5 Things to Consider When Installing a Truck Lift Kit
Covering Your Bases Before Making the Decision to Lift
If you’re like most people, you caught the passion for lifted trucks because you saw one in action – or better yet – got the opportunity to drive one yourself. Driving a lifted truck is a fantastic experience. You can take on virtually any incline or terrain. The height of the vehicle combined with the large tires turn you into a giant, and once you’ve had that experience, it's tough to go back to normal driving.
Now comes the moment of truth…you’ve decided to start making some concrete steps towards lifting your truck, but you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are several truck lift kit options to help you figure out which is the best truck lift kit for you. Before you go all-in though, there are five things you need to consider before you pull the trigger on this.
Can You Legally Do It?
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but different states are going to have different regulations regarding the maximum height that you can lift your vehicle. Before you do any modifications to your vehicle – lifting or otherwise – make sure that your state legally allows it. The last thing you want to do is spend all the time, money, and effort lifting your vehicle only to find out that it isn’t technically street legal. Getting a ticket from a police officer is a bad way to find that out, so do your research ahead of time. Also, you want to check the laws of any potential states that you plan on driving your newly-lifted vehicle to as well.
Here in California, body height lifts are limited to a maximum of 5 inches.
What Are You Hoping to Get Out of Your Lifted Truck or Jeep?
Now that you’ve checked on the legal side of things and you know what your limitations are, you can move on to the next step of the process. You need to ask yourself what you’re hoping to accomplish with your lifted truck or Jeep? This is a huge question to ask, because the answer is ultimately going to determine how you’re going to move forward with the modification and which type of lift kit you’re going to purchase.
Do you simply want the look of a lifted truck? Or are you planning to do some actual off-road driving? If so, how much off-road driving are you going to be doing and where?
If you’re going to be doing moderate to heavy off-roading, you’re going to need ground clearance for tires and better shocks. You absolutely do not want to be off-roading without the proper clearance, because this can lead to serious vehicle damage. There’s also the issue of getting your vehicle stuck out in the middle of nowhere.
If you don’t foresee using your vehicle for serious off-roading, then you can go with a smaller kit, such as the 4-inch kit version. You get the best of both worlds with this type of kit. You can go off-roading but the vehicle will still perform well on the highway and in everyday situations as well. Remember, if this is your only vehicle, you’re still going to need to be able to use it for things like running errands and driving through traffic to go to work.
Inspect the Vehicle Thoroughly
Once you’ve figured out the legal side of things and what you’ll be using your lifted vehicle for, the next step is getting your vehicle inspected. Now, it can be very tempting to want to skip this step. However, keep in mind that you’re about to make a very major modification to your vehicle. This isn’t a simple stereo install or tire rotation. Lifting your vehicle is going to change the entirety of how the vehicle drives and operates. Before you do that, you should make sure your make and model of vehicle can handle that considering the condition that it’s in.
If your vehicle is brand new, you probably don’t need to worry about this as much. For older vehicles though, the inspection could be critical in revealing potential issues that would cause your lift to not go over well. You may need replacement parts before you can do it.
Finding the Right Lift Kit
What you legally can do and what you want to use the vehicle for should narrow down which lift kit you’re going to potentially get. In our experience, we’ve found that it’s best to search for lift kits by the make and model of your specific vehicle. Then, you can start narrowing things down by the type of lift kit that looks ideal for your specific purposes.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the higher you’re lifting the vehicle, the more expensive it tends to get. You also want to be conscious of what’s included in the lift kit. Sometimes you’ll get everything you need in the kit. Other times, you’ll need to buy additional items such as new brake lines or U-bolts. These aren’t necessarily hidden costs, but you need to factor in all the parts you’ll need to buy when comparing kits and pricing them out.
Find the Correct Tires
Finally, once you’ve selected your kit and figured out how much it’s going to cost, you can go about selecting the tires and wheels you’ll be upgrading to. Since the point of lifting your truck is to get more clearance, you’ll want to get bigger tires and wheels in order to fully take advantage of your new driving capabilities. Consider the terrain you’ll be driving on when choosing tire tread. Driving in snow is going to require a different tire than driving in sand, gravel, or dirt, so get the tire that works best for the surface you’ll be driving on most of the time.
This is going to take up a large chunk of your budget, so we find it’s best to decide on the lift kit and tires at the same time before putting any money down. This way you know roundabout what your entire cost is going to be.
Get Your Truck Lifted At San Diego Car Stereo
Come by San Diego Car Stereo for a truck lift kit today. We have specialists on staff who have decades of experience with all makes and models of cars or trucks. No matter your vehicle, our team can get it ready to hit the desert with expert car lift kits and new suspension! We carry only the highest quality equipment and offer an affordable price. If you are ready to get your truck a lift kit, contact San Diego Car Stereo today by calling (858) 683-7405.