In rating a test vehicle, vehicle experts would consider the over-all qualities of the vehicle instead of concentrating on a particular characteristic. Power is often enough to entice many sports car enthusiasts, but power is not enough to properly rate a vehicle. Elegance and sleek styling may appeal well to the artistic, but the looks of the vehicle are just not enough to give it a high rating. Equally important characteristics for every vehicle are comfort, functionality, and refinement.
One of the components that give every vehicle a refined ride is the suspension. The suspension is the system of shock absorbers and linkages that connects the wheels of your vehicle to its frame. It serves two basic functions: (1) to keep the vehicle's wheels on the ground where they can provide traction, and (2) to keep passengers comfortable by absorbing much of the noise, shocks and vibrations. To achieve these two goals, car manufacturers would often use various suspension designs, usually with the front suspension design different from the rear suspension design.
There are two basic suspension types used in every vehicle: the dependent suspension, and the independent suspension. Another kind of suspension, the semi-dependent suspension, is also commonly used for various vehicles today. Dependent suspensions often use a live axle to hold the parallel wheels of the vehicles so that the two opposite wheels usually would move on the same manner. Independent suspensions, on the other hand, connect the wheels using universal joints with a swing axle or do not connect the opposite wheels at all. They also differ on the set of linkages used. While dependent suspensions have only a few sets of available linkages, including the trailing arms, Satchell links and others, independent suspensions come with more options, the more common of which are swing axles, torsion beams, semi-trailing arms and MacPherson struts. Both types, however, often share the same kinds of springs and dampers (or shock absorbers).
For Chevrolet vehicles, General Motors would use a variety of Chevy Suspension designs, depending on a lot of things like the type of vehicle, its functions, its price, and others. It is common, however, for most Chevy vehicles to be equipped with an independent front suspension and a dependent or semi-dependent rear suspension. Some Chevy vehicles would also come with independent suspensions for both front and rear wheels. There are also models that come equipped with special and patented Chevy suspensions like the Z71, Z85 and others.
Whenever you have to replace any suspension part of your Chevy vehicle, or the entire front and rear Chevy suspension for that matter, it is advisable that you carefully choose the suspension parts that would match the specifications of your vehicle's suspension. Better yet, consult experts from your Chevy dealer about the proper Chevy suspension parts needed by your car. While there are various aftermarket and custom suspension parts and kits available in the market, we leave the use of these parts to the experts and to the custom car manufacturers.
FAQs—Chevrolet Suspension Lift Kit
- I want to modify my Chevy's suspension, but I'm torn between lifting and lowering my ride. What are the benefits of each enhancement?
It depends on what you want and/or need. There are different benefits to be had from lowering or lifting your vehicle. If you wish for freedom from the beaten concrete path to charge over unpaved roads, wild backcountry trails, or the grassy beyond, you should get a lift kit for your Chevy. It provides you towering ground clearance and allows you to invest in bigger, stronger wheels that are on for all-terrain action. Lowering the suspension of a car is called for if you want your car to handle better on pavement. Notice how F1 racers have suspensions that are near the ground to maximize speed over the track. That's also the idea behind cars with low suspensions; it's all about enhancing traction, cornering, and steering.
- Do I need an alignment after I install a Chevrolet suspension lift kit?
While not all suspension lift kits require immediate alignment after using them, it's always a good idea to have it done regardless. After all, it's better to be safe than to be sorry. Err on the side of caution and make sure everything is aligned and leveled out with your Chevy. Tinker around with the steering components of your Chevrolet, particularly your suspension parts and the center of gravity of your vehicle. Misalignment of any of these mechanisms can throw your entire car out of balance. Also, bad alignment can wear your tires out faster and compromise your fuel economy. Finally, your handling can become dangerously erratic.
- Does lifting my Chevrolet affect its handling, steering, or braking performance?
Lift kits radically transform how your car drives, whether it's on the road or off-road. How it brakes, handles, or steers make it seem like you're driving a different automobile altogether, so you should give yourself a bit of a grace period when it comes to reacquainting yourself with your lifted Chevy. This goes double if you've also replaced your tire or wheel size to better suit your higher suspension. When you start feeling more comfortable with your ride, you can pick up the pace and head out to the highway altogether.
- Why do most lift kits raise the front of the vehicle more than the rear?
Most lift kits raise the front more than the rear because most cars, including Chevrolet cars, are front-wheel-drive vehicles. What's more, as an exception to this rule, lift kits tend to raise the backend more often on pickup trucks because they're manufactured with a taller tail. There's also great compensation to be made for sag created when the bed is fully loaded with cargo. In contrast, because most people lift their vehicles for the sake of style and performance rather than for the sake of hauling objects, the majority of lifts level out the forward rake.
- What is camber? I usually hear about it when suspension lift kits are talked about.
Camber is the angle of your wheel when viewed straight. If the wheel's top is tilted inward and towards the vehicle, you have a negative camber. When the wheel is angled away from the automobile, that's a positive camber. Your suspension lift changes the way it deals with loads, which ii turn changes how your wheels camber. Ideally, you should make sure the two wheels on the same axle should have the same camber because you could end up with poor handling and uneven tire wear with mismatched cambers.