The first major mod and biggest transformation jump to date. Finally installing the suspension!!!!

When I was looking at suspension options I considered many setups. I looked at everything from inexpensive spacer only kits on up to complete solutions with new control arms and reservoir shocks all around. Knowing I needed to stay true to the theme/purpose of this build by not going to extreme yet wanting to improve the suspension rather than just lift I had originally decided on Bilstein 5100 shocks all around, adjustable up front to add 1.75″, and a small spacer in the rear. I had ran 5100 series shocks on a couple past vehicles, including a lifted Jeep, and was always impressed with them. This seemed like a great option for what I wanted and decent bang for the buck. However….

At this point I started researching other options and came across mention online of Toyota discontinuing the TRD Pro suspension kit for the FJ Cruiser and putting the kits on clearance. After a lot of reading I learned that this kit is nearly identical to the 4Runner kit and possibly more desirable due to the slightly higher spring rate of the front springs. The TRD Pro suspension includes a version of the Bilstein 6112 (60mm body, 60mm valve) that has vehicle specific tuning for the front with TRD Pro springs providing just under an inch of lift. It also includes the Bilstein 5160 remote reservoir shocks for the rear with all the Toyota specific mounting hardware to make installation simple. After some searching around I found a dealership with one in stock at the clearance price so I ordered it up and a few days later it was sitting at my front door.

To get a little more lift I got a hold of the folks at Wheeler’s Off Road and they set me up with a 1.25″ Daystar spacer for up front and their T13 rear coils which provide just a touch over an inch of lift and also have a higher spring rate than stock to match up well with the new front springs. Little did I realize until ordering that they are located just a couple hundred miles from me so shipping was incredibly fast. They were incredibly helpful and got me well taken care of.

– Wheelers Off Road 1.25″ Poly Spacer Front (Daystar) –…tegory:1404837 
– Wheelers Off Road T13 Eibach Rear Springs –…tegory:1387840

When installation day came about I was confident in the install process but still recruited the help of my teen aged son. If there is one suggestion I can give, other than research, to anyone looking to install this themselves it is get a second set of hands to help. Even just to help hold stuff out of the way, push down on the control arms, operate the jack, or whatever. I won’t say it would have been impossible to do by myself but having a helper sure made for a lot less aggravation.

Final results were about 2″ of lift up front and 1″ in the rear. Right where I wanted to be for height but where this kit really shines is how it handles. It changes the way the 4Runner drives and handles so much for the better. It is amazing the transformation even just on road. Cornering is solid, no bump is an issue, everything is just better. If I had to do it again I believe I’d go the exact same route. I love it that much.

Out with the old….
In with the new.
Here is my pro tip of the install. Use an open ended wrench in the hole on the lower control arm to pry down. It will virtually lock itself into that hole so it won’t slip out and will provide plenty of leverage. I put a 4′ cheater bar on this wrench and my son was able to easily push down gently creating enough room for me to get the new shocks and springs in.
The rear suspension installed with new springs and shocks. The remote reservoir mounts utilize existing holes in the frame that are already tapped/threaded.

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