Why do we have a love affair with lifted trucks, and why do we raise them up in the first place? For some insight, we turned to an expert in the field of lifting trucks–Chris Dye. Chris is the store manager at Super Trucks Plus LLC in North Carolina. He describes it as “probably Raleigh’s only full custom shop.” Chris and his crew specialize in transforming ordinary vehicles into amazing lifted trucks.
Source | Super Trucks Plus
Looks and function… or just looks
“Most people lift trucks to achieve a higher ground clearance,” Chris explains. They do this to avoid bottoming out or getting stuck when driving off-road, and to allow for the fitment of larger tires.
But Chris also confesses, “A lot of people lift ‘em just for looks these days. They’ll take a brand-new truck, lift it, and it’ll never go off-road.”
One of the more popular requests Chris gets is for a six-inch lift with 35’s, with “35” referring to the tire size. These suspension lift kits can start out at four inches of lift and go all the way to 12 inches, or higher. Lifting a truck is more involved than it first appears. Other vehicle parts that get involved with suspension lift kits include independent front suspension, shocks versus struts, drop cradles, larger knuckles and steering geometry.
Going (even) higher
Chris went on to explain that once you maxed out your lift with suspension lift kits, you can still go higher by choosing a body lift. With a body lift, the vehicle body has to be disconnected from every spot it’s mounted to, new spacers inserted, and then the body bolted back down to all its connecting points.
As for height, it seems like that’s more a matter of personal choice. Chris said the highest he’s ever lifted was 26 inches, and that was enough to clear a set of 54’s. In his opinion, the maximum comfortable lift he’d recommend for someone’s daily driver, as opposed to a show truck, is a 12-inch lift with 40’s.
“It’s all about personal preference. If you’re building a show truck, the sky’s the limit,” Chris adds.
Source | Super Trucks Plus
“[A leveling kit] is your most basic kind of lift,” Chris explains. “That’s going to take most trucks and lift the front up about two inches, so that the front height equals the height of the rear. This will allow you to go up one tire size from factory specs and gives you essentially two inches of lift.”
Cost is another consideration when deciding how high to lift because the two seem to rise in unison. Chris said that a ballpark cost for a six-inch lift on 35’s is about $5,000 to $6,000. But, he adds, he’s done lift jobs that total over $20,000.
If you’re looking for ideas on what others have done with their lifts, Chris recommends Mud Life and Four Wheel & Off-Road, as well as the online forum at Lifted Trucks USA. And, of course, you can always check out some projects that he and Super Trucks Plus have performed.
What do you think? Have you gotten your truck lifted? Leave us a comment.