Body Lift vs Suspension Lift: What Is Best For Your Car?

Modifying your truck is a great way to give it some personality and character, but you have to choose the suitable method to get the best driving experience. This is not a project you want to take on without careful planning and the right tools.

There are two main ways to do the truck modification. They are body lifts and suspension lifts. Both serve a function and provide different benefits but work in different ways. So between body lift vs suspension lift, which method is best for you? Let’s find out with Car From Japan now.

What Is A Body Lift?

Get out or go wherever your truck is right now and get under it. You will see the truck frame and the underside of the bodywork. The frame is charged with keeping the suspension, engine, transmission, and other crucial components of the system in place.

Now look for the points where the truck’s cabin bolts to the frame. It’s usually in the corners of taxis. There should be a rubber bushing between the cabin and the frame mount (but not if you’re looking at the bed; they’re securely attached). That rubber (or urethane) bushing is called the cabin mount, and that’s where the body lift begins.

Body lift involves lifting the cab of the frame, removing the rubber or urethane cabin supports, and replacing them with taller models. Alternatively, someone lifts the kit stacked on top of the cab’s racks, giving you the same results.

A lot of things have to be adjusted to fit this setup. Your brake lines will be adjusted because they are further apart than usual. The hoses may need to move under the hood, your transmission cables may need to be changed, and there’s a lot more work to be done.

The advantage of a body lift over a similar height suspension lift is that it lifts only a small amount of the vehicle’s total mass since most heavy-duty actuators and chassis are at initial height. The lower center of gravity, better approach and departure angles, and the ability to fit larger tires all sound too good to be true.

body lift vs suspension
The advantage of a body lift over a similar height suspension lift is that it lifts only a small amount of the vehicle’s total mass. (Photo: asbcontratistas)

What Is A Suspension Lift?

By design, a suspension lift provides more ground clearance by reducing the distance between your vehicle’s factory suspension and replacing the suspension with new components designed to lift the chassis by a large amount.

Suspension kits are generally available for most vehicles with a lift height of 1 to 6 inches, and typical components in a suspension lift kit may include longer coil springs and shock absorbers, coil spring spacer, torsion bar, or higher leaf spring, dropbox or strut spacer, extension shackles, lifting block, lift radius swingarm, control arm, suspension linkage, and all hardware and associated brackets to extend or move all connecting components.

The higher center of gravity will cause more noticeable swaying through corners and a higher likelihood of rollover if the kit is not combined with the right sway bars to complement the vehicle. Longer, stiffer, or more highly rated springs will also help increase load-carrying capacity, and often springs from a reputable manufacturer can improve handling and cabin comfort.

Body Lift vs Suspension Lift: The Differences

Executing cost

Lifting a truck can be expensive, but the performance you get is directly proportional to your investment. Body lifts are inexpensive, only a few hundred dollars. Even if you buy the most expensive, highest-quality body lift kit, you’ll find that it’s still inexpensive. Suspension lifts are more expensive than pallet trucks because they have more parts. However, some of them require more expertise to assemble.

Compared to the suspension lifter, the body lifter is significantly easier to configure. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to apply the kit yourself, you will have to hire someone else to do it, but it will be much less expensive than doing the suspension lift.

If you have to choose between a cost of body lift vs suspension lift based on installation, you will want to use a standard one. However, if you are willing to spend extra money, the suspension will be more profitable.


Your ground clearance will not increase when lifting the bodywork. The chassis and suspension remain at the same height and position as before. If you put larger tires on your car, you’ll get a bit more ground clearance, but it won’t be much compared to what you’ll get with the suspension. Suspension lifts increase your vehicle’s ground clearance by one inch for every inch added to the lift height. If you intend to go off-road, the suspension system will be a better choice.

Elevator dimensions

Suspension lifts will be your best bet if you want the highest possible vehicle height. Body lifters could potentially be built to give you ridiculous heights, but that seems odd.

Most truck body lifts are restricted to 3 to 5 inches. Suspension lifts can go up to 10 inches and even more, but they’ll be expensive due to the many changes to handling and suspension, and they’re meant for serious rock climbing only or to decorate tall trucks.

Even the best-designed kits cannot eliminate the stability difficulties caused by the significantly higher center of gravity at high altitudes. If you want to get the most out of your elevator, a hanging lift is a good choice.

suspension vs body lift
Suspension lifts will be your best bet if you want the highest possible vehicle height. (Photo:

Bodywork and lifting frame

Suspension lift kits extend the truck’s suspension, lifting every part of the vehicle in the process. While body lifters typically stop at 5 inches, suspension lifters can go up to 9 or 12 inches, allowing you to change the look and performance of your truck.

The body lift does not raise the chassis, but only the body. While the body lifts merely raise the body, the gap between your truck’s underneath and the road stays constant. On the other hand, the suspension lifts both the tank and the truck’s undercarriage.

The control

Due to the weight of the truck being lifted, all lifting mechanisms shift the center of gravity. This implies that you may experience more scrolling movements in one turn. Lifting your vehicle can affect how it handles, increasing the chance of your body tipping over. While both choices will affect how your truck handles, the suspension’s lift will increase your chances of overturning the body.

What’s more, a shock absorber can dramatically change the way your truck handles, so it will take some time for you to adapt. The lift, on the other hand, will only have a slight effect on how your truck handles.

Geometry changes

The lift only lifts the body, so the distance between your truck’s platform and the ground doesn’t change. As a result, body lift does not affect suspension or wheel shape and therefore no adjustment is required.

For example, the suspension lift that lifts the chassis doesn’t include the axle, differential, or bottom handle, so a 2-inch suspension lift would produce, for example, 2 inches of ground clearance. As a result, the suspension lift causes changes to the wheel and suspension geometry, requiring tuning.

Center of gravity

The center of gravity is where most of the weight is concentrated. By raising the truck height, you will also lift the total weight, resulting in a higher center of gravity. The suspension has a great influence on the vehicle’s center of gravity and significantly affects handling.

The body lift system only increases the vehicle’s weight, providing a factory-like handling experience. If you want to lift your vehicle without sacrificing control, a body lift is a way to go.

Terrain performance

The body lift does not affect off-road ability. On the other hand, raising the suspension helps to increase ground clearance and improve off-road performance. Those eager to experience the most demanding off-road adventures will benefit from a taller pickup. With an enhanced vehicle, you can expect better performance.

Safety and comfort

Comfort and safety are unchanged thanks to the body lifter. Because a taller truck offers a better view of the highway and any possible obstacles, a suspension lift gives you a safety advantage over vehicles with lower configurations. Even a few seconds of warning can mean the difference between avoiding or being part of a risky situation.

suspension lift vs body lift
Safety and comfort are always two vital criteria when considering which lifting method is ideal for you. (Photo: Fernley)

After looking at some of the differences in detail, here is a summary of the pros and cons of the two types of vehicle lifts:

Body lift

  • Less expensive
  • No additional ground clearance unless larger tires and wheels are added
  • Better ride and handling
  • Less lifting range
  • Allows tire diameters up to 33 inches
  • Can be installed on a unibody truck

Suspension lift

  • More expensive
  • More clearance
  • Ride and handling worse
  • More lifting range
  • Allows larger tires to lift the body
  • Can not be installed on a unibody truck

Which lifting method is ideal for you depends on what you want to use the vehicle for, the sort of truck you have, and your project budget.

If you only use the truck primarily as an off-road vehicle, you may want to use suspension as it can add more ground clearance and have larger wheels.

If you use the car mainly on paved roads, the body lifter will be better as it allows for a more optimal driving and handling experience. Also, if you have a monolithic truck, the only choice is a body lift. And if you have a good solid truck and need more ground clearance, you can buy larger tires after installing the body lift. Moreover, if you can’t afford to buy the height of the lift you need, find a combination of body lifts and suspension lifts that fits your budget.

With each sort of lifting kit, there are several options and aspects to consider since it’s not as simple as it seems. That’s why you need to consult with industry experts to determine the best fit for your vehicle.

Can You Combine Body Lift and Suspension Lift In One Project?

The balancer is a suspension lifting device intended only for the front of the truck. The balancer kit is just a strut pad for the front Macpherson strut. While the appeal is aesthetic, these kits can help pull.

Combining one of these kits with a body lift can achieve your goals at a much lower cost than a suspension lift. For instance, a 2-inch leveler and a 3-inch body lift may be combined for less than half the price of a 4-inch suspension lifter.

With this combination, you get an extra 2 inches of ground clearance and 5 inches of ride height. That’s compared to a 4-inch increase in ground clearance and a 4-inch ride in height with the suspension. This combination will also provide better transmission handling than a suspension lift since the center of gravity will change less.


In conclusion, if you’re using your truck for a lot of off-road work, you’ll probably want a suspension. That’s because it can give you the extra ground clearance you need to keep rocks and other objects from damaging the underside of your truck. If you only want to drive on the highway and don’t want to incur significant expenses, a body lift may be the right approach.

Before deciding to have any truck upgrades or lifts, even at home or at truck center, talk to at least a few professionals. Lift gears will provide you with several possibilities. Making the right choice to meet your needs is much less expensive than finding out that you should have chosen a different elevator after installation.