Lifting Your Truck?
I have seen over the years people spend upwards of $25,000 or more on customization. One of the more popular things to do these days is installing a suspension lift along with larger tires and wheels. Installing a suspension lift requires some hard work, along with some mechanical experience.
If you’re going to tackle this yourself, here are a few things you should know.
Many manufacturers offer manuals for installing lift kits onto certain vehicles; however, some setups are quite intricate, requiring some welding or cutting to add some necessary components. In this case, having a mechanic or a few knowledgeable friends around will help make the job go smoother.
Upgrading to taller tires also means that some components may require part upgrades or some tuning to compensate. For instance, a truck’s engine is tuned at specific gear ratios to propel the vehicle. When adding taller tires, the gear ratios must be changed accordingly, since the engine has to spin significantly more weight with the new tires. You will also be required to purchase a speedometer re-calibration tool, so you have an accurate reading. Again, consult with more experienced individuals for further insight.
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.
Larger tires are more substantial, which can put a lot of strain on your suspension, particularly if it is a stock suspension. Trusted, durable suspension components and lighter aluminum wheels can sometimes help to reduce the stress.
A Few Useful Accessories: Before installing a lift kit, it’s a good idea first to examine if any components will be affected by your vehicle’s new height.
Here are a few useful accessories that may need upgrading:
- Stock brakes do not always accommodate larger tires and will wear quickly due to the added strain.
- Drivetrain and Differential
- Axles, gears, differential covers, lockers and more ensure that your drivetrain is up to par with your suspension.
- Replacement Parts
- Longer Control Arms and Track Bars to compensate for the additional height of your truck.
- For those taller lifts, longer shocks will ensure the smoothest performance both on and off the road.
- Other Parts
- Steering linkage, slip yoke, driveshaft length, u-joint angle, and brake lines are all worthy of consideration before installing suspension lift kits.
Search the internet. There are many sites which offer complete instructions on various suspension lifts. You can download a copy before you make the purchase, and know exactly what type of work will be involved.
All images are thanks to BDS Suspension, which can be found in Canada through
Action Car and Truck Accessories