Informational Guide

Measuring Lift Kits

In this guide, we show you how to measure a lift kit and lift height to ensure you get the right model.

If you are planning to add beefier tires and want more ground clearance, it only makes sense to get a lift kit for your truck. However, there are some things you must know before you make your purchase.

Most importantly, do you know how to measure a lift kit?  

In this article, we review the basics, such as how to measure shocks for a lift kit and the differences between various lift kit heights. 

If you want to learn how to determine lift kit height, here are the factors to keep in mind.  

Make & Model Compatibility 

Before you learn how to measure lift kit height, it’s important to figure out what sizes work for your vehicle. Not every vehicle is compatible with all of the lift kits on the market. Therefore, you want to know the limitations you are working with.  

Driving Purpose & Destinations 

If you are only running errands in your truck, you might not need the maximum height. However, if you plan to tackle off-road terrain, you need additional ground clearance to overcome those obstacles. Evaluate your needs to determine the best height for your lift.  

Driving Experience You Desire 

The higher you go, the more the center of gravity changes, thereby affecting the ride. If you don’t want a lot of change, stick to a lower lift kit. However, if you need to add big tires and don’t mind changing the driving dynamics, you can go all the way.  

Local & State Law Regulations 

What is the legal lift kit height? It’s important to evaluate the state lift kit laws for your region before you make a purchase. What might be allowed in one state could cost you a hefty fine where you live.  

ford truck with a lift kit driving on dirt road

How To Measure A Lift Kit (Detailed Guide To Measuring Lift Height)

It doesn't matter if you drive a Ford F-150 or a Toyota Tacoma. These are the steps you follow when figuring out how to measure a lift kit on a truck. 

  1. 1
    Park the truck on a level surface. 
  2. 2
    Make sure all of the tires have the right amount of air in them. 
  3. 3
    Begin at the passenger front and measure from the ground to the fender’s bottom, working through the tire’s center point. Write down this measurement, so you don’t forget it. 
  4. 4
    Repeat the process with the passenger rear and driver’s side. Make sure everything is written down. 
  5. 5
    With all four measurements in hand, you can take the smaller measurement of the driver's side, which is probably in the front, and subtract it from the larger measurement on that side.  
  6. 6
    Repeat the same steps on the passenger side to see how far off level your truck is. 

These steps help you determine how much of a lift is needed to level the truck. However, if you want to know how to measure your lift kit, you have two options.

If you know what lift kit you have on the truck, you can look it up by product number to see how high it is. Otherwise, you will need to measure the length of the shocks.  

blue and red truck with a lift kit

How To Figure Out The Length Of Your Stock Shocks?

Unless you have an adjustable height lift kit, these steps will help you figure out the current height of your lift kit. In fact, this method works with any height lift kit, as long as it is fixed.  

  • Figure out the size of your stock shocks. This is a simple measurement that can be found online by searching your vehicle specs. 
  • With this information in hand, you want to measure the current shocks on your vehicle. Lifted trucks use longer shocks than the stock equipment. 
  • Compare these two numbers to figure out how large the lift is. 

For example, if you measure the current shocks at 7 inches and the stock shocks were 4 inches, this indicates that you have a 3-inch lift installed. However, if you have 9-inch shocks installed, the lift kit probably measures 5 inches.

While this is a great way to learn how to measure lift kit height, you also want to verify it with the specifications found online.  

orange toyota tacoma with lift kit

What Are The Different Sizes For Lift Kits? 

  • Small lift kits   
    If you’ve recently read a Dobinsons MRR adjustable height lift kit review, you might be interested in a smaller lift. These are normally 1.5 inches or less but offer you the clearance you need to increase tire size slightly. Small lifts are the least expensive and usually don’t require any modifications.  
  • Medium lift kits   
    A medium lift will give you around 2”. While they don’t help much with off-roading, there is room for bigger tires. These kits often require adding a leaf or spacers to the suspension. You may also need a new set of shocks. At this point, you will start to see some changes in performance and vehicle handling when you install these lift kits.  
  • Large Lift Kits   
    A large lift consists of anything more than 3”. These are the most aggressive-looking lifts on the market and typically require a suspension system overall. To purchase these kits, you will also have to spend a good amount of money and will need more time for installation. However, the large lift kit gives you maximum ground clearance, perfect for off-roading.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is body or suspension lift better? 

The body lift kit is cheaper and easier to install than the suspension lift kit. However, it doesn’t provide more ground clearance and isn’t the best choice for off-road vehicles 

Should I get a 4 or 6-inch lift?  

The 4” lift is considered a standard size. For the most part, it won’t affect performance or handling and is reasonably priced. Unless you need to go extremely high, it’s best to avoid a 6” lift. These can cost a lot of money, affect handling significantly and might be illegal in your state.  

How high is a 3 inch lift on a truck?  

The 3” lift will give you anywhere from 2.5- to 3-inches more of height. It should provide enough space for larger tires and won’t significantly affect the way the truck handles.  

What is the best size tire for 4-inch lift? 

It depends on what vehicle you drive. For example, the Jeep JK with a 4” lift can accommodate up to 38-inch tires, but that’s not the case for all vehicles.  


Now that you’ve seen a complete lift kit height comparison, it’s time to decide what works best for your vehicle. Gain more ground clearance and throw on some larger tires for a really aggressive look.