Can You Lift A 2WD Truck And Is It Worth It?
September 9, 2022
So we don't really want to start a war over this, but we've had people asking us for years now about whether or not it's cool to put a lift kit on a two-wheel drive truck. It's a good question though, right? 2WD trucks aren't really focused on too much in the truck business, but if you do have one, you might be wondering if it's worth the investment to do a new mod on it. We want to help you answer that question today, so come check out whether or not you can lift a 2WD truck below.
Are There Lift Kits Available For Two-Wheel Drive Trucks?
The short answer is yes, and you'll have plenty of options at your disposal if you do have a two-wheel drive truck hanging out in your driveway. But this is just our opinion - if a four-wheel drive option is available, take it, especially if you live in areas like we do. Here in Wisconsin, it's super rare to find a two-wheel drive model because of the terrible weather we get after October, so everyone buys a four-wheel drive truck anyway.
On the other hand, in California a good portion of all the trucks on the road are two-wheel drive, but we wouldn't personally buy a two-wheel drive truck if we had plans for lifting it, though that's purely based on our location. But what if you do live in an area well-suited for two-wheel drive? What are your options there?
What Are The Benefits To Owning a Two-Wheel Drive Truck?
There are some definite benefits to owning a two-wheel drive truck, and most of them revolve around the fact that they're usually cheaper. They're cheaper if you need a re-gear because you only have one differential, and it's easier to install a lift kit because you don't have a front diff to cut out and drop down.
When it comes to selection, you do have fewer options, just because not many people are lifting two-wheel drive trucks, but we still offer almost 400 kits for two-wheel drive trucks in our store, so it's definitely possible to find a lift that works best for you.
Read More: Is A Prerunner Worth It?
What Are The Differences Between 2WD and 4WD Lift Kits?
We should probably talk about the differences in the kits themselves. You'll notice for the most part that kits on the newer trucks are pretty similar - on new GM 1500 trucks, for example, the two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive trucks actually use the same suspension setup, so the two-wheel drive kit just doesn't include components to drop the front differential. On older GM 1500 4WD trucks, there are torsion bars with keys, but the 2WD trucks have a coil-spring front suspension, so the kits are completely different.
Oftentimes, you'll hear someone refer to a two-wheel drive lift kit as a spindle lift and a four-wheel drive kit as a knuckle lift - spindles and knuckles are actually very similar. The knuckles have a hole where you can see the axle come through, and the spindle will have an actual spindle where you slide the entire hub assembly and brake assembly onto.
So lift is achieved on a spindle by lowering that spindle itself, but that's only good for a couple inches, and most large kits will also come with new springs. Remember that when you push the suspension down, you'll be pushing the truck up, though, so just keep that in mind whenever you're working on upgrading your truck's suspension.
How Do 4WD Knuckle Lifts Differ From 2WD Spindle Lifts?
A four-wheel drive knuckle achieves lift in much the same fashion as a spindle, but it can only help so much. The majority of the lift on a 4WD lift will come from larger struts or spacers on top of the factory struts, but the knuckles also have new mounting points for all your upper control arms and the tie rods and whatnot, so you don't mess up all your angles. The rest of the important bits are basically all about relocating your front diff and getting it dropped down.
Read More: Do Lift Kits Ruin Trucks?
Should You Get A Lift Kit For Your 2WD Truck?
If you've got a two-wheel drive truck and want to lift it, go for it - 99% of the lifted four-wheel drive trucks won' t be off-roaded either, so that really shouldn't be an argument used against you. If we had to build a two-wheel drive truck we'd definitely go with a prerunner style, since most of these professional prerunner trucks are two-wheel-drive anyway, which means that you can still go off the pavement with a two-wheel drive model just fine.
That's about all we got, and if you're looking to get your two-wheel drive truck lifted, check out our suspension store today and grab the kit that's right for your build. Hit us up if you need any help finding the best kit for you!