How much lift do you have on your truck?

How much lift do you have on your truck?


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I have been debating whether to do 1" or 2" lift on my truck. Would love to hear thoughts/opinions?

I have a 1.5" lift on my 100 and it took me a while to get used to it. I am currently leaning towards 1" ARB OME Sport Suspension Lift: 2701 front / 2721 back.
 
My standard OME/Nitrocharger lift is around 2". I went with medium weight springs to handle ARB bumpers. I think it sits just right.
 
PO did mine (Icon, FWIW) so I'm not 100%. I think it's 3", plus 1.4-1.5" from the ginormous tires. Definitely gives you the feeling of climbing up into the rig ala an 18-wheeler. How high off the ground does a stock LC200's fenders stand?
 
Less is more in my mind. I'm coming from more a functional perspective, rather than aesthetics. Something in the 1-1.5" lift would still keep the suspension geometry in the good handling part of its stroke.

Beyond that, you will certainly give up good handling manners, and invite ill handling qualities. The higher the lift, the further handling degrades. It will be very obvious on road, but it will affect off-road performance at speed too. You'll gain clearance and style, but give up handling security and safety in turn (or is that in turns).

In addition to the higher center of gravity, some of the bad manners will be decreased roll resistance, brake dive, loss of caster (steering returning to center), front IFS and rear SA bump steer, and increased wear on tires and CV joints.

Ideally, gain lift from multiple strategies. Tire lift by upsizing tires. This still keep the suspension geometry ideal. A moderate suspension lift. And finally a mild body lift. Body lift gives some additional bumper and fender clearance, while keeping the center of gravity low. So 1.5" lift with 34" tires, 1.5" suspension lift, and .5" body lift. 3.5" lift is nothing to sneeze at, and will perform much better than a rig lifted purely by suspension.

Personally on my LX570, I lifted only 1" via 33" tires, and AHC will do the rest and lift by demand up to 3", for a total of 4" lift. If I ever decide to get more aggressive, I will lift the suspension by .75" and body lift .5". So 2.25" static lift + 3" AHC, for 5.25" lift on demand.
 
Teck: I agree with your approach. Functional over aesthetics and I don't want to give up good handling manners. I'm currently assuming that will happen at 2." 1" being less pronounced. My wheels are 32.7" KO2s.

My standard OME/Nitrocharger lift is around 2". I went with medium weight springs to handle ARB bumpers. I think it sits just right.

How does it drive? I have the front spring from that kit but wasn't planning on using it. I will be installing an ARB front bumper.
 
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Teck: I agree with your approach. Functional over aesthetics and I don't want to give up good handling manners. I'm currently assuming that will happen at 2." 1" being less pronounced. My wheels are 32.7" KO2s.



How does it drive? I have the front spring from that kit but wasn't planning on using it. I will be installing an ARB front bumper.
I did 40mm up front and 20mm in back.
 
I see most people have 2"+ lifts, please comment. Did you do it for aesthetics or is there some other reason? Was handling compromised slightly?
 
I did the Ironman lift when I bought the truck about 5 years ago and did it for the clearance. Got 4" when installed, and it's settled out a bit so somewhere between 3 and 3-1/2 lift. I also added the spacers up front recently to level out the rake. I have 34" tires (KO2's) that really measure out to just less than 33".

What I noticed was much better handling over stock. Tighter in the turns, no brake dive, and overall a huge improvement. COG is definitely higher which in off camber situations isn't necessarily good, but the clearance is a big plus off road. Highway handling in my experience was also much improved. It's definitely more truck like than before, but it's a truck right? I actually didn't like the stock handling at all...

All I can compare though is stock to what I have. Could be the handling is even better with less lift but I have no complaints with the bigger lift and wouldn't change my decision in hindsight.
 
In my little opinion, lift is for off-roading, and off-roading requires lift. Off-roading means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so I can only talk about the more technical terrain that I wheel in.

But that said:
Front end: you need a front upper control arm like a Total Chaos or SPC, and you could lift upwards of 4” and everything will be just as good as stock. Real world knowledge right there, I do my own alignments and used to build one off suspensions on customs cars and rock buddies. The CV axles, steering design, and alignments can all easily be perfect with switching out the limited angles the stock upper ball joint can provide. You don’t need a diff drop, that is an antiquated thinking from older Toyota’s like the 100 series and 1 gen Tacoma’s/3rd gen 4runners.

Rear end: your rear shocks are the limiting factor. The extended length difference between a stock and BP-51 is about 1/4”. So the amount of height you put into your rear end will be limited to having such a reduced amount of extended travel when you hit a bump that you begin to top out your suspension. You don’t need rear lower control arms, your not changing where the rear output point of the transfer case.

Body lifts: don’t do them, on top of being a rookie move, they don’t give you any real benefit off-road. You raise your center of gravity (despite what people thing, the roof of all cars is designed not to crush under a roll over, combine that with airbags, sun roof glass and motors, and roof racks, you don’t think your raising your center of gravity?) they still leave your frame on the ground, so that sucks. No car builder uses them, they find clearance by opening up the fenders or altering the frame. And they look super dumb, because not you frame is more exposed. But they’re cheap and easy, so amateurs do them, but they are just that, amateur. That and there are a lot of wires, cables, brake lines, and links that go from the body to the frame. Toyota didn’t put in any extra length on any of those components for kids to do body lifts. But OEM components can handle some good abuse (because the OEM knows people will treat the vehicle poorly) and those items can hold on for some time. Doesn’t make it right though. Sorry for that, but I hate body lifts, yuk.

I’ve got 4” of lift up front, and 3.5” in the rear. My 200 drives better than it did stock, CV axles are FAR from binding and will last for many, many more years. And I maximize ground clearance while keeping the roof line as low as possible.

DDA3D32A-A62A-4809-A6B9-4AE0B1F8D1FB.jpeg

Reckless, you live in Chicago, the closest wheeling you will do will be out of the city and will have trees everywhere. See that tree in the background? Do you really want to be doing unnecessary body lifts that get you even closer to low hanging trees and make you feel more tippy when off camber?

Oh that that’s not me, I don’t know who that guys is.
 
I do have the SPA upper control arms. I have to say as far as ride is concerned, I prefer it over stock. Just a bit firmer but not too harsh.
 
I see most people have 2"+ lifts, please comment. Did you do it for aesthetics or is there some other reason? Was handling compromised slightly?

I think it's because it's hard to find a 1" lift. If you only want 1" you can accomplish that with strut spacers and trim packers cheaply. Most manufacturers seem to target 2"-3" for the LC. I think that's the sweet spot for the suspension (i.e. you can do a 2" OME Nitro lift for $1k, but if you want a 3.5" lift then it gets more complicated as you need to start accounting for UCAs, CV angles, etc).

Tough Dog claims 1" in the rear and 2" up front in my setup. I should go back and measure but I'm pretty sure I ended up with 1.5" in the rear and 2" up front when unloaded. I don't have a 1:1 comparison but here's a photo with 34s and 10mm front coil strut spacer (measured about 1/2" up front) vs my current TD setup without spacers (thanks to @dingoboyexplore for the second photo)

upload_2017-11-14_8-42-14.png


upload_2017-11-14_8-41-30.png


FWIW @ckkone noted in my 34s thread his pre and post #s. Pre-lift was 29" up front and 30.125" in the rear. Post was 31.5" up front and 32.75" in the rear. I assume his lift will settle about 0.5" over time if it hasn't already done so.
 
It depends on what tire size you want to run with a given set of wheel offset. My formula is tundra setup in front with Camburg UCA with Icon coilovers with resi, tundra axles, and extended brake lines. I am running 700 lb/in spring in front and OME 2723 340 lb/in in rear. I installed wheel spacers in rear to match the wider tundra track width in front. This setup has allowed me to run 34" tire (285-75r17 on RW). As Taco mentioned depends on type of wheeling you do. Ideal would be fit a large tire without compromising total veh height. 200 series is very capable with 33" tires as well. @ethernectar ran 33" tires on Golden Spike which is rated 7. I ran 33" tire for two years and then earlier this year I was able to switch to 34". There is price to pay with larger tires such as fuel efficiency, and regearing to 4.88 would get some of that back. I am saving coin for re-gearing and lockers next. Mods never stop.
 
In my little opinion, lift is for off-roading, and off-roading requires lift. Off-roading means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so I can only talk about the more technical terrain that I wheel in.

But that said:
Front end: you need a front upper control arm like a Total Chaos or SPC, and you could lift upwards of 4” and everything will be just as good as stock. Real world knowledge right there, I do my own alignments and used to build one off suspensions on customs cars and rock buddies. The CV axles, steering design, and alignments can all easily be perfect with switching out the limited angles the stock upper ball joint can provide. You don’t need a diff drop, that is an antiquated thinking from older Toyota’s like the 100 series and 1 gen Tacoma’s/3rd gen 4runners.

Rear end: your rear shocks are the limiting factor. The extended length difference between a stock and BP-51 is about 1/4”. So the amount of height you put into your rear end will be limited to having such a reduced amount of extended travel when you hit a bump that you begin to top out your suspension. You don’t need rear lower control arms, your not changing where the rear output point of the transfer case.

Body lifts: don’t do them, on top of being a rookie move, they don’t give you any real benefit off-road. You raise your center of gravity (despite what people thing, the roof of all cars is designed not to crush under a roll over, combine that with airbags, sun roof glass and motors, and roof racks, you don’t think your raising your center of gravity?) they still leave your frame on the ground, so that sucks. No car builder uses them, they find clearance by opening up the fenders or altering the frame. And they look super dumb, because not you frame is more exposed. But they’re cheap and easy, so amateurs do them, but they are just that, amateur. That and there are a lot of wires, cables, brake lines, and links that go from the body to the frame. Toyota didn’t put in any extra length on any of those components for kids to do body lifts. But OEM components can handle some good abuse (because the OEM knows people will treat the vehicle poorly) and those items can hold on for some time. Doesn’t make it right though. Sorry for that, but I hate body lifts, yuk.

I’ve got 4” of lift up front, and 3.5” in the rear. My 200 drives better than it did stock, CV axles are FAR from binding and will last for many, many more years. And I maximize ground clearance while keeping the roof line as low as possible.

View attachment 1574013
Reckless, you live in Chicago, the closest wheeling you will do will be out of the city and will have trees everywhere. See that tree in the background? Do you really want to be doing unnecessary body lifts that get you even closer to low hanging trees and make you feel more tippy when off camber?

Oh that that’s not me, I don’t know who that guys is.

Thanks for chiming in. My biggest reason for considering a lift is because I have finally gotten tired of the factory suspension. There is way too much body roll and my 100 with 1.5" Slee kit can out handle my 200. In fact I end up driving my 100 faster/harder normally because of the ARB suspension upgrade by 15-20mph. I started leaning towards ARB again because of this. When I first got my ARB kit for 100 the ride was way to firm but over time I have gotten used to it. I was hoping to keep one car more offroad friendly (100) and the other more passenger comfort (200) but the stock body roll is affecting my daily driving. The 100 is soo much easier to drive albeit the ride is too firm.

Being in Chicago I don't really do any offroading unless you count driving hard through the urban jungle where roads have caved in over years of neglect. I don't plan on any body lift. In fact originally I was planning to keep it stock height. But it doesn't seem like ARB makes such a kit. The 2701 is listed as a 1" lift by ARB but everyone says they underrate their figures so it's probably closer to 2." I notice most people went with the 2702 spring in the front and that is listed at 2" so I am assuming they are getting closer to 3." No one complains about that kit so I was wondering why more people pick it over the 1." ARB was claiming their 1" kit is a total improvement over stock and that they engineered something special for the 200.

I plan to keep my 33 BFG KO2s/RW combo.
 
Body lifts: don’t do them, on top of being a rookie move, they don’t give you any real benefit off-road. You raise your center of gravity (despite what people thing, the roof of all cars is designed not to crush under a roll over, combine that with airbags, sun roof glass and motors, and roof racks, you don’t think your raising your center of gravity?) they still leave your frame on the ground, so that sucks. No car builder uses them, they find clearance by opening up the fenders or altering the frame. And they look super dumb, because not you frame is more exposed. But they’re cheap and easy, so amateurs do them, but they are just that, amateur. That and there are a lot of wires, cables, brake lines, and links that go from the body to the frame. Toyota didn’t put in any extra length on any of those components for kids to do body lifts. But OEM components can handle some good abuse (because the OEM knows people will treat the vehicle poorly) and those items can hold on for some time. Doesn’t make it right though. Sorry for that, but I hate body lifts, yuk.

Not taking away from your point of view, as you certainly have some legitimate points there.

From another perspective, body lifts do offer some advantages. If one needs critical clearance at the fender, and increased approach and departure angles (with adjusted bumpers), a body lift will do it. When I say lower COG, this is compared to the equivalent suspension lift. So 1/2" suspension lift puts everything higher. A 1/2" body lift only lifts the cab and bumpers, keeping the really really heavy stuff (frame/driveline/suspension) lower.

I agree with you on all the wires/cables/brake lines. Which is why 1/2" is really the sweet spot without tacking some more substantial mods.
 
The better handling that some of you note with lifts, is from added spring rate. Yes, this is certainly a legitimate way to get back some handling lost from bad suspension geometry. This works on smooth surfaces where the suspension doesn't need to cycle much. Get into any bumps and ruts, and it's a different story.
 
Not taking away from your point of view, as you certainly have some legitimate points there.

From another perspective, body lifts do offer some advantages. If one needs critical clearance at the fender, and increased approach and departure angles (with adjusted bumpers), a body lift will do it. When I say lower COG, this is compared to the equivalent suspension lift. So 1/2" suspension lift puts everything higher. A 1/2" body lift only lifts the cab and bumpers, keeping the really really heavy stuff (frame/driveline/suspension) lower.

I agree with you on all the wires/cables/brake lines. Which is why 1/2" is really the sweet spot without tacking some more substantial mods.
I don’t know man, the frame is your limiting factor on departure angle. If someone really needs fender clearance, roll the fenders. Look at the AEV Ram XL design. 3” lift, but huge cuts taken out of the fenders to clear 40s. That is what’s actually going to clear front and rear bumpers.

Then there is what the driver feels, if you can clear your front bumper easier now, but your frame (break over angle) is still low, you’re still not getting over anything that a non body lift truck.

There’s just no benefit I’ve ever seen for a body lift other than to fit a “slightly” bigger tire for looks. Not saying I’ve seen it all, far from it, but I’m still waiting.

For your comment on handling an spring rate. I would say it isn’t so much spring rate but better dampening shocks.
 
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I see most people have 2"+ lifts, please comment. Did you do it for aesthetics or is there some other reason? Was handling compromised slightly?
I did not like the way the truck handled when loaded. I off road when in the Sierra and needed a tire with strong side wall. A snow rated tire was important as well.
I went with Tough Dog because the lift kept the rig in spec so UCA were not needed. I PC’d the 2016 wheels for aesthetics. Drivability wise the truck drives tighter. No brake dive and lateral sway is gone. When not loaded she feels firm but not stiff. This is not a daily driver but a road trip rig.
 
@Reckless if you don't want a lift but want improved suspension you might look into the GVM upgrades. I think Lowells makes one where it increases the load carrying capacity via thicker and/or tighter coils, which will ensure the proper ride when you add bumpers, etc, but at least some of them supposedly don't lift the vehicle.
 
For your comment on handling an spring rate. I would say it isn’t so much spring rate but better dampening shocks.

Shocks too, yes. But what I'm more getting at is the lost suspension geometry that shocks can't correct for.

I know you know this, but just breaking it down for sake of discussion. When we lift higher, all the suspension components operate at a steeper angle. Arms operate on an arc. Suspension designs try as much as they can to operate these arms as close to horizontal as possible. To avoid lateral movements when the arm travels up and down.

Let's look at the rear suspension. Take the panhard bar for example. This bar locates the axle side to side. When operated at a steeper angle, suspension compression will cause the axle to move left to right. Meaning the rear end wiggles side to side when hitting bumps. Then consider the trailing arms. When they operate at a steeper angle, the wheelbase shrinks, causing the rig to be more darty at speed. It's also more sensitive to heaving the rear end of the rig when applying power or sagging when braking. Now hit a bump, and the wheelbase changes from shorter to longer. When considering this wheelbase change, along with the side to side change from the panhard bar, now the whole axle deflects at some curious yaw angle. And that's just the rear.

The more the lift, the more these ill qualities are exacerbated. Low speed rock crawlers don't really care much about suspension geometry. But I'm sure most of do drive on the highway at speed.

I'm not trying to convince people not to lift. Just making people aware that the decision is not just 1" vs 2" of lift. Every modification comes with a mix of factors and trade-offs.
 
Front end: you need a front upper control arm like a Total Chaos or SPC, and you could lift upwards of 4” and everything will be just as good as stock. Real world knowledge right there, I do my own alignments and used to build one off suspensions on customs cars and rock buddies. The CV axles, steering design, and alignments can all easily be perfect with switching out the limited angles the stock upper ball joint can provide. You don’t need a diff drop, that is an antiquated thinking from older Toyota’s like the 100 series and 1 gen Tacoma’s/3rd gen 4runners.

Aftermarket upper control arms are a mixed bag. I'll contend that while they allow for more adjustability for more extreme lifts, they are are not as durable as stock in all the anecdotal feedback on them for longevity. If one needs the adjustability for the new static height, that it is compromising the geometry for the rest of the stroke. But again, for rock crawlers, that's fine. For baja running, not so much.

Take Canguro Racing's Monica for example. Notably, it uses stock upper arms. And a body lift.
 

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