT KO2’s. I’d rather not get into body mods and trimming.

    Thanks for putting the energy into your website! I would have NEVER attempted this install without your video and step by step instructions.
    Thanks, dude!

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      Man, thank you for the kind words. I highly agree with the KDSS. That was rough right!!

      You will be totally fine with 33’s. No rubbing will occur on normal use. The only rubbing that might happen is completely flexed and then cranking your wheel. But, even that, I would highly doubt. But, if you go with 34’s that would be a different story.

      Thanks for the follow-up. It’s emails like this that make me keep pushing. Thank you!

  • James
    Reply

    I have noticed that my 4runner is setting lower in the front after the Icon Install. Maybe an inch or two? Im not sure where to measure as a reference point. Do you know of I can just adjust the spring preload to lift the front end a little bit? I have the right tool.

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      James,
      Yeah, that was weird on ours as well. The passenger side of ours sat much lower than the driver side. All you do is adjust the coilover and level at the front and rear rocker panels. That is what a local 4×4 shop told me. I took my 4Runner in after we installed the suspension and they tuned it for me. They measured level at the front rocker panel on both sides. Are you talking about lower on both sides or lower on one side?

      • James(but I go by Jay)
        Reply

        I’ve not done any measuring yet just eyeballing it. The front of the vehicle looks to be an inch or two lower than the rear of the vehicle. It looks even if comparing passenger and drivers side looking at it straight on. I’m getting new BF AT KO2’s put on Monday and then I’ll get it in my garage and do some measuring and adjusting of the front coils.
        Thanks

        • Brenan - Trail4R
          Reply

          Jay,
          Yeah, you need to have the suspension tuned for sure. The coils do not come maxed. It will sit lower for sure out of the gates. You need to have the coilover key or take it to a shop that has one. They can get everything tuned up for you. So weird, my passenger side was about an inch lower than my driver, and ICON didn’t send a key. You would think if you spend $3000 on a suspension, you would get a free $20 part. lol.

  • William
    Reply

    Don’t forget to do a proper wheel alignment after the install. I forgot that step and the car was all driving funky. After the alignment it drove perfect.

    • Brenan - Trail4R
      Reply

      William,
      Indeed. A good alignment is needed for sure. We had new tires and wheels put on shortly after our suspension was put in and they aligned it. It does make a huge difference.

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