Are you getting the advertised lift or level from your lift and leveling kits? Hmmm, thought that might be your answer. From my 30+ years in the automotive industry, and my 10+ years of experience with lift and leveling kits, I have witnessed many instances of dissatisfied pickup and SUV owners. This is especially true when the customer did not get the advertised lift or leveling result they were seeking. In fact, I’ve seen situations where a manufacturer has blatantly misrepresented the amount of lift their kits will achieve, just to get a sale. The net result is a dissatisfied vehicle owner, and an embarrassed installer.
NOT ALL LIFT AND LEVELING KIT MANUFACTURER’S ARE CREATED EQUAL
The fact is, there are a myriad of lift and leveling kits on the market, and many of them are reputable. However, there are many makeshift companies producing sub-par products. I would argue that, if you are interested in consistency and safety, you may want to stick with a recognized brand.
WHAT LIFT OR LEVELING KIT IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
How do you decide which one is right for you, and how can you assure that you get the expected result you were looking for? Well, it turns out there are a number of ways. The first thing you need to do is measure from the lower rim of each wheel to the highest point of your fender.
No matter which manufacturer you decide to buy from, it is important to take this measurement on all four corners of your vehicle, otherwise you will not have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.
Next, as with most lift or leveling kit products, you now must choose from a number of products. Why do I have to make a choice, you ask? Well, this is because most manufacturers have a number of kits available for any particular vehicle (Ford F150, Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram, etc.) Now you are at the point where you need to make a ride height decision; “do I go with the 2.0” leveling kit? Or the 3.0” leveling kit? Or, do I do a full 4.0” lift for both the front and rear?” It is important to understand the measurements you’ve taken, so that you can choose the correct non-adjustable kit for the result you seek. Or, do you?…
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH NON-ADJUSTABLE LIFT OR LEVELING KITS
In my opinion, the biggest problem goes right back to the title of this blog. No matter what you read on the internet, it turns out that not everything may actually be true!Ride height results, after installation, may not turn out exactly as expected. For example, if you measured initial ride height on all four corners, according to the instructions above, then you would have already figured-out that your side-to-side right height measurements may not be the same. Minor idiosyncrasies before you make a change to your ride height, will still be there after you change your ride height!
Additionally, kits don’t always provide the exact amount of lift or level as advertised. A 2” front lift, for instance, may actually only net a 1.75” front lift. Or, maybe you even ordered the incorrect part number, not realizing it before you took the time to install your kit. Which all brings me to the final point of this article.
IF YOU CAN’T CONTROL OR MANIPULATE THE AMOUNT OF RIDE HEIGHT CHANGE, YOU CAN’T LEVEL A VEHICLE
In our estimation, there is only one way to truly level a vehicle, and that is to introduce adjustability into the equation.
If you think about it, adding a “fixed” spacer (meaning non-adjustable), to a suspension that is already exhibiting unequal and/or un-level ride height, you are only adding ride height to an already unequal ride height suspension. Without adjustability, there are simply too many factors that can keep you from achieving the result you were looking for.
TO BE TOTALLY TRANSPARENT ABOUT LIFT AND LEVELING KITS
To be totally transparent, Yes, I did invent the patented adjustable leveling kit for MacPherson Strut & Coil Spring suspensions. To be totally transparent, Yes, I am partial. To be totally transparent, Yes, my patented products did win the SEMA Best New Off-Road/4×4 Product of the Year award.