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Choosing The Right Lift Kit For Your Truck

We love trucks for the unlimited possibilities they offer. With a truck you can haul stuff, tow trailers or campers and also go just about anywhere you please with the right lift kit.

Getting the right lift kit that suits your truck enables you to hit dirt roads, go rock crawling and even explore all kinds of rugged terrain. Simply put, installing an aftermarket lift kit on your truck will help you maximize its potential or at the very least, improve your vehicle’s look.

One of the questions we get asked a lot here at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive is, “How do I choose the right lift kit for my truck?”

To help you make an informed decision, we decided to highlight the different kinds of lift kits as well as their pros and cons. Choosing the right lift kit for your truck boils down to a few key things:

  • The type of truck you drive. Your vehicle’s make or model can determine the kind of truck lift and suspension package you can get. Some models come with lifting equipment already, making the process slightly easier.

  • How you want to use your truck. What will you use your truck for? Will it be a weekend off-roader or is it your daily driver? Is a smooth ride important to you and will the extra inches make it harder to climb in and out of your truck?

  • Your desired tire size. The higher your lift, the larger the tires you can fit on your truck so consider the ideal tire to lift ratio.

  • Your budget. How much are you willing to spend on your truck’s lift kit? High-end lift kits can set you back by several hundred dollars and you also have to factor in labor costs.

Types of Truck Lift Kits to Choose From

  1. Leveling Kits

Most trucks sit higher in the back giving the vehicle a “racked” look. As the name suggests, leveling kits help to level out the stance of such trucks from the front to the rear. This is usually done by lifting the front of the vehicle normally using block, extra leaf springs or torsion keys (depending on your truck and suspension type). This simple enhancement takes no more than a couple of hours to professionally install and it can also give you a little extra tire clearance to accommodate tires as tall as 33”. While leveling kits are often installed for aesthetic purposes, they can help improve your truck’s hauling performance by allowing the use of larger, beefier tires.

Leveling kits are ideal for daily drivers, tow trucks or haulers.

Pros

  • Leveling kits enhance a truck’s looks

  • They’re relatively inexpensive

  • Quite easy to install

  • Can improve trucks hauling/towing performance if larger tires are used

Cons

  • No major improvement in off-road performance

  • You can only get minimal tire clearance

  1. Body Lift Kits

Body lift kits are a low-cost way for you to raise your truck. This type of lift kit consists of spacers designed to raise the body of a truck away from the frame. These kits typically provide a 1” -3” lift and in addition to the spacers, they also generally come with front and rear bumper brackets. While body lifts raise the vehicle’s body, the chassis and suspension still retain their height from the ground so no additional ground clearance is achieved. This is the lift kit for you if you’re looking to install larger tires on your truck without compromising your vehicle’s ride quality.

Body lifts are suitable for trucks that get lots of street and highway use because they provide a smoother ride.

Pros

  • More affordable than suspension lift kits

  • The installation has little to no effect on the ride quality and comfort

  • Allows for larger off-road tires up to 33”

Cons

  • The separation of the vehicle’s body from the frame results in a noticeable gap at the rear wheels which can be countered by adding wheel liners.

  • Body lifts don’t come with any performance advantage just larger tire clearance

  • Less flexibility on the size of tires you can add because of the limited lift range

  1. Suspension Lift Kits

This is the go-to truck lift kit for performance-minded customers. If you want a really large lift on your truck, suspension lift kits deliver, allowing you to achieve up to 6” inches of lift and beyond. These kits are also excellent if you want to really build a customized truck because they allow you to virtually install any tire and wheel size.

A suspension lift kit raises a vehicle by either spacing the stock suspension or replacing the entire suspension system with coils springs, torsion bars, lift blocks or add-a-leafs (AALs) to raise the chassis. This creates additional ground clearance and the increased height of the wheel well is able to accommodate larger tires. Not only does this make your truck look badass, but it also enhances its off-roading capability.

Pros

  • Gives your vehicle a tougher appearance

  • Adds ground clearance and allows installation of larger tires

  • Allows a bigger lift than body lift kits

Cons

  • Suspension lift kits are quite pricey

  • Dramatically raises the vehicle so you and your passengers might find it hard to climb in and out of the truck

  • Can affect the vehicle’s suspension and ride quality depending on how high you go

  • Require intricate installation and might call for some cutting and welding

Safety Considerations

Keep in mind that the higher you lift your truck, the more you increase its center of gravity which in turn affects your vehicle’s stability making it more prone to tipping over. If you’re adding more than 4” of height, we recommend getting additional stabilizers.

If you’re thinking of getting a lift kit for your truck, don’t hesitate to stop by any of the specialized Dixie 4 Wheel Drive shops. Our experts would be glad to walk you through the process and also answer any questions you might have.

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Call us at 435-673-2546 or send an email to sales@dixie4wheeldrive.com