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Old 10-01-2014, 11:27 PM #1
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Solved: FJ Cruiser Spring Lift for 3rd Gen 4Runners

Here's the platform: 2000 4Runner Limited 4x4 automatic 4.30 gears 185K miles 255/70R16 Michelin LTX MS2 (came with these from previous owner).

Didn’t find a heck of a lot of information or write-ups on using stock FJ suspensions for lifting 3rd gen 4Runners, so I decided to document this to help out others who may be contemplating something similar...these parts are fairly common since many FJ owners opt to lift their new rigs as soon as they get em home!

I spent a lot of time researching lift kits and countless hours reading build threads to help make an educated decision on what l really wanted to do with my 2000 4Runner 4x4 Limited in terms of a lift. How high do I want to go? How hard/soft do I want this thing to ride? Which manufacturer or brand do I want? How much is this going to set me back? All these questions were running through my mind, and it’s kinda overwhelming how many options there are for lifting these trucks. My initial desire was to have around a 2” lift, so that narrowed my focus a bit. Then I decided I was going to settle for a bit more lift and go with the Sonoran Steel 1.2 Kit, which I feel is one of the best kits out there for our generation 4Runners in terms of the R&D that went into it and the awesome support items that they fabricate in terms of brake line extensions and supporting suspension geometry modifications.

It wasn’t until a late night craigslist search when I saw a guy selling a complete stock suspension from a 2013 4Runner. A quick search on T4Rs website made it appear this wouldn't work due to the front shocks having the bottom eyelet to shock body extension being too high and not a whole lot of info on the rear springs and how much of a lift to expect. I was chatting with one of my best friends, who also happens to be one of the most knowledgeable people I know about everything Toyota. He mentioned he had picked up a complete stock 2007 FJ Cruiser suspension (less than 500 miles) from a buddy of his who immediately lifted his new FJ back in 07. He had them sitting in his house for a rainy day, I guess...he didn’t have plans for them anyway...He suggested we just throw the rear springs on to see if it would work and what result we would see...can’t hurt, right? And the rear suspension is super easy to take apart. Time to stop the internet quest for all the answers and actually get my hands dirty!

Half an hour later, we had the rear suspension apart and the springs out of my 4Runner. Here’s a comparison of the tired old 4Runner springs next to the new FJ ones:

DSC_0318
DSC_0317

I wasn’t terribly excited when I saw these...as you can see, the FJ rears are slightly shorter but the bar diameter is definitely larger and the overall diameter of the spring is appreciably larger. I was nervous that the top isolator was too small, bit they actually fit!

Here’s a side by side of the two showing the difference in diameter
DSC_0320

"Brilliant" (fellow member here on T4R) did some additional measurements and has some more good info in his build thread: (LINK)

Here’s the before and after REAR ONLY:

Before:
R_Side_PreLift

After:
R_Rears_Only

The FJ rears netted me about 1.5” of lift (unsettled) and after a quick test drive, the ride was noticeably more cushy, yet more controlled in terms of body roll. Keep in mind, my old springs were the OEM springs with 185K on them. I have not tested the FJ rears’ load carrying capacity, but I imagine it should hold up well. I have the matching stock Tokico rear shocks from the FJ but they are too long on the compressed length (approx. 15.5" vs 12.4" on the stock rears) to safely run, although the additional extended length would be awesome...so for now and until I can find a nice rear shock option which offers more extension and the same compression length, I'm gonna run the stock 4Runner rear shocks.

Just for comparison, here's the difference between the FJC rear coils and the OME 906:

FJC............190 lb/14.88 in
OME 906....220 lb/14.96 in

OK, so we know what the rears did, let’s try the fronts...taking the front end apart was really straight forward...make sure you disconnect the sway bar to allow the lower control arm to easily droop and help get the coilover assembly out more easily.

Here’s the comparison of the two systems out of the truck:

DSC_0325
DSC_0329

Knowing that the stock FJ shocks would net waaaay too much lift, I opted to throw the stock 4Runner shocks into the FJ coils. The front FJ Springs on the stock shocks netted me about 1” of lift. More of a rake than I would like to see, so I pulled the trigger on two brand new front Tundra adjustable Bilstein 5100s (part number 24-188265). Based on this read: Real life comparison: Tacoma 5100's vs Tundra 5100's it appeared these would be a great option for me and leave me some room to grow, should I want more of a lift down the road.

Here’s the Tundra 5100’s all assembled. I ended up setting the snapring on the second groove and the result was what I was looking for.

DSC_0334

Here it is installed (you like them brakes!):
DSC_0337

And here’s the final stance:
DSC_0339

The pre/post measurements (center of hub to bottom of fender flare):
Front:
Before: 19.5" After: 21"

Rear:
Before: 20" After: 21.25"

I'm loving the very slight rake and with some slightly bigger tires, she'll be ready for just about anything I throw at her...I plan to run 265/75R16 Maxxis Bighorns on this rig at some point down the road, but these tires have so much life in them I really can't justify that right now...and heck, they've carried me successfully through more obstacles than I thought they would as-is.

The whole thing ended up costing me $330 ($150 for the FJ F/R springs and $180 for the adjustable Tundra 5100s) + $95 for an alignment for a Grand Total of $425!

Feel free to ask questions if I missed anything and I'll try to get the info you're looking for.

PICS UPDATE:

7/2015 with 265/75R16 Duratrac Load Rage C, Custom Homemade Rear Bumper, and CBI Front Bumper (not shown is full Savage skids and sliders, a must-have with this mold lift):

IMG_1323

IMG_1328

IMG_1335

OBLIGATORY GOLDEN CRACK PIC:

9/2015 - Moab, UT

image

Last edited by seads505; 05-09-2016 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Added photos
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:54 PM #2
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Sweet write up! And you're the man for researching everything and finding answers! I wish more people would put in effort like you do to figure things out than just repetitive questions and not want to read and learn. Nice looking brakes too
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:09 AM #3
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Nice work documenting the FJ coils. I know the rears have been experimented with by another 3rd gen owner, but I've always been curious if the front springs off the FJ or 2nd gen Tacoma would work. Nice alternative to the 99 talls for a small cheap lift, but the spring rate differences are the big question mark at this point. Either way, the runner looks good and congrats on the successful experiment!



Quote:
Originally Posted by seads505 View Post
I have the matching stock Tokico shocks from the FJ that will be installed soon, but for now my old 185K 4Runner rear shocks are still there. The Tokico’s should provide additional travel in the rear, so I’m excited about that!
One quick note on the rear shocks. I suggest you check the compressed shock length on the rear FJ shocks. I had a set of 2012 FJ Tokikos, and they were 15.5" compressed, which is a good inch longer than what will fit without an extended bumpstop. Running an extended bumpstop with a small rear lift will mean you're riding on them constantly, so I'd check into that before committing to that as the permanent replacement for the rear. Maybe you'll luck out and the early FJ Cruisers from 2007 will have different length shocks than my 2012 pair.

Sonoran Steel has some great info on his site regarding front & rear shocks for 3rd gens. http://www.sonoransteel.com/includes...aRearShock.pdf
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:03 AM #4
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Nice write up!

Does anyone know if the FJ came with a variety of spring part numbers much like the 3rd gen 4Runners did?
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:34 AM #5
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If the FJC front coils can be used on the 3rd gen 4Runner, then the front coils from the TRD Pro 5th gen 4Runner can be used. Is that correct? just a thought that it might give a better ride with the same lift as that of the TRD Tundra progressive coils. However, it doesn't seem to be progressive though.

shiny red coils from the TRD Pro 4Runner:
TRD Pro parts

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Old 10-02-2014, 08:47 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiluxSurf SSR-G View Post
If the FJC front coils can be used on the 3rd gen 4Runner, then the front coils from the TRD Pro 5th gen 4Runner can be used. Is that correct? just a thought that it might give a better ride with the same lift as that of the TRD Tundra progressive coils. However, it doesn't seem to be progressive though.

shiny red coils from the TRD Pro 4Runner:
TRD Pro parts
Doesn't look like it. I'm assuming the TRD pro's have the same suspension as the tacoma baja's, which would mean the springs are flat on the bottom. Our setups use a pig tail ended coil. You would have to custom machine a lower spring perch to make them work, but I'm sure it could be done. That's basically what Toytec does to make their coilovers for the Bilstein shocks. I'm willing to bet those TRD springs are made by Eibach. Just a 15 or 16" coil, 3" diameter, 600-650lb spring rate.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:09 AM #7
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What if you were to shorten the FJ front shock to be about 1/2 inch (perhaps 1/4") longer than the stock 3rd gen.....? I wonder if it would be a viable solution for a cheap, reliable and easy 2" lift for the 3rd gen guys..



any votes on if I should try it.. FWIW I am a good welder and I can control the heat pretty well on my work piece. Translation: I won't melt the bushing out or explode the shock... I did build the first Sequoia lift kit in the same manner and shared my results with a certain lift supplier.

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Old 10-02-2014, 09:52 AM #8
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Interesting thought. But the top plate will still not work. The FJ/Taco/newer 4runner top mount has the "bump top" where as the 3rd gen Runner/1st Gen Taco style is flat on top. Looks like there is about 1-1/2"-2" difference from where that top nut is tightened down. You could cut the opening on top to fit the bump style top mount, but in the end that seems like a lot of work to just run stock FJ coilovers to me...
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:35 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snivilous View Post
Sweet write up! And you're the man for researching everything and finding answers! I wish more people would put in effort like you do to figure things out than just repetitive questions and not want to read and learn. Nice looking brakes too
Thanks Sniv! I've learned a lot over the past year or so from guys on here who have similarly taken the time to document their various builds, so it's only right (I think) to give a little back. Cheers!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezert4Runner
One quick note on the rear shocks. I suggest you check the compressed shock length on the rear FJ shocks. I had a set of 2012 FJ Tokikos, and they were 15.5" compressed, which is a good inch longer than what will fit without an extended bumpstop. Running an extended bumpstop with a small rear lift will mean you're riding on them constantly, so I'd check into that before committing to that as the permanent replacement for the rear. Maybe you'll luck out and the early FJ Cruisers from 2007 will have different length shocks than my 2012 pair.

Sonoran Steel has some great info on his site regarding front & rear shocks for 3rd gens. http://www.sonoransteel.com/includes...aRearShock.pdf
Thanks man, much appreciated...I hadn't thought about the FJ rear shock compressed length, but I will check on that measurement and report back in my original post...great link from the Sonoran Steel guys, super informative.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xcmtb83
Does anyone know if the FJ came with a variety of spring part numbers much like the 3rd gen 4Runners did?
I'm not 100% positive on this one, but the paint codes for the front springs I used were green-yellow 48131-35551 (driver) and green-grey 48131-35541 (passenger). The rears were grey-purple 48231-35321. I did a quick search and found the springs (both front and rear) didn't change for the 2007 FJ Cruisers between the Base and TRD versions.

Last edited by seads505; 10-02-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:52 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sn0wrunner View Post
Interesting thought. But the top plate will still not work. The FJ/Taco/newer 4runner top mount has the "bump top" where as the 3rd gen Runner/1st Gen Taco style is flat on top. Looks like there is about 1-1/2"-2" difference from where that top nut is tightened down. You could cut the opening on top to fit the bump style top mount, but in the end that seems like a lot of work to just run stock FJ coilovers to me...
Good catch... I would have to see them both side by side to determine if it was doable.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:49 PM #11
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You mentioned the rears were soft, have you been able to take it out and see how it drove with front and rear done?
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:54 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOY2G View Post
What if you were to shorten the FJ front shock to be about 1/2 inch (perhaps 1/4") longer than the stock 3rd gen.....? I wonder if it would be a viable solution for a cheap, reliable and easy 2" lift for the 3rd gen guys..



any votes on if I should try it.. FWIW I am a good welder and I can control the heat pretty well on my work piece. Translation: I won't melt the bushing out or explode the shock... I did build the first Sequoia lift kit in the same manner and shared my results with a certain lift supplier.

you have mail I was wondering what you did to your Sequoia so that I can do to my wife Sequoia as well
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:18 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markerinthesand View Post
You mentioned the rears were soft, have you been able to take it out and see how it drove with front and rear done?
Yes! I took it out and wheeled it pretty good right after completing the install of F&R and was very pleased. I wouldn't call the rears soft in a negative way...They are so much more smooth than the previous setup. I was really impressed at how the front end absorbed bumps...I inadvertently took the driver side front over a foot+ tall ledge and was shocked at how smoothly it went. Washboard roads are noticeably smoother, hill climbs felt more controlled, I'm able to take the motocross "woop" sections much faster (more comfortably) than I ever could before. Those front shocks are really in a good range where they're set up right now.

So far, I have no complaints with this setup compared to what I had before (bone stock). It honestly feels like a different truck.

Just for a comparison (for those running OME 906s) I updated the original post comparing the FJC rears to the 906s.

Last edited by seads505; 10-02-2014 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:33 PM #14
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you have mail I was wondering what you did to your Sequoia so that I can do to my wife Sequoia as well
I replied to your PM so we do not hijack this thread..
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:41 PM #15
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I replied to your PM so we do not hijack this thread..
Thanks TOY2G...common courtesy folks
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