While many of our guides focus on the advantages of lifting or leveling your truck, the fact is that many trucks won’t see off-road conditions more intimidating than the occasional dirt road. If this sounds like your truck, and you're thinking a lowered look may suit you, this guide will prove useful. Check out the pros and cons of lowering your truck and all the items you’ll need to slam your truck to the ground.
Lowering Your Truck: Pros and Cons
Both leaf and coil springs can be replaced with lowering variants
Lowering your truck brings its center of gravity closer to the ground. The practical upshot of this is improved maneuverability and traction, with reduced chances of rolling over. A lowered vehicle also benefits from improved aerodynamics due to less air going underneath the vehicle, potentially creating a positive impact on fuel efficiency.
MaxTrac Lowering Shackles and Hangers
The most obvious disadvantage of a lowered truck is the reduction in ground clearance. This makes it easier to bottom out when traveling over uneven terrain. Lowering your vehicle can also alter certain parameters such as steering axis inclination, leading to different scrub radius measurements which can result in uneven tire wear. Finally, ride quality can suffer from excessive lowering, resulting in a less comfortable driving experience.
How to Lower a Truck
Drop spindles lower the front end of your truck
If you’ve decided the pros outweigh the cons, then it’s time to decide how you want to lower your truck. Depending on your vehicle’s suspension, which end you’re lowering, and how much you want to lower the truck, there are a few options available.
Lowering shackles are used to move leaf springs closer to a vehicle’s frame. This results in a ride-height reduction that can vary from 2 inches to 6 inches depending on the brand and configuration of the shackle. Since this is used on a leaf spring, lowering shackles are usually only used on the rear of your vehicle.
A drop spindle lowers the front end of your truck by replacing your vehicle’s stock spindles. These items can be combined with lowering shackles to lower both ends of your truck.
Axle flip kits provide dramatic reductions in ride height
Both the front coil springs and rear leaf springs of a truck can be replaced with shorter aftermarket components to lower the vehicle. They’re often found as part of a full front-to-back lowering kit such as those offered by Groundforce
Axle Flip Kit:
Used to achieve dramatic rear drops of up to 7 inches, an axle flip kit such as those offered by Maxtrac
repositions your truck’s rear leaf springs underneath the axle. While other lowering methods require a fairly straightforward removal and replacement of existing parts, an axle flip kit can require extensive drilling and cutting, making it suitable for experienced installers only.