Lift your car for the summer? Here’s why you should find it too
Courtesy of Bighorn Automotive
Lift (your car) responsibly
Summer is fast approaching and it’s impossible not to hear the call of adventure. Across Colorado, people wash their hiking boots, load up storage on the roof of their cars, and text.wyd? to those forgotten pre-COVID outdoor friends. Summer also marks peak off-road season, with many new riders taking advantage of the great Colorado summer weather and scenic trails to embark on this adventurous pastime. Naturally, this means an increase in the number of drivers who install lift kits on their vehicles.
There are few things more exhilarating than driving a jeep or a lifted truck. Sitting at a higher altitude fundamentally changes the way you see the road; trips that would be stressful from the cabin of a compact Subaru now look like comfortable cruises. Plus, the lighter, more buoyant nature of your ride means you can spend less time worrying about specific turns and more time enjoying the road.
Once you’ve installed a lift kit, however, there’s one more important step before you tear the road (out) with your newly made all-terrain vehicle: have your car regeared.
Getting back to your car properly after installing a lift kit is essential to avoid off-road breakdowns, keep your drivetrain intact, and maintain your car’s overall long-term health. Let’s take a closer look!
Installing a lift kit gives your car more clearance while also allowing for other upgrades, such as bigger tires, new shocks, and upgraded bumpers. The increased ride also gives you a real sense of power (and a workout!) As you climb into the driver’s cabin of a car that feels like it’s solid four feet off the ground, but it’s more one heard advantage that a ad a.
In addition to the height, handling and power of a lift kit, it also changes the stress that driving places on your car’s transmission. Modern cars are incredibly well tuned to perform optimally to factory specs, but any aftermarket specs can interfere with this. Under normal circumstances, most cars have a factory gear ratio somewhere between 3.55 and 4.10. Basically, this is a measure of how many times the vehicle’s drive shaft gear ratio ring and pinion must turn to turn your wheels one full revolution. For example, a vehicle with a gear ratio of 4.0 means that your speed must turn four times for one full rotation of the tires.
When you install a lift kit, you are subjecting your transmission to stresses for which it is not rated. As the factory gear ratios are not designed to handle these changes, you may find it difficult to engage your final gear ratios, which will cause a noticeable decrease in vehicle performance. Besides reducing driveability, it can also have a big impact on your car’s fuel consumption. If your ratios can’t handle the adjusted stress properly, you’ll see the difference between reduced horsepower and performance, coupled with higher fuel costs for driving.
This is where regearing comes in. Simply put, it is the process of repairing and reinstalling your vehicle’s gears by a workshop to ensure optimum driving performance. This will align your car’s transmission with the new considerations posed by your lift kit instead of continuing to operate outside of the manufacturer’s default considerations.
While you could theoretically swap out your car’s gears at home, we recommend that you do your research and take your vehicle to a garage that specializes in lifted vehicles. If this article is the first you’ve heard of gear ratios, take a moment to imagine how fun it would be to study their intricacies on the fly in more detail with how your vehicle performs depending on the result. Your car will thank you!
Are you planning to go off-roading this summer? If so, what are you doing to prepare? Sound off in the comments.