Are Coilovers Worth It For Your Truck Build?
April 7, 2022
Do you remember when the first pair of Jordans came out? Sure, they were comfortable and fashionable and all that, but the big draw was that everyone thought that if you had Jordans, you'd be able to jump higher and play better - imagine our disappointment when we all realized we still had six-inch verticals with or without the shoes.
Athletic shortcomings aside, the shoes didn't make that much of a difference for anyone's performance on the court. Similarly, you can go out and buy a top-tier coilover lift kit right now for your truck, but what makes it different from your basic lift kit, and more importantly, is it worth it?
Today, we'll be taking a look at the Jordans of the suspension world to find out if truck coilovers are actually worth it, or if they're just like all the teams Jordan and the Bulls beat in the 90s - good, but not the best. Let's go!
What Is A Coilover And How Is It Different From Standard Shocks?
When you look at the front end of a truck, you'll find a few different components - specifically, our focus for this piece is on the shock absorber. Typically, you'll find the shock at the front of the truck, and then some sort of suspension setup like a torsion bar or coil spring system if you have a solid axle RAM or something like that.
This spring, or torsion bar, or suspension component, is what's actually supporting the weight of your truck, whereas the shock is actually functioning by slowing down the travel of the suspension components, ultimately making the truck ride smoother. This is important because a coilover really just takes that strut and spring and mashes them together - it's a combination of a spring and a shock.
Coilovers are built by taking a coil spring and putting the shock absorber through the middle of it, like Derrick Henry on a running play. To ensure that there's still some sort of height adjustment or adjustability of the coilover, the coil spring often sits on a spring perch. A spring perch is little more than a fancy collar that sits on a threaded portion of the coilover body - you can just turn it up or down, which is ultimately going to raise or lower the front end of your truck.
What Benefits Do Coilovers Provide For A Truck?
Now that we've got the science out of the way, what makes coilovers so special? By far the biggest advantage to a coilover system is that it'll ride a lot better than a standard lift kit on your truck will. This is because both the coil spring and the shock are actually built for your specific application.
On top of that, the internal passages inside the shock - otherwise known as the valving - will be much more adjustable on a coilover, ultimately allowing you to really dial in that ride quality and get exactly what you want out of your suspension system. Additionally, coilovers are a great option if you want to replace some factory components.
Are Coilovers or Leveling Kits Better For Higher Truck Lifts?
Another key advantage of a coilover system is that, unlike a standard leveling kit, it won't put any additional strain on your factory truck's suspension geometry. Sure, you can get a leveling kit for a few hundred bucks that will bring the front end of your truck up a couple inches, either with a strut spacer or torsion keys or something like that. However, if you're really looking to push past a 2.5-3 inch lift, it'll put a lot of strain on the front of your truck, and cause you to burn through ball joints and wear out wheel bearings - this is where coilover kits truly shine.
Do Coilovers Impact Body Roll When Driving?
It's not all unicorns and rainbows when it comes to coilover kits, though, and they're definitely not perfect for every situation. For starters, one of the biggest drawbacks to a coilover system is that when compared to a torsion bar system, it'll be a bit more tippy. This means that you'll have a bit more body roll - that's because the torsion bar system works by applying pressure to the lower control arms, so as the truck rolls, it applies more pressure. A torsion bar is designed to help keep the front end of your truck from flexing, ultimately maintaining that road contact and stability. That's not a huge deal if you have a smaller lift, but as you get bigger, it could be an area of concern, especially if you're doing a lot of towing.
How Much Do Good Truck Coilovers Cost?
Probably the largest drawback to a coilover kit is that they'll be a bit more expensive than other options. A standard lift kit costs around $1800, but a good coilover kit will set you back about $5,500. That said, there is definitely some more value with coilovers, as you're getting a much higher-quality product than some of the other lift kits on the market.
What Are the Best Coilovers To Buy For Your Truck?
One of the best bang-for-your-buck coilover lift kit options is the Rough Country Vertex line of coilovers - they ride great, they're super adjustable, and you can get a full six-inch vertex kit for most trucks for around $2,500 when all is said and done.
If you're after a smaller kit, you can get a three-inch Vertex kit for under $2,000, which is almost unheard of for that kind of money. They ride great, look fantastic, have reservoirs, and are a good option if you want to go with something more premium without breaking the bank.
All told, we'd say that a coilover kit is absolutely worth it for the performance and ride quality they provide, but what do you think? Sound off!