SUSPENSION LIFT KITS:
This kind of lift kits involves replacing the factory fitted shock absorbers and springs to upgraded ones which are available from aftermarket shops. The process involved in installing a suspension lift kit is fairly straight forward and can be done at home using correct equipment and technique. This is the lift kit you should be opting for, if you wish to enhance the performance of your vehicle while adding height to it. Using this lift kit, will enable you to carry a greater weight in your vehicle, enable you to have a higher ride height, enable you to run larger diameter tyres and greatly enhance off-road performance!
- Better off-road performance: Since this procedure involves physically changing out the suspension components of your vehicle with better ones, the new product will give you a better ride over corrugations due to a higher absorption rate when compared to standard set ups. Also, due to the new suspensions being of a longer length, the articulation of the vehicle will greatly be enhanced, resulting in better off-road traction.
- Better Heat Distribution: Since the upgraded shock absorber has a much larger bore and higher grade of technology used in it, the heat distribution is much more efficient. This will result in extremely rare overheating instances while driving over rough surfaces for long periods of time.
- Stable Drive on the Road: Due to the stiff nature of the upgraded shock absorbers, the overall on-road ride will also be enhanced as your vehicle will sit more stable at high speeds and will not roll about as much around corners. (No, this does not give you permission to try and drift and lifted vehicle!)
- Better Weight Carrying Abilities: The stiffness of the shock absorbers results in better and increased weight carrying abilities. Your vehicle will tend to behave in a more efficient fashion when fully loaded up and the suspension will not sag as much as the factory equipment will under full load.
- High Cost: Due to the complete replacement of suspension components in this method, the cost is generally high. But when weighing in the benefits of this set up, it turns out to be a well thought out investment which needs to be made!
- Actual Ground Clearance: It is a common misunderstanding that adding lift kits to your vehicle will increase the actual ground clearance. Your ground clearance is only as high as the lowest point on your vehicle. The lowest point in your vehicle is generally your differential housings which do not get lifted up by adding any kind of lift kit. Having said that, lifting up your vehicle, will enable you to install a larger diameter tyre, which will result in a higher ground clearance.
BODY LIFT KITS:
These are lift kits which only result in a higher ride height, enabling you to install larger diameter tyres. So if it is only installing bigger tyres you're after, then this is your best bet. This method involved installing lift blocks between the body and the chassis of the vehicle. Normally, this would give you a height increase of 1 - 3 inches.
- Lower Cost: Since this method does not require much material to be used, the cost is generally much lower as compared to a suspension lift kit.
- Suspension Geometry: Given the fact that the factory suspension set up is not touched in this method, your vehicle will maintain its original geometry and no further wheel alignments or other adjustments will be required due to the lift kit.
- Higher Centre of Gravity: Since your vehicle will now be higher when compared to original setting, like suspension lifts, it will have a higher centre of gravity. The problem arises here as the factory suspension set up is not designed to keep your vehicle stable at heights higher than factory recommendations. Your vehicle will still roll in corners, resulting in dangerous situations arising as you will be higher off the ground and it will be more difficult for the factory suspension set up to deal with this. (Mother nature always wins!)
- No Real Performance Gains: Since the actual suspension set up does not even get touched in this method, your car's off-road performance will remain same. You will get enhanced performance if you opt to fit in larger diameter tyres, but in terms of absorption rate and articulation, your vehicle will still be on factory standards.
- Check local regulations for legality of items
For more information on available kits head over to: AllFour x 4 Offroad