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Old 10-27-2023, 02:16 PM #1
Stormin-Norman Stormin-Norman is offline
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KDSS and lift height question

Looking for some help on a 4runner I just purchased. 2013 Trail Edition with KDSS and the previous owner had a 4" Tuff country lift professionally installed here in Oregon (Les Schwab tire center). The lift is multiple spacers in front with UCA's and taller springs in the rear, all stock shocks. The ball joint angle is not great and the sway bar bushings look misaligned but other than that it seems to drive great. Corners good and has brake dive which I expected.

So what am I missing since I keep reading that a lot of lift and KDSS is a no-no? I haven't taken it off road just yet.

it sits really level too, maybe 1/4" difference side to side and about 1.25" of rake. any input??

Also, I have owned and modified lots of Toyota trucks but this is my first 4runner. so I am familiar with installing lifts, suspension, SAS swaps, etc... just new to the 4runner community
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Old 10-27-2023, 04:11 PM #2
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Originally Posted by Stormin-Norman View Post
Looking for some help on a 4runner I just purchased. 2013 Trail Edition with KDSS and the previous owner had a 4" Tuff country lift professionally installed here in Oregon (Les Schwab tire center). The lift is multiple spacers in front with UCA's and taller springs in the rear, all stock shocks. The ball joint angle is not great and the sway bar bushings look misaligned but other than that it seems to drive great. Corners good and has brake dive which I expected.

So what am I missing since I keep reading that a lot of lift and KDSS is a no-no? I haven't taken it off road just yet.

it sits really level too, maybe 1/4" difference side to side and about 1.25" of rake. any input??

Also, I have owned and modified lots of Toyota trucks but this is my first 4runner. so I am familiar with installing lifts, suspension, SAS swaps, etc... just new to the 4runner community

Hi Stormin-Norman and congrats on the new rig! I have a '13 with KDSS myself.
First off every rig will react a bit differently to modifications so just because some rigs have or haven't experienced issues doesn't mean your will or won't. Some of the issues KDSS can encounter are unavoidable although they may not become evident depending on how the rig is used.

That being said the issues that can be had with a lifted KDSS rig apply more to suspension lifts as opposed to a spacer/body lift. I'm not as familiar with the dynamics of a spacer lift combined with KDSS unfortunately, maybe others will have more insight
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Old 10-27-2023, 07:10 PM #3
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Thanks for the reply comtn4x4. You are definitely correct, a body lift would not matter. This has an upper coil spacer and a strut spacer on the front and extended coils in the rear so it’s a suspension lift, just not a very good one, lol. I bought Dobinson’s IMS rear shocks and will be getting the fronts to match that way I can dial in the proper ride height. Just seems like everything is maxed out (ball joint angle, sway bar) the way it is now. I was pleasantly surprised how well it drives.
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Old 10-28-2023, 01:07 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormin-Norman View Post
Thanks for the reply comtn4x4. You are definitely correct, a body lift would not matter. This has an upper coil spacer and a strut spacer on the front and extended coils in the rear so it’s a suspension lift, just not a very good one, lol. I bought Dobinson’s IMS rear shocks and will be getting the fronts to match that way I can dial in the proper ride height. Just seems like everything is maxed out (ball joint angle, sway bar) the way it is now. I was pleasantly surprised how well it drives.
Welcome to the 4Runner Fam! I’m not a lift expert by any means so I’ll yield to others that may have more data points to add, but…

I just sold my lifted 2010 TE with KDSS (and just replaced it with a 2023 TRD ORP w/ KDSS, soon to be lifted). Bought it new & I did the install of the Toytec Ultimate Lift w/ SPC UCAs. Ended up a bit under 3” in the front. Sold it at 183k and no issues with the KDSS, suspension, etc over the +100k mi life of the lift.

Been a minute since I dug into it in great detail, but I recall the general guidance is that 3” is the max “safe” lift height for the front end to avoid the extreme angles/premature wear risks of the stock parts. Over 3” of lift “needs” a long travel kit and major component replacement to “do it right”.

That’s not to say that your inherited 4” spacer lift is not possible and wouldn’t drive OK with a proper alignment. And, it’s possible that the “risks” aren’t as significant as initially thought. I recently had someone tell me that UCAs aren’t actually needed for 3” of lift…

Like your 4” lift, that may be true but still doesn’t make it “right” in my book I think the angles, etc look really questionable at best, even if they’re “safe”…

But, back to your original question - there are a ton of folks on here with lifted KDSS rigs so no issues with that in general (at least for ~3” front lift). Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2023, 02:27 PM #5
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Thanks for the reply. It really helps to hear from long time KDSS 4Runner owners. Initially I was in a big hurry to rework all the suspension to get this thing in shape. Sounds like I can take my time, get some more off road miles on it and then make changes as necessary. I’m stoked on this thing!
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Old 10-28-2023, 02:34 PM #6
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Couple pics from the recent beach trip
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Old 10-29-2023, 11:00 PM #7
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You need to see the DR. Dr KdSS KDSS and lift height question. Search and you will find.


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Old 10-30-2023, 12:56 AM #8
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2011 TE with a REVTEK 432 lift. Installed at 88k, now 125K on the ODO

It's been great for me, no issues with KDSS or anything else for that matter.
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Old 10-30-2023, 10:54 AM #9
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Originally Posted by Stormin-Norman View Post
Thanks for the reply comtn4x4. You are definitely correct, a body lift would not matter. This has an upper coil spacer and a strut spacer on the front and extended coils in the rear so it’s a suspension lift, just not a very good one, lol. I bought Dobinson’s IMS rear shocks and will be getting the fronts to match that way I can dial in the proper ride height. Just seems like everything is maxed out (ball joint angle, sway bar) the way it is now. I was pleasantly surprised how well it drives.

You know what they say, If it ain't broke...
With 4" in the rear likely everything maxed out as you said and there's a variety of things going on. I'm going to point you to this thread as the information/solutions is extensive for me to summarize. There are other threads with additional information and solutions.



Maximize your KDSS + extended travel shocks


All of this really goes back to how you use or intend to use your rig. What are your plans in that regard?
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Old 10-30-2023, 05:52 PM #10
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I've had my 2013 Trail with KDSS since 2018 w/50k miles and I now have about 115k miles. It had a spacer lift up front since the day I got it and now I run Kings with a ton of weight. It's been through multiple trails in Moab and Colorado with no issues. I did have to address the typically KDSS lean and I also run several of Dr. KDSS products, but I have yet to have any issues (knock on wood)
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Old 10-31-2023, 08:18 AM #11
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I've had my 2013 Trail with KDSS since 2018 w/50k miles and I now have about 115k miles. It had a spacer lift up front since the day I got it and now I run Kings with a ton of weight. It's been through multiple trails in Moab and Colorado with no issues. I did have to address the typically KDSS lean and I also run several of Dr. KDSS products, but I have yet to have any issues (knock on wood)
How was the KDSS issue addressed?
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Old 10-31-2023, 10:58 AM #12
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How was the KDSS issue addressed?
offset the passenger side lean

Fronts: Offset preload - 4 threads on DR vs 6 threads on PASS
Rears: added 10mm spacer to rear PASS
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Old 10-31-2023, 01:32 PM #13
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Ah thanks! I've read that the KDSS cylinders can act like they've got extension preload in them, such that they are in fact adding spring force to the side they're on (driver's). So if true this would account for the passenger side lean. The question is, what causes this? Somebody conjectured system pressure. Yet when Lexus fixes this on the GX, they replace the driver's front spring, presumable to something weaker. I'm not sure what Toyota does for the 4Runners. Regardless nobody seems to target the KDSS, except for the LC200 (I think?) where the procedure involves driving onto a spacer (on the "high" side of the vehicle) while the KDSS control valves are backed out a bit.
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Old 11-06-2023, 03:50 PM #14
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You need to see the DR. Dr KdSS KDSS and lift height question. Search and you will find.


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Oh yes, I’ve been on his website and YouTube. Gonna pick up a few things to get my swaybar back into its happy place, lol. Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2024, 10:23 PM #15
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Open the valves up 3 turns exactly. Or unplugg the kdss connector under the dash. Drive around like that for a while week or so and make harder right hand turns. If you have kdss control harness it makes it easier as you can find a empty parking lot and drive around in a clock wise circle if leaning low passenger ( most likely ) and turn the harness on and off. It will rebalance the system and get leveled again.


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