For many off road enthusiasts, the modification that consistently ranks on the tops of their wish lists is a lift kit for their vehicle. The bigger, taller look is not only stylist and imposing, but can lend some serious improvements on the trails…if it’s done correctly. Too many people simply walk into their nearest 4×4 service center and ask for a few extra inches, without doing much homework first. But the thing is, lift kits usually come with a whole host of other necessary upgrades, different maintenance needs, and drastically altered driving technique.
Serious off road drivers know that a lift is about more than just clocking style points. A properly fitted lift kit means better clearance, room for bigger tires, and space for a cushier suspension. But as you get bigger and bigger with the lift height, more and more drawbacks start appearing. First of all, if you plan to lift your regular vehicle (if your off road rig doubles as your grocery getter or daily driver), you will be faced with lower gas mileage, higher rollover risk, and pricier mechanical work.
Thankfully, there is a wide variety in the types of lift kits on the market today, and you can find just the right balance of function and style without going broke or ruining your vehicle. If you are in the market for a lift, here are a few tips to get you started:
Talk to your local 4×4 service center first
If you really want to know about lift kits, talk to the guys that install them on the regular. They can recommend brands, styles, and heights based on your vehicle, driving habits, and budget. Plus, lift kits are not something you want to attempt at home, so it’s worth selecting a good mechanic now.
Get the full cost breakdown
Most lifts require the upgrading of other parts and accessories in order to function safely and smoothly. Do your homework on all the components that you would need to swap out or add in, and don’t forget to factor in these parts, along with labor costs, in your budget estimate.
Know the laws
Some states or counties have legal requirements on lift height, tire size, and street legality for vehicles. It’s worth checking in to, especially if you plan to drive your rig around town on a regular basis.
Hit the forums
There is a wealth of info on the internet today, and you can find people with your exact vehicle to talk to about any potential mods you plan to make. Make posts, ask questions, and look around to discover troubleshooting tips, advice, and other vehicle-specific information before you take the plunge.
When you’re ready to add a few inches to your rig, give us a call. We’ll take good care of you!