Lifting the modern 4WD ute
Since founding VMN in 2009, I’ve seen hundreds of suspension setups and tried a few myself on my Hilux. The limitations of the vehicle and other utes with similar suspension are now well understood. But they have been muddied by a few changes to the standard OEM rim and tyre combinations through vehicle life cycles. Nonetheless, the basics of suspension and tyre choice have remained unchanged and those who want to push the limits quickly find that they are limited by:
- Clearance at the body mount behind the front wheel arch
- Clearance on the inside at the tyre between it and the upper control arm
- Crappy handling due to lack of down travel and wheel alignment issues after anything more than a mild lift.
- Excessive CV angles, that lead to binding CVs, split CV boots, grease flicked everywhere, and increased risk of breakages.
- Legislative restrictions.
When it comes to suspension lifts, 4WD Ute drivers fall into four groups
- Those who are quite happy with the factory suspension height
- Happy at the standard height but need to change the front suspension to account for added weight from accessories such as a bullbar, winch or dual battery
- Price-conscious drivers who want a conservative lift for some increased clearance (30-50mm of lift) for better on and off-road handling and additional off-road ground clearance
- Looking for a better quality 50mm (2") suspension lift with adjustable Coilover struts for improved handling and the ability to trim the ride height to suit their taste
- Those go all out and won't install the biggest lift they can get away with and add the tyres to go with it. (75mm-150mm of lift)
If you fall into the first group above, there are not many products at VMN for you. By all means, stick around and absorb some of the tech info we’ve published over the years.
We manufacture body lifts and body lifts are installed by the fourth group in the list. However, they are rarely fitted in isolation and most people are also fitting suspension lifts and tyres to go with. Some stuff you need is hard to find, but it is all here on this site.
On this site, we’ve pulled together all of the stuff you will need to build that monster Ute from the best brands in the business. We want to showcase it all under the one roof.
Once you have made some room with a body lift, then you will be keen to fit larger tyres and that means you will be giving serious consideration to diff drop kits and upper control arms as well as Coilover suspension and the like. If you fit a diff drop kit, you’ll then need a custom bash plate to protect it. Finally, you need to select the suspension to complement your choice of tyres and rims.
Many products in this category are inferior quality sold by people that simply don’t care if you break a strut or CV or if there is so much suspension down travel, your steering rack is damaged. You will not find those products here.
So think of VMN as representing a network of quality brands that get your truck as far off the ground as humanly possible. Each product is included for a reason, part of a plan that will help you achieve your lofty goals. Choosing carefully from the products on this site will let you to confidently achieve the vision you have.
Choosing products from our catalog will ensure you not only get a great lift but you will end up with truly long-travel suspension. You won’t be exposed to reliability issues due to over travel or end up with spinal injuries from the harsh ride that comes from overextended shocks with limited down travel.
We want to help you build a Ute that stands out from the crowd, looks different, rides like a dream on the road and is a capable offroad weapon.
So enjoy what we’ve put together, come back from time to time to see what’s changed and feel free to ask questions. We are here to help.
Want to find out what you need to lift your Ute?