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Pedders Creates the Perfect Plug-and-Play Lift Kit for the Toyota 4Runner, FJ, and GX470 Camps
BY Mike Maravilla //
May 19, 2023
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Photography: Brandon Cody
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  • Since 1950, Pedders has been a leader in the Australian aftermarket with a focus on ride quality through engineered suspension solutions.
  • The signature Pedders feel navigates the balance between civility and performance handling.
  • The Pedders TrakRyder 4×4 product lineup includes thousands of quality suspension and brake parts that have all been designed to improve the ride and handling characteristics of specific 4WD vehicles.
  • The TrakRyder plug-and-play kit for the Toyota 4Runner, FJ, and Lexus GX470 models offers a 50mm (2”) lift for additional wheel, tire, and ground clearance.

We may have the pandemic to thank for one thing: the bull market of exploration. It was impossible to ignore the amassment of lifestyle changes that remote work had afforded us. And with that, we also saw an influx of trucks trembling along vast swaths of earth and up crags to go where very few have gone before.

As capable as 4x4s can be in factory form, they all have limits. And enthusiasts are not the type to settle for pre-determined caps, especially when it comes to performance. Pedders has been focused on removing those restraints since its inception in 1950, a long time before the pandemic was part of our regular vocabulary. Its experience has earned the Australian-based brand a quality reputation based on balance; in fact, the signature Pedders feel is characterized by civility and performance handling all the same.

TOYOTA AND OFF-ROADING

There are a handful of marques that dominate the off-road scene and amongst the most dominant is Toyota. The first Toyota trucks came ashore in 1979, followed by the ever-popular 4Runner in 1984. Since then, Toyota 4x4s have become synonymous with exploration, and it’s a common sight to see those early trucks still dicing it up with even the newest models on the trails.

That longevity has created expectations for the Toyota 4×4 aftermarket. Like the trucks themselves, owners demand products that will stand the test of time; rigor is not a desire, it is a prerequisite.

Although the entire lineup of Toyota trucks is capable of off-roading adventures, the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, and GX470 remain standouts in popularity, offering a great balance of outright off-road capability and demure street manner. The fourth generation 4Runner (2003-2009), the FJ Cruiser (2010-2014), and the Lexus GX470 (2003-2009) actually share similar underpinnings, so their similar road-going personalities are no surprise.

PEDDERS TRAKRYDER

Remember those limits I alluded to before? The Pedders TrakRyder lineup is dedicated to elevating them substantially; in its entirety, the TrakRyder product catalog offers thousands of suspension and brake parts to equip your truck for the challenges ahead. Pedders has created the perfect, budget-friendly formula for truck enthusiasts worldwide with the rugged Australian outback as its test bed.

PEDDERS 4RUNNER / FJ / GX470 2” LIFT KIT

Given its reputation, we took the opportunity to fit the Pedders TrakRyder 2” lift kit (PED-915030) onto a local fourth-generation 4Runner. At our usual stomping grounds at R/T Tuning in Montgomeryville, PA, we’d have the opportunity to offer our real-world impressions of the kit, any installation hang-ups, and the overall improvements to the driving experience.

As aforementioned, this kit offers a 2” (50mm) lift. The new ride height provides additional ground and tire clearance, both of which create visual and performance upgrades across a variety of road surfaces. Heavy-duty lift springs are paired with the Pedders twin-tube foam cell dampers, which are renowned for their ability to virtually eliminate shock fade. The damper itself features an oversized 40mm bore and piston, which due to the additional fluid capacity, helps improve ride quality exponentially. To expedite the installation process, the front coilover comes pre-assembled.

Handling the parts in hand, the quality upgrade is undeniable. Although there are several ways to achieve an equivalent lift on your 4Runner, the Pedders price point makes choosing a dedicated damper and spring system an easy choice.

INSTALLATION + IMPRESSIONS

Fitting the Pedders TrakRyder 2” lift kit was as straightforward as possible. Aside from being pre-assembled, the kit also includes all the hardware you need, and as a true plug-and-play kit, nothing needs to be modified in order to install it from start to finish.

On the visual end, 2” may not sound like a lot, but seeing it in person after the kit was installed had me retracting that statement quite quickly. It was obvious that the 4Runner’s approach, departure, and even the break-over angles would be improved now, provided the rest of the truck is up to the task.

On the first drive, the improvement was immediately perceivable. It’s a testament to Pedders and its proficiency in creating the perfect damper and spring combination to suit the daily driver and weekend off-roading crowds equally. Rather than wafting over the road surface, the Pedders kit offered a much-welcomed bump in steering feel and communication. and we are already looking forward to testing the suspension on more rigorous trails.


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