I think it’s pretty common to think a truck ain’t a truck if it isn’t lifted and sitting on big fat tires.
If I were to go onto any forum of truck enthusiasts or automotive lovers asking for advice on lowering a 4×4 truck, I’m sure I’d get some very enthusiastic replies of how I am a disgrace to 4wheelers everywhere.
What if your goal of owning a truck wasn’t to take it rock crawling, overlanding or deep in the wilderness? Trucks have multiple uses outside of your classic off-roading.
If you’re interested in lowering your 4×4, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m not going to laugh at you! Instead, I’m to tell you everything you need to know to make the right choice for your truck.
Yes, you can lower a 4×4 truck, but like any aftermarket modifications, there is an element of risk involved. On the flip side, there are some benefits also.
Is Lowering Your Truck Bad?
With any mod you install on a truck, you have to be sure it’s done correctly. If you get the proper parts and an expert that knows what they’re doing, you should have no problems from lowering your truck.
There are some key things to pay attention to when lowering your truck to ensure it won’t leave you with problems. In order to fully explore the impacts of lowering your truck, I think we need to do a good old fashion comparison of the pros and cons.
Cons of Lowering Your 4×4 Truck
This isn’t a limbo competition, and you might not need to lower your truck as much as you think.
Lowering your truck too far can cause more problems than it’s worth. Be sure to have your suspension lowered by a pro, or you could be stuck with some of the following drawbacks.
Rubbing on Parts and Tires
If you lower your suspension, it will change the geometry of your wheel-tire fitment. This could lead to your tires rubbing on the inside of your wheel well. This will accelerate the wear on your tires, and you’ll end up replacing them much faster.
Improper lowering can also cause other parts of your suspension and steering components to rub up against things they shouldn’t be. The last thing you want is all your parts wearing out from a poor lowering job.
When you drop your truck lower, all bumps, dips, and corners in the road will be more of a hazard. This will be especially important to consider if you’re a known curb jumper.
If you’re bottoming out constantly, important parts like your exhaust or oil pan could be damaged. The lower your truck is, the more careful you will need to be on the road.
Lowered Ride Comfort
Speaking of bumps and potholes, in a lowered ride, you will feel every speed bump and manhole in the road.
You will be in for a rougher ride than a truck with stock suspension. This is because a lowered vehicle requires a stiffer suspension to help cushion the impact of bumps and dips in the road.
This will lead to a much stiffer ride overall, and you might step out of your truck with a sore behind.
Most dealerships will be accommodating of repairs and honor warranties even with modified trucks.
However, let’s say a ball joint fails or your shocks are shot, and it can be traced back to a shoddy modification, like a lowered suspension. This could void your warranty, and you could be in for some pricey repairs.
Whether your truck has a warranty or not, always be sure your modifications are installed properly.
Pros of Lowering Your 4×4 Truck
You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t interested in the benefits of lowering your truck.
Even with four-wheel drive, it can make sense to lower your truck if you never intend to take it off-road. There are many benefits to lowering your truck, so let’s take a look at them.
Better Handling and Traction
Whether you plan to take your 4×4 off-road or not, the ability to stay in control in challenging conditions is the entire point of four-wheel drive.
A lowered 4×4 can offer far better handling, and you will feel more in control of your truck. This is all thanks to the stiffer springs needed for a lowered suspension.
With the stiffer springs, you’ll have less weight shifting around when you brake or accelerate quickly. You will have improved responsiveness, stability, and grip.
Feeling “In-Tune” With Your Truck
Thanks to being lower to the ground, in a lowered truck, you will feel more vibrations from the road. This vibration being transferred through the steering wheel will allow you to feel much more in tune with the handling of your truck.
You will be able to feel every crack, bump and turn in the road much more, which can help with the overall predictability of your daily driving.
Lowered Rollover Risk
A big difference between lifted trucks and a lowered trucks is their rollover risk. A lifted truck will be far more likely to roll in tight corners—the lower the truck, the lower the risk of rolling.
A lowered truck will have a much lower center of gravity and will keep the weight of the truck level across the wheels when cornering. This can be a huge win if you’re a speed demon on the road!
One of the more popular reasons for lowering a truck is as simple as wanting to achieve a specific look.
Lowered trucks can really stand out on the road, especially if you add some flashy wheels. If you are looking to get a real sporty and unique look for your truck, lowering is a good option.
Improved Gas Mileage
A lowered truck will produce far less drag and be more aerodynamic. Less drag and force pushing against your truck will allow for much better gas mileage.
Since 4×4 trucks are known gas-guzzlers, lowering is an attractive option to get the benefits of four-wheel drive without the hefty gas prices.
Does Lowering a Truck Make It Faster?
Most trucks are designed with two things in mind: power and functionality. Speed isn’t really considered when building a truck since, in most cases, speed is not what trucks are known or used for.
If you are interested in increasing the speed of your truck, lowering it is a good way to do so. As mentioned above, lowering a truck will make it more aerodynamic. When you’re driving a heavy truck, less air drag can make a world of difference.
While you certainly won’t be putting any proper performance vehicles to shame on the racetrack, a lowered truck will be faster than its lifted brothers.
Should I Lower or Lift My Truck
In my opinion, if you ever have even the slightest chance of taking your 4×4 off-road, then you should leave the suspension stock or consider a lift. Ground clearance is important for off-roading, so while you may think a lowered truck looks cooler, you will be held back substantially on the trails.
If you bought your 4×4 simply for use in rough winter conditions or hauling purposes, then lowering could offer benefits. Increased handling, gas mileage, and responsiveness are big draws to lowering a truck.
There is no shame in owning a 4×4 truck and never taking it off-road, and if the benefits outweigh the negatives for you, then rock that lowered look.
One final thing to consider: we aren’t young forever, and a lowered truck can be far more forgiving on the knees when getting in and out. Do what’s right for you; I’m not here to judge.