Tips For Choosing Your First Suspension Lift

Posted on: 5 August 2018

If you've recently purchased a truck and want to add some height to the suspension, you may be considering having a lift kit installed. Whether you're just thinking about a leveling kit for a pickup truck or you want a full lift, there are some key things you need to think about before you buy. Here are a few of the most important considerations to keep you from an investment that doesn't work out the way that you planned.

How Much Height Do You Want?

Before you can really invest in anything, you need an idea of how much height you're hoping to get from the process. You can aim for a budget boost, which adds an inch or two to your ride height, or you can go for a significant lift of as much as six inches or more. Think about what your ultimate goal is with the lift and choose your height range accordingly.

When you're considering how much height you're hoping for, the other thing you need to think about is how much you're willing to modify. The higher the lift, the more extensive the process. Remember that lifting your suspension changes the entire suspension geometry. You may have to invest in new sway bars, track bars, and drive shafts to accommodate the changes in the geometry. This can be quite expensive, so take that into consideration before you make your choice.

What Are Your State Laws?

Every state has different laws related to vehicle lifts. Many auto parts stores will be able to tell you what your state's laws are, or you can find out from the Department of Transportation. You need to understand exactly what the lift laws are in your state before you can choose a lift for your truck.

In most states, lift laws express limits based on the measurement from the bottom of the bumper to the ground, or from the bottom of the frame rail to the ground. Once you know what the restriction is, you can determine how much lift you're able to add based on the stock height of your vehicle.

Remember that you'll have some additional height if you choose to add larger tires along with your lift, so take the tire diameter change into consideration when you're determining what your final bumper or frame rail measurement would be.

Do You Need Fender Flares?

If you're opting to add larger tires along with your suspension lift, which most drivers do, you'll also have to determine if you're going to need new fender flares as part of the package. Your lift kit won't come with them, so you'd have to order them separately.

The biggest determining factor in whether or not you need new flares is how wide your new tires will be. If the tires are going to extend beyond your stock flares, you'll likely need to replace the flares with wider ones to avoid being pulled over for the protrusion. Most states don't allow the tires to extend beyond the flares, so don't overlook this even though it seems like a minor detail.

If you need more information, reach out to a professional with lift kits and related auto parts for sale