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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

More Than a 2 Inch Lift Kit on a Solid Axle Vehicle? It’s Not as Easy as You Think

photo by golubovy via iStock

We have all been told that solid axle vehicles are far easier to lift than IFS vehicles are. 

While that is true to some extent, the common misconception exists that the only thing needed to lift a solid axle truck more than 2 inches is the lift itself. 

I am afraid that is not true. In most cases, many other parts need to be changed when installing more than a 2 inch lift kit, and those parts are not cheap.

To deal with the misinformation, we will be going over most parts solid axle vehicles will need in order to get lifted more than 2 inches.

Why is It Believed That It is Easier to Lift Solid Axle Trucks?

Lifted Jeep in the snow

photo by christys66 via iStock

In the case of an IFS vehicle, a 4-inch suspension lift will involve a lot of peripheral modifications such as a diff drop kit, longer upper and lower control arms that may need to be custom made, longer brake lines, possibly a rear driveshaft, stabilizer links, Panhard rod, and ball joints. 

And depending on the vehicle there may be more or less needed.

The above can be expensive and difficult to fabricate. Furthermore, you may be able to achieve the desired lift, but you will never be able to get the wheel travel (articulation) of a solid axle vehicle. Therefore, in most cases, it is not worth putting in all that work just to gain 2 extra inches. 

What Does a Solid Axle Vehicle Require for More Than a 2 Inch Lift Kit?

Muddy Lifted Truck

photo by catnap72 via iStock

Other than the obvious which is the extended springs and struts you will possibly need extended brake lines, caster corrected arms, longer driveshafts, Panhard rod, extended bump stops, and longer or disconnectable stabilizer bar links. For bigger tires, you may also need to upgrade steering components such as the steering damper. 

As you can see, the above list is pretty substantial. Your specific truck may need more or less, but these are the most common parts that need changing. When paired to the new suspension and tires the costs may be upwards of $3000 compared to the $1500 a 2-inch lift kit would have cost. 

Why Do So Many People Put More Than a 2 Inch Lift on a Solid Axle Truck?

Muddy 4x4 on a muddy road

The answer is simple. As stated above the benefits in ground clearance and traction are big on a solid axle vehicle. Therefore, people love doing such modifications on them and because of that, all the parts needed are readily available.

On an IFS vehicle, you will need to fabricate custom parts for a small increase in performance. With a solid axle truck, all the parts are available online, and once installed the truck will be far more capable off-road than it used to be.

Therefore, the money and time spent are justified by the increase in performance. 

More Than a 2 Inch Lift Can Be Worth the Expense

Muddy lifted truck

photo by welcomia via iStock

The lesson learned from here is that solid axle vehicles also need money and time to be lifted more than 2 inches. However, that money and time are worth it as the performance gains can be huge if the correct setup is chosen. 

In most cases, the results are immense amounts of wheel travel and ample ground clearance – two of the most important traits a 4WD can have. 

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