There are many reasons why you might want to lift your truck; if you are an off-roader who loves to rough it in the great outdoors, lifting your vehicle will give you even more clearance than you had previously. With a higher clearance, you can drive over larger rocks, deeper ruts, and rougher terrain than before. However, this can be an expensive process.
The cheapest way to lift a truck is to install a body lift kit. Body lift kits typically cost anywhere from $80 to over $2,000, depending on the make and model. Professional installation typically costs as much as the kit, so it is more cost-efficient to install it yourself.
There are many options and many different ways you can add a few inches to your truck’s height. Read on to learn more about lift kits and costs.
Body Lift Kits
As mentioned above, there are many reasons why you might want to lift your truck. Apart from looking cool, lift kits give you better suspension, higher clearance, better performance, and a smoother ride. Because lifting your truck can be quite an expense, you should consider your different options before you dive right in. The best option for the best lift per buck is to install a body lift kit.
A body lift kit is the most common type of lift kit and it is also the easiest to install.
To install a body lift kit, you must first remove the body of the vehicle from the metal frame it sits on. Once the body has been removed, then the lift kit installation can begin. Spacers/blocks are attached to the metal frame to add lift. When the body of the vehicle is reattached, the spacers/blocks raise the body away from the frame, giving it the added lift. Longer bolts than before are used to reattach the body to the frame now that the spacers/blocks are in the way.
This kit can cost anywhere from $80 to over $2,000. Each kit is different and the cost will vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Installation can also be quite costly. The rule of thumb for kits like these is that installation will cost as much as the kit itself. So, if you purchase a $1,000 lift kit, then it will cost around $1,000 for installation.
You can cut the cost of the lifting process by installing the lift kit yourself. It can be a difficult and complicated procedure, so you should make sure to read the instructions carefully and thoroughly. You should probably expect the entire installation to take more than 8 hours.
You may also need to purchase tools and equipment to do the installation, and afterward, you should have your truck professionally inspected to make sure the alignment is correct and that everything is working properly. Even with these extra costs, it is still much cheaper to do the installation yourself.
There are some pros and cons to using this kind of lift kit.
- Body lift kits are the most cost-efficient option
- It allows you to have larger tires and wheels on your vehicle
- Good for off-roading
- Adding this kit does not affect the driving quality of your vehicle
- It can only raise vehicle 1 to 3 inches maximum, which may be less than you wanted
- Can add a visible gap in between the frame and the body of the vehicle
- The gap can be an eyesore
- You can cover the gap with a gap guard, but they can be expensive
- Adding a body lift kit moves the center of gravity of your vehicle, which can then affect the handling
Some warnings to lifting your vehicle: Adding a lift kit to your truck, SUV, or car might void any warranty you have on your vehicle. Aside from voiding warranties, some states have certain regulations for vehicles, such as bumper height, or light brightness. Before lifting your vehicle, always check with state and local regulations to make sure you are not accidentally changing your vehicle so much that it makes it illegal to drive on the streets. Be smart about your lift.
Other Ways to Lift a Truck:
Another type of lift kit is a suspension lift kit. Suspension lift kits are more complicated to install than the normal body lift kit. Suspension kits work by lifting the vehicle up higher from the axle and wheels, instead of from the frame. The lifting process is different for each type of vehicle, whether it be trucks, SUVs, or cars. Additionally, installation may vary between the different makes and models of each vehicle.
Because each vehicle is so different, the installation of suspension lift kits can be a more difficult process and can be more expensive.
You might consider installing a suspension lift kit instead of a body lift kit if you want more than five inches of additional height. Body lift kits can add 2-5 inches to your truck, but they can’t do more than that. If you want a greater height than 5 inches, then you will have to look elsewhere. Suspension lift kits can lift your truck up to 12 inches. So, while it does cost more, it may be the better option for you, depending on what you want. If you want more height, it’s going to cost you more.
There are some pros and cons to using a suspension lift kit instead of a body lift kit.
- The handling of your vehicle is not affected
- You can raise your vehicle as high as you want (as long as it is still a legal height)
- Good for off-roading
- The added suspension to your vehicle can improve overall performance
- A suspension lift kit is more expensive and difficult to install
- Regular maintenance costs can also increase
- It can wear down over time and you will need to repair it
- If your vehicle is too high, it can roll easily and you will need to add a stabilizer
Even though suspension lift kits are more expensive, they are typically the more popular option. These kits can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the make and model of the vehicle. However, professional installation typically costs around $1,200 for suspension kits.
You may decide that the price is worth it for the preferred type of lift kit, especially if you want to add a lot of height to your truck, and the body lift kit just won’t do it.
Even Cheaper Options:
Instead of installing a lift kit, you could also consider installing a leveling kit instead. Leveling kits work by only raising the front of the vehicle instead of the entire truck to offset the factory “rake.” Adding a leveling kit to your truck will give the front a few extra inches of height, making the clearance larger.
There are many different kinds of leveling kits you can choose from:
Torsion key leveling kits: you could consider using this type of leveling kit if you have a torsion bar suspension system. The truck comes with factory torsion bar keys, and this type of leveling kit replaces these torsion keys to lift one side of the vehicle higher. The new torsion keys are often even better than the original factory keys the truck comes with. The new keys will not compromise your vehicle or your ride.
Coil spring spacer leveling kits: you could consider using this type of leveling kit if you have a vehicle with coil springs. Coil spring spacer kits work by adding spacers to both the upper and lower springs on the truck, which raises the front. For some installations, the springs will need to be removed and reattached after the spacers are put in place. Some of these leveling kits include shock extensions, but some do not. You might need to purchase them separately if they are required for your truck.
Strut extension leveling kits: you could consider using this type of leveling kit if you have a coilover strut for your front suspension.
This leveling kit works similar to the spring spacer leveling kit, but instead of adding spacers to the springs, you add spacers to the top and bottom of the struts in your truck. You can slide them onto the struts without having to take the struts out and replace them. This is typically the easiest kit to install and can be adjustable, so you get the exact level you desire.
Leveling kits are much cheaper than lift kits because they do half of the work. If you want your entire truck to be lifted, or lifted a lot, then this isn’t the solution for you. However, if you only want a little lift, and especially only in the front of your truck, then a leveling kit is a great option.
Your typical leveling kits are typically in the range of $200 to $1,000, but some kits can cost as little as $30. Installation is much cheaper and usually costs less than $500. Like with lift kits, you can still install a leveling kit yourself to save even more money.