Complete Buying Guide to Suspension Lift Kits: Types, Benefits, and Top Picks

Explore Complete Buying guide for Suspension lift kit | Everything you need to know

When it comes to upgrading your vehicle, the suspension system is a critical component to consider. It plays a vital role in providing a smooth ride and maintaining contact between the tires and the road surface, as well as in handling and braking performance.

With so many options available in the market, it can be challenging to choose the right suspension components for your vehicle and driving needs.

This guide aims to provide you with all the information you need when it comes to purchasing suspension parts.

It includes an overview of different types of suspension systems, important factors to keep in mind, and some of the best brands to consider.

Whether you’re looking to improve handling, increase load capacity or simply replace worn-out parts, this guide will help you make a well-informed decision.

Suspension Lift Kits Complete Buying Guide


What is suspension lift kit?

A suspension lift kit is a modification that raises the body of a vehicle off the ground. It typically includes components such as lift blocks, longer springs, and new shocks. The main purpose of a lift kit is to increase the overall height of the vehicle and provide additional ground clearance.

Lift kits also allow for the installation of larger tires, which can enhance the appearance of the vehicle and improve traction and performance in off-road conditions.

best suspension lift kits buying guide

It is important to note that lift kits should be installed by a professional mechanic or someone with mechanical skills and the necessary tools to ensure proper installation and avoid any issues with the suspension or steering of the vehicle.

Types of Suspension Lift Kits

When it comes to types of lift kits, there are several options available including body lifts, spring kits, spindle kits, strut kits, short arm lifts, and long arm lifts or full suspension lift kits. These types vary in terms of maximum ground clearance, off-road capabilities, and the amount of lift they provide. It is important to choose a lift kit that fits your specific needs and vehicle.

Body Lift kits

If you’re looking for an affordable way to lift your vehicle 1-3 inches, then a body lift kit might be the perfect option for you.

This type of lift kit comes with spacers, blocks, and bolts that are installed between the body and frame of the vehicle to increase its height.

Body Lift kits components
Body Lift kits components

It’s a budget-friendly option that doesn’t require modifications to the suspension and usually considered as the most inexpensive lift kit.

However, it should be noted that it doesn’t offer as much clearance as other types of lift kits. Body lift kits are also referred to as spacer lift kits, as they use spacers and blocks to lift the vehicle.

Body Lift Kits

Pros

  • Affordability: Body lift kits are generally less expensive than other types of lift kits.
  • Easy Installation: Body lift kits are relatively easy to install and can be done by someone with basic mechanical skills and the necessary tools.
  • Incremental lift: It allows for a moderate lift of 1-3 inches which are sufficient for many drivers and can provide a better view and improve off-road capabilities.
  • No impact on suspension: Since it doesn’t modify the suspension system, it doesn’t have any negative impact on the ride quality or handling of the vehicle.

Cons

  • Limited Ground Clearance: Body lift kits do not provide as much ground clearance as other types of lift kits, so they may not be suitable for off-roading in extreme conditions.
  • Can affect the drivetrain: it can create clearance issues with the drivetrain components, such as the exhaust, steering, and braking systems, which can lead to problems if not properly addressed.
  • Impact on the overall look: It can affect the overall look of the vehicle as it raises the body, but leaves the suspension and drivetrain at the original height which can make the vehicle look disproportionate.
  • Can void the warranty: Installing a body lift kit may void the warranty of the vehicle, so it’s important to check the terms of the warranty before installing one.

Spring Lift kit

A spring lift kit is another type of lift kit that uses longer springs to raise the body of the vehicle off the ground.

It includes new shocks to accommodate the additional height. Spring lift kits are more costly than body lift kits, but they offer more clearance and a smoother ride.

Spring lift kits
Spring lift kit components

The components of a spring lift kit include longer springs, which are the main component, and additional shocks that are designed to dampen the movements of the suspension, providing more stability during rides.

There are two types of spring lift kits: coil spring kits, which use coil springs for lifting the vehicle, and leaf spring kits, which use leaf springs for lifting.

It should be noted that spring lift kits are intended for budget buyers and the amount of lift that it can provide depends on the specific kit and the type of vehicle it’s being installed on.

Usually, it can add between 2 inches to 8 inches of lift to your vehicle, which can enhance the visual aspect of it.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that spring lift kits aren’t suitable for getting higher lifts every time, as it can cause problems with the suspension and steering, requiring the use of longer driveshafts and other modifications to make it more stable.

It is recommended to use spring lift kits for getting around 2-5 inches of lift.

Spring Lift Kits

Pros

  • Increased Ground Clearance: Spring lift kits provide more ground clearance than body lift kits, making them more suitable for off-roading and driving on rough terrain.
  • Improved Ride Quality: Spring lift kits can improve the ride quality of the vehicle by providing a smoother ride and better handling.
  • Increased Load-carrying Capacity: Spring lift kits can increase the vehicle’s load-carrying capacity, making it better suited for hauling or towing heavy loads.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: A spring lift kit can enhance the overall appearance of the vehicle by making it look taller and more rugged.

Cons

  • Higher Cost: Spring lift kits are generally more expensive than body lift kits.
  • Complex Installation: Spring lift kits are more complex to install than body lift kits and should be done by a professional mechanic or someone with mechanical skills and the necessary tools.
  • More Expensive to repair: Because spring lift kits modify the suspension system, they can be more expensive to repair or replace if something goes wrong.
  • Impact on suspension: Lifting your vehicle too much using spring lift kit can cause problems with the suspension and steering, and it may require the use of longer driveshafts and other modifications to make it more stable. It’s important to choose a spring lift kit that provides the right amount of lift for your specific needs.
  • Can void the warranty: Installing a spring lift kit may void the warranty of the vehicle, so it’s important to check the terms of the warranty before installing one.

Spindle Lift Kit

A spindle lift kit is a type of lift kit that comes with taller front spindles that replace the stock spindles and raise the front of the vehicle.

Unlike other lift kits, it doesn’t include new springs, shocks, or spacers. Spindle lift kits are typically more costly because of the inclusion of spindles.

Spindle Lift kits
Main component of Spindle lift kit

This type of lift kit can provide a lift of 2-4 inches by using taller front spindles.

It should be noted that these lift kits are not as common as other types of lift kits and they are recommended for people who are looking for a specific lift height and don’t want to change the suspension or shocks.

Spindle Lift Kits

Pros

  • Provides a more aggressive stance and improved off-road capability
  • Often less expensive than other types of lift kits
  • Does not require extensive modifications to the suspension system
  • Often improves handling and braking performance

Cons

  • May not provide as much lift as other types of lift kits
  • Can negatively affect the factory alignment and handling
  • Increased height can cause issues with the factory steering and drive shafts
  • Can void the factory warranty and may not be street legal in some areas.
Why and When to choose spindle lift kit over spring lift kit

Spindle lift kits and spring lift kits are both popular types of suspension lift kits, but they have some key differences that may make one a better choice than the other depending on the specific application.

One advantage of spindle lift kits is that they are typically less expensive than spring lift kits. This is because spindle lift kits only require replacement of the factory spindles with taller versions, whereas spring lift kits often require replacement of the entire spring and shock assembly.

Another advantage of spindle lift kits is that they typically provide better handling and braking performance than spring lift kits.

This is because spindle lift kits maintain the factory suspension geometry, whereas spring lift kits often require additional modifications to the suspension system to maintain proper alignment.

Additionally, spindle lift kits often provide a more aggressive stance and improved off-road capability than spring lift kits. This is because spindle lift kits allow for larger wheels and tires to be fitted, which can improve traction and clearance.

Strut Lift kit

A strut lift kit is a more advanced form of suspension lift kit compared to a spindle lift kit.

These kits involve replacing the front struts of the vehicle with taller versions, which raises the front of the vehicle. They also include new springs and, in some cases, new control arms.

The new springs and control arms are designed to improve the stability of the vehicle and provide a more comfortable ride. However, these lift kits tend to be more costly than other types of lift kits.

Strut lift kits
Components of Strut lift kits – Struts

When installing this lift kit, you can expect to gain only a small amount of additional lift, usually around 2-3 inches.

However, there are still many benefits to using this kit. One advantage is that it is relatively easy to install, thanks to the inclusion of new struts.

Additionally, the kit comes with new springs and control arms, which work together to provide a smoother ride and greater stability when compared to a spindle lift kit.

Some kits also include strut spacers, which can provide extra clearance for larger tires. However, using only strut spacers is not recommended as they do not provide any additional suspension travel, which can negatively affect performance off-road.

If you’re using your vehicle for heavy off-road use or a bigger lift, a full strut assembly replacement would be a better option as it provides a greater lift, improved handling and stability and increased suspension travel.

Full Suspension Lift kit

A full suspension lift kit alters the entire vehicle’s suspension system, both front and rear, to provide optimal clearance and off-road performance.

These kits are typically the most expensive option on the market and come with all the necessary components, including shocks, springs, control arms, and more.

The kit includes coil springs or leaf springs for additional inches of lift, new shocks for improved stability and damping, new control arms that can accommodate larger tires, and other necessary hardware and installation instructions.

Full suspension lift kits
Some of the basic components of Full Suspension lift kit

Some kits also include sway bar links to reduce body roll and improve stability or brake line brackets to ensure proper brake function during lift. This results in improved position and function of the suspension lift kit.

A full suspension lift kit can provide 3-12 inches of lift depending on the kit, and is considered to be the best type of lift kit for off-road performance and for better clearance.

It lifts the entire vehicle, starting from the front and rear, providing maximum ground clearance and room for larger tires.

It is recommended to consider buying a full suspension lift kit only if your budget is higher and you’re looking for high lift, and also if you plan to purchase larger tires to enhance looks and stability.


Which lift kit can be best for Larger tires

In which lift kit you can accomodate larger tires

When considering which type of lift kit can accommodate larger tires, it is important to note that lift kits that include control arms are the best option.

This is because the control arms provide the necessary space and support for larger tires. Additionally, larger tires can sometimes lead to instability, which can be addressed with the use of control arms for better control over the vehicle.


After understanding the different types of lift kits, it is also important to consider the benefits of installing a lift kit on your vehicle. These benefits include improved off-road performance, increased ground clearance, and the ability to accommodate larger tires.

Benefits of Installing Suspension Lift Kit

Benefits of Having Suspension lift installed In your vehicle

There are several benefits to having a suspension lift kit installed on your vehicle, including:

Benefits of Suspension Lifts kit

1.Increased ground clearance: A lift kit raises the ride height of the vehicle, providing greater clearance over obstacles and rough terrain. This can be especially beneficial for off-road driving and can help to prevent damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle.

2.Improved off-road capability: The increased ground clearance and ability to install larger wheels and tires can also improve a vehicle’s off-road capability. This can allow for better traction and stability in challenging conditions.

3.Enhanced appearance: A lift kit can give a vehicle a more aggressive stance and improved appearance. This can be especially desirable for those who enjoy the aesthetics of lifted trucks and SUVs.

4.Improved handling and stability: A lift kit can improve handling and stability in certain driving conditions. This can be especially beneficial for those who frequently drive on rough or uneven surfaces, or who use their vehicle for off-road activities.

5.Larger Tires: The lift kit allows the installation of larger tires which can provide better traction and stability, and also improve the look of the vehicle.

It’s important to consider that lift kits are not suitable for all vehicles and driving conditions, it’s best to consult with a professional mechanic for proper installation and compatibility before installing.


Drawbacks of Installing Suspension lift kits

There are several potential disadvantages to having a suspension lift kit installed on your vehicle, including:

Drawbacks of Installing Suspension lift kits

1.Negative impact on factory alignment and handling: A lift kit can negatively affect the factory alignment and handling of a vehicle. This can lead to increased wear and tear on the tires, and can make the vehicle more difficult to control.

2.Increased wear and tear on other suspension components: Raising the ride height of a vehicle can put additional stress on other suspension components, such as the shocks, springs, and control arms. This can lead to increased wear and tear and the need for more frequent maintenance and repairs.

3.Reduced fuel efficiency: A lift kit can increase the aerodynamic drag on a vehicle, which can lead to a decrease in fuel efficiency. This can be especially costly for those who do a lot of highway driving.

4.Can void the factory warranty and may not be street legal in some areas: Some lift kits may void the factory warranty and may not be legal in certain areas, so it’s important to check the laws and regulations in your area before installing a lift kit.

5.Can be expensive and require professional installation: Lift kits can be expensive, and may require professional installation. It’s important to consider the cost and the availability of a qualified professional before deciding to install a lift kit.

6.Can cause issues with the drive shaft and steering: A lift kit can cause the drive shaft to bind or hit the cross member, and the steering can be affected by the increased height. This can lead to an uncomfortable and unsafe driving experience.


Important points to consider while buying Suspension lift kit for your vehicle

When buying a suspension lift kit for your vehicle, there are several important points to consider:

benefits of installing suspension lift kit

1.Compatibility: Make sure the lift kit you choose is compatible with your specific make and model of vehicle. It’s important to check for compatibility with other modifications you have made or plan to make in the future.

2.Lift height: Consider how much lift you want to achieve with the kit and what the intended use of the vehicle is. Some kits provide more lift than others, and some are designed for specific types of driving conditions.

3.Quality of components: Look for kits that are made of high-quality materials and are manufactured by reputable companies. Avoid cheap kits that may not hold up over time.

4.Installation: Consider the difficulty of installation and whether you feel comfortable installing the kit yourself or if you would prefer to have it done professionally.

5.Warranty: Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer and ensure that it covers any potential issues that may arise with the lift kit.

6.Brand reputation: Look for kits from reputable manufacturers who have a good track record of producing quality products and providing excellent customer support.

7.Street legality: Make sure the lift kit you choose is legal in your area and won’t void any factory warranties.

8.Cost: Consider the cost of the lift kit and whether it fits within your budget. It’s important to strike a balance between cost and quality.

9.Professional advice: It’s always a good idea to consult a professional mechanic for proper installation and compatibility before installing a lift kit.

By keeping these points in mind, you can make an informed decision about the best lift kit for your vehicle and your specific needs.


Important tips to install any type of suspension lift kit

When installing a suspension lift kit, it’s important to follow these tips to ensure a successful and safe installation:

  1. Read the instructions carefully: Be sure to read and understand the instructions for the lift kit before starting the installation process. This will ensure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment and that you understand the proper installation procedures.
  2. Use the proper tools: Make sure you have the proper tools for the job, such as jack stands, socket wrenches, and torque wrenches. Using the wrong tools can lead to damage to the vehicle or the lift kit components.
  3. Do not rush: Take your time and be careful when installing the lift kit. Rushing can lead to mistakes and can put your safety at risk.
  4. Align the wheels: After installing the lift kit, be sure to have your wheels aligned. An improper alignment can lead to increased tire wear and can negatively affect the vehicle’s handling.
  5. Check for leaks: After installation, check for any leaks in the brake or fuel lines.
  6. Check clearances: Check the clearance of the lift kit components to ensure that they are not touching any other parts of the vehicle.
  7. Check torque: Make sure that the bolts and nuts are tightened to the correct torque specifications as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. .Check ride height: After installation, check the ride height to ensure that the vehicle is sitting at the desired height and that the suspension components are functioning correctly. This includes checking the ride height of the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as checking for any unevenness or sway.
  9. Test drive: Before hitting the road, take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure that the suspension is working correctly and that the vehicle handles and rides smoothly.
  10. Professional installation: If you are not confident in your ability to install the lift kit or if you have any doubts, it’s best to have the installation done by a professional mechanic. This will ensure that the lift kit is installed correctly and that your vehicle is safe to drive.

Conclusion

In summary, the suspension system is a crucial component of any vehicle that plays a vital role in ensuring a comfortable ride, maintaining tire-to-road contact, and enhancing handling and braking performance.

When looking for suspension components, it’s important to keep in mind the type of suspension system your vehicle has, your driving needs, and the intended use of the vehicle.

By selecting the right suspension parts, you can upgrade your vehicle’s handling, expand its load-carrying capacity, and prolong the life of your tires.

When making your purchase, it’s also important to opt for reputable brands that have a proven history of producing high-quality suspension parts that are built to last.

Some well-known brands to consider include Bilstein, Belltech, and Rough country. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can make a well-informed decision when it comes to upgrading your vehicle’s suspension system.

Remember to take your time, conduct thorough research, and you will be able to find the ideal suspension parts for your vehicle and budget.

Final Words

We trust that you found our article, “Suspension Lift Kit Complete Buying Guide” informative and beneficial. We hope that it helped you make a well-informed decision when it comes to choosing the best suspension lift kit for your vehicle.

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