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A Guide to Buying a Lifted Truck

If you’re buying a lifted truck (also called a 4 x 4 truck), the process could be tricky. It is, after all, a rare vehicle modified to perfection for off-road adventures and many other kinds of demanding work. A lifted truck protects its body by lifting it in the air, thus keeping it from colliding against the ground or any ground level objects.

Keep the following in mind before you shop for a lifted truck:

Drive Shaft Length and Angle

The length and angle of a lifted truck’s drive shaft should be adjusted to enable the modified vehicle to work properly. The pinion angle of a typical truck’s universal joint is anywhere from 1 to 3 degrees, and any lifted truck’s differential pinion angle must not exceed 2.50 degrees. Slip travel differential should be within 3/4 of an inch to an inch to make up for the vehicle’s significant “give and take.”

Brakes and Tires

Large tires and wheels can be accommodated by lifting the chassis of the truck. This allows the truck to drive over uneven terrain without causing underbody damage. However, to raise and drive huge trucks safely, the brakes must be modified. This is simply due to the fact that bigger tires and wheels are bulkier and need larger and stronger brakes to stop the vehicle completely. Ensure that the lifted truck’s brakes have been modified, with bigger than normal roots and calipers that can stop the truck within reasonable distance. Also see if the vehicle’s tires are suitable for what you’re getting it for.

Examining a Truck Thoroughly

Just like buying a used passenger car or any other pre-owned automobile, you need to inspect a lifted truck carefully before deciding to get it. Ask the seller for information about the owner and the amount of off-road experience the vehicle has. Know the lift type, who installed it and whether or not there were issues with it. Lifted trucks are typically bought used, so get a flashlight and examine the vehicle, paying attention to toughened mud in the nooks and crannies. This will give you a picture of the truck’s off-roading life. Don’t forget to look into the U-joints, half-shafts, bearings and idler arm.

Being a shopper, you should pay attention to lift blocks found on the truck’s rear axle. They tell you that the owner installed a cheap lift kit. A good lift kit is one that has fairly new, if not brand new, arched springs of suitable that prevent odd or funny shackle angles. Check the truck’s fluids for their dipstick level and color, and whether or not they contain water. Don’t forget to examine the anti-freeze for oil as well. Finally, give the truck a test ride on a bumpy terrain, and observe for leaks, noises, or problems with steering response.

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