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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Why You Should Avoid More Than a 2 Inch Lift Kit for Your IFS Vehicle

photo by Toa55 via iStock

Let’s be honest, the bigger the lift the more excited we get. The truck looks better, it can drive over tougher obstacles, and we can fit larger tires. 

It all sounds great; however, not every truck can easily accommodate more than a 2 inch lift kit. 

Independent front suspension vehicles run into some issues when it comes to big lifts, and in today’s article, we will be covering all of them. 

How Does Independent Front Suspension Work?

Close up of chassis or wheels

photo by kynny via iStock

As the name suggests, independent front suspension means that the right and left front wheels move up and down independently from each other. Therefore, when one travels down the other isn’t forced to move up as it would be in a solid axle vehicle.

This leads to better handling and on-road manners; however, the suspension is now weaker due to the multiple components needed to run it. You can begin to see why more than a 2 inch lift kit can be an issue…

What Issues Occur With More Than a 2 Inch Lift Kit? 

Front axle shaft joint of a car seen from the ground

photo by Gabriele Maltinti via iStock

When lifting an IFS vehicle up to two inches you will not face any issues. Most of the problems occur when going for lift kits of more than three inches. 

Because of the short length of the upper and lower control arms, the ball joints sit in a stretched-out position which increases the chance of failure. Furthermore, tires can bind with upper control arms or ball joints and the angles of CV joints exceed the normal parameters set by the factory. 

All the above lead to alignment issues, an increased likelihood of parts failing, and even decreased off-road capabilities as the suspension no longer has any ability to travel downwards. 

Can All the Above Issues Be Corrected?

Chassis on the old car

photo by Korvit78 via iStock

All the above problems can be corrected; however, the expenses start to increase drastically. This means that the additional one or two inches achieved may not be worth the money and time. So, stick to a 2 inch lift kit!

For a three inch or four inch lift on an IFS vehicle, you will need a diff drop kit, aftermarket upper control arms, longer brake lines, longer sway bar links, and in some cases aftermarket lower control arms. 

The diff drop kit will basically be a spacer that sits between the differential mounting point and the actual differential housing to help bring it back down again. This reduces the angles of the CV joints; therefore, preventing failure.

The aftermarket upper and lower control arms will provide more alignment options to help bring everything back to normal while also giving more wheel travel to increase suspension droop. This isn’t a problem with a 2 inch lift kit.

lift kit

photo by Bignai via iStock

Finally, the longer brake hoses will ensure you do not rip the older ones apart while the extended sway bar links enable you to keep your sway bar connected without breaking the links.

All the above accessories can cost upwards of $1000 and will only enable you to get an additional one or two inches of lift. So, you can get a 2 inch lift kit without problems or spend another $1,000 to get 2 more inches of lift and a host of potential issues.

Also, unlike on a solid front axle, the aftermarket shocks and lift will make almost no difference on flex; so, the benefits really are just an inch or two of clearance.

Keep in mind that even with these upgrades some suspension components will still be working on weird angles; therefore, they will still be weaker. When you also add some larger and heavier tires the chances of braking components increase drastically. 

Conclusion – A 2 Inch Lift Kit is Enough

Conclusion - A 2 Inch Lift Kit is Enough

photo by SuchatSi  via iStock

As you can see from the above, lifting an IFS vehicle more than two inches is complicated, expensive, and does not provide many benefits.

I would say stick to a 2-inch suspension lift and if you need more clearance for tires go for an additional one or two inches of body lift only. This will save you a bunch of money on correction mods and will achieve similar results. 

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