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Are Leveling Kits Bad for Trucks?

are-leveling-kits-bad-for-trucks

Leveling kits are a handy vehicle tool that provides balance and removes the difference in ground height of the front and rear of a vehicle. But are leveling kits bad for trucks? Let’s see that in today’s post:

Leveling kits can adversely affect the suspension of the trucks, especially their ball joints, causing them to wear out faster. Hence, a leveling kit is bad for trucks as it reduces the overall lifetime of a truck.

Before we jump into the details, let’s see what a leveling kit is:

What is a Leveling Kit, and how does it work?

A leveling kit is a tool specifically made for vehicles to provide a lift to their front. Most leveling kits go above the front springs of the trucks and work by raising the front part of the vehicle to match the rear end. Resultantly, the minimum distance between the chassis and the ground (ground clearance) increases.

Leveling kits prevent the front downward slope of a truck (raked stance), and the slight lift it provides might allow larger tires to fit your truck.

But are Leveling Kits bad for Trucks?

From warranty to physical modifications, there are many changes that come with installing a leveling kit. Here’s how they can affect your truck:

Ball Joints and Suspension:

Since you are pushing the truck beyond its intended limit, a leveling kit will cause the suspension components to wear out faster.

The reason is that the modification leads to a raised front, which leads to higher aerodynamic resistance. The wind resistance and the higher-than-intended height demand more work from suspension in controlling the truck during a ride. The extra pressure wears down the suspension a lot faster.

Appearance:

If you are looking for a drastic improvement in your truck after installing a leveling kit, you will be disappointed.

A leveling kit doesn’t affect the appearance of the truck much. The maximum lift it can provide is 2 inches, which is visible only if you look closely.

Leveling kits are generally designed for improved balance and control. So, if you are looking to get a visible lift to your truck, a lifting kit might be a better option.

Fuel Economy:

Leveling kits raise the front of the truck, increasing the overall air drag on it. Resultantly, your truck needs to work a little bit harder, leading to higher fuel consumption.

While this is not a considerable change, it can add up and affect the fuel economy by up to 10% in the long run. So, if your truck’s fuel mileage is mediocre, you should be ready to spend a lot more on gas.

Warranty:

Installing a leveling kit modifies the truck, which most manufacturers deem as unauthorized modification.

According to most manufacturers, a leveling kit can lead to faster wear and tear of the truck, breaking it down before the warranty ends. Hence, a leveling kit usually makes the warranty of the trucks null and void.

Therefore, it is advisable to consult your truck manufacturer to ensure whether your warranty will be affected by installing a leveling kit. Otherwise, the safe side is to use it once your truck’s warranty has expired.

Truck with Leveling Kit crossing bridge

Carrying Load:

With a two-inch leveling kit, towing or hauling heavier loads becomes problematic for the truck’s health. Carrying a heavier load in the bed of the truck can cause sagging in the rear of the truck, which can negatively impact the vehicle.

Therefore, if such actions are needed to be done, the truck must have airbags to keep the rear up, or the back should be slightly higher.

Inaccurate HUD readings:

HUD or heads-up display provides useful information to the truck drivers to help them comply with the regulation. The readings of torque, gearing, and speed all depend upon the distance covered by the tires during one complete revolution. HUD readings might be affected if you install a bigger wheel using a leveling kit.

For instance, your vehicle speed might appear slower than it actually is, leading to speed violations. Hence, installing a leveling kit can alter the performance of your truck.

Does a Leveling Kit require new Shocks?

A 2-inch leveling kit requires shocks if you are not using spacers.

A spacer can make your truck look more level but does not provide an extra lift or changes the suspension. In such cases, one can make do with the factory shocks present in the truck.

However, if you are using a 2-inch leveling kit to improve the overall off-road performance of the vehicle, using stock shocks will not considerably increase the performance. Furthermore, they add unnecessary wear. Also, if your shocks have been there for a fair bit of time, they won’t last long.

Hence, installing a 2’’ leveling kit should be paired with installations of new shocks in most cases, unless you don’t have the budget. Otherwise, it can turn out to be harmful for your truck.

Takeaway: If you still want to install a Leveling Kit

If you are still willing to install a leveling kit despite the problems, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Ensure you are getting the correct leveling kit. You can do this by measuring the distance from the center of the truck to the top for both front and rear. Compare the two to obtain the rake of the truck you need to correct.
  • Don’t carry an extra load in the bed of your leveled vehicle.
  • Ensure your HUD is not malfunctioning.
  • Ensure that your warranty will not be affected or that your truck’s warranty has already expired.
  • Choose a lift kit if you want more ground clearance.
  • Choose a professional for correct installation to avoid large wear of the suspension.

Conclusion

Yes, leveling kits can be bad for your truck. Therefore, you must use them if you are ready to bear the brunt. For off-road enthusiasts, a leveling kit is worth it. However, if you are merely installing it for a cooler, more-balanced looking truck, it’s better to avoid making this change.

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