Adding a little extra clearance to the ride height of your truck is now super easy and quick, thanks to products like these leveling kits. They’re designed to bring the front of the vehicle to the same height as the rear. With some simple tools and spare time, you’ll be up and running in no time.
To some extent, your choice could be made for you by the budget, and others could be directed by the vehicle. The kits here are just examples of what I look for when purchasing.
In particular order, here’s four of the best leveling kits available right now.
Best Truck Leveling Kits
Most trucks have a ‘nose-down’ stance from the factory. The theory behind it is that a truck is designed to carry a payload. This makes the rear sit further down, leveling out the stance. But the problem gets exacerbated when you fit accessories such as an electric winch to the front of the truck. While it’s designed that way for a reason, it ruins the looks, affects the handling, and limits tire size.
If you aren’t really carrying a payload, there’s no reason why you should suffer the effects of one. The easiest way around the problem is to fit a leveling kit to your truck. This brings the front up slightly, leveling out the look, and allows you to fit larger tires should you wish.
What Do I Need to Know?
Fitting the kits is usually pretty straightforward. Most kits will come with comprehensive fitting instructions. If your pretty handy with a wrench, it shouldn’t tax you too much.
You’ll definitely need to check the alignment after fitting. Changing the ride height of a vehicle will always change the alignment. So, unless you want to suffer from premature tire wear, or poor handling, getting the alignment fixed is a priority.
Also, if you’re going to be fitting bigger tires, you should be absolutely sure that you have the correct clearance around them. Many people will check to make sure they’ll physically fit the fenders. However, you also need to check on the full steering lock when the tire is closest to the chassis or subframe.
In some cases, you may need a steering spacer, but that’s a completely separate issue. If you’re unsure, take some advice from your professional.
Rough Country Suspension Leveling Lift Kit
The Rough Country is a full kit including new shocks. It’s ideal if you’re looking to replace the shocks at the same time. This is the sensible choice if you’re pulling apart the suspension anyway. You may as well do the shocks unless your truck is brand new.
The Premium N3 shocks give a similar ride to the standard shocks, and after just a few miles, you won’t even notice the difference.
The kit can be used whether you want to just lift the front to the same height as the rear, or to give the complete vehicle a lift – 2.5 inches overall. It does this by using forged torsion bar keys for the front, and two 3 inch blocks at the rear (the standard factory blocks must be removed).
Fitting the complete kit front and rear will allow you to run a tire as big as 32 inches. That’s about the maximum you’d want on a standard road-going truck without affecting the ride quality too much. Rough Country says that a full install takes around 1 – 2 hours. But, unless you’re in a professionally equipped shop, and do this daily, I’d put aside a little more time – at least double that.
The whole kit comes with a lifetime replacement warranty, so you know you’re buying a quality product that should last. Finally, remember that all these kits are vehicle specific, so ensure that it will fit before ordering.
BONUS: INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
Recommended Tools You’ll Need:
- floor jack
- heavy-duty jack stands
- impact gun
- socket set (18mm+21mm)
- wheel chocks
The kit from Supreme Suspensions is simple, but it does exactly what it needs to – two hard-anodized spacers made from a billet of aircraft aluminum (T6 for those in the know) that sit under the shocks, giving the front end a 3-inch lift.
They come with all the hardware needed, including new nuts and shock spacers. Supreme calls it their ‘Pro Pack’. However, the details are a little vague as to what that consists of.
Unlike the Rough Country, this kit uses the standard factory shocks (as do all the other kits listed here). There’s some speculation as to whether they over-extend the shock under harsh use. But, Supreme says the kit has been designed specifically to avoid just that.
You’ll notice an immediate difference in the height. Even just stepping into the truck, and the ride and handling change slightly. That’s because the front is much higher. While it’s noticeable when you first swap them, after 50 miles or so, you’ll forget they’re different – the ride isn’t that different.
These are a cheap and easy fix to the ‘nose heavy’ slant on 1994-2018 Dodge Ram 1500 2WD models. They take around an hour and a half to install, and you’ll never need to touch them again. I’d always recommend getting an alignment check afterward because really, the geometry is just fine after the install.
Perhaps the easiest leveling kit to install if you have the right equipment – just two simple torsion bar keys. Made from forged steel, they’re hard enough to resist wear and won’t sag over time.
ReadyLift says that the truck will retain its factory ride qualities, without any noticeable change in ride or handling. Although, lifting the front of any vehicle simply has to change the center of gravity, thereby changing the ride.
With the ReadyLift Torsion key fitted, you’ll be able to squeeze in a massive 33-inch tire (particularly handy when you’re doing a lot of off-roading).
The kit comes complete with all hardware needed, including shock extensions.
Similar to the other Supreme kit, these strut spacers are made from T6 aircraft aluminum, with a hard-anodized offers excellent rust resistance – these things will last forever.
Some users have reported that the 2.5-inch lift can possibly take the front slightly higher than the rear. I’d recommend measuring your truck before ordering – you may find the 2-inch version a better fit.
The kit comes complete with all hardware and fitting instructions, shock spacers, and the mysterious ‘Pro Package’. It should take around 1.5 hours to fit. Once it’s done, you’ll never need to cast an eye over them again. Perfect to fit the Ford F150 2004 – 2018 & forget.
As I said before, very few people or dealerships check the alignment as a standard service (aside from high-end sportscars). Bad geometry can lead to prematurely worn tires, poor handling, and increased braking distances, and my recommendations above are highly rated.
While the kits are all pretty easy to fit, you will need to have some knowledge and decent equipment. Some procedures require you to be able to compress the springs on the shocks, and if you can imagine compressing a 300+ lbs. spring, it’s not easy.
Finally, do a quick road test to get everything settled and reseated. You may just want to check the headlight aim as well. Blinding people on the road can cause you some trouble!