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Old 01-03-2020, 09:16 PM #1
dommmmyg dommmmyg is offline
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Driver's Side Lean - Even After Suspension Overhaul

Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. This forum has been a great resource to get to know these vehicles!

My situation is as follows:

I have a 98 4Runner Limted 3.4 4wd 257k miles with the notorious driver's side lean, and I've been trying to get rid of it. I really only started to notice the issue several months ago after replacing the shocks with Bilstein 4600 (that isn't to say that's when the lean began but perhaps the time when I began to pay more attention). In fact when I purchased the vehicle I was surprised at how high the rear end sat considering the mileage (248k at the time). As more back story, I installed rear airbags months ago, not to compensate for any sag, but to aid when hauling. They typically sit with 5psi, not enough to influence the ride height day to day and I would prefer to not rely on them to get level ride height.

From my research, I determined the obvious first step was to replace the rear springs, as with so many miles, they're probably tired and sagging a bit. I ordered a new pair of 99' springs from Camelback Toyota and installed them last week. The color code was the same as what I removed and only about 0.5" taller. After a week of driving with the new set in, the lean is the same.

Today I jacked up the vehicle to take a look underneath and investigate. My first thought was something to have to do with the shocks, so I unbolted the bottom shock bolts, and measured their extended length to see if there was any discrepancy, (maybe one was sticking and not extended) but they equaled one another. I also felt around at the top of the shock, there were an equal number of threads extending beyond the upper shock nut on each side.

With the rear axle hanging (and swaybar endlinks loose) I measured the distance from the axle to the frame, right behind the bump stops and found that the driver side sits about 0.75" closer than the passenger side. Additionally, and intuitively, the spring on the driver's side is much more difficult to wiggle around (with the axle hanging) as compared to the passenger side. I could also see that the driver side bump stop hits the axle more than the passenger side based upon rub marks on the axle.

I've searched a bunch to find someone that still had the sag issues even after replacing the springs but haven't found someone to say so. So I'm curious, why would the axle not be level? Is it something to do with the lateral rod?

I'd appreciate any input and advice! Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:52 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dommmmyg View Post
Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. This forum has been a great resource to get to know these vehicles!

My situation is as follows:

I have a 98 4Runner Limted 3.4 4wd 257k miles with the notorious driver's side lean, and I've been trying to get rid of it. I really only started to notice the issue several months ago after replacing the shocks with Bilstein 4600 (that isn't to say that's when the lean began but perhaps the time when I began to pay more attention). In fact when I purchased the vehicle I was surprised at how high the rear end sat considering the mileage (248k at the time). As more back story, I installed rear airbags months ago, not to compensate for any sag, but to aid when hauling. They typically sit with 5psi, not enough to influence the ride height day to day and I would prefer to not rely on them to get level ride height.

From my research, I determined the obvious first step was to replace the rear springs, as with so many miles, they're probably tired and sagging a bit. I ordered a new pair of 99' springs from Camelback Toyota and installed them last week. The color code was the same as what I removed and only about 0.5" taller. After a week of driving with the new set in, the lean is the same.

Today I jacked up the vehicle to take a look underneath and investigate. My first thought was something to have to do with the shocks, so I unbolted the bottom shock bolts, and measured their extended length to see if there was any discrepancy, (maybe one was sticking and not extended) but they equaled one another. I also felt around at the top of the shock, there were an equal number of threads extending beyond the upper shock nut on each side.

With the rear axle hanging (and swaybar endlinks loose) I measured the distance from the axle to the frame, right behind the bump stops and found that the driver side sits about 0.75" closer than the passenger side. Additionally, and intuitively, the spring on the driver's side is much more difficult to wiggle around (with the axle hanging) as compared to the passenger side. I could also see that the driver side bump stop hits the axle more than the passenger side based upon rub marks on the axle.

I've searched a bunch to find someone that still had the sag issues even after replacing the springs but haven't found someone to say so. So I'm curious, why would the axle not be level? Is it something to do with the lateral rod?

I'd appreciate any input and advice! Thanks!
When it's hanging the driver's side won't hang down as much because the panhard bar is holding it up. Does your 4runner sag as much on the driver's side when the gas tank is empty? A full tank weighs about 100 lbs. The front differential, driveshaft and half the transfer case are on the driver's side, then on top of that you are sitting on the driver's side. They sell spacers to correct this LH list and some companies offer LH and RH springs as well.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:30 AM #3
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You could try throwing a 10mm OME trim packer on the drivers side.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:41 AM #4
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I would take the rear springs out and confirm that I got the correct spring in the correct side if the springs are unequal length. I would trim it out with spacers if the rig needs to sit more level. You can try to get the bags to level out the rig..I wouldn't.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:10 AM #5
dommmmyg dommmmyg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineRunna View Post
When it's hanging the driver's side won't hang down as much because the panhard bar is holding it up. Does your 4runner sag as much on the driver's side when the gas tank is empty? A full tank weighs about 100 lbs. The front differential, driveshaft and half the transfer case are on the driver's side, then on top of that you are sitting on the driver's side. They sell spacers to correct this LH list and some companies offer LH and RH springs as well.
I understand there is more weight on the driver's side, but from what I've read this happens on tired suspensions, or modified vehicles with heavy bumpers etc. Are you implying these vehicles lean from new?
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:54 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dommmmyg View Post
I understand there is more weight on the driver's side, but from what I've read this happens on tired suspensions, or modified vehicles with heavy bumpers etc. Are you implying these vehicles lean from new?
No, They do not lean from new. I would try disconnecting the pan hard bar and see if that's the problem.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:06 PM #7
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How does the front sit? Is it level? If the front is off you will see it in the rear also.

Front springs are definitely side specific. Any chance they got put on cross side when changing shocks?

If all is good in the front you might just want a rear spacer as already suggested. OME rear springs are side specific to help wit this where the OEMs are both the same.
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:28 PM #8
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don't know if things have changed from the factory/dealer..when I replaced mine in 2015 with "talls" they were marked left and right side ( color code and part number) to compensate for weight differences as others have listed above.
now 5 years later and almost 70k , I have no lean. I run heavy loads at times, and I have airbags when needed...when not needed they are aired down.
running talls and kyb's
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:52 PM #9
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When I ďrefreshedĒ the suspension on my Ď98, I took a lead from some of the lift installations Iíve read through and loosened the pan hard bar bolts with the truck in the air. After installation of the new parts, I let the truck down and then re-torqued the bolts to spec.

Iím running rear moog springs on sen-sen shocks and have no lean.

Definitely take a look at the front as others have suggested before you assume itís a problem in the rear.

My factory rear springs were identically color coded, I think itís the front springs that weíre designed with different sizes to account for the asymmetric weight distribution


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