Axle Flip Kit Buyer’s Guide
- An axle flip kit is used to lower the ground clearance of your pickup truck by moving the axle from the bottom of the leaf spring to the top.
- Most axle flip kits come with components like a C-notch and leaf mount that are crucial in lowering the suspension.
- There are several benefits that come with using an axle flip kit and lowering your vehicle including better handling, more road feel, improved aerodynamics, and less body roll.
- The things that you need to look for in your axle flip kit are durability, compatibility with your ride, and product warranty.
- An aftermarket axle flip kit usually costs anywhere between $700 and $1,700.
There are a myriad of ways that you can modify your truck. You can change its exterior paint, equip it with various auxiliary lights, and mount it with a roof rack, bull bar, and other accessories. If you own a truck, you can opt to change the ride height of your vehicle. You can easily do this by using lift kits and replacing your stock rims and tires with bigger ones.
A lifted pickup truck offers several advantages like allowing you to drive on most types of terrains, giving you a superior view of the road, and providing you with a more rugged-looking ride. However, lifting a pickup truck is not the only popular thing to do. Some vehicle owners choose to do the opposite, which is to lower the ride height of their vehicles. For that, what you need is an axle flip kit.
What Is a Flip Kit?
An axle flip kit is used to lower the ground clearance of a pickup truck. It is composed of all the necessary components that will allow you to move the axle from beneath the leaf spring to the top of the leaf spring. By doing this, you can drop the ride height of your vehicle without making any major modifications.
A flip kit can give you a drop of anywhere between five inches to eight inches, depending on the thickness of your truck’s leaf spring suspension in the rear.
What Are the Parts Included in a Universal Axle Flip Kit?
There are several components included in an axle flip kit. Depending on the brand, the kit may come with high steer knuckles, tie rod, drag links, front trackbar drop bracket, and more.
Most axle flip kits contain two crucial components. One of them is the C-notch or frame notch, which allows your axle to move further into the truck’s frame while maintaining its stability and strength. With a C-notch, a section of the frame that is directly above the axle needs to be trimmed. A frame support bracket is then installed, which is basically a steel reinforcing plate that is mounted to the frame. This is used to make up for any loss of strength lost from the trimmed section.
Another crucial component of an axle flip kit is the leaf spring mount, which is also referred to as the perch. This device is used to provide stability to your vehicle’s axle and allows you to mount your axle to the leaf spring assembly. It is an important part that ensures you have a platform for your axle flip. Most of the time, the perch is trimmed to fit your axle and set your axle pinion to the correct angle.
Benefits of Using an Axle Flip Kit
At the most basic level, an axle flip kit helps you lower your truck without doing major modifications to your vehicle. Aside from that, there are other advantages that come with a ride that is closer to the ground.
Better road feel
A lowered suspension gives you more road feel. You will know how your vehicle responds on different types of terrain as the vibrations can be felt clearly through the steering wheel.
Less body roll
Since your vehicle has a lower ground clearance, the lower center of gravity helps reduce body roll. This prevents the truck from leaning to one side especially when making a quick turn. The vehicle feels more stable because there is less shift of weight.
Another benefit of a lower ground clearance is better handling. A lowered truck is more responsive, stable, and has more traction on the road. You can even enjoy faster acceleration and quicker stops because the weight transfer is reduced whenever you push the gas or brake pedal down.
If your truck is not lowered too much, you can reduce the wind drag because there is less air hitting your wheels and tires. A more aerodynamic vehicle basically means better gas mileage.
Similar to lifted trucks, a truck with a lowered ride height features a more attention-grabbing look. You can easily stand out just by sitting closer to the ground compared to most trucks on the road.
Things That You Need to Look for in Your Axle Flip Kit
If you don’t want to encounter problems with your axle flip kit, here are some of the things that you need to look for:
The suspension system is subjected to harsh conditions on a daily basis. Aside from the excessive heat and friction, it is exposed to harmful elements like moisture and dust. That’s why you need the C-notch, leaf mount, and other hardware in your axle flip kit to have excellent durability. This is to ensure that they can endure the wear and tear that comes with the job and provide a long service life.
The axle flip kit needs to be designed to your truck’s specifications. If not, you won’t be able to use it to move your axle on the leaf spring. The components of the kit won’t be compatible with your other stock parts, making it impossible to install them.
Always remember to buy an aftermarket axle flip kit that is backed up by a product warranty. It might come in handy in case you receive a faulty product. If the parts of the kit fail just after a few days or weeks, a warranty can prevent you from spending more. You can just return and exchange the kit for free depending on the type of warranty that the brand provides.
How Much Does an Aftermarket Axle Flip Kit Cost?
On average, the price of an aftermarket axle flip kit is anywhere between $700 and $1,700. The kit usually comes with all the hardware necessary to “flip” your vehicle’s axle. Most aftermarket axle flip kits come with a product warranty to ensure consumer protection.
If you want to make it easy to find the parts that you need, be sure to use our website’s vehicle selector. Just enter your ride’s year, make, and model to narrow down the search results to only applicable parts.
Lower Your Car with an Axle Flip Kit
One way to upgrade your car is by flipping the rear axle. It's a common modification that allows you to lower your vehicle, giving your car a new sporty look. The axle flip kit requires customization of the suspension system, and it can get damaged due to the road impact your car receives. To repair a faulty axle and lower your vehicle, use an axle flip kit that's suited for your car.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Materials to be used:
- Jack and jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Socket set
- Wrench set
- Air-powered ½” drive impact wrench
- Safety glasses
- New axle flip kit
Step 1: Use wheel chocks to block your car's front wheels. Set the transmission to “park” or 1st gear, whichever is applicable to your vehicle, and engage the parking brake.
Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts of the rear wheel, and raise your car with a floor jack. Support it with jack stands, and remove the wheel.
Step 3: Remove the leaf spring by taking out the rear shocks. Use a 21mm socket to uninstall the U-bolts that hold it in place. Then, get your axle flip kit, and uninstall the upper shackle bolt, front spring hanger, and both leaf springs from beneath your car.
Step 4: Uninstall your vehicle's factory shackle, and set the new shackle onto the leaf spring. Don't tighten the shackle's connection yet, as this should be done when your car is lowered from the jack and stands. Do the same on the other leaf spring.
Step 5: Lift the axle upward into your car, so that the springs go under the axle, allowing you to bolt them onto the chasses.
Step 6: Start with one side of the leaf spring, and put it in the front spring hanger. Install the bolt, and turn the spring back. Place the shackle bolt in the rear hanger. Then, torque the front spring hanger bolt according to your car's specs. Leave the rear shackle bolt loose, as this will be tightened once your vehicle is off the jack stands. Repeat the same process for the other leaf spring.
Step 7: Place the 2 axle saddles onto both leaf springs using the 2 locating center pin openings on the saddles. Put the axle into the saddles, making sure that the 2 tabs properly situated inside the stock spring mount.
Step 8: Insert the new U-bolts, as well as the U-bolt plates, onto the axle and tighten them. Attach the shocks to the shock mounts.
Step 9: Next, remove the factory bump stops from both sides, and install the new bump stops to the plates before setting them up onto the chasses. Take note that the bump stops should be installed facing the inner part of your vehicle directly above the axle tube.
Step 10: Reinstall the wheels, and torque them according to your vehicle's specs. Inspect all connections and fasteners to ensure that they're properly installed, torque, and tightened. If necessary, take your car to your trusted shop for 4-wheel alignment.