Has this happened to you? You catch a glimpse of a truck like yours in a parking lot or around town that, for some reason, you like better than your own. It seems to have a stance that's more rugged-looking and more suited to a 4x4 than yours does. Maybe you get a chance to stop and take a closer look immediately, or maybe it's days or weeks before you see the other truck again.
Then a moment of clarity occurs when you discover that the reason for your envy is legitimate. The other guy's truck has been treated to a ride height increase thanks to a lift kit, or a leveling kit. If your next thought is "Lift kits are complicated and expensive, I can't afford one", we're here to tell you that it IS possible to lift your truck - simply, and for a cost that's a lot lower than you'd expect.
In short, lift kits make alterations to your vehicle in order to lift its body into the air. Those alterations can be as simple as "spacer" blocks which mount between the body and frame, or they can include an array of replacement components that improve your entire suspension geometry. Some spacer kits also include replacement shock absorbers with greater length that are designed to keep your vehicle's ride more stable.
Taller replacement springs are another simple way to lift your ride, and we offer them with or without shock absorbers as well. And if you're looking to do serious off-roading, more extensive lift kits with redesigned suspension components such as control arms and related linkages allow greater wheel travel and flexibility over uneven terrain.
Deciding how much ride height increase to give your vehicle is a matter of personal preference. Spacers work effectively for 1-3 inches of lift, while new shocks and springs are recommended if you intend to go up 4 inches or more. There's also the choice of raising just the front of your vehicle with a "leveling" kit, raising all four wheels, or boosting only the rear to create a classic American muscle look.
Leveling kits allow you to increase the ride height of the front of your vehicle to offset slope-nose front designs many modern 4x4s have - in effect, "leveling" your truck to a more heavy-duty stance. Some leveling kits come with components to raise only the front end, while others lift all four wheels - raising the front more than the rear. Other lift kits provide equal lift all around.
To help clarify this, we specify height increases that 4-wheel lift kits provide for both the front and rear of the vehicle on our website. For example, 4 x 2.5 means a kit provides 4 inches of lift for the front of the vehicle and 2.5 inches for the rear. 3x3 signifies an even 3 inches of lift for both the front and rear suspension.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of lifting or leveling your truck is that larger-than-stock tires can be used without danger of them rubbing against the inside of fenders or bumpers during turns. And because of nose-down rake, many modern pickups have less clearance in the front wheel wells than in the rear - a condition made worse if a heavy plow or winch is bolted on to the front of the vehicle. For this reason, many 4-wheel lift kits provide more lift for the front than the rear.
When you consider that modern 4x4s are usually equipped with car-height bumpers for safety, lift kits can protect them as well as exhaust systems and running boards from damage during off-roading. Plus, greater ride height will prove a huge overall advantage when the bottom of your truck doesn't drag on high snowdrifts or become submerged in deep water during storms.
Since suspension designs differ among 4x4s, all of the lift kits we sell are tailored specifically for the factory equipment and handling characteristics of individual makes and models. Often, kits include hardware and replacement brackets to relocate steering components that can be affected by ride height lifts.
In other cases where corrective items are not included, you may notice additional components available at extra cost in the Product Options field. These are offered for a reason, and we recommend purchasing these optional items as well. For example, if your truck is prone to increased wandering or bump-steer, you may see a replacement steering stabilizer bar or Pitman arm to correct these conditions. Or, you may see various component relocation brackets if those prove equally effective.
Note that on some trucks, heavy duty three-quarter ton and half-ton versions may have different types of factory springs than standard quarter-ton versions do. Once you've entered specific make, model, and year information, you'll typically see only the lift kits with components that are applicable to your vehicle. In select cases, you'll need to make the selection in the Product Options Field. For example, if GM 3500HD series pickups come with front coil springs but 1500 series versions come with torsion bars, you may need to choose between these spring types based on your specific truck.
Spacer lift kits increase the overall ride height of your vehicle for minimal cost because your existing factory springs and shocks/struts can be retained. Instead of replacing those expensive suspension parts, spacers are normally added at the top or bottom of a spring or strut to push the axle and frame of the truck further apart.
We offer spacer kits for ride height increases between 1-4 inches. On certain models where stability of original suspension designs has been shown to benefit from the addition of longer-length shock absorbers, you'll see replacement shocks offered as standard with the kit, or they can be purchased as an extra-cost option.
For owners of older Jeep Wranglers who are looking to add only the most subtle increase in ride height and do not wish to alter suspension and axle angles to a significant degree, Daystar's 1" x 1" Front and Rear Body Lift Kit includes replacement mounts that raise ride height by 1 inch. Instead of add-on spacers that sit on top of original mounts, this kit simply replaces original rubber mounts in between the Jeep's body and frame with taller polyurethane ones.
Daystar's ComfortRide Lift Kit also offers 1" spacers for select vehicles, as well as spacers ranging from 2" up to 4" on others. Polyurethane construction provides extra cushion for coil spring spacers and leaf spring blocks, and replacement metal torsion keys are designed with height-increasing angles. Longer length shock absorbers are offered as an option for select vehicles.
If you prefer the supreme durability of metal spacers but value the light weight and corrosion protection that polyurethane spacers offer, consider ReadyLIFT's Leveling Kit with 1-piece billet aluminum spacers. Depending on the vehicle, your kit may include shock absorber extension brackets that serve the same function as the 1.5" or 2" spacers.
Raising The Front Only
Skyjacker Aluminum Leveling Strut Spacers includes front aluminum spacers for those looking to raise the front end of their truck 2” and offset the nose-down rake it came with from the factory. Owners of coil and leaf spring trucks who want to tilt the front end of their truck upward while raising all four corners should consider the SuperLIFT Level-It Leveling Kit. Polyurethane spacers typically provide 2.5" of lift for the front and 1.75" to 2" of lift in the back, and some kits come with shock absorbers.
Or, choose the Truxxx Lift Kit with steel spacers and lift blocks that boost front ride height by 2" to 3" and rear height by 1" or 1.5". Truxxx's kit is available for torsion bar vehicles as well as coil and leaf spring ones, and shock absorbers are not included.
Owners of some late model Dodge pickup trucks will find the Superlift Coil Spacer Lift Kit offers 4" spacers along with a replacement Pitman arm to correct wandering and bump steer, and a relocation bracket for the track bar to prevent binding and steering wheel kickback.
The Rubicon Express Economy Lift Kit comes with 2" polyurethane spacers for both the front and rear. For 2007-on Wranglers, kits include only the spacers, bump stops, and shock extenders because the suspensions of newer models provide greater overall stability. On earlier Jeeps (1997-2006 Wranglers, 1984-2001 Cherokees, 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees), you're offered a choice of this basic kit - or you can add four replacement mono-tube or twin-tube shock absorbers. (See our related article entitled "How Do Shock Absorbers Work?" discussing differences between these two types of shocks).
You'll also find similar choices for Jeep Wranglers in Superlift's Coil Spacer Lift Kit. Newer Wranglers can select 2" front and rear polyurethane spacers, while kits for older Wranglers include 1.75" lift spacers and come standard with four twin-tube shock absorbers designed to maintain factory ride comfort. For owners of Wranglers and Cherokees between 1987-2001 who plan to install high lift 6-8" springs, Skyjacker's Block Lift Kit gives you the longer leaf spring shackles you'll need (shackle bushings are polyurethane).
Value Kits With Replacement Springs
When maximum ride comfort or greater wheel articulation are your goals, lifting your vehicle with longer replacement springs is an excellent choice. For starters, we've got kits with just coil springs for the front of vehicles so equipped. There's the Skyjacker Softride Coil Spring Set with a spring rate purposely designed to maintain factory levels of ride comfort at 2, 4, 6 or more inches of lift. Eibach's Pro-Truck Lifted Coil Springs provide a more conservative 2-inch lift. ReadyLIFT Coil Springs offer a variety of heights based on individual vehicles.
We've also got front spring replacement kits that add performance monotube shock absorbers for better handling on the trails such as ReadyLIFT's Coil Spring Lift Kit for a variety of vehicles, available with coil spring lift ranging from 2.5" to 5".
TeraFlex's Coil Spring Kit is available in multiple configurations for different Jeep models, but their most value-priced kit comes with 4 coil springs and longer sway bar links in a choice of ride height increases from 2.5" to 6". 4x4 owners considering 2" to 6" of lift should take a look at SuperLIFT's Master Lift Kit that comes with a variety of suspension pieces depending on year, make, and model vehicle.
More Complete Lift Kits That Add Shocks, Longer Linkages, And Other Components
For those who seek maximum wheel articulation for rock climbing or more aggressive off-roading, we've got full suspension lift kits (from 4" to 10" of height increase) that allow you to do a more thorough suspension rework on your vehicle. While spacers, taller springs, and extended-length shocks are great for cruising around town, the more extensive kits with redesigned control arms, track bars, cross-brace pieces, trailing links, and even skid plates are the ones that will keep your vehicle upright - ensuring an easy drive home instead of being hauled back on a wrecker.
Other than spacer, spring, and shock kits we've mentioned by name in previous paragraphs, virtually all of the ones you'll find in our Performance Lift Kit section contain more bits for off-roading.
These kits do more than let your wheels travel up or down a huge amount - they also keep tires evenly pressed against uneven terrain, no matter what angle of incline you're facing. Thus, your center of gravity remains stable and rock climbing stays fun - not traumatizing. In such kits, replacement control arms may be longer than OEM equipment with ball joints that allow the greatest degree of pivot in all directions. Replacement front/rear track bars and brackets allow front and/or rear axles to be properly re-centered after a huge lift.
And because components in these kits are modified to fit specific makes and models, more clearance exists between steering components for big tires. Higher lift kits often come with longer replacement brake lines should they be necessary for your vehicle.
You may also come across lift kits with a 4-link design in the front and a choice of 3- or 4-link rear layouts - both of which offer an excellent blend of on-road and rock crawling performance. If possible, choose a 4-link rear if an emphasis on street comfort is preferred, or choose a 3-link rear that emphasizes wheel articulation for rock crawling. For owners of 2007-on Jeep "JK" Wranglers equipped with factory electronic sway bar disconnect systems and stability control, note that kits we sell are designed to work with these systems. However, it is essential you enter all model and trim level information about your Jeep when prompted in Product Options areas of our web site.
SuperLIFT's Radius Arm Kit for Ford F-250/350 models includes front coil springs, a choice of twin-tube or mono-tube shocks, and beefed up radius arms with durable Cleveite bushings designed for hard knocks. Skyjacker's Standard Series Lift Kit (4" to 8" of lift) includes springs, spacers, replacement steering knuckles, and hardware. Depending on the amount of lift, leaf spring vehicles may get an add-a-leaf insert or new springs entirely.
Skyjacker's Rock Ready Lift Kit (up to 8" of lift) for Jeeps comes with front and rear springs, 4 long control arms with rebuildable ends, replacement steering stabilizer / Pitman arms, and longer brake lines. Tuff Country's Complete Suspension Lift Kit comes with springs, spacers, differential relocation brackets, skid plates, new control arms, subframe cross members, add-a-leafs, and more. FabTech offers lift kits in such variations as Long Arm Suspension Lift Kit, Budget Suspension Lift Kit, Performance Suspension Lift Kit, and 4-Link Suspension Lift Kit. Depending on the vehicle, these kits include springs, shocks, control arms, radius rods, and other attachment hardware to provide maximum lift, up to a whopping 10".
Since we offer too many suspension kits to mention by name in this article, we recommend looking through the Performance Lift Kit section of our website when you have a block of time to enjoy comparing the different offerings. As you see in the picture above, it's possible to enter the year, make, and model of your vehicle in the beginning of your search so that our website automatically does the work of narrowing down which kits are offered for your specific truck. Browsing through what's available, you'll notice each kit features one main lead picture. These pictures are not fully indicative of the variations you'll find for each kit, because components will vary from vehicle to vehicle.
We can't tell you which exact kit will make you happiest, but we can say virtually all the feedback we receive from our customers after lifting their 4x4s is positive. We feel strongly you'll be just as satisfied. The only regrets we hear - that they didn't do it sooner!