Do I Need A Lift Kit or A Leveling Kit?
Making the choice between a lift kit and a leveling kit is actually pretty simple but here are a few Pros and Cons of each. Remember that this is just general information and may be different for specific vehicles.
Leveling Kit Info:
Economical - Depending on your vehicle, leveling kits can cost as little as $30.00
Ease of Installation - With a few exceptions, MOST leveling kits are fairly easy to install and can be installed in your driveway with simple tools.
Larger Tires - Once again, this is a general statement and varies by vehicle, but the majority of full size trucks can run up to a 33" tall tire with a leveling kit and some trucks can even get 35s under them. Most small or midsize trucks are limited to 31-32" tall tires.
There are many factors that come into play regarding tire size including wheel offset and whether you mind cutting plastic valances, inner fenders, bumpers or sheet metal.
Wheel Options - Most Leveling kits allow the use of OEM or aftermarket wheels with OEM offsets allowing you to keep your stock wheels if you choose to.
Lift Kit Info:
Higher Priced - Lift Kits come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 2.5" to 12" and larger depending on vehicle. The prices can range from a couple of hundred dollars up thousands depending on vehicle, lift kit brand and options.
Installation - Most larger lifts, especially late model IFS vehicles, are fairly difficult to install and you need to be a pretty good mechanic with some specialty tools or you will need to have it professionally installed. Always check out the reputation of an installer before committing to them. We have seen some serious nightmares come from bad installs. Your real expensive ride can be reduced to a yard ornament that you won't be able to drive.
Bigger Tires - The larger the lift, the larger the tire. Simple. Tire size will vary by vehicle and amount of lift. Most of the lift kits that we sell have a recommended tire and wheel size that works without any major issues. Going beyond the manufacturers recommendations will mean more modifications or some body cutting.
Wheels - MOST larger "Knuckle Style" lift kits require aftermarket wheels with a negative offset to clear the knuckles so you will probably need to invest in a set of aftermarket wheels. Some lifts allow the use of a small spacer in order to use the OEM wheels. Some lift kits require larger diameter wheels than stock for the same reasons.