When it comes to enhancing the capabilities of your 4WD vehicle, lift kits can work wonders. These kits are designed to increase the ride height, allowing for better ground clearance and off-road performance. However, one common debate among enthusiasts is whether bigger lift kits are better. In this blog, we’ll learn everything you need to determine the right lift kit size for your needs.
Understanding Lift Kits: What They Are And How They Work
A lift kit typically consists of taller springs, longer shock absorbers and extended control arms. These components increase the distance between your vehicle’s chassis and the ground. By raising the ride height, a lift kit allows for larger tyres, improved articulation and better approach and departure angles. This can be particularly beneficial when tackling challenging off-road terrains, such as rocky trails, deep mud or steep inclines.
Pros And Cons Of Bigger Lift Kits
Advantages Of Going Bigger
Choosing a larger lift kit for your 4WD vehicle provides a couple of key advantages:
- Better Ground Clearance: With more space between the undercarriage of your vehicle and the terrain, you can confidently tackle obstacles like rocks, fallen logs and deep ruts.
- Enhanced Traction: These tyres offer a wider footprint and increased traction for driving in soft or loose terrain. Improved traction means better grip and control, enabling you to navigate challenging off-road conditions.
Drawbacks Of Going Bigger
While bigger lift kits have advantages, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before deciding. Here are a couple of factors to keep in mind:
- Higher Centre of Gravity: This can affect the stability of your 4WD, particularly during sharp turns or when driving at high speeds. The higher centre of gravity increases the risk of rollovers, so you should be cautious.
- Altered Suspension and Handling: The suspension geometry and components changes may result in harsher ride quality, reduced stability and increased body roll. It’s important to understand that larger lift kits can affect the overall driving experience, both on and off the road.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Lift Kit
Off-road Requirements And Terrain
A small to moderate lift kit may suffice if you primarily use your vehicle for daily commuting, or if you stick to mild trails and occasional dirt roads. However, if you regularly tackle challenging obstacles or extreme off-road conditions, a larger lift kit may be necessary to provide the necessary ground clearance and tyre size.
Tyre Size And Fitment
Larger tyres require additional clearance to prevent rubbing against the fenders, suspension components or other parts. Ensure that the lift kit you choose can accommodate your desired tyre size without causing any clearance issues.
Popular Lift Kit Sizes And Their Applications
Small To Moderate Lifts
Lift kits ranging from 1 to 3 inches enhance ground clearance and accommodate slightly larger tyres. They are well-suited for mild off-road driving, providing a subtle improvement in performance without drastically altering the handling.
Medium lift kits allow larger tyres, increased suspension travel and better articulation. Medium lifts are popular among off-road enthusiasts who regularly tackle challenging trails and varied terrain.
Large lift kits ranging from 5 inches and beyond are commonly employed for extreme off-roading and conquering the most demanding obstacles. However, it’s important to note that large lifts often require additional modifications to the vehicle.
Finding The Right Balance
Ultimately, deciding whether bigger lift kits better depend on your needs and preferences. Finding the right balance between increased ground clearance, tyre size and overall vehicle performance is essential. Consulting with experienced off-road enthusiasts or 4×4 professionals is a great way to gain valuable insights into what lift kit is right for you.
Ready To Elevate Your 4WD Experience?
At Southlakes 4×4, our team of experts is dedicated to helping you find the perfect lift kit size for your specific requirements. We stock a variety of suspension lift kits for 4×4 vehicles and provide professional installation on-site to make sure everything is safe for your next 4WD adventure. Visit our website or give us a call today to explore our wide range of 4×4 accessories.