While leveling kits may not get as much attention as complete suspension lift kits, truck leveling kits are nonetheless important pieces of equipment for a variety of reasons.
Typically, leveling kits are the unsung heroes of vehicle performance: They are easy and cheap to install, while giving your truck a level and aggressive stance. This is why truck leveling kits are so popular.
Problem is, however, that leveling kits are truck parts that fly relatively under the radar. Sure, most people know their general purpose and premise behind them, but rarely does someone know about the various types or appropriate application of truck leveling kits.
Thus, we are pleased to bring you our resource guide for leveling kits. Herein, we’ll attempt to cover as much as we can to help familiarize you with truck leveling kits, and hopefully guide you down the right path to getting the one you need.
As far as standard truck leveling kits go, there are 3 primary types, each of which has its own application and benefits.
Of course, these are not to be confused with air leveling kits, which serve a different purpose entirely, and most definitely should not be considered as an alternative to true truck leveling kits.
Leveling Kits - Strut Extensions
Strut Extension lifts are for vehicles that utilize a coilover strut for the front suspension, which typically include late-model half ton trucks and SUVs.
These leveling kits operate off of the simple premise of applying a spacer on top of a factory strut. In this way, modifying your rig requires no modifications of factory parts, and therefore costs less. Plus, strut extensions are easily removed if need be.
Strut extension leveling kits are available from Off Road Unlimited, Revtek, and other top name brands.
Leveling Kits - Torsion Keys
Torsion keys replace factory pieces, allowing you to produce lift by manipulating a vehicle’s torsion bar. Usually, aftermarket torsion keys are built stronger and sturdier than factory units to ensure that this is a safe and effective method of achieving lift.
It is usually a wise decision to purchase a torsion key adjustor tool along with the leveling kit for future modification.
Torsion Key leveling kits are available from Pro Comp and other top name brands.
Leveling Kits - Coil Spacers
Coil spacer leveling kits are similar to strut extensions, only the spacer is added to the top of factory spring buckets. This allows you to enjoy all the benefits of truck leveling kits while maintaining a factory stance and OEM ride quality.
In order to compensate for the additional lift, some coil spacer applications will require the installation of shock extensions, which are usually included with these leveling kits.
Leveling Kits - Block Kits
Not to be confused with standard leveling kits, block kits are the preferred method of altering the ride height of the rear end of a vehicle, whether you’re looking for a rear-high stance, or just want to put the rake back into your truck for hauling or towing.
Why Leveling Kits?
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to the many different truck components out there, and leveling kits are no less intricate than most other pieces of truck hardware.
At its core, a leveling kit functions similarly to a body lift kit, but with a slightly alternative purpose in mind.
But whereas a body lift is intended to produce an even lift of a vehicle, leveling kits will provide additional lift for either the front or rear end of one. This makes leveling kits particularly useful on vehicles where weight distribution causes a vehicle to have an uneven stance.
For example, a modified truck with a heavy duty winch and front bumper mount is heavier on the front end due to the added weight of the extra hardware, and thus may sag unevenly towards the front, causing an imbalance in your suspension.
Aside from looking unsightly, this imbalance can affect a variety of other factors, including handling or tire and suspension wear. A leveling kit is just what you would need to even out your stance.
Leveling kits serve ulterior purposes as well, including some extra clearance for larger tires and wheels or better rear wheel performance in towing or hauling situations. They are simple and effective in how they operate, and are also relatively easy to install.
Understanding Leveling Kits
Although the name and purpose sounds similar to standard suspension lift kits, the application is decidedly different.
While normal suspension lift kits offer a number of different options and styles of kits for you to lift your ride, leveling kits are entirely vehicle-specific, and there is no universal kit that will work for any rig.
For this reason, it’s even more important to know what type of leveling kits will fit your vehicles.
Also, for a fast and easy way to determine what type of truck leveling kit you need, 4 Wheel Parts offers a vehicle-specific shopping tool so you can narrow down and select leveling kits specific to your vehicle.