What Is a Leveling Kit?

One of the things that is the most frustrating for a truck or SUV owner is the inability to level the truck after adding a lift kit, installing bigger tires or simply adjusting the suspension. However, there are leveling kits available that allow you to be able to make minor adjustments to the front or rear ride height of your vehicle and creates a uniform, level look.

Background
Trucks and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) often have stiffer suspension in the rear in order to support heavier loads. This allows the truck to ride level when fully loaded. However, when unloaded, both trucks and SUVs tend to look as though the rear of the truck is riding higher than the front, in more of a “tractor-like” look.
In addition, when you add aftermarket wheels and tires to your truck or SUV, mismatching rim or tire size from front to back can also create the same visual inequality, which can be quite bothersome for some truck owners.

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Function
While there is no known functional issue with trucks and SUVs having a taller ride height in the back, especially since this is a production configuration, there is no emphasis placed by auto repair professionals to correct the disparity between the ride height at the front of the vehicle and the back. However, it can be aesthetically unpleasing for some truck owners, which has spurred the introduction of leveling kits to the marketplace. Depending on the style you choose, leveling kits use one of several different mechanisms to slightly raise the front of the vehicle and/or lower the back to create a more uniform appearance in the ride height of the vehicle.

Types
Depending on the type and brand of vehicle you drive, there are four types of leveling kits available for you to use in order to level the ride height of your truck. A Ford leveling kit will not be the same as a Dodge leveling kit since the suspension system under the vehicle is different, so make sure that you are selecting the right kit for your application.

If your vehicle uses coil-over struts in its suspension, which is common in later model trucks and SUVs, you will need a strut extension leveling kit. If your vehicle is equipped with a torsion bar, you can purchase a system that uses torsion keys that adjust the torsion bar located at the front of the vehicle in order to match the ride height of the back. If you have springs, you will need to use coil spacers that are added to the top of the factory spring buckets. And lastly, you can add blocks under the leaf springs to either raise or lower the ride height in the rear of your truck.

As you can see, there are a number of ways you can adjust the ride height of the front or rear of your vehicle in order to get a perfectly level looking ride. Depending on your skill level, any of these kits can be installed at home or at a professional auto repair facility.

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