That new truck you just bought looks great doesn’t it. Here come all the neighbors out to see it and they all think it looks pretty cool too. Well, except for the way the back end sticks up in the air like a bug, and wouldn’t it look much better with bigger tires and wheels? Sure it would and there’s plenty of clearance in the rear for them but what about up front?
So the more you look at the truck, the more you know you need to do something to the stance, but what? We’ll tell you what; you need a suspension leveling kit. There are suspension leveling kits on the market for just about every make and model truck out there and they do just what the name suggests. They bring the front of your truck up level with the back and give you more clearance for those larger tires you want to get. Don’t confuse a leveling kit with a suspension lift kit. There are differences and we’ll handle that in another article. For now, we are just concerned with getting your truck to a nice level stance and making some room for those cool looking all terrain or mud terrain tires.
Most trucks come from the factory with the rear about two to three inches higher than the front. A leveling kit will correct this and bring the front up to the same height as the rear. As an added benefit, you now have plenty of room for larger tires and wheels!
Almost all full size trucks will accept up to 33” tires without any problem. As long as you just want to look at them and not actually drive anywhere. But what fun is that? As soon as you put the truck into motion those big tires will rub on the fenders, especially when turning. Also many aftermarket wheels are wider and stick out farther than the OE wheels did, so right away they’re getting into your bumper and fender when turning.
The leveling kit you need depends on the type of suspension your truck has. The first type is a strut extension kit. This is basically a spacer that goes on top of the factory struts typically found on late-model half ton trucks and SUVs. The second type is a replacement torsion key for those trucks with torsion bar front suspension. This kit enables you to raise the front end by swapping in a new torsion bar key that is indexed differently than the stock unit. These keys Chux sells are usually much stronger than the OEM parts. Finally is the coil spacer type of kit. This is just what the name suggests in that it fits into the factory coil spring pocket and raises the front of the truck without affecting the factory ride quality.
Leveling kits are vehicle specific and you should never buy any sort of “generic”, one size fits all kit. You also have to realize that you get exactly what you pay for when buying a suspension leveling kit. The suspension of your truck is no place to be cutting corners. Cheap suspension leveling kits are usually made of cast material instead of forged and they will eventually break. Notice we didn’t say they might break, they will break. They are made from material that is even weaker than the OEM parts. They are never warranted for long, are usually made outside of the USA and when they do break, you've got serious problems!
You should always look for a leveling kit that is made of parts that are billet aluminum, or forged steel. ReadyLift is the number one brand of suspension leveling kit because they have engineered a line of true forged torsion keys. Forging is especially important for torsion keys because as you rotate the torsion bar you also increase the torsional energy and the forces exerted on the key. A cast torsion key cannot withstand the additional force for very long and it will likely fail at some point. ReadyLift has produced over 60,000 forged torsion keys and not a single one has been returned due to failure. Also remember that the addition of larger wheels and tires will increase the forces at work on the rest of your suspension. You don’t want install inferior parts in an area as critical as this. Safety, security, and the longevity of the parts you install are critical factors and should not be compromised to save a few dollars.
It is possible to perform the installation of most suspension leveling kits at home, but here again safety is a major concern. Most suspension parts, especially springs and torsion bars contain a great deal of stored up energy. You can be severely injured or even killed dead where you stand if you handle these parts in an unsafe manner. You don’t want that. Nobody in your family wants that, and the finance company that holds the note on your truck absolutely does not want that!
This is a job best left to the professionals at Chux Trux. We have installed more suspension leveling kits than all of the other shops in the Kansas City area combined. Over 6,000 if you're counting (which we are). We can even do the installation for the Kansas City car dealer of your choice before you pick up your new truck so that the cost is rolled into your monthly payment. Chux carries and installs the full line of kits from ReadyLift and Zone Off Road so you know you’re going to get only the best quality parts. Seriously...we've performed more of this kind of work than anyone and have the experience to ensure there is no problem or special circumstance that we haven’t already seen and fixed.
You can call us anytime to get more information and a price quote on parts and installation. Check out our website, send us an email, or stop in to any of our three stores in the Kansas City area and see what Chux Trux can do for you and your truck.
By: Chris Ripper