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MANDINGO

Should I lift or level it out?

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Posted (edited)

20180620_194322.thumb.jpg.d89948418ed047ce920a63c2439012b8.jpgHey guys I want to keep my stock 22s but put some meaty tires on them. Would I have to lift it? Or can I get away with just leveling it? If I have to lift it what is the best lift kit on the market? But if I can get away with a leveling kit which is the best 1 in the market? And what are the best tires?(if they make meaty 22inch tires) It's a 18' by the way

 

Edited by MANDINGO

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I would like to level mine also. Is the best way to to do it with bilstien 5100's? I watched a video from them on YouTube and they claim using spacers are hard on front end parts. Not trying to hijack original post,just wondering kinda the something. 

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2 hours ago, 15 Z71 said:

I would like to level mine also. Is the best way to to do it with bilstien 5100's? I watched a video from them on YouTube and they claim using spacers are hard on front end parts. Not trying to hijack original post,just wondering kinda the something. 

So is leveling using Bilstein's... You go up over stock you add wear, plain and simple.

 

Tyler

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Posted (edited)

Good morning, 

 

I'm a new member but a long time lurker. To answer the questions above I'll make a two part summary of leveling and lifting. 

Leveling:
There are two things you need to acknowledge when choosing to level. 
1. Determine the size of tire you want

        Leveling limits the size of tire you can have. The maximum recommendation is 33's but it may come at cost. There have been numerous reports of rubbing when fitting 33's on a leveled truck. There are ways around the rubbing but trimming of the wheel well is normally the action used. With 22 inch factory wheels, I would personally recommend nothing over 33x11.5 R22 or 285/50 R22. But again, that is the limit
2. Determine the ride comfort you want 
        Leveling kits commonly come in two forms. Spacers or Struts. Spacers are much easier to install and are most popular with road warriors. This is because of the lower cost, easier to locate, and also the comfort of the ride has less of an impact. This is normally the route dealerships take when installing "lifts" to their vehicles on the lots. Struts provide similar aesthetics but have several different aspects. The front struts are more difficult for install due to needing the spring being compressed which requires special tools. In addition, struts change the ride of your truck. It becomes more "stiff" which has it's pros and cons. Pros would be better turning with less body roll, less rebound when driving over bumps, longer life than stock struts. Cons would be a rougher ride as there is less compression to take the bump's impact. Many state when switching to struts they can feel every small pot hole or rock on the road. Both of these options will wear down your truck. The struts will have a less of a strain than the spacers. 

Highly recommended Leveling Kits:
Spacer: 2.25" ReadyLift Leveling Kit with Upper Control Arms  - Personal Recommendation for Spacers
Spacer: 2.5" Rough Country Leveling Kit

Strut: Bilstein 5100 - Personal Favorite and Bang4Buck
StrutBilstein 6112 - If I had the money...

Strut: Rancho Adjustable Height

 

Highly recommended Tires:
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 - Most Popular

Toyo Open Country AT II
Nitto Terra Grappler G2
Cooper AT3 4S - Recently redesigned

Cooper ATP - Discount Tire Exclusive 


Lifting:

Personally, I believe lifting is classified as any lift that raises your truck higher than 3 inches or completely takes away the factory warranty. There are several different ways to lift your truck. I'm not as experienced but if I was to do a large lift I would do it right. Which also translates to shoveling out the money. This way also allows you to fit nearly any size tire you can dream of, depending on the size of the lift 3-10+ inches. Others can chime in here but I don't think this is the way you want to go. 

 

 

 

 

Best of luck,

James

Edited by JamesAT18
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1 hour ago, JamesAT18 said:

Good morning, 

 

I'm a new member but a long time lurker. To answer the questions above I'll make a two part summary of leveling and lifting. 

Leveling:
There are two things you need to acknowledge when choosing to level. 
1. Determine the size of tire you want

        Leveling limits the size of tire you can have. The maximum recommendation is 33's but it may come at cost. There have been numerous reports of rubbing when fitting 33's on a leveled truck. There are ways around the rubbing but trimming of the wheel well is normally the action used. With 22 inch factory wheels, I would personally recommend nothing over 33x11.5 R22 or 285/50 R22. But again, that is the limit
2. Determine the ride comfort you want 
        Leveling kits commonly come in two forms. Spacers or Struts. Spacers are much easier to install and are most popular with road warriors. This is because of the lower cost, easier to locate, and also the comfort of the ride has less of an impact. This is normally the route dealerships take when installing "lifts" to their vehicles on the lots. Struts provide similar aesthetics but have several different aspects. The front struts are more difficult for install due to needing the spring being compressed which requires special tools. In addition, struts change the ride of your truck. It becomes more "stiff" which has it's pros and cons. Pros would be better turning with less body roll, less rebound when driving over bumps, longer life than stock struts. Cons would be a rougher ride as there is less compression to take the bump's impact. Many state when switching to struts they can feel every small pot hole or rock on the road. Both of these options will wear down your truck. The struts will have a less of a strain than the spacers. 

Highly recommended Leveling Kits:
Spacer: 2.25" ReadyLift Leveling Kit with Upper Control Arms  - Personal Recommendation for Spacers
Spacer: 2.5" Rough Country Leveling Kit

Strut: Bilstein 5100 - Personal Favorite and Bang4Buck
StrutBilstein 6112 - If I had the money...

Strut: Rancho Adjustable Height

 

Highly recommended Tires:
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 - Most Popular

Toyo Open Country AT II
Nitto Terra Grappler G2
Cooper AT3 4S - Recently redesigned

Cooper ATP - Discount Tire Exclusive 


Lifting:

Personally, I believe lifting is classified as any lift that raises your truck higher than 3 inches or completely takes away the factory warranty. There are several different ways to lift your truck. I'm not as experienced but if I was to do a large lift I would do it right. Which also translates to shoveling out the money. This way also allows you to fit nearly any size tire you can dream of, depending on the size of the lift 3-10+ inches. Others can chime in here but I don't think this is the way you want to go. 

 

 

 

 

Best of luck,

James

Thanks man you broke it all the way down now I have to choose between spacers and struts. Which way would be the best way. That is a hard choice

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Keep It Leveled!!!

effc22a8c5c0ebdc450e279ba95ca186.jpg

2014 LTZ Z71
RCX 2.5”
Nitto MudGrapplers


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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8 minutes ago, ZachManZ71 said:

Keep It Leveled!!!

effc22a8c5c0ebdc450e279ba95ca186.jpg

2014 LTZ Z71
RCX 2.5”
Nitto MudGrapplers


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Did you use spacers or struts?

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Did you use spacers or struts?


Spacer


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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20 minutes ago, MANDINGO said:

Did you use spacers or struts?

Keep in mind that you have a 2018 which have different UCA (Upper Control Arms) and require extra attention. That is why I posted my recommended spacer kit as it includes UCA's that will provide less strain on the joints and bearings. Continue reading the forums about leveling a 2016+ with spacer kits. 

 

Struts do not need extra attention. 

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I've driven 4 GM trucks, 2 Sierras and 2 Silverados. I'm currently in a Sierra and debating on which 2019 I want to get, but that is besides the point. The 2014 Sierra I drive now is the most heavily modified truck I've driven, besides my Camaro which is not my daily nor a truck, it has a 4.25" Rough Country lift and 35x12.50x20 Nitto Terra Grapplers G2 among other modifications. My last Sierra was a 2015 w/ a 2.5" Rough Country level w/ 33x12.50x20, which was also a badass looking truck. I personally believe my lifted GMC rides much better than the past Sierras and Silverados that have been leveled, I plan on lifting my next truck as well and clearing the biggest all terrains I can.

 

I really think your question comes down to personal preference and what exactly are you looking for? If you want to clear 33's or even just the next size up tire, then obviously level it. If you want to size up considerably and do 34's or larger, then the lift is going to be the thing to do. 

 

As far as the brands,go every person who owns a leveled/lifted truck will have differing opinions on this. With that being said my personal preferences are Rough Country, Skyjacker, or Ready-Lift. I've personally had all three brands on my truck and never had much of an issue with any of them. My one piece of advice when it comes time to select which option and brand to go with, don't pick the cheapest level or lift you can find. Spend a little bit extra money up front and get something that does the job right, because an additional $400 now might save you thousands down the road...trust me. 

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8 hours ago, JamesAT18 said:

Keep in mind that you have a 2018 which have different UCA (Upper Control Arms) and require extra attention. That is why I posted my recommended spacer kit as it includes UCA's that will provide less strain on the joints and bearings. Continue reading the forums about leveling a 2016+ with spacer kits. 

 

Struts do not need extra attention. 

Yea I forgot about the uca. I'm going back and forth on leveling or lifting. I see the leveling kit your recommended is $90 cheaper than the bilstein 6112 not that price is a factor but is it hard to install myself or is it just better to have someone install it for me? What's a fair price for installation?

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6 hours ago, TyGriff13 said:

I've driven 4 GM trucks, 2 Sierras and 2 Silverados. I'm currently in a Sierra and debating on which 2019 I want to get, but that is besides the point. The 2014 Sierra I drive now is the most heavily modified truck I've driven, besides my Camaro which is not my daily nor a truck, it has a 4.25" Rough Country lift and 35x12.50x20 Nitto Terra Grapplers G2 among other modifications. My last Sierra was a 2015 w/ a 2.5" Rough Country level w/ 33x12.50x20, which was also a badass looking truck. I personally believe my lifted GMC rides much better than the past Sierras and Silverados that have been leveled, I plan on lifting my next truck as well and clearing the biggest all terrains I can.

 

I really think your question comes down to personal preference and what exactly are you looking for? If you want to clear 33's or even just the next size up tire, then obviously level it. If you want to size up considerably and do 34's or larger, then the lift is going to be the thing to do. 

 

As far as the brands,go every person who owns a leveled/lifted truck will have differing opinions on this. With that being said my personal preferences are Rough Country, Skyjacker, or Ready-Lift. I've personally had all three brands on my truck and never had much of an issue with any of them. My one piece of advice when it comes time to select which option and brand to go with, don't pick the cheapest level or lift you can find. Spend a little bit extra money up front and get something that does the job right, because an additional $400 now might save you thousands down the road...trust me. 

Do you have a link to the lift kit you recommend? And what's a fair price for installation?

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I just leveled my '18. I used the Readylift with the UCA. I also have Magneride shocks, so my choices were limited. I used the relocation bracket from Rough Country. I am still going to have my shocks recalibrated. 

I would strongly suggest looking for a set of upper control arms regardless of what kit you use. Cognito also makes a nice set.

 

I think one of the biggest issues with a level, is all of the control arm, cv axle, ball joints, etc... end up working at greater angles than spec'd for. this will lead to premature wear. lifts generally maintain near or factory angles.

 

the upper control arm angle on a level puts the arm either resting on or very close to the frame bump stop. this limits the downward travel and will result in a rough ride. the cognito arm instructions actually tell you to cut that bumpstop out.

 

good luck

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2 hours ago, kylant said:

I just leveled my '18. I used the Readylift with the UCA. I also have Magneride shocks, so my choices were limited. I used the relocation bracket from Rough Country. I am still going to have my shocks recalibrated. 

I would strongly suggest looking for a set of upper control arms regardless of what kit you use. Cognito also makes a nice set.

 

I think one of the biggest issues with a level, is all of the control arm, cv axle, ball joints, etc... end up working at greater angles than spec'd for. this will lead to premature wear. lifts generally maintain near or factory angles.

 

the upper control arm angle on a level puts the arm either resting on or very close to the frame bump stop. this limits the downward travel and will result in a rough ride. the cognito arm instructions actually tell you to cut that bumpstop out.

 

good luck

Great explanation!  

 

I have the RC 2" level on my '17, dealer installed, and am looking to take the level kit, which consists of two bottom spacers, off once I figure out how to do it safely. Then I'll get it aligned at the dealer back to spec (they have an ongoing special for $39 alignment).  This truck is my street princess, and when I'm on the road the rougher ride from the front end wears on me.  However local driving less than a half hour = no big deal.  The truck certainly looks very nice with the level.  The larger UCA's and small ball joints on the '17 are a consideration when modding. 

 

The best way I can think of to describe it is that with a stock suspension, your front end would have a soft dip and rebound going over a bump and then the leaf springs in the rear would be more abrupt as you pass over the same bump.  With the level, the front has the same feeling as the leaf springs on the rear.  I fall off of the speed bumps now.  

 

I enjoy modding my vehicles (usually the milder mods), and every now and then I have to pull back from something I've done and start again.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading about everyone's lifts and mods a great deal and definitely notice the good ones when I'm on the road.   

 

 

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If I lift or level it should I disable afm? Or leave it be? 

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