What is a lift kit?
A lift kit replaces the standard suspension – springs, shock absorbers etc. – of your car and increases your ride height. 4×4’s may be known for going off-road, but they can’t handle every obstacle just like that. A lift kit ensures that you can go over rougher terrain and have less chance of breaking things.
There are 2 types of lift kits, namely the most commonly used suspension lift kits and body lifts, a body lift increases the distance between the chassis and the ground while a suspension lift increases the distance between the axles and the chassis.
Why would I buy a lift kit?
Do you want to take on some rougher trails? Then you better start installing a lift kit so that you have more clearance between your car and the ground and you can also use larger tires. Some people also stick with a lift kit and bigger tires because they think it looks better, but when you choose a lift kit, think carefully about what you want to do.
Is the car your daily car, your off-road toy or your overland machine? Are you planning to pull trailers? If you use your car as a daily and as an off-road toy, it is best to look for a lift kit with a good balance between road handling and flexibility off-road. If you have the luxury of having an off-road toy, you can sacrifice the higher speed of your car to maximize suspension. Higher is not always better, your car may be able to handle more, but in terms of comfort it will be anything but pleasant.
If you’re not an experienced mechanic, it’s better to have the lift kit installed by a professional, this will prevent damage and ensure a correct installation. Also keep in mind that the higher you go, the more extra parts you have to replace, this of course also has an influence on the price tag.
What are the main components of a 4×4 suspension?
What are the types of springs?
The most critical part of a 4×4 suspension system is the springs. The springs carry the weight of your vehicle and control the movement that is exerted on the underlying wheels while you drive over uneven terrain. There are also four types of spring options, all with different characteristics for different applications.
Leaf springs are ideal for carrying heavy loads. They are made from several pieces of spring steel that are screwed to the shaft just like a blade. Coil springs improve handling and ride quality. With the right support, coil springs can also significantly improve payload and are ideal for overlanding. Torsion bars significantly increase performance on and off the road. They take up less space than coil springs and improve ride quality and handling.
What does a shock absorber do?
Shock absorbers do not absorb the impacts of bumps, but they do reduce the movement of the spring that ultimately absorbs the shock. For example, if you drive off-road in your 4×4 and encounter a big bump, you will notice that the movement of the car goes up and down, but only once. This is because the ‘shock’ movement in the length is absorbed, making you more comfortable to ride.
What are the different types of 4×4 suspension?
Solid axle suspension: These suspension systems are located on either side of a differential and are linked together with a single axle housing, making it dependent. When a wheel moves up or down, it directly affects the wheel on the other side.
Solid axles, also known as live axle suspension. Solid axles are more durable than most independent front suspension systems and increase traction to get over big bumps. They also provide more power from the differentials because there are fewer parts.
Advantages of solid axle suspension:
- Can improve ride quality (smoother)
- Improves traction over large bumps
- Gets more torque from the differentials
- More durable than most IFS axles
- Can be easily changed compared to IFS making it easier to fix
Disadvantages of solid axle suspension:
- Can experience a more bumpy ride
- Less ground clearance due to axle design
- Heavier than independent front suspension
- Independent suspension (IFS) as opposed to dependent suspension system where two sides are connected by a single axle, the main feature of this system is that the suspension is not connected together
- In the center of this system is an axle housing in which the ring gear and carrier are under tension. Instead of axle tubes that run to each wheel, constant speed axles are used. When a wheel moves up or down, it does not affect the wheel on the other side. This allows drivers to easily maneuver over difficult tracks.
Advantages of an independent suspension:
- A more comfortable ride
- Lighter in weight
- Improved handling
- Can improve the front clearance
Disadvantages of an independent suspension:
- May be more expensive
- More complicated installation
- Repairs are more complex and expensive
- With more joints also comes more maintenance (lubrication)
- Sensitive to wear and damage
- Less durable
If you still have some questions about choosing your lift kit or you would like to receive a quote? Do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to help you!