Mild Lifting For Late-Model Toys
Many late-model trucks and SUVs do dual purpose as weekday commuters and weekend fun machines. Enthusiast owners often want a little lift to make their trucks stick out from the crowd but without sacrificing daily driveability and fuel economy. Mild 3-inch-or-less lift kits are popular for people who want a more aggressive look and stance but don't want to deal with the domino effect that comes with moderate-to-tall lifts (axle regearing, potential wheelwell modifications, steering correction, brake upgrades, and so on).
For '95-'06 fullsize Toyota owners, Superlift is one aftermarket manufacturer that offers an affordable and fairly simple kit that accommodates up to about 32x11.50 tires. In the front, the stock coilovers are retained and spaced down from the body with CNC-machined aluminum coil preload rings. Polyurethane isolators fit between the spacers and the coil to absorb noise and vibration. Superlift also includes laser-cut steel indexing plates that match the factory coil tower pattern to ensure that the spacers fit and seat properly.
Rear lifting is also accomplished with spring spacers. In '95-'06 4Runners/Tacomas and Prerunner pickups, rear 1.5-inch tapered blocks combine with the front spacers to yield about 2.5 inches of lift. The same basic Superlift system raises '99-'06 Tundras and Sequoias about 2 inches: Sequoias are leveled with rear polyurethane coil spacers, and Tundra owners can opt for the 1.5-inch rear blocks if they want to retain the OE raked/rear-high look. Rear extended-length Superlift Superide hydro shocks are also offered as an option, as is the TruSpeed speedometer recalibrator to compensate for larger-than-stock tires.
Although the kit isn't complex, Superlift recommends that the front coil spacers be professionally installed on the factory struts. The reason is that coil springs store potentially lethal amounts of energy, and a suitable compressor tool is required to safely remove them from the front struts.
Superlift also addresses the details for the different Toyota models. For example, the included rear axle brackets retain OE calibration of the brake proportioning valve and e-brake cables.
Superlift rates the job a "3" on its 1-to-5 degree-of-difficulty scale. Estimated shop time for professional installation of the basic kit, minus any optional parts, is three hours.