Informational Guide

How Does A Lift Kit Work?

In this guide, we answer how does a lift kit work and give you everything you need to know about lift kits.

If you are looking to get more ground clearance for your truck or install beefier tires, the lift kit seems like a great option. But, how does a lift kit work?  

We examine how the various types work, as well as look at the pros and cons of a lift kit, so you can make the best decision for your needs.  

The lift kit contains aftermarket parts that raise the vehicle up away from the ground further. There are two types of lift kits, both with unique advantages and disadvantages. However, the body kit and suspension kit operate differently from one another.  

The suspension lift is going to provide more ground clearance, but it also requires installing new components to the OEM suspension. On the other hand, the body lift doesn’t add more ground clearance because the suspension isn’t altered, but it does raise the truck body up from the ground a little further. The body lift can’t go as high as the suspension lift does.  


How Does A Lift Kit Work?  

Lift kits raise the vehicle higher from the ground, but different types use various methods to accomplish this task. With a body lift, spacers are used to raise only the body of the vehicle, while a suspension lift alters the springs, shocks, and other vital components to add more ground clearance. With either option, it's possible to install larger tires. 

When the vehicle is lifted, the center of gravity is altered, leading to changes to the stability. The vehicle can also experience a rougher ride, leading to driving fatigue on longer trips. If the suspension parts aren’t upgraded to work with the ride, the components can also wear out prematurely.  

Additionally, any driveline alterations mean that there could be vibrations. For this reason, the driveshaft angles must be carefully examined to reduce wear on the CV joints and axles. With some test driving after the installation of a lift kit, it doesn’t take long to get used to the changes.  

gmc sierra truck with a lift kit

Most Common Types Of Lift Kits (+ Pros & Cons) 

Body Lift Kits 

How does a body lift kit work? With this kit, spacers or blocks are placed between the frame and body. The frame gets reattached, but the body is propped away from it. There are no adjustments made to the suspension, so ground clearance is not increased. 

These are the least expensive way to lift a truck. It can also create more space for bigger tires and wheels. The body lift changes the look of the vehicle and creates a more aggressive appearance. Gap guards can also be used to cover the frame, but this adds more money.  

Generally, a lift done this way can only add one to three inches. To go any higher, a suspension lift would be required. Here are a few of the pros and cons of lift kits done to the body only. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive 
  • Makes room for bigger tires and wheels 
  • Easier to install 

Cons

  • Only lifts the body a few inches 
  • Frame becomes visible 

Suspension Lift Kits 

How does a suspension lift kit work? The suspension lift raises the vehicle up by increasing the suspension’s height. By raising the frame and body, more ground clearance is offered. However, doing this lift is more complicated than the body option. That’s what makes it more expensive and time-consuming to install.  

With a suspension lift, there’s no limit to how high the vehicle can go. You can even add a foot to the vehicle if you want. There are fewer handling issues with the suspension lift that’s done correctly. In fact, being up higher also helps to improve visibility overall.  

The higher you go, the less stability you will receive. The lifted truck can also be difficult to get in and out of. Here are the top pros and cons of suspension lift kits to consider.  

Pros 

  • Increases ground clearance 
  • Makes room for bigger tires and wheels 
  • No limits on height 

Cons 

  • Expensive 
  • Difficult to install 
toyota tacoma with lift kit

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Do lift kits hurt your truck?  

If the lift kit isn’t installed correctly, it can damage your truck and void your manufacturer’s warranty. Some lift kits require swapping out most of the suspension, so you want a qualified mechanic to handle the process.  

Does a lift kit level your truck? 

The leveling kit is different from the lift because it focuses only on matching the height between the front and back of the vehicle. The leveling kit ensures there is no rake between the two heights.  

Does a 2 inch lift make a difference? 

If you are looking for a little more height, the two-inch lift can make a big difference. It might give you the ground clearance needed to overcome small obstacles and give you the space for bigger tires.  

How long does the lift kit last? 

If you properly install a high-quality lift kit, it should last five years or more. Many of the top brands offer lengthy warranties for peace of mind, but regular maintenance is required for longevity.  


Conclusion

It’s important to know how the lift kit works to ensure you get the benefits it’s designed for. Deciding between the body and suspension lift isn’t difficult once you understand your vehicle needs. Add some height and enjoy a new look at the road ahead.  

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