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It might look redneck, but it has to be done! (lift kit edition)

I just cant see spending over $1000 dollars to lift my isuzu, but it must be done. I know that it has a torsion bar in the front that can be cranked and regular springs and shocks in the rear. I’ve never lifted a vehicle before, but I really want to and I was wondering if there was some way that it could be lifted at a more cost effective price point. I’m only thinking of lifting it no more than 2-3 inches as I can already fit some beefy tires on it stock.

Option 1) Can i just buy a beefier torsion bar and crank it up and just replace the shocks and springs which need to be replaced anyway? Or is there something that I need to take into consideration when doing this.

Option 2) Something like a 2 inch body lift. What goes into implementing a body lift and what things need to be adjusted like the steering wheel or things like that? I just dont know.

Please feel free to leave some advice as I greatly need it (but only about the car! ha!)—and yes I understand the risks of lifting a car so I’ll save you all the typing by saying that you dont even need to tell me about the risk of rolling!

I’ll tell ya what? Why not just give me the $1,000, and I’ll draw a rendition of what the vehicle will look like?

But I can’t guarnatee how the vehicle will run/handle after you’ve spent the money to make it look that way.

Take the $1,000, and use that just to keep it movin’ down the road.


You’ll probably have to regear as well. Or else your Isuzu will be even more gutless than it usually is and fuel economy will suffer as well. Body lifts are cheaper, but you run into problems like the steering wheel moving around, and wires snapping.

Doing a lift on the cheap is a recipe for disaster, especially when the work is done by someone whose never do it before. A quality lift kit will cost at least $1500 these days. I have Dick Cepek 4 inch suspension lift on my Bronco; it cost $1300 back in 1998. I also bought a steering stabilizer; I had 4.56 gears installed, as well as a rear locker. I had the kit installed by an outfit that specializes in off-road vehicles. Because I did it right, the result was the Bronco drives as well as it did stock.

I have been in lifted vehicles where the owner didn’t spend the money or have the knowhow to do it right, it’s painfully obvious. The trucks wander all over the road, or the steering wheel is tilted to one side, or there’s so much play in the steering that you don’t know which way the wheels are really pointed, or the gearing is so far off, that the vehicle can’t maintain a steady 55 MPH in top gear without the transmission kicking down incessantly, etc.

Do it right or don’t do it at all. To do it right you’re going to be spending at least $2000 if not more.

My aunt bought a Jeep Wrangler that someone had lifted and put great big tires on and didn’t know what they were doing. I drove it a couple times. At highway speed it wandered all over the road. I was literally afraid I would get pulled over for drunk driving it was so bad. The other big problem: BRAKES! Even if it isn’t lifted, when you cram big rims and big tires on it, you increase the weight and rolling inertia. The first time I tried to stop that thing, I thought I was going to die. Luckily, it was a stick and I was able to downshift to slow down. Remember, once you get those big tires rolling, you have to stop them. Stock brakes are likely underpowered.

And you can start buying U-joints by the case and carry an extra driveshaft with you…But if impressing 14 year-old car-tards is your goal, have at it…

We don’t hold back here… I’ll add, I have made great efforts at making raised vehicles safe to drive after the fact. It cannot be done. Once raised the vehicle is unsafe at highway speeds. Some are unsafe to be driven at all. Even the most expensive kits, professionally installed by highly competent mechanics relegate the vehicle to an off road toy. I was hit head on by a young man many years ago when he slammed on the brakes of his lifted truck to avoid the car ahead of him. I watched the panicked look on his face as he struggled to get his truck back under control while I searched for somewhere to go to avoid him. If you can afford a big toy, enjoy. And buy your U-joints by the gross.

BTW, I have owned old Broncos, old Scouts, old military Jeeps and late model jeeps with 4 wheel drive and worked on hundreds of them for the public. They are a lot of fun. I raised 3 boys and have had to get a crowd to help up-right our toys more than once and can’t recall all the clutches and U-joints that I went through. Just take it from myself and several others here who seem to know first hand that once lifted it won’t be safe at highway speeds.

Good advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. My first truck was a 77 Ford. It was given to me by my stepdad who bought it new. He had put a small lift on it after being stuck in the snow in the country and unable to get out. It was not jacked way up with giant tires. It was a little higher than stock and had a little bit bigger tires. He just wanted a little more ground clearance. He was too short to climb up in it if it were any higher. lol I drove that truck and it never wandered on the highway and seemed to stop ok, but I suppose it’s possible that it wasn’t the safest either. I never was in an emergency situation in it so I can’t say if it would have stopped well or not. I know that my aunt’s Jeep was a death trap. I don’t scare easily and it scared me a lot. I wouldn’t recommend doing it at all.