Body Lift Kits VS Suspension Lift Kits: Which Is Best for Your Ride?

body lift kits vs suspension lift kits
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If you want improved off-roading experience out of your car, you must consider vehicle lifts. They provide excellent ground clearance, making sure that your long-distance drives off the road are flawless. People utilize two standard lift types. They are suspension lift and body lift. If you are wondering what's the difference between them and the benefits they offer, don't worry, as we will discuss the critical details helping you to understand which lift type you should choose.

A Quick Tip for Off-Roading Enthusiasts

Are you thinking of installing bigger tires? If that is the case, you must consider its size, including its rim offset, width, and diameter, when selecting a lift kit to suit your needs. Your off-roading enthusiasm will make you want to explore snowy, rocky, muddy, and several other types of sandy terrains. But, before you set out, tuning your vehicle is essential to make sure that your car adapts to uneven paths.

Enhancing the ground clearance, in particular, is a necessary tweak that you must incorporate in your vehicle. It will allow you to install big tires and offer protection against uneven and rocky terrains. As discussed earlier, suspension or body lifts are two of the most common methods that you can utilize to increase ground clearance. Each of these techniques has its advantages and disadvantages. Let us compare them and decide which one will be more favorable for your off-roading trip.

​Body Lift Kits vs Suspension Lift Kits– Key Differences

  • Body Lift – What is it?

Body lift is a method to raise/lift a vehicle's body or cab from the chassis. Mechanics achieve this by attaching spacers on top of the car’s default body mount bushing.

  • Suspension Lift – What is it?

As the name implies, suspension lifts refer to the increasing the vehicle suspension’s height. Professionals remove the car’s stock suspension elements and replace them with new ones that have heightened leaf springs, coil spring racers, torsion bar keys, longer coil springs, and other similar components.

body lift kit suspension lift kit

Advantages of Body Lift

  • Body lift increases the ride-height allowing installation of larger tires
  • The process is relatively simple for novices  and installation doesn’t require too much hassle
  • Body lifts are a budget-friendly option especially when compared to suspension
  • It will not impact ride handling or quality in any way
  • The process does not require wheel alignment as it uses stock suspension settings

Disadvantages of Body Lift

  • Installation of larger tires could hurt your vehicle's tire clearance
  • It adds extra pressure on the bolts
  • The gap between the chassis and body looks ugly and concealing it is not possible
  • There is little to no improvement in the car’s suspension or functionality
  • The ground clearance is not substantial (does not exceed three inches)

Advantages of Suspension Lift

  • Pricing options in suspension lifts are quite convenient
  • The technique is beneficial in the long run
  • Tire clearance is excellent
  • Unlike body lifts, there is no gap between the body and the chassis
  • The ground clearance is significantly better than body lifts ( can go up to twelve inches)
  • The method provides better suspension for conditions suitable for off-roading

Disadvantages of Suspension Lift

  • Quite costly in comparison to body lifts
  • The process has a drastic impact on handling and your vehicle's ride quality
  • Your vehicle will most likely require a wheel alignment as suspension lifts will affect its suspension geometry
  • Your car could roll over because of its increased center gravity
  • Compared to body lifts, this installing suspension lifts is quite tricky and time-consuming. Novices will most likely require professional assistance.

Suspension Lifts and Body Lifts in a Nutshell

Body lifts will raise your ride's height by no more than three inches, but it will not damage its handling or performance. Body lift kits usually come with spacers that you need to install between the chassis and cab/body. They also contain the equipment necessary to align the radiator shroud, steering column shaft, and bumpers according to the increased height.

Body lift kits do not provide a long-term solution to people who want to improve their vehicle's suspension for off-roading. However, it is ideal for folks who wish to install large tires on their cars and improve their appearance.

On the other hand, suspension lifts manipulate or replace the vehicle's stock suspension framework, which results in improved shock-absorbing capacity needed for smooth off-road driving. That said, it impacts the car's handling. Experienced drivers will love the change, but people with little off-roading experience could have some problems making adjustments.

Also, the suspension lift method provides outstanding tire and ground clearance, which makes the vehicles adaptable to uneven and rocky terrains. While this procedure is a bit costly, it is a better option for off-road driving, especially when you compare it to body lifts.

body lift kits suspension lift kits

Which One Should I Choose?

If you are a big off-roading enthusiast, then go for a suspension lift. Why? Because it provides outstanding versatility when it comes to navigating your vehicle on natural terrains. What's more, it improves suspension and lets you install broader and larger tires without impacting your car's clearance.

Body lifts, on the other hand, are only suitable for people who want to improve their SUV’s appearance. Your vehicle will look better, but its functionality will remain the same or could even diminish in some cases. It would be best if you also kept in mind that this method is not useful for off-roading and muddy terrains.

Therefore, you must take some time to decide which lift kit would suit your SUV model's needs. Also, be mindful of your area’s ride-height laws. Not abiding by the rules could get you into trouble and lead to hefty fines.

Select a kit based on the particular model and make of your vehicle. When determining your lift kit's size, choose according to the wheel combination and tire size you want to achieve. If you are new to off-roading and vehicle alteration and having trouble deciding and installing, it would be best to consult a professional and ask for help.

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