So, you’ve searched all over the internet in hopes to discover the answer to this highly controversial question: are spacer lifts bad? After navigating through endless threads with recorded opinions from experienced offroaders, to dads driving kids to soccer practice, your search for the answer ends here.
Contrary to popular beliefs found on those threads, the answer is no. Spacer lifts aren’t bad if you install them correctly, and as long as the spacers don’t lift the truck too high. Issues arise if the spacers are too high, causing issues with suspension. Mild spacer lifts are great for off-road and can even improve the off-road ability.
For the most part, they simply get a bad rap from extreme off-roaders. One mistake many companies make is designing spacers too high or not providing drop brackets for the differential, skid plates or sway bars. This is the cause or premature part failure. However, ours are designed to give only 2-3" of Additionally, they will not rust or crack like many other models, eliminating noise and vibrations many drivers often complain about. This is perhaps why people perceive spacer lifts to ride harshly - spacers only do so because the spring motion at that extreme level of extension is not properly damped.
Many argue that spacer lifts are in no way performance oriented. However, mild spacers can even improve off-road ability. For those who were lucky enough to be captivated by physics class twenty years ago, here’s the nitty-gritty rundown behind spacers.
Here’s the rundown on spacers:
Installing any lift slightly moves the axle down in rotation to the frame. The more lift, the father towards the center the axle will rest. As the axle drops, the castor changes, possibly affecting handling. This requires you to be cautious about how much lift you use. That’s why a little lift is generally never a problem. However, as you lift higher, it may require more corrections to function properly. A good rule to remember is that the more lift, the more severe the change.
You can over-extend shocks if you make the lift change too drastic, resulting in damaged seals and premature failure.
Furthermore, this allows more area for your axle to move upward. This also creates the possibility of interfering with bigger tires hitting the body, now requiring different bumpstops. Same rule applies here: the bigger the tires, the more potential problems arise. Many models lift more drastically than ours, creating the dreaded noise drivers complain about after installing improper spacers. But a small lift won’t impact the ride quality or noise.
Here’s how a slight spacer lift can provide greater off-road experience:
Generally, spacer lifts are a great way to make room for larger tires, and additionally added ground clearance. This allows you slightly more advantage in this area, allowing you to roam deserts or back roads with a little more freedom. The reduced angle of incidence to an object can give you the confidence you need to tackle new terrain. However, a good note to remember here is that spacers will not make your suspension to work any better.
The bottom line on spacers:
Here’s what it really comes down to: what are your driving intentions as you build your vehicle? Whether you want to crawl in the desert at sunset, or simply tackle mild speed bumps while running errands around town, it ultimately depends on the terrain you want your truck to handle. Again, it’s not recommended to use any equipment outside its intended parameters. Where people run into problems is when they use spacers that are too high for the truck and things like shocks will start to break, by bottoming out or over-extending parts.
Mild spacer lifts are ultimately a great choice if you're looking for a little extra lift, providing great aesthetics, larger tire size and greater ground clearance. Check out Torq Engineerings 3/1 Lift and leveling kits.