Have you ever wondered why trucks have higher rear ends? That’s because most automakers don’t want the back of their trucks to sag low when cargo is loaded onto the beds. A vehicle with a higher rear end is called a rake. Some drivers don’t like the look of a raked truck, so they use a leveling kit to raise their truck’s front end to sit level with the rear end.
What Is a Leveling Kit?
A leveling kit is a kind of suspension kit that slightly raises a truck’s front end to match the stock height of its rear end. It typically raises a truck’s ground clearance by a maximum of two inches so that larger tires can be used. Spacer blockers can be added to a truck’s rear leaf springs to achieve a raked stance, which also brings the rear up.
How Do Leveling Kits Work?
Leveling kits raise a truck’s front end so that it sits level with the rear of the truck. Some drivers level their trucks so they can use bigger tires for better rigging and utility. Smaller trucks will need two-inch leveling kits to get their front and rear ends to sit level. However, larger trucks will need three to three-and-a-half-inch leveling kits. Don’t raise your truck’s front end beyond the recommended height because it can cause unwanted stress on the front end components.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Leveling Kits?
Raising your truck’s front end has several advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them.
Leveling kits give enough clearance for trucks to have larger tires. The additional clearance allows larger tires to turn freely without hitting the sides of the fender or bumper. Leveling can also keep a truck’s front end from sagging when it’s attached to a plow or winch.
Leveled trucks are more likely to exhibit uncontrolled steering oscillation or death wobbles than stock trucks due to the higher angle of the trailing arms, steering components and track bars. If you don’t have any auto repair knowledge and skills, we recommend consulting a mechanic about your truck’s wobbles. They might realign your suspension or remove some parts to fix the problem.
Leveling vs. Lifting: How Do They Differ?
Leveling simply raises a truck’s front end to align with its rear end. Lifting raises a truck’s entire body for better suspension travel and ground clearance. A leveled truck can fit larger tires and stay level when it’s attached to a winch. A lifted truck can do the same things, but it’s better suited for off-road travel in muddy or snowy terrain than a leveled truck.
Leveling is done with leveling kits, while lifting is done with lift kits. The latter includes more components, such as new springs, shocks, and control arms, and raises the truck body as much as ten inches for a more aggressive look.
Leveling your truck can increase its utility and towing stability while a lift kit can make it more suitable for travel in deep water, mud, or uneven terrain. Lifted trucks also tend to have bigger wheels and higher suspensions, which can turn heads for the right reasons.
Find the Right Leveling Kit For You
We recommend consulting a mechanic to help determine the best leveling kit for your application before making any changes to your truck’s front suspension. Not all leveling kits are compatible with your truck, so make sure to do your homework and learn about your truck’s specifications.
Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.