Most jacked up trucks aren’t meant for general use. While they have practical uses for off-road driving and for mudding, most of these distinct lifted trucks are a novelty representing fun for fun’s sake. But how do you go about customizing your own truck or buying monster trucks online? These customized beasts require special care and consideration, whether you choose to create one from an existing pickup truck or whether you’re shopping for a used jacked up truck.
Over time this site will provide advice and tutorials along with plenty of video and pictures of jacked up trucks. If you’re looking for advice on how to jack up your truck, keep reading. If you’re more interested in having someone else do the work so you can have the fun, check out my comprehensive guides to used jacked up trucks and how to approach jacked up trucks for sale (be careful!).
Navigate this guide:
- Jacked Up Truck Suspensions
- Jacked Up Truck Tires
- Laws and Regulations
- Lift Kits for Jacked Up Vehicles
- Be Safe When Doing A Truck Suspension Lift
- Start Jacking It Up
A traditional truck suspension incorporates shocks and springs. Modern vehicles utilize struts in place of shocks, but this core combination provides the suspension, which still represents the centerpiece of the jacked up truck.
All automobiles “float” on their suspensions. When your tires move over an obstacle on or off the road, the spring in your truck’s robust suspension absorbs the impact while pushing the truck down, thus minimizing the impact of the obstacle on the ride. This provides greater comfort for driver and passenger, but it also helps protect all the mechanics housed by your truck’s body. Most importantly in the case of jacked up trucks mudding or being driven off-road, this process helps the driver maintain control while navigating difficult and unpredictable terrain.
With jacked up trucks, it is primarily the suspension you modify and raise. I’ll go into more detail later on how this is done, but the basic first step is to increase the size of the suspension’s springs, or implement larger springs. Incorporating larger springs and setting them higher is usually the primary source for the greater ground clearance in lifted suspensions and jacked up trucks. After that, new shocks and tires must also be implemented to match the scale and height of the new springs. Two types of truck lift kits don’t require new or adjusted springs, however: body lift kits or leveling kits. These are both different and less intensive than a full suspension lift.
While a proper lift kit provides a dramatic new appearance and helps jacked up trucks tackle big, tough obstacles, it often also greatly decreases the quality of the ride on standard roads. Remember that when your truck ships from the factory, the springs and shocks have been designed and balanced to mathematical precision to provide maximum ride and stability. More often than I’d like to admit, jacked up trucks are for show and not for function. However, premium truck lift kits from companies like Skyjacker and Rancho do provide an on-road ride comparable to your truck’s factory suspension. Just be prepared to pay more to obtain that combination of smooth on-road ride and off-road capability.
If ride and looks are more important to you than off-road capability, you might look into a body lift kit and/or a leveling kit. A simple body lift provides greater height and greater room for larger tires, but often doesn’t impact the quality of the ride to the same degree as a full suspension lift.
You can probably see why it can be so difficult to find jacked up trucks for sale. Most often, these are very personal customization jobs. Big jacked up trucks, or monster trucks, can be particularly bombastic and spectacular… yet not provide much of a ride.
Just as you can find low rider trucks, you can also find jacked up cars these days. But I personally don’t think lifted cars can in any way compare to jacked up pickup trucks. Well designed jacked up 4×4 trucks just seem superior, both in function and in form.
Other than just the extreme ground clearance, the tires or wheels of your jacked up truck are its most distinct feature. Heck, we often call them monster truck tires and there’s a whole industry built around them, much like custom truck bumpers.
While secondary to springs in function, the huge tires of these trucks also play a significant role in raising the clearance and influencing that truck’s capability. Large wheels will reduce handling on the street, but they provide the massive look and off-road capability people so desire in their lifted trucks or custom mud trucks.
Keep in mind, however, that those huge tires reduce mileage, hamper acceleration and generally make the truck a very specialized vehicle that has little use for road driving. But these truck performance issues aren’t likely to be a priority for you if you are seriously considering a jacked up truck anyways.
I thought I might summarize the most pertinent suspension-modification laws and regulations in this section, but upon researching the regulations in different states I realized it would be almost impossible to properly summarize these laws in a useful way for everyone. The laws and regulations for lifted suspensions and modified vehicles have very little uniformity across states so you will need to research the specifics before you invest your time and money into a specific suspension lift, body lift or leveling kit.
To provide you some guidance, however, here are some general guidelines to help you stay within the lines. These concepts have been agreed upon by the truck aftermarket for quite some time now: The primary measurement will likely be based on Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWRs) and on setting appropriate bumper heights and/or frame heights according to these GVWRs.
In general, state laws will emphasize road handling, collision compatibility and first and foremost, road safety. Regardless of the specifics in any state, the vehicle owner will be responsible for his or her jacked up truck.
For this reason, it is important for you to decide with certainty what you will do with your lifted beast. Is it really meant for off-roading or will you spend more time than you’d like to admit on the pavement? Based on the true purpose of the lift, you will want to research and understand the modified vehicle regulations that will apply to you.
One key to staying both safe and legal is to always buy quality components from reputable suppliers and don’t try to do too much yourself unless you really have the experience and tools to properly execute your suspension lift.
While you can collect individual components for the lifting process individually, you will likely save time and money simply by selecting a quality suspension lift kit.
Lift kits incorporate more than just your basic jacks. They may include shocks and springs, a leveling kit (a must for a proper lift job), body lifts, sway bars and more. Make sure you buy one that is comprehensive, complete and appropriate for your particular truck model. Don’t assume Toyota lift kits or Jeep lift kits will work for jacking up your Ford F250 or F350.
Of course, you can skip the stress of creating your own jacked up truck and instead try to find quality jacked up trucks for sale online.
Keep in mind that when you use jack stands on any vehicle, you must be vigilant with safety. Take all appropriate precautions. Exercise common sense and an attentive demeanor or suffer the possibly severe consequences. A couple of critical steps when you begin the lift include detaching all fuel lines and removing the coolant radiator tank.
Every jack stand features a set of weight limitations and space requirements. Never use any jacks on equipment exceeding those weight limitations and always give yourself generous space for working.
Also do your research into the idiosyncrasies of jacking up your particular truck model and make. Jacked up Ford trucks can offer a very different endeavor than jacked up Dodge trucks. Chevy trucks jacked up may offer a third entirely unique experience as well. Almost all jacked up trucks present unique issues. I have a friend who specializes in jacked up Nissan trucks and jacked up Toyota trucks and it is comical how lost he can seem when we are working on a good old American-build pickup truck lift job.
Begin by removing the body support block’s nuts, then disconnect brake lines. Properly position the jack. This will vary per truck model, but if your truck features coil springs, you need to place the jack on your truck’s coil spring pockets in front and upon the trailing arm in back. Such a setup will offer optimum stability and security while you perform the lift job.
Once you have plenty of clearance, remove the tires and begin adjusting or changing the springs. Once your springs and huge new tires are installed, it is time to move on to balancing, leveling and aligning. Balancing and leveling can be particularly difficult on really large trucks or really old trucks. Jacked up truck alignment can be difficult without specialized equipment, but is still necessary for longevity and reliability as well as maximum mudding performance.
In all honesty, if you only plan to do a lift job once, you will probably be better off having a pro take care of jacking up your truck or you should consider looking into used jacked up trucks on the market. However, if you desire to make this hobby, you will find it becomes easier each time you do it, like so many other skills. So whether you seek jacked up diesel trucks or a jacked up dually, you will be able to take it on with little difficulty after a reasonable amount of practice.
Thank you for visiting Jacked Up Trucks. I hope you find my site worth your time and worth a bookmark or link. I will soon have plenty of jacked up truck pictures and jacked up truck videos available, as I’m sure that’s what many of you will desire on a site dedicated to jacked up trucks.