Installing a Suspension Lift Kit: Make Off-Roading an Option

30 Jul

There’s nothing more intimidating for a big rig not to be able to traverse safely in off-road conditions. Even if you have a 4×4, if your vehicle doesn’t have enough ground clearance for the terrain you’re trying to drive it on you can end up damaging the vehicle’s undercarriage. This is easily resolvable with a suspension lift kit as it helps increase ground clearance which makes it not only safer but also a lot easier to go over rough terrain. A suspension lift kit helps provide a higher level of robustness meaning, your new suspension will be able to take a beating. Since your vehicle is going to sit higher, its performance will be far better as this way you will have higher traction and the option to put larger wheels.

lift kits

What Lift Kit Height Is Best?

The height of your suspension lift kit will depend on the model and make of your vehicle as some allow lift kits that increase height by a small amount. Sometimes a 2 inch lift kit can make a big difference despite being such a small number on paper. A 2 inch lift kit also doesn’t require as much modifications in order to be installed. If you are not sure of how high you want your vehicle to sit, starting out small is always a good choice. Otherwise, just go for whatever lift kit height is going to be the most suitable for your needs.

How to Install a 2-inch Suspension Lift Kit

4x4 suspension kits

What You Need

Although suspension lift kits have all the parts needed to make a successful installation they do not come with all the necessary parts. Hence why you need to have some tools handy. A pry bar is needed to help you remove parts that won’t come loose. A can of WD-40 or PB Blaster is going to help you remove stubborn fasteners. Vehicle stands and jacks are necessary since they help you access suspension components. A hammer will also help you knock out old parts that just don’t want to come off.

A torque and lug wrench are needed to install fasteners and remove lugs as well as a wrench set and a standard 11m socket. You’ll need a screwdriver or two to unscrew parts or put new ones together. Get yourself a drill and drill bits in case you need to make additional holes for screws. If your vehicle has a coil spring suspension with struts or separate coil springs then you’ll need a spring compressor. A spring compressor is essential for removing and installing these types of components.

Installation

1. The first and most important thing when installing your suspension lift kit is to unclamp the negative terminal on the vehicle’s battery. This will prevent an electric shock from happening. Loosen the lug nuts too but don’t remove them.

2 inch lift kit

2. Start by jacking up the front of the vehicle at a height that will make it easy for you to get underneath it. Make sure that you have a jack at each weight point and your vehicle level. Place safety stands under each side of the vehicle and ensure that they are rated for the weight of your vehicle. After you’ve done that place a floor jack underneath the axle so that it holds its weight while you work on suspension components.

3. Once you remove the tires follow up by removing U-bolts and springs and the current shocks. Set these components aside in case you want to put them back. If you have trouble removing old parts here, use the hammer. There are kits that will require you to assemble the springs, for this make sure to use the instruction manual provided with it. Once that’s done, take your U-bolts and put them where the old one used to be. Have them aligned vertically for which you can reference the previous application to make sure you have everything properly aligned.

4. Next, assemble the shocks by following the instruction provided in the kit. Assembling the shocks will usually require some greasing, then hammering a bushing and a sleeve and attaching a boot provided by the manufacturer. When you have the shocks fully assembled install them again by referring to the instruction manual.

5. When installing the shocks, they will start to expand/ stretch out slowly. This is where you need to make sure that as they expand you fit them into place as they meet the top bolt and attach to it. If you don’t do this properly, you can end up bringing back the shock’s tube by hand. This can be quite difficult especially if you have it bolted at the bottom.

6. Finish up by checking if all of the nuts, bolts and new parts are installed tightly. Use the torque wrench to tighten fasteners at the exact torque level written in the manufacturer’s instruction manual. When you’re done, remove the safety stands and lower your vehicle carefully so that you have it level. Lastly, Reattach the negative clamp on the battery terminal and you’re done.

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