Buying a Bumper Lift Kit: Essential Dos and Don’ts
One of the many lift kits available for trucks and SUVs, the bumper lift kit is designed to increase the height of the rear bumper. This kit is usually bought alongside a body or suspension lift kit, as it effectively hides the game between the frame and the body caused by the added height clearance. In this guide, we've listed some essential dos and don'ts in buying these types of vehicular modifications.
- DO get a kit that includes all the hardware you need for installation. Some manufacturers offer body lift kits with only the brackets, while other kits also has the bolts and other hardware needed to mount these brackets in place in your truck. The latter is more preferable to buy, especially for first-time buyers, as the hardware is always guaranteed to be compatible with the bracket.
- DO buy and use the thread-locking fluid recommended by the manufacturer. The nuts and bolts for the bumper lift kit has to be treated with a thread-locking solution to fill in the gaps in the thread, preventing them accidentally coming loose. Some kits recommend a specific brand of thread locking fluid to use, although some kits also include the thread locking solution along with the applicator.
- DO make sure that the bumper lift kit is compatible with your tires. The wheels need to be of a specific size to prevent it from hitting the lifted bumper and ensure that the center of gravity is at a stable level. You can check with the manual included with the kit for tire size recommendations.
- DON'T buy a bumper lift kit if your vehicle is not in good working condition. If there is corrosion or deformation of the sheet metal around the factory body mounts or has been in a collision or is misused, do not install a bumper lift kit until your vehicle has been reconditioned. Installing a kit on a structurally compromised vehicle will place the body mounts under additional stress, which over time may result in failure of the mounts and result in an accident on the road. For the same reasons, it is also not recommended to install a bumper lift kit in a vehicle designed for frequent and intense off-road use, as most bumper lift kits are not designed for such conditions.
- DON'T get a bumper lift kit if you will be using your vehicle for towing. The bumper lift kit is attached to the frame of the truck in the way that it compromises the integrity and stability of the trailer hitch coupler. This makes it dangerous to hitch the truck to a trailer once the bumper has been lifted.
- DON'T choose a particular kit because of its price. It may seem practical to buy the economy model, but this may cost you more in the long run. Aside from the reduced quality common in cheap kits, economy-grade bumper lift kits usually do not include all the parts you need to mount it in place.