Wyatt Burke (Wyatt)
Toyota Tech: Toyota SUV Suspension Lift Collaboration
4x4Wire Toyota Tech Short Cuts
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1996 Toyota 4Runner Limited, 4WD, Supercharged 3.4 Liter, 6 Cylinder, Automatic

Front:
Bilstein HD Shocks
Downey 1.5" spacer
Performance Products 1" springs

Rear:
Bilstein HD Shocks
Performance Products 1" springs
JC Whitney 1.5" rubber spacer

Front: 1" PP springs, Downey 1.5" spacer (milled to 1.125") - Total lift 2.5"
Rear: 1" PP springs, 1.5" JCW spacer - Total lift 3"

98% street use, 2% mild woods trails
Shocks: TRD Bilsteins
Wheels/offset: Toyota Stock 5 spoke 16x7"
Tires: 285/75/16 BFG AT/KO
Miles w/ lift so far: 50,000 miles (2.5 yrs)

This lift can be characterized as "economy", especially if you already have Bilsteins. The cost for springs/spacers is less than $500. The ride is very good, as the PP springs are just a little stiffer than stock and the Bilsteins as always are excellent dampers. This is not a serious off-road lift, but can be a very good street lift for aggressive looks for up to 33" tires and for a mild "get to the fishin' hole" machine. The steering feel remains the same, but with any lift, there is accelerated wear on the balljoints, CV's, and steering rack. I have replaced CV boots twice (now on #3 and weeping), but the balljoints and rack are still tight after 50k miles. I think I would have had these problems using any other type of lift though.

The front lift w/ a 1.5" spacer originally gave me just over 3" of net lift (24.25" hub to flare). I had horrible CV vibrations at these angles. I proceeded to mill the surface of the aluminum spacer down to dial-in a compromise between clearance for my 285/75/16 BFG ATKO's and the vibrations. I have ended up at 2.5" as a compromise. I still have slight vibrations and rub against the frame above the sway bar mount at full lock, but it's very minor and completely livable.

The rear lift was simple and easy and has netted 3" lift (24" hub to flare). The TRD Bilsteins are actually limiting flex, but have held up well to abuse. The JCW spacer is rubber and can distort/move around under high flex conditions. I have experienced about 3/4" sag over the 50k mile period. There is no rubbing w/ the back, though the tire comes extremely close to the Limited's flares at the front edge now that I'm beginning to sag. The spacer's are a little distorted, but I believe the springs are weakening a little.

Would I do this lift again? No, unless $$ really is a problem. With my fudging I had to do w/ the front lift, an adjustable would have been better and gives better long-term flexibility w/ bumpers or winches. If I add a heavy item to the front, I may very well sag to where rubbing would be a big problem. The rear, though trouble-free, is beginning to sag and the rubber spacer just doesn't give me the "warm-and-fuzzies" about durability (but hey..they're $8!).

My next choice...SAW coilovers in front, OME coils w/ a custom adjustable spacer in back.

Front Shock Rear Springs

Front Profile Rear Profile

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