85 Runner. Stock to Lifted Advice (1 Viewer)

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Mar 24, 2011
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I have a completely stock 85 runner and getting into this wheelin thing with both feet. I've heard the procomp, skyjacker etc. are pretty much eco lifts for looks. I don't want that. I'm leaning towards the Trail Gear 3 or 4 inch lift front and rear. I like their kits because they come complete with High Steer, knuckle rebuild kits etc.
My question is about the height. I have a lead on some really fresh 33s but could possible make it up to 35s someday. I want a streetable rig that's not an over the top crawler. About to repaint the body so don't really want to start cutting the fenders etc.
TG guys said to go with 4 inch front and rear if I ever wanted to go with 35s.
The guys at Addicted Offroad in Greeley said to go with one inch taller in the rear because of the 4runner sag issues. Addicted Offroad is talking about using TG stuff too.

Can anyone advice on experience with Trail Gear lifts? Maybe post pics of your runner with 3, 4, or 5 inch lift. Thanks,
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Here'san '86 SAS'ed with 4" springs and 35s I just picked up for my son (drove for it, notbought).
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Do they mount to the stock points?
How do they ride on the street; and flex out offroad?
 
Joined
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No the Trail Gear lifts mount to new locations on the frame. The rear are 56 inches long. I believe the forward mounting location is moved forward about 4 inches. Not sure on the fronts.
 
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4 inch is to big in my opinion. go with three inch up front and chevy's in the rear.

You only need enough lift to clear high steer.

No matter how high you lift it your still going to half to either move your front axle foreword (highly recommended!) and or trim the rear body seam on the front fenders to fit 35 + size tires.

less lift equals more stability, less stress on the drive train, less stress on the driver getting in and out of the stupid thing, and more stability. (I cant stress the stability enough)

When you find yourself in a scary off camber situation you will thank yourself for opting out on that extra inch of lift.

I have a solid axle swapped 89 with only 3 inch of lift and i run 37's with 4inches of back space and the front axle moved forward 2 inches without any problems. I have a freind who is running only 3 inches of lift with 40 inch tires. (good amount of trimming but..)

plus its awesome to rub it in our jeep friends face that we only have 3 inches of lift and they need 7 or 8 inches of lift to get the same results! :p

To be honest i would recommend no more then 2.5 inches but you need et least three inches to run high steer. :meh:

Something to remember, if you get a trail-gear/allpro/marlin full front "classic kit", a 3 inch lift spring will amount to a 4 inch lift, 4 inch spring 5 inches of lift etc. because the new front spring hanger and rear shackles will provide one inch of lift in themselves.

So TCinVA actually has a 5 inch lift technically.
 
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I'm probably at least parially out of line here as it's been a long time since I had a mini-truck...
But at least with my Land Cruiser, it seems to me that having really functional suspension off-road is maybe more about how much droop do you have, versus how much lift do you have.

I just bought an '84 4Runner, don't have it yet, but my limited range of thinking at this point is a split:
buy some junk toyota spring packs, and add a leaf or two to each end, and some longer shackles to let it all fall away; or, OME.

I only care to run 33x10.50's, I've still got my skanky trail trash 40 for crazy junk I probably won't do anymore anyway;) I just want to be able to do back country exploration, national forest service fire roads and the like.

I think either plan above, combined with an aussie out back, and arb up front, get the tie rods out of the way, some armor and a winch and I'm pretty well golden.
 
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If you are running 33's then there is no need for much lift at all. I am running 33's now on my '89 with no lift and very minor trimming, you would not know it without looking very closely.
 
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If your not going to rockcrawl and go all out like that I recommend an Old Man Emu lift and run some 33's. The flex is good as long as you run different shocks. I run OME springs with custom shocks and the ride is nice, flex is good, and the stability is as good as the situation you put yourself into. As stated if your not climbing rocks there is no need for 35's in my opinion. High steer works with it too. Get the medium to heavy springs in the rear and you will net an easy 3"s of lift all the way around. It lifted my truck more than the sky jacker kit mine came with which was over eight years old and rode like a brick. Im actually looking to widen my truck or get a bigger offroader to concure the trials I need to get through
 
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If you are running 33's then there is no need for much lift at all. I am running 33's now on my '89 with no lift and very minor trimming, you would not know it without looking very closely.
IFS and SFA are very different there. You will lift and/or trimming to run 33's on his 85.

I bought mine stock with 31's and they rubbed a bit.
 
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Thinking about the trail gear 3 inch lift and putting 33s. I'd like to see what one looks like with the TG 3inch lift. If anyone has pics, please post. You think if I change the transfer case gearing to 4.10 (i believe) I'll be ok with 33s? Thanks. I'm a newbie to the toyota trail rigs but loving it.
 
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Sep 12, 2006
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New Jersey, dump here please
 
 
Thinking about the trail gear 3 inch lift and putting 33s. I'd like to see what one looks like with the TG 3inch lift. If anyone has pics, please post. You think if I change the transfer case gearing to 4.10 (i believe) I'll be ok with 33s? Thanks. I'm a newbie to the toyota trail rigs but loving it.
Check your actual (measured) tire size. The 33x12.50 Swampers on my 85 PU (15x8 inch rims, 3.5 inch backspace) still rub a little on the rear edge of the driver's front wheelwell even with 3.5 inches of lift (NOS Downey springs up front with extra leaf for winch/bumper combo, Chevs out back). Nothing a little fender trimming couldn't fix though.

If you're going to rockcrawl, 4.70:1 transfer case gears are nice. I've rarely needed more gearing (4.88s in my diffs too). 4.0:1 would be a little lame IMO, but to each his own.

If you're just starting out and can't afford to regear your diffs, just run 31s, drop in a rear locker (Aussie, Spartan, etc), skip the lift, drop low gears in your TC, and wheel it to gain experience. 4Runners are heavy, you need diff gears for tires over 31s. Here's one I built on that formula for a buddy back in 2004. That's a 3 inch body lift (his idea, not mine, blech!) and it has Alcan suspension on it (bucks, but it flexed like crazy, beyond the limits of stock push-pull steering). The 31 LTBs would probably rub without some lift, but you could trim your way to clearing. I used the same tires in the pics on an IFS rig last year using this same formula for another buddy just getting into the sport. Just food for thought ....
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