June 30, 2015

Five reasons not to go overboard with a suspension lift

So you're thinking of putting a lift on the 4WD? It's one of the first modifications new owners do on a vehicle, and some are pretty extreme. The reason is usually to fit larger tyres that will, among other things, provide additional ground clearance. Add a body lift to a suspension lift and all of a sudden no rock or rut looks intimidating. However, in an article entitled Lift Isn't Everything, the latest edition of the Australian online magazine Unsealed 4x4 provides some food for thought; it's well worth a read.

The magazine notes, "A mild lift and suspension upgrade is a modification that you will benefit from every time you sit in the driver's seat. Go too far with the lift though, and things start going backwards very quickly." The article lists five reasons why it doesn't like "wild" lift kits:

• A higher centre of gravity will make the vehicle unstable.

• Big lifts cost money that could be better diverted into accessories that will actually take you further, like lockers or quality tyres.

• Four-wheel drives are tools – they don't just need to look good. If you're lifting your vehicle purely for looks, consider a different hobby.

• Driveline angles will suffer, meaning increased vibration, excessive component wear and ultimately an unreliable vehicle.

• They flex less; especially vehicles with independent front suspension, as most of the available down-travel has been removed.

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