Do I really need… part 2 – Suspension Upgrades
Like most of us out there, we do love a good suspension upgrade. It will help your rig drive better, and bump it up higher to give you more clearance off-road. But there’s always pros and cons to lifting any vehicle.
The first thing to think of is how high you want to go. While there’s a lot of aftermarket 4WD suspension kits and products out there that will let you lift your rig sky-high, the vast majority of them are illegal to use on public roads and will leave you with an illegally modified car. What is and isn’t legal can vary on a state-by-state basis, and there are also great manufacturers that put in the time and money to test and certify that their products are legal for road use, so it’s very wise to shop around, and most importantly ask questions about the kits from the company that you buy them from, or who makes them.
As a general rule of thumb, a 2″ (or 50mm) suspension lift will be safe and legal in most circumstances. The added bonus of this is that there’s not many vehicles where extra things need to be changed over as well for a lift this size. If you look at a lot of 4″ and higher kits out there you’ll see that the price jumps significantly because you’ve got bigger springs and shocks, but you also need extra parts like extended brake lines, castor adjustments, and control arms.
Another big consideration is weight handling. There’s a very common misconception that higher load springs are better. That’s very much not right. Springs are rated with how much additional weight from the vehicles standard that they expect to handle all of the time. If you run +200kg springs on a stock weight vehicle, you’ll find the ride is a lot firmer and will most likely be very harsh because everything is way to stiff for the car. However, if you’re running an aftermarket steel canopy that weights 3-400 kg, using +200kg springs will normally give you a good ride (assuming that a standard tray body is around 150-200kg). The one thing to remember is that heavy load does not equal heavy duty!
Just remember to use only reputable brands, get the right set up for your vehicles weight and about all keep it legal!