Nothing looks quite as good as a big shiny truck on a big set of tires. Pick the right size and style lift, however, can be a challenge. Before you make a purchase, you will want to do a little research and find the look you want to go with.
Body vs. Suspension Lifts
There are two main kinds of lifts on the market – body lifts and suspension lifts. A body lift is done by leaving your suspension in their original place and using spacers and blocks to lift the body (cab, bed, fenders, and bumpers) upward for a factory ride but a bigger look. Body lifts are known to be significantly less expensive than suspension lifts and they normally take less time to install. You can add as much as six inches of clearance by choosing a body lift, which is fantastic if you want to move up to bigger tires. However, body lifts don’t change your ground clearance at all, so they’re geared more toward aesthetics than performance. They can also cause significant body roll when you’re turning, which can be tough to get accustomed to. If you’re driving a truck, most body lifts will leave a large gap between the cab and the bed. This gap can be hidden with specially made gap covers. The worst part about choosing one of these lifts is that it adds stress to your steering components and can cause failures down the line. Along with those risks you will also be stretching wires, hoses, and other lines when you put a large amount of space between the frame and body. Suspension lifts, on the other hand, are much more durable. They make it easier to tackle obstacles by improving ground clearance, which is especially important if you’re planning to take your vehicle off-road. Suspensions lift not only increase clearance but they are also designed to take heavy abuse, much more than the factory suspension can handle. The components can often articulate better in situations where your chassis is torqued from the uneven terrain while offroading.
While suspension lifts me sound great they can also be a pain sometimes. Depending on manufacturer, product, and material they can get very pricey. If you plan on doing some heavy duty wheeling and you didn’t opt for the right suspension lift to suit your needs, you could be incurring some of that cost again after you damage some of your components. That aside, the only other major issue incurred with a suspension lift kit would be the actual installation of the parts. We don’t suggest you tackle this type of installation on your own. There are a lot of tools and expert know-how needed for something of this nature. We suggest you leave this one up to us before you take down your daily driver in the garage and can’t get her back in one piece. There are major safety risks in just doing the tear down before the installation process starts. Not to mention the huge risks of driving it down the road with a pile of “extra” bolts on the workbench.
Choosing a Lift
When it comes down to it, consider your end goal. If you only want to run bigger tires and feel higher up, a body lift may be more than enough for you. On the other hand, if you’re an off-roading weekend warrior, it’s probably a better decision to get a suspension lift system instead. It is also possible to combine the two, some companies already provide kits with a suspension level system and small body lift in one box. Let’s say you already have a 6” lift and you want to clear 37” tires without cutting up your fenders, then you could have a 2-3” body lift installed and clear those monster with ease.
If you are still stuck on what type of lift you need, give us a call or drop by the shop. One of our highly trained team members will be happy to help you and further explain the benefits as well as the draw backs.