Our 40mm EFS lift

August 2018 | Words by Daniel

When doing some research before buying the Hilux there was a common theme when it comes to ride quality - the ride can be pretty harsh. This is a common complaint across all utes, but the Hilux seems to be known for it. This, crossed with knowing we wouldn’t have enough room in the front to fit our bigger tyres, I started looking into various suspension options.

Given that we do big KMs both on and off road, I wanted something that was going to support our eventual loads in the rear and remove the harshness of the ride as much as possible when unladen.

I priced up a few different kits from OME, Dobinsons, EFS and a brand I hadn’t even heard of… They ranged from $1000 installed right up to around $4000 for the OME kit. Having run EFS kit before in our old Surf, I knew it was good gear and I liked how it handled on road and flexed off road - I also couldn’t find much bad about and the price was bang on what I was expecting. I also like that their gear is black, draws less attention to the modifications on the truck.

Armed with spring ratings and such, I got in touch with Ash from Kaizen Works who just so happens to be an EFS dealer and installer. Now, I love doing work on my trucks myself, but there’s a limit to what I can do in my garage at home and, being honest with myself, I knew it was going to take me all weekend. Or I could get Kaizen Works who know what they’re doing to install it and get the Hilux back on the road sooner.

Shiney new kit ready to go in

Rear leafs out, ready for new EFS goodness

Given we do a fair number of water crossings when out on big trips we decided to install greasable shackles to help make the bushings last as long as possible and to stop any squeaks. Well worth the few extra dollars.

Greasable shackles

Rear installed

We have one unexpected issue with the wider rear leafs - the passengers side fowled on the towbar bracket as it was slightly different than the drivers side. No idea why… But it wasn’t an ideal situation. Thankfully cutting back the towbar bracket ever so slightly solved the issue.

When things don't quite line up

Thankfully the front install went super smoothly and the Hilux was ready to be picked up!

My biggest worry when heading out to pickup the Hilux was that it was going to look much “bigger” than I was hoping - the lift had raised the height of the vehicle a tad more than we were expecting given its unloaded state. Not sure why I was too concerned though, apart from the now very small looking stock tyres, it looked awesome.

Before and after

We’ve now done around 3,000ks since having the lift installed and it’s been amazing! The ride can still be a bit harsh on certain surfaces, but that’s to be expected until we load up the tray with gear - it’s no way near as bad as it was! Despite going higher there is less body roll in the corners and the whole truck feels more stable.

The EFS gear flexes pretty well off road and has settled in nicely at just above 40mm which I have no issues with. Really happy with the kit and the install - and would highly recommend an EFS lift to anyone wanting a bit more height on their truck.

Stretching the Hilux's legs