Lifted Trucks 101: Will Lifting My Truck Change the Ride?

Lifted Trucks 101: Will Lifting My Truck Change the Ride?



If you’re looking to lift your truck, you might be wondering whether a lift will change how your truck rides. Truck lift kits are great for adding more ground clearance, and they give you space for larger tires. Depending on the make and model of your truck and which lift kit you choose, these modifications could change the way it feels to drive your truck, resulting in stability and handling issues. Luckily, most of these issues can be fixed with some additional modifications. Learn more about how lifting can change the ride of your truck and what you can do to fix it.


Stability and a New Center of Gravity

When you lift your truck, whether it’s by two inches or twelve, you’ll change the truck’s center of gravity. Your truck will sit higher off the ground, so the center of gravity will be slightly higher as well. This means your truck may not be as stable once the lift kit has been installed. If you take a fast turn or reach top speeds on the highway, you might notice the truck doesn’t handle the way it used to when you were sitting closer to the earth.

Adding larger and wider tires can help you solve this issue. You’ll have more contact with the road, so your truck won’t feel as unstable, but your truck’s center of gravity will be altered, regardless, so it’s usually best to adjust your driving habits accordingly. If your truck’s lift is more than a few inches, take turns slowly and refrain from accelerating too quickly.


Suspension Fatigue and Damping

Lifting your truck can also lead to some suspension problems. You might notice less suspension damping during long trips and on rough, uneven roads, but this only tends to be an issue if you’re lifting your truck more than a few inches. Over time, this lack of dampening can lead to more serious problems and even damage your truck’s suspension system.

To combat these issues, you can invest in reservoir shocks to help smooth out your ride. You can also consider buying coilover shocks, custom leaf springs, and traction bars for even more dampening relief.


Vibrations and Maintaining Your Driveline

Keep an eye on your driveline after you lift your truck. Lift kits can put added pressure on the driveshaft angles, causing intense vibrations at peak speeds. This can also wear down your driveline and CV joints prematurely, which will lead to costly repairs.

If your truck is vibrating more than you’re used to after installing a lift kit, try investing in custom-length CV axles for a smoother ride. Installing pinion wedges between the axle and the spring pack can also help reduce these kinds of issues.  You don’t want to wear out your driveline or CV joints, so listen to your truck and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.


Steering and Handling

If you love to go off-road, you might want to modify your truck’s steering system with off-road lugs to keep your steering components more secure, but this can lead to problems when you’re driving on paved roads, making it more difficult to steer and handle your truck in all kinds of situations. You might notice a wandering steering wheel and more resistance behind the wheel, or that your wheels are slow to react to the steering components. This usually means your steering system can’t handle the larger tires or your steering components are misaligned.

Check to see if the tie-rod is parallel to the axle and the traction bar and panhandle bar are parallel to each other. If not, you’ll need to get these components back in sync with each other or have a professional tinker with your steering system. Adding a hydraulic ram can also help you smooth out your lifted truck ride. You might also just have to get used to handling your truck a little differently than you’re used to.

While lifting your truck can change the ride in subtle ways, you can fix any major issues you might be having with additional modifications. In other cases, you might just have to get used to this new ride. It’s best to start with a smaller lift, so you can get used to these changes over time. If you continue having issues with your lifted truck ride, talk to a mechanic and see what they recommend. There’s usually a solution within reach.