Lift Kit Installations Dos And Don’ts
There are plenty of reasons why you may choose to have a lift kit installed on your truck or SUV including for work, aesthetics, or for some serious off-roading capabilities. The added ground clearance can be invaluable depending on the terrain you need to drive your vehicle on. However, installing a suspension kit isn’t as simple as installing training wheels on a bike. If you’re considering adding a lift kit to your vehicle, you need to consider various factors to make sure your drive is safe and functional, and your investment pays off. Read on to know our top dos and don’ts when it comes to getting a lift kit installed.
DO Choose the Right Height and Kit
There are several different types of lift kits on the market. Some are designed to provide a little bit of height and support bigger tires without affecting your shock absorbers. Others are meant to raise the front of your vehicle to adjust for the manufacturer’s rear elevation while suspension kits are meant to give your vehicle the ground clearance boost it needs for off- roading.
Lift kits come in a range of heights from 1.5 to 6 inches. The lower end of the range can give you some additional ground clearance without compromising too much on drivability while heights of 3.5 inches and above will require modifications including taller tires, several mechanical adjustments. 6-inch lifts are pretty serious lifts, and you should consider getting them if you’re looking at off-roading on uneven terrain.
DON’T Pick and Mix
There’s a reason why lift kits come as they do – as a set. All the parts are engineered to work together. Don’t try to save money by substituting one part of a kit for a cheaper make as that will compromise the safety and functionality of your drive. To put it simply, purchase an entire kit.
Additionally, don’t compromise on quality while choosing your lift kit and any other components you may have to change. Quality OEM parts will not only last you longer but are safer to use as well.
DO Consider Associated Costs
Depending on the height you are going for, you may need to change shock absorbers, wheels, wheel bearings, tires, and a whole lot more. Do factor these costs into your total to avoid any nasty surprises. It’s also important to note that larger, heavier tires will result in your vehicle guzzling more fuel that it currently does. Additionally, off roading can mean that you’ll need to top up and change fluids more often and replace components like ball joints often due to the added pressure on the steering system and drivetrain.
DON’T Forget About Everyday Usage
Think about how you are planning on using your vehicle on a regular basis. Higher lifts can mean considering how you and your passengers will access your cabin. Additionally, the steering and handling of the vehicle is compromised as higher vehicles have an increased rollover risk and don’t corner as well. Be prepared for a rougher drive as well. Factor these considerations in while choosing a lift kit.
DO Upgrade Your Brakes
The larger tires and increased height mean that your vehicle will need better braking capabilities. Ignoring your brakes can put plenty of strain on them causing them to wear out quickly. This can turn into a serious safety hazard. Make sure you upgrade your brakes when you have a lift kit installed so your vehicle is equipped to brake in an emergency.
Installing your own lift kit can sound like fun and can feel like it’s saving you some money too. However, it’s not a process that can be completed on your driveway or in your garage. Your vehicle needs to be lifted off the ground securely and may require to remain so for at least a couple of days.
Additionally, there are plenty of minute adjustments and tweaks that are necessary to ensure any lift kit fits your vehicle perfectly. You will also need an additional pair of hands. Professional lift kit installers use precision equipment to make any modifications necessary to install your kit.
Additionally, they are well-versed in the modifications necessary to ensure a perfect fit for your vehicle’s make and model, so there is no compromise on safety and functionality. In short, don’t go DIY unless you are a highly trained lift kit technician yourself.
Trademasters sells and installs lift kits from some of the most reliable brands. The pros at our Chilliwack location are happy to recommend the right kit for your needs and driving habits and ensure all aftermarket parts are integrated correctly.