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When upgrading the front shocks and springs I put my Bilsteins both on the 3rd notch raising it to 1.25"...however I swear I see the driver side lean..

QUESTION: would you raise the driver's side by one notch more than the passenger side to compensate for driver side lean?
Or is it not a good idea to have the two front shocks set at different heights?
Look at Biltein's 6112 instruction about setting the drivers side clip higher than the passenger side:
 

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My FJC has the Toytec 2.5” diameter Aluma series shocks. I have the front set at around 2.5” of lift. Tire size is 255/85R16. No BMC and no rubbing at all.
1149704
 

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1149717

This is my FJ. Stock 17" wheels and 265/70/17 rubber (which is approx 31"). I recently leveled it out with Bilstein 6112's in the front. I'm guessing it went up slightly more than one inch? I will eventually put the 5160's in the rear with no lift. I'm doing research now to find 16" wheels that will fit over the brake calipers and 295/75R/16 tires. This will give me 33" which is more than enough for the couple of times a year I'm planing on off roading. The 31's would most likely be enough, but I want the more aggressive look of the 33's along with the capability of the added sidewall with the 16" wheels. In my hours of research, I've heard that, provided I find the right combination of tire/wheel, a body mount chop will not be required. If anyone thinks differently, please let me know. I've gone so far down the rabbit hole....so far...
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thx for ur post. It is amazing what only an inch will do! Minimally, the stock configuration needs to be leveled to look right. And it is amazing what 2.5” does. They both like good. The question, what do I want to do?

Let me ask you this. If you are planning to put bigger tires, why didn’t you go just with the 2.5 lift which everyone seems to do. Are u going w 16’s because u don’t want to lift any higher than 1” yet still put bigger tires?

Also, if u went with a bigger tire (275 or 285) on ur 1” lift with 17” inch rims would u get rubbing? Because this is most likely the route I would be going.

Lastly, I know I mentioned it above, but, why are u going w a 16” wheel again?

Looking forward to your reply.
 

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Thx for ur post. It is amazing what only an inch will do! Minimally, the stock configuration needs to be leveled to look right. And it is amazing what 2.5” does. They both like good. The question, what do I want to do?

Let me ask you this. If you are planning to put bigger tires, why didn’t you go just with the 2.5 lift which everyone seems to do. Are u going w 16’s because u don’t want to lift any higher than 1” yet still put bigger tires?

Also, if u went with a bigger tire (275 or 285) on ur 1” lift with 17” inch rims would u get rubbing? Because this is most likely the route I would be going.

Lastly, I know I mentioned it above, but, why are u going w a 16” wheel again?

Looking forward to your reply.
So...here's my caveat: I have zero experience with off-roading and zero experience with building up a vehicle. The only weapon I have in my arsenal is a bunch of hours of research online, so I would appreciate the folks on this forum correcting any mistakes they see me making!

First, I don't want a lift because it changes the center of gravity without the benefit of additional clearance. The only thing that will give you greater clearance is larger diameter tires. I've read on this forum that you can find tire/wheel combos in 33" that will fit w/o any rub. I'm fairly certain the wheel width would have no bearing on rub. Being a very short person, I know the benefits of having a planted, stable feel. Ha!

Second, going to a smaller diameter wheel, gives you more sidewall on your tire which allows you to air down more. According to internet wisdom/physics, having the ability to air down further allows for more traction because of the amount of tire that will then be in contact with the ground. More traction = easier time with obstacles.

Third, since I have zero experience with off-roading, I need all the help I can get from my already extremely capable vehicle, so I'm trying to stay away from excessive mods. The only goal I have for my build is to accentuate and amplify the decisions that the Toyota engineers made when they designed the FJ since everything on the vehicle is designed to work together.

I certainly like the looks of the lifted FJ's with 35's, and, if I knew what I was doing, I might consider doing that to mine. But, for now, I'm trying to make my foray into the off road world as gentle and easy as possible. Plus, this FJ will not be driven off road enough to justify going hog wild. Right now, it's an occasional driver with plans for light off-roading in the future with an off road capable teardrop trailer to come in the next year or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
So...here's my caveat: I have zero experience with off-roading and zero experience with building up a vehicle. The only weapon I have in my arsenal is a bunch of hours of research online, so I would appreciate the folks on this forum correcting any mistakes they see me making!

First, I don't want a lift because it changes the center of gravity without the benefit of additional clearance. The only thing that will give you greater clearance is larger diameter tires. I've read on this forum that you can find tire/wheel combos in 33" that will fit w/o any rub. I'm fairly certain the wheel width would have no bearing on rub. Being a very short person, I know the benefits of having a planted, stable feel. Ha!

Second, going to a smaller diameter wheel, gives you more sidewall on your tire which allows you to air down more. According to internet wisdom/physics, having the ability to air down further allows for more traction because of the amount of tire that will then be in contact with the ground. More traction = easier time with obstacles.

Third, since I have zero experience with off-roading, I need all the help I can get from my already extremely capable vehicle, so I'm trying to stay away from excessive mods. The only goal I have for my build is to accentuate and amplify the decisions that the Toyota engineers made when they designed the FJ since everything on the vehicle is designed to work together.

I certainly like the looks of the lifted FJ's with 35's, and, if I knew what I was doing, I might consider doing that to mine. But, for now, I'm trying to make my foray into the off road world as gentle and easy as possible. Plus, this FJ will not be driven off road enough to justify going hog wild. Right now, it's an occasional driver with plans for light off-roading in the future with an off road capable teardrop trailer to come in the next year or so.
Dang, from one newb to another I like your thought processes and your sentiments regarding use of ur FJ. Very much like my own. Even though, I think your research is probably well ahead of mine. If I can find that compromising sweet spot lift, not affect adversely geometry, and accentuate it’s looks to boot, I would be very happy. But, unless it’s a TT, the FJ in its base configuration just doesn’t look right.
 

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Leveling the driverside lean is a combination of front and rear adjustments. Unless you have your stock sway bars which help keep the chassis even, you can adjust the height collars on coilovers or run some stack trim spacers. Wheeler's offroad carries the front stack spacer or OME rear trim spacer. Running only one, front or back will cause a teetering effect. So you'll want to consider doing one end first and then the other to see what other adjustment needs to be made. Example: I'm using a 1/2" front / 20mm rear spacers myself with front coilovers. Front to back I have 1" rake forward and fender heights are within 1/4-1/2" depending on load/gasoline in tank.
 

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10#Chicken,
I recommend you make the decision to bite-the-bullet and do the Body Mount Chop plus fold back the Pinch Weld Seams at the same time. This mod can be intimidating but it's actually not that difficult.

If you don't have metal working materials at home order one of the inexpensive kits on the market which normally includes a template to mark the cut area. You don't need a 4x4 specialty shop to perform this Mod. You can do the cutting at home then have any competent welding shop weld the cover plates on. If you don't have an angle grinder you most likely can rent one in your area.

Once this modification is completed you'll have less worries concerning clearance issues and tire fitment.

Attached are before and after photos of my chop illustrating the clearance benefits. In the first photo an arrow points to the pinch weld seam. Remove the plastic fender liner, make relief cuts about 3 inches apart, them hammer the seam flat. Touch up with paint or something to prevent corrosion.

I vote that you make this your next mod and be done with it.



IMG_4475.jpg
IMG_4510.jpg
 

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Am I reading that correctly, “255/85”??? I don’t see many going that way. But it looks awesome.
Yes, 255/85R16. They are not uncommon just maybe not the width that some feel provides the look they want.

I’ve had this truck for 14 years 150,000 miles and have run 5 different sets of tires including the stock tires. Once I wore out the stock set I went to 275/75R17 on stock wheels before moving to the 16” faux lock wheels in 2020, similar diameter but slightly wider than the 255/85R16 tires.
Pic below for comparison, stock on left, worn 275/75R17 center, 255/85R16 on right.
1149998

1149999
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Yes, 255/85R16. They are not uncommon just maybe not the width that some feel provides the look they want.

I’ve had this truck for 14 years 150,000 miles and have run 5 different sets of tires including the stock tires. Once I wore out the stock set I went to 275/75R17 on stock wheels before moving to the 16” faux lock wheels in 2020, similar diameter but slightly wider than the 255/85R16 tires.
Pic below for comparison, stock on left, worn 275/75R17 center, 255/85R16 on right. View attachment 1149998
View attachment 1149999
Thank you!. Appreciate this level of detail. I’m liking this more and more. So, what are the on road characteristics of this setup? Any negatives?
 

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Thank you!. Appreciate this level of detail. I’m liking this more and more. So, what are the on road characteristics of this setup? Any negatives?
I do like the classic look and profile of the 16’s. What type of faux bead locks are those? And where can I get them?
 

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I do like the classic look and profile of the 16’s. What type of faux bead locks are those? And where can I get them?
33 x 12 x 16 no rubbing
1150079
 
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Hi. I’m a relatively new forum member and have a few questions about lifting my 2007 FJ Cruiser 4WD, completely stock, no added weight, 94K miles.
This thread looked like the most obvious one to post my question. If not, I apologize.
Looking for any advice/opinions, but first wanted to provide some details of what I have to work with and what my expectations are.

Mostly lifting for looks. Don’t plan on off-roading much (if any). This all started since I replaced the stock 265/70/17 with 285/70/17 Falken Wildpeak A/T tires (already looks much better with these tires). Not looking to make it obnoxious, and trying not to compromise any other suspension components. I use the FJ to tow a motorcycle trailer at times, but nothing too heavy and not very often. I think the current ride quality is fine, but not opposed to a little bit firmer ride, better handling. Since turning 16, my daughter has pretty much hijacked this from me (thinks it's hers now). So, want to keep it practical for her future use, too.

I’ve already acquired and plan on installing the following:
Front - Bilstein 5100 (24-239370) - adjustable up to 2.5” lift
Rear - Bilstein 5100 (33-187174)
New strut mount kit/hardware (if needed)
Supreme Suspensions front differential drop kit (if needed)

I also have new rear coils that should provide an additional 1” lift (Eibach E30-82-073-01-02).

I was originally looking to go with an OME kit, but everything on backorder and I ended up getting a good deal on the above shocks/coils ($350), so went that direction instead. I also have a 2021 Tacoma TRD off-road (doesn't ride too firm, so I assume the 5100 would be similar?).

QUESTION 1:
Looking for suggestions on what front coils to get that pair nicely with the 5100 and the Eibach rear coils. Given the 1” lift provided in rear, I assume I need between 2” - 2.5” of lift up front to lift/level it out (currently 1.5” difference between front/rear). If I still have a slight rake, that’s fine. Just don’t want the reverse (front higher than rear). I called Toytec on two separate occasions and got two different (and conflicting) suggestions:

Option 1: Toytec 112-620-P (https://www.toyteclifts.com/112-620-p-toytec-front-coil-lift-springs.html) - The spec sheet says 1.6” of lift for a 2010+ FJ, but doesn’t list what the lift would be for a 2007 FJ. The rep thought it would be very close to an 03-09 4Runner - 2.5” lift. 620lb coils.

Option 2: Toytec 521600 (521600-KIT - Toytec 3) - Says 2.5” average lift height with stock front on 2007+ FJ. 600lb coils.

Option 3: Eibach Pro-Lift Front Spring E30-82-008-01-20 (Lift Kits, Lowering Springs, Race Springs, Shocks & Sway Bars) - Says 2” lift for 2007-2009 FJ.

Option 4: OME 884 - I believe these are 2” - 2.5” lift as well for stock weight. One of the Toytec reps didn’t think the OME paired well with the 5100, advised against it. Suggested premature failures. Again, I don’t plan on off-roading, so not sure if would still apply to my case.

Another thing to consider (which might impact which coil to go with) is the use of spacers (probably ToyTec TP14 1/4” spacer) since I do have 1/4 difference when comparing current height of driver/passenger on both front and rear. Aside from any suggestions on the coils, I’d also appreciate any insight into how the spacers impact things. Again, since I’m only going 1” lift in rear (vs. the typical 1.5 or 2 with other kits), I don’t think I want to exceed a maximum of 2.5” in front (also taking any spacers into consideration).

QUESTION 2:
I understand the front 5100 shocks themselves have the ability to lift the vehicle front, but I’m assuming replacing the front coils with a taller coil would be a better choice? I always thought you want the coil to perform the lift and the shock to accommodate the travel. Again, this is all new to me, so sorry for any ignorance. Not sure if only replacing the shocks and keeping the factory coils front and back is an option. Just not sure if it’s a wise choice since I’ll already have everything apart and given the age/mileage of the vehicle, would it be wise to replace the coils as well.

Question 3:
This probably depends on what the final outcome is, but is the front differential drop kit necessary (I’ve seen conflicting info on the forum)? What about a sway bar relocation kit? Wasn’t sure on these, already purchased the diff drop kit just in case. As for additional hardware, I know that replacing the UCA’s might be beneficial, but hoping I can get away with retaining the stock UCA’s. Again, open to suggestion/advice.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to respond. I appreciate any suggestions or insight.
 

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Nomadic,
It's refreshing to hear someone ask logistical questions with a realistic, sensible goal in mind. You stated that your stock setup has been more than adequate for the terrain you drive in. That's good information for making a suspension modification decision. I can answer a couple of your questions, provide some info, and give an opinion. I do not know your level of mechanical knowledge so I'll apologize in advance if my information is to basic.

First off, there are two commonly used terms for suspension modifications. (1) A Lift, which both the front and rear of the vehicle are lifted to a desired height. (2) A Leveling kit, which only the front of the vehicle is lifted a small amount to level the vehicle and eliminate the factory rake. Basic 4x4 101 = To gain ground clearance, taller tires are required to increase clearance between the axles and the ground. To accommodate taller tires, a lift is required to provide clearance between the tires and body parts. Normally suspension height is determined by the tire size that will be used. Once these two factors have been decided, suspension performance is then considered and there are numerous products and brands on the market. I'll assume you're going to stay with a reasonable tire size.

Shocks for your vehicle are manufactured in 2 inch, 2.5 inch diameters and with external reservoirs. The differences are increased oil capacities to help prevent the oil from overheating when the shock piston in undergoing extreme, fast, rapid movement. Note: external reservoirs provide no benefit on pavement.

Lifting the rear of your Cruiser is simple. A taller spring or a spacer however I do not recommend a rear spacer over 1 inch. Forgoing a spacer and using a taller spring is the preferred method. Note: your coil sprung rear axle is centered within the frame by a solid Panhard bar connected at two fixed points on the axle and frame. When lifting the rear suspension the axle will shift to the right. To re-center the rear axle an adjustable Panhard bar is required which allows adjustment to lengthen the bar, re-positioning the axle. Adjustable Panhard bars are reasonably inexpensive.

When purchasing springs you must consider weight. Most aftermarket taller rear springs have a weight rating higher than the stock springs primarily to accommodate heavier loads such as a steel bumper or heavy cargo. If you install a heavier weight rated spring in the rear of your Cruiser without any additional weight added to the vehicle you'll end up with a stiff ride regardless of your shock choice. Bilstein offers a rear spring advertised to produce .9 inches of lift with the same weight rating as factory springs.

The front of your Cruiser uses a Strut in which the spring is seated on the shock forming a single unit. Most aftermarket front suspensions for the FJ are height adjustable either by pre-positioning the spring perch on the shock or by adding preload to the spring by an adjustable collar. Front Struts are offered in 2 and 2.5 inch diameters shocks but be advised that most 2.5 inch systems come with larger outer diameter springs requiring the use of aftermarket Upper Control Arms and a front sway bar relocation kit to clear the larger springs.

Aftermarket Upper Control Arms are only required if; you use large outer diameter springs, or lift the vehicle to a height which puts an extreme angle on the factory upper ball joint, or the lift height makes it impossible to achieve proper Caster adjustment with stock UCA's. I know several guys using front Bilstein 5100's with stock springs, set at 2.5 inches of lift, stock UCA's and running 285/70's. They report no tire rubbing and acceptable wheel alignment.

The most valuable recommendation I can give you is to sit down with pen and paper and formulate a detailed build plan from A to Z. What size tires do you plan to run. Do you need a full lift or a leveling kit. Are you adding any additional weight to the vehicle. Take into consideration that you may in the future want to alter your original build so purchase products that allow for alterations. Case in point, if you later decide on adding aftermarket UCA's you need a wheel off-set of at least (Negative) -12 to prevent the tire sidewall from contacting the UCA's so purchase wheels with this in mind.

You don't have to spend a bucket of money to achieve a lifted, quality ride. My first build was a full Icon system which I regretted and later removed and sold.

Given the mileage of your vehicle you should replace the shocks at all 4 corners even if you decide on just a leveling kit. 1.5 inches of front lift will level your Cruiser. If you raise the front 2.5 inches you'll need 1 inch of lift in the rear to keep it level.

Brands that I would recommend you research are Bilstein, Old Man Emu, and also Fox. For upper control arms, SCP and JBA. Use the manufactures websites and Youtube for information.

I'm attaching photos of my current setup for visual reference.
Front = Bilstein 6112's set at 2.5 inches of lift. JBA UCA's. Sway bar relocation kit.
Rear = Bilstein Springs providing 1 inch of lift. Fox 2.0 Shocks. Adjustable Panhard bar.
Tires = 285/70 17's

I experimented with Bilstein 5100 shocks in the rear but found them to be a bit stiff. The Fox 2.0's combined with the Bilstein springs that have a weight rating of 180 pounds is the perfect setup for me. My current setup provide a very comfortable ride on and off road with good on-pavement handling characteristics.


View attachment 1149190 View attachment 1149191 View attachment 1149192
What did this setup cost all in?
How much weight do you carry in the cargo area daily? I live in the city and mine is setup as a sort of bug out vehicle so I have a couple 150-250lbs of gear at any given time in the rear. At some point I'm going to add a rear bumper with the tire carrier so that will add a lot of weight. Upfront I have a tube style nfab frontrunner bumper and no winch. My trucks got 160k and has never had suspension changed, I want to do a one and done setup.
Sorry if I'm hijacking this a little.
 

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Chips,
I went through 3 different suspension systems before finding my "Goldilocks" setup. Based on my own personal experience I can provide some feedback and answer a few of your questions.

I recently lowered my front suspension from 3, down to 2.5 inches and added 1/4 inch spacers front and rear drivers side. I would never use spacers as a method to "Lift" a vehicle but small 1/4 inch spacers will not have any negative effects. With 2.5 inches of front lift, 1 inch of lift in the rear, my Cruiser sets perfectly level.

I ran the rear Eibach springs you mentioned but found them to stiff for my liking. During installation of the Eibach's, I set them side by side to the factory springs and discovered them both the exact same height. Contacting Eibach they informed me that the springs are rated at 220 pounds which is how the advertized 1 inch of height gain is achieved over stock springs. After running them for a month I removed and installed Bilstein's rear springs advertised to provide .9 inches of lift and having a rating of 180 pounds. The Bilstein's were the better choice for my needs.

When I installed my 3 inch lift I added the Diff Drop Kit and still retain it. Some may say that it's not necessary for a 2.5 inch lift but since you've already purchased it I recommend installing it to lessen the angle of your front shafts.

The Sway Bar Relocation Kit is not necessary with 5100's. If you were installing larger outer diameter shocks and springs it would then be required to prevent the swaybar making contact with the springs.

My first lift included front 5100's mated with the factory springs and set at 2.5 inches. The combination provided outstanding ride quality and handling characteristics on-pavement. They were adequate for light off-roading but I noticed a slight bit of shock fade when driving on long washboard roads. Even with 94K on your springs I believe they would still perform well with the 5100's.

There are several Cruiser owners in my area running 2.5 inches of front lift with factory Upper Control Arms. They report no problems and although not perfect, adequate wheel alignment. It's my personal opinion that aftermarket UCA's should be a consideration at 2.5 inches of lift especially if the vehicle will be used offroad. I recommend SPC or JBA arms. If you eventually decide to replace your arms, contact the company and discuss clearance. JBA arms will rub against the tire sidewall if using stock rims which I believe have an offset of +12.

I once spent a bucket of money on a full stage Icon 3 inch system and regretted it. After 6 months I removed and sold it. My current setup is:

Bilstein 6112's set at 2.5 inches.
JBA UCA's
Rear Bilstein springs proving 1 inch of lift and mated with Fox 2.0's.
285/70's load range "C".
Aftermarket wheels with (Negative) 12 offset clearing the JBA arms.

This setup provides a very comfortable and controllable ride both on and off pavement and my wheel alignment is spot-on. I need to include that I have no additional weight added to the vehicle and my off-road use is light to moderate.

Hope this info is helpful and doesn't add to the confusion of selecting the right system the first go-around. If you need any clarification or have any other questions for me send me a PM.
 
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