5 Things To Know Before Lifting Your Truck
June 18, 2021
Have you been thinking about lifting your truck? Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely think you should. It comes with benefits including additional ground clearance, better visibility, and it just looks plain badass. Before you lift it, there are important things that you should know before you take it all apart.
Table of Contents:
- What Should I Know Before Lifting My Truck?
- Final Thoughts
What Should I Know Before Lifting My Truck?
When it comes to big truck projects, such as installing a lift kit, there always seems to be unforeseen problems that pop up causing anger and frustration. If you’ve never lifted your truck before, your mind may be running at 100 mph wondering how it will go and what you should expect during the process. Well, the best thing you can do is be prepared, so let’s take a closer look at five things you should know before lifting your truck!
1. Patience. Once you’ve decided you want to lift your truck, it might be the only thing you can think about until it’s finally done. And we don’t blame you, it’s pretty cool. However, due to a national shortage of raw materials such as steel and aluminum, manufacturers are experiencing difficulties keeping up with the production demands. This is translating into quite a few delays in delivery times, which can be frustrating. Don’t let this ruin the process for you. Wheel companies are also experiencing issues in the department, just in case new wheels were on your radar as well.
Even though long backorder times are the reality right now, there are suspension companies with some limited in-stock availability now, and also don’t have crazy long lead times on kits that are currently out of stock. So if you’re looking to buy a lift kit right now, companies that are good about getting one to you include:
2. Your Whole Front Will Get Torn Apart. When you’re installing a lift kit, you pretty much take the whole front end of your truck apart. You’ll have easier access by having everything out of the way, and it also creates a good opportunity for taking care of some basic maintenance. Getting at certain parts of your truck will now be much simpler to get at in this state, so it’s almost a bad idea NOT to go in and replace things like ball joints, wheel bearings, or even control arms to prevent the hassle of another big project in the future.
If you’re lifting your truck with the intention of adding bigger wheels and tires, replacing those front-end parts with high-quality ones will set you up for success. This is because bigger wheels and tires can put additional strain on your truck, resulting in the need for some extra support.
3. Installing Your Lift Kit Will Take Some Time. Don’t be fooled by what the lift kit manual is telling you. It might tell you it takes “X” amount of time to install, but that number, more often than not, is how long it’s going to take a tech from their company to install it. Unless that’s who you are, expect it to take a lot longer than that. Those guys work on installations EVERY DAY, and it’s practically second nature to them by now. They’ve got the training, tools, and resources needed to successfully install a kit in that amount of time. Odds are, you probably don’t.
Plus, the time given on the manual is probably referring to that length of time for a brand new pickup. So be prepared to spend extra time attacking rust and frozen bolts on an old truck. It’s important to know how much time you’ll need to alot toward this project because it will help you plan how long your truck will be out of commission.
4. Ride Quality Will Change. A change in ride quality can either be a good or bad thing, depending on your situation. For example, an older truck with older suspension, can ride more firmly due to an upgrade in shocks and struts, which can be a positive experience depending on how you use your truck. However, some people have negative experiences after realizing there can be stability and driving dynamic issues.
Remember, a suspension lift can involve a ton of changes from everything to control arms, leaf springs, to shocks and struts. You’re now going to be rocking a higher center of gravity and may experience altered steering. You DID just change your suspension’s geometry, so don’t be shocked. Adding bigger wheels and tires can help you have more contact with the road and bridge the gap of change that lifting your truck caused. Another tip, adding high-quality shocks to help maintain the best ride quality as possible.
5. Rust. Rust is an unfortunate reality of life, especially if you live in a northern state that experiences nasty winters and weather. Especially if your truck isn’t new, it might have some major rusting going on that will make it so you have to literally cut parts off in order to make your lift work. You can’t best mother nature, and unless you’ve been religiously cleaning or taking other preventative measures, you’ve probably got rust on your older pickup’s undercarriage.
Expect this to be a potential obstacle that lengthens the amount of time needed to finish the project. Also, if you can, try to budget some money on the side so you can replace those parts that were damaged in order to install the lift kit properly. It’s not uncommon that the reality of lifting your truck costs more than the initial price of the kit.
Having a lifted truck can be a really badass experience, but getting from point A to point B isn’t always a straight line when it comes to the process of installing a lift kit. While this isn’t meant to steer you away from doing it, you’ll have a much smoother experience if you anticipate all of the potential setbacks you may encounter during the installation process. Doing some research, asking questions, and even interacting with our content can teach you some crucial information that will set you up for success.
Did you install a lift kit on your truck, or help a buddy do theirs? We want to know what kind of experiences you’ve had, and what you wish someone would have told you before lifting your truck. Let us know in the comments!