The Toyota 4Runner is a popular vehicle with a reputation for reliability. Many 4Runner enthusiasts are into the world of adventuring offroad, so lifting this truck is quite popular.
Since 4Runners enjoy a robust aftermarket of parts and accessories, it’s easy to do even on impulse.
But imagine if you get home and it doesn’t fit in your garage?
Will a Lifted 4Runner Fit in My Garage?
A typical 4Runner with a mild lift should fit inside a standard garage. A factory Toyota 4Runner is just less than 72”, or six feet, tall. Most residential garage doors are between seven- and eight feet tall, giving you about a foot of clearance ot get your lifted 4Runner in the garage.
But there are still a lot of variables to consider.
Are you planning on using a combination of Bilstein coil-overs at the front and rear, or will you mix brands? Are you adding monster wheels and tires?
Does your garage door frame have an obstruction?
If these factors are not carefully figured out, you might end up stuck outside.
Keep in mind that adding a lift kit to a 4Runner doesn’t mean you can automatically add 35” tires too.
Measure Twice, Don’t Cut at All!
The best way to avoid not fitting into a garage is to do a lot of precise measuring. Each component you modify in the suspension of your 4Runner can change the height of the vehicle.
If your 4Runner is a little older, the suspension might sag a bit, as the rubber bushing and springs could be worn out.
Even installing OEM parts might affect the height a little bit.
So, make sure you’re thinking of the big picture and not just focusing on what a parts catalog or the back of a magazine tells you.
And remember, just because a particular lift kit works for a Toyota Tacoma doesn’t mean it will work as well on a 4Runner.
Check Your 4Runner’s Height
So, before you change anything, you need to measure the height of your vehicle. To do so, look for the highest point on the roof.
If there’s an antenna, spare tire, rack, or carrier up there, those will need to fit too. Here’s one way to measure without any guesswork.
First, tie a plumb bob on a long string to a six-foot framing level.
Set a ladder or step stool next to your 4Runner, and hold the level so it’s resting across the highest point of your vehicle.
Then, make sure the bubble on the level is in the middle, and let the plumb bob hang down on the string until it stops swinging and lies plumb.
Have a partner measure from the bottom of the level to the ground. Now you know the exact height of your vehicle as it currently sits.
Check Your Garage Height
It’s pretty straightforward to measure the height of your garage. Just find the lowest point on the frame, and measure to the floor.
If you have an arched entrance or something low-hanging that will potentially interfere with pulling in and out, measure from its lowest point.
Determine the Maximum Height for Accessing the Garage
Now, you can subtract the height of your 4Runner from the height of your garage entrance to figure out the maximum lift your home can accommodate.
For example, if your garage door entryway is 80” tall, and your 4Runner is 72” tall, you have 8” to work with.
It’s always better to underestimate the buffer a little bit.
Consider that if there was snow on the apron of your garage, or if you had to repave your driveway at some point down the road, it might change the dimensions.
You might even decide you want to add a taller roof rack or antenna at some point.
So it’s a good idea to subtract up to an inch from your buffer and leave a little wiggle room for the unforeseen future.
If your measured buffer is 8”, maybe plan on a maximum lift of 7” to be on the safe side.
Speccing-Out Your Lift
There are a variety of accessories you can add to a 4Runner that will affect its height. Some include:
- Front and/or rear coil-overs
- A front differential drop kit
- Sway bar relocation brackets
- Front and/or rear bumper stops
- Beefier upper control arms
- Taller Springs
- Roof-mounted accessories
Since there are many different combinations of equipment you can add to your 4Runner, you’ll have to keep track of the potential changes.
For instance, if you’re adding a 3” lift kit alone, it’s pretty straightforward, and you can anticipate a change of about 3”.
But if you decide to use a taller spring instead of the one in your kit, the height jumps up to reflect the change.
Now, if you also add a body lift, bigger wheels and tires, and a roof rack, you’re talking a dramatic change with different components.
Whatever changes you plan, keep a careful total of the changes. You might want to use a chart like this:
|Vehicle Height, Stock||72”|
|Old Man Emu BP51 Suspension Kit 2.5-3”||+3”|
|2” taller roof rack||+2”|
|Spare tire on roof rack||+7”|
|Vehicle Height, Modded||84”|
The best way to ensure that everything fits the way you need it to is to test-fit each component. That’s not always possible, so here’s an idea.
If you have a friend whose 4Runner is already lifted, have them try to park in your garage.
This will, you’ll have a better real-world reference, though it’s no substitute for charting out your specs and making sure the math works.
Special Considerations for Lifting a 4Runner
Not every suspension modification is static. That’s because some kits offer height-adjustable parts.
For instance, you might be able to purchase an air-ride system that uses pneumatic pressure to raise and lower the vehicle.
So, when you’re hitting the dunes, you can jack things up, and when it’s time to cruise home on the highway and park in your garage, drop back down.
The ability to raise and lower the truck on the move is a game-changer, but it comes with a significant price tag. However, it’s cheaper than remodeling your garage frame and door to fit your lifted 4Runner.
Don’t forget to ask yourself if you should be lifting your 4Runner at all. How you use the truck is the most important factor, so ask yourself how much of its road manners you’re willing to sacrifice to go off-roading in your 4Runner once or twice a year.
There are lots of tradeoffs when you lift a 4Runner, so think hard if you can handle them all.
First, there will be upfront costs for lifting it, including parts and labor.
It will probably become more and more prone to tipping as you increase the center of gravity by changing the height.
What’s more, you might end up causing some fitment or mechanical issues that cost you more money. Changing the geometry of a 4Runner is a pretty serious undertaking.
So if you do it, do it right!
With all the right planning and preparation, you can ensure there won’t be any unwanted garage surprises with your 4Runner.
If you have more questions about 4Runner’s and garage fits, feel free to leave a comment