As an auto repair shop employee, I have had to lift a lot of SUVs like the 3rd Gen 4Runner. So I know all the details you would want to know about lifting your SUV.
And a lot of the clients come in for suggestions about what size lift kit to use for their SUV, what type of lift kit to use, and what brand of lift kits are best.
Have the same questions?
Don’t worry, as I will answer all of these questions in this article while I review some of the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits you can choose from.
There are different types of lift kits for getting the kind of lift you want on your 3rd Gen 4Runner. Today, I will talk to you about a few different types of lift kits.
I will give you a review of a coilover lift kit so you can buy it if you want to get better ground clearance and a stiffer ride.
But you have to be willing to spend a bit more than you naturally would with a normal suspension lift kit, as coilover lift kits are expensive.
Want a suspension lift kit?
Yes, I will talk about a few different suspension lift kits that use coil spring spacers to lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner and increase its ground clearance while giving you other benefits.
However, if you want to both level and lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner using spacers, you should take a look at the leveling lift kit I will be reviewing today.
Without further ado, let’s get started with the reviews!
5 Best 3rd Gen 4 Runner Lift Kits
It’s really hard to find out what kind of lift kit you want to install in your 3rd Gen 4Runner. Even if you do figure out what type of lift kit you want, it can still be very difficult to find the right one.
Am I not right?
There are so many alternatives for a single type of lift kit in the market, making it almost impossible to know which one is the best.
And to add to the confusion, you will find tons of different brands claiming to be the best at delivering great aftermarket components.
What to do?
Well, first off, stop worrying so much!
This is because I have got the solution to your problem. The five best lift kits of different types I am about to talk about are the only options you will need to look at.
1. Rough Country 3″ Lift Kit for 1996-2002 Toyota 4-Runner 4WD
The first product I will talk about is the 3-inch coilover lift kit from Rough Country, and it is the best lift kit for the 3rd Gen 4Runner.
Why am I so sure?
Well, I am so sure about this lift kit being the best because I have suggested this one to many of my clients, and they all loved the results it brought to their 3rd Gen 4Runner.
I have to say this one is the most expensive lift kit on the list.
There’s a but!
Coilover lift kits are usually very expensive!
But if you compare this Rough Country coilover lift kit to other coilover kits, you will see this one is actually very affordable.
What does this kit do?
When you buy this lift kit, you will find a set of coil springs for the rear end of your SUV. And these coil springs can raise the rear of your vehicle 3 inches higher than the surface level.
Apart from the coil springs, this lift kit also comes with a pair of strut extensions for the front of your vehicle. These strut extensions can lift the front of your SUV 3 inches.
The fact that this coilover lift kit uses only two coil springs with two other strut extensions is why this lift kit costs less than most other Coilover lift kits.
But this doesn’t mean this kit will not serve you any better, as it will!
Premium N3 shocks!
To make your ride smoother and less bumpy, this lift kit comes with these amazing nitrogen-charged N3 shock absorbers, which are a specialty of Rough Country.
And the best part of installing this kit is you do not need not disassemble your suspension struts to install the strut extensions.
Plus, this kit will maintain the stock ride quality of your Gen 4Runner Lift!
My Opinion: You can trust the Rough Country brand and this lift kit of theirs as this is a well-reputed brand with great products. So I highly recommend this lift kit if you are looking for a coilover lift kit for your Gen 4Runner Lift.
Installing 1996-2002 Toyota 4 Runner 3-inch Suspension Lift Kit
2. Daystar Toyota 4 Runner 1.5″ Rear Lift Kit fits 1996 to 2002 2/4WD
The next lift kit is another best lift kit for the Gen 4Runner Lift because of its performance and quality, which is the 1.5-inch lift kit from Daystar.
If you are looking for a lift kit for your Gen 4Runner Lift that will lift this SUV 1.5 inches with a budget-friendly price tag, this one’s for you!
Only under $50!
Yes, this lift kit is really affordable! You can easily spend just a few bucks on this kit and lift your vehicle 1.5 inches.
And if you can get your hands dirty, you can install this lift kit all by yourself without any professional help because it is very easy to install.
Why is it inexpensive?
This lift kit is not this inexpensive because of poor quality. In fact, it is made out of sturdy and durable polyurethane to make it long-lasting and able to withstand high pressure.
The only reason for this kit not being too expensive is that it only comes with a pair of coil spring spacers to lift the rear end of your Gen 4Runner Lift.
And this can really do wonders for your SUV with the additional ground clearance this kit serves you with.
The added ground clearance gives your vehicle the ability to get past all the bumps and other obstacles on both bumpy roads and off-road terrains.
Keep in mind this lift kit only raises the rear end of your Gen 4Runner Lift 1.5 inches off of the ground, and not the front.
This means you can buy this lift kit if you already carry heavy loads on the back of your SUV very often.
And this is because the front of your SUV already sags compared to the rear, and if you install this kit, it will sag lower so you can carry all the weight you want on the back, making it as level as possible.
Plus, you can even use this lift kit on an already-leveled Gen 4Runner Lift!
This lift kit is compatible with a lot of the Gen 4Runner Lift models. And these versions of Gen 4Runner Lift are the 1996 to 2002 models.
Plus, you can add larger tires to your SUV after installing this lift kit, as it will enhance your wheel wells.
My Opinion: If you need to slightly raise the back of your Gen 4Runner Lift and not the front, you should consider buying this coil spacer lift kit.
3. Supreme Suspensions – Full Lift Kit for Toyota 4 Runner
If you want to lift both the front and the rear end of your Gen 4Runner Lift with an affordable lift kit, the 3-inch front and rear lift kit from Supreme Suspensions is a great option for you.
Supreme Suspensions is a very well-known and well-reputed brand. And this brand delivers great quality products with a budget-friendly price tag, like this kit.
Only under $100!
Yes, this lift kit is very reasonably priced for components that are heady-duty, sturdy, and very durable in terms of wear and tear.
What comes with it?
This lift kit comes with a set of front strut spacers, and these spacers are actually billet spacers, which I will tell you about in a bit.
They will lift your SUV’s front 3 inches after you install them on the struts of your SUV’s suspension.
And the components of this lift kit are the pair of coil spring spacers for the rear end of your SUV. These coil spring spacers will lift the rear end of your Gen 4Runner Lift 3 inches.
What about the material?
The components of this lift kit are not all made out of the same materials. As I’ve already hinted on this, the front strut spacers are made out of billet aluminum.
And this billet aluminum is actually T6 tempered, which means this aluminum has been artificially aged through various processes of cooling and quenching.
What this does is it makes the aluminum harder, tougher, and makes it high-strength, which is great for durability.
And the rear spacers?
The rear coil spacers are made out of strong polyurethane materials. And this material is so tough that it can resist tears and cuts.
This material is as strong as most other metals, like aluminum or steel. Plus, it’s cheaper and lighter than these metals.
Like most Supreme Suspensions products, you always get a free gift!
And this product comes with a 16×16 inch microfiber towel, which has long, plush fibers on one of the sides to take care of dust and a short fiber side for fine-detailing.
Moreover, this lift kit is super easy to install. If you want to do it yourself, you will be done within 2 to 4 hours!
But you need to make sure the alignment is correct after the installation process is done to get the most out of the kit.
My Opinion: This lift kit is not only very much affordable but also made out of great-quality materials. I really think you should buy it or add it to your cart!
4. Protune Suspension 2-4″ Lift fits for Toyota 4-Runner
If you want the most ground clearance without messing up the factory ride quality of your 3rd Gen 4Runner, the 4-inch lift kit from Protune Suspension is a great alternative to spacer lifts kits.
It’s the cheapest!
This 4-inch lift kit is the most affordable lift kit on the list. And it is only under 30 dollars! So you can lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner 4 inches for such a great price!
I know it is a really good deal. But does this mean it’s a subpar lift kit? Not at all!
The reason it’s this cheap is that this lift kit comes with just skid plates and sway bar drop relocation brackets. And this is all you need to lift your SUV!
What are they made of?
The skid plates of this lift kit are made out of carbon fiber-reinforced nylons, which are great at being stable and durable.
These skid plates will protect the underbody of your 3rd Gen 4Runner by protecting the differentials, transfer box, and fuel tanks.
Sway bar relocation brackets?
These are also made out of nylons, and the manufacturers claim they will last a long time. And the brackets of this lift kit can help with minimizing the learning body while making turns.
Furthermore, you can attach 31×10.50 tires if you want to after installing this lift kit. And you can fit the kit to the 1996 to 2002 version of the 3rd Gen 4Runner.
Plus, you get a digital PDF of the instructions, so you can easily read it all from your phone!
My Opinion: If you want to lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner as high as 4 inches, but you don’t want to spend much on a lift kit, you should buy this one.
5. Freedom Off road 4Runner 3” Front + 2″ Rear Suspension Lift Kit
Last but not least, I have another lift kit for you. But this one is a bit different, and I’ll tell you why in a bit. This one is the 3-inch font and 2-inch rear suspension leveling lift kit from Freedom Offroad.
But what’s different?
Well, this lift kit is actually a leveling lift kit, which means this kit does not only lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner, but it can also level it for you.
If you are someone who wants to lift your 3rd Gen 4Runner but also doesn’t like the front sagging of the SUV, this lift kit is for you.
You could also be someone who does not carry heavy loads in the back of your SUV on a regular basis. So you might want to level your vehicle, and this kit is perfect for this situation.
How does it do this?
This leveling lift kit used two lift spacers made out of heavy-duty carbon steel to raise the front of your SUV 1 inch to level with the rear and an additional 2 inches to lift the front for more ground clearance.
And this kit also comes with two spacers made out of polyurethane to lift the rear of your vehicle 2 inches off the ground to level it with the front’s lift.
This way, this kit levels your 3rd Gen 4Runner with a 1-inch front lift and increase the ground clearance some more through the 2-inch front and rear lift.
My Opinion: If you are looking to both lift and level your 3rd Gen 4Runner, you should think about getting this 3-inch front and 2-inch leveling lift kit.
The size of the lift kit you should be installing on your 3rd Gen 4Runner is completely up to you. It depends on how much ground clearance you want or what size tires you need.
If you want to get a stiffer ride and a good-quality lift kit that might cost a bit more than others, you should go for a coilover lift kit.
You could get a spacer lift if you want a more affordable option. And you coil use a leveling lift kit to lift and level your 3rd Gen 4Runner.
The size depends on you!
You might have to spend around 50 dollars to 1,000 dollars if you want to buy a lift kit for your 3rd Gen 4Runner.
However, it all depends on the type of lift kit, the size of the kit, and the brand!
And if you want to install the lift kit you bought yourself, you don’t have to spend any more money. But asking for professional help might cost you up to $10,000, including the kit’s cost.
If you want to install a lift kit to your 3rd Gen 4Runner, you might get many benefits, like better ground clearance, bigger tires, smoother ride, and more.
But I suggest you make sure what benefit is your priority and choose a lift kit accordingly.
Use this advice!
If you already know what you need and want, hopefully, the best 3rd Gen 4Runner lift kits I have reviewed today help.