You see them everywhere: Trucks, Sport Utility Vehicles and Jeeps, coasting down the highway with a lift kit and a set of tires so big that they give the vehicle an intimidating appearance. If you’re wondering, “How can I do that to my truck,” you’ve come to the right place for answers because Texas Truck Accessories is a trusted accessory business serving North and East Texas including Dallas, Garland, Rowlett, Royse City, Fate, and Rockwall.
If you’ve also asked yourself, “Why should I lift my truck?” Texas Truck Accessories has the answer to that as well. Equipping trucks with a lift kit involves more than buying the best-looking truck lift kit and taking your truck to the mechanic. Installing lift kits to trucks requires hard work, specialty tools, and certified mechanical training and includes consistent upkeep and attention to your truck’s components. Texas Truck Accessories can help with all of that!
What does a lift kit actually do? Basic functions of lift kits are designed to increase a truck’s ground clearance, tire fitment, and suspension travel. A suspension lift kit works by raising the suspension of a truck through the replacement of the front and rear shocks and leaf springs. In general, a suspension lift kit will elevate a vehicle between four and six inches above its stock stature, though extreme lift kits can reach elevations up to 18 inches. You want to keep in mind the higher you make your truck, the more you also raise the center of gravity increasing the chance of your truck tipping over. It also reduces how the truck handles when driving over boulders, trudging through mud, coasting across the desert or even just driving through a forest trail. You can gain a wider stance by a lower positive offset wheel. This will typically result in the wheels being more flushed to the fender, giving the truck a more aggressive look.
The decisions you make regarding suspension alterations are important. You want to closely evaluate what you are working with and think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Your truck may serve multiple purposes; a daily-driver, hauling, towing and may include some occasional off-roading.
Vehicle drivability can be described as, “the sum of a vehicle’s driving traits and mannerisms.” When a vehicle has multiple roles, the goal is to find the proper balance between on-road drivability and off-road capability. If you have the luxury of owning a vehicle specifically dedicated to off-roading, you can sacrifice higher speed handling traits to maximize suspension and articulation. The suspension is only one part of the performance trio; you must also address your truck’s tires and drivetrain. The key is to get these three vehicles “systems” working together to provide the best possible traction at all time.
There are four factors to consider when figuring out what suspension lift kit will work best for you:
1. Truck type and factory suspension specifications
2. How the truck or Jeep will be used
3. Desired tire size
4. Your budget
Because of all the variables, it is very possible that a “one type fits all” lift kit is not going to be in your best interest. No one offers more lift kits and options that Texas Truck Accessories. Throughout the years, vehicle manufacturers have paid more and more attention to drivability, especially in the area of ride quality. A properly modified, moderately lifted truck generally rides and steers as well as a factory truck. It is not unusual, to noticeably improve drivability depending on your choice of suspension, shocks, and tires. It’s all a matter of what truck you start with and your aftermarket equipment choices. We’d like to share a few rules of thumb to keep in mind.
- A coil spring lift system tends to maintain factory-like ride quality.
- Lifted leaf spring equipped vehicles generally ride factory-like or slightly firmer than stock. As spring arch increases, firmness increases as well.
- On most trucks, with independent front suspension, ride quality does not noticeably change since the factory tension bars, coils or struts are not replaced.
- Properly valved shocks impact ride quality significantly; shocks do not provide lift.
- You want to make sure that tire operating pressures are not higher than needed for your truck’s weight. For example, a full-size SUV requires more air pressure than a Jeep Wrangler, yet they are commonly equipped with the exact same aftermarket tire. Over-inflation degrades ride quality and includes uneven tire wear. Research what pressure is right for your truck’s weight through TX Truck Accessories. • Ride quality is degraded by over-tightening certain suspension components or tightening certain components out of sequence during the installation process. TX Truck Accessories addresses this when installing your truck’s lift.
Different Rear Lift Methods
• Rear block kits tend to be the most popular lift methods since they afford the best ride quality and are the least expensive. However, spring/axle wrap up can be an issue with some trucks. For these, consider utilizing add-a-leaf or replacement rear springs.
• Add-a-leaf can be used with or without lift blocks and are recommended to strengthen weak factory springs and/or when the truck is used for heavy hauling or towing. Top-mounted factory overload springs can be retained when using add-a-leaf.
Net lift Height
• Net lift height varies slightly depending on which suspension package the truck is equipped with and its condition.
• Generally, front lift if more than the rear lift in order to achieve a closer to level front-to-rear attitude.
• The presence of additional weight, such as a winch, heavy-duty bumpers, storage boxes, extra fuel capacity, etc., reduces lift height.
• On trucks that have independent front suspension, the use of exceptionally wide tires and wheels exerts additional leverage on the vehicle’s springs. This leverage results in a slight amount of ride height loss. With torsion bar-equipped trucks, the available torsion bar adjustment may not be adequate to offset this leverage and heavier rated bars may be required. For other suspension types such as TTB and strut, TX Truck Accessories can suggest and find products that will restore this lost height.
Types of Suspension Lift Kits
• Spring over axle (SPOA) lift kits is popular with rock crawlers looking for the most articulation, or up and down wheel travel. These truck lift kits keep the tires on the ground for quality traction, while correctly lifted springs lift everything out of harm’s way, including the springs.
- Shackle reverse suspension lift kits are designed to provide a smooth ride on a mild terrain such as forest roads and scenic trails.
- Coil suspension lift kits offer unbeatable ride quality and cheaper springs which results in a suspension lift kit that provides excellent articulation on the trail and a comfortable ride.
- Lifted spring suspension lift kits are the most commonly used type of truck lift kits. Lifted spring systems are easier to install and an excellent choice for first-time lifters in the off-road world. These truck kits allow you to run larger tires for additional clearance while producing control on the highway.
- Shackle suspension lift kits are primarily for the truck enthusiast looking to add larger tires but are not intending to do much off-roading.
Any questions you may have about lift kits can be answered by our highly trained, knowledgeable certified team members.
CAI (Cold Air Intakes) 101
Cold air intakes are a favorite addition for people who like to customize their trucks and increase the performance of their engine. They also happen to be one of the simplest to install as well. If you’re thinking about adding one to your truck, here’s what you need to know.
What Are Cold Air Intakes?
CAIs, as they’re known, replace the stock intake system on your vehicle. Every combustion engine needs oxygen to run, and the intake is in charge of pulling in fresh, cool air and filtering out harmful contaminants, dirt, and debris. Your stock intake will perform this job, of course, but it’s not the most efficient. Cold air versions utilize different materials, to keep the air cooler and avoid heat soaking, and different filter types to help increase horsepower and miles per gallon.
How do CAIs Work?
It’s easy to understand how cold air intakes work if you think about it like your own lungs. Stock intakes often have smaller ducting and, therefore, more restrictive. They also tend to have unnecessary curves and tight bends in them, making it harder for the air to flow. Think back to the days of crazy straws, it was also more difficult to slurp you tang through a straw that looks like a rollercoaster than it was to use a regular bendy straw with one mild bend. The intake tubing works the same way, the fewer bends, fewer bottlenecks, and fewer obstructions; the faster the air will travel and the more volume of air your engine will get. CAIs remove all the unnecessary curvature. The tubing is much larger in diameter and they use oversized pod filters so your car can pull in greater volumes compared to stock. With stock parts, you usually draw in the air only from a small gap in the sealed filter box. CAIs can have an exposed filter to minimize restriction or a snorkel to draw in the coolest air from the grille area.
The result of greater airflow is more efficient atomization of fuel. The gas will be dispersed and burn more evenly. In turn, you’ll waste less fuel and enjoy the maximum amount of power each time a cylinder fires. In short, you’ll have higher MPGs and more power with only one modification.
Our knowledgeable, dedicated team members are experienced and will be helpful in choosing the options that are just right for you and the vehicle you drive. If you’re in the market for lift kit or just want to inquire or need advice on what your options may be, please contact us at Texas Truck Accessories at 469-698-4460 or visit us online at https://txtruckaccessories.com/.
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