More than just a lift kit
A suspension lift kit is designed to raise the vehicle’s ride height from the ground, giving the body greater clearance from obstacles and allowing for the fitment of larger than standard tyres.
The major advantage of lifting a vehicle for off road use is the increased ground clearance offered to the body and mechanical components, which can be further enhanced by the ability to fit larger diameter tyres. Increased ground clearance and approach and departure angles help a vehicle negotiate difficult terrain without contact.
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Learn more about Lift
There’s a common belief that ‘off road’ suspension is simply a taller version of factory supplied OE suspension. Depending on the brand you choose, it may well be just that! However, a properly engineered suspension lift is so much more.
Lifting a vehicle by raising its suspension height changes the vehicle’s centre of gravity which can have a substantial effect on how the vehicle handles, corners or brakes. Depending on the suspension design, it can also have an adverse effect on driveline angles which can lead to vibration issues and component failure. Engineered correctly, the right suspension system will address these issues, whilst providing an improved ride and weight carrying ability over a variety of road types both on and off road.
The major advantage of lifting a vehicle for off road use is the increased ground clearance it offers the body and mechanical components which can be further enhanced by allowing the fitment of larger diameter tyres. Increased ground clearance and approach and departure angles help a vehicle navigate difficult terrain without contact with the ground, whilst the extra wheel travel associated with suspension lifts helps keep wheels in contact with the ground providing maximum traction.
Body lift is another means of raising a vehicle’s body height for more ground clearance, allowing the fitment of larger tyres. However, body lift does not raise the suspension system. This may or may not increase approach, departure, ramp over angles and mechanical components distance from the ground. A body lift won’t give the greater articulation/wheel travel associated with a suspension lift. There are many other modifications that may also be required such as wiring, radiator hoses, brake lines etc. Larger body lifts always require an engineers certificate for registration.
Larger lifts ranging from 3-6 inches (75 – 150mm) typically fall within a ‘competition use only’ category, as they do not meet legal standard or require individual engineering in Australia.
With lifts this high, a number of components become affected which can cause possible driveline vibration and steering geometry issues. These lifts may require gearbox/driveline spacers, adjustable upper and lower control arms both front and rear, adjustable pan hard rods, caster correction kits and brake line extensions… the list goes on!
Larger lifts also have a greater effect on vehicle handling due to the increased centre of gravity which needs to be addressed to avoid issues with cornering and braking.
Old Man Emu Suspension kits offer the greatest legal lift without affecting other components that may have an adverse effect on vehicle drivability. Where possible, Old Man Emu engineers strive to achieve a 2 inch (50mm) lift, however, due to limitations with modern independent suspension designs, this is not always possible without major modifications.
Achieving a lift larger than 50mm is possible on some vehicle models with live axle designs, but as these are not legal for road registered vehicles in Australia, they are offered for off road competition use only.