Have you been planning to give your 4WD a height boost, but facing a dilemma over making the choice among the options available?
Now that you are here, let's help you to know more about the options available for getting your desired lift and which one would be just the right one for you. So let’s get started.
The feeling of driving a lifted 4WD is beyond explication! But if you have researched about the options available for rendering your 4 WD a height boost, then you surely know there are more ways than one for getting the job done.
Yes, you are right!
We are talking about the two most popular methods of adding height to the 4WDs: the LIFT KITS and the LEVELLING KITS. But, how exactly these differ from each other and what advantages do they offer you, will be the part of the discussion below.
What is a lift kit?
Installing a lift kit basically involves in lifting the entire vehicle by a few inches from the front to the rear, by adding spacers between the body and the frame. By lifting the vehicle, you can install larger tires and can enjoy its aggressive appearance. Lift kits are basically of two types: body lift kits and suspension lift kits.
Body lift kits: Body lift kits are meant for raising the body high onto the frame of the vehicle without making any alteration to the suspension, by just inserting blocks or spacers. Body lift kits instantly render a lifted look to your 4WD and allow you to go for the larger tyres you always dreamed of! Body lift kits are easy to install and are cheaper than the suspension lift kits. The disadvantage of having a body lift kit, however is, that increased height can negatively impact the ride quality of your 4WD.
Suspension lift kits: Suspension lift kits differ from the body lift kits mainly because these involves lifting of both, the body and the frame of the vehicle. This means, it involves replacing almost everything of the whole suspension system: the leaf springs, the control arm, the trailing arms and even the steering components. This makes the installation of a suspension lift kit more complicated. But the best part of this kind of upgrading is the many benefits that it offers, like, the increased ground clearance, better suspension articulation along with a better off-road experience.
Advantages of lift kit
For protection: Lift kits are meant to raise the entire body of your vehicle higher off the road, so that the under-carriage is saved from the damage that may occur due to rocky and rough roads underneath. This makes the lift kit an excellent choice for the adventure enthusiasts, who like to go off-roading.
For improved ground clearance: Lift kits provide you with the benefit of raising the overall height of your vehicle so as to give it a better ground clearance, which is especially helpful for off-roading adventures. A lift kit would help you considerably to drive through rough terrains and in handling obstacles that off-roading might bring up like boulders, sand dunes, snow and muddy terrains!
For fitting larger tyres: With a lift kit on, you get an increased tyre clearance that would allow you to place larger tyres. Larger tyres give your vehicle a great appearance but that's not the only reason why you should go for it. It also gives you an improved traction and hence a better off-roading experience!
For better styling: Even if you are not a frequent off-roader, you can still opt for the lift kit as it is a great way to give your 4WD, a better styling and enjoy the attention that it gets on the road! A lifted body along with large tyres undoubtedly adds charisma to your 4WD and gives it a tougher look!
What is a levelling kit?
The factory look of the vehicle has a higher rear and comparatively lower front end. This is done deliberately so as to install stiffer rear springs to help compensate for heavy loads that the vehicle might have to bear. No doubt, the reason for this seems logical, but the fact remains, that it makes the vehicle look a little unbalanced with the front tipping lower than the rear. So here comes the need to install the levelling kit, which gives your vehicle a levelled stance without altering its handling!! The levelling kit is comparatively inexpensive and easier to install which makes it a useful expedient. You may choose to go for the levelling kit if you are not using your vehicle for the intense off-road situations. It would give your vehicle an aggressive look along with the comfort of easy installation.
Advantages of levelling kit
Add the consistent look to your 4WD: The factory look of your 4WD has a raised rear as compared to a tipping front end, which allows you to carry a substantially heavy load without sagging. This also means you are restricted to use bigger tyres in the front as you can use in the rear. But levelling kits give you the advantage of raising your front to the same height as the rear and install larger tyres all around so as to achieve a consistent look for your 4WD.
Easy installation & Affordable pricing: Levelling kits are comparatively inexpensive than the lift kits and are much easier to install.
Allow larger tyres: One of the biggest advantages of the levelling kit is that it allows you to add larger tyres to your 4WD. This naturally gives a more attractive and robust look to your vehicle.
So, now that you know the advantages of installing the lift kits and levelling kits, let’s get down to the face to face comparison of the two:
- Where a levelling kit just lifts the front end of your 4WD, the lift kit can elevate the front as well as the rear of the vehicle by several inches, depending upon the type of lift kit you opted for.
The levelling kit lifts the vehicle only by a few inches and is primarily chosen for rectifying the imbalance between the rear and the front end, to give a more levelled look to your 4WD.
- Generally referred to as the Suspension systems, lift kits are known to be more comprehensive when compared to the levelling kits. Reason being, the major alterations it takes for the suspension system, right from changing control arms, shocks, springs and basically anything that is needed to give a preferred raise to the vehicle.
Levelling kit installation is rather more basic in the form, involving in the addition of torsion keys or spring spacers for ensuring a proper completion of the task.
If we talk about lifting kits, we often have to create new drive shafts, and the brake lines have to be bent along with the suspension pieces. So we can say, being larger, these kits normally witness more involvement.
- Both, the levelling kits as well as the lift kits involve in elevating the body of your 4WD away from the axles so as to give a better ground clearance. As a result, you are at the luxury of putting on larger tyres to give your 4WD a more robust look. Levelling kits, being very basic only need torsion keys or spring spacers to ensure that a proper elevation is carried out. Whereas a lift kit changes the look of your 4WD completely, by making it an off-road monster from the naive city cruiser!
- You may opt for a greater elevation with a lift kit, if you intend to use your 4WD on rough roads and trails. It gives you the space to fit bigger tyres giving way to a better ground clearance that further ensures protection for the undercarriage of your vehicle. This also prevents the rear or the front from getting sunk during any steeper inclines.
Levelling kits on the other hand, render a more aggressive look with the benefit of easy and inexpensive installation and cooler looking tyres. So if you are using your 4WD for driving around the city, then the levelling kit could be the one for you!
- Finally, there’s quite a difference between the prices of levelling kits and lift kits. Levelling kits cost you much cheaper than the lift kits, which might cost you up to a couple of thousand dollars!
So, on concluding, we can say that if you are planning to just level up your 4WD so as to uplift its overall appearance and also fit in larger tyres, then opting for a levelling kit would be just great. But in case you tend to be an adventurous off roader, driving on tougher terrains, then a lift kit might be the one in your favour. Moreover, a levelling kit would be more affordable and convenient while installing and surely a great alternative to the more comprehensive and costlier lift kit.
But finally, all depends on the use you plan to put your 4WD that matters!!