Body Lift Kit vs Suspension Lift Kit Comparison
Lift kits are a popular accessory for Utes and 4wds. They let you fit larger tyres and give a higher ride height, as well as making your vehicle look higher. Fitting one can be a pretty major task but it’s easily managed by any decent mechanic. However it’s easy to choose the wrong kit. There are two different types of lift kit available – body and suspension lifts – and if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking to achieve you can end up spending a lot of money and not getting the result you hoped for. If you’re thinking about adding a lift kit we’ve put together a handy guide to help you get it right first time.
Some people are mostly interested in the aesthetics of lifting – they want to be sitting higher and give their vehicle a larger, more imposing appearance. Others want to fit tyres that won’t quite fit in the wheel wells. These are ideal candidates for a body lift kit. These basically work by inserting spacers between the chassis and body of a vehicle. They’re the easier of the two to work with and they don’t have any knock-on effects on vehicle handling. You don’t even have to check wheel alignment or anything after fitting them, and ride quality shouldn’t be affected.
On the other hand serious off roaders are probably more interested in getting some extra ground clearance so they can get across rougher ground without all those interesting scraping and banging noises from underneath. A body lift kit isn’t going to help here, but a suspension lift can. These kits are a bit more extensive and harder to install; they involve adding spacers to your existing suspension to jack it up a bit, or replacing whole components (usually cross members) with new ones. This can gain you up to six inches of extra ground clearance as well as most of the benefits of a body lift. Of course because you’ve altered the suspension geometry you’ll need to get your wheels aligned, but you can get a significant improvement in off road performance by installing a good suspension lift. Just be aware that you’ll raise the centre of gravity a bit more than a body lift would.
Both types of lift kit have their advantages, but if you’re a really keen off roader we’d say go with a suspension lift. There’s a bit more work involved but the extra capability is well worth it. At the end of the day it’s all about making your 4wd a more effective machine.
This doesn't mean that you can't run a body lift kit and a suspension lift kit at the same time. Often a lot of guys will do both in order to get the maximum lift out of their vehicle with a combination of bigger tyres and taller suspension. We recommend you take a look at your local road rules about height restrictions before you invest your hard earned on a kit for your truck.