Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by admin
A lift kit can be an excellent investment if you want to upgrade your truck’s appearance or off-road capabilities. However, choosing the right lift can be a difficult decision. Two popular options are body lifts and suspension lifts.
In this article, we’ll compare body lift vs suspension lift to help you determine which is right for your truck.
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A body lift kit raises the body of your truck while the suspension and wheels remain in their original position. Body lift kits are typically less expensive than suspension lift kits, making them an attractive option for those on a budget.
One of the biggest advantages of a body lift is that it allows you to fit larger tires on your truck. This can improve your truck’s appearance and off-road capabilities. Additionally, a body lift can provide increased ground clearance, which can be helpful when navigating rough terrain.
However, there are also some drawbacks to body lifts. Since the suspension and wheels remain in their original position, the truck’s handling and performance characteristics will not be affected. This means a body lift may not improve your truck’s off-road capabilities as much as a suspension lift.
Additionally, body lifts can create gaps between the body and the truck’s frame. These gaps can be difficult to seal properly, leading to water and debris entering the engine bay or interior.
A body lift kit is a popular choice for truck owners who want to raise the height of their vehicle without altering the suspension. A body lift kit raises the truck’s body away from the frame by installing spacers between the body and frame. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a body lift:
- Affordable: Body lifts are generally less expensive than suspension lifts, making them popular for those on a budget.
- Easy installation: Body lifts are much easier to install than suspension lifts and can often be completed with basic hand tools.
- Maintains stock suspension: Because the suspension system is not altered, the ride quality and stability of the truck are not affected.
- Limited ground clearance: Because the suspension system is not altered, body lifts provide less ground clearance than suspension lifts.
- Limited tire size: Body lifts can only accommodate a certain size of tires, depending on the amount of lift provided.
- Does not improve performance: Body lifts do not improve the performance of your truck like a suspension lift can. They are mainly for aesthetic purposes.
Body Lift Features
|Lift height||Usually 1-3 inches|
|Cost||Lower than suspension lift|
|Installation||Easier than suspension lift|
|Impact on suspension||None|
A suspension lift kit involves replacing the existing suspension system of the truck with new and upgraded components to lift the vehicle higher off the ground. This lift kit is typically more expensive than a body lift but allows for greater height and more off-road capability.
Components of a suspension lift kit typically include:
- Lifted springs: These are designed to increase the vehicle’s ride height.
- Shocks and struts: These are upgraded to match the new spring height and provide better dampening.
- Control arms: These are often extended or replaced to maintain proper suspension geometry and alignment.
- Steering components: In some cases, steering components may need to be upgraded to handle the increased height and weight of the vehicle.
- Brake lines: These may need to be extended or replaced to accommodate the vehicle’s new height.
- Driveshaft: The driveshaft may need to be lengthened on some trucks to compensate for the increased ride height.
Suspension lifts offer several advantages over body lifts:
- They provide more ground clearance, meaning the truck can navigate more rugged terrain.
- They allow larger tires to be installed, further enhancing off-road capability.
- A suspension lift often provides a more comfortable ride, as the upgraded shocks and struts provide better dampening and absorb more of the bumps in the road.
However, suspension lifts also have some drawbacks. They are more expensive than body lifts, and installation can be more complicated. Suspension lifts also stress the existing components of the vehicle, leading to increased wear and tear and more frequent maintenance.
A suspension lift kit is the most popular type for truck owners who want to improve the performance of their vehicles off-road. A suspension lift raises the entire truck by replacing the suspension components with larger ones. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a suspension lift:
- Increased ground clearance: A suspension lift raises the entire vehicle, allowing for more clearance between the truck’s underside and the ground. This makes navigating rough terrain, deep snow, and other obstacles easier.
- Better off-road performance: A suspension lift improves the truck’s off-road performance by providing more articulation and wheel travel. This allows the vehicle to climb over larger obstacles and navigate more challenging terrain.
- Improved appearance: Many truck owners choose suspension lifts for their aesthetic appeal. A lifted truck has a more aggressive and imposing look than one with a factory-height suspension.
- Expensive: Suspension lifts can be expensive, especially if high-quality parts and professional installation are used.
- More complex: Suspension lifts require a more complicated installation than body lifts, often involving replacing or modifying multiple components of the truck’s suspension system.
- Ride quality: A suspension lift can lead to a harsher ride quality depending on the lift kit. The increased height and stiffer suspension can make the truck less comfortable to drive on smooth roads.
Suspension Lift Features
|Lift height||Usually 4-6 inches or more|
|Cost||Higher than body lift|
|Installation||More complex than body lift|
|Impact on suspension||Improved off-road performance|
Comparison Table: Body Lift vs Suspension Lift
To help you compare body lift vs suspension lift, we’ve created a table outlining some key differences between the two lift kits.
|Feature||Body Lifts||Suspension Lifts|
|Cost||Less expensive||More expensive|
|Tire size increase||Yes||Yes|
|Ground clearance||Increased||Significantly increased|
|Off-road capabilities||Improved||Significantly improved|
|Handling and performance||Unaffected||Improved|
|Modification requirements||Minimal||Additional components may be needed|
|Center of gravity||Unaffected||Raised|
|Appearance||Minimal changes||Significant changes|
Which Lift Kit is Right for Your Truck?
When deciding between a suspension lift and a body lift, it’s important to consider your specific needs and budget. A suspension lift may be the best choice if you’re looking for the most height and off-road capability. However, a body lift may be a more cost-effective option if you’re on a tight budget or plan to do little off-roading.
It’s also important to remember that lifting your truck can have downsides. For example, it can negatively impact your fuel economy, making getting in and out of the vehicle more difficult. Additionally, lifted trucks may not fit in standard parking garages or car washes.
Ultimately, the decision to lift your truck and the type of lift to use is personal. Consider your needs, budget, and potential drawbacks before making a decision. And if you need more time to perform the installation yourself, hire a professional to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.
Budget: A body lift is a better option if you’re on a tight budget since it’s less expensive than a suspension lift.
Lift height: If you want to lift your truck more than a few inches, a suspension lift is a way to go since a body lift is limited in how much it can raise the truck.
Off-road use: If you plan on serious off-roading, a suspension lift will give you better ground clearance and off-road performance.
Ride quality: If you’re concerned about ride quality, a body lift might be a better option since it doesn’t affect the suspension’s performance as much as a suspension lift.
Tire size: Remember that lifting your truck will allow you to install larger tires. A suspension lift is often required if you plan on using larger tires.
Installation: The installation of a body lift is relatively easy and can often be done in your garage with basic hand tools. However, a suspension lift requires much more work and requires special tools and expertise. You may need to take your truck to a professional mechanic or specialized shop to install a suspension lift.
Is a body lift better than a suspension lift?
The decision between a body lift and a suspension lift depends on individual requirements and choices. Both types of lifts have advantages and disadvantages, and neither is superior.
A body lift is generally more affordable and easier to install than a suspension lift. It is also less likely to affect the handling and stability of your vehicle, and it can maintain the factory ride quality of your vehicle. However, a body lift only raises the body of your vehicle, not the frame or suspension, so it does not provide any additional ground clearance. This can limit your off-road capabilities, and the added height may make getting in and out of your vehicle more difficult.
On the other hand, a suspension lift raises the entire vehicle, including the frame and suspension, significantly increasing ground clearance. This can improve your off-road capabilities and allow you to navigate challenging terrain. Installing a suspension lift is more complicated and costly than a body lift. It can also affect the handling and stability of your vehicle and may require additional modifications to your drivetrain.
Choosing between a body lift and a suspension lift depends on your specific needs and budget. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to add extra height and improve the appearance of your vehicle, a body lift may be a good choice. However, a suspension lift is likely the better option if you plan on doing serious off-roading or need maximum clearance for extreme terrain.
What is the point of a body lift?
The main point of a body lift is to raise your vehicle’s body by installing spacers between the frame and the body. This increases the distance between the body and the frame, giving your vehicle a taller appearance and allowing larger tires and wheels to be installed.
Body lifts are a popular choice for vehicle enthusiasts who want to improve the appearance of their vehicles without breaking the bank. They are typically less expensive than suspension lifts and are relatively easy to install, making them a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts.
In addition to improving the appearance of your vehicle, a body lift can also help accommodate larger tires and wheels, improving your vehicle’s traction and stability in off-road conditions.
However, it’s important to remember that a body lift only raises your vehicle’s body and does not provide any additional ground clearance. This means that while a body lift can improve the appearance and performance of your vehicle, there may be better choices for serious off-road use.
Do body lifts affect ride quality?
A body lift can have a minimal effect on the ride quality of your vehicle. Since a body lift only raises the body of your vehicle and not the suspension, the ride quality should remain similar to before the lift. Some drivers report that a body lift can improve the ride quality of their vehicle by providing a smoother ride.
However, it’s important to remember that a body lift can change the centre of gravity of your vehicle, which can affect the handling and stability of your vehicle.
In addition, a body lift can cause some components, such as the radiator hoses and brake lines, to become too short, leading to problems. To avoid these issues, install the body lift correctly and use the proper components, such as extension brackets or longer hoses, to ensure your vehicle’s systems remain intact and properly functioning.
Can you have a body lift and a suspension lift?
Yes, it is possible to have both a body lift and a suspension lift on a vehicle. This is known as a combination lift or a “combo lift.”
A combination lift can significantly benefit from increased ground clearance and improved off-road capabilities. By raising both the body and suspension, a combo lift can provide greater clearance for larger tires and wheels and can also help to improve the approach and departure angles of your vehicle.
However, it’s important to note that a combo lift can be more complex and expensive than a single lift type. Installing both a body lift and a suspension lift requires careful planning and execution and may require additional modifications to your drivetrain, steering, and brake systems.
In addition, a combo lift can also affect the ride quality and handling of your vehicle. The increased height and altered suspension geometry can cause changes in the vehicle’s centre of gravity, affecting stability and handling.
In conclusion, choosing a body lift and suspension lift for your truck depends on your specific needs and preferences.
If you want to improve your truck’s appearance without affecting its off-road capabilities, a body lift may be the way to go. However, remember that it will only provide clearance for larger tires and will not enhance your truck’s performance.
On the other hand, if you want to improve your truck’s off-road capabilities, a suspension lift is the better option. It provides increased ground clearance, better approach and departure angles, and better articulation, which are essential for navigating challenging terrain.