Typically, shocks help to enhance the vehicle’s control and movement whenever there’s a turn or encounters any bumps or off-road surfaces. The height increases when you install the leveling kit, and you might need longer shocks for better suspension. It also helps with the stability of the vehicle. But do I need longer shocks for a leveling kit?
Yes, you will need a longer shock for installing leveling kits. However, you can skip the longer shocks with the 2-inch ones if the present one works with the new height and avoid mount damage. But with the 3-inch leveling kit, you will definitely need longer shocks. This will ensure better off-road ride and suspension movement.
It would be best to check the chassis and mount space after installing the leveling kit to see whether you need new shocks or not. Only then can you ensure the necessity of longer shocks.
Table of Contents
What Do The Shock Absorbers Do?
Typically, the shock absorbers can easily withstand the impacts on your vehicle’s road due to ups and down. It also controls the spring movement and suspension of your car.
Shocks are also mandatory to maintain the tires’ contact with the ground. If the contact of the tire with the ground fails, the ability to brake, steer and drive will fail immediately.
Therefore, shocks get that kinetic energy from the impact through the suspension and convert it to thermal energy. And further, the heat dissipates into the environment.
You can compare the shocks with the oil pumps. The piston and piston rod react with the suspension through the hydraulic fluid and then absorb the impact to slow it down.
The shocks can even adjust to the road condition. That’s because shocks will provide more resistance if the suspension moves faster. Therefore, it’s a crucial part of your vehicle during any drive, especially off-road.
Do You Need Longer Shocks For A Leveling Kit?
As you know, the leveling kit adjusts the height of the rear mount part of your vehicle. But if you increase the height from the ground, will you need longer shocks for it? Well, the simple answer is yes. Having longer shocks for a leveling kit is a must.
However, it would be best to check the shocks and struts when installing a leveling kit. Here are two common conditions when you need longer shocks with a leveling kit.
Well, some owners think that it’s not necessary to install longer shocks just for a 2-inch leveling kit. However, they are partially correct. A 2-inch leveling kit is a limit where you can go without any shocks.
However, with the 2-inch leveling kit, you might not need any longer shocks if you have any. But there are conditions.
The front and rear mount should not get in contact with the chassis if you have shocks or not. But if you notice some contact after installing the leveling kit, you must get a longer shock.
For a 3-Inch Leveling Kit
When you install a 3-inch leveling kit, you will need longer shocks. That’s because 3-inch is a bit higher to adjust the ground distance. There will be a gap in the mountings. To fill the gap between the mounts, you must install longer shocks.
So, your vehicle might face instability after installing 3-inch leveling kits without the longer shocks. It will lose control over the steering, and without proper suspension, don’t imagine driving on rough roads. You will feel a little extra jump whenever there are road bumps.
How Does The Longer Shocks Help With The Leveling Kit?
Longer shocks are not typically used in regular vehicles. They are used in customized vehicles or on those off-road ones.
However, installing leveling kits will need longer shots, obviously, for some good reasons. Here are the details of those facts:
When you increase the ground space with the leveling kit, it provides more suspension to your vehicle. Though there won’t be any change in the vehicle’s alignment, it can still damage the mountings.
So, if you install longer shocks along with the leveling kit, they will absorb any impacts from the suspension and reduce the damage. If you have short shocks or not at all, there will be damage in the front or rear mounting, hence the entire body, because of the extra suspension.
However, check the existing shocks before getting new longer ones. If the previous ones can protect your vehicle’s body, there won’t be any need to install new ones.
We all know that shocks help to maintain stability and balance during the ride, especially when you are off-road. Well, the leveling kit also provides a pretty good off-road experience.
But without the shocks, the leveling kit alone can handle such impacts and massive suspension movement. As a result, you will need longer shocks for the off-road balance and drive properly. Otherwise, you won’t be able to control the direction of your vehicle.
As the leveling kit is wholly related to the vehicle’s suspension, you will need longer shocks to maintain the suspension movement. Otherwise, you will notice slightly different suspension movements than before.
But longer shocks will help to move at any speed with proper suspension movement and reduce the impacts.
Safety is always relatable when you ride a vehicle without stability or balance problems. So, leveling kits increase the height for better suspension and affect stability. That’s why longer shocks will help ensure your vehicle’s stability, off-road balance, and safe ride.
What If You Don’t Install Longer Shocks When Needed
Some bad things can happen to your vehicle if you don’t install longer shocks despite the need. Let’s look at the details for further knowledge:
You know that the suspension system and shocks work like an oil pump with a piston cylinder. Therefore, any problem with the shocks can damage the cylinder head. And because of that, the unit might leak oil inside the cylinder.
After that, the suspension system will show trouble functioning. Your vehicle might lose stability for some time. You might also have to change the damaged cylinder head and repair the oil leak without delay.
The front and rear mount height increase when you adjust the height. As the suspension movement gets faster, it will affect the body. And there will be less adjustment to absorb such quick and huge impacts.
Without the longer shocks, your car’s lower and upper mount will constantly get hit by the chassis. Thus, it will damage those parts. Those parts will look much ugly on your sweet ride.
If the shock length isn’t aligned adequately after the leveling kit installation, it will continuously damage your vehicle, causing piston operation failure.
When the length of the shocks is too short, there will be a collision. The cylinder head will collide with the piston inside the shocks. And it will occur continuously until the shock absorber length is adjusted with the suspension. Therefore, a more extended shock absorber should be installed with the leveling kit.
You can generally drive with well-functioned shocks and struts for about 50000 to 100000 miles. After that, they will wear out.
However, if you are more aggressive and often drive on rough roads, the shocks will wear out much sooner than the average lifespan.
No, longer shocks are not preferable in trucks with leveling kits. That’s because leveling kits are not suitable for trucks. You must use lift kits for your vehicle. It will give the desired height adjustment you need.
Yes, the new shocks can extend independently, and you must let it happen. Typically, fully compressed units and the rod can expand on their own. It can take a bit less than 45 seconds to extend the unit.
However, this could happen at normal gas pressure. On lower gas pressure, it can take about 2 minutes.
No, shocks can’t go up to their full extension. And it won’t be wise to extend the shocks fully, either.
If you want enough travel with your vehicle without any hassles, you mustn’t allow your shock to fully top or bottom out. It will also require full-range movement of your suspension.
The leveling kit lowers the center of gravity for better handling and makes the ride much smoother. It can hamper because of the shocks.
Sometimes you need to install longer shocks when you use a leveling kit to increase the height. It affects the suspension movement of your vehicle. So, do I need longer shocks for a leveling kit?
Hopefully, the discussion has covered the appropriate answers. So, check whether you need longer shocks for a leveling kit. If you don’t match, your vehicle will face the consequences. Happy traveling!