Lifting the suspension is raising the body together with the frame, in the case of a frame SUV, or just the body, in the case of the carrier body, by changing the elements of the suspension. There are two ways:
Replacing the suspension elements themselves, higher springs or springs, and replacing the shock absorbers with more travel. It is possible to move fixing points of shock absorbers to save money. But in this case, we lift the car but do not increase the stroke of suspension, which also plays a big role off-road.
Installation of spacers: under springs, over shock absorber struts, under leaf springs or under leaf spring struts, etc. There are many variants, but they differ mainly in the fact that each spacer in its own way affects different parameters of the car.
In any of these two options, you must remember that by changing the parameters of suspension, we also change the parameters of Cardan drives, drives, etc.
Lift of body is raising of the body relative to the frame with the help of spacers. This variant is usually cheaper than a complex lift of suspension and does not change the parameters of suspension and driveline (Cardan drives, etc.). With a reasonable body lift, modifications of the steering system, cooling system, brake system are minimal. Both variants of the lift imply the installation of wheels of larger diameter, which allows increasing clearance and improving geometric cross-country ability of the car.
Why Is A Suspension Lift Necessary?
One of the best methods of improving the off-road qualities of any car is considered a suspension lift. In this situation, not only the body is lifted above the ground, but also the frame and the units installed on it so that the geometric cross-country capability of the off-road vehicle is significantly improved.
Suspension lift comes in several ways. To a large extent, the suspension lift depends on the design of the vehicle, as well as how many centimeters or inches lifted the suspension. The basis of all these methods is the replacement of the elastic suspension components. Long springs are installed. If the suspension is a leaf spring, between the leaf spring and the frame is installed spacers or lengthened wishbones, or leaves are added to the leaf springs.
If the suspension lift is significant, the center of gravity increases significantly, which negatively affects the controllability of the car, resulting in an increased risk of overturning.
Particular attention should be paid to how the driveshafts function. The fact is that driveshafts have their own limit angle at which they can operate, and the wear on the shafts will be the greater the closer the angle is to the limit. More often than not, the greatest wear is at the face joint of the driveshafts. You may also need to install a castor kit.
In order to make the running gear work in the modes closest to the standard ones, and to achieve the best result, it is best to combine a moderate suspension lift and a body lift. Naturally, independently perform a Performance Lift Kit will be quite difficult, so it is advisable to contact qualified professionals who have the appropriate knowledge, skills, extensive experience, as well as the necessary tools.
How to Lift A Suspension?
Lifting the suspension of the spring type can be done not only with the factory lift kits. To this end, they use spacers for springs and bumpers, lengthen the arms of the shock absorber system, as well as increase the size of the springs. But the factory kits allow you to lift off-road cars that have a spring suspension, easier and faster, increasing their clearance to 15 cm.
Suspension Lift Kit
If the suspension is based on leaf springs on top, the lifting is done in the same way as with the spring system. For this purpose, leaf springs are strengthened or spacers are placed between them and the axle. At the same time, spacers are used under the bumpers, similar to those that are put on cars with spring suspensions.
Such lift from the side may seem uncomplicated – in fact, it is enough to weld new platforms to the axles to which the springs will be attached – and the job is done, the clearance is significantly increased, and you can go on the road on any off-road. But it is not necessary to hurry with conclusions.
Having done such work, you will noticeably raise the car – the height of the suspension can increase up to 18 cm. After that, it is necessary to think about the equilibration of the transport. If you leave this question without attention, and even “to overfit” a car in huge wheels – you should not be surprised, if the car will overturn on the first decent slope. Besides, it will be necessary to finalize steering, Cardan shafts, and shock absorbers, and also to lengthen brake hoses.
It Is Worth to Talk About Driveshafts In More Detail
The maximum angle of their inclination should be preserved, otherwise, the cross shafts can be torn. It is not difficult to solve this problem with the rear axle – it is enough to rotate it around its axis. Things are more complicated with the front axle. When you rotate it, the kingpin will be tilted at a different angle, and as a result, the vehicle’s directional stability will deteriorate and its steering will be reduced. To compensate for this, you will need the help of an experienced technician.
If the car has a frame basis, and the front instead of the uncut axle is installed suspension of the independent type, lifting will be associated with additional nuances. The front of the car can be raised by slightly twisting the torsions, but it is important not to overdo it – if you twist them too much, they will simply burst. Moreover, if the wheels hit road potholes, all the impacts will be transmitted to the interior with practically no softening, which will give the driver a lot of exquisite feelings while driving.
Overtightened torsions also negatively influence the quality of shock absorption. Besides, their tensioners can break, and the car will strike the front part of the road surface. Certainly, torsion adjustment is necessary, but it is not a Level Lift Kit. You should also take into account that after some time the torsion will sag again. It will help to lift a car with spring suspension for a few centimeters with reinforced springs, but in this case, everything that was told about torsions will also operate.
Ways of Changing Height (Lift)
To raise the body, in this case, uses special spacers – spacers 2 – 3 inches high (50 – 75 mm.), which are installed between the frame and the body at the points of attachment between them. Such a method of increasing the height of the body does not change the geometry of the steering and suspension, does not require large material costs, in most cases allows you to keep the usual feelings and sensations of driving the car. A significant change in the height of the center of gravity at the “body lift” does not happen because the cabin and the body lift over the frame on which all the heaviest elements of the car, and most importantly, everything can always be returned to its place! The off-road advantages of this method except for increased angles of approach and departure also do not add, the effect is more visual – for the amateur – cheap and easy!
To summarize, it is worth recommending to use for lifting shock absorber system of an independent type of factory set, in which the selection of springs (torsions) can increase ground clearance up to 5 cm, without violating the allowable working angles of suspension elements.