One of the most popular modifications done to large sized vehicles, such as trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs, is to have them lifted via a suspension lift or a leaf spring lift. Many people who enjoy off-roading or need to carry large loads purchase these modifications to raise the height of their vehicle or guarantee that their vehicle can handle large payloads without the rest of the machine breaking.
A suspension lift, which can also be called a leveling or lift kit, elevates a vehicle’s ride height so that it is able to to off-road more efficiently by having a higher ground clearance while also handling steeper cliffs. However, as the center of gravity is raised so is the chance that the vehicle will have reduced road handling. Suspension lifted vehicles also have additional room for larger wheels and tires to be installed.
Leaf spring suspensions are commonly found in vehicles that are used to haul heavy materials. They do not offer as much height as suspension lifts, but are less likely to have damage occur to the vehicle. Leaf springs can be added to the front or rear suspension. Without the leaf spring in place most vehicles wouldn’t be able to handle large payloads, which can cause the drive-shafts tend to break.
The type of drive-train a vehicle has determines what type of lift kit will be used. Each one is unique and can only be used for a specific model. Lift kits can be a simple as increasing the space between the axles and leaf springs, known as a lift block, or they could be more complicated. Lift kits can potentially alter many different factors including: brake lines, drive-shaft length, and steering. It is always important to check if the changes to the vehicle are allowed. Many jurisdictions have laws against lifted vehicles.
Using a lift block for only the rear suspension, instead of the front and rear suspension, is the most common way that drivers achieve the vehicle height that they are looking for. A lift block above a specific height is not recommended for the front suspension because it causes safety issues when a driver is trying to brake. If a block lift is installed in the front of the vehicle, the force of braking is shifted higher on the vehicle’s axle than it would have been before modifications were made. This can cause the lift block to fall out of position and result in loss of control.
Another way to raise the height of a vehicle is by using an add-a-leaf to an already existing leaf spring. This modification is not as common as the lift block method, but there is less of a chance that damage will occur to the vehicle down the line. The addition of extra lift springs means vehicles have a rougher ride. Add-a-leaf modifications can also have lifts built into their frame, this increases the amount of height a vehicle can achieve. Though this way to gain lift is costly, since it means swapping out all the old leaf springs, it provides more height than the normal add-a-leaf. Just like the suspension lift, if the height of the lift becomes too much for the specific vehicle to handle, there is more of a chance that something will break. It is important to make sure modifications are researched and are legal in your jurisdiction.
The lifted truck community
People who own a lifted Chevy truck can go to Lifted Chevy to view pictures of others trucks and even submit their own pictures of their lifted truck.