Suspension lift

suspension lift is a modification to a vehicle to raise the ride height. It is usually done for the practical purpose of improving the off road performance of SUVs or trucks and other off-road vehicles, or for cosmetic purposes. Suspension lifts can enable steeper approach, departure, and breakover angles, higher ground clearance, and helps accommodate larger wheels and tires. Due to the raised center of gravity, maximum safe operating angles can be reduced and roadholding is often significantly impaired.

Truck with a suspension lift

lift kit is an aftermarket product package with the parts needed to lift a specific model of vehicle, typically with instructions and customer support. Some kits may have only critical or difficult to obtain parts, needing generic or off the shelf hardware and parts to complete the lift. Some lifts need only a few parts, like lift blocks, the spacers placed between the axles and leaf springs, and coil spring/strut spacers and extended shocks, and special driveshafts, axles, and more. More extensive lifts require many new suspension, steering, and drivetrain parts, such as replacement control arms, trailing arms, custom four-link systems, and drive shafts. These changes may be necessary because raising the vehicle’s ride height can impact drive shaft length, steering geometry, and brake lines. Legality is often an issue when installing suspension lifts, as many jurisdictions have varying laws on vehicle ride height and placement of lights and bumpers.

Leaf spring lift

Jeep Cherokee with 2 inch Suspension lift on 31 inch BFG A/Ts, using add-a-leaf and coil spring spacers

Many trucks are supported by leaf spring suspensions. Leaf springs offer exceptional articulation, a large payload and can take a substantial amount of abuse.[citation needed] With the correct methods they can be modified to help a vehicle carry more weight, have better articulation or to fit large oversized tires. Some vehicles may be equipped with front and rear leaf springs or just rear leaf springs with independent front suspension.

Some methods of lifting are good for the rear, but not for the front, such as lifting blocks. Lifting the rear with blocks is a common way to achieve the desired height. This is done by installing a block, of the desired height of lift, in between the leaf spring and leaf spring perch and installing longer U-bolts. It is a bad method for the front primarily because of safety issues while braking. When braking, the front wheels create the majority of the braking force. The block moves this lateral force, caused by braking, higher above the axle than it did in the stock form. This can cause the block to become displaced from its location and result in total loss of control.[1]

A more accepted way to build up the leaf springs is by using an add-a-leaf. This is done by inserting an extra leaf into the vehicle’s leaf pack. Using the add-a-leaf will increase the height, but sometimes makes the suspension ride rough because of the added spring rate.[2] With an adequate budget, the best way to lift with leaf springs is to buy a new set with the lift built in. An add-a-leaf depends on the integrity of the old springs. They may be a bit worn out, so when the lift is installed, the proposed 2 inch leaves may only have lifted the truck 1.5 inches. The new leaf spring pack will not be fatigued and will give the true lift desired. These packs can be bought at various increments of lift and can be combined with lifting shackles to give the proper setup.

Beam axle A beam axle, rigid axle or solid axle is a dependent suspension design, in which a set of wheels is connected laterally by a single beam or shaft. Beam axles were once commonly used at the rear wheels of a vehicle, but historically they have also been used as front axles in rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In most automobiles, beam axles have been replaced by front and rear independent suspensions. Beam axle and Panhard rod on a 2002 Mazda MPV Implementation Solid axle suspension characteristics: Camber change on bumps, none on rebound, large unsprung weight With a beam axle the camber angle between the wheels is the same no matter where it is in the travel of the suspension. A beam axle's fore & aft location is constrained by either: trailing arms, semi-trailing arms, radius rods, or leaf springs. The lateral location is constrained by either: a Panhard rod, a Scott Russell linkage or a Watt's linkage. While shock absorbers and either leaf springs, c...
Corvette leaf spring Corvette leaf spring commonly refers to a type of independent suspension that utilizes a fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) mono-leaf spring instead of more conventional coil springs. It is named after the Chevrolet Corvette, the American sports car for which it was originally developed and first utilized. A notable characteristic of this suspension configuration is the mounting of the mono-leaf spring such that it can serve as both ride spring and anti-roll spring. In contrast to many applications of leaf springs in automotive suspension designs, this type does not use the spring as a locating link. While this suspension type is most notably associated with several generations of the Chevrolet Corvette the design has been used in other production General Motors cars, as well as vehicles from Volvo Cars and Mercedes-Benz. Fiat produced cars with a similar configuration, using a multi-leaf steel spring in place of the FRP mono-leaf spring. Design The C5 Corvette's rear suspension ...
Suspension (vehicle) Suspension is the system of tires, tire air, springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two. Suspension systems must support both roadholding/handling and ride quality, which are at odds with each other. The tuning of suspensions involves finding the right compromise. It is important for the suspension to keep the road wheel in contact with the road surface as much as possible, because all the road or ground forces acting on the vehicle do so through the contact patches of the tires. The suspension also protects the vehicle itself and any cargo or luggage from damage and wear. The design of front and rear suspension of a car may be different. The front suspension components of a Ford Model T. The rear suspension on a truck: a leaf spring. Part of car front suspension and steeringmechanism: tie rod, steering arm, king pin axis (using ball joints). ...
Double wishbone suspension In automobiles, a double wishbone suspension is an independent suspension design using two (occasionally parallel) wishbone-shaped arms to locate the wheel. Each wishbone or arm has two mounting points to the chassis and one joint at the knuckle. The shock absorber and coil spring mount to the wishbones to control vertical movement. Double wishbone designs allow the engineer to carefully control the motion of the wheel throughout suspension travel, controlling such parameters as camber angle, caster angle, toe pattern, roll center height, scrub radius, scuff and more. Wishbones and upright painted yellow Implementation Double wishbone suspension (front) on a Saab Quantum IV The double-wishbone suspension can also be referred to as "double A-arms", though the arms themselves can be A-shaped, L-shaped, or even a single bar linkage. A single wishbone or A-arm can also be used in various other suspension types, such as variations of the MacPherson strut. The upper...
Multi-link suspension A multi-link suspension is a type of vehicle suspension design typically used in independent suspensions, using three or more lateral arms, and one or more longitudinal arms. A wider definition considers any independent suspensions having three control links or more multi-link suspensions. These arms do not have to be of equal length, and may be angled away from their "obvious" direction. It was first introduced in the late 1960s on the Mercedes-Benz C111 and later on their W201 and W124series. Typically each arm has a spherical joint (ball joint) or rubber bushing at each end. Consequently, they react to loads along their own length, in tension and compression, but not in bending. Some multi-links do use a trailing arm, control arm or wishbone, which has two bushings at one end. On a front suspension one of the lateral arms is replaced by the tie-rod, which connects the rack or steering box to the wheel hub. In order to simplify understanding, it is usual to consider the func...