New 4Runner Trail - Icon build - questions

cobblecrazy

Adventurer
I purchased a new Toyota 4runner trail edition with KDSS. I am familiar with the Icon stuff as I did a lift with Icon/OME on my Tacoma SBDC. The main difference is I did a 2.0 w/res rear shock on the Tacoma, and I think I will do the 2.5 in the back on the 4runner. Basically I think I will be doing a Stage 4+ kit (adding Icons upper arm and rear track bar). I will do a hidden winch mount or "southern style bumper" in the front and a CBI in the back. A baja rack, or GOBI rack, will accommodate a variety of combinations on the roof.

Although the concepts between what I did on my Tacoma and my vision for the 4Runner are similar, there are some things which are "new" to me in this build. My main question is the lower trailing arm and the upper link arm. Icon offers a tubular or billet aluminum version for both arms. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with either of these arms. I have also struggled somewhat with the decision on either the Icon 2" lift rear spring, or one of the OME springs.

I'm assuming the semi rectangular design of the aluminum might be stronger than the tubular one, but I noticed two things reading through the installation instructions on Icon's website. The first was the two "pinch bolts" holding the adjustable end in place (along with the jam nut) appear to be just another thing to possibly fail in the field. The other was the possible need to trim the frame pocket where the front part of the arm connects to the body, and I'm assuming this would be directly correlated to the amount of lift you do. I'm just not a big fan of trimming parts of the frame, no matter how small the trim might have to be. I have seen both designs in person and each appeared to be robust (much more than stock - especially the upper arm).

The difference in price for both is about $350 between the two versions (billet aluminum being the more expensive). The part numbers for the lower trailing arms are 54000T/54000 (T being for tubular) and 54100/54100T for the upper arms.


Thanks in advance.
 
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rickashay

Explorer
No direct experience on the arms. However I did consider them for my 4th gen (rear suspension is basically identical). The billet arms are supposed to be stronger but unless your after the super "bling" factor of those nice aluminum arms, I'd vote for the tubular ones. I was not a huge fan of those pinch bolts - as you had mentioned - but I have never seen anyone have an issue with them, to be fair.

Another option you might want to look at is the Metal Tech arms. I ended up ordering the MT rear long travel system (includes MT rear lower adjustable control arms) with Icon rear shocks, and the addition of the Metal Tech adjustable rear upper control arms. I chose these over the Icon arms due to them being designed to be used with their rear LT system but mainly because they have a Johnny joint on one end and a poly bushing at the other. The Johnny joint should prove to be more maintenance free than the heim joint equivalent on the Icon arms. Depending on where you live and what you use your 4Runner for, I would make the joint type part of your decision making process.

As said above.... head over to T4R.org for lots more info on the 4Runner specifics! Good luck!
 

bhguy

Observer
I cant add much...i have a 2016 trail with a 4"icon lift on the front and 3 on the back.....love how it rides. I did have an issue with the instalation (i didnt do it myself) with the punch bolts creaking when it rained....bad...very bad...i talked with icon as the dealer was terrible and it got rectified. Your comment on potential failure are a worry of mine and will be swapping them out. I will say though i belive icon is a great company and will back all of their products...but that doesn't help in the bush and the thought of "will it break" it bugs me
 

cobblecrazy

Adventurer
Thanks for the input. It seems as if each company has its own "bling". Sometimes it's just a color option to make things stand out, but others are a little harder to discern the "need over the want". I really like the Icon brand, mostly because of the quality I have experienced in the past, but I also like that they make all the components. They are engineered to work as one. I have a background in cycling, and there have been times where I have changed out a shifter or other component, that wasn't in the original groupo, only to be disappointed about its performance. Not that the quality of the replacement was bad, it just wasn't designed by the same team so subtle issues seem to creep in no matter what you try.

I have also had issues with lifts in the past. One was with the Icon system in the Tacoma that caused an unknown intermittent vibration. With some help it was diagnosed and cured with a needle bearing replacement. The other was a Jeep dealer installed lift kit, on a Jeep, that caused the handling to be less than stellar. Again, with some outside help it was determined that their install did not include moving things back into factory specs (they did not even take into account the new angle of the headlights) to make sure it handled the way it should.

From what I've read, and what I've seen in person, I like the tubular arms. They appear to be "simple" but strong, with the adjustability to keep the 4runner within specs, and at a price point that allows money to spent on other parts of the build. At this point the package would be the icon 2.5" coilover (no remote res) in front, icon tubular UCA, Icon 2.5" remote res rear shock w/adjuster, Icon tubular upper and lower arms, Icon tubular rear track bar, and either the Icon or OME spring (I think there is a little latitude here, and I liked my Icon and OME Dakar spring setup on my Tacoma).
 

montypower

Adventure Time!
I cant add much...i have a 2016 trail with a 4"icon lift on the front and 3 on the back.....love how it rides. I did have an issue with the instalation (i didnt do it myself) with the punch bolts creaking when it rained....bad...very bad...i talked with icon as the dealer was terrible and it got rectified. Your comment on potential failure are a worry of mine and will be swapping them out. I will say though i belive icon is a great company and will back all of their products...but that doesn't help in the bush and the thought of "will it break" it bugs me
The pivot joints may make noise but can't see the "pinch bolts" making noise. Is this really a thing? I seriously doubt it.

On a side note, 4" lift in the front is way too much! Your CV axles will be short lived. Also, you won't have any down travel remaining. That isn't ideal for handling as the suspension is fully extended. 2.5" is about the max I'd got to maintain 2" down travel for proper handling.
 

cobblecrazy

Adventurer
The pivot joints may make noise but can't see the "pinch bolts" making noise. Is this really a thing? I seriously doubt it.

On a side note, 4" lift in the front is way too much! Your CV axles will be short lived. Also, you won't have any down travel remaining. That isn't ideal for handling as the suspension is fully extended. 2.5" is about the max I'd got to maintain 2" down travel for proper handling.
During my Tacoma build, I befriended one of the Toyota managers involved in parts and aftermarket alterations. Over many conversations and hands on troubleshooting I grew to trust his insight. I was told that over 2" lift in a KDSS equipped 4runner was not suggested. Based on our conversation, and a further search suggested it may skew the way the KDSS "sees" how the wheels/suspension is traveling, and I'm guessing the way it responds may be inaccurate based on the amount of lift put on the vehicle, but at this point this is just speculation.

Icon's installation manual for the front coilover says not to install the differential drop on a 4runner with KDSS, but I could not find anything about limitations on lift height for KDSS equipped vehicles. Most places I can order from indicate the Icon coilover comes preset at 2" of lift. The installation instructions also indicate you have to deactivate the KDSS system before any work on the suspension, but all it says is to refer to the Toyota service manual for instructions on how to activate/deactivate the system. Unfortunately I cannot locate those instructions. I have seen where they unbolt the KDSS from the sway bar, during an install, but no other info on "deactivation". Again I can only assume, but I figure it's so the piston (or whatever the inner workings are composed of) is not overextended when the linkage sags during the unbolting/installation.

I have wondered if the Icon 2" spring would be the correct way to go, or if one of the OME springs - which lists 2.5-2.75" of lift - might put the stance of the vehicle in a better position (especially with the addition of a CBI bumper/swingout as I'm not sure I can fit a 275/70/17 under the truck - definitely not if I decide to go with a 285), but that would exceed that suggested 2" limit.
 
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