To Lift or to Level; That is the Question - Either Way, Cognito Motorsports Has You Covered
Your bone stock truck sits in the driveway. It’s beautiful and shiny; fresh from the dealership. In your mind you go over all the mods you want to do to it. But before you get to the twin turbo kit or long range Titan fuel tank; or even a 70’s style CB radio (breaker breaker; there’s a bear in the air and a fly in my soup; etc), you need to address your new truck’s attitude.
From the factory your truck sits lower in the front than in the back. This is called a rake. The reason is so that when you carry a significant load in the bed; making the truck squat in the back; the truck will be level while loaded. This is great if you run loaded all the time; but the reality for many truck owners is that the bed is empty much of the time. This leaves your truck with the ever so slightly undignified impression of a hen waiting for the rooster; her ass in the air and beak in the weeds.
So what can be done to rectify this woeful condition? There are two schools of thought. The first is a levelling kit that simply lifts the front of your truck to make it level with the back. With Ford and Dodge Ram trucks this is accomplished with a minimum of difficulty by placing 2 inch tall open cups atop your truck’s front coil springs. This gives you just enough lift to level out your truck without affecting the ride quality or spring travel.
If you have a GM truck; Chevy or GMC, then you don’t have coil springs up front; complicating matters. Your truck has what is called a torsion bar suspension. Essentially each spring is a long rod (about 3 or 4 feet long). The bar is attached to the frame at the back under the cab, and to the suspension at the front. The rod twists as you go over bumps; providing the springing action needed to prevent the fillings from rattling out of your teeth as you rocket down the road.
Levelling kits for GM trucks often take advantage of the simplicity of the torsion bar suspension design to bring the nose up by “cranking the bars”. Through the use of special keys on the cab end of the torsion bars, the bars are twisted to provide lift to the front suspension. This works well in that it does level out the truck and give a pleasing appearance; but it has a down side. By cranking the bars to lift the front of your truck; you are essentially stiffening your front suspension and taking away spring travel. This can result in a ride that quite honestly sucks. You’ll be able to drive over a dime and tell if it’s heads or tails.
This leads to the conundrum many GM truck owners have. Should they even bother with the levelling kit; or should they just skip right past it to a full on lift kit that lifts the whole truck closer to God and fulfilling some of their monster truck lust? This is the second school of thought. Essentially you just say “screw it” and jack that mother up until your wallet or local constabulary can no longer take it.
The undisputed king of levelling and lift kits is a company called Cognito Motorsports. While their kits are not the cheapest on the market; they are widely considered the best. Since literally everything your truck does (from Saturday night fun to Monday morning load hauling) rides on your suspension; it is wise to go with the top quality you can muster.