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  #1  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:39 AM
Razor Razor is offline
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Default Lifting or Leveleing

Please excuse my ignorance, but I did try to search for information in here and all over the Internet. Surprisingly I was unable to find the answers to the basics about "why" leveling/lifting. Most threads already have people knowing "why" they want to lift, and just trying to decide "how".

Before I kick off what might come across as the most basic and even naive question ever, here are a few of my thoughts & concerns:

I have a 2010 Ram 1500 4x4 that is my daily driver for business use around the city of Houston. Some parking garages I have to enter are restricted as low as 6' 3" clearance. I initially tried some 305 Nitto tires and it felt like I was driving in sand (very sluggish feeling) and noisy on the highway. So I opted for Michelin AT2 for a balance of street usage (95%) and snow / mud when we go on camping and ski trips to Colorado (5%). I really LIKE the current condition of the vehicle in terms of drivability, turning, ride comfort, etc.

It would be nice to have additional ground clearance when we go out in West Texas or Colorado off road trails where washouts and troughs make highpoints in the trail or medium size rocks can cause concern.


Questions: Why lift/level the truck? Is it just to get bigger tires in there, or to increase ground clearance for the body? Both? Those of you with bigger tires, do you notice the truck feeling "slower" or "sluggish"?

Leveling (what does it really accomplish)?

Lifting (how high, what is the risk)?

How do either of these affect driving comfort, suspension (bounce), gas mileage, cornering, roll over threat?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:23 AM
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I have bigger tires on my truck, 285/75/16's. You will notice a difference with larger size tires on your truck. I have my truck leveled with a 2 inch level kid for the front, because i didnt like the look of it stock. Before it was leveled, the back was higher than the front by about 2 inches, so I raised the front 2 inches to make it sit level and look better in my opinion.

Actually lifting vs levling is where it gets complicated. Some guys lift their trucks for the look only, and they never see offroad terrain. Most guys lift their truck to get bigger tires and/or to get more clearance for offroading conditions.

Gas mileage will be affected alittle bit depending on how much bigger the tire is than stock. Mine wasnt much, only about 1 mpg difference. The bigger the tire, the more rolling resistance you should have, inturn making your engine work harder to roll the tires down the road.

Some trucks suspensions will feel "bouncier" than others. The higher you go the more you will feel the bumps in the road and have more body roll normally.

This is just my opinion on the things you asked. There are many "gurus" on the Z that can answer your questions in more detail.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:10 PM
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Some advantages of lifting listed here:

http://www.truckinweb.com/tech/suspe...ges/index.html
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:11 PM
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A leveling kit will give you just a little bit of extra clearance in the front, but most people (like myself) level their trucks to get rid of the rake and to fit larger tires on the truck.

With lifts, you open up a whole new world of options. I know for the 4th gen trucks, like yours, BDS makes a great 6" lift that some people on this site have. When people lift their trucks, a lot of them do it for looks, but some do it for the actual purpose of extra clearance. What really turned me off lifting my truck was, when you haul something, you have to buy a drop hitch, which look dumb in my opinion, and if you only have a half-ton truck with a fairly large load on the back, your front end will sit a lot higher then the rear end of the truck which looks dumb too.

IMO, a leveling kit would be best, if your looking for a little extra clearance. You can always get a 285/75/17 tire which would give your truck just a little extra clearance, since the tires would be taller then stock. With bigger tires, it may feel a little more sluggish, because your truck is pushing more weight. With 305's you probably felt the tires a lot more than a 285 tire. If you went with just a 285, or even a 275, you probably wouldn't feel the difference, as much as you would a 305 tire.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:26 PM
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I wanted the lift for off-road clearance and I like the looks.

I like how leveling looks on a truck but I needed a bit more clearance.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor View Post
Please excuse my ignorance, but I did try to search for information in here and all over the Internet. Surprisingly I was unable to find the answers to the basics about "why" leveling/lifting. Most threads already have people knowing "why" they want to lift, and just trying to decide "how".

Before I kick off what might come across as the most basic and even naive question ever, here are a few of my thoughts & concerns:

I have a 2010 Ram 1500 4x4 that is my daily driver for business use around the city of Houston. Some parking garages I have to enter are restricted as low as 6' 3" clearance. I initially tried some 305 Nitto tires and it felt like I was driving in sand (very sluggish feeling) and noisy on the highway. So I opted for Michelin AT2 for a balance of street usage (95%) and snow / mud when we go on camping and ski trips to Colorado (5%). I really LIKE the current condition of the vehicle in terms of drivability, turning, ride comfort, etc.

It would be nice to have additional ground clearance when we go out in West Texas or Colorado off road trails where washouts and troughs make highpoints in the trail or medium size rocks can cause concern.

Questions: Why lift/level the truck? Is it just to get bigger tires in there, or to increase ground clearance for the body? Both? Those of you with bigger tires, do you notice the truck feeling "slower" or "sluggish"?

Leveling (what does it really accomplish)?

Lifting (how high, what is the risk)?

How do either of these affect driving comfort, suspension (bounce), gas mileage, cornering, roll over threat?
I have a 6" BDS +2" 37x12.50x20 Nitto Trail grapplers and the reason I lifted my truck is I love lifted trucks.They look great to me.

My truck is a street truck and will probably never see mud.My Nitto's are pretty quiet for a mud tire.

The risks?On lift trucks if it is done right I don't know of many risks.Ball joints can go bad.Suspension lifts like I have lower everything down to pretty much stock while your suspension goes up to make your truck higher.My truck rides great still.I havn't seen much of a power loss and I only lost maybe 2 mpg.

Leveling kits can cause problems, ball joints going bad and cv's are at a bad angle on some cases.You level a truck so it does not nose dive and to put bigger tires on there.

I hope I answered some of your questions for ya .
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHorn 4 Life View Post
I have a 6" BDS +2" 37x12.50x20 Nitto Trail grapplers and the reason I lifted my truck is I love lifted trucks.They look great to me.

My truck is a street truck and will probably never see mud.My Nitto's are pretty quiet for a mud tire.

The risks?On lift trucks if it is done right I don't know of many risks.Ball joints can go bad.Suspension lifts like I have lower everything down to pretty much stock while your suspension goes up to make your truck higher.My truck rides great still.I havn't seen much of a power loss and I only lost maybe 2 mpg.

Leveling kits can cause problems, ball joints going bad and cv's are at a bad angle on some cases.You level a truck so it does not nose dive and to put bigger tires on there.

I hope I answered some of your questions for ya .
I have to agree with Bighorn, lifted trucks look awesome! And the 4th gens look really good with a lift. I really like Bighorns truck, and wish he would take it offroading lol. But, if you're going into parking garages, there's no way you'd make it in with a lift.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jcasey10 View Post
I have to agree with Bighorn, lifted trucks look awesome! And the 4th gens look really good with a lift. I really like Bighorns truck, and wish he would take it offroading lol. But, if you're going into parking garages, there's no way you'd make it in with a lift.


Thanks bro . I can't see my truck with mud all over it lol.I will be playing in the snow and I will post pics when we get some that is.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:26 PM
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As always at the Z forums, you guys are really generous with the responses. Thank you very much for the quick feedback. I also love the look of lifted trucks, but this is my first truck and I just want to be careful.

I also have a Challenger and did a ton of mods on it. My experience was mixed with some frustrating efforts along the way which ended up costing more to rework and tune correctly (supercharging, suspension, etc). It's great now, but it took me several months to get everything dialed in. A little more research might have saved me some unwanted rework along the way, so I'm really being cautious with anything on the Ram. I'm thinking a 3" or 4" lift kit might be the way to go if it will still keep me from having parking garage issues. 6" looks great, but would definitely get me in trouble.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:26 PM
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Really lots of people lift their trucks because they like the look. I did it just for that reason. You could ask the same thing for a lowered truck, why lower? Is it to do the Limbo?

If you level the truck it is much less of a cost then lifting. With the lift kit you are buying a whole lift kit which can cost anywhere from $1000 - $3000. A leveling kit is like $100 - $200. The difference is the amount of height that you can get out of it.

With a leveling kit you can fit some bigger tires, usually up to 33". If you lift the truck 4" you can fit 35" tires and 6" 35"-37".

Yes with bigger tires the truck will feel slower. This is because you are adding so much weight to the truck. There is much more rolling weight so your braking is worse as well. I did not mind the drive with my bigger tires, I actually like it a lot. It does have a litter more body roll since the center of gravity is higher. I find I can throw the rear end out much easier when it is wet. The lift kit I have adds a leaf in the rear which really stiffens up the rear end. I find the whole ride stiff which is actually comfortable, it soaks up the bumps. LOVE IT!!

If you want a smoother ride from a bigger tire you should look at getting an All Terrain rather then a mud tire. It will make a difference since all terrain tires are designed to be more on the road while they can still be good for mild off roading. All terrain tires will also make less road noise as well.

With my truck and its 6" lift and 35" tires it drives like a dream. I love the way it rides I feel like it is much better then stock. It was all worth it.

I dont know if you can get into a parking garage with the 4" lift kit since you are going to put bigger tires. You are looking at adding over 6" total in height. You should really measure the truck now and add 10" to it to be safe. If you want to do it then maybe get a leveling kit since you are adding 2-2.5" to the trucks height. You can fit 33" tires which will make the truck better and keep the stock ride quality.


Honestly is you do the right kinda lift kit and proper install you dont have much to worry about. A quality lift will really make a difference over a cheap one. You dont want to screw around with quality since you can start going through drive shafts, U joints, ball joints etc..... If you do get a proper lift kit and a great install then you wont have to worry too much. It will be the same wear and tear if you didnt have the lift kit.
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