Lift Kits vs. Leveling Kits: How to Choose the Right Suspension Upgrade

February 12th, 2024 by

Are you considering upgrading your vehicle’s suspension but unsure whether to go with a lift kit or a leveling kit? Both options offer distinct benefits and can enhance your vehicle’s appearance and performance, but they serve different purposes and suit different driving needs. We’ll explore the differences between lift kits and leveling kits to help you make an informed decision. As always, if you would like to talk to one of our specialists, we are always happy to help in person or over the phone!

Lift Kits:

Increased Ground Clearance

One of the primary advantages of lift kits is their ability to raise your vehicle’s ground clearance. This allows for improved off-road capability, as you’ll have more clearance to navigate over obstacles like rocks, logs, and rough terrain without getting stuck.

Enhanced Suspension Travel

Lift kits typically include upgraded suspension components such as longer shocks, springs, and control arms. These components provide increased suspension travel, allowing for greater wheel articulation and better performance over uneven terrain.

Larger Tire Fitment

With the additional lift provided by a lift kit, you can accommodate larger tires, further improving off-road traction and appearance. Larger tires offer better grip, increased ground clearance, and a more aggressive stance, enhancing both off-road performance and visual appeal.

Improved Approach and Departure Angles

By lifting your vehicle, you can improve its approach and departure angles, reducing the risk of bottoming out or damaging the undercarriage when traversing steep inclines or descents off-road.

Leveling Kits:

Corrects Front-End Sag

Leveling kits are primarily designed to correct the front-end sag that occurs when heavy aftermarket accessories, such as winches or brush guards, are added to the front of the vehicle. By raising the front suspension to match the rear, leveling kits restore the vehicle’s factory stance and improve aesthetics.

Enhances On-Road Stability

While leveling kits may not provide the same degree of off-road capability as lift kits, they can improve on-road stability and handling by eliminating the nose-down appearance and restoring proper weight distribution.

Retains Factory Ride Quality

Leveling kits typically involve the installation of spacer blocks or strut extensions, which are relatively simple and inexpensive modifications. As a result, they generally retain the factory ride quality and do not require extensive modifications to other suspension components.

Allows for Larger Tires on Stock Wheels

Although leveling kits do not provide as much lift as lift kits, they still offer some additional clearance, allowing for the installation of slightly larger tires on stock wheels. This can improve off-road traction and aesthetics without the need for extensive modifications.

Choosing the Right Option

Ultimately, the choice between a lift kit and a leveling kit depends on your specific driving needs, preferences, and budget. If you’re primarily interested in enhancing off-road performance and appearance, a lift kit may be the better option. However, if you’re looking to correct front-end sag, improve on-road stability, and maintain factory ride quality, a leveling kit may be more suitable.

Before making a decision, consider factors such as your intended use of the vehicle, budget constraints, and desired level of customization. Consulting with a professional suspension specialist can also provide valuable insights and guidance to help you choose the right suspension upgrade for your vehicle. We are always here to help at Arbogast Ford. Please let us know if you have any further questions!