Lifting, Leveling, and Lowering

What is Leveling?

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If you go to a new car lot and take a look at the trucks they have, look carefully at the lines of the body. If a truck has not been modified, you should notice that the front of the truck points slightly downward. This is known as the truck’s “rake” and truck makers do this for a reason. While you are still looking at the trucks on the car lot, imagine what would happen if you put 1,000 pounds of concrete in the bed. The added load will cause the rear of the vehicle to squat down some, and the rake would be close to level. If the truck were level to begin with, the added weight would cause the nose of the vehicle to point up. Not only would it look funny, but it would be dangerous because it would negatively affect handling. Additionally, having the suspension compressed in such a way would prematurely wear the truck’s shocks, ball joints, and other suspension components.

But what if you are like many truck owners and don’t drive around with a bunch of payload in the bed, but still want an aggressive look, or maybe put slightly larger tires on your vehicle? Leveling is the way to go. A leveling kit is an inexpensive, but safe way to raise the front end up a couple inches to reduce or eliminate the factory rake in your truck. Many people do it for looks, but it will give you more ground clearance and allow you to run bigger tires if you want to. And since you are raising the front and not modifying the rear, payload capacity is unchanged, so you can still use your truck like it was designed without affecting safety. If your goal is to have a good looking truck without breaking the bank, call Asher Automotive to make your appointment to have a leveling kit installed.

What is a Lift?

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Where a leveling kit only lifts the front end of the vehicle, a lift kit will raise the entire truck. Lift kits are available for most trucks as small as 2”, and many full-size trucks can be lifted 8” or more. There are two types of lifts: Body lifts and Suspension lifts.

Body lifts utilize spacers and blocks to lift the body higher on the frame without affecting suspension. These are generally less expensive and many do-it-yourself people opt for a body lift because of cost and ease of installation. Because of the added clearance around the wheel wells, you can still opt to put larger wheels and tires on the truck. The downsides to the body lift are that you don’t gain any extra ground clearance, and that it raises the center of gravity of the vehicle without changing the suspension geometry. This can negatively affect the handling and stability of the vehicle beyond what it was designed for.

Suspension lifts are more involved than a body lift, but the results are well worth it. Suspension lifts can be as involved as replacing and upgrading shocks, control arms, steering knuckles, leaf springs and other steering and suspension components. Shorter suspension lifts, up to about 3”, can sometimes even be performed without replacement of any factory components. A suspension lift of any size gives the truck more ground clearance for even larger tires, and better performance for off-road use compared to a body lift. The upgraded components are designed to change the characteristics of the suspension and steering systems to match the higher vehicle, so handling and stability concerns are reduced compared to a body lift. Even still, it is important to be aware that taller vehicles drive and handle differently than a stock truck.

Asher Automotive specializes in installing quality suspension lifts from BDS, Pro Comp, Zone Offroad, and more. We are also highly experienced with performing the challenging wheel alignments that lifted vehicles require. If you have questions about lifting your truck, give us a call today to discuss your options.

What about Lowering?

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Lowering a vehicle does what the name suggests: modifying a vehicle so it rides lower to the ground. Just like trucks need to be higher off the ground to do their job, sports cars sit low to the ground do to what they were designed for. Like any modification, there are benefits and drawbacks to lowering your vehicle.

Benefits to lowering vehicle:

  • Better aerodynamics, for improved traction and handling
  • Lower center-of-gravity, for reduced rollover risk
  • Greater comfort, because shorter suspension is often more responsive

Drawbacks to lowering vehicle:

  • Less ground clearance, increasing the chance of bottoming out over bumps and dips
  • Lifting and towing problems, because jacks and tow trucks just don’t fit as well under the car
  • Uneven tire wear, since the stance of the suspension changes significantly
  • Conflict with other parts, many times lowered vehicles need specially fabricated parts

Whether you choose to level, lift, or lower your ride, always have your vehicle’s wheel alignment performed as part of the modification. Asher Automotive specializes in all type of steering and suspension modification. Call the experts today to set your appointment!