If you own a pickup truck, you know there’s always room for improvements and mods. One way to do this is to install a leveling kit. A leveling kit can raise the front of your truck by either an inch or two, making it look more level and giving it a more aggressive appearance.
But is this worth your time and money? This blog post will look at the pros and cons of installing a leveling kit on your truck.
What does a leveling kit look like?
A leveling kit is an aftermarket suspension modification that raises the level of the body of a truck or SUV to be level with, or higher than, the level of its wheels.
Leveling kits usually have a spacer placed on top or below your struts. In some cases, the kit may also include shocks designed explicitly for use with the kit.
What is the point of a leveling kit?
A common reason to install a leveling kit is to make a vehicle look more aesthetically pleasing, as many trucks and SUVs come with a factory rake where the rear end sits higher than the front.
While vehicles with a factory rake can still be level with a properly inflated set of tires, those same vehicles will look nose-high and unbalanced once larger tires are installed. Larger tires are often installed for off-road performance and looks, making a leveling kit necessary for achieving the desired result.
In addition to achieving an improved appearance, another advantage of installing a leveling kit is that it can improve the vehicle’s off-road performance. When a vehicle’s body is level with its wheels, there is less chance of the front end washing out in mud or sand, and the vehicle will have increased clearance over obstacles.
For these reasons, many truck and SUV owners choose to install a leveling kit on their vehicles.
Does a leveling kit affect driving?
A leveling kit will affect driving in terms of performance, gas mileage, and ride quality. The taller springs will cause the truck to sit higher off the ground, making it feel more bouncy on rough roads.
It may slightly impact the fuel economy given the wind increased wind resistance due to the lift. In addition, the taller springs may cause the truck to lean more in turns. As such, it is essential to test-drive a truck with a leveling kit before making final decisions.
With a little bit of trial and error, you should be able to find a leveling kit that provides the perfect balance of comfort and performance.
Will a leveling kit damage my truck?
If installed correctly, a leveling kit will not damage your truck. However, if the kit is not installed correctly, it can cause problems such as uneven tire wear, premature wear on suspension components, and decreased handling. As such, it is important to have a professional mechanic install the kit to ensure it is done properly.
Do leveling kits wear out ball joints?
A common myth is that leveling kits wear out ball joints faster than stock suspensions. However, this is not the case. Ball joints typically only fail when they are subjected to excessive stress, such as that which occurs when driving off-road.
Since a leveling kit does not change the suspension’s geometry, it does not put any additional stress on the ball joints. Many people who use their trucks for off-roading find that a leveling kit improves the durability of their ball joints by providing additional clearance.
Will leveling kit void the warranty?
Most leveling kits come with a lifetime warranty and will not void the factory warranty on your truck. However, it is always best to check with the kit manufacturer.
Additionally, if the kit is not installed properly, it could void the warranty on other suspension components, such as the shocks or struts. As such, it is important to have the kit installed by a professional mechanic.
My truck already has a factory rake. Do I still need a leveling kit?
If you like how your truck looks with the factory rake, you probably don’t need a leveling kit. However, if you want your truck to sit level with the wheels, or if you want to improve its off-road performance, then a leveling kit may be a good option.
Remember that installing a leveling kit may affect how your truck drives and slightly impact the fuel economy. As mentioned earlier, it is important to test-drive a truck with a leveling kit before making final decisions.
Does leveling kit affect gas mileage?
Since a leveling kit changes how your truck sits, it can impact the fuel economy. The taller springs may cause the truck to lean more in turns, leading to increased wind resistance and decreased gas mileage.
However, the impact on fuel economy will vary depending on the make and model of the truck and the type of leveling kit installed.
In most cases, the decrease in fuel economy is minimal and is more than offset by the improved performance and off-road capability that a leveling kit provides.
Can a leveling kit be removed?
You can remove a leveling kit if you no longer want it. Removing it can take a couple of hours to half a day, but this depends on your knowledge. Having a professional mechanic remove the kit is important, especially if you’re not skilled in dealing with leveling kits.
Do you need an alignment after leveling the kit?
Yes, getting an alignment after installing a leveling kit is highly recommended. Most mechanics recommend getting an alignment after dealing with your shocks or wheels.
A professional mechanic can properly align your truck and ensure all the suspension components are working correctly.
Are leveling kits bad for off-road?
No, leveling kits are not bad for off-road driving. In fact, many people who use their trucks for off-roading find that a leveling kit improves the performance of their trucks.
This is because the taller springs provide additional clearance, which can be helpful when driving over obstacles. Additionally, the increased ground clearance can help protect the truck’s undercarriage from damage.
However, it is important to remember that a leveling kit will affect how your truck drives, and you may need to adjust your driving style.
Installing a leveling kit is a popular way to improve truck and SUVs’ appearance and off-road performance. While there are some drawbacks to consider, such as increased bounciness and decreased fuel economy, these can be offset by the benefits of improved appearance and increased clearance.