Deep mud or snow?
Get a lift kit
Whether you opt to go a lift kit or leveling kit, it depends primarily on the style you want for your truck as well as its functionality. If you want to put bigger tires on your Sierra – do it with a GMC Sierra lift kit or leveling kit. Either way, our parts experts are on hand to give you the advice to achieve your all-around ground clearance you are desiring.
What’s the difference?
Simply put, both lifts and leveling kits are designed to raise the truck body away from the axles to fit larger tires and increase ground clearance. A leveling kit is usually designed to provide a maximum lift of about 2 inches in the front. if a stock-style stance is desired, front-end leveling kits can be paired with spacer block on the rear leaf springs to provide a slight lift at all four corners. Leveling kits are also very simple and usually only require spring spacers or torsion key to get the job done.
A lift kit is just what it s name implies. It lifts the truck much higher into the air, via modified suspension parts. Lift kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be purchased in 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10-inch kits. AND YOU CAN GO HIGHER if you want to! Lift kits, often referred to as suspension systems, are much more comprehensive than leveling kits and will feature new springs, shocks, control arms and whatever else is needed to maintain the desired height. Often, new drive-shafts must be made, and rake lines must be bent in addition to the suspension pieces. so the larger lift kits are usually quite involved. Also, running larger-than-stock tires may require aftermarket wheels with increase offset (the distance the wheel sits from the hub).
Advantages to Lifting and Leveling
One of the biggest advantages of leveling a truck is that is allow for larger-than-stock tires to be run on all four corners. While most pickups have plenty of clearance in the rear, up front larger tires can hit the inside of the fender or bumper when turning, and a slight increase in height is just what solves this. Also, if a heavy weight like a plow or winch is added to the front to the truck, the suspension may sag, giving a ride height that is even lower than stock. In this case, a leveling kit can be used to bring the ground end back up to its proper height. Leveling kits are inexpensive and very easy to install.
Lifting a diesel with a suspension system also has its advantages. Many choose to run very large wheels and tires, such as 27-inch tires on 20-inch wheels. In this case, only a lift kit will be able to clear the rubber and allow the vehicle to ride and handle properly. Also many newer trucks are built with low-to-the-ground features that make them more car-like. Low bumper, exhaust, and running boards can all be damaged by rocks and debris-and even just smashed up on rough roads. A lift kit keeps all these mechanical and body parts from being mangled when the road gets rough. Lift kits are also very useful when going off-road. Whether it’s through rocks, mud, or in deep snow, having larger tires, more suspension travel, and better ground clearance are very large pros for lifting a truck.
Disadvantages to Lifting and Leveling
Any time a modification is made to a vehicle, possible negative drawback have to be taken into account. Since leveling kits are so simple, the biggest drawback is often in regard to style. Many people order a leveling kit expecting it to change the look of their truck, but often looking stock-ish isn’t enough, and they’ll step up to a lift kit later. Others may be unhappy with the stance, which can often by nose-high, especially with a trailer
With suspension systems, the main drawback we hear about is fuel economy. A large lift will put more suspension parts out in the wind – not to mention heavier and wider wheels and tires. The extra weight and aerodynamic drag means roughly a 20 percent drop compared to what was previously seen, all things being equal. For some, the penalty at the pump is well worth the style and utility difference a lift truck brings.
After installing leveling or lift kits, uncontrolled steering oscillation (otherwise known as “death wobble”) has a greater possibility of occurring than with a stock truck. There are ways of helping or curing this, but with either choice, it may be a factor.