If you’re a truck owner, you may have wondered, “Can you lower your 4×4 truck?” The idea of modifying a four-wheel drive to be lower may be unconventional, yet many do so. Lowering a 4×4 truck with four-wheel drive capabilities can be a unique endeavor. While 4×4 trucks are known for off-road ruggedness, some drivers seek to personalize their rides.
However, as an example, to lower a 4×4 Silverado needs suspension lowering, thus lots of planning and skills. Besides this, there are control arms, stock springs, lift blocks, and lowering kits to know about, so to lower a 4×4 truck isn’t straightforward.
In our guide, you can learn more about if you decide to lower your truck and what you’d need to know about doing so. By the end, you’ll better understand how to lower the truck and if it’s such a job worthwhile doing to have your vehicle lower to the ground. (Read Can I Put Wider Tires On My Stock Rims)
What To Consider Before Lowering a 4×4?
While 4WD lowering a truck can provide benefits, there are also some downsides to consider:
- Decreased ground clearance – You would sit lower down; thus, your truck will be closer to the ground, reducing the ability to clear obstacles and rough terrain.
- Ride quality – Lowering the ride height stiffens the suspension, which diminishes ride comfort, mainly off-road. Prepare for a bumpier ride.
- Reduced approach/departure angles – The truck will have less ability to climb steep inclines or hills without scraping.
- Towing capacity – Lowering can impact load leveling and weight distribution for towing or hauling heavy loads.
- Difficulty with installation – Older trucks require more complex modifications to lower the suspension safely.
- Legality – In some states, lowering beyond a certain point can violate vehicle inspection regulations.
- Cost – Lowering kits and professional installation can be expensive, averaging $200-$1000, depending on the truck.
Lowering Methods for 4×4 Trucks
People lower vehicles by lowering springs. Such springs replace the factory springs, and lower the rear and front can also be lowered. By compressing the coil springs, you can achieve the desired lowering effect. Choosing lowering springs designed for your truck’s make and model is essential to ensure a proper fit and performance.
Suspension Lift Kits
While lift kits are commonly used for a lifted 4×4, some manufacturers produce kits to make your vehicle go lower. These lowering lift kits make it possible to lower the suspension while maintaining off-road functionality in a lowered 4×4. They can be a viable option for truck owners who want to balance off-road capabilities and a sleeker profile without using smaller wheels on your lowered 4×4.
Lowering blocks are spacers placed between the rear axle and the leaf springs. They would lower the distance between the axle and the springs, resulting in a lowered 4wd rear suspension. While this method to lower a truck typically cost-effective and straightforward, it’s important to ensure the lowering blocks are of high quality to maintain safety and performance.
Drop spindles are used to lower the front suspension of the truck. These components replace the original spindles and are designed to lower the truck’s ride height while maintaining the suspension’s geometry. This method provides a consistent and reliable way to lower the front of a 4×4 truck to improve handling when using lowering keys. (Learn How To Disable Door Ajar On Ford Explorer)
The Impact of Lowering a 4×4 Truck
Lowering a 4×4 truck can have various positive and negative effects on its performance and handling. Let’s explore some of the key considerations:
Handling and Ride Quality
Lowering a truck’s center of gravity can improve its handling on the road, making it feel more stable during cornering and maneuvers. However, the extent of improvement may vary depending on the specific lowering method used and other factors like wheel and tire choices.
One of the primary concerns when lowering a 4×4 truck is its off-road capability. Lowering a truck may reduce ground clearance, making it more susceptible to scraping or bottoming out when driving off-road. If you frequently engage in off-road adventures, it’s essential to carefully consider the amount of lowering and choose components that maintain enough ground clearance.
Will Lowering a 4×4 Truck Affect Towing Capacity?
Lowering a truck’s suspension can impact its towing capacity in some cases. Here’s what you need to know:
- Towing capacity is reduced – Lowered height alters weight distribution, which can decrease max tow rating. Needs to be re-calculated.
- Leveling kits help towing – A leveling kit (only for front lowering) can improve towing stability compared to a lifted truck.
- Adjust hitch setup – May need to adjust hitch height, receiver drop, or other components to optimize towing when lowered.
- Loading height affected – Lower bed height changes ramp angles, so plan accordingly for loading vehicles/equipment in a truck bed.
- Tow capacity testing recommended – Best practice is to have your max tow rating recalculated professionally after lowering truck.
Overall, minor 1-2 inch lowering may have minimal impact on towing capacity if proper towing components are installed. But more aggressive lowering beyond 2-3 inches could noticeably reduce the load your 4×4 truck can safely haul.
Will Lowering Your 4×4 Truck Void the Warranty?
This is a common concern and question asked. Will lowering a truck affect the warranty? When modifying any vehicle, there are key factors on how lowered vehicles are covered under warranties:
- Lowering alone won’t void warranty – Lowering kits don’t automatically void OEM warranties, despite common misconceptions.
- Damage can void warranty – If lowering causes component failures or damage from improper installation, related repairs may not be covered.
- Follow guidelines carefully – Ensure load capacity, suspension geometry, and component stress levels stay in safe zones when lowered.
- OEM or high-quality parts only – Avoid ultra-budget no-name kits that could fail prematurely or cause damage over stock parts.
- Get professional install – Reputable shop with experience lowering trucks reduces risk of issues from poor workmanship.
- Keep OEM parts – Replace any stock components, springs, etc., so you can re-install them if you don’t want to affect the resale value.
5 Tips To Lower Your 4×4 Truck the Right Way
Lowering a pickup correctly takes research, quality gear, and skill. Follow these tips:
- Choose quality lowering kits – Don’t skimp on budget no-name coils or parts that can fail. Stick to reputable brands.
- Install precisely to instructions – Carefully follow all guidelines to avoid improper component stress or alignment issues.
- Adjust headlights – Headlight will need adjustment after the truck is lowered to avoid blinding other drivers.
- Maintain suspension – Lowered trucks need more frequently checked strut mounts, ball joints, and steering.
- Re-torque bolts after a few weeks – Settling suspension can loosen bolts over the initial break-in period. So you don’t end up too low, I think its best to check your 4-wheel drive regularly.
Conclusion: Should I Lower A Truck?
In conclusion, besides lowering cars, you can also lower your 4×4 truck, but it requires careful consideration of the right components and potential trade-offs. Lowering a 4×4 can enhance its on-road performance and aesthetics, but it may compromise the off-road capabilities and towing capacity.
Before proceeding with any modifications, it’s essential to research thoroughly, consult experts, and choose components that align with your needs and preferences. (Learn How Much Weight Can A 3500 Axle Carry)
All you need to know is, would you lower your truck knowing what you do now?
Can I lower my 4×4 truck using lowering springs designed for cars?
While lowering springs designed for cars may fit your 4×4 truck, they are not recommended. Using lowering springs manufactured explicitly for your truck’s make and model is essential to ensure proper fitment and performance.
Is it possible to retain the truck’s 4×4 functionality after lowering it?
Yes, with the right components, like lowering lift kits, it is possible to retain the 4×4 functionality of your truck even after lowering it.
Can I tow with a lowered 4×4 truck?
While it’s possible to tow with a lowered 4×4 truck, it’s essential to consider the reduced towing capacity because of the altered suspension. Always ensure your truck’s towing capacity is sufficient for your needs.
Will lowering my 4×4 truck void its warranty?
If you are looking to lower a 4wd by modifying the suspension, you can void the warranty on certain components. It’s crucial to check with your truck’s manufacturer and understand their warranty policy on parts to lower your 4-wheel drive.
What is the cheapest way to lower a truck?
Suppose you want to lower your truck the cheapest way, usually installing lowering blocks in rear suspension, which costs $50-$150. Lowering shackles also inexpensive at around $100.
Can I lower a 2WD truck as much as a 4×4 truck?
Yes, 2WD trucks can typically be lowered to the same 1- 4 inches range as 4×4 models, using the same style of lowering kits and coils.
Will lowering a truck improve gas mileage?
It can slightly, as reduced height improves aerodynamics. But stiff, lowered suspension may offset mpg gains. Any improvement would be marginal. (Read Why Don’t Cars Have Mud Flaps Anymore)
Should I remove the factory lift blocks when installing a lowering kit?
Most kits work with stock blocks in place. But removing blocks lowers the truck more inches for an aggressive dropped stance.