Is It Time to Get Your Tall Ride On? ABCs of Lift Kits

Ready to separate your off-road truck or SUV from the OEM crowd driving stock models? If you are ready to jack up your ride, experience fantastic visibility on the freeway or in grid lock and get the handling and capabilities to go where you couldn’t go before off-road, then you may be ready for a suspension lift kit.

Lift Kits are perhaps the most complex modification you will ever make to your ride. Think about it. A lift kit raises the vehicle’s clearance by suspending the frame, body, engine and power train above the wheels. This increases the distance between the axels and the chassis giving you the clearance you need. However, you are messing around with your vehicle’s suspension and if it is damaged as a result of the lift kit you installed, your OEM warranty probably will be voided leaving you responsible for all repairs.

On the flip side, adding an extra 2″ to 6″ of lift will allow you to:

  • Add the big honking tires you want, which in turn will give you better handling both on and off the road.

  • Gives you extra clearance allowing you to take on small boulders, logs, and rougher terrain without damaging the suspension while off-roading.

  • A lift kit gives your vehicle new capabilities letting your ride take on steeper approach, breakover and departure angles.

  • And of course, a lift kit gives you that awesome, aggressive off-road look and tall ride feel that you’ve been wanting to show off.

What You Need to Know Before You Decide

There is no shortage of brands offering lift kits. But like all aftermarket parts, quality, reliability, service and price can vary widely. Before you make a decision keep the following in mind:

  • Buy from a reputable brand; one that has been in the lift kit business for a while and has a solid reputation. Avoid the newcomers who typically lead with rock bottom pricing and claims of “easy installation.”
  • Buy a kit that has been engineered specifically for your make and model/year. You want parts that meet the OEM specs and don’t require “fixes” to make them fit.
  • Lift kits are like base models of cars, they can come with choices of options. Know exactly what you want before you commit, or you may discover you have “optioned” yourself way over budget.
  • Lastly, installation is key and if you have someone in mind, make sure he has experience with the brand you are buying.

Our Top Picks

At American Wheel & Tire (AWT) we carry a wide selection of lift kits, and while all of them are quality brands, we do have our favorites. Rough Country is one of our most popular kits particularly with drivers buying a lift kit for the first time. Rough Country is a solid brand offering model specific kits that are as dependable as more costly brands. Pro Comp has a world class manufacturing process and offers the most “complete” kit on the market. Cast and CNC knuckles and robotically welded crossmembers make up the foundation of their kits. Fabtech is pricy but they are a leader in all things suspension. Their Dirt Logic coilovers for Ford F series rides provides awesome handling and ride quality. Another high performance kit is ICON, who can turn your off-road Silverado into an awesome handling ride. Superlift Suspensions offers 4″ to 8″ lift kits, reliable performance, and usually comes in with a competitive price.

Skyjacker, Zone Offroad, Kelderman, ReadyLift, BDS, Rancho, Bulletproof, TeraFlex, Rubicon Express and Tuff Country make up the rest of the brands we carry. If you have questions about any of these brands, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our expert suspension guys will be happy to answer all your questions and make recommendations.

If you live in the Houston area, we can install everything we sell. Just contact us @ 713.682.1085 and we will make all the arrangements.