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The Best 5"- 6" Lift Kit and it's true effects?


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Okay our resident guru and those with a background installing and using lift kits.

I've googled everywhere including here looking for the best 6" lift kit. Many people have posted up and discussed what kit they used but I don't see a lot about which is the best kit and why.

Here is my problem, I don't want to loose my ride quality nor tear up the mechanical pieces from being cocked at such an angle when installing a lift kit. I've heard rumors and previous owners talk about losing ride quality (rides like a wagon) and about wearing out many pieces prematurely from the rake angle created by installing a lift kit.

 

I know there are options regarding height, but so far the 6" fits the look that I'm going for. I don't want wide mud tires sticking out and I don't really want to start cutting into the fender well. I realize that limits me, but from what I've gathered so far BDS is the best but you have to cut. I've seen Icon and I've heard about Zone which is supposed to be BDS's little brother.

 

The look I'm going for is 5"-6" with Toyo 33's or 35's, or possibly Goodyear Authorities or something comparable. I don't want much if any tire sticking out from the truck, which correlates with the offset of the wheels. I pretty much do 80% highway driving to the rig and 20% driving on sucky dirt roads, snow, ice, water, wind and scoria rock once I leave the blacktop.

 

So if you guys could, list in order the top 5, 5-6" lift kits and why and list their cons as well. Irregardless of price and pieces, who is the best?

 

A big thank you to everyone who takes the time to post up and help me out.

 

 

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I'm also interested in this. I've looked the zone 6.5, but angles looked maxed out to me. The FTS 7 angles look stock (flat). Maybe someone could comment on the Zone 4.5 and how the angles look.

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Where to begin...

 

Here is the skinny on the BDS 6 inch. The BDS 4 inch kit, and the 6 inch kit, are exactly the same except for a few different parts. The only difference is the strut length, and the block size for the rear. Also, you can get an add-a-leaf for the rear with the 6 inch. Now, I confronted BDS on this very thing about 2 weeks ago. My response to them was, so really, your 6 inch kit, is nothing but your 4 inch kit, with a leveling kit. His response was "no, we don't use spacers or anything" I said not all leveling kits are spacers. Since your not changing the amount of drop in your sub frame, and your only installing longer struts in the front, that is exactly the same as the 4 inch with a leveling kit! Heck, you could buy a 4 inch BDS, and install Bilsteins, or even Rancho quicklift loaded struts, and achieve the same results. The sub frame only drops 4 inches on the BDS, on both the 4'' and 6'' klts. Will your angles be worse with the 6 inch? Yes, of course. Would they still be within acceptable limits? Yes, 100%.

 

If you don't want to trim, your going to have to stick with 33 inch tires. 5 to 6 inches of lift is what you need to clear 33's without any modification being done. Other things to keep in mind are gearing and cost. 35 inch tires are quite a bit more expensive than 33's. Your also going to have a substantially heavier tire. Combine extra weight with a larger diameter tire, if you don't regear, that truck will be a total dog and you will hate it.

 

Is ride quality going to suffer? Depends on the kit. I have heard a lot of guys say the BDS kits give a ride that is very close to factory. Your always going to lose a little bit of ride quality. Your adding in a sub frame which will stiffen things up. Your also, usually, adding an add-a-leaf to the rear as well, which will stiffen up your ride. Also keep in mind, every All Terrain or Mud Terrain tire out there, with the exception of a few Nitto tires, in the 33 inch size, are all E load range. These are 10 ply tires, they have some serious stiffness to them. You really can't get away from this in larger truck type tires, so you will have to accept a little stiffer tire.

 

What's the best kit for these trucks? Honestly, I think the Rancho 4'' kit. Here is why:

 

In reality, this kit is giving guys 5 - 5.5'' of lift on average after installation. It is advertised as a 4 inch kit strictly for legal reasons in some states. This allowed Rancho to make one kit that would suit these trucks for a large range of tire sizes. One HUGE plus, at least to me, with the Rancho, is the one piece sub frame. Multiple piece sub frames usually have a fair bit of flex to them, and can never be as strong as one solid sub frame. If you have never seen the Rancho sub frame for these trucks, just google it. It is one beefy piece of metal. The next benefit is the sub frame drop. Now, I have not been able to confirm this in person, but according to a few forum posts I have read, the Rancho sub frame drops a full 5 inches. This will give you even better angles than the BDS will. The next plus, Rancho's adjustable shocks, the RS9000XL line up. Don't like the ride after the lift is installed? No problem, adjust your shock settings to make the ride softer, or more firm, which ever you want. The Rancho does use an add-a-leaf in the rear, with a block as well. However, a lot of guys have just installed the block, left out the leaf, and you will actually end up with a level stance, and no stiffness added to the back end. Rancho offers rebates once a year where you can buy the lift, with the shocks, and get a $400 prepaid Visa in the mail. No other company does that. So in reality, you can get a Rancho kit for a lot less than a BDS, if you buy at the right time of year.

 

Cutting the frame. Every kit out there that is a real lift kit, and by that I mean comes with a replacement sub frame, knuckles and differential drop brackets, is going to need the same steps taken. On the NNBS platform, you cannot lower the front differential without cutting off a piece of the driver side cross member. Next time your under your truck, just have a look at it. There is simply no way to bring the diff down without cutting that out. Don't let cutting scare you away. Even with that piece gone, it is still PLENTY strong. The BDS kit requires welding in this area, while the Rancho kit does not.

 

I have been fighting with this same decision for 2 years now. I probably have well over 1,000 hours in lift kit research for my 2011 Ext cab. While I haven't purchased mine yet, I have FINALLY decided to get the Rancho kit. Once you see the stance of it, you will be blown away. It is the perfect, and I mean perfect height for a nice 33 inch tire. It rides like factory, some say even a little better, and it is built like a brute. While Rancho does not have the BDS no questions asked warranty, Rancho still has a lifetime warranty, and they honor it quite well. I have found Rancho has excellent customer service, so I wouldn't get hung up on the BDS warranty. If your breaking a high quality lift kit like a BDS or a Rancho, you need to evaluate what kind of driving your doing and maybe get a completely different vehicle.

 

My final advice is to keep your wheel and tire combo as light as you can. With mud tires, you can very easily end up with 100 pounds of weight in each corner. The factory tires on these trucks, the Bridgestone Duelers, are about 41 pounds. If you opted for something like a Toyo M/T, you can get up to 78 pounds in a 33 inch. Most after market 18 inch wheels are around 30 pounds, so now you have gone from about 70 pounds weight for your factory setup, to 108 pounds afterwards. You will really feel this in acceleration and city driving. Once your up to speed on the highway, it won't make much difference because the mass is already been brought up to speed, all your doing then is maintaining speed.

 

Oh, I should also mention that the Rancho kit comes with new stainless steel brake lines for the front, custom made for the kit so they allow plenty of travel when your off roading. The Rancho kit also comes with new tie rod ends. The BDS kit requires cutting your stock tie rod ends to make them work.

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by LaserBlueZ71
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A big thanks and yes it most definitely helped me.

And it's funny because everyone rates Rancho and Pro Comp as the 2 to absolutely avoid.

The other kit I hear a lot about is the Zone lift which is the BDS little brother.

But for me, I've maily considered Skyjacker, just because as you pointed out, the Skyjacker kits come with everything or has everything available.

So now, I'll investigate much more intensely into the Rancho and compare it to the Skyjacker.

If you have any info on the Skyjacker, don't hesitate and until then, thanks again for taking the time. You're help has been invaluable.

Edited by MikeBigD
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This is the one I was looking at over at Icon Vehicle Dynamics but they only have a 1"-3" lift.

Thus the reason I was looking at the 4"-6" lifts.

I think with a 4" lift and tires around 33", I believe I would be around 6" total, so for me that would be perfect.

 

http://iconvehicledynamics.com/shop/complete-suspension-systems/770-2014-silverado-sierra-1500-suspension-system-stage-5-aluminum.html

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This is the one I was looking at over at Icon Vehicle Dynamics but they only have a 1"-3" lift.

Thus the reason I was looking at the 4"-6" lifts.

I think with a 4" lift and tires around 33", I believe I would be around 6" total, so for me that would be perfect.

 

http://iconvehicledynamics.com/shop/complete-suspension-systems/770-2014-silverado-sierra-1500-suspension-system-stage-5-aluminum.html

I don't think you want that and here's why.

 

1. The price for what you get. For around 1k more you can get 7-9" of lift using Bulletproofs kit with Icons. I know its higher than you want but it's complete, and will correct all angles.

 

2. That kit isn't complete and will not correct CV axle, LCA (lower control arm) or TRE (tie rod end) angles. The UCAs (upper control arms) that are included are there so you crank up to 3". Without them your factory arms would be riding on the droop stops. They give you the new arms so that won't happen and your ride won't feel like "ye old covered wagon." That should tell you that the angles of all the remaining aforementioned and uncorected front end parts will also be at their max.

 

If 4" is all you want, I would go with BDS and look at swapping in coil overs if that's what you want.

Edited by Blackout07
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  • 10 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Great thoughts. I have narrowed it down between the two companies.

 

Mcgaughys and BDS.

 

Has anyone run the Mcgaughys 7-9 kit? I have 20x9 with zero offset. 33x12.5x20, due to daily driving.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Where to begin...

 

If you don't want to trim, your going to have to stick with 33 inch tires. 5 to 6 inches of lift is what you need to clear 33's without any modification being done. Other things to keep in mind are gearing and cost. 35 inch tires are quite a bit more expensive than 33's. Your also going to have a substantially heavier tire. Combine extra weight with a larger diameter tire, if you don't regear, that truck will be a total dog and you will hate it.

 

 

 

 

People run 275/65/20, which is 34.1" on leveling kits. How are you figuring that 5 to 6" of lift is required to clear 33's?

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People run 275/65/20, which is 34.1" on leveling kits. How are you figuring that 5 to 6" of lift is required to clear 33's?

That was an old post of mine, referring to 2007.5 to 2013 trucks. On those trucks if you want no trimming at all, and absolutely no rubbing, you need a lot of lift.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought a truck with a super lift kit on it and rode really well on 35s. It was more than what you are looking for though, it was more like 8 to 10" total lift. It was installed when I bought it so don't know the exact specs but it was superlift and it was a good driving riding truck. It was an 07 1500 crew

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