How Much Does It Cost to Lift A Truck?
Lifting is a popular truck modification that will let you enjoy many perks. The most sought-after is probably greater off-road capability from more ground clearance, better shock absorbers and room for extra tires. But are also major improvements to your driving experience and your pickup’s performance. So is lifting your truck worth it, and how much does it cost to lift a truck?
This article will answer these crucial questions for you and equip you with everything you need to know to see this project through. How much does it cost to lift a truck all depends on the type of vehicle you own, how much of a lift you want, the type of lift kit you want and whether you install the lift yourself or hire a mechanic. Read on the learn about the benefits of lifting your truck, the different types of life kits and their characteristics plus the cost of each, and the estimated total cost for a DIY lift versus how much a professional service would charge you.
Lifting Your Truck: Is It Worth It?
There are many considerable benefits to having your truck lifted, which is why so many pickup owners go for this modification. Lifting your truck can enhance not just the appearance of your vehicle, but also your ride quality and performance:
- Aesthetics: More rugged, sporty and aggressive appearance.
- Greater off-road capability: A lift kit allows for superior ground clearance, bigger tires with improved traction and better shock absorbers, everything you would need for superior off-road capability.
- A higher ride: Improved overall ride quality, as you’re sitting higher and having a better view of everything around you.
- Superior suspension: With superior suspension, the same miles will generate a smaller amount of wear and tear. This translates to lower maintenance costs and, generally, higher resale values.
On the flip side, depending on how high you want to lift your truck and the type of tyres that you put on, making your truck sit higher off the ground might mean the vehicle is less aerodynamic and encounters greater wind resistance, thus you’ll get slightly lower MPG on the highway.
Truck Lift Kits: Types & Costs
How much does it cost to lift a truck? It depends on what type of lift kit you purchase, whether or not you do it yourself, as well as other factors. Then how much does a lift kit cost? We’ll look at the benefits and average price of each type of lift kit below.
Lift Kit vs Leveling Kit
First, you’ll need to decide whether to get a lift kit or a leveling kit, each with distinct benefits. A lift kit will raise the whole body of your vehicle anywhere from two to twelve inches or even more (although most truck owners are only looking to lift their truck a few inches).
Meanwhile, a leveling kit will raise either the front or back of your pickup, usually by about two inches, to give it a more level stance. Since most trucks are designed to carry heavy loads in their truck beds or to tow something behind, they’re built so that the rear is typically higher than the front. Leveling kits are most commonly used to raise the front of your truck to match the height of the rear. There are different types of leveling kits: coil spacers, strut extensions, shocks, and lift blocks.
A leveling lift will also be suitable if you have a lot of heavy accessories on one end of your vehicle, such as a winch or a plow, so you might want to lift the end by just a little bit to keep the vehicle level. They’re the perfect way to compensate for any extra weight your vehicle may be carrying on one end. They also help you make room for bigger tires, if you’re just looking to add a little oomph to your ride.
Generally, as leveling kits only lift either the front or the back of your truck while lift kits raise all four corners of your vehicle, lift kits tend to be more expensive. Also, the larger the lift, the more the lift kit will cost.
Body Lift vs Suspension Lift
After deciding on a lift kit, it’s time to choose between a body lift or a suspension lift. A body lift is less complicated to do, but does not offer as many benefits as a suspension lift and thus is less common.
A body lift involves lifting the body of the truck from the wheels, so the body lift will make room for larger tires without re-configuring the truck body. Body lifts are separate from your vehicle’s suspension components. A body lift kit will cost anywhere from $80 to as much as $2,000, all depending on how basic or complicated of a lift you want as well as the make and model of your truck.
The good news is installation is more straightforward than a suspension lift since there’s no need for altering the geometry of your vehicle’s suspension system. Do note that this also means that if you plan on taking your truck on off-road trips, a body lift kit is not the ideal modification. A suspension kit would be the better option in this case. However, you can add a body lift to an already existing suspension lift to add a bit more height to your truck without having to alter your suspension geometry, which is not an easy project.
In short, if all you’re after are aesthetics and higher tire clearance, then a body kit is the more economical choice. Meanwhile, if you plan for your pickup to be crawling over rocks and trekking through mud off the beaten path, then a suspension lift is what you need, given that you’re willing to spend a bit more.
Suspension lifts are more common since this type of lift offers greater versatility. With a suspension lift, you’re gaining more: height, ground clearance, and also suspension travel. So it’s understandable that suspension lifts usually require more modifications to your vehicle’s original equipment depending on the height you choose and thus installation is one level more challenging than a body lift.
If you opt for a performance-enhancing suspension lift kit, you will spend more than a typical body lift or a normal suspension lift. You may be able to find aftermarket options for less, but not that you will need to do a lot more research and choose genuine OEM parts to preserve the integrity of your vehicle’s factory version as much as possible, or else you’ll risk damaging your truck or making it wear out prematurely.
- Leveling kits tend to cost the least and can run anywhere from $200 to $1,000, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
- Smaller truck lift kits that raise the truck’s body by only two inches usually cost anywhere from $400 to $12,000.
- Larger truck lift kits that raise the truck’s body by six inches up to about twelve inches usually cost from $11,000 to $14,000.
- A body lift kit will cost anywhere from $80 to as much as $2,000.
- A suspension lift kit will cost anywhere between $450 to $2,000. If you opt for a performance-enhancing suspension lift kit, expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000.
Due to the big price tag of a typical lift kit, many kit manufacturers and distributors also offer financing plans, so you won’t have to pay the total amount upfront but instead spread out in small installments over a fixed time period. Depending on which kit you choose, the monthly installments come down to anywhere between $20 and $120.
How Much Does It Cost to Lift A Truck: DIY
Now, you might want to know if lifting your truck is doable in your own garage and how much a DIY project would cost. First, you should only attempt to install the kit yourself if you’ve installed them in the past. Lifting a truck, especially if you’re going for the complicated suspension kit, is no easy job. You could easily damage your vehicle, and repairing that damage will usually cost you more than the price of a kit itself.
When deciding to install the kit yourself, be prepared for the following unforeseen costs:
- Extra tools: stands, hydraulic jack, impact wrench, strut compressor, and breaker bar.
- Accidental damages: damaged tools and broken, stripped or seized bolts.
- Additional costs: Any additional costs will usually depend on how much of a lift you’re planning to do. For most trucks and SUVs, lifts over 3.5 inches get significantly more complicated. To facilitate a big lift, you’ll most likely need to make other supplementary modifications such as drive train alterations, extended brake lines, an adjustable track bar, adjusted gear ratios, and more.
Lift kit installation time can range between 7 hours for simple kits like levelling kits and small body lifts and 15 for more extensive modifications. This is quite a labour intensive job, and the labor time required to install the lift kit of your choice to your specific vehicle is the most important factor that determines installation cost when you go to a mechanic to get the job done. An experienced mechanic can install a kit in a few hours.
After you’re done, given the magnitude of such a modification, it’s always a good idea to visit your local mechanic and make sure everything is performing as it should be. You might need to have your wheels realigned or your steering components adjusted for everything to work smoothly together, and these additional expenses can cost you anywhere from $80 to $200, sometimes a bit more, on top of the cost for the lift kit itself.
How Much Does It Cost to Lift A Truck: Professional Service
If you’re not a gearhead and want to make sure your kit is installed correctly, you should hire a professional to do the job for you. Remember that it’s easy to make a mistake during the installation process when installing a lift kit, which might end up costing you even more.
The cost to install a lift kit or leveling kit all depends on which body shop you choose and the make and model of your vehicle. Generally, the installation fee is around the same price as the kit itself. The more complicated and beneficial a kit is, the more expensive it will be, and the higher the installation cost will be.
So, if you buy a relatively inexpensive leveling kit for a couple hundred dollars, installing the kit will cost around $200 or more. If you buy a larger lift kit for several thousand dollars, installation cost can easily be as much as $2,000 or more. Also, the mechanic might need to service other parts of your vehicle to facilitate the lift, such as realigning the wheels, adjusting the shocks or the steering components.