Toyota 4Runner - best suspension upgrades for towing
Got towing problems with your Toyota 4Runner?
If you’re planning to use your Toyota 4Runner SUV as a tow vehicle, you’re probably going to need some sort of suspension upgrade. Why? Let me explain:
Even though the four-link coil spring rear suspension has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, it allows the 4Runner to ride with smoothness and comfort. As strong as you might think it is, the rear suspension on the Toyota 4Runner has its limitations.
Believe it or not, the weight of a trailer will make it sag in the rear. When this happens, the weight of the vehicle shifts backward reducing the amount of traction on the front tires which will impact steering ability.
At the end of the day, too much weight on the rear suspension can cause sag and squat resulting in instability. As you’ve probably guessed, instability is dangerous and will require the driver to slow down to a crawl.
What causes sag and squat?
You’ve probably seen it on other vehicles towing camper trailers. Maybe your own tow vehicle does it, even though you aren’t anywhere near its rated towing capacity. The back end of the tow vehicle squats lower than the front end when it’s hitched to the travel trailer.
Truck squat happens because most pickup trucks and SUVs are built with cushy suspensions that are meant to help you enjoy a nice, comfortable ride. The coil springs that help support the rear of the 4Runner are flexible, helping to absorb bumps and irregularities in the road but unable to carry heavy loads. The added weight of a trailer to the back of the 4Runner is more than the suspension was designed to handle, causing the rear end to squat.
What are the best suspension upgrades for towing problems?
It’s not uncommon for the rear end of a pickup or SUV to droop after a load of 200 – 300 pounds has been added. And the sag becomes increasingly obvious as you near the maximum load rating. Here are some of the most common solutions for suspension sag and squat:
- Add a leaf
Add-a-leaf products (like SuperSprings) help to level the load. Unfortunately, they cost about $600.00 US for the pair. And they’re capacity is limited to approximately 4,000 lbs additional.
Airbags were originally designed as an alternative to leaf springs. Air bag products help to level the load but they’re expensive, costing anywhere from $1,000 - $1,500. They usually require professional installation which adds to the total cost.
Timbren SES use Aeon® hollow rubber springs made from natural rubber. They’re designed to replace the bump stop on trucks, vans, and SUVs. SES kits are affordable, easy to install, and can add up to an additional capacity of 8600 lbs.*
* Helper springs and suspension upgrades cannot increase the GVWR set by the manufacturer.
How do I install Timbren SES part # TORSEQ?
The following are the installation instructions for part # TORSEQ:
Be sure to block your tires to ensure that the vehicle does not move during installation. Wheel blocks, also known as “chocks,” are often overlooked as a safety precaution. Put the vehicle in park and apply the emergency brake. Then, wedge the angled chocks beneath the tires on both sides to keep the vehicle from moving.
Use a jack to lift the vehicle and allow the axle to hang freely. Warning: Do not put the jack under a body panel! Apart from the obvious damage to the vehicle, this incorrect procedure is dangerous.
Unbolt and remove the OEM bump stop from the frame.
Using the bolts supplied, fasten the rubber spring to the metal bracket.
Position the metal bracket assembly making sure the bracket holes line up with the holes in the frame.
Using the supplied fasteners, bolt the metal bracket assembly to the frame.
Replace tire. Once you’re done, repeat steps 1-7 on the opposite side of the vehicle.
How does part # TORSEQ stack up against the competition?
Above, we compared Add-a-leaf products & Air bags to Timbren SES suspension upgrades. So, which one of the three is best?
A quick observation suggests that Timbren SES part # TORSEQ is the easiest to install. It offers the best price, the most capacity (up to 8600 lbs), and maximum stability by eliminating roll and sway. And if you were to take a closer look, you’d notice that Timbren SES wins big points for:
- best ride quality loaded or unloaded
- best added stability
- best warranty
We highly recommend Timbren SES suspension upgrades for your Toyota 4Runner!
Think about it: Timbren SES products have been around for over 50 years and are still the best and smartest choice hands down!
Part # TORSEQ is perfect for towing with your Toyota 4Runner.
“Whether we’re towing with our GMC Sierra or our Toyota 4Runner, Timbren SES kits have been a game changer by reducing sag in the rear plus helping the tow rig gain maximum control. Over a year with SES and we would never go back.” @ClicOutdoor
For more information about Timbren SES products, please visit Timbren.com