Lift Kits -- Why install them?

mesazonemesazone Member Posts: 51
edited March 2014 in Ford
'01 F250 SC SWB 4x4 PSD

I have a couple questions here. I am considering a lift kit but not sure if I really need one. So my question is, why did you that bought one, buy one? Is it more for cosmetic reasons and it looks "tough" and "cool"? (I think it does.) Do they help the pickup handle heavier loads? What's the point? I have my guesses but I'll wait to see your answers.

Also, I have the factory installed Rear Sensor System on my pickup. Would lifting it affect that in a negative way and would the sensors have to be adjusted? Or would I not have to worry about that? I'm thinking a 4" lift.


  • smgillessmgilles Member Posts: 252
    I lifted my Tacoma for more ground clearance and make room for larger tires, which all equates to better departure angles when off-roading. The increase in height also gives more flex and articulation. Those are the reasons for lifting my truck.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    which is really "cool" too.
  • dch0300dch0300 Member Posts: 472
    2001 Silverado ext-cab, Z-71.
    After my step bars were installed I lost about 4" of ground clearance between the front and rear tires. It looks like the step bars are mounted to the frame of the truck where the body and the frame are bolted together. I've bottomed out on the step bars the few times that I've been 4x4'ing.
    Will a body lift also raise the step bars or will I need to spend the big $$$$'s and get the suspension lift? I plan on keeping the same size wheels and tires.(P265/75R16)
    As far as looks, a lift doesn't matter to me, I just want my ground clearance back!
  • saddaddysaddaddy Member Posts: 566
    a body lift will not help. I believe it will only increase the space b/w the bars and the cab. Some step bars are different from others, however, so this may depend on your model.
  • gator36gator36 Member Posts: 294
    Personally I would suggest a 4 inch suspension lift.

    With the step bars (by the way, excellent protection for your rocker panels) a body lift is not going to change the mount points for the step bars. You will only get extra clearance between the bar and rocker panel. Rancho makes a 4 inch suspension lift that might be good if you want more clearance but not a full 6 inch lift. A company that used to oem lift kits for the big lift kkit companies has come out with one of their own. From what I have seen it is a beefy kit. The company is Racecar Dynamics.

    Check them out at

    Just my 2 cents.

    Walter (Gator)

  • dch0300dch0300 Member Posts: 472
    6" would be too much, 4" suspension lift kit sounds like what I need, but is that something that a person with a little bit of automotive tinkering ability can handle?
    What about $$$?
    Afterwards I plan on getting a front end / 4 wheel alignment done just to make sure it still goes down the road straight.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    If you get a Body lift you will loose your nerf bars and will have to fabricate them yourself to make them work.

    Id only go for the body lift if i wanted to run slightly larger than 285 tires.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    double as a place to do chinups? LMAO!!
  • gator36gator36 Member Posts: 294
    From what I have seen for the 99-02 half ton trucks, the lift kits are going for around $1200-$1500. You may want to look around. As far as I know, Rancho is the only kit in 4" form.
    As far as Instalation well let me just say this...

    Do you feel comfortable cutting a mount or two off of your frame?
    Do you feel comfortable cutting the upper mount off of your front differential?

    Otherwise it is alot of bolt swapping and movement of heavy frontend components. The rear is easy by comparison.
    Having a 4 wheel alignment done afterwards, just goes without saying..

  • dch0300dch0300 Member Posts: 472
    Are you sure you have to do that with the Rancho 4" lift?
    I'd rather not do anything like that right now.
    Maybe I'd better wait another 1 1/2 years until my warranty is up.
    I'll check with the local Les Schwab and see what they have available.
    They do lifts for some of the local chevy/gmc dealers.
  • gator36gator36 Member Posts: 294
    Unfortunately with the modern IFS 4wd truck it is necessary to lower the front differential. This is done to elminiate the need for loger axle shafts, high angle CV joints and such. Also lowering the diff, allows for factory spec alignments in most properly designed lift kits.

    It is a bit scary having the "knife" taken to your new baby. But I have talked to a couple of dealerships about having a lift kit on a truck with the existing factory warranty. They all had almost the same exact answer....

     "the lift kit will not block any part of the factory warranty unless the lift kit actually causes warranted parts to fail." I read into this as, lift it if you want, just make sure you get a good kit and it is installed right.

    here is a link to the actual installation instructions for a Rancho kit for 99-2001 silverado. Illustration #7 on page 5 shows the mount that needs to be cut off.


  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Member Posts: 897
    I don't own a F250, but a Tacoma, but anyway:
    Unless you plan to take a truck offroad/mudbogging/want to make it a street queen, you don't need a liftkit. Putting suspension lift gives you more travel distance, essentially giving you more flex. It also pushes the body up slightly allowing to clear bigger tires. On a Tacoma, stock tires are 31s, 3" lift allows you to use 32s, 6" allows to use 33s (by that I mean you can offroad and drive around without rubbing).

    As far as warranty goes: lift kits void warranty on parts that are directly affected. That means your CV joints are not covered if you put a suspension lift on, because the angle on them may be too extreme. Your driveshaft U-joint is no longer covered because of increased angle. In general, it's small things that you can fix yourself. Some dealers, esp. Toyota ones, sometimes decline working on lifted offroad trucks alltogether.

    While lifting does increase the center of gravity of the truck, bigger and wider tires that you put on the truck will keep your truck stable. It won't handle like a sportscar at 100mph, but it won't be rolling over when cornering either.
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