If you've ever lifted your vehicle, you know that it's not as easy to keep it in alignment as when it was stock. Many factors can contribute to misalignment, such as the type of lift kit installed, the terrain you drive on, and even the weight of your cargo. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to align your lifted vehicle so that it drives straight and true.
First and foremost, it is important to have your vehicle aligned by a professional after you've lifted it. A qualified technician will be able to adjust the suspension so that the wheels are in proper alignment. If you try to do this yourself, you may end up doing more harm than good. An alignment will make sure that the camber, caster, and toe are all back within factory spec after your lift. The toe in an alignment refers to the angle of the wheels in relation to each other. If they are pointed inward (toward each other), then the toe is said to be negative. If they are pointed outward, then the toe is positive. In most cases, you will want to have a slight amount of positive toe when driving on paved roads, as this helps keep the vehicle stable. However, too much positive toe can cause the vehicle to wander and wear down your tires prematurely. The camber is the angle of the wheel in relation to the ground. If the top of the wheel is tilted inward, then the camber is negative. If it's tilted outward, then it's positive. Camber affects how easily a vehicle will steer, and too much negative camber can cause the tires to wear down on the inside. Caster is the angle of the steering pivot in relation to the ground. If it's tilted backward, then it has positive caster. If it's tilted forward, then it has negative caster. Positive caster helps a car turn more easily, while negative caster makes the car harder to turn. It is important to note that each vehicle will react differently when lifted, so it's important to do your own research and find out what works best for you. These are just general guidelines, and you may need to adjust your alignment depending on the type of lift kit you have installed and the terrain you drive on. If you're ever in doubt, it's always best to consult with a professional.
In addition to getting an alignment, it is also important to check your suspension regularly. The shocks and struts will wear out over time, which can cause the vehicle to sag or tilt. If you notice that your vehicle isn't driving as straight as it used to, have your suspension checked by a professional.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the type of lift kit you install can also affect alignment. There are many different types of kits available, each with its own set of pros and cons. It is important to do your research before purchasing a lift kit, so that you can be sure it will not adversely affect the alignment of your vehicle. Sometimes you will need to purchase additional items such as camber and caster plates so that you can get the suspension geometry back to factory specs.
The terrain you drive on can also have an impact on alignment. If you regularly drive on rough terrain, your vehicle's suspension will be subjected to more stress and may become misaligned. Be sure to take this into account when planning your driving routes.
Finally, the weight of your cargo can also cause problems with alignment. When you're carrying a heavy load, the suspension is working harder than usual and may become misaligned. Try to avoid carrying excess weight in your vehicle, especially if you're driving on rough terrain. All of this weight will change the geometry of the suspension so if you do plan on carrying additional weight on the vehicle be sure that you have all of it in the vehicle when you arrive for an alignment. This will ensure that the vehicle alignment is correct with all of the weight added.
By following these tips, you can help keep your lifted vehicle in alignment and ensure a safe and smooth driving experience. Thanks for reading!