With bigger tires, come bigger responsibilities. Vehicles used for off-road purposes usually have abused suspension systems that come from their monster tires. That's why it is important to protect your ride from the extreme road conditions and debris. This is done with the use of a suspension lift kit. But how do you know which kit it perfect for your off-roading lifestyle? There are some basic types of suspension lift kits, each having its best application.
Spring Over Axle (SpOA)
If you want to go extreme, then a Spring Over Axle lift kit is ideal for this type of wheeling. It lifts your vehicle approximately 4.5" inches, giving you enough clearance for 31" tires. But this height is not what makes it popular among the rock crawling off-roaders. It also offers more side-to-side deflection for your springs and maximizes your vehicle's articulation (the way your wheels travel up and down). This kind of suspension lift kit will give larger tires lesser traction and allow it to climb rougher terrain, such as rocky mountains and muddy landscapes. So if you're looking for a suspension lift with the best power (and is relatively inexpensive and easy to install), a spring over axle type is the way to go.
Are you strap on cash and you want to lift your 4WD without the expensive upgrades? Then you can try installing a shackle reverse suspension lift kit on your vehicle. It is also preferred by a majority of do-it-yourselfers because of the ease of its installation. However, there are a lot of complications when choosing this type of lift. Aside from the fact that it cannot be used on short wheelbase vehicles, it is also not recommended if you plan to do some highway driving. This kind of kit does not offer the flexibility you will need if you plan to drive your 4WD both on the streets and off-road.
The best and most flexible kind of suspension lift kit is the coil suspension. It offers unparalleled suspension travel and allows you to have a butter-smooth ride, whether on rough terrains or flat highways. This kind of suspension lift is probably the most expensive kind of lifts out in the market. It needs a substantial amount of work to manufacture, which in turn gives out the best technology in suspension lift kits.
Another commonly used suspension lift kit is the lifted springs type. It offers a good starting point for drivers who want to try their hand out on off-roading. It is fairly easy to install and it also offers the same flexibility as coil suspensions at a considerably lower price. It can run on larger tires and provides good clearance, all while still offering a good controlled 'feel' when on the highway.