Do You Even Lift, Bro?
Why wouldn’t I want to crank down my truck’s spring preload and jack it up as high as it can go?
Wouldn’t that be better for getting over rocks and stu;?
It may look cool, but cranking down your shock preload to lift the truck as high as possible makes
a mess of handling and takes a toll on driveshafts. First, the handling part. In addition to raising
your truck’s center of gravity, which will make it easier to flip, extending the shocks’ maximum
extension also removes all “downtravel.” ;e suspension can compress to react to a bump, but
it can’t drop down into a dip. And when cornering, the inside wheels will lift o; the ground as the
chassis leans because there’s no suspension travel left for them to extend. On the mechanical
side, forcing the driveshafts to operate at steep angles continuously will accelerate wear on the
yokes, drive cups, or CV joints (depending on how your truck is equipped). ;e closer you can
keep the driveshafts to level, the better.
;e exception to all this is if you’re crawling at low speed over obstacles all the time. ;at type
of driving makes rollovers at speed and drivetrain ine;ciency much less of a problem. But even
then, allowing at least some downtravel is likely to be better for performance than a jacked-to-the-limit setup. ✇
Left: Ride height is the distance between
the bottom of the chassis and the ground.
More isn’t always better.
Below: For the best performance, the
driveshafts shouldn’t angle steeply
at normal ride height. ;e closer the
shafts are to parallel with the ground,
the more e;ciently they’ll operate.
1/ 2H.indd 1 4/15/15 5:09PM