Lift Kit Recommendations for Toyota Trucks

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Lift Kit

Yota Tech members chime in with their lift kit recommendations. Including the possibility that you might not even need one!

Without a doubt, the single most common modification on Toyota trucks is the lift kit. As is the case with pretty much every four-wheel drive vehicle on the planet. And the reason why the homely lift kit remains so popular is quite simple. It provides us with additional clearance for off-roading and bigger tires while also making our trucks look even cooler. It’s truly a win-win modification.

The result of this popularity has led to a burgeoning aftermarket. Which, of course, can be both a blessing and a curse. There are tons of options out there, which can be confusing. And because most folks want a substantial lift of more than six inches, locating a mild lift kit can also be difficult. So Yota Tech member Bpearson did the smart thing by heading to the forums for some advice.

“I’m looking for information on lift kits under 4″. I don’t feel the need to lift my truck that high. I would prefer an Old Man Emu setup, but when I looked online I couldn’t find much for my truck. Any suggestions or recommendations for a lift? Suggested tire size as well? Just getting ideas for a game plan to lift it.”

Lift Kit

As we already know, options under four inches are somewhat limited. But as always, our members come through with some quality recommendations and first-hand experiences.

“OME kit is one of the few under 4″ as you’ve seen,” says highonpottery“On my ’93 I only used the leafs and shocks mainly to fix my saggy leafs, and skipped new tbars and shackles. Ride height is 22.5″ center axle to fender lip to give you an idea.”

RAD4Runner goes into even more detail and a few more options in regards to the OME lift kit. And a few potential problems that could result from its use.

“If it’s a first-gen 4Runner, 31s will fit the stock lift. OME gives two inches. I suggest you search for two people who used OMEs on first-gen 4Runners that had taken them to places we could only dream of. Member “defrag” aka “home on the highway online,” and “ruined adventures.” Their experience would tell a lot.

My thoughts on OME: I wish it produced less lift than two inches. A 2-inch lift in the rear is OK. However, to match it up front, one would either have to use, among others:

1) Ball joint spacers – require cutting away material from the upper control arm, with unpredictable strength and results.

2) Use OME’s own torsion bar that gives a 2-inch lift. This may put the ball joint position in its specified flex limit with unpredictable results.
3) Use the popular Blazeland long-travel kit. Need to research that. Supposedly engineered to address above (1 & 2) Could be pricey.”

Lift Kit

To avoid those kinds of problems, Vole points out the less obvious answer. Which is the fact that the OP might not need a lift at all.

“I bought mine with a 2″ lift from ball joint spacers in the front and add-a-leaves in the rear, riding on 265/75R15s (basically 31s). I removed the extra leaves and ball joint spacers due to the fact that they can negatively affect longevity of other components, especially ball joints and CV axles. And potentially brake lines at full droop. I kept the tires and have no clearance issues whatsoever. I honestly don’t think you’re going to get it to ride better than the stock setup. And with 31″ tires, you keep the same axle to ground clearance. It sounds like we’re looking for approximately the same thing, and I find that it works great for me.”

So it would appear that at least in the case of a an early 4Runner, the best lift kit might be no lift kit. These trucks have the ability to hold a pretty big tire in stock form, after all. But we’d like to know what you recommend for the OP! Head over here and chime in with your own recommendations. Or, even better, your personal experiences with lift kits!


Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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