When you think about installing a lift kit on your vehicle, there are several factors that you should take into consideration, such as tire size, ride height, ease of installation, price and the amount of use that you expect to get out of the kit. If you have all this information on hand, deciding which lift kit is best for your vehicle comes easy, and it can help you find one at a better price. In this guide we hope to help you understand these different factors and find the best lift kit for your truck.
What you need to know before lifting your truck
Before you purchase a lift kit there are a few things that you will need to know about tire size and how it affects your decision making process. The tire size will determine how much you have to lift the vehicle in order to prevent rubbing against the inner tire wall. You will also need to take into account how you plan to use the vehicle. Is the vehicle going to be your daily driver, or will it be dedicated to driving in off road areas. Obviously, if you plan to access off road areas often, you will need a different lift kit than you would need for a road vehicle, which will have a much lower risk of potential damage.
The two different lift kit types
You will find two types of lift kits available on the market – the body lift kit and the suspension lift kit. Body lift kits are ideal for on road driving while maintaining a very aggressive posture for your vehicle. They are designed to lift only the body of the vehicle, making room for larger tires. They also have the benefit of being budget lifts if you are looking for a more affordable option.
The suspension lift kit is best for vehicles that are meant for serious off roading. It will offer extra ground clearing by lifting the whole suspension system of the vehicle, allowing you to rock crawl and hit the more extreme trails. The downside of the suspension lift kit is its price. Not only does it cost more than the body lift kit, you will also have to spend extra on parts in order to have a good driving experience, improve travel safety and improve ride comfort when you are on the road.
You will be able to lift your vehicle to different heights, and the height of the lift will once again depend on different factors, such as how much clearance you want to have and the size of the tires that you wish to install. The use of the vehicle will also come into play here. If you want to use your vehicle for driving on the road, you will want to lift it less in order to prevent damage to drivetrain and other components. For off road trucks, the sky’s the limit. Also, the higher the ground clearance, the better the vehicle becomes at handling rough surfaces, rocky surfaces and extreme duty use.
The lift kit installation procedure
Some kits will come with installation instructions, which you can use to install the kit on your own if you are mechanically inclined. However, if you are not, you can rely on the professional skills of a mechanic to get the job done. The difficulty of the process will ultimately depend on how high you want to lift the truck. The higher the lift, the tougher the installation procedure. Larger lifts over 3″ start to get more and more difficulty. For 1″-2.5″ inch kits, the job can be done without specialized tools. Once you’re using a 4″, 5″, 6″ inch kit or even larger lifts, you will need the help of a mechanic, because the procedure becomes quite complex and the specialized tools needed are usually found in a professional shop.
There are several accessories that go well with lift kits and that will make your life easier. One of them is skid plates. Skid plates are very useful for off roading, where they act as protection for several crucial components of your truck when you drive over rocky surfaces and other rough surfaces. Side steps are also a worthwhile investment, especially if you have high ground clearance.
Shock absorbers are usually included in most lift kits, but if they are not, you definitely want to invest in some. They are there to increase ride comfort and protect your suspension system. Recovery gear is another awesome component for off roading. Chances are, you will eventually get stuck, and things like d-rings, tow hooks and wenches can help you get out of tough situations.
And speaking of getting stuck while off roading, you will need to get out of your vehicle in order to use your recovery kit – things will get messy if you are stuck in the mud. That mud will get on your shoes and then end up in your car. This is why you want to get a good pair of floor mats to protect your interior. Finally, you could also go for some fender flares. These don’t really add that much functionality to your car, but a lifted truck with fender flares looks great.
Are you interested in installing a lift kit on your vehicle?
Lift kits are a great way to get your vehicle ready for off roading, or to make it look more imposing on the road. We hope that this short guide helped you better understand your options and how different factors can play into your decision when choosing a kit. At Oil Line Auto, we offer lift kit installation services for all truck makes and models. If you would like to find out more information, or if you would like to bring your truck to the shop to a install kit, contact us today.