DIY or Don’t? Should You Lift Your Truck Yourself?
One of the best parts about pickup trucks is that you make them your own. There are thousands of options from which to choose on any particular truck that can be tweaked and adjusted before they even leave the dealership. Plus, there are even more aftermarket options available that await online or in shops across the area that can offer personalization on every nut and bolt in the vehicle.
One of the most popular adjustments to trucks is the lift kit – moving the entire truck higher in the air by changing out suspension parts. That can include springs, shocks, control arms, driveshafts, bent brake lines, and possibly even aftermarket wheels. Even among lift kits, there are smaller options that just level out the truck from the common “nose down” factory settings and others that will make your truck tall enough to walk under.
Some drivers need them for outdoor or off-road activities, and some just like the way a lifted truck looks. Regardless of your reasoning, as with any big decision that affects the appearance and performance of your truck, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
What Goes Into Lifting a Truck?
First off, as you might expect, lifting a truck is a fairly complex procedure. It’s not something the weekend mechanic should undertake, and even if you do, there are a host of tools and equipment required. So, either you should be an expert or you need to find one you trust. Regardless of what options you choose for your lift, if it’s done incorrectly or haphazardly, you’ll be spending more money and end up with a truck that doesn’t work. Next, be sure the lift you want will still allow your truck to fall within any state laws or regulations – you can find that out at the dealership or an aftermarket shop.
Financially, both at-home installs and dealer installations have positives and negatives, but usually drivers will fall easily into one choice over the other.
Lifting a Truck Yourself
As you might expect, installing a lift kit yourself is going to save money. But there are some pretty heavy requirements and consequences to reckon with. First, you have to be capable of the work – that means expertise, tools, and time. It may be easy to know if you have the right ratchet set, but do you have the knowledge to piece together the parts and accessories that accomplish your goals without affecting performance or safety with your unique vehicle?
Also, aftermarket installations like a lift kit can void the warranty on a lot of vehicles – that’s a lot of benefits to leave on the table. Then, you need to weigh the options of financial impact on the truck itself. Improperly installed lift kits will make for a rougher ride at best, and will be a tremendous safety hazard at worst. There isn’t a specific dollar figure that can be placed on a full-scale repair job for your truck – and heaven forbid you find out the cost of medical bills after an accident.
Should I Buy A Lifted Truck?
Buying a lifted truck is much easier than trying to install a lift kit yourself, even if it is more expensive. Buying a lifted truck from a dealership can be a smart choice, because the truck will be carefully inspected and there’s less risk of getting a truck with problems from a private seller. If you’ve got the money to spare, buying a lifted truck can be one of the best ways to get the pickup with the sexy, buffed-up look you’re gunning for.
Getting a Truck Lifted at a Dealership
At the dealership, you may end up paying a little more initially, but you will also have work that is completed by trained professionals who are intimately familiar with your truck and the parts, tools, and labor that are required. Additionally, dealerships can warranty the work they do on their own vehicles – even lift kits. That offers peace of mind and financial insurance from experts you already trust.
At the end of the day, lifting your truck can help you improve its look and performance, but you need to be confident in the work being done and the folks who are doing it. Even if that’s not you, be honest. Making a financial choice that is reasonable and guaranteed will have a much greater impact than the few dollars you save up front by doing it yourself.