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7 Things to Do Before Lifting Your Truck or Jeep


This is a guest post article submitted to us.
So, you’ve decided to lift your truck or Jeep with a lift kit? That’s great news. Now comes the fun part of actually bringing your vision to life. By lifting your truck or jeep, you will have two beneficial items that will help you in on-road and off-road situations.: more ground clearance and room for a larger more aggressive tire and wheel set up for you vehicle.

But there’s more than one way to lift a truck or Jeep, so you need to make sure you know what you’re looking for before you begin the process. Choosing and installing a lift kit can depend on what type you are looking for in your vehicle. It can be everything from a simple lift kit or a more extensive lift kit. If you are planning on doing it yourself or having a professional installer complete the job, check out these 7 items to do before lifting your truck or Jeep.

Consider How You Want to Use Your Lifted Truck or Jeep

First you need to decide how you plan on using your newly lifted truck or Jeep. Are you only looking for the lifted look and maybe some occasional light off-roading or are you wanting to take your vehicle through more challenging off-road environments?

If you are looking at more off-roading with your vehicle you will good ground clearance from your lift kit. This will give you the ability to add more aggressive tires and shocks that will help in some of the most challenging terrains.

But if you’re mainly driving to work on the highway and running errands around the local community, you’re better off with a smaller kit, usually leveling to a 4-inch kit, but you’re certainly not limited to a tall lift kit. This won’t drastically alter the ride of your lifted truck or Jeep. You can still go off-road, and your vehicle will still perform well on the highway, giving you the best of both worlds.

Inspect Your Vehicle

Buying and installing truck lift kits can easily cost several hundred dollars or more, so make sure you’re lifting the right vehicle. If you plan on using your lifted truck or Jeep for years on end, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and ready for the road ahead. On the other hand, if your vehicle isn’t brand new from the factory, you may want to consider having the vehicle inspected thoroughly.

If you plan on going off-road, you also need to make sure your truck or Jeep is ready for the wild. Visit your local mechanic and have them tune up your vehicle—or do it yourself if you prefer to get your hands dirty. If you opt for help, tell them how you plan on using your ride and have them inspect all your parts and accessories. You don’t want to head out on the trail in a vehicle that’s on its last legs or may get stuck in the middle of nowhere. 

Read Up on Local Laws and Regulations

Some states have strict lifting laws and regulations. Depending on where you live, you may only be able to lift your truck or Jeep four inches. For example, Connecticut limits you to lifts of just four inches, while the state of Montana has no lifting laws, just strict lighting requirements. Other states have more relaxed lifting laws, letting you drive just about anywhere in a lifted truck or Jeep. Some of these laws can be quite specific, so go through the details with a fine-toothed comb before you make any final decisions.

Make sure you spend some time going over these lifting laws, including the state you live in and where you plan on driving your new lifted truck of Jeep. Some states may fine you even if you’re just passing through.

Find the Right Lift Kit

Now, it’s time to go shopping for the right lift kit based on the information we’ve just discussed. Make sure you find a kit that’s compatible with your specific make and model. You also need to find a reliable lift kit manufacturer or reseller that can answer any questions you might have along the way.

Compare different brands of lift kits, including any parts or accessories they might include. It’s not a bad idea to hop on some message boards or watch some YouTube videos for more information.

Measure Your Vehicle

Before you install the kit and add those aggressive new tires you’ve had your eye on, make sure you measure your vehicle, so you know how much room you have to work with. Remember the suspension of your vehicle may settle after a few months, so leave an extra inch or two between the fender and your new tires.

Choose Your Tires

With these measurements in mind, now it’s time to choose new tires for your lifted truck or Jeep. Again, consider how you plan on using your new ride and find tires that can handle this kind of terrain. Consider what kinds of features you’re looking for in a tire, including snow and ice traction, stability, gas mileage, turning and handling, and the overall weight of the tires.

Gather Your Tools and Parts

As you get closer to the installation process, it’s time to gather all your tools and parts if you plan on installing the kit yourself. Most Jeep and truck lift kits can be installed without a lot of mechanical experience. Some of the tools you may need include:

  • A jack and jack stands
  • Tire stops and tire removal tools
  • Torque wrench

Research your new lift kit and make sure you have the required tools and equipment.


The time has finally come to install your new lift kit. Give yourself plenty of time to install the kit and do a test drive and alignment before you pull out onto the road. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the lift kit manufacturer or your local mechanic. Also, we advise that you re-torque suspension after 100 miles.

Make the most of your new lift kit and make sure you’ve done your homework. When you’re finished, you can go off-road and explore all kinds of new territory. Good luck and happy lifting!

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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