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Lift Terminology for noob

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by joethefordguy, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. joethefordguy

    joethefordguy Full Access Members

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    Trigger Warning: This is a frustrated rant. You Have Been Warned. No complaining.

    I'm beginning to think I don't understand the language used in "lift", whether suspension or body.
    I read about lift, overall lift (whatever that is), lift at the wheel well, lift to the top of the body, lift, lift, left. Why do any of those matter? What is the point of a lift if it isn't increasing ground clearance?

    I thought the whole point of a lift is to fit taller tires. Am I wrong about that?
    I thought the whole point of taller tires is to increase ground clearance. Am I wrong about that?
    I thought ground clearance is measured at the differentials. Am i wrong about that?

    I'm beginning to wonder about this because I have asked more than once what result a specific lift gave at the differential, or what the increase in ground clearance was. These questions have been ignored.

    What are the magic words to ask about ground clearance?

    I would very much appreciate anyone telling me what I'm doing wrong here.

    thanks for your time.
    jg
     
  2. Traveler

    Traveler Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Well, though I am far from an expert let's give it a shot.

    Body lift: using blocks or spacers to raise the body further from the frame. This is generally done to give more room for larger tires, though it does of course also raise the body further from the ground giving better clearance for the body and often better approach and departure angles.

    Suspension lift: using various methods to cause the suspension to lift the entire vehicle further up. This also can give more room for larger tires, and more clearance between the frame and the ground.

    Total lift is as it sounds. If you have 3" of suspension lift and 3" of body lift you have a total of a 6" lift. I've always heard that you should split the total lift between body and suspension. For example, if you want a 6" lift, go 3" and 3" rather than a big 6" suspension lift.

    However you are correct, neither body lift, nor suspension lift will raise the axles any higher. The only way to get more clearance between the axles and the ground is bigger tires. And yes, the lowest point of the axles (depending on type of suspension etc) is generally the differentials.

    Sent from my moto g(7) optimo (XT1952DL) using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  3. joethefordguy

    joethefordguy Full Access Members

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    So why won’t people answer the question?
     
  4. Port Tack

    Port Tack Member

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    Yup. The whole point of a lift is to have your truck sit higher, it looks better. There is a certain security being bigger than the guy driving next to you.
    If you WANT bigger tires you HAVE to lift it so that COULD be a reason but even that may have nothing to do with ground clearance. If you want to go 4 wheeling on the beach and deflate your tires to about 16 lbs I would not suggest doing that with your stock tire. You also may be towing something with significant tongue weight and not want to feel like your rear bumper is dragging the pavement and you have a hard time seeing over your hood.o_O

    Afraid so again. Taller tires IS really the only way to increase ground clearance however like I said, there are a number of reasons why you might want taller tires. Appearance and 4 wheeling are only 2 of them.


    Nope, you got one right.

    That is probably because unless your lift is to put bigger tires on, they don't increase ground clearance.
     
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  5. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    A lot of people want the cosmetics of a lifted vehicle without the capability. There are several terms for those folks, including, but not limited to; mall crawlers, hippies, noobs, liberals, yuppies...etc

    LOL.

    Function over form applies to me. Though I like a nice appearance, it has to work for what it was intended for, for me. The folks who lift their big diesel trucks, and then put 24 inch wheels with little ole rubber band tires to me are silly. I get the whole "to each their own" and it is THEIR truck and not mine, but why pay 60, 70K for a work truck and then make it functionally useless in mud, snow and trailer towing ability just to sit in a parking lot and roll some coal? Sure as hell doesn't impress me. LOL
     
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  6. Port Tack

    Port Tack Member

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    I have never understood those low profile tires. They look like if you so much as hit a speed bump to fast you are going to put a dent in your rims.
     
  7. Vancouver Bob

    Vancouver Bob Full Access Members

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    Just for clarity...

    With a suspension lift you do increase your ground clearance. Add bigger tires and you increase it even more.

    That said, one could argue that with just a suspension lift, while the differential does go up, there are elements of the suspension/drive that don't. But 95% of the vehicle is lifted and the other 5% (or whatever it is) goes up over things along with the tire :).
     
  8. WEDGE

    WEDGE Full Access Members

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    I have to disagree with you. A suspension lift moves the body higher over the axles, but does not change the axle/differential height. They stay at the same height until you install larger tires.
     
  9. Vancouver Bob

    Vancouver Bob Full Access Members

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    By adding a spacer on top of the coilover or using a strut/coilover with integrated lift, you're essentially using the suspension elements to push the vehicle up. With independent front and rear suspension the diff goes up along with the vehicle.

    But what you said is absolutely true for a body lift. Body is lifted relative to the frame.
     
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