Best 3rd Gen 4runner Lift Kits

Best 3rd Gen 4runner Lift Kits

If you’re looking to give your 3rd Gen Toyota 4Runner a lift, there are a few things you need to consider. Here we’ll look at the best lift kits for 3rd gen 4runners and what you need to know before installing one.

In my experience, there is a vast chasm between bad lift kits and even the base quality lift kits that you should consider installing on your 3rd Gen 4Runner. A lousy lift kit will have a profound negative impact on the riding quality, NVH, and overall performance of your 4Runner. I have had the unfortunate experience of installing a few of these in my day, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that it is not something you want to do to your 4Runner.

On the other hand, a high-quality Toyota 4Runner lift kit will improve the look of your 4Runner, while also giving you increased ground clearance and the ability to run larger tires. With a quality lift kit appropriately installed, you will also retain excellent ride quality and off-road performance.

Whether you’re looking to go off-road or just want a little more ground clearance, we’ll help you find the suitable kit for your needs. Keep reading to learn more!

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner, you have a few options available. But which one are the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits? In my opinion, the Bilstein – OME Stage 1 RTR Lift Kit is the best choice.

This lift kit is designed specifically for the 3rd Gen 4Runner, so you know it will fit perfectly and provide the perfect amount of lift. It comes with everything you need for installation, including detailed instructions. And it’s backed by Bilstein’s reputation for quality.

Lift Kit Options

Lift kits come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are designed for off-road performance, while others are meant for looks. There are even some that offer a combination of both. So, which one is right for your Toyota 3rd Gen 4Runner?

Off-roading is a great way to get out and explore the wilderness, but it can be tough on your vehicle. A lift kit can help protect your investment by making it easier to navigate rough terrain. Many different types of lift kits are available on the market, so it’s essential to do your research before making a purchase. Here are some things to consider when choosing a lift kit for your off-roading vehicle:

  • Price: Lift kits can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. It’s crucial to find a kit that fits your budget.
  • Adjustability: Some lift kits are adjustable, which means you can change your vehicle’s ride height. This is an excellent feature if you plan on doing a lot of off-roading, as it allows you to adjust the height of your vehicle to suit the terrain.
  • Type: There are many different lift kits available, so choosing one that’s right for your vehicle is essential. Some kits are designed for specific vehicles, while others are universal.
  • Installation: Some lift kits can be installed by the average person, while others require professional installation. If you’re unsure about your ability to install the equipment, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.

What To Expect

4Runner Lift Kit

When it comes to lifting your Toyota 3rd gen 4Runner, you should expect a few things. First and foremost, you can expect the process to be somewhat involved. While it is possible to do it yourself, I recommend that you leave the job to a professional. Not only will they have the proper tools and equipment, but they will also know precisely how to go about lifting your vehicle without causing any damage.

Another thing you can expect when lifting your Toyota 3rd gen 4Runner is that the ride quality will change. This is to be expected as the suspension will be higher off the ground. You may find the ride is a bit rougher than before, but this is usually nothing to worry about. In fact, many people prefer the rougher ride as it makes them feel more connected to the road.

Finally, you can expect the gas mileage to suffer a bit when lifting your Toyota 3rd gen 4Runner. This is because the higher suspension will cause the vehicle to be less aerodynamic. However, this gas mileage decrease is usually insignificant and should not deter you from lifting your vehicle. All in all, lifting your Toyota 3rd gen 4Runner is a great way to improve its off-road performance and make it look even more stylish. Just be sure to leave the job to a professional and be prepared for a change in ride quality.

Styles of Lift Kits

A lift kit is a device used to raise the body of a vehicle above its wheels. Lift kits are most commonly used on trucks and SUVs but can also be used on other vehicles. There are many different types of lift kits available on the market, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Shims

Shims

A shim is a lift kit designed to provide a small amount of additional clearance for your vehicle. Shims are typically made from metal or plastic and can be installed between your vehicle’s body and the frame.

Shims are ideal for those who want to add a small amount of extra height to their vehicle without making significant changes to the suspension system. Shims can be installed relatively quickly and do not require extensive modification to your vehicle.

If you consider adding a shim to your lift kit, you should keep a few things in mind. First, shims can add a significant amount of weight to your vehicle, so ensure that your suspension system can handle the additional weight. Second, shims can also affect the ride quality of your vehicle, so be prepared for a rougher ride if you add shims to your lift kit.

Overall, shims are an excellent option for those who want to add a small amount of extra clearance to their vehicle without making significant changes to the suspension system.

Spacers

Spacers are a type of lift kit used to raise a vehicle’s body. They are usually made from aluminum or steel and come in various sizes. Spacers can be used to adjust the ride height of a vehicle and improve the way it looks.

Spacers are installed between the body of the vehicle and the frame. This raises the vehicle’s body, giving it a more aggressive look. Spacers can also be used to change the stance of a vehicle, making it wider or narrower. In some cases, spacers can also be used to adjust the suspension geometry of a vehicle.

Spacers are available in many different sizes, ranging from small 2-inch spacers to large 8-inch spacers. The size of the spacer will determine how much lift it provides, and the larger the spacer, the more lift it will provide.

Spacers are a popular choice for many vehicle owners because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Spacers can be installed in a few hours with basic hand tools. Additionally, spacers do not require any permanent modifications to the vehicle, so they can be easily removed if desired.

Coilovers

Coilovers

Coilovers are a type of lift kit that is becoming increasingly popular among off-road enthusiasts. A coilover is essentially a shock absorber with a coil spring around it. The coil spring can be adjusted to provide different levels of suspension travel and ground clearance.

There are many advantages to using coilovers as opposed to other lift kits. For one, they provide superior articulation and comfort when driving on rough terrain. They also offer greater control over the vehicle’s suspension, which can be highly beneficial when tackling challenging off-road trails. Additionally, coilovers are much more durable than other lift kits, making them ideal for those who frequently take their vehicles off-roading.

If you’re considering installing a coilover lift kit on your vehicle, you should keep a few things in mind. First, be sure to choose a quality product from a reputable manufacturer. There are many different brands of coilovers on the market, and not all are created equal. Do your research and select a product that will offer the best performance and durability.

Second, be sure to have your coilovers installed by a professional. This is not a job for DIY enthusiasts. Installation of coilovers requires special tools and knowledge, so it’s best left to the experts.

Finally, be prepared for a slightly higher cost when compared to other types of lift kits. Coilovers are more expensive than traditional spring-based lift kits, but their benefits make up for the price difference.

Springs

Springs are suspension lift kits that improve a vehicle’s off-road performance. They are usually made from steel or aluminum and can be either coil or leaf springs. Coil springs are more commonly used in modern vehicles, as they provide a smoother ride and are less likely to break than leaf springs. Springs can be purchased pre-assembled or as individual components and installed by a professional mechanic or do-it-yourselfers with some experience.

When choosing springs for your vehicle, it is crucial to consider the weight of your vehicle and the type of terrain you will be driving on. Heavier vehicles require stiffer springs, while lighter vehicles can use softer springs. If you will be driving on rough terrain, choosing springs designed to handle the additional stress is vital. Many different brands and types of springs are available, so it is important to research the best option for your vehicle.

Installing springs is relatively simple, but following instructions and taking all necessary safety precautions is essential. Always use jack stands when working under a vehicle, and never attempt to install or remove springs without the proper tools and equipment.

Types Of Driving

When choosing a lift kit for your Toyota 3rd Gen 4Runner, you must consider the different types of driving you’ll be doing. For example, if you’re primarily on-road, you won’t need as much suspension travel as someone who is off-road.

Here are the different types of driving and how they affect what lift kit you should choose:

Daily Driving

Daily driving is a type of driving that many people do every day, and it can be commuting to work, running errands, or even going for a drive. Daily driving can affect your lift kit choice for your Toyota 3rd Gen 4Runner.

The first thing to consider when choosing a lift kit for daily driving is the purpose of the lift. Are you looking for better ride quality? Do you want more clearance for off-road adventures? Or are you just looking to add some style to your 4Runner? Once you know the purpose of the lift, you can narrow down your options.

Spring spacers or coilovers may be the best option if you’re looking for better ride quality. These will give you a smoother ride but may not offer as much clearance as other options. A body lift or suspension lift may be the way to go if you want more clearance. These will give you more ground clearance but can also make the ride rougher.

Light Off-Roading

4runner offroad lift kit 3rd gen

When most people think of off-roading, they envision large rocks, deep mud, and steep inclines. While these are all common obstacles, you may encounter while off-roading, light off-roading is a different beast altogether.

For this article, we will define light off-roading as any terrain that is not entirely paved. This includes dirt roads, gravel roads, and even some fire trails. Many people who live in rural areas have to deal with unpaved roads daily, and a stock 4Runner is simply not equipped to handle these conditions.

If you frequently drive on unpaved roads, you should strongly consider installing a lift kit on your 4Runner. In general, you should look for a lift kit that combines increased ground clearance and wheel travel, ensuring that your 4Runner can easily overcome obstacles.

Another critical consideration is tire size. If you plan on doing any serious off-roading, you will need to upgrade to a larger tire size. This is especially true if you plan on installing a lift kit. A taller tire will help you maintain ground clearance, even when driving over significant obstacles.

Advanced Off-Road

If you’re planning on tackling more challenging terrain, you’ll need a more robust lift kit that can provide additional ground clearance and suspension travel. A 3-inch lift kit is generally considered the minimum for more serious off-roading; anything more than that will provide even more capability. Just be aware that larger lift kits can negatively impact on-road handling and make your 4Runner harder to live with daily.

When choosing a lift kit, it’s crucial to pick one compatible with your 4Runner’s suspension design. If you have a 2WD 4Runner, you’ll choose either a coil spring or torsion bar suspension. Coil springs are the most popular choice for off-roaders as they offer more articulation and allow for greater suspension travel. Torsion bars are typically found on vehicles that see mostly on-road use as they provide a smoother ride, but they’re less forgiving off-road.

If you have a 4WD 4Runner, you’ll have a solid axle rear suspension. This is the preferred choice for serious off-roaders as it’s much more durable and can take a beating without issue.

Fast & Hard Off-Roading

This type of driving involves taking your vehicle over rough terrain at high speeds. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be hazardous. If you’re thinking about doing this type of off-roading, you need to ensure that you have the right lift kit for your Toyota 3rd Gen 4Runner.

Lift kits are essential for any off-roader, but they are significant for those who want fast and rugged off-roading. That’s because the right lift kit will help to protect your vehicle from all the bumps and jolts that come with this driving. It will also help to improve your vehicle’s handling and stability, which is essential when you’re going over rough terrain at high speeds.

There are a lot of different lift kits on the market, so it’s essential to do your research and find the one that’s right for you and your 4Runner. Once you have the right lift kit installed, you can start enjoying all the fun and excitement that comes with fast and rugged off-roading. Just be sure to drive safely and always obey the road rules.

Best 3rd Gen 4Runner Lift Kits

You must consider your needs and preferences when shopping for a 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kit. Many different types of kits are available on the market, so researching ahead of time will help you make the best decision for your vehicle. Here are some of the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits available, based on customer reviews and ratings:

Selection Criteria

Here are the main selection criteria I considered when choosing the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kit list:

  • Price: I wanted to ensure the options were getting the most bang for the buck, so I looked for competitively priced kits.
  • Quality: I also wanted to ensure that the kits’ quality was up to par. I looked at reviews and ratings to understand what others thought about the kits.
  • Installation: I didn’t want to include lift kits that would be difficult to install, so I looked for kits that were relatively easy to install.
  • Functionality: I wanted to ensure that the kits would improve the performance of the 4Runner, so I looked for kits with good reviews in terms of function.

1. Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Spring

Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Spring

Many reputable brands are on the market, but my favorite is Old Man Emu (OME). OME has been making quality suspension components for over 35 years, and their products are used by some of the top off-road racing teams in the world.

OME lift springs are designed to improve the ride quality of your 4Runner while also providing additional ground clearance. Their springs are available in various sizes and spring rates to suit your individual needs. OME also offers a choice of coil spring or leaf spring kits. I like this coil spring kit for most 3rd gen 4runners as it provides a smoother ride and is less likely to sag over time.

A 3-year, unlimited mile warranty back OME suspension components, so you can be confident in their quality and durability.

If you’re looking for a quality suspension lift kit for your 3rd gen 4runner, I highly recommend Old Man Emu.

Pros

  • Old Man Emu is a reputable brand with over 35 years of experience
  • Top off-road racing teams use their products
  • Improve ride quality and provide additional ground clearance
  • 3-year, unlimited mile warranty

Cons

  • Not adjustable
  • More expensive than spacers and can still sag

2. Dobinsons 2-2.5″ Lift Kit

Dobinsons 2-2.5" Lift Kit

Dobinsons 2-2.5″ Lift Kit is one of the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits on the market today. It’s designed to provide a comfortable ride while also giving you the clearance you need to take on any terrain. The kit includes everything you need to get started, including shocks, coil springs, and control arms. It’s easy to install and improves the look of your 4Runner while also increasing its off-road capability.

If you want to add some height to your 3rd Gen 4Runner, then the Dobinsons 2-2.5″ Lift Kit is an excellent option. It’s well made, fits perfectly, and is very affordable. Plus, it comes with everything you need to get the job done right. Highly recommended.

Pros

  • A reputable company makes it with a long history of producing quality products
  • It’s designed specifically for the 3rd Gen 4Runner, so you know it will fit perfectly and work as intended
  • It’s a complete kit that includes everything you need to get the job done right.
  • It’s reasonably priced

Cons

  • Some people have reported that the shocks are too stiff for their liking.

3. Bilstein – OME Stage 1 RTR Lift Kit

Bilstein - OME Stage 1 RTR Lift Kit

There are many reasons why the Bilstein – OME Stage 1 RTR Lift Kit is one of the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits out there. First and foremost, it’s designed to improve your 4Runner’s ride quality by using high-quality suspension components.

The Bilstein – OME Stage 1 RTR Lift Kit has everything you need to get the job done correctly. There’s no need to worry about sourcing different components from different manufacturers; everything you need is included in the kit.

Another significant advantage of this lift kit is that it’s been specifically engineered to work with the 3rd gen 4Runner. So you can be confident that it will provide a perfect fit and won’t cause any problems down the line.

Finally, the Bilstein – OME Stage 1 RTR Lift Kit is also one of the most affordable options on the market. It’s very competitively priced, yet it still offers all the benefits you expect from a top-quality lift kit.

Pros 

  • It comes with everything you need
  • Perfect fit for 3rd gen 4Runners
  • Very affordable
  • Good quality parts used in construction

Cons

  • It May require some adjustments to achieve optimal ride quality
  • It May require professional installation if you’re not confident in your own abilities

4. Rough Country – 3-Inch Lift Kit

Rough Country - 3-Inch Lift Kit

If you’re in the market for a 3-inch lift kit for your 3rd generation 4Runner, you’ll want to check out Rough Country’s offering. This is one of the best kits on the market, and it will give your 4Runner the extra clearance it needs to take on any terrain.

The Rough Country 3-inch lift kit comes with everything you need to get your 4Runner lifted, including front and rear coil springs, shocks, and shock spacers. The kit also includes brake line drop brackets, so you won’t have to worry about your brakes being affected by the lift. Installation is relatively straightforward, and Rough Country provides detailed instructions to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Once installed, this lift kit will give your 4Runner 3 inches of additional ground clearance. This is enough to clear most obstacles, and it will also help you when it comes to negotiating deeper ruts and mud holes. The extra clearance is also great for fitting larger tires, so you can really take your 4Runner off-road.

If you’re looking for a quality lift kit that won’t break the bank, then Rough Country’s 3-inch lift kit is a great option.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Detailed instructions included
  • Provides 3 inches of additional ground clearance
  • Won’t break the bank

Cons

  • It may not be suitable for all 4Runner models
  • Some drilling may be required

5. Jack-It 2-2.5″

Jack-It 2-2.5"

The Jack-It 2-2.5″ lift kit provides your 4Runner with a full 2-2.5 inches of additional ground clearance. This extra clearance is perfect for driving over rough terrain and obstacles and allows you to install larger tires if you so desire.

In addition to the increased ground clearance, the Jack-It 2-2.5″ lift kit also features a number of other upgrades that make it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their 4Runner’s off-road performance. For instance, the kit includes extended front and rear brake lines, which ensure that your braking system can handle the increased height of your 4Runner.

Finally, the Jack-It 2-2.5″ lift kit also includes a number of other necessary installation hardware and instructions, making it easy to install on your own.

If you’re looking for a lift kit that can take your 3rd generation 4Runner’s off-road performance to the next level, then the Jack-It 2-2.5″ is an excellent choice. This lift kit provides everything you need to improve your SUV’s ground clearance, braking performance, and handling, and it’s easy to install on your own.

Pros

  • Quality suspension parts (Bilstein)
  • Includes extended front and rear brake lines
  • Easy to install on your own

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than some other lift kits

FAQs

Question: What is a lift kit?

Answer: A lift kit is a suspension enhancement designed to provide additional ground clearance and improved off-road performance. Lift kits typically include taller springs and shocks, as well as spacers or other components used to raise the vehicle’s body.

Question:Why would I want a lift kit?

Answer: There are many reasons why someone might want a lift kit. Some people simply want to improve the look of their vehicle, while others are interested in enhancing its off-road performance. Still, others may need additional ground clearance for driving on rough roads or trails.

Question: How much does a 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kit cost?

Answer: The cost of a Toyota 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kit will vary depending on the type and brand of kit you select. Basic kits can start as low as $300, while more comprehensive kits can cost upwards of $2000.

Question: What are some common issues with 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits?

Answer: One of the most common issues with Toyota 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits is that they can sometimes cause the vehicle to be less stable on the road. This is typically only an issue with larger or more aggressive kits and can be addressed by adding weight to the vehicle’s front end or by adjusting the suspension settings.

 

Final Thoughts

So, what are the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits? Well, that’s a tricky question to answer because it depends on your specific needs and wants. However, we can give you some general advice about the different lift kits available and what might work best for you. If you’re looking for a basic lift kit that will raise your vehicle and improve its appearance without too much expense or hassle, then a shim-type lift kit is probably fitting. But if you need more serious off-road performance, then a coilover suspension system is better.

Whatever type of lift kit you choose, do your research to get the best possible product for your money. Let us know in the comments below which type of 3rd Gen 4Runner Lift Kit works best for you!

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