Spacer lifts are the cheapest way to get your ride height up, but the bad part is that they don't lengthen your suspension travel like a proper lift would.
What kind of offroading are you planning on doing, and how much of it? Any plans for a front bumper?
There's basically 4 tiers of suspensions for our trucks (from cheapest to $$$):
1. Spacer lift. Cheap ($150-300), gets your ride height up, but you're still on stock shocks with their length of travel limitations.
2. Budget replacement suspension lift. Old Man Emu is your baseline here, runs about $850 plus install. Replaces springs and shocks, will fix the nose dive in the front and give you the suspension travel that the spacer lift doesn't. Not adjustable, so prepare for driver-side lean eventually (all the weight on our trucks is driver side) and sagging in the front if you add a bumper/winch.
3. Adjustable suspension lift. Toytec Ultimate / Boss is your baseline here, runs about $1200-1300 plus install. All the benefits of #2
but with a collar where you can adjust the height, for when you put bumper/armor on and want to maintain your ride height.
4. Adjustable remote-reservoir lift. OME BP-51, ICON, Fox etc. Starts around $2500 and sky's the limit from there. Benefits of #2
but with adjustable rebound / compression for a more configurable ride. Basically, offroad racing suspensions.
If you just want the lifted look, #1
is fine. #2
is for if you plan to actually offroad it a bit, #3
is for the more modded trucks with bumpers/armor. #4
is nice if you can afford them, but hard to justify the cost for the benefit you get (I say this as a person who has a #4
One last bit of advice I'll share: it's always cheaper to do it right than to do it twice. So plan on where you want your truck to end up and go straight for that goal. If you can't afford the suspension you want, save up. For most FJ owners, spacer lifts are the mistake most often made when they first walked into 4WheelParts and asked "what's the cheapest lift you sell".
Thanks to member Jimmy-Buffet for this info!