I want to fit a Lift Kit!

Lift Kits and Lift Kit Suspensions What should I do?

You see them all the time: lifted 4wd's coasting down the highway, sitting on top of towering suspension lift kit and sporting a set of tires so big that even dog's are scared and would not chase them. If you’re the curious type looking to lift up your own rig, a more important question than “How do I get my ride to look like that” is “Why should my ride look like that?”

There are several reasons why people might customize their vehicles with suspension lift kits, as well as quite a bit to know before you get started. If you’re a seasoned veteran who has conquered the most vicious terrains and knows where your vehicle has been and can go then there probably isn’t much for you to learn here, if on the other hand you’re just getting started (offroading or upgrading) and want to familiarize yourself with the basics, read on.

Why should I lift my ride?

Glad you asked. Equipping vehicles with a suspension lift kits involves much more than buying the sexiest looking truck lift kit, chances are good that if that’s all you plan to d, lifting your ride might not be right for you there are easier options to "impress girls or Guys if you are into that" than a lift kit but read on. Installing truck suspension lift kits requires some hard work, a bit of technical savvy, consistent upkeep and attention to your vehicle’s components (more work and maintenance to keep it performing well in all conditions). There are essentially two main purposes for installing truck lift kits: style or function. Although the two are somewhat interrelated, it’s still important to consider which purpose you most wish to pursue, as it will assist you in making the correct modifications to your vehicle.


Style:

Let’s face it: Transforming a vehicle into a style statement to pull chicks has been a popular hobby ever since the advent of the crop top and short skirts. Much as we all might cringe at a hybrid hatchback sitting on 18” wheels, fuzzy handcuffs hanging from the mirror, a bobbling hula dancer or dog statuette on the dash this is style to some. As far as style is concerned, adding truck lift kits makes more of an impression than anything else you can do to your ride, other options are chrome bar work, larger tyres, stickers all over the place and a loud exhaust.
 
Heads turn instantly at the sight of a lifted rig with massive tires that appear to be sprouting fangs and an exhaust system that blows flames and scares stray puppies into hiding (but in no way hurting said puppies). When it comes to adding suspension lift kits to make a style statement, looking good is the easy part. Choosing the right suspension lift kit with attention to comfort, reliability, durability, safety, and not to mention price should be given just as much consideration as those precious inches you want to add (in vehicle height anything else you need to see a doc).


Performance:

So you’ve made the jump into tuning your rig for the off-road world, and you’re ready to take the plunge to invest in one of many truck lift kits. Before diving headfirst into a custom truck lift kit and gigantic tires, there are a number of issues to address to ensure a correct setup. The first step is to ask yourself what you will be doing the most, whether it’s slow-speed rock crawling, high-speed desert racing, general purpose 4 wheeling, mud racing, or long distance open country treks. From there, you can narrow down what you need to do in order to customize your vehicle to suit your needs.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re the experienced professional, tuning your rig for optimum off-road performance is an expensive hobby with numerous factors to be wary of, spring rates, matching springs and shocks, type of shocks, weight, future modifications etc etc etc... The possibilities are limitless, which can sometimes make it hard to determine exactly which suspension lift kits are ideal for what you want.

Where do I begin?

As if determining which suspension lift kits to purchase weren’t complicated enough, installing truck lift kits can alter other components in your vehicle, sometimes causing unforeseen issues that could affect performance or be potentially detrimental to the vehicle itself. For example, drive shaft length, steering geometry, brake lines, highway performance and handling, gear ratios, and overall weight are just a few of the factors that could potentially be impacted by adding truck suspension lift kits and things to take into account.

Speaking with a mechanic can provide some insight. Reading off-road magazines, internet message boards, manufacturer’s guides, and a number of other resources can help as well. By far the most useful way to determine what truck lift kits are right for you and your vehicle is to consult an experienced and knowledgeable person who has a vehicle or has setup one similar to yours and uses it in the manner similar to what you want to do.  Not only can such a person suggest the correct products, but also likely has experience with installation tips and general drivability and help you avoid death wobble and other scary conditions.


What does a Suspension Lift Kit do?

1.Clearance
For starters, one of the foremost reasons for installing truck suspension lift kits is to raise the height of your ride off the ground to stop fat chicks getting in (again helping), enable steeper ascent or descent off-road (ramp angle), and higher ground clearance (ramp over). In general, it makes sense that when driving over boulders, slogging through mud, coasting across the desert, or even just making your way through the occasional forest trail, higher clearance facilitates negotiating certain obstacles easier. This can often be a tricky bit of artistry to manage, as higher clearance also raises your vehicle’s center of gravity, which can reduce handling and does not necessarily increase traction.

2.Larger Tire Fitment
The general consensus suggests that larger tires equate to more traction, right? Well, not entirely. While larger tires may provide some improvement to traction in off-road conditions, there are other ways to improve a vehicle’s traction that are far more efficient than simply bulking up the rubber. Aside from the obvious stylistic discretion, the main reasons for adding larger tires are for higher vehicle clearance for improved performance in mud, deep snow, rocks, and deeply rutted trails. Certain tires designed specifically for off-road conditions can improve traction depending on the circumstances, but the added clearance is the most immediate and direct benefit of larger tires.

3. Only agile coordinated people can climb in

Factors to Consider with Truck Suspension Lift Kits:

Many manufacturers do not allow for lift kits onto certain vehicles; however, some can be lifted, requiring some welding or cutting in order to add some necessary components. In this case, having a trusted mechanic or a few knowledgeable friends is the best resolution.

 

 

 

 

  • Upgrading to taller tires also means that a number of components may require part upgrades or some tuning to compensate. For instance, a truck’s engine is tuned at specific gear ratios to propel the vehicle.  When adding taller tires, the gear ratios must be tweaked accordingly, since the engine has to spin much larger, heavier tires.
  • Larger, wider tires can sometimes result in instability on roads or a noisy, uncomfortable ride, particularly at high speeds.
  • More aggressive off-road tires tend to wear faster on the highway, and traction might not be as great as you would expect on wet roads.
  • Larger tires are heavier, which can put a lot of strain on your suspension, and fuel economy.
    Adding truck suspension lift kits will undoubtedly raise the vehicle’s center of gravity, resulting in less stable turns. This is a common issue when installing truck lift kits, but is mostly just a matter of becoming accustomed to a vehicle’s change in performance.
  • Some suspension lift kits are such a serious change in your suspension system that it may not be legal.  Check the suspension regulations within your country, state, or province to be sure.
    Adding modifications later (like barwork) may mean you need to change the suspension setup.

So would I do it? Yes I have but as with anything it is your choice as to when and why. I would install barwork to protect the body, lights, replace the bumpers and a winch first because these all add weight... oh and add offroad tyres (for the current height vehicle), most of this can be removed if you decide another 4wd will be a better fit to you and will keep your truck in the best condition and when you do lift it you will not spend the money 2,3 or more times changing springs and shocks to suit the new weight height or driving style.

Remember after all this info you can come in for a chat, you may even understand all this better when explained in front of your vehicle :)

Manufacturers

EFSCalminiFull TractionSuperwinchKumho