Body lift vs. suspension lift

Discussion in '4X4 Truck Talk and Repairs' started by south_va_fisherman, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. south_va_fisherman

    south_va_fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Muddy Cross, Virginia
    are there any problems with a 3" body lift oposed to a suspension system installed? A guy i talked to said the body lifts dont last long and wont work well off road. Is he right?
     
  2. River_monster91

    River_monster91 New Member

    Messages:
    2,233
    State:
    central kansas
    if it was me i would go with the suspension lift but other people might differ
     

  3. k5camaro

    k5camaro New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    texas
    body lifts are not safe , i ran a 4 inch aluminum on my k5 ,wish i never had it t-case had to be adjusted,pivot angle on my 4 spd wasnt right, steering shaft was too short...... See where I'm going with this it was a headache,spend the extra cash and buy a bigger suspension lift,you will be much happier.:wink:
     
  4. ga2oh

    ga2oh New Member

    Messages:
    89
    State:
    ohio
    with a suspention lift you gain some ground clearance, but with a body lift the frame stays in the same place. plus with a body lift you get an unsightly gap between the body and frame.
     
  5. bubbasmouse

    bubbasmouse New Member

    Messages:
    302
    State:
    Chesterfield South Carolina
    If its a older truck don't use either one just take a sawzall and cut the fenders to fit the size tires you want and put fender flares on.:wink:
     
  6. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I like that suggestion :smile2: If that ain't redneck,I don't know what is.
     
  7. BajaCoop

    BajaCoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,199
    State:
    Poplar Bluff,MO
    It really depends on what kind of truck you have as to what would be the best option.

    I have a 99 F150 with a 3 inch body.
    I choose it over the suspension because of cost, a 4 inch suspension for my truck was about 2 grand while a body with all of the brackets and extensions was about 250.

    A suspension lift is better if you can afford it.

    However Body lifts are not dangerous if you do them right. If you get a good kit it will come with extensions for your shifters, and steering as well as ground clamps etc. They will also come with bumper relocation brackets. However once you move the bumpers they will not be rated for towing so unless you have a frame mounted hitch or don't tow anything this may not be an option.

    If you have a truck that is older and has leaf sprins you can get lift springs or blocks for pretty cheap.

    If you have a coil-sprung truck it will be more expensive but not too bad.

    If you have a tortion bar front suspenion like I do it will be expensive.
     
  8. south_va_fisherman

    south_va_fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Muddy Cross, Virginia
    The trucks a 1991 F150 Lariat XLT. Money is deffinately a concern because i am saving for college as well.
     
  9. south_va_fisherman

    south_va_fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Muddy Cross, Virginia
    I am just looking for the cheapest way to lift the truck up and put some larger tires on it.
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    With age you'll learn to absolutely love a stock vehicle including the stock wheels.
    More driving and less working on the thing.:smile2:
    I went through the truck and hotrod phase.
    I had a beauty of an El Camino that would run like a scalded dog and that 2-1/2" inch exhaust with those headers was a beautiful sound, but let me tell ya. I had to work on it 2 days to drive it 3 days.:wink:

    Daddy always told me to leave them cars alone because Chevy had em engineered and tuned way better then I could. He was right.
    If it comes with Michelin tires on it thats what I put on it.

    If I had to sink money I'd sink it in a boat. You already got the truck to pull it with.
     
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    ^^^word

    Unless, of course, your college is already paid for.
     
  12. south_va_fisherman

    south_va_fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Muddy Cross, Virginia

    I wish..:roll_eyes:
     
  13. BajaCoop

    BajaCoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,199
    State:
    Poplar Bluff,MO
    With that truck you have a twin traction beam with coils in the front and leafs in the back.

    For a lift you should be able to get a suspenion lift pretty cheap.
    TTB lifts are pretty cheap and you could put a 2inch block and a add-a-leaf in the rear.

     
  14. vfourmax

    vfourmax New Member

    Messages:
    251
    State:
    Va
    A body lift will gain you clearance fo a couple of sizes larger tire to fit but it will in no way give you any benefit other than the clearance. Actually as you know with any lifted vehicle the higher center of gravity makes the vehicle more prone to a rollover. One aspect of a QUALITY suspension lift is the stiffer spring rates which lessen the body roll and helps the vehicle lessen the effects of the higher center of gravity, a body lift especially alone with no suspension modifications to help offset the body roll because of the higher center of gravity will increase the danger more because the increased load on the soft factory spring rates .
    Not trying to sound negative here but lifting or modifying any vehicle is not just get it higher but use the best parts available and upgrade the vehicle to be safe and dependable. Changing one thing usually requires a lot of upgrading other things to handle the extra stresses the original modification causes. example higher height better springs and shocks, bigger tires steering, axle, diff, gearing, driveshaft and possibly brake upgrades. It is sort of like a domino effect and the next thing you know you have spent 15,000 dollars on upgrades. I have lifted a lot of 4 wheel drives of all makes over the years and I have learned do not cut corners and do all the mods you need to do using the best parts you can get.
    There is a reason brand "A" cost 2000.00 dollars and brand "X" cost 550.00 dollars. Usually the cost difference is based on the better engineering and a LOT on the quality of the materials to used to make the kit. This also goes for the body lifts. A cheap 80.00 kit uses cheap composite blocks and chinese bolts while something like a 180.00 M.O.R.E. kit uses quality aluminum blocks and USA. GRADE 5 bolts, worth the difference in cost. Good luck on making your decision, just remember a properly lifted vehicle can drive down the highway with no more input than a stock one but a half done job and you will be fighting to keep it between the ditches and making things dangerous for not only yourself but everyone else on the road also!
     
  15. south_va_fisherman

    south_va_fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Muddy Cross, Virginia
    Thanks Bill.
    haha you sound like my dad. he says he doesnt want a half way truck in the drive way, so get it done right:smile2:
     
  16. bubbasmouse

    bubbasmouse New Member

    Messages:
    302
    State:
    Chesterfield South Carolina
    Save the money from the lift kit and put lockers front and rear. You will see the biggest improvement off road from having the lockers.
     
  17. slipbobber

    slipbobber New Member

    Messages:
    240
    State:
    Kentucky
    or try pml (poor mans lift) did it to my xterra and gained 2 inches. just crank up the torsion bars alittle. put new shakles in the back and get a wheel alignment and your ready to roll...my nissan xterra costed about 300 dollars including wheel alignment.also what kind of truck are you lifting.....
     
  18. south_va_fisherman

    south_va_fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Muddy Cross, Virginia
    Thanks for the idea. its a 1991 f150 xlt lariat with a '92 engine. I can get the body lift for 100ish. But i also want some slightly larger all terrain tires for more traction in muddy areas, so im looking to get a raise, thats safe and cheap, but im willing to spend a little more to have the truck runnuing properly
     
  19. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    You are definitely better off with a real suspension lift. It'll ride better and give you more articulation off road. Body lifts should be kept small 1" to 1.5" and just for things like to make space for a belly up or install a bigger transfer case. Don't use them just to make space for a large tire. Body lifts 2" and up are bad on your body and can cause the tub to crack after a while. Plus body lifts that big take to many other adjustments too make them work almost right. They never quite work out well over 2". The only benifit a body lift has over a suspension lift is that a body lift will keep your COG lower. A body lift will lift only the body or tub which is only about 25 or 30% of the vehicle weight. A suspension lift will lift the whole chassis which is about 75 to 80% of the vehicle weight in the air. Putting more weight higher increases the COG. Still though the beifits of a suspension lift for ride,articulation and fitting properly, out-weigh the benifit of a body lift. I agree with bubbasmouse though. For more traction off road i would rather have lockers and smaller tires than big tires and open/open. That and how he said to break out the sawzall. That is the cheapest way to fit larger tires and you still get the same old ride you have always liked. We are allowed to have no fenders in Arizona though. I am not sure what your laws are. Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  20. godsglad8tor

    godsglad8tor New Member

    Messages:
    253
    State:
    Riverside, CA
    that would be a suspension lift, thats what i would do, i have a 01 chevy 1500 on 6" lift with 2 inch body, i wouldnt go any hire than 3 my man, thats just dangerous, youll turn it top heavy like a water truck and increase the chances of it tipping over on a sharp turn