LIFT KITS, YES OR NO?
Spring is closer than you think, fun is too! Each year 4×4 truck, jeep, and SUV owners start itching for upgrades in preparation for Summer, especially lift kits. Even those who don’t go off road start jacking up their ride. Why? Dude, big trucks are cool! There are lots of other good reasons to add some distance between your truck and the road too. In “Lift or No Lift”, we’ll look at the pros, cons, costs, and alternatives of installing a suspension lift, body lift or leveling kit on your vehicle, beginning with the real deal.
Sure, a suspension lift looks awesome on most any truck, but what other benefits does it provide? A suspension lift raises the ride height (distance between chassis and ground) and improves the off-road performance of SUVs or trucks and other off-road vehicles. It’s the best choice for increasing off-road performance significantly and adding much larger tires to tackle the otherwise impassible, less traveled path. The sky’s the limit, she’ll go practically anywhere, and it’s cosmetic appeal is pretty obvious, it’s fierce. Here are some suspension lift benefits.
Improves off-road suspension performance.
Enables higher ground clearance (than a body lift), often between two to twelve inches.
It can eliminate the visible gap between the chassis and the body.
Superior tire clearance.
Increase in fender clearance.
Variety of options and pricing available.
A properly installed high quality suspension lift actually does provide all these benefits, what’s the catch? Well, the drawbacks are worth considering before breaking out your debit card. Here are some disadvantages to moving up in the world.
Dramatically affects handling and ride quality.
A change of suspension geometry requires a wheel alignment.
The risk of rollover increases with a higher center of gravity.
Sometimes requires re-gearing.
Reduces on-road ride comfort.
Reduces gas mileage.
May require augmenting other vehicle systems such as the brakes.
Time-consuming and difficult to install.
More expensive than body lifts.
Virtually pointless without adding larger (more expensive) tires.
This is where some people become disillusioned and stick safely to what they have. However, it’s important to continue researching, there are lots of options. First consider your reasons for lifting and how you can satisfy them practically without breaking the bank.
REASONS TO LIFT
- Suspension lifts are ideal for going off-road. That’s its primary purpose. If that’s your reason, you’re right to consider a suspension lift. Whether it’s through rocks, mud, or in deep snow, having larger tires, more suspension travel, and better ground clearance are very large pros for adding a suspension lift.
- Many newer trucks are built with low-to-the-ground features that make them more car-like. Low bumpers, exhaust, and running boards can all be damaged by rocks and debris-and even just smashed up on rough roads. A lift kit keeps all these mechanical and body parts from being mangled when the road gets rough. Caution, make sure you understand the possible downsides to lifting a new truck, warranties are most often impacted by this type of modification. Check with your dealer first.
- If your lifting for cosmetic reasons this option may be a bit over the top in regards to cost and risk. That can be achieved in many cases with a body lift or leveling kit. In some cases a new set of tires on new or larger rims may be just the thing to get the job done for way less money!
So what costs are involved in following up with a suspension lift? Kits range from $1000.00 – $10’000.00 and even more for the most aggressive kits. You can roughly estimate the installation cost by matching the price of the kit itself, sometimes a bit more. For example, installing a $500.00 – $2000 suspension lift kit will cost you around the same in labor, the more extensive the kits, the higher the implied cost. The lift kit and installation costs are significant, seriously consider what and why you need a suspension lift. My advice is to call around for quotes, get expert practical advice from a professional installer that you or your friends trust before lifting. Have questions, Call (757) 560-4552 and ask for Mike Love.
Next week… Leveling Kits, Body Lifts, and More!
Having a hard time making your decision? I’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you through your decision making process.
Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers.
Staff Writer Diesel Power “Lifting vs. Leveling – which is right for you?” motortrend.com May 1, 2013 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/1305dp-lifitng-vs-leveling-which-is-right-for-you/
Hawley, Dustin “How Much Does It Cost To Lift A Truck?” jdpower.com January 21, 2021 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/how-much-does-it-cost-to-lift-a-truck
Harper, Jeffrey “Body Lift Vs Suspension Lift: Here’s How To Decide Which Is Right For You” hotcars.com October 6, 2020 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.hotcars.com/body-lift-vs-suspension-life-which-is-right-for-you/