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Body Lift vs Suspension Lift: Which to Choose for Your Ride

Looking at lift kit differences to find the right elevation for your truck

Wondering the difference between suspension lift and body lift options? You’re reading the right post. We’ll compare specs, cost, use cases and more with this handy guide to suspension lift vs body lift, with expert help for your decision on which lift kit is best for your needs, including body lift vs suspension lift pictures, for a clearer idea of what you’re looking at. If you long for the lifted look, when it comes to upgrading your truck, nobody beats our selection of 1M+ parts, fast and free shipping to the lower 48 and a friendly staff packed with truck experts eager to help you find exactly what you’re after, including all your lift kit needs.

What is a Body Lift?

A body lift is the simplest way to give your truck a lift, whether you want to accommodate larger tires, just want a little extra height or both. A body lift raises your truck’s body from the frame by 2 to 5 inches, but it’s important to remember that your ground clearance will remain unchanged and that your factory handling and ride will stay the same.

When to Choose a Body Lift

If your goal is simply to add some extra height over the road while making room for larger tires without spending a lot or changing how your truck handles, as long as you’re not planning on off-roading and don’t need extra ground clearance, choosing a body lift makes sense.

What is a Suspension Lift?

By definition, a suspension lift involves lifting your truck’s suspension, increasing not only your truck’s ride height, but also your ground clearance between the road and the lowest points on your frame. This means that with a suspension lift, in addition to achieving the height you were after, you’ll also be better prepared for off-roading.

When to Choose a Suspension Lift?

If your goal is to achieve the greatest lift height possible along with improved ground clearance for off-roading, or both, choose a suspension lift. Without it, your frame stays at the same height from the ground, and you’re missing out on several inches of lift, as well.

Suspension Lift vs Body Lift: Full Comparison

Looking at the suspension vs body lift decision before you make it, here are several lenses through which you will want to consider your own needs, goals, budget and motivations:

Cost

Body lifts consist of simple kits that usually won’t require you to shell out extra bucks for adjustments to your suspension or steering, though the necessity to jack up the body from the frame means body lifts will require professional installation more often than not. On the other hand, a suspension lift often includes more parts and always requires a post-installation alignment, but depending on your application and height, some kits can be installed easily by experienced DIY truck owners. Generally speaking, the taller the suspension lift, the more likely professional installation will be required.

Center of Gravity/Handling

It’s essential to note a common rule of thumb in the world of automobiles, one which applies directly to your lift project. That rule is that you should lift as much as you need but as little as possible. Why? Because for every inch you raise your truck’s center of gravity, you’ll negatively impact its handling and stability. The higher your truck is, the more susceptible to body roll it will be in turns. Think about why you’re lifting it and what you’re trying to achieve before you lift it.

Can you Have a Body Lift and a Suspension Lift?

In short, yes. Combining a body lift with a suspension lift is an excellent way to give your truck a sky-high ride – one that using merely one or the other simply cannot achieve. Keep in mind that along with all the benefits of increased ride height and tire clearance, you’ll also experience dramatically different handling and ride quality when you choose to add both, so make sure you get an alignment and choose a suspension lift with a steering stabilizer setup.

Installation

Though it’s possible to install a body lift on your own, for best results and also for safety, at RealTruck we recommend paying your local professionals to handle your installation, whether you choose to go with a body lift, elect to stick with a suspension lift, or decide you want both.

Body Lift vs Suspension Lift: Which to Choose for Your Ride

A body lift kit lifts up the truck’s body from the frame but does not offer additional ground clearance for off-roading. Maintaining your truck’s factory handling and ride feel, a body lift can sometimes extend steering components. It may also require you to raise your bumpers; if yours are aftermarket, they may require fabricated brackets. A suspension lift kit, however, ensures additional ground clearance for better off-road access and performance.

Body Lift

Suspension Lift

  • Lifts body up from the frame

  • Lifts frame itself

  • Does not add ground clearance

  • Best option for active off-roaders

  • Maintains factory handling and ride

  • Ensures added ground clearance

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  • May extend steering components.

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  • Depending on height, may require extended brake lines and the addition of steering stablizers

  • May need fabricated bumper brackets

  • May increase body roll in handling

  • Best lift option if not off-roading

  • Up to 12” of lift (vs up to 5” w/ body lift)

Body and Suspension Lift Brands

When you’re trying to narrow down your body lift vs suspension lift choices, it can feel a little overwhelming, so we put together this handy list of some of our top picks in the category:

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