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Lifting vs Leveling 4runner

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by bn65, May 2, 2020.

  1. May 2, 2020 at 11:44 AM
    #1
    bn65

    bn65 [OP] New Member

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    So I'm looking at getting an extra 2 inches of height on my 4runner. Could someone clarify if the leveling kit or lift kit would be the better choice?

    Ultimately, I was looking at putting 285/70/r17 tires on the truck so if I were to level it, would I be able to fit these tires? Or would 275/70/r17 look better with a 2 inch lift?
     
  2. May 2, 2020 at 4:23 PM
    #2
    Area52

    Area52 New Member

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    Level kit typically just does spacers on the front Strut/spring assembly. A lift can be spacers all around all the way up to replacing all the suspension components.
    I’ll let someone else answer on the 285s, I’m still on stock height and 265s
     
    bn65 [OP] likes this.
  3. May 2, 2020 at 4:48 PM
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    71GS3504sp

    71GS3504sp New Member

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    I leveled mine without spacers! Did Bilstein 5100 upfront and rear. I just added Pro rims and stock size tires.184Runner-Pro-Wheels 009.jpg
     
  4. May 2, 2020 at 5:04 PM
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    bulldog

    bulldog New Member

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    What notch did you use?
     
  5. May 2, 2020 at 5:06 PM
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    nimby

    nimby in the drink

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    It's all personal preference on how it looks. Personally, I think they should have come stock with 275's and look better with 285's on any lift above 1". But again, that's me.

    You have a 5th gen? If so, this is what I did.

    I leveled mine going 1.6" lift in the front. 0" in the back. You could also go 0.85" in the front and 0" in the back if you still want some factory rake. Or 2" in front and 1" in the back. Whatever floats your boat.

    I have 285s that fit without rubbing. I made sure the caster on my alignment was set as close to +4 degrees as the tech could get it and I had to do what's called the "fender liner mod." You basically unscrew one screw on your fender liner, push it forward an inch and re-screw, then trim a small sliver of your fender flare. Done.

    You'll also have the best chance on not rubbing with factory rim specs. As soon as you start deviating with wider rims different offsets and backspacing, and/or wheel spacers, you need to do more things to prevent the rub.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. May 2, 2020 at 5:10 PM
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    Sundy

    Sundy New Member

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    I went 2.5" / 2" but wanted to get a large tire, so I went with 255/80R17's. (33.1" x 10") Was concerned about how they would look until I installed them, very happy and it drives great.

    4R.jpg
     
  7. May 2, 2020 at 6:15 PM
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    Mtbpsych

    Mtbpsych New Member

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    I’m sure you can fit 285’s on stock height in the rear if you just lift the front, but having no wheel well space looks goofy.
     
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  8. May 2, 2020 at 6:35 PM
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    bn65

    bn65 [OP] New Member

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    Looks great! That's what I was originally looking at was Bilstein 5100s. Mind if I ask how much did the whole lift cost you between parts/install? And how high is that lift?
     
  9. May 2, 2020 at 6:37 PM
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    bn65

    bn65 [OP] New Member

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    So I've noticed some people go different heights with their lift between front and back. Is there a reason for it? Does stock come different height in front/back? And also, is there a difference in ride quality between leveling and an actual lift? I heard if you use spacers the ride isn't as smooth.
     
  10. May 2, 2020 at 7:11 PM
    #10
    celaw309

    celaw309 New Member

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    Interested to know as well. I've been looking at this recently to improve the ride and level it.
     
  11. May 2, 2020 at 8:19 PM
    #11
    Sundy

    Sundy New Member

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    I personally wanted to keep some take for when I tow or have a loaded vehicle. I think it's more of personal preference.
     
  12. May 3, 2020 at 4:57 AM
    #12
    71GS3504sp

    71GS3504sp New Member

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    Let me answer everyone's question:

    - I added Bilstein 5100 upfront at 0.85 (2nd notch from the bottom) but I needed to rephrase my comment, I did add 3/8" spacer on the driver side and 1/4" spacer on passenger side, the reason I did this is to remove the front lean that most Toyota trucks have. The reason for the lean is due to the battery, driver and gas tank is all on one side of our trucks. These are the measurement that I had before and after my level lift. 29.00 LF/29.25 RF/31.25 LR/31.25 RR and after 30.75 LF/30.75 RF/ 31.25 LF/31.25 RF.

    - Used the front and rear OEM springs

    - Brake dive was 90% removed.

    - Ride is firm and smooth on the road.

    - Cost: $375 for the Bilstein ( I did the work myself using the no spring compressor method, I also used this method on my Toyota FJ) and $40 for the the front end alignment.

    - Important maintenance I would recommend is the add anti-seize to ALL for lower control arms to avoid future alignment issue, I have added a photo to show the rust. At the time of the photo I only had 15k miles on my 4runner with no winter weather. I also posted other photos. Using the no spring compressor method I only had the remove the lower ball joint bolts and loosen the lower control arm bolts, then I lower the control arm with my jack to release the spring tension, then removed the strut bolt and dropped the struct out of the way. 18-4runner-Front-Bilstein_ 008.jpg 18-4runner-Front-Bilstein_ 007.jpg 18-4runner-Front-Bilstein_ 006.jpg
     
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  13. May 3, 2020 at 7:47 AM
    #13
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Assholes call travel "overlanding"
    If you notice, the stock suspension has the rear higher than the front. By leveling it, you are adding height to the front to "level" it with the rear. If you lifted the truck 2" front and back, you'd still have the same rake as the original suspension, with the front lower than the back, only now everything would be 2" higher. To compensate for this, most people are actually doing a "leveling lift", where the front is lifted an inch-ish more than the back, which gives you a level stance and lifts the whole truck. The most common heights to get this level lift are 2.5" to the front and 1.5" to the rear.

    For street use and even your low impact "off road" ( dirt, gravel roads) spacers are fine - no ride quality issues IMO. A true suspension lift is preferable but spacers aren't a terrible alternative.
     
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  14. May 7, 2020 at 12:47 PM
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    MAXIM

    MAXIM New Member

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    I've 285/70/17 NTG without lift or level - 0 issues.
     
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  15. Sep 14, 2021 at 7:45 AM
    #15
    El Tibu

    El Tibu New Member

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