The Lexus Lift
by: Beau Johnston
When I began researching lift kit options for our 3rd-generation 4Runner, I came across a couple of forum posts where people had used the front coils from Toyota FZJ80 and Lexus LX450s to lift the rear end of their 4Runners. I am cheap, and liked the idea of being able to visit a salvage yard to find parts for the kit. After doing a bit of research and contacting Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters I decided on using the coils from a Lexus LX450. The rear of our 4Runner does not weigh very much without an aftermarket rear bumper, even when loaded with our camping and travel gear. From everything I read, the LX450 coils would provide the height I was looking for without the being too stiff.
- Driver-Side Coil: LX450 FR bl/yel/wh; 20.25" tall; 113.059lb/in
- Passenger-Side Coil: LX450 FR grn/yel/wh; 19.5" tall; 110.930lb/in
- Shocks: OEM FZJ80
I was lucky, a friend from Boise had been at a salvage yard, looking for parts for his FZJ80 and found the set of 1996 LX450 coils. $50 later, I had the beginnings of my lift. I was able to purchase a new set of Toyota factory FZJ80 shocks from a member on Yotatech.com for cheap. When everything arrived, I was ready to start the installation.
Here you can see the difference between the old factory 4Runner rear coils and the coils from the ’96 LX450.
|Driver-Side Coils (new and old, respectively)|
|Passenger-Side Coils (old and new, respectively)|
The installation was very straight forward, simply replacing the factory coils and shocks with the taller ones. The only problem I ran into was with the shock bushings. The shock mount studs on the FZJ80 axle must be longer than those on the 4Runner. I was not able to use the bushings that came with the shocks for the installation. Instead, I was forced to purchase a new set of 4Runner bushings, which are not as wide, to get everything together.
The LX450 coils provided a total lift of 3-1/4", with the fender sitting at 24" from center of wheel. After installing the lift, I installed an extended brake line, which you can read about here: Extended rear brake lines.