Raising Your Truck’s Suspension—Good Idea or Bad Idea?

2019/07/23

Raising your truck suspension is not all about off-roading. With a lifted rig, you can see better and tow and haul better, too. Some lift their trucks just because it’s a great look. There are also good reasons not to raise your truck suspension. Should you raise your truck suspension or stick with stock vehicle height?

Why raise your truck suspension?

The simplest reason to lift a truck is to increase the differentials ground clearance. A stock-height differential is a prime target for rocks, and this increases your chances of getting stuck in the mud. The only way to increase differential height is to fit bigger tires. If the vehicle’s original tires are 28 inches, 33-inch tires will increase the differential height—and the vehicle height—by 2-1/2 inches. A lift kit will keep your bigger tires from rubbing against fenders or suspension components.

There are two kinds of lift kits available: body lifts and suspension lifts. Body lifts push the body up, while suspension lifts push the axles down. Some start with one or the other for bigger tires, better visibility, or load capabilities, but both are usually required in extreme cases.

Commercial lift kits have been around since at least the 1970s. Today, some lift kits include everything for perfect project completion, while others include just a few key lifting components; other parts, such as longer shock absorbers or brake lines, come separately. Some lift kits are bolt-on replacements or additions to your stock suspension, like these adjustable coil spring spacers, while others require professional installation or welding.

Maybe a lift kit isn’t such a great idea

Installing a lift kit isn’t for novice mechanics. Good tools are readily available, but knowledge and experience aren’t so easily obtained, especially when it comes to welding. Also, incomplete kits, insufficient parts, or a poor understanding of the project can damage the vehicle, lift kit, or user. If you install a DIY lift kit, have it checked by a professional before taking it on-road or off-road. Even installed properly, a lift kit creates problems of its own:

There are good reasons to lift your truck suspension, but also good reasons to leave things as they are. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages will help you make the best decision for you and your ride. For routine maintenance and repairs, check out all the suspension services available at any of our 600 NAPA AUTOPRO locations. For more information on suspension parts, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTOPRO service centre.

By Benjamin Jerew

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