Body Lift or Suspension Lift, Which one is right for you?

by admin on February 13, 2013

When deciding on a lift kit for your truck or SUV, you will need to consider what it is that you want as an end result for the truck. Maybe you are just looking to clear a larger tire. Perhaps you are looking for more performance off road or just the look of a lifted truck. Here at Suspension Connection We have you covered.

Body Lift:

  • More wheel well clearance for larger tires
  • Factory ride quality
  • Maintains factory shocks
  • Cost effective
  • Great look
  • More difficult install
  • Frame more visible
  • Will not improve off road performance
  • Will not provide any more frame height


Body lifts are a lift designed to raise the body off the frame either 2” or 3”. This style of lift gives the vehicle more wheel well clearance to allow running a larger tire without contacting the fenders. These kits accomplish lifting the vehicle using nylon spacers, provided with the longer bolts and all the hardware needed to complete the job. This will ensure the vehicle ride quality will not suffer from the installation of this kit. Installing this kit will not require replacing the factory shocks keeping cost down. Body lifts are a cost effective way to give your vehicle a great look that will stand out in a crowd.

Body lifts are limited to 2” or 3” and tend to have a lot of parts, also some modifications during install, making them a more difficult kit to install. They require removing or raising the cab and bed high enough to place the nylon blocks in between the body and frame everywhere there is a factory body mount. They also leave a gap between the frame and body visible in the wheel wells as well as below the body. This can be addressed with a set of Gap Guards that will fasten using quick push pin style fasteners to eliminate gap in the wheel wells. Most new vehicle applications include bumper brackets to deal with the gap left between the bumpers and body, however not all. Some vehicles have brackets from the factory that are slotted to allow them to be moved up and others with have to be modified. While body lifts will provide more clearance for a larger tire, they will not increase ground clearance to frame or improve off road performance. With a larger tire you will pick up height to the axles and frame but the lift itself does not offer any more clearance.  If you are looking for a more cost effective way to lift your truck you should be looking at this style of lift.      

Suspension Lift:

  • Available in multiple heights
  • Allows for a larger tire
  • Improves off road performance
  • Increases ground clearance
  • Great look
  • Bolt on application (no welding)
  • Some can be labor intensive to install
  • Some will provide a more harsh ride
  • More costly


Suspension lifts are designed to upgrading the suspension components enabling the vehicle to maintain a lifted stance. They are available in 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6” and 8” increments depending on the vehicle. When lifting a truck or SUV by using a suspension lift ,you are not only allowing for a larger tire to be run but also improving  your off road performance and increasing you frame clearance ,making getting hung up while off road less likely. Suspension lifts give your vehicle a tough look like it’s ready to take on the roughest terrain. All Tuff Country & Daystar lift kits are bolt on design (no welding required).

Depending on what vehicle you are installing the lift on will decide how labor intensive it is. If it is going on a leaf sprung or coil sprung vehicle installation is a breeze.  The more labor intensive installation comes with putting it on an independent front suspension vehicle. This often requires cutting and or notching as well as specialty tools. Tools such as torsion bar removal tool and strut compressors are readily available for rent or sale at most auto parts stores. Suspension lifts can sometimes change the ride quality of a vehicle due to the springs that are used have to have a slightly higher spring rate to maintain the ride height. Leaf springs will have more arch and coils more length all to achieve a lifted stance. All these replacement part equal a higher price tag on this style of lift, but if you are looking for more performance in your vehicle’s suspension this is the clear choice for you.

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