Three Main Types of 4WD Lifting

Posted on: 27 May 2016

While straight from the factory, a normal 4WD car will have enough clearance for regular driving in normal roads. But when you're driving on steep or rocky terrain you may begin to feel the need to raise your car and give it ample clearance below. This is where 4WD lift kits come into play. Lift kits enable you to raise your car several considerable inches above ground to enable easier driving under several conditions such as deep ruts, rough terrain, or even steep slopes. There are many ways that you can use 4WD lift kits to raise your car. Some may or may not be legal depending on your jurisdiction. There are, however, three types of lifts that can be fixed on any 4WD vehicle globally.

Springs/ absorber lifts

This is where 4WD lift kits are used to extend the springs and shock absorbers are adjusted, raising the car slightly above the factory level.  The new springs are longer as well as stiffer. This will result in new spring rates and travel on the car. The alteration almost always calls for a replacement in the shock absorbers to account for these new properties in the vehicle dynamics. Although generally legal, different jurisdictions dictate the maximum allowable lift height.

Body lift

In body lifts, several spacers are installed at the intervals where the body of the car attaches to the vehicle chassis. Body lifts are generally not installed for ground clearance purposes. Instead, they are installed to provide extra room that allows the vehicle ability to run on large diameter tires. This, in turn, results in a considerable ground clearance availed. When installing body lifts, you should be careful because the lifts often end up disrupting normal functionality of other vehicle components such as SRS air bags.

Air bags

Air bag suspension system is one of the popular 4WD lift suspension in the market today. Air bag systems offer the much needed option of adjustability of the system. In this system, pressurized air bags are installed to provide additional support to your current suspension system. The pressure within these bags can then be increased or decreased to accommodate different loads. Air bag systems offer both height increase and vehicle stiffness. The only issue with air bags seems to come from the fact that they sometimes lead to chassis failure. This is because they sometimes load the vehicle at chassis points that are not meant to take certain loads, hence, ruining the chassis in the process.

Whichever lift you decide to go with, always remember that vehicle lifting, if not done correctly, affects several aspects of driving and vehicle capabilities such as handling and maneuvering. For more information, check out a company like Wilkinson Suspension Centre.