Rough Country 4.5-inch Lift Kit for the Toyota Tundra
Some Toyota Tundra owners are not satisfied with a 2-inch or 3-inch lift and instead seek out suspension kits that can provide them with greater ground clearance – kits like the Rough Country 4.5-inch suspension lift. The Rough Country 4.5-inch kit is a very complete offering that comes with everything you will need to add a substantial amount of ride height to your Tundra.
What’s In The Box
The Rough Country kit arrives in four boxes containing new front and rear cross-members, two rear shocks, differential brackets for the front and rear of the truck, driver and passenger side knuckles, a skid plate, bump stop brackets, strut spacers and two sway bar drop brackets for the rear. A skid plate and rear blocks and U-bolts are also included, as are all other bolts, nuts and washers.
Naturally, with so much hardware to replace, it makes sense to count out all of the included mounting supplies and compare them to the diagram that comes with the kit’s instructions prior to embarking upon the installation. This will keep you from having to head to the local hardware store mid-install should any crucial parts be missing.
I spoke with Todd Winchester at Rough Country, and he told me that this particular kit was designed with people of average mechanical ability in mind. Todd said that while professional installation is always something they recommend, it is not necessary for the 4.5-inch kit. Keep in mind, however, that there is some minor cutting and drilling required to complete the installation, so if this is something you are not comfortable with, it might be a good idea to seek professional assistance.
Rough Country provides 10 pages of instructions with full-color illustrations that walk Tundra owners though kit installation. Starting at the front of the truck, it is necessary to jack the truck and support the frame rails on jack stands in order to remove the tires, wheels, knuckles and control arms. The sway bar also has to come off. Once all of these components are out of the way, it is time to remove the front differential mounts, lower the differential and install first the rear, then the front cross-member that come with the kit.
With the differential back in position, it’s time to install the sway bar drop brackets and then the supplied strut spacers and the new replacement front knuckles. Then, the front brakes go back together and finally the new skid plate, wheels and tires are put into place.
Rear kit installation is a little bit simpler. Once again, the rear frame rails are supported by jack stands, leaving enough room to drop the differential onto a supporting jack of its own. Brake lines and cables are removed from their brackets, and the factory U-bolts are undone so as to lower the rear axle. With the axle down, it’s time to install the lift blocks, the lengthened U-bolts, the rear shock relocation brackets and the new Rough Country rear shocks. The factory brake line and brake cable brackets are replaced, and then it’s time to put the wheels and tires on again and enjoy the new, tall and level stance of your Tundra – after an alignment, of course.
What Sets The Rough Country Kit Apart
I asked Todd what made Tundra owners choose the Rough Country kit over other lift offerings on the market. He told me that the two main reasons were price and simplicity. The Rough Country 4.5-inch kit retails for around $1,250, and there is no need to modify any stock drivetrain or exhaust components – all of the necessary replacement mounts are provided for relocating suspension hardware, but the diff itself maintains its stock mounts. Winchester estimates that it would take 10 hours on the outside to install the kit.
Final Thoughts on the Rough Country Kit
There’s no question that a 4.5-inch lift kit like the one provided by this Rough Country setup provides more street presence and better off-road clearance than a standard 2-inch lift. It also avoids some of the impracticality that can be introduced by a more aggressive 6-inch lift – namely, problems getting in and out of the truck, fitting in parking garages or retaining use of the truck’s cargo area.
Some Tundra owners have reported issues using the stock 18-inch wheels with the Rough Country lift, claiming that wheel balance weights are knocked off of the inside of the rim when turning all the way left or right. This is due to rubbing on the outer tie-rod ends. Todd says that the kit is rated for an 11.5-inch wide wheel, but that wider wheels are possible with spacers. He recommends against too wide of a wheel with the lifted knuckle, however, and Rough Country’s own instructions discuss balancing wheel and tire width with safety and stability.
The Rough Country 4.5-inch lift kit for the Toyota Tundra seems to offer a useful amount of ground clearance in an easy to install and affordable package.
Filed Under: Tundra Lift Kits