There’s nothing worse than upgrading the suspension on your truck, only to realize a short time later that you completely wasted your money.
Broken control arms, busted leaf springs, leaky shock absorbers, noisy bushings, premature tire wear, steering issues… these are all problems that happen when you put low quality components on your truck’s suspension system.
If you’re going to put the wrench time in to install the parts – or pay a mechanic to do the suspension upgrades for you, then you owe it to yourself to spend extra money upfront on quality parts.
Let’s look at 3 common upgrades you can do to your truck and what you need to know before you pull out your credit card and make that purchase.
1. Lift Kits
Most people raise their truck for one of two reasons:
- Increased ground clearance.
- To accommodate larger tires.
Lift kits are the most popular suspension upgrade on a truck. They raise both the front and rear end. Not to be confused with leveling and/or block kits.
Lower cost lift kits can be purchased for less than $100, but they simply don’t last and can damage your springs (leaf and coil). These kits are nothing more than rubber or steel spacers. They break and wear easily, never last and are dangerous. Total waste of money…
A quality lift kit, like those made by ReadyLift or Daystar (we sell both) will cost more, but include all the hardware needed to lift the truck safely: front and rear shock extensions, lift blocks, modified front control arms (with poly bushings), and drop brackets.
Without all the above-mentioned parts, your truck’s handling will be compromised. Not to menton: you’ll be burning up tires as fast as a cool spring turns into a hot summer!
Never exceed a six-inch lift without consulting a professional.
2. Leveling/Block Kits
Leveling kits are for the front of the vehicle. This kit replaces the factory OEM “blocks” (mounts) on your front coil springs, raising them a couple of inches to match the higher OEM ride height on the rear of your truck.
Block kits replace the rear OEM coil spacer, raising the rear end one or two inches.
You can combine a leveling and block kit if you want to install slightly larger tires, but don’t want to incur the extra time and expense of a full-on lift kit.
3. Shocks and Springs
You might decide to replace these parts in tandem with a new lift or leveling kit. Some manufacturers, like Performance and Warrior (both sold here) offer lift kits that come complete with new premium shock absorbers, which are made to accommodate the increased suspension travel and preserve OEM handling performance at the same time.