Your Guide To Lifting A 4WD & Upgrading Your Suspension

Upgrading your 4×4’s suspension with the right lift kit can significantly enhance its off-road performance and aesthetic appeal. However, with a wide variety of options available, selecting the ideal lift kit can be a daunting task. This guide will help you navigate through the essential factors to consider when choosing a lift kit for your 4×4.

How Much Does a Lift Kit Cost?

The cost of a lift kit varies widely based on several factors:

  • Vehicle Make/Model: Different vehicles require different lift kits, and some models are more expensive to modify than others based on what items are required to be changed when lifting your specific vehicle.
  • Brand of Suspension Parts: Premium brands tend to cost more due to their higher quality and durability.
  • Types of Suspension Lifts: There are two key types of lift kits, full suspension lifts & Strut top spacer lifts. While spacer lifts are cheaper, they may be illegal in your state and reduce your overall comfort.
  • Intended Use: The cost also depends on whether the lift is for aesthetic purposes or for enhancing off-road capabilities.

How to Measure a Lift Kit

In Australia, lift heights are typically measured in inches or millimeters. To accurately measure the ride height of your vehicle before and after installing a lift kit, follow these steps:

  1. Park on Flat Ground: Ensure your vehicle is parked on a flat, level surface to get accurate measurements.
  2. Measurement Methods:
  • Centre of the Hub to the Lip of the Guard: Measure the distance from the centre of the wheel hub to the edge of the wheel arch (guard).
  • Bottom of the Rim to the Lip of the Guard: Measure from the bottom edge of the wheel rim to the edge of the wheel arch.

Most applications allow for up to a 2-inch lift, with 3-inch lifts available for more aggressive setups to assist certain vehicles with off-road capability (or street appeal!).

lift kit on a 4wd

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lift Kit

Choosing the right lift kit for your 4×4 is essential to enhance its performance and appearance. Here are the key factors to consider:

  1. Purpose of the Lift

    • Off-Roading: If you frequently navigate rough terrains, a suspension lift kit is the best option. It provides increased ground clearance and improved suspension travel, allowing your vehicle to handle obstacles and uneven surfaces more effectively.
    • Multiple Functionality: If you are on varied terrain such as corrugation, tracks, beach and do some towing etc. it’s important to consider what type of shocks will meet your performance requirements.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: If your primary goal is to achieve a rugged look without significant off-road use, a body lift kit might be sufficient. It raises the body of your vehicle off the frame, allowing for larger tyres without altering the suspension or improving ground clearance.
  2. Vehicle Compatibility – Ensuring the lift kit is compatible with your specific make and model is crucial. Incompatible kits can lead to installation difficulties, reduced performance, and potential safety issues. Always verify the kit’s specifications and consult with the manufacturer or a professional if necessary.

  3. Desired Lift Height – Traditional Lift kits can raise your vehicle anywhere from 1.5 inches to 3 inches. The right height depends on your off-roading needs and the tyre size you plan to install. Higher lifts provide better ground clearance and allow for larger tyres but can also affect the vehicle’s handling and stability.
  4. BudgetLift kits vary widely in price spacer lifts are generally more affordable, costing less in terms of both the kit itself and installation. Suspension lift kits, while offering superior performance benefits, can be significantly more expensive, especially when considering additional components and professional installation costs.
  5. Installation Complexity – Body lift kits are relatively straightforward to install, making them suitable for DIY enthusiasts. Suspension lift kits, however, are more complex and often require professional installation to ensure safety and optimal performance. Factor in the cost and availability of professional services when choosing your kit. At TWD, we can offer preassembly of kits if you want to do it from home.If you want the full service, we have all the necessary equipment and wheel alignment machine to have your 4wd running straight & true.
  6. Consider Your Wheel Size – Upgrading your 4×4 with a lift kit often involves upsizing the tyres. Larger tyres can significantly improve traction and off-road performance but also affect your vehicle’s fuel economy and handling. Before deciding on a lift kit, determine the maximum tyre size you want to run. Ensure the lift kit you choose is compatible with this size and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid issues. We can help find the ideal package for your lift as well as wheel & tyre package.
  7. Legal and Safety Considerations – Check local regulations regarding vehicle modifications, as some areas have restrictions on lift heights and tyre sizes. Additionally, consider the safety implications of lifting your vehicle. Higher lifts can alter the vehicle’s center of gravity, potentially impacting its stability and handling. Ensure your modifications comply with safety standards to prevent accidents and maintain roadworthiness.

lift kit on a 4wd

What Are The Different Types Of Lift Kits?

When selecting a Lift Kit, consider how you’ll use your vehicle and the type of terrain you’ll encounter. Are you simply looking for extra clearance without worrying much about ride quality? Do you need enhanced performance and a comfortable on-road experience? Or do you want full adjustability to fine-tune your shocks’ responsiveness based on your driving conditions?

These lift kits usually fall into one of three types of suspensions our customers:

  • Heavy Duty (Twin Tube) Shock – The entry-level heavy-duty shock from Profender features a twin-tube design with two separate fluid areas. It offers basic damping suitable for standard on-road and light off-road use. Ideal for Ford Everest owners seeking a lift kit for added height and clearance with a comfortable ride and minimal off-road performance.
  • Monotube 2.0 Shock – The Profender Monotube gas shock uses a single-cylinder mechanism with high-pressure nitrogen gas, preventing aeration and foaming. This design ensures optimal performance, increased responsiveness, stability, reduced body roll, and longer shock life. Our most popular Ford Everest Lift Kit includes these world-class shocks from the Profender Racing Shock team.
  • Remote Res (8-Step Adjustable) – Building on the Monotube 2.0 shock, this version features adjustable knobs for customisable responsiveness. It’s perfect for varying uses like city driving, high-speed, beach, off-road, and towing. For those towing heavy loads, consider adding airbags to your setup.

Understanding The Importance Of A Reliability & Performance 4WD Suspension System For Safety

A reliable 4WD suspension system is essential for safe and effective vehicle handling. Here’s why a good suspension system is so critical for your safety:

Enhanced Stability and Control

An appropriate lift kit setup from a top brand like Profender, adds better stability and control of your vehicle. This is especially important in emergency situations where quick maneuvering is required to avoid hazards. A reliable suspension system ensures that your vehicle responds accurately to steering inputs, reducing the risk of accidents.

Reduced Wear and Tear

An effective suspension system also minimizes wear and tear on other vehicle components. By absorbing the impact of rough roads, it prevents damage to the vehicle’s undercarriage, tyres, and other critical parts. This not only extends the lifespan of these components but also maintains the overall health of your vehicle.

Upgrading your 4WD suspension isn’t just about maintaining safety; it’s also about enhancing overall vehicle performance. Here are some ways an upgraded suspension can make a difference:

Enhanced Off-Road Capability

With an upgraded suspension, your 4WD can tackle more challenging terrains. Improved suspension systems offer better ground clearance, more robust components, and greater suspension travel, allowing for better exploration and off-road adventures. With a higher price comes better performance as well, the top end of the lift kit market begin to add more features, travel & performance.

Better Towing and Load Capacity

Suspension upgrades can increase your vehicle’s ability to handle heavier loads, making it more versatile for towing or carrying equipment. Enhanced suspension components are designed to support additional weight without compromising stability or control, ensuring a safer and more efficient load-carrying capability.

Warning Signs That Your 4WD Suspension Needs An Upgrade

Recognizing the signs that your 4WD suspension system needs an upgrade is key to maintaining your vehicle’s performance and safety. Common indicators include:

  • Unusual Noises: If you hear strange noises when driving over bumps or during turns, it could be a sign that your suspension system is failing.
  • Decreased Handling and Stability: A noticeable decrease in handling or vehicle stability indicates that your suspension system may not be functioning properly.
  • Uneven Tyre Wear: This can indicate an alignment issue caused by suspension problems, leading to uneven wear on your tyres.
  • Vehicle Pulling to One Side: If your vehicle pulls to one side, it could be a sign of uneven suspension, which needs immediate attention.

Ready to lift your 4×4? 

At TWD4x4, we understand that every 4WD owner has unique needs and preferences. Our goal is to help you achieve the perfect balance of style and performance, ensuring your vehicle is ready for any adventure. Contact us today to discover how we can transform your 4WD with the ideal lift kit or suspension upgrade.

Desmond brings a wealth of 4×4 experience to our Melbourne East store, and wants to share that knowledge with you!
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