Aside from bigger wheels and tires, lift kits are one of the most popular modifications for off-road enthusiasts. Not only does a lifted vehicle get extra ground clearance that makes tackling challenging lines easier, a truck or SUV that sits higher simply looks better. Lifting a vehicle requires making some changes to suspension components. How much you plan on lifting your truck will determine the extent of the modifications that will be needed.
You are probably wondering, how much does it cost to lift my truck? Modifying trucks and SUVs for off-roading is something we know well at Scott’s U-Save. This article will outline what you can expect to pay to get your truck lifted!
Types of Lifts
There are three common types of modifications that fall under the umbrella of a “lift kit”. Each type of lift system has a place and serves a purpose, but price, performance, and the ride quality can vary greatly.
Leveling kits are not the same as a lift kit, but they will raise the front and or rear of your vehicle higher than stock. Some kits simply raise the front to match the rear while some leveling kits will raise both; but the front is raised more than the rear to make them match. Example being a 2.5” leveling kit on a Chevy Silverado. This kit will raise the front 2.5” and only raise the rear 0.5”.
In a previous post, we discussed what leveling kits do. To recap, a leveling kit eliminates rake. Rake causes the front of your truck to sit lower than the rear. This conscious engineering decision allows the vehicle to sit level. Eliminating rake with a leveling kit allows for more ground clearance in the front of the vehicle.
Leveling Kit Advantages
The main advantages of a leveling kit are lower prices, less invasive installation, and no change to ride quality. Leveling kit components are cheap when it comes to suspension components, and the labor time to install them won’t break the bank.
How Much Does It Cost to Level a Vehicle?
As we said, a leveling kit is cheaper than a full lift. Fewer parts equal less cost. The same goes for installation. If you only level the front of the vehicle it takes less time. An alignment will need to be performed immediately after installation with a level kit or lift kit.
Body Lift Kits
Another lift system installed on trucks and SUVs is a body lift. Instead of modifying the suspension, body lift kits use spacers between the body and the frame. The spacers are usually made of nylon or polyurethane, and the amount of lift can range from one to three inches. Body lift kits utilize longer bolts to safely connect the body to the frame, passing through the spacers. On older vehicles, body lifts become difficult due to rust and degradation of the frame.
Body Lift Advantages
Body lift kits are another low-cost option for lifting your truck, Jeep, or SUV. Lifting the body off the frame allows for the fitment of larger tires, which are an advantage for off-roading.
Disadvantages of Body Lifts
Lifting the body of your truck does not modify the suspension in any way, so you will not gain any additional ground clearance. Adding larger tires can provide some additional ground clearance, but you will not have the flexibility of a true suspension lift. Depending on the height of the lift, the frame of your vehicle may be more visible, which may not be the desired look. As said before, body lifts also can lead to issues if you have an older vehicle.
Body Lift Cost
Similar to leveling kits, body lifts are a very cost-effective option to get your rig higher off the ground. Depending on the quality and brand of the kit you choose to install, body lifts can cost anywhere from $100 to $400. Installation is tricky on a body kit so that will very greatly depending on the condition of the vehicle.
A suspension lift can be the most extreme and off-road-focused lift kit you can install. As well, it changes the suspension geometry to fit with the new ground clearance. This is critical to ride quality and less wear and tear on ball joints and bushings. True suspension lifts replace key suspension components with new, engineered components. Some extreme off-road focused kits include high clearance coil overs and shocks, upgraded control arms, trailing arms, and leaf springs. Suspension lift kits are typically more involved, more expensive, and will impact the way your vehicle rides. Overall, a suspension lift makes sure your vehicle is properly lifted and didn’t cut any corners. A suspension lift can range from 2.5 inches up to over 10 inches.
Advantages of a Suspension Lift
There are several key advantages to a suspension lift, all having to do with better off-road performance, longer life of suspension components, and allowing for proper suspension geometry.
Increased Ground Clearance
A suspension lift increases ground clearance, allowing your vehicle to tackle more rugged terrain. Unlike body lift kits, a suspension lift will provide additional clearance without larger tires.
Have you ever seen a Jeep crawling on a trail with a fully flexed suspension? This is called articulation. Suspension lifts allow for more vertical movement and better suspension articulation. In addition to looking awesome, improved articulation makes a vehicle even more capable off-road.
Clearance for Larger Tires
Like a body lift, a suspension lift allows larger tires to fit on your rig. Larger tires give you, even more, ground clearance on top of what you gained from the kit! Plus, you now have endless options for cool, upgraded tires and premium wheels.
Suspension Lift Disadvantages
The only downfall to a suspension lift kit is that it is an involved process. This equates to labor time. So, price is what you will have to incur. This price is well worth it because you now have a quality ride done properly by professionals.
We seem to say it a few times now, but suspension lifts are by far the priciest way to lift your truck. Not only are you buying all-new suspension components, but the labor time to install them can be significant.
The most extreme lifts may need additional changes to accommodate the driveshaft, transmission, or differential. Modifications like these will drastically increase the cost of the lift kit components and those extra components need extra time. They go hand in hand. You will see this typically when you lift a vehicle more than 4 inches; however, some 4” lifts for a Jeep Wrangler can require mods to the exhaust system.
Changes in Ride Quality
Suspension lifts will impact the way your vehicle rides. With all-new suspension components, you will notice a significant change compared to the stock suspension system. For some people, this may be an issue, for others, not so much. The trade-off is an increase in off-road performance.
How Much Does a Suspension Lift Cost?
If you plan on doing a suspension lift, you should plan on spending a good chunk of change. The kits themselves start near $400 but can easily reach over $5000 for top brands. The cost for installation is equally variable. Like we said above, the most extreme lifts can require additional changes to your vehicle’s drivetrain. Typically you can expect to pay another $500+ in labor for installation for basic lifts. Remember, you do need an alignment after the kit is installed. Luckily, Scott’s U-Save can do everything at once for you.
Get Your Truck, SUV, or Jeep Lifted at Scott’s U-Save
We are passionate about off-roading here at Scott’s U-Save. The teams of experts at our stores can help you pick out the best modifications for your rig, whether you want to improve its appearance, its performance, or both! We work with top suspension and wheel brands like Rough Country, ReadyLIFT, ZONE Offroad, Icon, BDS, and SuperLift just to name a few. When it comes to wheels; we represent American Racing, American Force, Asanti, Black Rhino, Foose, Fuel FMC, Moto Metal, and Vision just to scratch the surface on what we can provide. Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of our customer’s vehicles on our accessories page!