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What Does it Cost to Lift a Truck?

By Shawn Furman | June 26, 2022

Lifted trucks are everywhere. Lift kits are one of the most common aftermarket modifications by truck enthusiasts since they can make a truck look meaner, allow for bigger wheel installation, increase a truck’s performance off-road, and even fix suspension issues in certain cases.

Like any other vehicle modifications, the cost of installation, the type of lift installed, and other upgrades necessitated by the chosen lift kit will determine how much it will cost to lift a truck. While there are several affordable options available, and many pickup trucks have strong aftermarket lift kit support, lift kits and the work surrounding their installation can get pricey.

Depending on the type of lift, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars to over ten thousand dollars to lift your truck.

Why Would You Lift Your Truck?

There are two main reasons that people lift trucks: Aesthetics and capability. It can be hard to deny how good a tastefully lifted truck looks coming down the road. It has a greater presence and can show off someone’s craftsmanship depending on the type of lift that is used. Of course, just installing a truck lift for looks can sometimes be hard to justify because of the price.

Increasing a truck’s capability is a more effective use of a truck lift and its associated costs since an increase in capability is multi-faceted. Even a small increase in ride height can allow for bigger tires to be equipped, increasing off-road capability. Higher ground clearance is beneficial in both recreational and non-recreational capacities.

Off-road enthusiasts will find truck lifts to be beneficial for their hobby, but work trucks can benefit from both higher ground clearance and larger tires as well. Trucks are built for hauling and towing. A lift kit installation or better shock absorbers can help with a truck’s ride quality while hauling or towing heavier loads than the average consumer. Additionally, some work sites can be hard to access while necessary infrastructure is being built.

Most Common Trucks to Lift:

Ford, RAM, Chevy, Nissan, and Toyota pickup trucks are all commonly seen with lifts, possibly because they are among the best-selling vehicles on the market. They are also fairly easy to lift and have strong aftermarket support, making lift kits and other truck accessories easy to find.

Ford F-150s, Dodge Ram 1500s, Chevy Silverados, and Toyota Tacomas are among the most common models to lift. Jeep Wranglers are perhaps even more common since they already come from the factory with superior off-road capability. Lifted trucks are so popular that the Ford Raptor, RAM 1500 TRX, and Chevy Silverado ZR2 are lifted from the factory and come with additional performance parts to make them off-road ready.

Types of Lifts:

There are two main types of lift kits available and more options to lift a truck beyond that. This means more options for you, but it also means that you have several things to consider when choosing what is best for you.

Spacers:

Spacers are discs or blocks that are installed on the top of a coil spring, resulting in anywhere from one to three inches of extra ground clearance. They are usually quite cheap, ranging from about $10 to over $100, depending on the material and quality. They are also easy to install, do not require extensive modifications, do not require changing any OEM parts, and do not change the existing spring rate.

Unfortunately, spacers also come with some drawbacks. Because some are essentially inserts, they can fall out if they are not attached to the tower and can cause excessive wear to your truck’s suspension components. They also do not add spring travel. Unlike other suspension upgrades, they do not alter suspension components themselves. For most people, spacers are a cheap way to get a lifted look without adding superior suspension upgrades or a true increase in capability.

Torsion Key Lift:

A torsion bar is used in many trucks and some SUVs. It is a bar attached to the chassis and suspension or axle by a key. This key can often be adjusted without buying aftermarket kits, though aftermarket torsion key lifts are readily available. It is a cheap and easy way to add a quick one to two inches of ground clearance to your truck.

Again, there are some drawbacks. Tinkering too much with the factory torsion keys can result in issues, including suspension component wear and alignment problems. Capability is not truly increased with this type of lift unless you purchase a more robust aftermarket torsion key lift. Costs of installation can range from nothing – if you are comfortable going the DIY route – to a few hundred dollars for a full torsion key kit.

Leveling Kits:

Leveling kits are a popular and relatively cheap way to add one to two inches of ground clearance to your truck. Many pickup trucks come from the factory with higher ride height in the rear for their increased hauling and towing capacity over other vehicles. To offset this, leveling kits can be used, often without replacing most OEM parts or ruining the vehicle’s warranty.

They can use a variety of methods to achieve a level ride, including spacers, suspension components, torsion keys, and blocks for trucks equipped with leaf springs. Some use a combination of all three. Leveling kit costs can range from around $50 to well over $500 for the most involved kits.

The same drawbacks present in spacers and torsion keys can present themselves in leveling kits depending on the method used for leveling and the other components included in the kit. More expensive kits often include upgraded components like shocks, sway bar components, and other brackets to assist with suspension geometry and prevent stock part wear.

Suspension Lift Kits:

Suspension lift kits are among the most popular ways to lift trucks, but they can also be the most expensive and most difficult to install. As you might expect, a suspension lift kit can include upgraded suspension components like shocks, sway bars, bump stops, coil springs, alignment components, control arms, driveshaft blocks, u-bolts, and leaf springs.

Not all kits include all of these items, and the cost is usually determined by the quality and amount of components included in the kit. The cost will also vary based on the vehicle. The cheapest and simplest suspension lift kits can cost as little as $150 and include only one or two components. The cheapest kits usually only include leaf springs and u-bolts and are often only meant for the rear of a pickup truck.

Some of the most expensive suspension kits can cost nearly $10,000. Many of these will come with additional accessories such as skid plates and can require welding and other more extensive modifications to install. Because of these potential modifications, professional installation is recommended. Even though this may hasten installation time, it can drive up the cost of labor by thousands of dollars.

Body Lift Kits:

Pickup trucks and some SUVs can be equipped with body lift kits because of their construction. Most feature body-on-frame construction, meaning that a frame and chassis are bolted together. The result is that you can lift the body from the frame of the truck and place blocks between the two to increase the height of the truck by several inches.

Body lift kits are not quite as popular as suspension lift kits, but their cost of installation is usually lower, they do not alter the basic setup of the stock suspension, and they do not alter the basic structure of other OEM parts. Not only are larger tires able to be fitted for more off-road capability, but the standard hauling payload and towing capacity are usually not affected by this type of lift.

Simple body lift kits usually only include items like body blocks and a few brackets. More expensive lifts can include other items like bumper relocation brackets and steering extensions. Costs range from under $100 to around $2,000 for the best kits that fit the largest trucks.

Body and suspension lift kits can be paired together since both types of lifts deal with separate components. If you do go with a dual lift setup, costs can soar to upwards of $20,000 for the most expensive options and high labor costs.

Lifting Costs Explained:

As with any other modifications made to any vehicle, there is a cost involved, and it varies depending on several different factors. The biggest factor in cost is the type of lift you choose. Suspension lifts are usually the most expensive because they usually contain the most components and can necessitate other modifications outside of the suspension system. Simple lift solutions like spacers are cheap because they only involve one or two components and no other modifications.

Size:

Another factor is size. A quality lift kit always has the potential to be expensive, but usually, a lift kit for a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier is going to cost less than a comparable lift kit for a Ford F-250. The F-250 is much larger and heavier, demanding larger versions of each part of the lift kit you choose.

Installation:

Installation costs are another obvious factor in the overall expense. Leveling kits, spacers, and even body kits can be fairly straightforward to install, but you may lack the tools necessary to do the job, making DIY installation difficult or impossible. Even though professional installation can add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of the lift, you can be much more confident that the job is done correctly and that you will not need to buy extra tools for one-time use.

Long-Term Costs:

Many people fail to calculate the long-term cost of anything involving cars and trucks. A truck lift is no different as it involves parts that require maintenance. Simple lift solutions may require less maintenance than more complicated ones, but quality kits will almost always bring lower maintenance costs than cheap alternatives. The best lift you can get with the lowest maintenance costs possible will be a simple lift with quality parts.

It should also be noted that some dealerships or service centers may refuse to service certain parts of your truck or your entire truck because of certain installed aftermarket parts.

Additional considerations that stem from lift kits are fuel efficiency and resale value. If you purchase a lift to fit larger tires, you will most likely see your MPG drop with increased rolling resistance. Even a small difference in fuel economy can cost quite a bit every year at the pump. Resale value is a small but important factor in long-term cost. Simply adding a lift will most likely not result in higher resale values down the road. In some cases, it may lower resale value.