Jim Sorensen(FJRJim)
Toyota Tech: Toyota SUV Suspension Lift Collaboration
4x4Wire Toyota Tech Short Cuts
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2001 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport (Running boards removed), 4WD, 3.4 Liter, 6 Cylinder, Automatic

Front:
Bilstein HD Shocks, F4-BE5-2450-HO
Performance Products 1" springs
Bridgestone Dueler A/T REVO 265/75/16C (6 ply)

Rear:
Bilstein HD Shocks, F4-BE5-2451-HO
Performance Products 1" springs
Bridgestone Dueler A/T REVO 265/75/16C (6 ply)

Suspension Lift Obtained

Lift Obtained
FRONT
Before
After
Front measured to wheel well lip:
34"
37"
REAR
Before
After
Rear measured to wheel well lip:
35.5"
37.5"

The table to the left shows the before and after measurements made at the front and rear wheel well lip. The approximate lift excluding tire size effects was 1.75" at the front and 2.0" at the rear.

Cost: Springs-$400, Shocks-$300 (eBay), Springs and shocks installation-$200(took 5 hours shop time, those springs are stiff!), Tires w/ inst-$587 (1 free w/ 3 deal), total: $1487.

Use: Easy to moderate once a month southern California desert weekend camping trips, mostly washes and roads with occasional fairly rough sections.


After exploring Anza Borrego State Park with my 1995 4Runner with PP rear springs, Rancho 5000 shocks and BFG ATs (31x10.50), I assumed my stock 2001 4Runner would have similar performance. Much to my chagrin, including my first ever rear bumper scrape, this was not the case. The stock suspension and Goodyear Wrangler passenger car tires are unsuited for anything beyond easy dirt roads and washes, at least for my comfort level. After a bit of research on this excellent web site, I settled on the above equipment with the requirement for good performance both on and off road.

On Road Performance

Street performance with the above equipment is good. Freeway speeds at 75 to 80 are comfortable with little road noise, especially in contrast to the old BFG ATs. There was a bit of 'wander' on the freeway; either I got used to it, or it disappeared after break-in. Cornering is obviously not as good due to the higher center of gravity so a bit of care, i.e., reduced speed, is necessary. The street ride is good considering the greatly increased off-road capability, but do not go with this equipment if you are expecting a car-like street ride.

Off Road Performance

For a quick off road test, I took the Main Divide Road to Santiago Peak in Orange County, California on a 100 mile visibility day. This is a fairly steep and rocky fire road. Ruts that required caution previously are now barely discernable. 'Washboards' are not even noticeable. The terrible wallowing with the stock suspension is completely gone. The increased body clearance was very welcome and the overall effect was confidence inspiring. In fact, it was easy to get a little cocky, not a good idea with thousand foot drops off the side of the road. The CD player, which was almost unusable off road previously, never skipped once! A few steep and rocky (about 1 foot depressions) sections were easily traversed, the tires slipping very little, if any. The tires did throw mud and stones a bit but not anything I'd worry about. CV boot angles appear little changed. I think it looks good too, with a bit of the testosterone yellow shocks and springs just visible.

All in all, for my purposes, I am very pleased with the package so far. However, there are occasional low speed 'clunks' from the front as in starting a turn or hitting a small bump and I cannot tell what is the cause. So far, it appears more annoying rather than anything else. I am hope to figure out the problem at some point.


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