Truth About Shocks and Lift Kits: Will New Shocks Lift Your Truck

I am the owner of an auto repair shop, and I have gone through many clients who wanted to lift their trucks.

Lifting your truck can give it better ground clearance, better off-road performance, the ability to use bigger tires, better visibility, and more benefits.

But how to lift them?

There are many ways of lifting a truck other than using a lift kit of any kind. You can use spacers, new control arms, new coil springs, and other parts to lift your truck.

So people ask, will new shocks lift my truck?

The answer is no! You can’t expect new shock absorbers to lift your truck, as they are not meant for this purpose. New shock absorbers will only exchange your truck’s performance and not lift it. Even if you use high-pressure nitrogen shock absorbers, which could raise about half an inch, it would not be actually lifting your truck.

Replacing shocks: How to measure for new shocks

Can New Shock Lift Your Truck?

Can New Shock Lift Your Truck?

New shock absorbers won’t be able to lift your truck without the help of a proper lift kit or other suspension components.

If you use standard shock absorbers that don’t have built-in specialized gas chambers, they will definitely not lift your truck.

There’s a but!

If you bought shock absorbers that use high-pressure gas, like nitrogen, there’s a possibility that your truck will gain about half an inch of height.

However, this is not the proper lift we are talking about! This will only be a side consequence of installing high-pressure shock absorbers.

What will lift your truck?

When you think about lifting your truck, you usually think about an increased ground clearance for a smoother ride and better off-road performance.

And to be able to achieve that kind of lift, using a lift kit is the best and proper option!

A lift kit will come with all the right components that will raise your truck off the ground to the height you want.

This kind of aftermarket modification works by heightening your truck’s frame from the surface level.

As your truck’s suspension system attaches the tires to your truck, a lift kit can easily help raise it with its components.

You might or not get new shock absorbers with a lift kit, depending on the kit. But they are only going to be a part of bettering the suspension system after the lift.

Suspension components, such as new coil springs and new control arms, can add a lift to your truck.

So can spacers!

But you can’t expect newer shock absorbers to lift your truck without the help of other components.

So with just new shocks, you won’t be able to get the lift your want on your truck!

Why Do People Think New Shocks Can Lift a Truck?

Why Do People Think New Shocks Can Lift a Truck?

To understand why people think that you can lift your truck using just new shock absorbers, you need to know a few things about coil springs and shocks.

Both of these are essential components of your truck’s suspension. Even though they operate oppositely, they depend on each other.

Here’s how they work:

Your truck’s shock absorbers are constantly pressurized to help your tires grip the surface beneath your vehicle.

On the contrary, the coil springs of your suspension system are supposed to absorb all the irregular bumps and obstacles by being compressed with the help of the shock absorbers.

That’s why it is easy to think that installing newer and longer shock absorbers can lift your truck higher than the ground.

But they can’t!

This is because shock absorbers are not as strong as to hold the weight of your truck after lifting it by itself.

It is true that you can find highly pressurized gas shock absorbers, like nitrogen gas ones, to lift your truck approximately half an inch.

However, the shock absorbers alone can’t keep your truck lifted!

What Shocks Can Do

I think it’s been established by now that shock absorbers can’t lift your truck. But what can they do?

I will tell you in a bit!

Helps with Axles

The main job of shock absorbers is to dampen the motion that occurs from riding your truck through bumps.

They can keep these motions under control while the tires of your truck keep in contact with the surface for better control and handling.

Most passenger vehicles have front and rear suspension systems that work independently nowadays.

And the wheels are made out of light, aluminum-alloy materials with OEM tires. Along with that, the unsprung weight amount that isn’t supported by the coil springs is low.

So it’s easy to control!

On the contrary, 4WD trucks that have live axles have a lot of weight on each of the axles. That, with the tires and wheels, can add to the unsprung mass.

When this axle-wheel combo hits bumps, the shock absorbers of the truck can help in controlling the motion of the axles.

For this, the shocks need to have various degrees of dampening on the compression and the extension of the shocks.

Generating Heat

Your truck might have to go long distances on tough off-roads. For this, the shock body has to be bigger to help with the heat that it generates while dampening the boy and axle’s motion.

This is why your shock absorbers are larger in your trucks compared to other kinds of vehicles.

Ground Clearance with Lift Kits

Your truck needs to have better ground clearance if you are often going on different off-road adventures.

But for that, you would need to install a lift kit, as you would need to raise your truck for better ground clearance.

And you already know you can’t get that lift with just shocks!

However, your newly lifted truck will need longer and newer shock absorbers to maintain the best performance the added ground clearance will offer.

Final Words

Will new shocks lift my truck? No, if you were to just install new shock absorbers on your truck, they would not add any height.

So you would have to go for a lift kit to add height to your truck. Or you can install new components like spacers, control arms, or coil springs.