How to Lift a Truck: A Guide on the Key Things to Do
Have you ever transported something on your truck and scraped your bumper on the road because the load was too heavy?
If you have, then your truck was too low to the ground. The easy solution for this is installing a lift kit on your rig.
That’s easier said than done, however, as most truck owners don’t know how to lift a truck. But you don’t have to be one of them.
Granted, there are several things you need to know before taking this project on. We’ve prepared this guide to help you learn everything you need to know on how to lift your truck.
Benefits To Lifting Your Truck
While a lot of people think it’s a cosmetic choice, there are some practical reasons for lifting your truck.
Pickup trucks are often used to carry large cargo, which explains their high default height. If not for the elevation, most trucks would sag in the back when transporting anything heavy.
However, a heightened rear suspension prevents the bumper from grinding against the pavement. If you use your truck for off-road trips, a higher suspension can also reduce damage from natural obstacles like rocks and divets.
As such, lifting a truck isn’t just about looking cool. It can greatly improve your truck’s performance, so long as you set it up correctly.
The Tools You’ll Need
There are a few requisite tools for a successful truck lift, the first one being a lift kit.
Lift kits are packages with different tools you need to elevate your vehicle to a specific height.
A typical lift kit includes:
- Vehicle jacks
- Jack stands
- Socket wrench
- Torque wrench
- Lug wrench
Now, these are only the bare essentials. You’ll definitely benefit from having a hammer or pry bar by your side. You never know if you’ll come across an old part that takes little more elbow grease to remove from your truck.
Since you have to remove your tires during this process, you might as well install some new equipment while you’re at it. This Grid Off-Road article on the best truck wheels is a great reference for anyone undecided on which wheels to purchase.
It also wouldn’t hurt to have a few nuts and bolts handy, and penetrating oil like WD-40 is going to be useful when you’re loosening joints.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Lift A Truck
Before you start, we highly recommend checking out the instruction manual that came with your lift kit. The manual probably gives more specific directions for the kit you bought.
For the purpose of this guide, we’re going to give some general details on how to lift a truck.
First, remove your negative battery cable. Then, loosen up the lug nuts to make it easier to remove the tires once your truck is lifted. Use the jack and jack stands to lift your truck. This might take a while, so make sure you keep an eye on the vehicle’s center of gravity.
Once your rig is properly lifted, take off the wheels and tires. Put those aside and detach the U-bolts. Remove any current chocks and springs as well. Attach your new bolts and install the new shocks and suspension.
Then, assemble any other parts that came with your lift kit, and tighten all your pieces and bolts according to its specifications using your torque wrench. Take this time to attack your old wheels and tires, or install your new ones. Finally, lower your vehicle slowly, trying to keep it as level as possible.
That should do it! With your new lift kit installed, we advise taking your truck to a local service center to get it inspected to make sure your truck is ready for the road.
Is It A Good Idea To DIY It?
As we already illustrated, lifting your truck is a labor-intensive process that requires a good amount of tools to get done right.
A lot of truck owners take their rigs to the shop for this one. This is a tough project even for those experienced with customizing their trucks.
At the end of the day, do whatever you feel is more comfortable. With the right equipment and a lot of patience, lifting your own truck is absolutely doable.
Get Out There Looking Your Best
Learning how to lift a truck can be a challenging process, but there’s no denying its benefits. Leverage this guide to find the best lift kit for your truck and get it done right.
Find this article useful? Check out our other articles for more automobile-related content!