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What Is A Leveling Kit?

Want bigger tires and wheels without spending thousands on a lift kit? Find out more about the leveling kit here!

Looking to add a couple inches of height and clearance to your diesel truck? A Leveling kit is an affordable way to raise your truck while maintaining factory steering and suspension components. Have you ever noticed that your diesel sits higher in the rear? Often referred to as “Rake”, your diesel truck sits higher in the rear from the factory. Leveling kits add height to the front of your ride, providing that “leveled” stance. This is accomplished with the use of spring spacers or torsion keys. Now, there are companies that provide new coil springs altogether in their leveling kits. Compared to lift kits, leveling kits are very easy to install and much cheaper. However, leveling kits can only provide .5”-2.5” of lift height, as anything more than that typically requires additional modifications.

When You Should Choose A Leveling Kit

Leveling kits are an awesome option for diesel truck owners who aren’t looking to have a monstrous pick-up truck. They let you retain your factory steering and suspension components which allows you to maintain a comfortable ride. At Diesel Resource, we believe leveling kits make great additions to daily driven diesel trucks. Just remember, tire and wheel selection have a significant impact on your ride. If there isn’t enough rubber between your wheel and the road, your ride quality will suffer. Big, knobby mud tires also don’t help your ride quality on paved roads. Depending on the size rims and tires you select, trimming your fenders or purchasing a bumper spacer kit may be necessary!

Powerstroke And Cummins Leveling Kits

Powerstroke and Cummins equipped diesel trucks utilize coil spring spacers that add some height to your truck’s factory coil springs. They can also replace your coil springs altogether, which might be a little more expensive, but it will offer vastly superior ride quality. We recommend that if you go with a leveling kit, you purchase some bigger shocks. If you don’t want to invest in bigger shocks, at least make sure the leveling kit your purchase comes with shock extenders. This will help keep you comfortable. Most powerstrokes and cummins equipped trucks can fit wheels up to 12” wide as long as you stick with tires under 35” tall. If you’re going for that wide and low stance, you should probably stick with a smaller tire. I regularly post diesels on my instagram pages of people even fitting 305s and 22x14s with some cutting. This isn’t ideal for a good riding/towing truck, but I understand the obsession with wide forged wheels. Keep in mind every truck is different and you may need to trim your fenders depending on what wheels and tires you select. If you have questions about what fits, visit a reputable offroad shop near you.

2006 Dodge Ram 2500 with 2" Leveling kit
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins with 2″ Rough Country leveling kit, 33×12.50r22 Nitto MT tires, and 22×12 American Force Evo SS8 Wheels.

GM Duramax Leveling Kits

GM trucks, because of their independent front suspension, utilize torsion bars. Because of this, GM leveling kits use a torsion key leveling system. You can use stock keys to level your truck, but we recommend bigger, aftermarket keys. This will help you maintain factory angles steering geometry. Aftermarket upper control arms also significantly improve steering geometry. If you purchase a quality leveling kit from Cognito or Kryptonite for your Duramax, they’re often included. Complete kits are usually the best route because your truck will ride like stock! Bigger shocks, shock extensions, and beefier front end components are also typically included.

Because of GM’s square fenders, the clearance is limited so even with a leveling kit you will have to compromise with slightly smaller wheels and tires than your buddies with Ford or Ram trucks. However, a leveling kit will still allow you much bigger tires and rims than your stock truck could. If you’re willing to cut your fenders or wheel liner, you can give yourself a little extra room. Bumper spacers can also increase clearance for bigger tires!

LML Duramax Leveling Kit
2015 LML Duramax with a Leveling Kit. 33×12.50r22 Toyo AT’s & 22×12 Specialty Forged Wheels.

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Founder of Diesel Resource and a complete diesel head. Has a little bit of problem buying too many trucks. Learn more about him by checking out his truck.

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