Lift Kit vs Leveling Kit
What is a Leveling Kit?
When vehicles come from the factory they have what is called a “factory rake”. This is the nose-down look most stock trucks are equipped with. There is a reason for the rake, the rake is to accommodate for rear sag you may have when the truck is loaded, that way when you are towing or hauling your headlights won’t point up in the sky. Many truck drivers prefer for their truck to have a level look all of the time. A leveling kit will correct this nose-down style, bringing the front of the truck up to meet the rear. Leveling kits will usually lift between 2-2.5” and are purchased based on the style of the vehicles front suspension. Offered leveling kits are torsion keys, add-a-leafs, coil spacers, strut spacers and lifted springs.
What is a Lift Kit?
A lift kit will lift both the front and rear of the vehicle. You can get a lift kit that will lift the front and rear the same amount, leaving the vehicle with the factory nose down stance, or you can get a level lift that will lift the front more than the rear so the vehicle sits with a level stance. For example if the vehicle comes from the factory with the rear 2” higher than the front and you lift the front and rear both 4” then the rear will remain 2” higher. If you choose a 4” level lift the front will be lifted 4” and the rear 2” so the front and rear will sit at the same height. A Lift kit usually lifts much higher than a leveling kit, so they will come with extended shocks, brake lines, and drop brackets to keep everything in line. While a leveling kit will allow for a slightly larger tire, if you get a lift kit you can sport even bigger wheels. The front end of the vehicle will be lifted using the same type of items as the leveling kit (larger lifts will require lifted springs). For the rear you will use blocks, add-a-leafs or replacement springs.
How are they different?
Lift Kits and Leaf springs both make the vehicle sit higher than stock. A Leveling Kit will only lift the front of the vehicle, while a Lift Kit will lift both the front and rear of the vehicle. With a leveling kit you can maintain all of your stock parts, though new shocks are always recommended. When lifting the whole vehicle suspension additional modifications will need to be made.
Which is Better?
It depends on what you are looking for. A leveling kit will give you a level stance and more front clearance to allow for larger tires. If you are looking to put much larger tires and have even more ground clearance for off-roading then a lift kit is the way to go.