Leveling kits versus lift kits: What’s the difference?

White Rock suspension

Whether it is for form or function, lifting a truck is often an important event in the life of any owners. Just as a Ferrari which is believed to be low, a truck is often considered to be high.

So you’ve made a decision to lift your truck and start to do some basic research. During this process, your head might be spinning due to all the possible choices: lift kits, air suspension, load levelers, and leveling kits. What are the differences between them? Let’s take a look at 2 of the most popular choices available these days, whether just to give a meaner stance or for serious off-roading: leveling versus lift kits.

Lift kits

A lift kit helps raise your entire vehicle, rear and front, from a subtle 1-inch to an adequate height that you want to duck under the overpasses.  Truck lift kits often come in 2 types: body and suspension lift kits.
A body lift uses spacers and blocks to lift a truck’s body higher to the frame without changing anything of the suspension geometry. By using a body lift kit, you can run larger tires and wheels, while still keeping the ground clearance remain unchanged. However, stability might be negatively affected because of the raised ride height.

Compared to a body lift, the installation might be more complicated and expense might be also higher with a suspension lift. However, the result is undoubtedly worth it. Basically, suspension lifts involve changing everything from the leaf springs and struts/shocks to the trailing arms, control arms, and even the steering and driveshaft parts. Upgrading and replacing these components will allow for more ground clearance, suspension articulation, the ability to use larger tires for your trucks.

Leveling kits

As the name implies, a leveling kit helps level a truck by raising up the front end up a couple of inches as needed. As a result, you can remove the rake in your truck after the factory and bring the rear and front level. This task is mainly primarily performed for the look, but it might also improve the ground clearance in the truck’s front and allow you to run with larger tires.

Another advantage of leveling vehicles is that since they just raise the front part rather than lowering their rear, the payload capacity still remains unchanged. This means you can still place just as much weight at the bed without worry if the suspension bottoms out.

Leveling kits often come with a very simple design, which utilizes coil spacers, torsion keys or strut extensions (depending on your vehicle’s suspension), and some can be set up without needing to jack up your truck. If you just want an aggressive look and stance from your vehicle instead of turning the rig into an off-road model, a leveling kit should be a perfect option.

Final thoughts

With a good lift kit, your truck air conditioning can be truly transformed into an off-road monster you have always wanted, but there are many important factors to take into consideration before making the final decision. Be sure to have clear objectives and know what you are getting into before going for a particular type of lift kit.