So, you have decided to buy a lift kit and lift your truck. Should you install the lift kit yourself once it arrives? Or would you be better off spending some extra money and having a professional install it for you?
You should install your lift kit on your own if you have the experience and the tools you need. Otherwise, you can end up damaging your truck or installing the lift kit incorrectly, which can be unsafe. On the other hand, hiring a mechanic to do it might cost as much as the lift kit itself.
In this article, I will talk about the pros and cons of installing a lift kit yourself vs. having a professional do it for you. I will also talk about different lift kits and how they differ in installation difficulty and time. Let us get into it.
Pros of Installing a Lift Kit on Your Own
You Will Save Money
Installing a lift kit yourself will help you save money. Hiring a professional to install a lift kit for you can easily cost you as much as the lift kit itself costs. Even if you bought a cheap lift kit for only $300, you might end up spending another $300 for a mechanic to install it for you. If you are on a strict budget, price is the main reason you would consider installing a lift kit yourself.
You Can Do It Quicker Yourself
If you go to a mechanic, you might have to wait a bit before installing the lift kit. They might have other jobs to finish, as well. Even though the installation itself might only take four hours, you might have to come back in a day or two to give your mechanic time to install the lift kit.
However, you will only save time if you are experienced at installing lift kits yourself. Otherwise, you will probably waste a lot of time due to the learning curve involved in installing a lift kit for the first time.
Cons of Installing a Lift Kit on Your Own
You Can Damage Your Truck
You should only install a lift kit yourself if you have experience doing it in the past. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your truck. If you do not know what you are doing, and you end up damaging your truck while installing the lift kit, you might have to spend even more money on repairs or new parts. In the long run, if you are inexperienced, you might even save money by hiring a professional to install the lift kit for you, after factoring in possible damage and repairs.
You Need the Tools
If you do not own any tools, how will you install a lift kit? If you work on cars regularly and have the basic tools you need, go ahead and install it yourself. Otherwise, you will have to spend money on tools anyway, so it might be better to spend some extra money and have a mechanic install it for you.
It Can Be Dangerous
Yes, installing a lift kit yourself can lead to some dangerous situations. If you do not know what you are doing, you might leave the wheels misaligned. Alternatively, you might forget to put in some nails or tighten screws correctly, leaving things loose, which can cause accidents on the road. If you don’t have experience installing lift kits yourself, consider hiring a professional to do it, so you don’t have to worry about safety issues.
Some Kits Are Harder To Install Than Others
There is more than one type of lift kit. Suspension lift kits modify the suspension of your vehicle, giving you more ground clearance. Body or spacer lift kits, on the other hand, lift the body of your vehicle from the frame by a few inches without modifying the suspension. As you can imagine, installing a body lift kit is a lot easier than installing a suspension lift kit. There are fewer parts involved, and there are fewer steps to do.
As such, if you have some experience with installing lift kits and are on the fence about whether to do it yourself or not, you might want to do it if you bought a body lift kit. Since you are modifying less of your truck, there is less chance of things going wrong. It will also be easier to do. On the other hand, you may not be confident enough to install a suspension lift kit yourself.
If you would like to learn more about the difference between body and suspension lift kits, watch this short Youtube video:
The Verdict: Install It Yourself If You Have Experience
You should only install a lift kit yourself if you have experience and know what you are doing. If that is the case, you can save time and money by installing a lift kit yourself. If you have a body lift kit instead of a suspension lift kit, installing it yourself will be even easier and require fewer tools and experience.
On the other hand, if you have no prior experience installing lift kits, hiring a professional might be a better idea. This way, you will avoid damaging your truck. You will also stay safer and avoid accidents occurring due to incorrect installation.
What To Do After Installing a Lift Kit
After installing a lift kit yourself, you should still take your lift kit to a mechanic. Even if you have the experience and the tools and did the installation correctly, the wheels might be misaligned. You might need to get the wheels aligned again, or you might need to adjust the steering components.
However, having a mechanic take care of this will be a lot cheaper than having a mechanic install your entire lift kit. It can cost just $50 to $200 for a mechanic to inspect your wheel alignment and steering components and realign them if needed.
How Much Does It Cost To Install a Lift Kit Professionally?
If you hire a mechanic to install the lift kit for you, you can expect it to cost as much as it did to buy the lift kit itself. The more expensive the lift kit is, the more complicated it can be to install it. As such, if you paid $300 to install a lift kit, it can cost up to $300 for a mechanic to install it. However, if you paid $700 for your lift kit, it can cost up to $600-700 for a mechanic to install it.
How Long Does It Take a Shop To Install a Lift Kit?
The amount of time it takes a shop to install a lift kit will vary. The actual installation time will probably take 1.5-3 hours if it is a body/spacer lift kit. If it is a suspension lift kit, expect the actual installation time to take between 3-5 hours, sometimes six.
It all depends on the mechanic’s experience and how many people they have working on the lift kit. It also depends on the lift kit itself. More expensive lift kits with more parts will take longer to install than simpler, cheaper lift kits that are more basic.
However, this does not mean you can be in and out of the mechanic shop in just a few hours. The mechanic may be working on other projects they have to complete. You might have to return in 24-48 hours to get your truck back.
Installing a lift kit yourself will save you money. On the other hand, you should only do it if you have experience and know what you are doing (and have the tools). Otherwise, you might end up damaging your truck, which can cost you more in the long run.