Picture this: Trucks, Jeeps, and more, coasting down a country road or the highway, towering on suspension lift kits and boasting a set of tires so big you must jump just to get in your seat. Sound appealing? Your next car accessory of choice just might be a lift kit.
If you’re just getting started and want to familiarize yourself with the basics, here are a few FAQs answered by Levin Tire & Service Center technicians to browse while you ponder the decision.
What exactly is a suspension lift/lift kit?
Through the use of a suspension or lift kit, car owners are able to literally pick their vehicle higher up off the ground and thereby install taller tires, changing the look of the car as well as several other aspects of its performance and character.
Why should I lift my rig?
Essentially, there are two main purposes for installing lift kits–performance or style. Transforming your vehicle for style-related purposes has been popular since flame decals and hydraulics were a thing. There’s no question that you will turn heads adding a suspension lift but choosing the right kit while considering comfort, reliability, durability, safety, and price should be given just as much consideration as the extra added height.
The biggest impact a lift kit can have on your vehicle’s performance is when you enter the off-road world. Those who frequently enjoy slow-speed rock crawling, high-speed desert racing, general-purpose four-wheeling, mud racing, or long-distance open country treks are going to benefit from a properly customized Lift Kit. To find the right Lift Kit for your respective off-roading needs, consult with any Levin Tire & Service Technician.
What size Lift Kits are available, and which should I choose?
A small lift consists of 1 to 3 inches and grants you a little more clearance and room to run slightly larger tires. Small lifts are inexpensive and easy to install with very few complications.
A medium lift is roughly 3.5 to 5 inches and is a good choice for those looking for the best tire clearance, but don’t enjoy off-roading activities. Sometimes, medium-sized lifts come with new shocks. When going with the medium option, you’ll need strong rear springs.
The largest lifts one can indulge in are 6 to 10 inches and capture a more aggressive look while also giving your vehicle the best off-road performance. A common large lift setup consists of new front coils, new rear springs, add-a-leafs in the rear, and a matching set of shocks. Keep in mind that on-road performance will be affected.
What day-to-day changes to my truck’s performance should I consider?
Your vehicle's highway performance will be affected. Larger, wider tires can sometimes result in instability on roads or a noisy, uncomfortable ride, particularly at high speeds. Also, 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. In addition, larger tires also mean more weight added. This can put a lot of strain on your suspension, particularly if it’s a stock suspension.
How do I best handle these side-effects?
Before installing a lift kit, it’s a good idea to first examine if any components or accessories need to be upgraded. The most important components that will need a look are brakes, brake lines, axels, gears, differential covers, lockers, longer control arms, track bars, shock absorbers, steering linkage, slip yoke, drive shaft length and u-joint angle. Levin Tire & Service Center technicians are here to help with all of your upgrade needs before and after your lift kit installation. Ready to get started? Call or stop by one of the Levin Tire & Service Center locations with any questions or further information wanted regarding lift kits.