Body Lift vs. Suspension Lift: Which is Right for Your Truck?

There are different ways and reasons to lift a truck. Some people may want to lift just the body of the truck, while others may want to modify the suspension for a better off-road experience. The two most popular methods to achieve this are a body lift or a suspension lift, both of which can be done using lift kits.

So, what’s the difference between a body lift and a suspension lift? In this blog, we will compare body lifts and suspension lifts and present our findings to help you determine which is best for your truck or off-roader.

Body Lift Kits: Advantages And Disadvantages

A body lift raises the body of your SUV or truck off the frame. This can only be done on vehicles with body-on-frame construction, where the body is separate from the frame.

A body lift provides extra height for your vehicle, allowing you to install larger tires and wheels. However, it does not increase ground clearance or improve the vehicle’s approach, departure, or breakover angles. Therefore, a body lift does not enhance off-road performance or the ride and handling of the vehicle. It is typically pursued for aesthetic reasons, such as creating space for larger wheels and tires and achieving a higher-riding look, rather than for serious off-road use.

Advantages of Body Lift Kits

1.Cost-Effective: Body lift kits are generally less expensive than suspension lift kits. They require fewer components and less labor to install, making them a budget-friendly option.

2.Maintains Factory Ride Quality: Since the suspension components remain unchanged, the ride quality and handling characteristics stay close to factory specifications.

3.Simple Installation: Most body lift kits are relatively easy to install, often taking only a few hours with basic tools.

4.Allows for Larger Tires: A body lift can provide enough clearance to fit larger tires, enhancing the truck’s off-road capability and appearance.

Disadvantages of Body Lift Kits

1.Limited Lift Height: Body lifts are typically limited to 1 to 3 inches. If you’re looking for a more dramatic lift, a suspension lift kit may be necessary.

2.Gaps and Aesthetic Issues: A body lift can create gaps between the body and the frame, which might be unsightly without additional modifications like gap guards.

3.No Improvement in Ground Clearance: While the body is lifted, the undercarriage, including the frame and drivetrain, remains at the same height, offering no improvement in ground clearance.

Suspension lift kits: Advantages And Disadvantages

A suspension lift kit is a modification that involves raising the suspension components of a vehicle. This adjustment provides increased ground clearance and elevates the ride height. Unlike a body lift, which primarily raises the body of the vehicle, a suspension lift leads to an increase in both the frame and body height, maintaining the same distance between the two.

One of the significant advantages of a suspension lift is the improvement in off-road performance. It positively impacts the approach, departure, and breakover angles of the vehicle, allowing it to cruise challenging terrains more effectively. However, it’s important to note that a suspension lift can alter the ride and handling characteristics of the vehicle. This change can be tailored to individual preferences by selecting appropriate components and seeking adjustments from skilled lift kit installers in St. Louis.

If you regularly enjoy off-road driving, then a suspension lift kit should be your choice, as it significantly enhances a vehicle’s off-road capabilities. If you just want your truck to look more aesthetic, then a body lift could do the job for you.

Advantages of Suspension Lift Kits

1.Increased Ground Clearance: By raising the entire suspension, these kits improve ground clearance, allowing the truck to navigate over larger obstacles without damaging the undercarriage.

2.Enhanced Off-Road Performance: Suspension lifts provide better articulation and improved off-road handling, making them ideal for serious off-road enthusiasts.

3.Greater Lift Heights: If you want a significant lift, suspension lift kits offer more substantial height increases compared to body lift kits.

4.Improved Appearance: A suspension lift provides a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing lift, with no gaps between the body and frame.

Disadvantages of Suspension Lift Kits

1.Higher Cost: Suspension lift kits are more expensive due to the extensive components and labor required for installation.

2.Complex Installation: Installing a suspension lift kit is a more involved process that typically requires professional assistance, specialized tools, and more time.

3.Altered Ride Quality: Changing the suspension geometry can affect ride quality and handling, potentially making the vehicle stiffer or less comfortable on paved roads.

Which One Should You Choose For Your Truck?

Consider Your Budget

If you’re working with a tight budget, a body lift kit might be the way to go. It’s a cost-effective solution that allows for larger tires and a higher stance without breaking the bank.

Think About Your Driving Habits

If you primarily drive on highways and city streets, and you’re lifting your truck mainly for aesthetics, a body lift kit is sufficient. However, if you’re a dedicated off-roader who needs enhanced ground clearance and better suspension performance, a suspension lift kit is the better choice.

Evaluate Your Mechanical Skills

If you enjoy working on your truck and have basic mechanical skills, you might find the simpler installation of a body lift kit appealing. For those who prefer professional installation or are less comfortable with mechanical work, a suspension lift kit may require you to seek professional help.

Desired Lift Height

If you want a significant lift to accommodate very large tires and achieve an aggressive off-road look, a suspension lift kit is likely necessary. Body lift kits are limited in how much height they can safely add.

Ride Quality

If maintaining a factory-like ride quality is important to you, a body lift kit is less likely to alter the ride and handling characteristics of your truck. Suspension lift kits can change the driving dynamics, so be prepared for a different driving experience.


When it comes to choosing between a body lift or a suspension lift kit for your truck, it’s important to consider the specific benefits of each option. Both types of kits are capable of enhancing the overall appearance of your truck, but it’s important to note that a suspension lift kit provides both increased ground clearance and an enhanced aesthetic look for your vehicle.

If your primary goal is to enhance the visual appeal of your vehicle simply, then a body lift kit may be sufficient. However, if you’re looking to take your truck off-road and go on adventures, then a suspension lift kit is the ideal choice. The additional ground clearance provided by a suspension lift kit makes it well-suited for cruising rough terrain and handling off-road challenges.

Whether you need a body lift or a suspension lift kit, we can help you upgrade your truck. As the best suspension lift kit installers in St. Louis, we have helped various truck owners change their trucks the way they desire. With 45 years of experience, At Auto Trim Restyling, we provide various car and truck services in St. Louis. Contact us today to get the best service for your truck or car!

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