How to Install a Body Mount Kit Like a Pro
In vehicles with a body-on-frame construction, the bed and body of the car are mounted on top of a rigid frame where the engine, suspension, and transmission components are attached to. Commonly used in trucks and old vehicle models, this construction has an important in-between component that makes the bed comfortably sitting on top of the said frame-the body mount. In case you need to raise your vehicle a little for more road clearance, you need a clear guide to instruct you with the installation of these body mounts or lifts. This task needs a good hour of your DIY time.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- Jack and jack stands
- 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set
- 2-foot-long, 2-foot-high wood block
- Tape measure
- Replacement body mounts
- Pen and paper
Taking the measurements
With the tape measure, determine the distance between the bottom of the cab's rocker or sill and the frame. Take the measurements in different places to find out if the distances are even or not. Then, measure the distance between the cab and the ground. Write these numbers down; these measurements will help you make the right adjustments when you install the body mount kit.
Unbolting the mounts to be replaced
Find the location of the body mounts. These are located underneath the core support in front of the vehicle; two are on the side underneath the cab. Use the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket to unbolt the body mounts.
Placing the wood block and lifting the cab
With the wood block placed on the jack, position the jack next to the part of the cab where a new body mount is to be installed. Crank the jack until the wood block touches the cab's rocker. Crank further until there is a one-inch clearance between the bottom of the cab and the top of the old body mount.
Replacing the body mount
Swap the old body mount with the new one. After sliding the new body mount in, loosely thread the bolt into the mount so that the part will not be out of alignment when you work on the next mount. Once done, fasten the bolts of the mounts on that side, then repeat the same process on the other side of the cab.
Checking for fitment and alignment
Check the alignment of the cab in all directions. If one of the mounts is out of alignment, loosen the said body mount and adjust the cab's alignment whether by pushing or pulling a centimeter or two. Once the measurements match the ones recorded, fasten all of the bolts of the cab.
Tips and warnings
- When you jack-lift the cab, check if the gap between the fender and the door closes. If this happens, remove the hood and fenders first before cranking in order to prevent damaging these front components.
Performance Accessories vs. Energy Suspension: Which Brand Provides a Better Body Mount Kit?
Body mounts that can make a raised vehicle's cab stable when driving is what every car owner needs. Among a lot of manufacturers providing quality body mount kits, Performance Accessories and Energy Suspension are two promising brands that claim to have more desirable features for their mounts. But with a lot of features to consider, it can be really difficult to choose the best one. Here are some comparisons to help you decide:
Both manufacturers use high-quality, treated plastic, but Energy Suspension's polyurethane is better than Performance Accessories's urethane for several reasons. First, polyurethanes are harder, so they are more durable, which is a quality needed to support a cab's overall weight. Second, polyurethanes are not harsh to humans, while urethanes are toxic, especially to small animals. Third, Energy's body mounts are made from Hyper-Flex polyurethane, which has the qualities of being both soft and rigid in order to ensure a smooth, stable ride.
Performance provides two to three inches of cab-to-frame clearance, while Energy also provides the same thickness. The zinc-plated steel ring molding in Energy's mounts is not matched by the other brand. Performance body mount kits come with spacers, steering extensions, and bumper brackets, plus a special Urethane Gap Guard to cover the unsightly gap left by the kit. On the other hand, Energy includes six top half bushings and six bottom half bushings in the kit, plus two metal washers and installation instructions.
Winner:Performance and Energy
Energy's body mount kit is offered at around 115USD, while the competitor tags its product at around 85USD. If brought from discount stores, each set could be bought for around 60USD to 70USD. Thus, a bigger savings could be had from buying an Energy body mount.
Energy's polyurethane body mount kit is offered with a two-year Energy Suspension limited warranty, while Performance's product is only backed by an unspecified limited warranty.
Both of the compared brands offer a unique set of body mount features for performance drivers, but the quality of the mounts can only be measured by the users themselves. Also, choosing one is also affected by the buyer's budget and driving habits.
Picking the Right Body Mount Kit to Turn a Rough Road into a Smooth Ride
If you want to test your pickup or SUV on an off-road terrain, then expect your car to be pushed to the limit. A good preparation for your car before it gets roughed up is by raising its body frame, and you can do this with the help of a body mount kit. This addition will not only stabilize your vehicle, but it will also increase its tire clearance. Read on to know more about the advantages of a body mount kit.
Rubber vs. polyurethane: a comparison between the two types of body mounts
These two materials are usually used in manufacturing body mounts. Both have advantages and disadvantages you can check out below:
Attached mostly on trucks and SUVs as a factory setting, a rubber body mount is also a common aftermarket product. It provides more cushion than a polyurethane body mount, but it is prone to cracks and it also wears through time. A rubber body mount is earth-friendly because it is made from natural materials compared to a chemically produced body mount such as polyurethane.
This type of body mount performs better than rubber. A polyurethane body mount is a very good insulator and it's also abrasion-resistant. A polyurethane mount can absorb heavy load, although this results to a stiff ride compared to a rubber's cushioning effect. Beware of the volatile organic compounds a polyurethane body mount possesses because it may be linked to conditions such as asthma.
A polyurethane body mount has the clear advantage over a rubber body mount in overall performance and durability. However, a rubber body mount is already a good deal, especially if you consider health and environmental factors.
Other things you should consider when looking for a body mount kit
A body mount kit contains bushings and hardware that are placed in between your car's body and frame. Since there's a lot of different brands to choose from, you have to know some basic things first. Here are a few tips to help you out:
- You have to determine how high you want to increase your vehicle if you want to increase the size of your tires. The mount kits sold in the market typically increases about 1 to 2 inches.
- A standard body mount kit should contain sets of top and bottom body bushings, and washers. These can be a total of 20 pieces or more depending on the manufacturer's specifications.
- Some polyurethane body mounts already have steel rings molded into them. This increases the durability of the product, but it will also add to the cost.
Installing a Body Mount Kit
Are you tired of that cracking noise every time you drive your pickup truck? Is the cab already misaligned to the cargo? Can you feel a hard wobble while you turn? Then you'd better look under your vehicle, and check the body mounts because they must be worn out by now. Luckily, replacements are available in the market today, and you can easily install it with the right set of tools. This step-by-step guide will show you how.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Tape measure
- 1/2 inch ratchet
- Socket set
- Wooden block (approx. 1 foot in length, 6 inches in height)
- New body mount kit
Step 1: Park your car on a level surface, and engage the parking brake.
Step 2: Check your body mount kit if all the items on the list are complete and in good condition. Assemble the pieces based on the instructions.
Step 3: Measure and record the length of the cab, the distance between the rocker and the cab, and the distance from the frame to the ground.
Step 4: Locate the body mounts on one side of your truck. There should be a body mount under the core support at the front part of the cab, and a couple more on the side. Start with the front body mount and unbolt it with the ratchet.
Step 5: Take the wooden block, place it on top of the floor jack, and align it near the body mount's location. Jack the car up until the wooden block reaches the bottom of the cab. Jack the car a little more until there's 1 to 2 inches that separate the bottom of the cab and the body mount. Make sure to secure your vehicle with jack stands.
Step 6: Remove the current body mount by sliding it out, and place the new one. Make sure that new body mount doesn't move or shake before you lower the jack.
Step 7: Do the same process on the other side of your truck until all the body mounts are replaced. Use the measuring tape again to check if the cab still has the same alignment.
There you have it. You have successfully installed your new body mount kit. You can test drive your car, and notice a more quiet drive.