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What’s The Difference Between a Lift Kit and a Leveling Kit?

November 10, 2020

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One of the most common questions we receive from you guys relates to the various differences between aftermarket Lift Kits and Leveling Kits. On this rendition of From The Inbox, we decided to toss you guys some of the biggest factors that set the two apart, along with some of the benefits that each setup offers. 

 

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Table of Contents

1. Leveling Kits- What to Know

2. What is Rake?

3. Lift Kits- What to Know

4. Will a Lift Level Out My Truck?

5. In Closing

 

1. Leveling Kits - What To Know

 

When it comes to a Lift Kit versus a Leveling Kit there are a few things you need to know. Generally, the confusion in this department comes from the various sizes of leveling kits, which can throw off some customers who are really looking to throw a lift kit on their truck.

In short and simple terms a Leveling Kit is designed to lift the front of your truck to achieve the somewhat self-explanatory feat of leveling out your truck front to back.

Although there are some companies that make hybrid systems that combine leveling kits with lift kit components, the general premise behind most leveling kits is to get that front end up using a top or bottom strut spacer in order to counter OEM rake and level out your vehicle. 

 

Raptor Leveling Kit

 

Raptor Leveling Kit 2

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2. What Do We Mean By Rake?

 

Another common misconception is that trucks sit lower in the front due to the heavyweight of the engine and little to no weight in the bed.

Although there is definitely more weight up front, trucks actually sit lower in the front due to “rake” from the factory; This allows for the truck to sit level with a loaded bed or a trailer hooked up. Installing a Leveling Kit counteracts the factory rake and allows the truck to sit evenly when unloaded. 

 

3. Lift Kits - What To Know

 

When it comes to Lift Kits, these affect both the front and the rear of the truck, so purchasing and installing a 6” lift kit is going to give you six inches of lift in the front AND the rear of your vehicle. Similar to leveling kits, some lift kits use strut spacers to achieve lift, while others will replace the strut altogether to maximize performance.

In the rear end, it is likely that a 6” lift kit will only come with a 4” block spacers; This allows for the factory rake (which would likely be somewhere around 2”) to be factored in so that the truck will ultimately sit evenly with your new lift kit.

There are some lift kits, such as the BDS system for 3/4 ton trucks, that give customers the option to run a 4” block spacer or a 5” block spacer to maintain some rake and allow the truck to sit level when loaded up. 

 

Silverado Lift Kit

 

Silverado Lift 2

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4. Will A Lift Kit Level Out My Truck?

 

More often than not we get asked “Will a lift kit level out my truck,” however the answer to this lies in the math of where your truck currently sits.

If the distance from the ground to your front wheel-well is 35”, and the distance between the ground and your rear wheel-well is 37”; Then a 3” Leveling Kit is going to bring you to 38” in the front with about an inch of squat with 37” in the rear.

On the other hand, a 3” Kit will bring the front to 38”, but with only a 1” block spacer in the rear, the truck is going to sit level at 38” front to back. So ultimately the answer here is YES, a lift kit will level out your truck.

 

In Closing

 

We hope this helped answer some of the questions you may have been asking when considering a new lift kit or leveling kit for your truck. Be sure to check out our gallery to see the lift and leveling kits that others are running!

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