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The Basics: Lift vs. Leveling

What does a leveling kit do for a truck?

A leveling kit raises the front end.

A lot of people get leveling kits to get rid of the "rake", the slightly lower front height that your truck has standard from the factory. Why do they come like that from the factory, with the lower rake? Because typically your vehicle is going to be loaded with passengers and gear, which will push your rear end down an inch or two, so the truck levels itself when loaded. Essentially your truck levels at what your manufacturer has decided is a "typical" load.

Leveling kits can add 1 to 3 inches of ride height to most trucks that have a coil spring suspension. Most trucks are taller in the rear, so raising the front suspension makes the truck sit level. Leveling kits just raise the front of your truck instead of lowering the rear--your hauling capacity remains unchanged.

What does a lift kit do for a truck?

A lift kit raises the whole truck.

Using a lift kit will give you more ground clearance room and more suspension articulation. Some drivers do it just for appearance, but it will definitely make your truck better as an off-road vehicle. Obviously it also gives you room for larger tires. Here's a good article from a couple years ago on Pickuptrucks.com about ways to level your truck.

Making a change to lift will change your steering and suspension. Think carefully about what you need before making a decision. A higher center of gravity is a given--something your driving needs to take into account. And if you do lift it, adjust your headlights!

 

 

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