The custom wheels market does $1.21 billion in sales. Then there's the performance tire market that does $2.22 billion. Clearly, custom wheels and tires are popular.
The problem is, those aftermarket wheels can be quite bigger than your stock ones. You'll have to lift your truck to accommodate them. This leads you to the question, how high should I lift my truck?
Use this guide to help you navigate the confusing world of truck lifts.
How High Should I Lift My Truck?
How high you lift your truck will depend on its current height and how much you are willing to invest in your lift. The higher you go, the more part replacement and adjustment you'll have to do.
When deciding on your lift height, look at your current setup. You need to think about how the existing components of your truck will be affected by the lift.
Remember that everything is connected and designed to work at its current height. So consider your current truck setup and any other mods you intend to do.
Think about how you want to use your truck and what you want to end up with.
Leveling Kit 1"- 2.5”
A leveling kit is the lowest amount of lift you can add to your truck. If you are considering this sized lift think about your budget.
This is a great option for someone looking to change the look of their truck without making significant changes to the truck or its performance.
This small lift is very friendly to your budget. It's a great entry-level lift option.
You won't notice significant changes to the ride and handling of your truck. Plus now your truck can accommodate 33-inch wheel and tire combos on 20x9 wheels.
If you lease or aren't ready to commit to a lifted truck, a leveling kit allows you to return to stock easily. This includes returning to factory wheels too.
Some owners may notice that their truck rides a bit rougher after the lift installation. This is because most kits will compress the front end coil springs. Compressed springs have a decreased ability to cushion your ride by expanding and compressing in response to the changing conditions of the road.
Depending on how you drive, you might notice a one to two MPG drop in fuel economy. Your bigger tires will also result in increased wear and tear on your brakes.
Mild lift kit 3"- 5”
When considering a mid-range lift kit, think about what sort of performance improvement you are looking for. Will you get them with this sized lift? Think about how you plan to use the truck.
A mid-range option is a good choice if you still want to use your truck for daily commutes.
If you are looking for a mid-range upgrade, this is a great option. You get gains while being gentle on your wallet.
The great thing about this mild lift is you can get the lifted look you're going for without having to modify your factory suspension completely. This is a good option if you are looking to increase the size of your wheel and tire combo a bit. You can even have wheels with dip lip and don't have to worry about rubbing.
You'll have overall increased ground clearance, ability to go back to stock, and you don't need to purchase a new spare tire. All of these factors make your truck a capable daily driver still.
When you start to get into lifts this size, you start to notice your fuel economy change. It could be around two to three miles per gallon difference.
You will also start to notice your turn radius to be compromised. This makes your truck harder to park in tighter situations.
You won't have any noticeable improvement in your off-roading game. The gain in clearance isn't enough.
You will also notice a stiffer ride in your truck. This is because the springs are compressed.
Big Lift Kit 6”- 8”
When considering big lift kits, you need to ask yourself if you are ok with a minimized turn radius and decreased fuel economy. Maybe these things are worth it for the opportunity to have the biggest truck and all of the attention it brings.
Your truck is large, and people will take notice. For some of you fellas who lack in the looks department, your big truck may help your dating life.
For those who love to go off-roading, this is how you get maximum ground clearance. Plus you can rock those 37-inch wheels and tire combos.
Invest in a quality kit, and you'll have a slight ride improvement over the mild lift option.
There are a few cons that come with lifting your truck this extreme height. The most significant being the noticeable drop in fuel economy.
If you plan to use your truck as a daily driver, this could result in a significant increase in fuel costs. Acceleration response will be slower.
Say goodbye to parking in garages or any other parking structure. You are just too darn tall to fit. The same goes for a lot of fast food drive thru's also. Not to mention on most mid lift set ups and all big lift set ups you will not be able to use automatic car washes!
This means you'll need to park in flat top parking lots exclusively now. You'll need to be careful here too though. Your truck's turn radius is compromised making maneuverability tough.
You will find it tough to park in tight spaces. So plan to park far out in parking lots, so you have the extra space.
When you buy your kit, you will need to buy a spare tire. You also won't be able to return your wheels to stock because of the extensive suspension modifications that need to be made.
You should also check your state DOT laws if you plan to drive your truck on the road. Many states have limits on how high your headlights and/or bumpers are legally allowed to be.
Pro Tip: All lift wheel/tire options with 33" and up wheel/tire combos may reduce the number of wheel/tire shops that can service the truck.
How High Will You Go?
Hopefully, we have answered the question, how high should I lift my truck? There's nothing wrong with wanting to go big. Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
Contact us today if you need some extra help with selecting the perfect lift kit for your truck.