To lift or not to lift...Ok, you have a shinney new whatever vehicle that has the potential to go up! Should you lift it to the moon? Maybe level it out? Just leave it alone? Let's start with a few basic questions I think you should be asking yourself. Can you afford to do it? I mean sure you can afford a leveling kit for $99 but can you afford the alignment and the install. Are you going to save some bucks and you, a buddy, and a 12 pack of suds going to get it done on a Saturday afternoon and hope he knows what he’s doing? Don’t forget what goes up needs to go wide. You must compensate for raising the center of gravity by making the footprint wider. Imagine you are climbing up on stilts. You got to widen that stance to stay up. Are you going to be towing? Throw a backpack of bricks on while you're on the stilts, how does that feel? Well, that’s what it's going to do when you hook that camper up with it full of fishing gear, beer and food when you load up the family to head to myrtle beach. So, let's try to break these down a little further.
You have to think, lift kit, labor for install, tires, maybe wheels, brakes (yep you need to be able to stop those 37” mud boggers), regearing (yep you have to be able to turn those 37” mud boggers), tune (yep got to recalibrate and change parameters in a bunch of stuff to turn those 37s), wear and tear will increase because of leverage on things, fuel economy is going to go in the toilet the bigger you go, and if you tow stability is out the window. Now I am not saying don’t lift, I am just saying know what you are getting into. Sure the 19 y/o at a 4-wheel parts store will tell you how badass you’re going to be and inflate your 40 y/o ego even probably sell you on some rock lights for your fender liner but, people in the know are just going to call you a pavement princess and a dumbass behind your back. I am here to help you be an educated ego hound.
So, if you can't afford a separate vehicle for a trail rig, be smart. If you tow, be smart. Don’t lift them to the moon, a nice leveling kit and some slightly larger tires are probably perfect. If you absolutely must lift it to the point good girls in skirts won't get in, then plan on spending money. Its ok to do this just know to do it right you are going to have to spend between $5k and $10k to have a rig lifted correctly. ITs never going to do everything right either, you will have to accept certain things are not going to be the same. It doesn’t mean you can't tow; it just means you're going to have to change how you tow. Speed isn't going to be your friend because you will be more unstable the faster you go. Sure, you have seen the asshole lifted to the moon doing 110mph that doesn’t mean you should EVER! I also realize most of you will not see anything more than a mud puddle in front of your kids' school, keep the lift simple.
But I want all the kids in the neighborhood to think I'm the cool Dad! Personally, I'm not a fan of that but we will build want you want us to build. You want under glow, a 6” lift on 22” wheels with mud terrains. Let's get busy! There are things that you will want to do. When you are lifting 6” you will have to correct driveline angle and steering angle. Steering should be perpendicular and driveline angles should be as level as possible. If you have a slip yolk, you're probably going to have to get rid of that because if you're going to go off road or your drive shaft is going to fall on the ground, and you'll be stuck somewhere in the woods with a stupid look on your face a pissed wife whining kids and no hope of you ever getting that thing back on. You will want to do some brake work. Longer stainless brake lines, over size rotors if possible. Remember you put cool kid wheels on and knobby tires so you could pull up to your kids' baseball practice and everyone think your neato. You got to be able to stop those hideous things with greater leverage. If you do have the juevos to go off road same thing. Not being able to stop is no good on a hill and that’s going up, you probably don’t even realize you want to slow down whilst traveling down a slope with engine braking and down shifting (that’s a story for another day). What this boils down to if you are going to lift your parade wagon, come talk to the people that know what they are doing. Avoid the places that have built their reputations on LED lighting and bling and talk to a place that specializes in suspension and proper builds. I would also ask to see their torque wrenches. Feel free to come by and talk to us at Dalton Automotive 1225 Hayes Industrial Dr Marietta Ga 30062 or give us a call 770-427-0996