What Does Raising the Suspension Do to Your Pickup Truck?

You recently spotted a rig with raised suspension and fell in love with its aggressive look. And now you’re also considering raising your pickup truck’s suspension to turn heads on the streets. You also aim for a performance advantage while off-road. But other than giving your ride irresistible appeal and performance enhancement, are there any repercussions to raising the suspension?

Every off-road enthusiast loves the sight of a raised suspension truck. But you should know that raised suspensions can also negatively impact your vehicle’s performance. Read on to discover the pros and cons of giving your pickup truck a lift and whether it’s a course worth pursuing.

Lifting vs. Leveling: What Type Of Suspension Lift Should You Choose?

So much goes into giving your pickup truck a suspension lift. First, you need to know the type of lift your vehicle needs, how high it should be, and whether it’s worth doing. You need to decide based on the type of vehicle in question and what you’re trying to achieve.

Suspension Leveling

SUVs and pickup trucks, in their factory designs, usually have a higher rear end than their front. This suspension style is intentional and meant to balance the vehicle’s level when the truck bed is heavily loaded or towing. If this look isn’t appealing and you want to raise the front to be on the same level as the rear end, leveling is what you need to do.

Leveling mainly entails adjusting the suspension system for a uniform and balanced ride when driving. It’s often done to heavy-duty SUVs and pickup trucks to prevent handling problems while improving safety and reducing tire wear and tear. Since leveling kits won’t affect your truck’s rear suspension, you’ll have an identical load capacity.

Leveling will allow you to replace the stock tires with bigger sizes. However, you should be careful about the size of the tire, as it might affect the departure angle of the vehicle’s rear side. This type of lift is best suited for pickup trucks driven off-road.

Suspension Lifting

When most people talk about raising their vehicle’s suspension, they often mean suspension lifting. As opposed to suspension leveling, lifting entails raising the vehicle’s front and rear ends. It also involves leveling.

In the case of a pickup truck, the vehicle gets a 2-inch lift, after which it’s leveled. For instance, if you lift the rear suspension by 2 inches, you will lift the front by 3.5 inches. Doing this gives your vehicle one level with both lifted front and rear suspensions.

The result allows you to install bigger tires, obtain better ground clearance, and increase the break-over and departure angles. It’s also worth noting that lifting the vehicle involves other types of suspension lifts. Your mechanic can advise you to do certain suspension lifts depending on the desired result. These include air suspension, leaf spring suspension, coil spring suspension, spacer lifts, torsion bars, body lifts, and independent suspension lifts.

What Does the Truck Gain from a Suspension Lift?

Most people will go for a suspension lift just to improve the ground clearance of their trucks. That’s just one of the many perks that come with it. Here are a couple more advantages to raising your pickup truck’s suspension:

Better handling

If you’re in the towing business or often tow a trailer, vehicle handling is often not impressive when driving an unlifted pickup truck. You can improve handling for better towing and hauling capacity through suspension lifting. Your vehicle will also be better at handling heavy loads without bottoming out.

Improved visibility

Lifted trucks usually give a higher vantage point, which improves road visibility and awareness. You’ll find this advantageous, especially when driving in rugged landscapes.

Room for bigger tires

Off-road driving requires larger tires that can cruise through obstacles with ease. If you lift your pickup truck, you’ll have more room to install larger tires than the factory sizes.

Enhanced aesthetic look

Any off-road truck enthusiast will admit that lifted trucks look better. Suspension lifting will add an aggressive stance to your ride and make it the center of attraction when driving on the streets.

With assistance from your mechanic, you can look deeper into the perks and determine the suitable type of lift to give your truck. These include a body lift, lift spring suspension, spacer lift, and more.

What are the Cons of Pickup Truck Suspension Lifting?

As mentioned, a vehicle suspension lift has disadvantages that every truck owner needs to know. After examining these cons and weighing them against the pros of suspension lifting, you will be well-informed to decide.

Here are some of the negative impacts that raising the suspension can have on your pickup truck:

Reduced stability

Although raising the suspension gives your truck better ground clearance, its stability will be affected. A lift comes with an increased center of gravity, which can affect stability when negotiating corners at speed. Even if you plan to go for wider tires to improve to make the vehicle stable, you still need to understand the limitations of a lift.

Increased wear and tear

When the vehicle’s suspension is raised above the factory standard, it tends to suffer additional stress. Eventually, different components like the ball joints, shocks, and tie rods tend to wear out faster.

Poor fuel efficiency

Fuel efficiency in this case has everything to do with the aerodynamics of the vehicle. When you lift the suspension, wind resistance also increases, which indirectly affects fuel economy. The engine has to do more work for every gallon of gas to overcome the resistance.

Gear performance issues

When the tire size changes after a suspension lift your engine power out will decrease. As such, re-gearing will be necessary to ensure the engine power conforms to the tire sizes to attain efficient cruising power and gear performance.

You’ll need to recalculate the gear ratio to determine the ideal one that can give you the stock equivalent for your truck.

Driveline disturbance

After altering the suspension of your pickup truck, the body and frame will get distorted upward and out of line with the differential. Subsequently, the driveshaft angle will become extreme, resulting in vibrations and premature wear.

Other than that, the CV joints will start developing issues. To prevent any issues with your driveline, consider fitting pinion wedges into the space between the spring pack and axle.

Breach of permissible vehicle modification regulations

If you didn’t know, your state might not allow raising your truck’s suspension beyond certain levels. So, before embarking on your truck suspension lifting journey, check out what’s permissible with your state laws.

Is It Worth Raising The Suspension of Your Pickup Truck?

It all boils down to what you want to achieve and how the lift will help you accomplish your daily tasks. Measure all the pros against the cons and determine if lifting the suspension is worth pursuing. Should you decide to go for the lift, the first and most crucial step is choosing the lifting kit.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one perfect kit that fits all, so you’ll have to find the most appropriate one that fits your vehicle and needs. The perks discussed here outweigh the cons if you professionally lift the suspension using the correct lifting kits.

Wrap Up

As you are already aware, lifting the suspension of your pickup truck comes with advantages that can improve the vehicle’s performance. You’ll get better ground clearance and more towing capacity, among others. However, these perks come at a price. Your truck may have a reduced center of gravity, experience poor fuel efficiency, and more.

The disadvantages can outweigh the advantages if you lift the suspension using the wrong lifting kit and for the wrong reasons. Consult a professional and ensure you’re doing the suspension lift for reasons that will enhance your experience with your truck.

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