What is The Cheapest Way to Lift a Truck?
Lifting your truck comes along with many benefits, including increased off-road capabilities and a smoother ride. However, some lift kits can be wildly expensive, even out of budget for certain people. If you’re considering lifting your truck, you may be wondering: “what’s the cheapest way?”
Generally, installing a leveling kit will be the cheapest way to lift your truck. These are similar to lift kits, but typically only raise the front of your vehicle rather than the whole body. They’re also very inexpensive, costing only $100-$300 on average. Another option is a body lift kit, which will raise your vehicle’s entire body. These also range in cost, but are typically priced between $100-$600.
Below, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about lifting your truck without breaking the bank. Keep reading before you buy a lift kit online!
What’s the Cheapest Way to Lift a Truck?
If your budget is the biggest factor here, a leveling kit is the best option. These generally cost no more than $300 and are relatively easy to install. You can even install them yourself, which will save you a significant amount in labor costs.
If a leveling kit is not exactly what you’re looking for, the next best option is a body lift kit. These usually range from $1,000-$2,000, although some may cost as much as $5,000.
Keep in mind that a body lift kit is rather labor-intensive to install, so you may have to pay a mechanic to do it for you.
If you aren’t able to install the kit yourself, look for a reputable mechanic or auto body technician. Installation costs typically vary based on the type of kit you buy, but generally range from $500-$1,200.
What Are the Different Ways to Lift a Truck?
There are many different ways to lift your truck. Some of these options are very inexpensive, while others can cost up to $5,000.
Ways you can lift your truck through the use of
- Body lift kits
- Suspension lift kits
- Various leveling kits
Below, we’ll discuss all the different ways to lift your truck, as well as the average price you can expect to pay with each method.
Body Lift Kits
A body lift kit typically features urethane blocks, which sit on top of your factory body mounts. While they can range in cost from just $80 to over $2,000, they cost around $100-$600 on average.
To install a body lift kit, you’ll need to remove the body of your vehicle from the frame. Once the body is disconnected, you’ll add the blocks or spacers to the body mounts on the frame. In most cases, it’ll add between 1-3” of height to your vehicle.
Body lift kits are a good option if you want to add larger tires to your truck or go off-roading frequently. It won’t affect your suspension, but it may affect handling since it moves your vehicle’s center of gravity.
|Truck Make and Model||Average Cost of Body Lift Kit|
|Dodge RAM 1500||$150-$400|
Suspension Lift Kits
Instead of lifting the vehicle from its frame, suspension lift kits lift your truck from the wheels and axle. They’re typically more expensive than body lift kits, as well as more expensive to install.
Depending on the kit you choose, a suspension lift kit may cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000. While these are more expensive than something like a body lift kit, they can add more height to your vehicle. Some lift suspension kits can raise your truck as much as 12”!
Adding a suspension lift kit will not affect your vehicle’s handling, and it can even improve performance by adding additional suspension support. However, they can wear down over time, adding to your maintenance and repair costs.
|Vehicle Make and Model||Average Cost of Suspension Lift Kit|
|Dodge RAM 1500||$1,000-$1,500|
Premium Lift System
Premium lift systems combine the benefits of a body lift with those of a leveling kit. Premium kits include everything you need to add up to 6” of height to your truck, giving you the same effect as a suspension lift without the additional cost.
In most cases, you’ll be able to find a premium lift system for your truck for less than $800. They usually include a body lift kit, leveling kit, and gap guards, which will conceal any unsightly gaps between your truck’s frame and body.
|Vehicle Make and Model||Average Cost of Premium Lift System|
|Dodge RAM 1500||$475-$700|
Leveling kits are usually a much cheaper option than lift kits. Instead of raising the entire vehicle, they raise the front of your truck only. This gives you a few extra inches of height at the front of your vehicle, increasing the level of clearance you have.
There are several different types of leveling kits available. Each type works differently to raise your vehicle, and each is best suited for different types of trucks.
Some of your options include
Torsion key leveling kits
Strut extension leveling kits
Coil spring spacer leveling kits
In most cases, you’ll pay anywhere between $100-300 for a leveling kit. However, you may be able to find one for as little as $50. These are much easier to install than an actual lift kit, saving you money on either professional or DIY installation.
Torsion Key Leveling Kits
Torsion key leveling kits will work if you have a truck with a torsion bar suspension system. This system uses torsion keys to hold the bar in place, which offers preload to keep your vehicle at its factory height.
Torsion key leveling kits replace these keys to lift your vehicle up.
In general, torsion key leveling kits cost around $100-$150. Try to find a kit that uses forged torsion keys, as these will provide a longer service life than the usual cast iron keys and won’t overload the suspension as heavily.
Strut Extension Leveling Kits
Strut extension lifting kits will work for vehicles that have coil-over struts in the front suspension, like the Ford F-150. Strut extensions add spacers to the top and bottom of your struts, and they’re typically the easiest kind of leveling kit to add to your truck.
Most strut extensions will simply slide onto your existing struts. This takes a lot of the heavy-lifting out of the equation, as there’s no need to remove and replace your struts. They’re usually adjustable, allowing you to raise your vehicle to your exact desired height.
In addition to being the easiest to install, strut extension leveling kits are often very inexpensive. In most cases, you’ll only pay between $50-$150 for a strut extension leveling kit.
Coil Spring Spacer Leveling Kits
Coil spring spacer leveling kits are good for vehicles with coil springs. They work by adding spacers to your truck’s upper and lower springs, raising the front of it.
Coil spring spacers are generally easy to install, although some will require you to remove the springs and reattach them after installing the spacers. You might also need a spring compressor tool, depending on which kit you purchase.
The great thing about coil spring spacer leveling kits is that the spacers can be removed easily. This will allow you to easily restore the vehicle to its factory height, not voiding your warranty in the process. They’re also relatively inexpensive, costing $150-$200 on average.
Can You Lift a Truck by Yourself?
Since having a professional install a kit can be quite expensive, many people opt to do it themselves. Lifting your truck on your own is more cost-efficient, however, the process can be complicated.
Before you install your own lift or leveling kit, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly. The installation will take anywhere from 6-12 hours, and you need to have the right tools and equipment on hand.
If you don’t have much technical knowledge of vehicles, it may be better to have your truck professionally lifted.
If you do choose to lift your truck by yourself, make sure to have it professionally inspected afterward. This will ensure that your truck is still in the correct alignment and that everything is working as it should.
Does Lifting Your Truck Affect Insurance Rates?
No one wants to have their insurance rates go up. For this reason, it makes sense to consider whether or not lifting your truck will increase your monthly insurance premiums.
Generally, whether or not your insurance rates will increase if you lift your truck depends on your insurance company.
Some raise premiums due to the additional risk lifted vehicles pose, while others will only increase your costs if you want additional coverage for your lift or leveling kit.
Before you lift your truck, talk with your insurance company to be sure they’ll still insure it. While most companies have no problem covering lifted vehicles, others will refuse to do so.
Additional Costs Due to Increased Risk
Some insurers will see a lifted truck as an increased risk.
Some of the additional risks these vehicles pose on the road includes
Different center of gravity
Higher chance of rollover
Increased headlight height
Higher chance of a fender-bender being severe
If your vehicle is lifted high enough, you may have lower-than-average visibility. Since this increases the chances of something going wrong on the road, some insurance companies will raise your premiums.
Different Center of Gravity
Lifting your truck changes its center of gravity. When you first lift your truck, you’ll probably notice this immediately. Changing a vehicle’s center of gravity makes it harder to stop or avoid hazards in the road, increasing the chance of a collision.
Higher Chance of Rollover
The majority of a vehicle’s weight is in the body. Since lift kits lift this part up, the weight distribution is even higher up than it normally would be. This increases the chance of being involved in a rollover accident, thus increasing your liability on the road.
Increased Headlight Height
Raising your truck will also raise the headlights. When your headlights are higher up on your vehicle, it’s more difficult for drivers behind you to see through their rear and side-view mirrors.
For this reason, lifting your truck is assumed to increase the risk to other drivers on the road.
Higher Chance of Severe Fender-Bender
When most vehicles get into a rear fender-bender, it’s only the bumper that becomes damaged. However, a lifted truck can cause more damage in an otherwise minor crash due to the increased height of its body.
Since crashes involving lifted trucks are more likely to be severe, some insurers will raise your rates.
Additional Costs Due to Increased Coverage
Under an existing policy, any modifications you make to your truck, including lift or leveling kits, will not be covered in an accident. If you want to have damage to your lift kit repaired when filing a claim, you’ll need a policy endorsement.
Policy endorsements are additional coverage for vehicle modifications. Most insurance companies will cover up to $4,000 under a policy endorsement, and the rate increase will usually be minimal.
You may even pay as little as $15 extra per month to cover your lift kit.
If you want this kind of coverage, make sure to have your lift or leveling kit installed professionally. Your insurance agent will likely need a receipt for both the purchase and installation when discussing the policy endorsement.
If you want to lift your truck on a budget, a leveling kit is the best way to go. These are generally much easier and economical to install, with kits costing between $100-$300 on average and installation costs around $500.
To save even more money, consider installing the kit yourself.
If you’re looking for a true lift kit, go with a body lift kit. These are a bit more complicated to install, and more expensive at $100-$600 on average. However, they will lift your entire vehicle body rather than just the front end.