Body Lift vs Suspension Lift: Which Is Right for Your Vehicle?
There’s a reason why there are nearly one million mechanics found in the United States. We rely on these professionals both for vehicle maintenance and vehicle customizations.
Two of the most popular types of custom upgrades are a body lift and suspension lift. But, exactly what is a body lift? And what is a suspension lift? If you want to learn the answer, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the pros and cons of the body lift vs suspension lift debate. That way, you can decide for yourself which option is best for your specific vehicle. Let’s get started!
What is a Body Lift?
Before we begin it’s important to first understand exactly what a body lift is. As the name suggests, a body lift kit raises the body of the truck which gives you some good height on your vehicle.
However, instead of using the suspension to perform the lift, it uses spaces found underneath your cab. You can purchase body lift kits in a variety of different heights.
You will often see body lift kits used when someone wants to install bigger tires on their truck or car. It’s important to get a good kit when you perform a body lift on your vehicle. Why?
Because they come with brackets to realign the body and match the vehicle. It’s possible to do a home-built version of a body lift without a kit. But, these typically look incomplete.
It’s usually pretty easy to tell when someone does one. Also, remember that body lifts and suspension lifts aren’t mutually exclusive. Some people like to use a body lift in tandem with a suspension lift.
Pros and Cons of a Body Lift
The biggest benefit of a body lift is that it allows you to raise the height of your vehicle while adding larger tires. These lifts are built on stock suspension, so you won’t need any wheel realignment.
What’s more, they’re easy to install. In many cases, it may be possible for you to do it entirely by yourself if you have the right equipment. Body lifts don’t affect the performance of your ride at all.
So, you can easily drive on smooth roads with them. Finally, body lift kits tend to be a lot more affordable than suspension kits. However, body lifts aren’t perfect.
Certain large tires might not work with a body lift since you’re not getting much clearance. With a body lift, there’s also a visible gap between the chassis and the body.
Some vehicle owners might find this unattractive. A body lift won’t do anything to improve the performance of your vehicle in off-road conditions. It also puts strain on vehicle components over time.
What is a Suspension Lift?
With a suspension lift kit, you’re not just raising the body of the vehicle but also the entire suspension system. Most suspension lift kits will raise the suspension by two inches.
However, you can also find kits that add four, eight, and even twelve inches of lift. With a suspension kit, you’re not only getting height but also ground clearance. It also allows you to put bigger and wider tires on your vehicle.
That makes it ideal for people that frequently like to drive in off-road conditions. Suspension kits are a lot harder to install than body lifts.
That’s because in addition to raising the suspension you’re also affecting the steering geometry, brakes, and driveshaft length. So, you will likely need help when installing a suspension kit.
Keep in mind that some states have laws regarding suspension lifts. This mainly includes height restrictions and bumper/light placements. So, make sure you check your local laws before installing one.
The last thing you want is to put a lot of money into a new suspension only to have to change it.
Pros and Cons of a Suspension Lift
The biggest benefit of a suspension lift kit is that it improves your driving in off-road conditions. It also gives you more ground clearance. This is ideal for avoiding certain obstacles like rocks when driving.
They’re also a bit more attractive. You won’t have an awkward gap between the chassis and the body. Finally, suspension lifts are better for the vehicle in the long term.
So, if you care about making your truck last, this is a good option. Sadly, they also come with some flaws. First, a suspension lift will negatively affect the handling and ride quality of your ride when you’re on smooth roads.
Suspension lift kits are typically a lot more pricey than body lift kits. They’re also a lot more challenging to install. You will need to realign the wheel and re-gear the vehicle.
When you raise a vehicle with a suspension kit you’re also raising the center of gravity. This makes it possible for your truck to roll over.
Finally, suspension lifts will decrease your gas mileage. So, you will need to spend more on fuel with this type of kit.
Body Lift vs Suspension Lift: Which is Right for You?
The right option for you depends on what you want out of your vehicle. If you’re on a budget, or all you want is height, your best bet is a body lift kit.
But, if you prefer off-road driving and want actual ground clearance, go with a suspension lift kit. We also recommend suspension kits for people who want to install large tires.
Enjoy Learning About Lift Kits? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn more about body lifts and suspension lifts. As you can see, there is no best option in the body lift vs suspension lift debate.
Both upgrades have their own time and place where they’re useful. Instead, it depends on your personal preferences and what you use your vehicle for. So, go with your gut and pick the option that feels right for you.
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