Adding a 2-inch leveling kit to your truck will require new shocks or spacers. Spacers are a hotly debated topic, whether you are for or against them they are a way to avoid having to buy new shocks, but do you want to do that?
Will I Need Longer Shocks With A 2” Leveling Kit?
Adding a 2” leveling kit does not require longer shocks if the kit is it is made up of simple spacers. However, getting new shocks can be beneficial in several ways. For starters, factory shocks will only last so long and are not built for heavy-duty off-road use.
Most automakers build their vehicles with comfort in mind. Therefore, stock shocks will not have the same performance that a dedicated off-road version will. Companies such as Bilstein have poured countless hours and money into research and development. This ensures their products are built specifically to be used in harsh Overlanding conditions.
Yes, you can get away with reusing the old shocks when installing a basic 2” leveling kit. Most will come with some sort of spacers that go between the strut and the strut tower. This in turn acts as a body lift for the front and will not affect spring or shock length.
But these types of kits do have their downsides. For one, they tend to create unnecessary wear points. Additionally, simple leveling kits will not increase suspension travel. Yes, they do their job well, but for serious off-road enthusiasts, a genuine lift kit is a must.
Additionally, a 2” leveling kit will help increase ground clearance and approach angles. We always recommend getting new shocks when adding a 2” leveling kit unless opting for the spacers and have a strict budget.
Alternatives To Buying Longer Shocks
As previously mentioned, buying longer shocks when adding a leveling kit is not a need. But keeping the factory shocks on the vehicle, especially if it has some miles on it, is not a good idea nor is it recommended. So, what alternatives do you have if you don’t want to get longer shocks?
If you are keen on keeping the stock shock length and not planning to lift the back of the truck, at the very least get a set of aftermarket shocks or struts is essential for good off-road performance. Choose a brand that has a better compression and rebound rate as they offer enhanced performance.
New shocks are out of your budget? Or perhaps you see the money going to more use on other areas of the truck? Be sure to invest in a high-quality spacer leveling kit. Getting a knockoff set may seem like a good idea now, but most likely end up costing twice as much when something breaks.
You are not just paying for the name when a leveling kit. Companies such as Old Man Emu have tested and retested, modified, and remodified their products to make sure their kits will outlive your truck. The only time we recommend not going with longer shocks for a new leveling kit is when purchasing a kit that consists of strut spacers only.
Will A Leveling Kit Affect Handling?
There have been numerous studies showing that a simple leveling kit will not affect the handling or weight transfer when cornering or abrupt braking by installing a 2” kit. It does not increase the center of gravity of the entire vehicle, but rather brings the front to the same height as the rear.
On the contrary, a leveling kit can help increase off-road handling capabilities even without adding new shocks. By raising the front end, bigger tires with a more aggressive tread pattern can be installed. These little changes, when added up, can help make a massive difference out on the trails.
Even if you don’t go for new shocks, a wheel alignment is critical when installing a leveling kit. These small details will help ensure your handling will not be negatively affected.
Fitting bigger tires alongside a leveling kit new shocks can help when off the beaten path, but it means that fuel economy will decrease. Unfortunately, it is the price we have to pay for being able to take your rig to some places others can only dream of.
In conclusion, a 2” leveling kit does not require the need for longer shocks if you are opting out for spacers only. Keep in mind that you need the right tools for the job. Some may want a leveling kit simply for the look of it, while others think of it as a necessity to help them take the road less traveled.
Knowledge is power. One of the main reasons we have created this post is to help you understand why(or why not) longer shocks may be needed when installing a 2” leveling kit. Be sure to like and share this post with your friends and family so that they can be up to speed with why new shocks may be needed.
What is the primary purpose of a 2-inch leveling kit?
A 2-inch leveling kit is primarily used to raise the front end of a truck to match the height of the rear, providing a more balanced and leveled appearance. It can also increase ground clearance and allow for the installation of larger tires.
Are there any risks associated with using spacers instead of new shocks?
While spacers can be a cost-effective alternative to buying new shocks, they can introduce unnecessary wear points. Moreover, simple leveling kits with spacers do not increase suspension travel, which might not be suitable for serious off-road enthusiasts.
How does a leveling kit differ from a lift kit?
A leveling kit focuses on raising the front end of the vehicle to match the rear height, whereas a lift kit raises the entire vehicle, both front and rear, to increase overall ground clearance.
Why is wheel alignment crucial after installing a leveling kit?
Wheel alignment ensures that the vehicle’s handling is not negatively affected after the installation of a leveling kit. Proper alignment ensures even tire wear, better fuel efficiency, and optimal vehicle handling.
Can I use my factory shocks with a 2-inch leveling kit?
While it’s possible to use factory shocks with a 2-inch leveling kit, especially if the kit consists of simple spacers, it’s not always recommended, especially if the vehicle has accumulated significant mileage. Aftermarket shocks or struts designed for off-road performance might be a better choice.
Do leveling kits impact fuel economy?
Installing bigger tires alongside a leveling kit can lead to decreased fuel economy. The increased tire size and more aggressive tread pattern can result in higher rolling resistance, which can affect fuel efficiency.