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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Welcome to the 1st gen registry for all direct bolt-ons and other various modifications that are possible on our cars! Here, all of these improvements will be documented as well as any DIYs I have written and more. This post will constantly be updated with new info on a regular basis.


August 1st, 2021
New additions: Alignment specs for 2001-2007 FWD & AWD

August 2nd, 2021
New additions: VVTI OCV interchangeability

August 8th, 2021
New additions: FWD 2nd gen rear strut warning, available options added


August 11th, 2021
New additions: Rear differential info (2001-2003)

August 18th, 2021
New additions: Lexus badge fitment, new fitment flag

September 25th, 2021
New additions: Inner and outer tie rod info

October 2nd, 2021
New additions: Strut upper isolator info for 01-03

October 6th, 2021
New additions: Rear suspension info



LEGEND:

(Brackets) - Extra details
[Brackets] - Cars this part can be obtained from, brand will be added in CAPITALS: if it is not from Lexus/Toyota
Underline - Currently installed on my car
Green - Direct upgrade confirmed fit
Blue - Untested fitment
Bold - OEM part
Yellow - Not 100% direct bolt on, some fabrication required
Orange - POSSIBLE but not recommended due to difficulty / need to buy other parts
Red - The part will not fit


2001-2007


Suspension:

Lowering springs [1999-2003 RX] (1-1.5" drop)
Lowering springs [2004-2009 RX] (1-1.5" drop, may be ever so slightly stiffer due to the 2nd gen RX weighing a little more)
Stiffer lowering springs [2009-2015 Venza] (Recommended for hybrid models due to the extra weight, may not lower as much as the other springs)
Lifting springs [2001-2007 Kluger] (1" lift)

Note: To maintain your alignment, you should use the 1st gen strut mounts, everything else can be taken from a 2nd gen
Front springs
[2008-2009 Highlander] (Stiffer than stock, ~0.5" lift)
Rear springs [2008-2013 Highlander] (Stiffer than stock, ~2" lift)
Front Struts [2008-2009 Highlander] (Provides ~0.5" lift)
Front Struts [2010-2013 Highlander] (Provides ~0.5" lift, option for Bilstein B6, YOU MUST USE 2010-2013 springs with these for the front passenger strut!)
Front Struts [2014-2019 Highlander] (Option for Bilstein B6, untested fitment)
Rear Struts [2008-2013 Highlander] (Provides ~1" lift - option for Bilstein B6, 2004+ end links recommended if 2001-2003 AWD model. DOES NOT FIT 01-07 FWD)
Rear knuckle bushing [1999-2009 RX, 2008-2013 Highlander, 2009-2015 Venza]
Rear knuckle AWD [2008-2013 Highlander, 2009-2015 Venza] (Direct fit 04-07, will fit 01-03 with the use of 04-07 rear control arms)
Rear sway bar bushings FWD [See 2001-2003 & 2004-2007 categories]
Rear sway bar bushings AWD [2001-2013 Highlander, 2009-2015 Venza, 2002-2006 Camry, 2004-2009 RX]
Front sway bar bushings [2001-2007 Highlander, 2004-2009 RX]
Coilovers [1999-2003 RX300]
Coilovers [2004-2009 RX] (Recommended for V6 AWD models due to weight)
Coilovers [2002-2017 Camry, 2002-2017 ES] (Recommended for FWD 4-cyl models only due to weight, modifications required)
26mm Front Sway Bar [2008-2019 Highlander, 2010-2015 RX] (DOES NOT FIT HYBRID, MAKE SURE TO BUY RIGHT VERSION DEPENDING ON IF YOU HAVE FWD OR AWD - AWD bar will work on either FWD or AWD)
28.5mm Front Sway Bar [2016-2021 RX] (DOES NOT FIT HYBRID)

FWD:
Ultra Racing UR-AR19-030 19mm Rear Sway Bar [2004-2009 Toyota Harrier FWD]
Cusco 924 311 B18 18mm Rear Sway Bar [2004-2009 Toyota Harrier FWD]

AWD:
See 2001-2003 & 2004-2007 categories

Threads:


Sporty wagon build?:
✅ Thicker sway bars (26mm F & 22.2mm R)
✅ Heavy-duty rear sway bar brackets
✅ Lowering springs (H&R)
✅ New struts (KYB)
✅ Roof rack delete
✅ Beefier sway bar end links (MOOG)
✅ Freer-flowing muffler, resonator & catalytic converter
❌ Freer-flowing y-pipe
✅ 2nd gen front brakes
✅ 2nd gen rear brakes
❌ Wider wheel & tire setup (245/55R18, 18 x 8"), 30mm offset

Pros:
  • Soft handling is gone - more responsive during hard driving
  • The car can actually oversteer now
  • Body roll has been reduced heavily
  • Less wind noise and better mileage on the highway
  • Greater stability and confidence at highway speeds or during emergency maneuvers
  • Harder to break traction
  • Exhaust is a lot louder and deeper, but very subtle until you get on it
  • Acceleration is more responsive
  • More confidence in the brakes with the dual piston 2nd gen setup

Cons:
  • Slightly harsher ride
  • Small bumps can be felt more easily
  • Speed bumps jostle car more due to the large sway bars
  • Less compliance on bumpy/bad roads

Result: The car is a lot nicer to drive! It sits as low as a Camry, and handles a lot better than one too! You wouldn't believe you were driving a 20-year-old near 4000 lb SUV down the road. Lots of handling potential has been gained without a loss of practicality or a big trade-off in comfort. I chose to go with bigger sway bars instead of stiffer springs or coilovers to retain a lot of comfort while reducing a huge amount of body roll. The rigidity of the chassis and the feedback of the hydraulic steering can be appreciated more as well.

Off-road build?:
❌ Lifting springs
❌ 2nd gen rear struts & 2nd/3rd gen front struts
❌ Disconnected sway bars
❌ Mud tires
❌ Skid plate
❌ Bull bar
❌ Sienna 150A alternator
✅ 94R battery
❌ Snorkel

Result: People seem to be happy with their Highlanders off road! I would never do it due to the unibody design and Camry underpinnings, but they do seem to make it work.


My favourite performance mods in order:

Addco 2109 22.2mm rear sway bar & My "MKII" custom rear sway bar brackets
- Transforms the Highlander into a lift-off oversteering beast at the limit. Stiffens up the rear and allows for greater turn in, this is what made the car the most fun to drive. My custom brackets don't flex like the stock AWD ones, which allows for full sway bar potential

AWD 2nd gen 26mm front sway bar
- Keeps the oversteer in check and keeps the front flat while cornering, increases the car's limit before traction is lost. Surprisingly good addition for our AWDs without cutting down on that oversteer. Bonus: Comes with heavier duty brackets & bushings are easier to source out.

H&R RX300 lowering springs & KYB struts
- Reduces that annoying nose dive upon braking and acceleration. Lowers the center of gravity for better handling and works in conjunction with the sway bars to keep the car flat and sporty. The KYB Excel-G struts were a nice combination for these springs considering my blown factory struts had 240k km on them! Helps with the cool factor as well when I park next to a stock Highlander!

Custom exhaust
- A nice exhaust that I pieced together helps me enjoy the sound of the 1MZ-FE which keeps me entertained while I drive the HL. The exhaust is lighter and less restrictive than stock, while having an OEM+ appearance as well as no drone. Just the way I like it! Opening it up results in a nice, throaty sound that is not overly loud at all. Cruising is a mellow and deep note.

2nd gen brakes (front & rear)
- The stock Camry brakes weren't cutting it for me. Now that my car can handle a lot better, it deserves some better brakes should I ever need them. These 2nd gen brakes are a lot beefier and should not fade under any normal circumstances due to how massive they are for the size and weight of our 1st gens. I feel like I won't be needing to do as many brake jobs in the future as well.

Roof rack delete
- Now that the RX is the new "hauling / trip" vehicle for the kayaks and short errands, the Highlander is reserved for the dirty jobs that usually involve loading up the entire interior's volume with crap and going for super long highway drives. Knowing this, I figured I'd take the roof rack off to lower the center of mass and help improve highway mileage. Taking the rack off shed ~20 pounds, cut down on wind noise and certaintly improved the look of the car in my opinion.



My favourite "daily" mods:

Dashcam setup

- My hardwired Viofo front & rear cam setup is the no. 1 critical addition to my ride, and you won't see me own a car without them either. These bad boys keep me covered from any of the crazy crap that occurs on the road. Optional bonus includes: watching said dashcam clips and laughing at them with friends.

Pioneer AVH-2300NEX
- Super essential comfort modification - makes daily driving a breeze. Load up some tunes and play them on your commute, use Waze to spot cops and report hazards - all controlled by a nice touch screen. Bonus includes: Hands-free calling, a reverse camera and a built-in amp to help bring out some life in the JBL speakers.

Buick Park Avenue horns
- We all know how wimpy Toyota horns are, and when my original horns died - there was only one option. Quad-tone NOS (New Old Stock) Buick horns running straight off battery power with a 30 amp relay deliver the appropriate amount of volume for any distracted driver who dares make the mistake of drifting into your lane.

3MZ-FE valve covers
- Having to constantly add oil is not fun, and cleaning up leaking oil in your engine bay and on the floor is even less fun. The updated 3MZ valve covers weren't exactly the latest edition, but they worked perfectly at eliminating my oil burning and leaking issues I had with my old covers. I'm sure the ol' 'Lander enjoys this mod as much as I do.

LED Hybrid Taillights & LED third brake light
- A good safety mod as well as a very aesthetically pleasing one. Extremely bright & vibrant LEDs help your visibility while braking. The Hybrid tails have better coverage & brighter turn signals and reverse lights as well due to the design of the housing. Not having to change bulbs ever again is also nice. These LED assemblies really help modernize the car's appearance.

Rubber floor mats & trunk liner
- Salty, slushy carpet during the winter is no fun. Getting WeatherTechs was a little pricey but dealing with that hassle is far worse. I just leave them in 24/7/365 and they work beautifully. Equally as important is my bucket-style rubber trunk liner. It fits the Highlander's trunk perfectly and helps keep my trunk clean. It also has a nice grippy surface so it helps keep items in place and works well at reducing NVH.

LED footwell lights & LED interior lights
- I never knew I wouldn't be able to live without these until I installed them into my car. They fade on and off with the dome light when you open the door just like the real thing - which completes that OEM+ feel that I crave. These help give the car a more luxurious and modern feel, while helping me locate the parking brake and pedals while entering my car at night. It also comes in handy if I drop something from my seat.

Sound deadening
- A little bit of extra weight worth of sound deadening goes a long way. I stuffed this stuff into all four doors, the trunk lid, the spare tire area and behind rattling trim panels. The result? No more rattles at all and a very quiet ride! The fun part was seeing my passengers (EVERY single one of them!) who are not car people at all ALL notice the day after I installed it! It really makes a big difference in the NVH department and the car is a lot more Lexus-like in the way it handles road noise. Tire noise, car horns & wind noise have been reduced quite a bit. The original speakers can be appreciated more & the doors also sound nicer when you shut them.



_

Interior:

Cabin Air Filter Tray Upgrade [2001-2005 GS300/430, 2001-2006 LS430, 2002-2010 SC430]
Cabin Air Filter Drop-In [1998-2000 GS300/400]
Rear All-Weather Mat [2008-2013 Highlander] (A little tight, but fits fantastic!)
Rear All-Weather Mat [2014-2019 Highlander] (Doesn't fit as well, interferes with console)
Steering wheel [2004-2008 Solara] (Fit perfectly on a 2002 after the air bag was swapped)
Front seats [1999-2003 RX300] (Same seat track, requires rewiring for the heated seats due to dual stage heating on the RX. Passenger side will require wiring for controls as our pass seats are manual. Resembles 2001-2003 Highlander seats in shape)
Rear seats [1999-2003 RX300] (Same seat track, identical to 2001-2003 rear seats apart from leather quality)
Front seats [2004-2009 RX] (Required rewiring for heated seats due to multi-stage heating. Resembles 2004-2007 HL seats)
Rear seats [2004-2009 RX] (Resembles 2004-2007 Highlander 2-row models. Will not fit 3rd row)
Shift knob [1999-2003 RX300] (Woodgrain knob for the RX - fits 2001-2007 models. Wood texture is slightly different than ours)

Threads:

_

Wheel & Tire:


(Note: 2006-2007 Hybrid models require 17” wheels to clear the brakes up front. These models use brakes from the 2nd gen RX so they are larger)

Wheel Specs (Stock)
Size: 16 x 6.5"
Offset: 35mm
Bolt pattern: 5 x 114.3mm
Hub bore: 60.1mm

Tire Specs (Stock)
Size: 225/70R16
Pressure: 30 psi
Load & Speed rating: 101S


1999-2003 RX300 16x6.5” rims
2004-2009 RX330/350 17x6.5” rims
2004-2009 RX330/350 18x7” rims

2010-2015 RX350 19x7.5” rims
2008-2013 Highlander 19x7.5” rims
2008-2013 Highlander 17x7.5” rims

2016-2021 RX350 18x8” (30 offset) rims


Threads:


-

Braking:
Goodridge 21550 stainless steel brake lines [1999-2003 RX300]
Front brakes "Highlander BBK" [2008-2019 Highlander, 2011-2020 Sienna, 2010-2021 RX350/450h, 2015-2021 NX200T/300] - 17" wheels minimum required (GREAT BRAKES)
Rear brakes "Highlander BBK" [2008-2013 Highlander] - Direct fit for 2004-2007 models, 2001-2003 models need to swap to 04-13 rear knuckles, dust shield needs to be bent backward - 16” wheels minimum
Rear brakes [2006-2013 IS350, 2006-2011 GS] - Rotor fitment identical to 2004-2013 models. Same diameter as 2nd gen rears, except 18mm vented rear rotor instead of 10mm solid. Caliper fitment will require fabrication but is possible
Front brakes [2002-2003 ES300, 2004-2006 ES330] - Can run stock rotors & 16" wheels, but dual piston like 2nd gen brakes
Front brakes [2004-2009 Lexus RX, 2006-2007 Highlander Hybrid] - Larger rotor and single piston caliper, same piston diameter - 17" wheels minimum required
Front brakes [1993-1998 Supra] - Test fit by Lexus RX330 owner, fitment was unsuccessful

Threads:

_

Cosmetic:

Hybrid LED taillights [2006-2007 Highlander Hybrid] (Connectors & custom wiring harness required)
LED third brake light (Seal must be fabricated)
DIY Roof rack hole covers (Minor fabrication required)
Reverse camera grommet
Badges [1999-2003 RX300] (Does not fit 2001-2007)

Threads:

_

Misc:

Trailer hitch
[1999-2003 RX300] (Fitment for 01-03)
Trailer hitch [2004-2009 RX] (Fitment for 04-07)
Maruko snail horn (Better) [2002+ 4Runner, 2002+ SC, 2006+ IS, 2007+ LS, 2015+ RC, 1998+ GS], [SUBARU: 2007-2009 Forester]
Denso snail horn (Easier to find)
[2001+ Camry, 1997+ ES, 1999+ RX, 2014+ Highlander, 2009+ Venza, 2005+ Avalon, 2003+ Sienna, 2001+ Tacoma, 2000+ Tundra, 2004+ Solara, 2001+ Sequoia]
Transmission mount [2004-2009 RX, 2008-2013 Highlander 5 spd, 2004-2010 Sienna]
Transmission mount [2010-2015 RX350/450h, 2014-2019 Highlander, 2007-2017 Camry, 2007-2018 Avalon, 2011-2020 Sienna, 2009-2016 Venza, 2007-2018 ES350/ES300h] (Fit perfect other than a minor modification, slightly different shape than original. Smooths shifts better than my original. Required me to grind off the mounting tab on the top for fitment)


Threads:

_

Cooling:

Tow package radiator
Tow package fans
Transmission oil cooler
Power steering cooler
(3 ft of 3/8" power steering/transmission hose required)

Threads:


Engine:
VVT Oil Control Valve
[2AR-FE] (Fitment for 1MZ and 2AZ engines, will run fine)

_

LEGEND:

(Brackets) - Extra details
[Brackets] - Cars this part can be obtained from, brand will be added in CAPITALS: if it is not from Lexus/Toyota
Underline - Currently installed on my car
Green - Direct upgrade confirmed fit
Blue - Untested fitment
Bold - OEM part
Yellow - Not 100% direct bolt on, some fabrication required
Orange - POSSIBLE but not recommended due to difficulty / need to buy other parts
Red - The part will not fit

2001-2003


Cosmetics:

04-07 Headlights
04-07 Tailights (Passenger side rear side marker socket needs to be modified)
04-07 Grille (Has to have matching 04-07 bumper for bottom tabs to line up)
04-07 Front Bumper (Some non-structural holes don't line up, but it works)
04-07 Rear Bumper (Some non-structural holes don't line up, but it works)

Threads:

__

Braking:
Rear Calipers
[1999-2003 RX300] (41mm piston vs 38mm) - AWD MODELS ONLY

__

Suspension:

Rear sway bar bushings 16mm FWD
[1997-1999 Avalon, 1997-2001 Camry, 1999-2003 Solara (V6 or Convertible), 1997-2001 ES300, 2004-2009 RX FWD]

Front knuckle, hub & wheel bearing assembly [2004-2007 Highlander] (Couldn't find one for a 2001-2003, fit was identical to my original parts other than the outer tie rod. Solution was 2004-2010 Sienna inners, and 2004-2007 outers. 2nd gen outers with stock inners may work)

Rear knuckle, hub & wheel bearing assembly [2004-2007 Highlander, 2008-2013 Highlander] (The 2004-2007 Highlander rear knuckles are beefier, easier to service and allow you to run the 08-13 rear brakes, the 2008-2013 version is even thicker. Both knuckles require you to run 2004-2007 rear control arms)

Rear struts [2004-2007 Highlander] (These work fine, but you need to use an 01-03 strut mount as the 04-07 studs are a larger diameter and would require drilling. Another issue is the sway bar end links are a little shorter on the 2004-2007 models, but they still fit. This causes the sway bar to be pointing down a little bit due to the positioning being lower on the 2004-2007 struts - making the sway bar a little softer.)

Front Strut Boot / Upper Isolator [2004-2013 Highlander] (Fit like a glove)


AWD:
MOOG K750098 Links [NISSAN: 2007-2019 Versa, 2009-2014 Cube, 2015-2019 Micra]
Addco 2109 22.2mm Rear Sway Bar [2001-2003 Highlander AWD]
Hardrace Q0550 17mm Rear Sway Bar [2001-2003 RX300 AWD]


FWD:
See 2001-2007 category ^

Threads:


__

Electrical:
130A Tow Package Alternator
150A Sienna Alternator [2004-2006 Sienna] - (3.0/3.3 ONLY, adapters required for 3.0)

Threads:

__

Exhaust:
Magnaflow 91005 Catalytic Converter (Welding required)
New Exhaust Hangers over Muffler (Drilling required)

Threads:

__

Engine (1MZ only):
2005+ Revised 3MZ Valve Covers
[2005-2007 Highlander, 2005-2006 Sienna, 2005-2006 RX330, 2005-2006 ES330, 2005-2008 Solara, 2005-2006 Camry SE V6, 2006-2008 RX400h, 2006-2010 Highlander Hybrid]
3MZ Dogbone / Torque Strut Mount [2004-2007 Highlander, 2004-2006 RX330]

__

LEGEND:

(Brackets) - Extra details
[Brackets] - Cars this part can be obtained from, brand will be added in CAPITALS: if it is not from Lexus/Toyota
Underline - Currently installed on my car
Green - Direct upgrade confirmed fit
Blue - Untested fitment
Bold - OEM part
Yellow - Not 100% direct bolt on, some fabrication required
Orange - POSSIBLE but not recommended due to difficulty / need to buy other parts
Red - The part will not fit

2004-2007

Cosmetics:

See 2001-2007 category ^

__

Braking:
Rear Calipers
[2004-2009 Lexus RX] (41mm piston vs 38mm)
Rear Calipers & Rotors [2008-2013 Highlander] (41mm piston vs 38mm, aluminum construction, much larger pad surface, 310mm diameter rotor vs 288mm)
Rear Calipers & Rotors [2006-2013 IS350, 2006-2011 GS] (Big 44mm piston vs 38mm, 18mm vented rotor vs 10mm solid, 310mm diameter rotor vs 288mm, M10 x 1.25 caliper mounting mounting will have to be drilled & tapped to M12 x 1.25 on pre-2011 IS models. Rotor fits and parking brake can be adjusted, wheel spacing same - caliper fitment is a few mm too short, bracket will need to be modified.

__

Electrical:
130A Tow Package Alternator
150A Sienna Alternator [2004-2006 Sienna] - (3.3 ONLY)

__

Suspension:

AWD:

Addco 2109 22.2mm Rear Sway Bar [2001-2003 Highlander AWD]: (You can't run your spare tire with this sway bar)
Ultra Racing UR-AR49-2148 19mm rear sway bar [2004-2009 Toyota Harrier AWD]

FWD:
Rear sway bar bushings FWD
[1999-2003 Solara (I4 Coupe), 2004-2013 Highlander (FWD), 2009-2015 Venza (FWD)]

Rear sway bar 16mm [2001-2003 Highlander FWD, 2004-2009 RX FWD]

See 2001-2007 category ^

BOTH:
26mm Front Sway Bar [2008-2019 Highlander, 2010-2015 RX]: DOES NOT FIT HYBRID, MAKE SURE TO GET RIGHT VERSION
Cusco 924 311 A25 25mm Front Sway Bar [2004-2009 Toyota Harrier]: DOES NOT FIT HYBRID, FITS FWD & AWD

__

MAINTENANCE:


Engine oil:

2001-2007


1MZ & 3MZ: 4.5 L (Without filter) / 4.7 L (With filter)
2AZ: 3.6 L (Without filter) / 3.8 L (With filter)

Spec: 5W30
What I run: Mobil 1 5W30

Drain plug: M12 x 1.25, 14mm 6-point hex, switched to Votex DP006 stainless steel magnetic plug made in USA

__

Coolant:

1MZ (2001-2003)


Standard capacity: 9.4 L
W/Tow package: 10.1 L
W/Rear heater: 10.7 L
W/Heater & Tow pkg: 11.4 L

Spec: Toyota Long Life Coolant
What I use: Toyota Super Long Life Coolant

3MZ (2004-2007)

Standard capacity: 9.4 L
W/Tow package: 10.1 L
W/Rear heater: 10.7 L
W/Heater & Tow pkg: 11.4 L

Spec: Toyota Super Long Life Coolant

2AZ-FE (2001-2007)

Standard capacity: 6.4 L
W/Tow package: 7.1 L
W/Rear heater: 7.7 L
W/Heater & Tow pkg: 8.5 L

Spec: Toyota Super Long Life Coolant

__

Power Steering:

2001-2007


Total capacity: 750 ml (Estimated)
W/Power steering cooler: 900 ml (Estimated)

Spec: Dexron III
What I use: Dexron VI, Synthetic
What others have used: Toyota T-IV, Valvoline Maxlife, Redline D4

__

Automatic Transmission:

U140F (2001-2003 AWD V6, 2001-2007 AWD I4)


Drain & Fill: 3.9 L
Spec: Toyota T-IV
What I use: Toyota T-IV

U151F (2004-2007 AWD V6)

Drain & Fill: 3.5 L
Spec: Toyota T-IV

U151E (2004-2007 FWD V6)

Drain & Fill: 3.5 L
Spec: Toyota T-IV

U140E (2001-2003 FWD V6)

Drain & Fill: 3.3 L
Spec: Toyota T-IV

U241E (2001-2007 FWD I4)

Drain & Fill: 3.3 L
Total capacity: 8.6 L
Spec: Toyota T-IV

__

Transfer Case:

2001-2007 AWD


Drain & Fill: 0.9 L
Spec: 85W90 GL-5
What I use: Mobil 1 75W90 GL-5, Synthetic

Threads:
__

Rear Differential:

2001-2007 AWD


Drain & Fill: 0.9 L
Spec: 85W90 GL-5
What I use: Toyota 75W85, GL-5

Threads:
__

Brake Fluid:

2001-2007


Total capacity: 800 ml (Estimated)

Spec: Toyota DOT 3 Brake Fluid
What I use: ATE TYP200 DOT 4

__

Fuel:

2001-2003


Capacity: 19.8 gal / 75 L
Octane (1MZ-FE): 87 (91 recommended)
Octane (2AZ-FE): 87

2004-2007

Capacity: 19.1 gal / 72 L
Octane (3MZ-FE): 87 (91 recommended)
Octane (2AZ-FE): 87
__

Air Conditioning:

2001-2007

Refrigerant

Type: R-134a
Volume: 1.42 lbs / 0.6 kg

Compressor Oil
Type: Denso ND Oil 8 / PAG 46
Volume: 4.5 oz / 100 ml
__


SPECS:

Model numbers:

2001-2007

ACU20 (4-cylinder, FWD)
ACU25 (4-cylinder, AWD)

2001-2003
MCU20 (6-cylinder, FWD)
MCU25 (6-cylinder, AWD)

2004-2007
MCU21 (6-cylinder, FWD)
MCU26 (6-cylinder, AWD)

2006-2007
MHU23 (6-cylinder, hybrid, FWD)
MHU28 (6-cylinder, hybrid, AWD)

__


Braking:

2001-2007


Setup: Front and rear disc brakes with drum (cable-actuated) floor parking brake, 4-wheel ABS system

Fluid: DOT 3 (OEM) / DOT 4

Master cylinder size: 7/8" bore

Front rotor: 296mm diameter, vented, 28mm thickness
Rear rotor: 288mm diameter, solid, 10mm thickness

Front calipers: Single 64mm metal piston, cast iron body, floating type
Rear calipers: Single 38mm metal piston, cast iron body, floating type

Rotor release bolts: Two M8 x 1.25 bolts for front & rear rotors

Parking brake: 170mm (2001-2003), 190mm (2004-2007 & 2008-2013)

Front caliper bolts: 17mm hex head, M12 x 1.25 bolts

Rear caliper bolts: (2001-2003) 14mm hex head, M10 x 1.25 bolts (2004-present) 17mm hex head, M12 x 1.25 bolts

__


Cooling:

Radiator type: Downflow

Material: Aluminum fins, plastic body/ends

Cap?: Yes

Core thickness: 5/8”, 1” (Towing package)

Cooling fan count: 2




Electrical:

Battery type: Group 24F

Alternator size: 100 amp, 130 amp (Towing package)

Starter motor rating: 1.4 kW (2001-2003), 1.7 kW (2004-2007)



Exhaust:

2001-2003 V6


Pipe diameter OD: 2” (From manifolds), 1.75” (Front pipe), 2.5” (Merge before rear cat), 2.25” (Rear cat, resonator, muffler)

Cat no: 3 (Two pre-cats, one big cat in the middle)

Cat material: Metal substrate

Exhaust material: Cast iron (Manifolds), Mild steel (Flanges excl spring flanges), Stainless (Everything else)

Muffler length: 22” (Resonator), 16” (Muffler)

Muffler types: Oval - Straight through (Resonator), Oval - Baffled (Muffler)

Exhaust setup from front to rear: Front cat, Front pipe w/ flex pipe, Rear cat w/ crushed pipe y-pipe, Main cat, Resonator, Tail pipe, Muffler



Suspension:

2001-2007


Front suspension: Independent, MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar
Rear suspension: Independent, dual-link MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar

Struts: Twin-tube, gas-charged, mounted to knuckle, sway bar end link mounting tab

2001-2007 AWD & FWD:
Front sway bar: 23mm bar, solid, non-adjustable, rubber bushings, subframe-mounted

2001-2003 FWD:
Rear sway bar: 16mm bar, solid, non-adjustable, rubber bushings, subframe-mounted

2004-2007 FWD:
Rear sway bar: 15mm bar, solid, non-adjustable, rubber bushings, subframe-mounted

2001-2007 AWD:
Rear sway bar: 16mm bar, solid, non-adjustable, rubber bushings, unibody-mounted

Front sway bar end links: M12 x 1.25 stud with 6mm allen key, 17mm nut, 10mm thick body, normal ball joint type, 250mm spacing

Rear sway bar end links: M10 x 1.25 stud with 5mm allen key, 14mm nut, 8mm thick body, normal ball joint type, 253mm spacing (2001-2003 AWD), 237mm spacing (2001-2007 FWD, 2004-2007 AWD)

Springs: Linear rate coil springs (F & R)

Lowering springs: Linear (F) Progressive rate coil springs (R) (H&R)

Moog front sway bar end links: M12 x 1.25, 13mm thick, 259mm spacing (measured as 250mm)
Moog rear sway bar end links: M10 x 1.25, 13mm thick, 255mm spacing


Torque specs:

Wheel

Alloy/Steel - 76 ft lbs

Axle nut
Front - 217 ft lbs
Rear - 159 ft lbs

Front Suspension
Strut to knuckle - 155 ft lbs
Upper mount nuts - 59 ft lbs
Piston nut - 36 ft lbs
End link - 55 ft lbs

Tie rod end nut - 36 ft lbs
Control arm to subframe (two front bolts) - 148 ft lbs
Control arm to subframe (rear bushing bolt) - 152 ft lbs
Control arm to balljoint - 94 ft lbs

Brake caliper - 77 ft lbs
ABS sensor to frame - 22 ft lbs
ABS sensor to knuckle - 71 in lbs

Rear Suspension
Strut to knuckle - 133 ft lbs
Upper mount nuts - 29 ft lbs
Piston nut - 36 ft lbs
End link - 29 ft lbs (29 felt loose to me - went 45 instead)

Trailing arm to frame - 83 ft lbs
Trailing arm to knuckle - 91 ft lbs
Suspension member front side nut - 85 ft lbs
Suspension member rear side nut - 134 ft lbs
Toe adjustment cam bolt (AWD) - 83 ft lbs

Shaft to differential carrier bolt - 41 ft lbs
Axle carrier bolt - 59 ft lbs
Brake caliper - 46 ft lbs (2001-2003) / 58 ft lbs (2004+)
Rear suspension arm no 1 & no 2 (FWD) - 74 ft lbs
Rear suspension arm-to-axle carrier bolt (AWD) - 131 ft lbs
Rear suspension arm-to-rear suspension member (AWD) - 83 ft lbs


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Alignment:


2001-2007

- FRONT SUSPENSION -

Toe-in (total)

0° ± 12' (0° ± 0.2°, 0 ± 2mm, 0 ± 0.08 in.)
Rack end length difference - 1.5mm (0.059 in.) or less

Wheel angle (AWD)
Inside wheel - 35°41' ± 1°30' (35.68° ± 1.5°)
Outside wheel: Reference - 31°22' (31.37°)

Wheel angle (FWD)
Inside wheel - 35°28' ± 1°30' (35.47° ± 1.5°)
Outside wheel: Reference - 31°13' (31.22°)

Camber
AWD: -0°35' ± 45' (-0.58° ± 0.75°)
FWD: -0°40' ± 45' (-0.67° ± 0.75°)
Right-left error: 45' (0.75°) or less

Caster
AWD: 2°30' ± 45' (2.50° ± 0.75°)
FWD: 2°45' ± 45' (2.75° ± 0.75°)
Right-left error: 45' (0.75°) or less

Steering axis inclination
AWD: 10°35' ± 45' (10.58° ± 0.75°)
FWD: 10°45' ± 45' (10.75° ± 0.75°)
Right-left error: 45' (0.75°) or less


- REAR SUSPENSION -

2001-2003

Toe-in (total)

0°18' ± 12' (0.3° ± 0.2°, 3 ± 2mm, 0.12 ± 0.08 in.)

No. 2 lower suspension arm length difference
1.0 mm (0.04 in.) or less

Camber
AWD: -0°45' ± 45' (-0.75° ± 0.75°)
FWD: -1°20' ± 45' (-1.33° ± 0.75°)
Right-left error: 45' (0.75°) or less


2004-2007

Toe-in (total)

0°18' ± 12' (0.3° ± 0.2°, 3 ± 2mm, 0.12 ± 0.08 in.)

No. 2 lower suspension arm length difference
AWD: 1.0 mm (0.04 in.) or less
FWD: 1.5 mm (0.06 in.) or less

Camber
AWD: -0°40' ± 45' (-0.67° ± 0.75°)
FWD: -1°20' ± 45' (-1.33° ± 0.75°)
Right-left error: 45' (0.75°) or less

__


Lighting:


2001-2003

Front:

Low beam: 9006 (HB4) x 2
High beam / DRL: 9005 (HB3) x 2
Fog light: H3 (H3C) x 2
Front turn signal & marker: 1157 x 2

Rear:
Rear turn signal: 7440NA x 2
Side marker lights: 168 x 2
Brake light & running light: 7443 x 4
Reverse: 7440 x 2
3rd brake light: 921
License plate: 168 x 2

Interior:
Dash: LED
Heated seats: Neo wedge T3 x 4 (2 green & 2 amber)
Rear defrost: Neo wedge T3 x 2 (1 green & 1 amber)
Glovebox: 74
Shifter: 74 (green)
Ashtray: 74
Map light: 31mm festoon
Dome light: 31mm festoon
Trunk light: 31mm festoon
Vanity lights: 29mm vanity x 2
Door courtesy lights: 168 x 2


2004-2007

Front:

Low beam: 9006 (HB4) x 2
High beam / DRL: 9005 (HB3) x 2
Fog light: 9006 (HB4) x 2
Front turn signal & marker: 1157 x 2

Rear:
Rear turn signal: 7440NA x 2
Side marker lights: 168 x 2
Brake light & running light: 7443 x 4
Reverse: 7440 x 2
3rd brake light: 921
License plate: 168 x 2

Interior:
Dash: LED
Heated seats: Neo wedge T3 x 4 (2 green & 2 amber)
Rear defrost: Neo wedge T3 x 2 (1 green & 1 amber)
Glovebox: 74
Shifter: 74 (green)
Ashtray: 74
Map light: 31mm festoon x 2
Dome light: 31mm festoon
Trunk light: 31mm festoon
Vanity lights: 74 x 2
Door courtesy lights: 168 x 2


2006-2007 (Hybrid)

Front:

Low beam: 9006 (HB4) x 2
High beam / DRL: 9005 (HB3) x 2
Fog light: 9006 (HB4) x 2
Front turn signal & marker: 1157 x 2

Rear:
Rear turn signal: 7440NA x 2
Side marker lights: 168 x 2
Brake light & running light: LED
Reverse: 921 x 2
3rd brake light: 921
License plate: 168 x 2

Interior:
Dash: LED
Heated seats: Neo wedge T3 x 4 (2 green & 2 amber)
Rear defrost: Neo wedge T3 x 2 (1 green & 1 amber)
Glovebox: 74
Shifter: 74 (green)
Ashtray: 74
Map light: 31mm festoon x 2
Dome light: 31mm festoon
Trunk light: 31mm festoon
Vanity lights: 74 x 2
Door courtesy lights: 168 x 2

__


Plugs:


2001-2007

Engine: M12 x 1.25, 14mm 6-point hex head (Upgraded to Votex DP006 magnetic stainless plug)

Torque spec: 33 ft-lbs

Transmission: M18 x 1.5, 10mm thread height, 10mm allen recessed plug (Upgraded to Cummins 3924147 magnetic drain plug, friend used PSR0401-1)
Torque spec: 36 ft-lbs (drain), 67 in-lbs (pan), 8 ft-lbs (filter)


Transfer case:
Drain - M18 x 1.5, 12mm thread height, 24mm 6-point hex head, magnetic
Fill - M18 x 1.5, 10mm thread height, 24mm 6-point hex head
Breather - ?

Torque spec: 36 ft-lbs (plugs), 57 in-lbs (breather)

Rear differential:
Drain - M18 x 1.5, 12mm thread height, 10mm allen recessed plug, magnetic
Fill - M18 x 1.5, 10mm thread height, 10mm allen recessed plug
Breather - M16 x 1.5, 17mm hex head

Torque spec: 36 ft-lbs (plugs), 15 ft-lbs (breather)

Radiator:
Petcock - M14 x 2.0, plastic threads with rubber o-ring

Rotors:
Release - M8 x 1.25, x2

__

Engine:

*Note - these are mainly for reference reasons, take them with a grain of salt

2001-2003 6-cylinder:
Model: 1MZ-FE, 3.0 L DOHC V6 with VVTi
Construction: Aluminum block & cylinder head, aluminum intake, closed deck
FI: Multi-port Fuel Injection (MFI)
Drive: Timing belt, Cable throttle
Power: 210 hp @5800 rpm
Torque: 222 ft-lb @4800 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Interference?: No

2001-2003 4-cylinder:
Model: 2AZ-FE, 2.4 L DOHC I4 with VVTi
Construction: Aluminum block & cylinder head, PA6 plastic intake, open deck
Drive: Chain, Electronic throttle
Power: 155 hp @5600 rpm
Torque: 163 ft-lb @4000 rpm
Compression ratio: 9.6:1
Interference?: No

2004-2007 6-cylinder:
Model: 3MZ-FE, 3.3 L DOHC V6 with VVTi
Construction: Aluminum block & cylinder head, PA6 plastic intake. closed deck
Drive: Belt, Electronic throttle
Power: 225 hp @5800 rpm
Torque: 242 ft-lb @4800 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Interference?: Yes

2004-2007 4-cylinder:
Model: 2AZ-FE, 2.4 L DOHC I4 with VVTi
Construction: Aluminum block & cylinder head, PA6 plastic intake, open deck
Drive: Chain, Electronic throttle
Power: 160 hp @5600 rpm
Torque: 166 ft-lb @4000 rpm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Interference?: No

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Rear differential:

Ratio: 2.928

Type: Open differential (17SU), Limited Slip Torsen differential (17TU) - select 01-03 models without traction control, LSD also optional on 1999-2000 Lexus RX300

Size: 6.7”




Front & center differential:

Front type: Open differential

Center type: 50/50 split (non-locking)

The front & center differential are lubricated using fluid shared with the transmission. Therefore, these two differentials do not have a separate plug to service them.




Transfer case:

Type: MF2AV Viscous coupling (2001-2003), MF2A standard t-case (2004-2007)

Outward appearance is identical between all 01-07 models, however the 04+ models dropped the VC

Fun fact: 2007-2009 RX350 has the same VC transfer case as the 01-03 models down to the part number




Transmission:


2001-2003 V6 FWD:

Transmission/Transaxle: U140E
Type: 4-speed automatic w/ OD
Gear ratios:
1st2nd3rd4thReverseFinal
3.9382.1941.4111.0193.1413.480


2001-2003 V6 AWD / 2001-2007 I4 AWD:
Transmission/Transaxle: U140F
Type: 4-speed automatic w/ OD
Gear ratios:
1st2nd3rd4thReverseFinal
3.9382.1941.4111.0193.1413.080


2004-2007 V6 FWD
Transmission/Transaxle: U151E
Type: 5-speed automatic w/ OD
1st2nd3rd4th5thReverseFinal
4.2352.3601.5171.0470.7563.3783.478


2004-2007 V6 AWD
Transmission/Transaxle: U151F
Type: 5-speed automatic w/ OD
1st2nd3rd4th5thReverseFinal
4.2352.3601.5171.0470.7563.3783.478


2001-2007 I4 FWD
Transmission/Transaxle: U241E
Type: 4-speed automatic w/ OD
Gear ratios:
1st2nd3rd4thReverseFinal
3.9432.1971.4131.0203.1452.740


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Tow Package add-ons:


Cooling:

1" thick radiator
Heavy duty fans
Transmission oil cooler
Power steering cooler (I4 only, fitment possible on V6)
Engine oil cooler (I4 only)

Electrical:
130 amp alternator
Towing converter/module

__


3rd row add-ons:


Suspension:

Stiffer rear springs

Interior:
Folding third row seating concealed in the trunk


__


Limited add-ons:


Interior:

Soft touch door panels (Most models)
Leather seats (Most models)
Leather shift knob
Leather steering wheel
Heated seats
SRS side air bags
Steering wheel radio controls (04-07)
Powered driver's seat (01-03) - Standard in 04+
Powered passenger's seat (04-07)
Wood grain interior trim
Automatic climate control
Sunroof
JBL sound system
Auto headlights
Diversity antenna integrated into rear glass
Homelink garage opener
Auto-dimming & compass mirror (04-07)
Vanity mirror lights

Exterior:
Rear spoiler
Limited badge
Fog lights
17" rims (04-07)


__


Random stuff:

PCV fuel line size: 3/8" (AN6)
Power steering line size: 3/8" (10mm)
Transmission oil cooler line size: 3/8" (10mm)
Vacuum hose size: 3/16" (5mm)
Steering wheel diameter: 380mm / 15"
Horn quantity & type: 2, disc, single-wire
Windshield wiper inserts: 22" (Driver's side), 19" (Passenger side), 12" (Rear)
Rear wiper type: H307
Steering ratio: 16:1
Turns to lock: 2.98 - 3 turns
Steering angle: ?

Exhaust pipe OD: 2” (Headers), 2.5” (Merge after y-pipe), 2.25" (Everywhere else)
Catalytic converter material: Metal substrate
Catalytic converter quantity: 3 (2 pre-cats on each manifold, 1 main one underneath the car before the resonator)
Exhaust hanger hole size: 12mm / 0.47"
Exhaust hanger hole spacing: 38mm / 1.5"
Exhaust hanger overall size: 68mm L, 54mm W, 25mm H
Hanger material: EPDM Rubber

Front subframe compatibility (Part no. 51100-48073):
2001-2013 Toyota Highlander (excl hybrid)
2004-2015 Lexus RX (excl hybrid)

Rear subframe compatibility AWD (Part no. 51206-0E020):
1999-2009 Lexus RX (excl 400h)
2001-2013 Toyota Highlander (excl hybrid)
2009-2015 Toyota Venza

__


USEFUL THREADS FROM OTHERS:


CR Threads:




WEIGHT STATISTICS:

NOTE: These are just for fun! Information may not be 100% accurate


- Gross weight -
All: 4985

- Curb weight -

2001-2003:


I4, FWD: 3485 lbs
I4, AWD: 3715 lbs

V6, FWD: 3660 lbs
V6, AWD: 3880 lbs


2004-2007:

I4, FWD, 2-row: 3520 lbs
I4, FWD, 3-row: 3570 lbs
I4, AWD, 2-row: 3750 lbs

V6, FWD, 2-row: 3650 lbs
V6, FWD, 3-row: 3705 lbs
V6, AWD, 3-row: 3935 lbs


2006-2007 Hybrid:

V6, FWD: 4070 lbs
V6, AWD: 4245 lbs


Other parts:

Full tank of gas (2001-2003): 123.8 lbs
Full tank of gas (2004-2007): 118.9 lbs

OE trailer hitch (2004-2007): 50 lbs
16" alloy spare: 44 lbs
Roof rack rails + hardware: 13 lbs
Roof rack OE cross bars: 4 lbs
OE front sway bar (2001-2003): 11.2 lbs
OE rear sway bar (2001-2003): ?
AWD front sway bar (2008-2019): 14.7 lbs
Addco rear sway bar: ?

Front calipers (2001-2007): ?
Front rotors: (2001-2007): ?

Rear calipers (2001-2003): ?
Rear rotors: (2001-2003): ?

Rear calipers (2008-2013): 4.75 lbs x2 = 9.5 lbs
Rear rotors: (2008-2013): 13.1 lbs x2 = 26.2 lbs

Rear calipers: (2006-2013 IS350): ?
Rear rotors: (2006-2013 IS350): 13.9 lbs x2 = 27.8 lbs



__

OTHER MODS:

4-Tone Buick Park Avenue horns W/ 30-amp Bosch relay & 20 amp inline fuse
OSRAM 9011HIR 65w high beam bulbs
Pioneer AVH2300-NEX head unit W/ reverse camera & hands-free calling
Heavy duty custom rear sway bar brackets
94R Battery
Oil Catch Can
Hood Light
Metal pedal inserts for Camry
LED interior bulbs
Footwell lights connected to dome
22" glasspack
16" baffled muffler (2015 Mustang GT muffler)
Low profile tail pipe

Threads:

Showcase:

__



TheLowlander - Last edited: October 2nd, 2021
 

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11 Posts
Thank you. You spent a lot of time and effort to put this together, this will prove helpful for future mods. I see new rims in the future, and probably some styling upgrades if I can find something understated, but aggressive.
 

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02 Highlander
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29 Posts
This is a fantastic work of art Lowlander. Well done sir. I hate to think about the total amount of time it took to put this together. Thank you so much.
 

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Hey guys. First off great review and R&D. After reacing through OP couple of times, i have some questions. I have 2006 HHybrid. I want to lower it a bit, is OP saying that OEM Lexus 400H springs will lower our HH by 1-1.5"? Or is lowering springs for Lexus 400H will lower it by that much. Also, as far as stiffening up our "fat asses" typically KYB or Bilsteins would be the way to go. Is this correct? Or Coilovers is the only way. Any performance add-ons out there besides K&N drop in filter with modified cold air scoop from the front grill? ( i am very surprised this "hybrid" pulls soo hard in stock form). I removed third row seat, spare tire, plus misc. brackets/dead rubber weights/etc. , and she woke up at 160k lol (ex wifey ex car lol). Thanks in advance. Trying to overrun friends 2019 X5 X50, and im almost there lol. Even he cant belive it.
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You’ll need to get lowering springs for the RX400h to lower it, H&R are the only guys who make a set at the moment. Regular RX lowering springs would likely be a little too soft for your heavier hybrid. Venza ones are available too, but no one has these springs on our cars yet, so the height change could be more or less than we might think.

I have KYB on mine and love them, certainly a little stiffer than stock but comfortable. You could go for Bilstein, but then you’d be adding ground clearance as they’re only offered for 2nd gen models which have taller struts. Definitely do the rear sway bar, these cars need it badly. Still my favourite mod to the car to this day. Oversteer in an old FWD-based SUV puts a surprise on many people’s faces!

For anything performance-related, I would focus on the crappy y-pipe on our exhausts. It is the most restrictive part of the whole system and you should benefit from putting in a stainless, stamped piece over the crappy factory crushed pipe setup. I would see if you could find someone to tune your 3MZ engine for more power possibly.


Here are the lowering springs for sale, I’d grab them while they’re cheap!

 

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Thanks for the update and a link for the springs. But these springs are for non-hybrid RX. Arent they softer or weaker per say? Also, i went on H&R website to cross reference and they dont show any part numbers for springs for 400H RX.
Also, cant find that Addco 2109 sway bar anywhere 😭😭😭
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You’ll need the 04-07 rear sway bars listed above in my post, the Addco 2019 is for 01-03 models and may be discontinued.

29357-2 - This is for the RX400h, they are not listed on H&R’s website, but they are the correct ones

29357-1 - These are for the RX300 and are the ones I have, these also don’t appear on H&R’s website anymore either
 

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2005 Highlander Limited V6 FWD
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4 Posts
I'll probably be refreshing my 2005 Highlander V6 FWD's suspension next year with new KYB struts and lowering springs. My search shows 52485 as the H&R part number for the 99-03 RX300. Is this not the right one?

Also, I'm looking at various KYB and Monroe parts, and I can't make sense of some parts, namely the upper spring isolator and the bellow. Some pictures show the two integrated into one part, and some show them as separate parts, like a rubber isolator ring that fits into the upper mount and a generic cylindrical bellow. Which one is the correct design?
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Those are H&R’s new springs that replaced the earlier part number. I don’t know if they produce the older ones anymore, but I purchased them because they specified they would lower the car by 1.5” (which they did) instead of 1.2”. I’m sure they both work just fine.

For the upper spring isolators, I would definitely get the OE-style with the integrated boot for the front & rear, instead of the cylinder bellow you have to tie on. I purchased those at first, but didn’t like their fitment so I ended up just not using them.
 

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2005 Highlander Limited V6 FWD
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4 Posts
Those are H&R’s new springs that replaced the earlier part number. I don’t know if they produce the older ones anymore, but I purchased them because they specified they would lower the car by 1.5” (which they did) instead of 1.2”. I’m sure they both work just fine.

For the upper spring isolators, I would definitely get the OE-style with the integrated boot for the front & rear, instead of the cylinder bellow you have to tie on. I purchased those at first, but didn’t like their fitment so I ended up just not using them.
Oh. Didn't realize the difference was in the drop. Wonder why they made that change. Thanks for pointing that out! And maybe it'd be a good idea to get a Monroe Quick-Strut and replace the springs with H&R. I emailed Monroe to see if the struts used in the Monroe Quick-Strut assemblies is the same as the Monroe OESpectrum struts.
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm guessing they backed off on the lowering and stiffness to make them more comfortable like the Eibachs, but that's just my guess. My old stock H&R's on KYB struts are FIRM and that's just the way I like it. It's still comfortable, and handles really tight like a sport sedan with these springs and stiffer sway bars on. They also switched production from Germany to USA, so maybe they're trying to cater more to the American market?

I'm interested to see Monroe's response. I wonder how the softer-valved Monroe struts will hold up to the stiffer springs, hopefully they don't get chewed up like usual when lowering springs are installed on OE struts. Another thing to consider is the quality of the rest of the components with the quick struts i.e: Bump stop, spring isolators, hardware, mounts, etc. I hope they're at least on par with the KYB ones I got, which were a little disappointing to say the least, especially the lower spring isolators. They weren't made in Japan like the struts are were cheap quality (without the cheap price tag!).

If you live somewhere with a lot of corrosion, I would recommend getting some sway bar end links as well. They get really stuck on and the allen key insert always strips out, I had to cut all of mine off and it was a pretty big pain in the butt. Good luck with the project! I would love to see a follow up!
 

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2005 Highlander Limited V6 FWD
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I'm guessing they backed off on the lowering and stiffness to make them more comfortable like the Eibachs, but that's just my guess. My old stock H&R's on KYB struts are FIRM and that's just the way I like it. It's still comfortable, and handles really tight like a sport sedan with these springs and stiffer sway bars on. They also switched production from Germany to USA, so maybe they're trying to cater more to the American market?

I'm interested to see Monroe's response. I wonder how the softer-valved Monroe struts will hold up to the stiffer springs, hopefully they don't get chewed up like usual when lowering springs are installed on OE struts. Another thing to consider is the quality of the rest of the components with the quick struts i.e: Bump stop, spring isolators, hardware, mounts, etc. I hope they're at least on par with the KYB ones I got, which were a little disappointing to say the least, especially the lower spring isolators. They weren't made in Japan like the struts are were cheap quality (without the cheap price tag!).

If you live somewhere with a lot of corrosion, I would recommend getting some sway bar end links as well. They get really stuck on and the allen key insert always strips out, I had to cut all of mine off and it was a pretty big pain in the butt. Good luck with the project! I would love to see a follow up!
Slightly less lowering and stiffness may be more of what I'm looking for anyways, because I use my Highlander for work commuting and driving distances. Monroe got back to me very quickly, but they only said that the struts in the Quick-Struts are "similar" to the OESpectrum ones. Just saw that KYB has a Strut-Plus kit, which is a complete assembly as well. Based on pics, the Strut-Plus kit looks like it has the plastic boot, and the Quick-Strut kit has the one-piece rubber boot, so KYB may be using the same cheap parts you are seeing.

I just got my car, and fortunately, my car has 127k miles and was from Florida, so there's no signs of rust anywhere. I'm still keen on getting all fresh parts due to age, so that's why the complete assemblies are appealing. Currently no real issues, so I'm going to run it through its paces until next summer before move on modifying it, but I definitely want to lower it and upgrade to 2nd gen front calipers at minimum.
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks like the new H&Rs will be great then. Maybe they discontinued the older springs due to complaints of them being too stiff? We’ll never know I suppose. My KYBs were the Excel-G struts, and I had to source out the other hardware and strut boot from Monroe. It was a little bit of a pain to find all the parts, as most of them are not listed on Rockauto.

OH BOY, I could go on all day about how good the 2nd gen calipers are. I would even go for the rears too if you’re willing to adapt the rear backing plate, they’re so much nicer and beefier. The brake bias does feel a little front heavy now, but it’s still way better than stock, seized calipers. I even got the 2nd gen rears on as a mockup, but I haven’t actually hooked them up and went back to stock for now as I’m going to do the whole rear end in one shot (swapping my entire rear to 2004-2007 setup).
 

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2005 Highlander Limited V6 FWD
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Looks like the new H&Rs will be great then. Maybe they discontinued the older springs due to complaints of them being too stiff? We’ll never know I suppose. My KYBs were the Excel-G struts, and I had to source out the other hardware and strut boot from Monroe. It was a little bit of a pain to find all the parts, as most of them are not listed on Rockauto.

OH BOY, I could go on all day about how good the 2nd gen calipers are. I would even go for the rears too if you’re willing to adapt the rear backing plate, they’re so much nicer and beefier. The brake bias does feel a little front heavy now, but it’s still way better than stock, seized calipers. I even got the 2nd gen rears on as a mockup, but I haven’t actually hooked them up and went back to stock for now as I’m going to do the whole rear end in one shot (swapping my entire rear to 2004-2007 setup).
I've actually read all your threads multiple times over! lol. The front caliper upgrade is the one mod I'm most interested in out of everything. The brakes are really lacking, and the springs to help with nose dive and some body roll. The rears I'm not sure are worth it for me, but if mine ever become seized, the 04-09 RX rear calipers sound like a quick and easy upgrade.
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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599 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The difference is definitely night and day, I wasn’t a fan of the feeling of the flimsy Camry setup up front. I don’t know why I subjected myself to those brakes for so long lol. We’ll see how they hold up when I track the car! (I’ll post an update AND videos)!

Since the Highlander isn’t ready yet, I drove my buddy’s car and I could just tell the ol’ Highlander would be tearing it up like a champ. I’m also going to add some brake vents up front to help compliment the extra cooling those big rotors have. The absurdity of this all makes it even more satisfying!

Springs really cut down on the body roll and nose dive. The stock ones are very soft and have a big bias for understeer, I bet the FWD ones on your car are even worse. It made the car feel so much more confident and stable on the highway after I put them on. No more “jello” feeling when you’re pulling a u-turn as well, although my AWD wasn’t too bad with that stock compared to other SUVs I’ve driven.
 

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Kluger (Highlander) CV - 2006 - 4WD
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66 Posts
We’ll see how they hold up when I track the car! (I’ll post an update AND videos)!
Wow you're going to track the car? Keen to hear more about it!

I've been looking under the car and realised that my rear bumper has no foam insert (removed because of the tow bar) and must act a bit like a parachute. I can't imagine how much drag that's causing and have been looking for ideas to cover it. My spare wheel doesn't have a cover and that must cause a bit of drag too. From there I've looked at the whole undercarriage. Some sections would be easy to cover to make a bit more aerodynamic while other bits would need some fabrication...I'd be doing this to reduce average fuel consumption (which is my sore point) and not as an attempt to increase acceleration...no point as it's a Highlander lol.

I upgraded the rear sway bar a few weeks ago and it really makes a difference in handling. If I was to do it again I'd probably start with that before moving on to the springs/struts as it was such an easy and inexpensive upgrade.
 

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'02 Highlander V6
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Rear sway bars really work well on our cars, I hope those brackets hold up! I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first Highlander to see a track, and I want to go in with a bang! I did the rear sway bar right before the new struts, and it made a noticeable difference still despite them being in rough shape. But, I really felt its full potential when I put the new struts and springs on.

You can probably get the plastic aerodynamic undercarriage plastic to fit from a 2010-2015 RX350 or 2014-2019 Highlander. On my 2014 RX350, the subframe is shared with the 1st gen HL and that plastic cover would probably fit right on. It only goes to the front section, but it’s quite huge. I’ll take some pictures for you!

Speaking of acceleration, I still want that 2GR-FE swap! That’ll put some spunk in her, but I think the 1MZ/4-speed combo will do just fine at the track. There was a Nissan Altima at the track with a 2.5 and WINTER TIRES and he was still doing well! Driver mod matters the most!

I’m guessing brakes are definitely going to be the biggest issue, as I don’t think we have any dedicated track pads available to us (neither did my friend’s car), still looking as of now. My buddy’s car was his daily driver - a Dodge Charger Pursuit RWD with the 5.7 Hemi, SRT Hellcat Challenger suspension, and an SRT Hellcat Challenger limited slip rear differential. The car did surprisingly well for the weight, and we were able to pass many lighter and smaller cars - I am very impressed with what a heavier car can do! Despite having the Police Pursuit brakes which are very large at 370x32 up front, and 350x22 at the back, the fronts still overheated quite quickly. I was used to the M3 with a BBK, where you can go a whole session without even worrying about your brakes, so I could feel them fading after a few laps and had to cool them down.

Hawk makes their HPS pads for us, but those are a street pad and are known to get glazed like any other non-track pad if you push them hard at the track. I’m interested to see how well the new 330x28 fronts and 310x10 rears do at the track. These brakes may be smaller than the Charger, but I also have the weight advantage by a few hundred lbs. That’s where the brake cooling comes in, I plan on running a setup like on the M3:

(Not the M3, just an example)
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I’ll add holes on the front backing plates, run some silicone high temp hose, run it through inner fender and out some holes in the front bumper - maybe even the fog lights themselves! We’ll see! Will definitely make a separate post about that when the time comes.
 

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Kluger (Highlander) CV - 2006 - 4WD
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You can probably get the plastic aerodynamic undercarriage plastic to fit from a 2010-2015 RX350 or 2014-2019 Highlander. On my 2014 RX350, the subframe is shared with the 1st gen HL and that plastic cover would probably fit right on. It only goes to the front section, but it’s quite huge. I’ll take some pictures for you!
Actually I was going to ask for your assistance as I knew you have a Lexus. Thank you! The HL has (had) an engine cover tray but apparently it's discontinued per the quote I got from Japan yesterday. Only the front one is available. I got quotes on lots of other parts but still to expensive (in my view). A$100 for 1 x window weather belt and I want 4!
5144251442-48020Cover, Engine Under, No.2Discontinued - no longer available
5144151440-48050Cover, Engine Under, No.1AUD $ 89.12View & Purchase


If you could get skirts like they have as standard in Japan it should definitely assist. Can't find them here. If I'm very nice my wife might ask for local pricing when she's back home in Japan next month 😅 I posted these pix in the show your ride section a few weeks back.

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