Buying new pieces for our vehicle is often satisfying, as it allows us to customize the car to make them look stylish.
If you have either a truck, SUV, or a jeep, you’ve probably heard about the leveling kits. Oh yes, those marvelous parts that turn our ride into an intimidating vehicle to show off across the streets. But the importance of the leveling kits should not be dismissed.
Yes, they’re incredible for our vehicle’s look, but they are more than that. Some of the benefits provided by these sets of parts are that we, as drivers, receive more ground clearance, making our journey through different terrains safer.
That’s why today we’ll be discussing these kits, and what they can do for you. By the end, not only will you be proud of how good your car looks, but you’ll also see why they’re such an essential part if you have any of the vehicles listed above.
Here are ten things you should know about the leveling kits.
Ten Things You Should Know Better about Leveling Kits
Leveling kits are quite popular car parts that every vehicle owner should know about. That’s why, in the following article, we’ll go through every bit of information that will help us understand their purpose a little bit better. Hopefully, that will help us make the right decision during the purchase.
1. Proper Definition of a Leveling Kit
If you’re here, you probably know what a leveling kit is. But some people aren’t aware of what these tools can do. To clear any doubt, we’ll go through the basic definition. The most experienced drivers can skip this section and proceed to the next part of the article.
When you buy vehicles like trucks or SUVs, you may have noticed that they don’t have a perfect balance from the rear to the front. It is a fabric design that could be troubling during some circumstances.
A leveling kit is a set of tools that will help you level your truck with the rear suspension. Once installed, cars like trucks or SUVs will have that perfect balance throughout their structure, from the back to the front. And, once you have that, driving on tough terrain is quite easy.
But, before rushing to the car shop, there’s one more thing you need to sort out: is the leveling kit what you need exactly?
To clear any doubt, we’ll discuss the different types of leveling kits that you can purchase. Keep in mind that some may work better than others, depending on your purpose.
2. There Are Three Types of Lift Kits
With the number of vehicle models out there, it is only logical that one lifting method wouldn’t be enough for all of them. That’s why we don’t only get one, but three different types of lifting kits to match most of the cars out there.
Those are the leveling, suspension, and body lifting kits. Why do we say it covers most of the cars, but not all? Because some vehicles require their exclusive tools. Such is the case of the Chevy Silverado, which demands a unique type of kit that measures its components accurately.
In cases like the Chevy Silverado, it is better to check out with the manufacturer or a professional to confirm what your necessities precisely. If you’re wondering, the most noticeable difference between these three kits is the installation procedure. Let’s talk in-depth about the leveling kits.
Leveling Kits – Lifting between 1 to 2 Inches High
The leveling kits are everyone’s go-to choice to lift their rides between 1 to two inches, as the title suggests, and they work mostly for the front wheels. Their quality of performance is undeniable; when you need to increase your tire’s diameter, you will hardly find anything better.
Other purposes for these kits are improving both the towing, as well as the vehicle’s load capacity. The tools that fall under this category feature coil spring spacers.
But that’s not all of them, as some other leveling kits offer bar keys with forged tension. The first one, with the spacers, are the suitable choice if your vehicle uses a coil assembly. On the other hand, using the bar keys type is better for cars with a suspension system.
To sum up: the leveling kits level up the front wheels with the rear, allowing the vehicle to withstand heavier loads.
- Suspension Kits
These kits work by lifting the entire suspension system of your vehicle, not only the front. When using this tool, you will have the opportunity to install larger tires on your truck, which allows drivers to go through complicated surfaces safely.
Also, since the suspension kit adds extra height to your vehicle, it is far more resistant against shocks, providing a smooth drive through many areas.
How many inches does the suspension kit lift? It may vary, but the standard is between four to six inches.
- Body Lifting Kits
And, finally, there are body lifting kits. These tools are a set of blocks to help you raise the vehicle’s body from the frame. What does that mean? Well, when you lift the truck’s body, the frame stays in its place, maintaining ground clearance.
Each one of the lifting kits is suitable for specific circumstances. Make sure what you need is a leveling kit before making your call. Otherwise, you may end up wasting more money than needed.
3. Leveling Kits are An Investment Worth Making
Not everyone needs a leveling kit; more so, it is understandable that many people consider it is nothing but a method to make our vehicles look fancier. But, that’s far from the truth.
First, we have to admit the leveling kit does make the vehicles look better overall. By installing it, car owners are capable of adding larger tires to their ride, allowing our trucks to look intimidating.
If what you want is to show off, these additions are more than capable of helping you achieve that. But there’s another reason why you should invest in the leveling kit, and that’s safety measures.
You see, adding a leveling kit to your truck provides proper ground clearance. No longer will you have to worry about not being capable of driving through certain terrains without crashing the front side.
A leveling kit makes the frame and body of the vehicle sit in perfect balance from the back to the front. Driving through dirt or mudded areas shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
Moreover, the leveling kits are not that expensive. There are many of them available at different price ranges. Make sure to consider all of the options to find the one that meets your budget and matches your vehicle.
4. Materials Used to Produce the Leveling Kits
Picking just one from a sea of options could be challenging. But, you’ll know how to differentiate good from low-quality leveling kits if you take into consideration the materials used to produce them. One of the materials is billet aluminum. You could consider forged steel as well.
There’s one brand that has been putting outstanding leveling kits out there for the past years, and that’s ReadyLift. Their manufacturing process takes the best out of forged torsion keys and turns them into something else, ready for us to use in our trucks.
Forging torsion keys is essential if you want the best performance out of your vehicle. Not only does it allow a smoother rotation for the tension bar, but it works increasing the car’s torsional energy, as well as any force exerted for the keys.
If someone tries to sell you a generic leveling kit assuring it will fit your car, don’t fall for it. Every vehicle needs a specific type of leveling kit.
Also, if the manufacturer uses cast materials to produce the leveling kits, be aware that it will break eventually. It is just a matter of time. Furthermore, it is a poor-quality design that could put you in danger out there on the roads.
Cast materials are often weaker when compared to other pieces like OEM; their warranties don’t cover for most mishaps, and they come from the United States. We’re not saying that’s always a bad thing, but in this case, it is.
5. Choosing the Right Leveling Kit
With many options available, it could be complicated to sort out through all of the options to find the right one for our vehicle. However, there’s some information that may help you out. We’ll discuss it next in another segment in this article.
Choosing by Model
Leveling kits are not for every car. They are tools that suit specific types of vehicles that could use those extra inches of height, like SUVs and trucks. If you have any of these, then there’s a kit for you. Of course, trucks and SUVs aren’t quite specific either.
This is why you need to consult with both the car manufacturer or the kit producer to find out if they are both compatible. You can do some tests by yourself too. Do you need a suspension system?
Start by measuring the dimensions of your vehicle to determine the distance between the front and rear. Another measurement you could make is how far away is the center of the wheel from the top. After getting the dimensions, compare the statistics gathered.
The result is what technicians call the rake, which is the difference between the front and the back in height.
Sounds complicated? It isn’t. Let’s do a quick test here: after measuring, the length at the back could be 20 inches, while the front shows 18 inches. That means your rake is two inches, and that’s how much you need to level the front.
- Choosing by Application on the Vehicle
Another method to pick the perfect leveling kit is knowing what to expect from it. If you’re all about finding the right level stance, then add a couple more inches on the front, and there’s that. You now have a perfect leveled up car with a smooth performance.
But what if I tell you that some drivers prefer to have a small amount of rake on their vehicles? They want it that way because it provides ground clearance without losing the space to install larger wheels.
If that’s what you want, use the leveling kits to add a couple of inches more on either side, back or front. Another benefit of doing this is that you’ll receive a higher towing capacity.
It all sums up to what you want to do with the leveling kit. Choosing the right one is decisive to get the expected results, so take as much time as needed looking at the different offers.
6. Correctly Installing the Leveling Kit
Once you get your hands on the leveling kits, it may be tempting to give it a try yourself. After all, they look like simple pieces that wouldn’t take too much time or effort to install, right? That’s partially true.
If you’re confident about installing the leveling kit after acquiring a lot of knowledge through YouTube videos, you’ll most likely succeed at doing it.
However, the tricky part may come after detaching everything. It is pretty easy to make a mistake assembling the pieces back, which could lead to an accident eventually.
Unless you have previous experience doing this procedure, it is better to consult and get assistance from a professional mechanic.
They will know how to disassemble and assemble back the pieces without any issue. Plus, they may shed some information you could use in case the leveling kit doesn’t turn out to be what you wanted.
Sure, paying a professional may be a little expensive, but consider all the money you’d have to spend if something goes wrong because we made a silly mistake. We should never underestimate the importance of having complete certainty and security while driving your vehicles.
7. Installing without Removing the Struts
In the past, it used to be very frustrating to install a leveling kit successfully. You would often find yourself having to disassemble everything, including the struts, only to assemble everything back after the installation.
Fortunately, that’s not an issue anymore. A lot of leveling kits will allow you to do the installation procedure without disassembling the struts of your truck. This is more convenient as it reduces the time and effort you’d have to put otherwise.
A clear example of that is the Rough Country brand, which produces high-quality leveling kits that are quite intuitive and user-friendly. Everyone gets to use their parts and install them properly without the hassle of disassembling your vehicle.
8. Alignment Issues after Installing
Installing a leveling kit has many benefits as we covered before, but some issues may take place before everything starts to run smoothly; a stiffy steering is one of them. If this happens, there’s no need to panic. It is a regular problem that you can solve quickly.
These issues take place regularly, and to solve it, it doesn’t take more than getting our vehicles to an alignment shop to get it fixed. There, the technician should have the proper tools to make your car function as it should. After that, you’ll be ready to enjoy your perfectly leveled truck.
While you’re there, make sure to let the technician know if there have been other issues after installing the leveling kit.
Perhaps you’re dealing with a minor problem that doesn’t seem that important because it doesn’t intervene with the car’s performance, but that same issue could become a risk along the way.
9. How Often Do You Need to Check the Leveling Kits?
It is easy to forget everything else when you’re out there on the road driving your vehicle, but it is always necessary to keep track of the car and the leveling kit’s performance to ensure there are no accidents.
Keep in mind that these parts are withstanding a ton of energy every day, which may result in loose bolts or nuts when you least expect it.
Ultimately, checking the nuts/bolts depends entirely on the vehicle owner’s preference, but it is better to check their tightness after driving beyond the first five hundred miles. It allows you to confirm everything is going as smoothly as expected, and make changes if necessary.
Then, you may want to check once again every thousand miles. It may sound excessive, but knowing that our vehicle is working as it should is one less concern in our minds.
10. What Other Things Should You Check?
A leveling kit shouldn’t take all of your attention when you’re inspecting the vehicle. Other features you want to check are the wheel alignment, the steering system, and the car’s suspension system.
The steering system is responsible for direction control when the vehicle is moving. After installing the leveling kit, inspect this feature to ensure it works smoothly. If there’s anything you don’t want to have on the road is an uncontrollable machine.
In case you’re an experienced driver with technical knowledge, you can inspect every one of these systems by yourself every three thousand miles. However, if you aren’t sure how these things work, it will be better to consult with a technician for a professional overview of your vehicle’s performance.
Another element you want to check regularly is the drive line system, responsible for pushing the vehicle either forward or backward.
This feature locates in the middle of the transmission and the vehicle’s drive axles, transmitting energy strong enough to turn the car’s wheels in either direction.
Remember, safety is always first. I know the safety measures have been rather repetitive throughout this article, but as long as it keeps drivers from making silly mistakes that could lead to an accident, it is all worth it.
Frequently Ask Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries;
1. What is the purpose of a leveling kit?
Leveling kits will help you level the front side of your vehicle with the rear. By doing this, you’ll have more ground clearance, allowing you to drive safely over complicated terrains.
2. What types of leveling kits are out there?
There are three: strut extension, torsion key, and coil spring spacers. Each one of them works better for specific purposes, so be sure to pick the right one. Also, do not mistake the leveling kit types with the lifting kit types, as they could be very different.
3. What are the materials used to create leveling kits?
You will encounter different brands with their exclusive manufacturing process, but you should always aim for billet aluminum materials if you want the best performance. Forged steel works well too.
4. Are leveling kits safe?
Yes, they are, as long as you install them correctly. If you’re not confident or lack experience in the field, contact a professional technician to give you a helping hand. It could be dangerous if installed incorrectly.
5. What vehicles are compatible with leveling kits?
The leveling kits are suitable for different vehicles such as SUVs, jeeps, and trucks. Check with the manufacturer before investing.
Having an unleveled truck may not seem like a big deal, up until you reach certain terrains where the front side crashes continuously against rocks and other things. It is at this moment that the leveling kit comes into play, as it allows you to sort out those problems quickly.
Choosing between the three depends on what you want to do and what kind of vehicle you have. It may seem tedious, but picking the right one makes a lot of difference.
After installing the leveling kits, you’ll quickly notice why many people like it so much. It makes everything better about your truck. An improved look and better performance are a couple of those benefits brought by the leveling kit.