Pimp Your Ride, DIY-Style: A How-To Guide for Raising Cars Suspensions

The automotive aftermarket industry is a robust $39.6 billion. A good portion of this market are products that can help you lift your truck.

If you are a true auto enthusiast, you may be considering a lift for your truck. After all, you don’t want to ruin that beautiful new truck of yours by scraping bumper.

When it comes to raising cars, you need to understand your options and how each of the different kits work. This will help you choose the right lift for your goals.

Let’s get started with everything you need to know for your DIY lift.

It’s About More Than Looking Cool

Lifting your truck is about more than just looking cool. While many people do it for the looks, others do it for the increased clearance.

To be able to get the frame, body, and differentials higher, you need to put bigger tires on your vehicle. To be able to put bigger tires on, you need to lift the truck.

Lifted trucks perform better when you’re offroading. A higher vehicle has bigger angles for the approach, breakover, and departure.

The taller tires and bigger clearance help to keep all four tires on the ground. When all four tires are on the ground, you get better traction.

You will also have better visibility when you are up higher. You will be able to see further down the road and look over other cars that are on the road.

The final bonus is that you’ll have an easier time towing and hauling. When you lift your truck, you’ll have more room to settle before you bottom out from the weight of the load.

How to Lift Your Truck’s Suspension

There are two basic ways that you can lift your truck. You can either use a suspension lift or a body lift. Use either each of these methods on their own or together to get the height that you want.

Suspension Lift

This type of lift will push the wheels and frame further apart. You’ll find a few different varieties of lifts that use this method.

  • Coil spring bushings
  • Leaf spring shackles
  • Full suspension kits

If you use this method to lift your truck, then you will also need to get longer shocks. You will need to fix the alignment and driveline angles so that they are correct again. You will also need to lengthen the brake lines.

Body Lift

This type of lift will increase clearance but won’t change the height of the suspension or the alignment angles. You’ll find that they are either urethane or plastic.

Expect to get a lift of one to three inches with this type of lift. Depending on the type of lift kit you get for your Jeep, it may also come with extra components to correct your transmission linkage, brake lines, and steering wheel angle.

DIY Lift Kit

This is a project you should only attempt if you’ve done it before or are confident you know what you are doing. While these kits sound like a simple job, you can quickly get in over your head and unknowingly damage your truck.

Here are some lift options that are on the simpler end of the spectrum. These are the kits you are most likely going to do on your own.

Strut Spacers

To install your strut spacers, you’ll need to jack up your truck. Then you will remove the wheels and shocks.

Some kits will let you get away with only removing the top of the strut so you can slip the spacer in. Most kits will require you to remove the whole strut though.

Leaf Spring Block

To install your leaf springs, you will start similar to the strut spacer. You will need to jack up the vehicle and remove the wheels. From there, you will remove the axle from the leaf spring.

Then install the block. You will do this same process for both the front and back. You should know that putting blocks on your front leaf springs is a terrible idea.

The smarter way to go is to install lift springs on the front. These are much safer.

You should also make sure to only use brand new U bolts. You should get new ones any time you install new leaf spring blocks.

Torsion Key Lift

To install a torsion key lift, you need to remove the torsion bar screw. Remove the old key and bar and put on the new one. Then reassemble everything in reverse order.

Everything Is Different Now

Once you significantly change the height of your truck, it will never be the same again. Handling is going to be totally different. This is because you’ve raised the vehicle’s center of gravity.

You can expect your fuel economy to go down. You’ve increased the truck’s weight and changed the aerodynamics. Those bigger tires you have now also have more contact with the road, which creates more rolling resistance.

You also need to consider the difficulty of getting in and out of your lifted truck. This may not be a big deal for you, but women in dresses and your children may not appreciate the new challenge.

Now You Know About Raising Cars

When it comes to raising cars, you need to consider the pros and cons of doing the lift yourself before you commit to this project.  Remember, there are a lot more benefits than just having a cool looking truck.

However, you’ll need to be willing to live with the daily cons. If you decide to go through with a lift, use this guide to get started putting a lift on your truck.

Explore our auto guide section for more articles on how to trick out your car or truck.

Featured Image Source: Flickr

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