If you're looking at lifting your vehicle, you'll typically have a few options, depending on your make and model and your particular suspension setup. The two most common approaches are to use a body lift kit or a coil spring lift kit. The former is the cheaper option, but it's arguably not a true suspension lift since it only raises the body above the frame. A coil spring lift kit is a genuine suspension modification.
Of course, this distinction doesn't mean anything is wrong with body lift kits. A body lift can be an excellent option if you're looking for an inexpensive way to improve your vehicle's appearance or add larger wheels, but it's not the right option for every situation. If these three situations apply to you, you'll probably want to consider a coil spring lift kit instead.
1. You Want BIG Tires
Body lift kits typically work by adding a spacer between the body and frame of the vehicle. These kits are generally only applicable to body-on-frame vehicles since they rely on the ability to add extra spacing between the ladder frame and the cosmetic body. While some options are available for unibody cars, they're often more complex and difficult to install.
However, body lift kits have another disadvantage: height. A body lift kit often can't do the job if you want to gain a substantial lift to fit very large tires. Since you're simply adding spacers to your vehicle, it's unsafe to go too high. In these cases, a proper suspension lift kit is the only way to raise your vehicle enough to add significantly larger tires safely.
2. You Need Ground Clearance
When you install a body lift kit, you're raising your car's cosmetic "shell" above the ladder frame. In other words, you're not doing much to raise your truck up above the ground. This lift can give you a little more clearance for slightly larger tires and potentially improve the appearance of your vehicle, but it won't provide you with more space to clear obstacles while off-roading.
A full suspension lift kit is the way to go if your primary goal is improved ground clearance. These kits can raise your entire vehicle, providing greater ground clearance to overcome obstacles without damaging your truck's undercarriage. Note that suspension kits provide more lift than body kits, so you'll get additional visibility for on and off-road situations.
3. You Want Improved Performance
There's a reason suspension lift kits are often the go-to option for offroaders, and it's not only a matter of ground clearance. A suspension lift raises the truck's entire frame above the axles, potentially providing much better articulation on rough surfaces. If you're an off-roading pro, you know that articulation is often critical for tackling challenging trails.
The combination of improved articulation, the ability to run larger tires, and much greater ground clearance make suspension kits a clear choice for anyone looking to lift their truck for practical rather than aesthetic purposes.
For more info about suspension system lift kits, contact a local company.