5 Best Suspension Upgrade for FJ Cruiser: Which One is Best

Exploring the Best Suspension Upgrade for FJ Cruiser is more than research; it’s a passion. In this journey, I’ve sifted through mountains of data and user experiences. Every shock absorber, spring, and lift kit tells a story of adventure and precision. Whether you’re scaling rocky paths or cruising city streets, … Read more

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Exploring the Best Suspension Upgrade for FJ Cruiser is more than research; it’s a passion.

In this journey, I’ve sifted through mountains of data and user experiences.

Every shock absorber, spring, and lift kit tells a story of adventure and precision.

Whether you’re scaling rocky paths or cruising city streets, the right upgrade transforms your ride.

Stay tuned, as I unveil the upgrades that turn every journey into an epic tale.

top 5 Best Suspension Upgrade for Fj Cruiser

Image of Best Suspension Upgrade for Fj Cruiser equiped in jeep

ARB Old Man Emu Kit

image of ARB Old Man Emu Kit
image source: amazon.com

The ARB Old Man Emu Kit stands out as a top contender for the best suspension upgrade for the FJ Cruiser.

With a 3″ lift, this heavy-duty suspension system is engineered to tackle the toughest terrains without breaking a sweat.

The kit includes heavy-duty front and rear coil springs, nitrocharger sport shock absorbers, and caster correction bushes, ensuring that your vehicle remains stable and responsive, no matter the challenge.

But that’s not all.

The ARB Old Man Emu Kit doesn’t just elevate your FJ Cruiser; it transforms it.

The compatibility with the Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series adds a touch of versatility, making it a go-to choice for off-road enthusiasts who demand the best.

  • Lift Height: 3″
  • Compatibility: Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series
  • Key Components: Heavy-duty coil springs, nitro charger sport shock absorbers,

Bilstein 5100 Series

image of Bilstein 5100 Series
image source: amazon.com

Next in line is the Bilstein 5100 Series, a masterpiece in the realm of shock absorbers.

Known for providing a smoother ride and enhanced overall performance, these shocks are tailored to fit the FJ Cruiser perfectly.

Whether you’re traversing rugged landscapes or cruising on the highway, the Bilstein 5100 shocks ensure your journey is stable and controlled.

One of the standout features of this series is its patented digressive valving.

This innovative technology allows the shocks to adjust their resistance according to the road conditions.

It means whether you’re dealing with rough trails or uneven city roads, these shocks adapt swiftly, offering unmatched handling and control.

  • Features: Patented digressive valving for adaptive resistance
  • Construction: Durable vulcanized neoprene rubber bushings
  • Benefits: Reduces noise and vibration, enhancing the driving experience

OME 3-inch FJ Cruiser (10-ON) Lift Kit by Old Man Emu

image of OME 3-inch FJ Cruiser (10-ON) Lift Kit by Old Man Emu
image source: amazon.com

Elevating your off-road adventures is the OME 3-inch FJ Cruiser Lift Kit by Old Man Emu.

This meticulously crafted suspension upgrade is not just about height; it’s about transformative ride quality and enhanced vehicle handling.

The kit includes OME 2886 and 2896 springs, providing increased stiffness for a ride that’s as comfortable as it is robust.

The kit’s focus on superior ride quality, combined with its exceptional off-road capabilities, makes it a top choice for enthusiasts.

By accommodating larger tires, the lift kit not only boosts the aesthetic appeal of your FJ Cruiser but also enhances its traction and stability on challenging paths.

  • Lift Height: 3″
  • Key Components: OME 2886 and 2896 springs for increased stiffness and load capacity
  • Benefits: Improved ground clearance, superior ride quality, and compatibility with larger tires

Total Chaos Long Travel Kits

image of Total Chaos Long Travel Kits
image source: amazon.com

For those seeking the pinnacle of performance and adaptability, the Total Chaos Long Travel Kits emerge as a formidable choice.

These kits are the epitome of innovation, designed with the intense demands of desert racing in mind.

With Total Chaos, you’re not just upgrading; you’re redefining the limits of what your FJ Cruiser can achieve.

The kits extend the wheels, amplifying the distance between the shock tower and the lower arm mount.

This transformation results in a staggering up to 13″ of travel, allowing your vehicle to absorb the roughest of bumps, ruts, and potholes with grace and stability.

  • Travel Capacity: Up to 13″
  • Design Purpose: Optimized for desert racing and maintaining wheel contact with the ground
  • Unique Feature: Extended wheel distance for enhanced stability and shock absorption

Solid Axle Swap: The Ultimate Upgrade

For hardcore off-road enthusiasts, a Solid Axle Swap is the holy grail.

This isn’t just an upgrade; it’s a complete overhaul that turns your FJ Cruiser into an unstoppable force on the most challenging terrains.

With tons of flex, high lift, and a locking front differential, this upgrade is the definition of extreme performance.

While a Solid Axle Swap provides unmatched capabilities in rock crawling and off-road prowess, it’s a significant investment.

This custom-built upgrade is about commitment to the craft and the ultimate expression of passion for off-road adventures.

  • Upgrade Type: Solid Axle Swap
  • Benefits: Unparalleled flex, high lift, and incorporation of a locking front differential
  • Consideration: Significant investment but offers unmatched off-road performance

Choosing the Best Suspension Upgrade for Fj Cruiser

Choosing the right suspension upgrade for your FJ Cruiser is a decision that balances performance, budget, and your unique off-road aspirations.

Every upgrade option we’ve explored offers distinct advantages, but the key lies in aligning these benefits with your driving style and the challenges you aim to conquer.

Assess Your Needs

  • Off-road Prowess vs. Daily Driving: Are you gearing up for rigorous rock-crawling adventures or seeking a balance between off-road capability and everyday comfort?
  • Budget Considerations: High-end upgrades like the Solid Axle Swap offer supreme performance but come with a higher price tag. Balance your dream upgrades with a realistic budget.

Compatibility and Installation

  • Vehicle Compatibility: Ensure the upgrade aligns with your FJ Cruiser’s specifications. Compatibility is key to a successful upgrade.
  • Installation Complexity: Consider the installation process. While some upgrades can be a DIY project, others might require professional assistance.

Long-Term Impact

  • Durability and Maintenance: Consider the long-term durability and maintenance requirements of your chosen upgrade. A reliable, low-maintenance upgrade can offer peace of mind and lasting performance.
  • Resale Value: Some upgrades can enhance your vehicle’s resale value, while others might appeal to a niche market. Consider how your choice might affect future resale.

How To Install Suspension Upgrade On FJ Cruiser

Upgrading the suspension on your FJ Cruiser can significantly enhance its performance, especially off-road.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a suspension upgrade, focusing on key entities and facts to ensure a smooth and successful upgrade.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Kit

  • Identify Your Needs: Determine whether you need a lift kit for increased clearance or shock absorbers for better ride quality. Options like the Old Man Emu by ARB Suspension, Bilstein B6 4600 Series, or Rough Country’s 3″ aluminium spacer lift kit are popular choices.
  • Compatibility Check: Ensure the kit is compatible with your FJ Cruiser’s model and year.

Step 2: Preparing for Installation

  • Gather Tools: Typical tools include wrenches, a jack, jack stands, and potentially spring compressors.
  • Safety First: Ensure your FJ Cruiser is parked on a flat surface and use jack stands to secure it after lifting.

Step 3: Removing the Old Suspension

  • Front Suspension:
    1. Remove the wheels.
    2. Disconnect the sway bar links, shocks, and, if applicable, the ABS line brackets.
    3. If installing a long-travel kit like Total Chaos, you might need to replace upper and lower control arms, axles, and potentially new shock mounts.
  • Rear Suspension:
    1. Similar to the front, remove the wheels.
    2. Disconnect the rear shocks and, if applicable, the sway bar links.

Step 4: Installing the New Suspension

  • Install New Components: This could include new coil springs, struts, and shock absorbers. Old Man Emu kits, for instance, include 4 Shock Absorbers + 4 Springs.
  • Alignment: Especially important for long-travel kits that significantly alter suspension geometry. Ensure all new components are properly aligned.

Step 5: Final Checks and Test Drive

  • Reconnect Everything: Make sure all bolts are tightened and all parts, including sway bars and ABS lines, are reconnected.
  • Test Drive: Start slow, listen for unusual noises, and pay attention to the vehicle’s handling.
  • Professional Inspection: Highly recommended, especially for complex kits like the Total Chaos Long Travel Kits or a Solid Axle Swap.

Tips and Considerations

  • Professional Help: If you’re not experienced, consider professional installation. Mistakes can be costly and dangerous.
  • Budgeting: Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Factor in the quality, warranty, and support when choosing a kit.
  • Aftercare: Suspension upgrades may alter your vehicle’s handling. Get used to the new driving dynamics and check components periodically for wear or loosening.

Bilstein vs Old Man Emu: A Detailed Suspension Upgrade Comparison

When it comes to upgrading the suspension of your vehicle, two names often come to the forefront: Bilstein and Old Man Emu by ARB.

Both brands have established themselves as leaders in the suspension upgrade market, offering products that significantly improve vehicle performance.

Let’s delve into a detailed comparison between these two giants, focusing on their offerings for the FJ Cruiser.

Bilstein Suspension Upgrades

  • Product Range: Bilstein is renowned for its wide range of shock absorbers, catering to various driving needs and vehicle models, including the Bilstein B6 4600 Series.
  • Technology: Known for its innovative monotube design and patented digressive valving technology, Bilstein shocks offer consistent performance and durability.
  • Ride Quality: Bilstein shocks are designed to improve the vehicle’s stability and handling, providing a comfortable ride without compromising on performance. They excel in both on-road and off-road conditions.
  • Installation and Compatibility: Generally, Bilstein products are easy to install and are engineered to fit seamlessly with the vehicle’s existing suspension system.
  • Price Point: Bilstein products are competitively priced, offering a balance between cost and quality.
  • Series: Bilstein B6 4600 Series.
  • Design: Monotube with patented digressive valving.
  • Performance: Improved stability and handling with a comfortable ride.

Old Man Emu by ARB Suspension Upgrades

  • Product Range: Old Man Emu provides a comprehensive range of suspension components, including shock absorbers, coil springs, and full lift kits like the OME 3-inch FJ Cruiser (10-ON) Lift Kit.
  • Customization: One of the standout features of Old Man Emu products is the ability to tailor the suspension setup to the vehicle’s load and usage conditions, offering a highly customized driving experience.
  • Off-Road Focus: While suitable for all types of driving, Old Man Emu products are especially revered in the off-road community for their durability and performance in rugged conditions.
  • Installation and Compatibility: Old Man Emu kits are designed for specific vehicle models, ensuring a perfect fit and relatively straightforward installation.
  • Price Point: Old Man Emu products are premium-priced, reflecting their high quality, customization options, and off-road performance.
  • Range: Comprehensive, including shock absorbers, coil springs, and full lift kits.
  • Customization: Tailored to the vehicle’s load and usage conditions.
  • Focus: Renowned for off-road performance and durability.


In my quest to uncover the Best Suspension Upgrade for FJ Cruiser, I’ve navigated through a sea of options, each promising to transform your ride into a legend on wheels.

The journey taught me that the perfect upgrade mirrors your unique off-road tale, blending power with practicality.

I’ve learned that investing in premium quality isn’t just a choice; it’s a commitment to your FJ Cruiser’s legacy.

The options we’ve explored, from the robust ARB Old Man Emu Kit to the versatile Bilstein 5100 Series, the comprehensive OME 3-inch FJ Cruiser Lift Kit, the dynamic Total Chaos Long Travel Kits, and the unparalleled Solid Axle Swap, each represent a path to transforming your driving experience.

Tapping into the collective wisdom of experts and fellow enthusiasts isn’t just smart; it’s essential.

As you gear up for this transformative upgrade, remember, that it’s not just about enhancing a vehicle;

it’s about elevating an experience, making every journey an adventure, and every mile a memory.

So, take the leap, choose your path, and let your FJ Cruiser become the off-road icon it’s meant to be.


What suspension does the FJ Cruiser have?

The FJ Cruiser typically comes equipped with a robust, double-wishbone front suspension and a 4-link rear suspension setup, designed for durability and performance on rugged terrains.

What is the best year for FJ Cruiser?

Many enthusiasts and experts consider the 2014 FJ Cruiser to be one of the best years, primarily due to its refined features, robust performance, and the last year of production, enhancing its collectibility.

What is the upgrade package on an FJ Cruiser?

The FJ Cruiser often features an upgrade package that includes enhanced off-road capabilities with options like Bilstein shock absorbers, TRD (Toyota Racing Development) wheels, and a locking rear differential, elevating its rugged prowess.

What is the best suspension brand in the world?

While subjective, Bilstein is frequently lauded as one of the best suspension brands globally, renowned for its innovative technology, exceptional performance, and durability in various driving conditions.

Which Toyota car has the best suspension?

The Toyota Land Cruiser is often celebrated for having the best suspension in Toyota’s lineup, offering a seamless blend of luxury, comfort, and unmatched off-road capability.

Is FJ Cruiser powerful?

Yes, the FJ Cruiser is known for its power, equipped with a 4.0L V6 engine, delivering robust performance and reliability, making it a powerhouse in both urban settings and off-road escapades.

Is the FJ Cruiser a comfortable ride?

The FJ Cruiser offers a uniquely comfortable ride, balancing off-road readiness with features like spacious interiors and advanced suspension systems, ensuring a smooth experience on various terrains.

What does the F and J stand for in FJ Cruiser?

In FJ Cruiser, the ‘F’ stands for the engine series used in the vehicle (‘F’ series), and the ‘J’ represents the Jeep-like vehicle, highlighting its robust capabilities and design, inspired by classic off-road vehicles.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer and I have over 3 years of hands-on experience repairing cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Ever since I operated on my first engine in 2018, I’ve been passionate about all things automotive. In 2021, I launched my blog “Motoring Mastery” to share my knowledge with car enthusiasts and DIY mechanics.