Have you found yourself flipping through the pages of your favorite off-road magazine, drooling over the meaty tires and high-travel suspensions? Perhaps you just want some additional clearance for navigating rough backwoods roads.
Whether you’re building an off-roading truck, a show truck, or just want to add some flair to your everyday driver, a truck lift is something you are sure to consider as one of your first vehicle modifications.
But how much do lift kits for trucks cost?
In general, a truck lift can cost anywhere from $500 to $15,000 depending on various factors, such as the lifting method, lift height, quality of workmanship, and more.
It is important to go into this exciting buying process educated so you can anticipate all costs. Keep reading to learn more about lift kit choices, installation, and factors that impact pricing.
Types of Truck Lift Kits
Those who are new to the world of truck mods will quickly discover there are two types of kits on the market: leveling kits and lift kits. That leads us to an important question: “What is the difference between a leveling kit and a lift kit?”
The purpose of a leveling kit is to raise whichever end of the truck is lower so that the entire body of the truck from front to back becomes level. Leveling kits make very minimal adjustments to vehicle height, and they are quicker and easier to install than lift kits. For these reasons, leveling kits are less expensive than lift kits.
Installing a lift kit raises both the front and rear of the vehicle. Depending on your choice of lift kit, you may get increased ground clearance, shock travel distance, and more.
Lift kits allow for more extreme changes to your vehicle’s height and even the suspension geometry. A lift kit can raise your vehicle as little as 1” or more than 6”. A higher lift kit means a trickier and pricier installation. Because of their relative complexity, lift kits are more expensive than leveling kits.
If you decide a lift kit is right for you, the next choice is between a body lift or a suspension lift.
A body lift leaves the suspension as is and simply raises the body of the truck higher up on the frame. This means that your overall ground clearance will be the same, but you will gain room for increased suspension travel and can run larger tires. If your purpose for getting a lift is simply to allow for bigger tires, a body lift is the way to go.
Since the suspension geometry is not modified with a body lift, this type of lift is typically less expensive and simpler to install than a suspension lift. It is important to understand that by lifting the body and leaving the suspension intact, the center of gravity is raised, and overall vehicle stabilization is adversely impacted.
If you plan to go off-roading in your lifted vehicle, make sure you consult an expert and know how your planned body lift will affect your vehicle before you pull the trigger on this mod.
Suspension lifts are the most inclusive and involved truck lift package. A suspension lift increases not only tire clearance, but ground clearance as well.
With a suspension lift, the shocks/struts and springs are replaced. On higher lift kits, the steering components and driveshafts may also need to be swapped out. If the lift is so high that the existing suspension geometry cannot accommodate the mods, you will likely need to install extended travel CV axles which reduce the strain on steering hardware.
All the additional components and installation challenges involved in a suspension lift make it the most expensive of all types of truck lifts
Benefits and Reasons for a Truck Lift or Level
Other than making you look and feel like the king (or queen!) of the road, when correctly done, a truck lift or level can have some great benefits.
In addition to the visual appeal, a suspension lift kit provides greater ground clearance for off- roaders. An upgraded suspension kit can also offer improved shock absorption for a smoother ride even on bumpy roads.
If you notice your existing tires rubbing on the fender wells when you make a sharp turn or go over speedbumps, a body lift will give you better tire clearance. A body lift also clears the way for you to upgrade to those bigger, meatier tires you’ve been wanting for off-roading.
Leveling kits improve the look of a vehicle that is lower on one end either due to design or perhaps because of saggy springs. Older trucks in particular were often built so the bed of the truck rode higher than the hood. The assumption was that you would be carrying heavy loads in the bed, and once the load was added, the truck would be level.
If your truck is simply your daily driver, however, odds are that bed is empty and when viewed from the side, your hood sits lower than your tailgate. A leveling kit can take care of that visual problem and may improve handling as well.
Truck Lift Installation Costs for Various Lift Heights
The major deciding factors for cost are the type of kit you choose, the size of the lift, and the type of installation you opt for. As expected, the smaller and simpler the lift, the lower the cost.
Price based on type
A leveling kit is the cheapest option. The total price normally runs around $150 to $1000 if you DIY the install. Professionally installed, a leveling kit can cost between $500 to $2,000.
For a body lift kit, labor costs will generally be lower than for a suspension lift, due to fewer components being involved. The cost for a body lift can range from $100 up to $2,000, but generally averages around $500.
Suspension lift kits are much more involved and may require someone more skilled. The cost could range from $500 to $2,000 for a very small lift or upwards of $15,000 for a lift of 6 inches or more.
If you are looking for an estimate based only on your desired inches of lift:
2-4 inches: $400 to $10,000
6+ inches: $10,000 to $15,000
Type of Installation
There are two different options that you can use when installing a truck lift. You can either do it yourself or hire a professional.
Although doing the install yourself sounds like the less expensive route, hiring someone experienced may actually cost less in the long run. This is because if you decide to try the install yourself, you may end up damaging your vehicle, thus incurring higher and unforeseen costs.
If you are experienced, however, installing a kit yourself can save you time and the usual labor costs that come with using a body shop. If you install the kit yourself, remember to get a professional alignment done afterwards. Truck alignments can cost up to $200.
If you choose to hire someone experienced at a body shop, they can ensure that you get a great installation. Keep in mind that alongside the cost of the kit, you will also be paying for their time and skill.
What happens if you don’t like your lift kit? Are you stuck with it, or can the lift be removed? The good news is that lift kit removal is possible. As with installation, you can do it yourself or hire a professional.
If you get your lift removed at a body shop, know that the removal can cost just as much as installation since you’ll probably need to order the stock components.
Truck Lift FAQs
Will lift kits void my warranty?
If your truck is still under warranty and you want to maintain that covered status, it is important to consult the owner’s manual and the dealership prior to making any vehicle mods. Some warranties can be voided by any after market work while others may remain in effect depending on the type of mod and whether it was a DIY job or was done by a professional.
Will mechanics install lift kits?
Some mechanics do install lift kits while others don’t. Before you drop your vehicle off for a lift kit installation, do your homework. Make sure the installer has the proper background and experience to do the job right. It may be worth taking your truck to a body shop specialist rather than the guy down the street.
Are lift kits safe?
In general, the more extreme the vehicle modifications are, the higher the associated safety risk. For example, a 6” lift kit increases the center of gravity (COG) and raises the chance of rollover. While the higher clearance can help you navigate through mud on a flat surface, the increased COG will decrease the safe angle at which you can navigate uneven terrain like mountainsides.
Do lift kits cause problems?
A good rule of thumb to remember is that the more off-road performance modifications you make to your vehicle, the less optimized it will be for on-road use. A simple leveling kit may have a negligible impact whereas a 6” lift kit will affect performance more. Extreme lifts also alter vehicle geometry, and this can cause problems if the changes are not done correctly.
Are lift kits legal?
Each state has different safety-based laws and restrictions that can limit variables like frame height and bumper height. Some states specify the max height of a suspension lift kit, with many states drawing the line at 4”. Before adding a lift kit to your vehicle, make sure you know the rules in your home state as well as any states you plan on driving through. For a quick summary, check out Superlift Suspension’s guide to lift kit laws by state.
A lift or level kit for your truck can be a fun and useful modification to your truck. Lifts and levels enhance the look of your vehicle and tweak its performance.
Before you jump in and add a 6” lift, do your homework. Know why you want a lift or level. Ask yourself what your performance goals are as well as how and where you plan to use your vehicle.
When it comes to price, a basic level kit with DIY installation can be done for as little as $500 while an expertly installed 6” lift kit with extended travel CV axels, control arms, and other add- ons can cost as much as $15,000.