Can 4X4 Trucks Be Lowered?

Trucks are as American as apple pie. Whether you live in the deep south or the northeast, trucks are all over the road. Trucks are popular for hauling and towing, but they’re not always left stock. Some owners prefer a sporty look, while others like the shock value of a wild custom show truck. To get either look, you need to lower your truck. But can 4×4 trucks be lowered? 

Yes, 4×4 trucks can be lowered. Lowering the truck will not only affect its appearance but also the cargo capacity, towing capacity, and handling. There are a few different ways to lower your truck, depending on the look or performance you’re going for.

Can 4x4 Trucks Be Lowered?

If you want to slam your truck to the ground and make the ultimate street-rod, here’s everything you need to know.

Pros & Cons of lowering your 4×4 truck

Why lower your truck? It might not seem entirely obvious—especially if you’re into off-roading or overlanding, which requires a suspension lift—so let’s dive into the pros and cons of lowering your 4×4 truck.

Pro’s of Lowering Your Truck

There are multiple benefits to lowering a truck besides aesthetics and improved traction. The lower suspension can help you connect with your vehicle while you drive. The vibrations and road surface come through your steering wheel, which gives you feedback on how your vehicle acts on different road types. It’ll make driving your truck that much more enjoyable!

After you lower your truck, the center of gravity is shifted, which decreases the lean of the truck going around sharp turns—reducing the rollover risk. Being closer to the ground improves responsiveness, stability, and grip at speed. You’ll enjoy faster acceleration and quicker stops. Lowered vehicles, not just trucks, are more aerodynamic, making the car faster. The vehicle will also see an increase in miles per gallon. 

Con’s of a Lowered Truck

A big drawback of lowering a truck is the cost. Between lowering kits, materials, installation, alignment, and upkeep, lowering your truck can easily break a thousand dollars.  If lowering the truck is done improperly, you may have alignment issues. The alignment problem can lead to uneven or accelerated wear on the tires, which will only add to the cost.

Being lower to the ground will also limit your clearance on rough roads—which is why lowering isn’t ideal for off-roaders or overlanders. 

You may notice more road noise as you drive than if you had a softer suspension cushioning all the bumps and potholes.

Lowering your truck might also complicate simple maintenance tasks, like changing your oil or a tire. You can’t use a standard jack because of the limited clearance under the frame. 

Before lowering your truck, always check how it’ll affect the warranty. On some trucks, suspension changes can void your warranty, which won’t be fun if you ever need repair work done. Some dealerships specialize in lowering trucks will do the job without affecting the full warranty of your truck.

How to lower your 4×4 truck

There are four popular ways to lower a truck. The method you choose will depend on how much you want to lower, the look and style you’re going for, and capabilities of the truck.

PurposeLoweringMethod Front / Rear
Leveling2-in rearBlocks or hangars & shackles
Moderate2-fr / 4-rDrop Spindle / Coils / Blocks & Hangar
Custom3-fr/ 5-rLower Control Arm / Coils / Blocks & Hangars
Extreme4-fr / 6-rDrop Spindle / Coils / Flip Kit, Blocks and Hangars
Very Extreme5-fr / 7-rLower Control Arm / Coils or Airbags / Flip Kit, Blocks and Hangars
Dragger6-fr/ 8+ rCustom lower control arms / Airbags / Custom rear frame with airbags

Coil Springs

Coil springs are just like they sound. They’re the springs holding up your suspension. To lower your truck with coil springs, just find springs that are a little shorter and stiffer and swap them out with your longer stock springs. 

Coils are great. They’re affordable and easy to install. High-performance coils can even improve handling. They can be combined with other products if you want to lower your truck more than 2 inches, which is about as much as coil springs can do. If you get a kit, make sure you get one from the same manufacturer as your truck’s rear coils for consistency and balance. To avoid sag over time, high-quality steel springs are the best choice. 

Drop Spindles

Drop spindles are a small bracket that simply let your wheel sit farther up into the fender well, effectively lowering your truck. But be careful, watch out for wheel clearance. Many drop spindles won’t work for 4×4 trucks, so do your research before purchasing.

Without affecting the ride quality or geometry, drop spindles can lower your truck by two, three, or sometimes even four inches. Make sure to purchase a high-quality spindle, and cheaper ones are known to crack. Combining drop spindles with coils can give you a massive altitude drop. 

Control Arms

The control arms replace the factory wishbones in the front of the truck. Because the new arm has a deeper coil spring pocket, the truck will be lowered two or three inches. Make sure the control arm spring pocket doesn’t fall below the scrub-line if you want to use low-profile tires. 

Air Springs (bags)

How low can you go? Air Springs can be retrofitted anywhere to get a low stance when deflated. They provide the most options for a moderate or extreme drop. For simplicity, they can replace the factory coil springs in the front and back. To go really low, go to a professional for customizing. 

Air springs will require some serious installation. In addition to replacing all your springs, you’ll also need to install compressed air tanks, a compressor, and a control panel in your truck. If you’re not familiar with air systems, it’s best to get a professional to do the installation.

Other Lowering Methods

Some other methods of dropping your 4×4:

  • Leaf spring eye hangars
  • Lowering leaf springs
  • Leaf spring blocks
  • Flip Kits

To get the smoothest ride possible, use only high-quality parts. Having high-quality parts will make a difference in ways you don’t realize until you ride in a truck with cheap components. Before lowering, check your shocks to make sure they are within the specified range. You might need to replace them if they can’t compress enough to support the new stance of the truck.

Lowering kits are available based on the make, model, and year of your truck. The prices vary from $180 to over $2,100.00.

Does lowering a truck affect towing capacity?

Generally, lowering won’t hurt your towing capacity, but it will make your truck sit lower (obviously). When you’re supporting a load, you might bottom out or hit bumps in the road. Depending on the kit or parts you purchase, the packaging or installation manual might include a tow range for the equipment. It typically comes as a percentage (i.e. decreases towing capacity by 5%). 

Some truck owners try to overcome sag while towing by adding bigger, stronger springs. While it might keep you from bottoming out on the road, once the truck is unloaded, you may notice a much rougher ride.

If you really want a lowered truck AND towing capacity, consider using an airbag. There are several airbag kits specifically designed for towing and hauling. They allow you to stiffen or soften your suspension as needed to suit any load. Fill the bags up when towing; deflate them for cruising.

Lowered Truck Life

Simply put, lowered trucks drive better on the road and they look good doing it. There are tons of ways to lower your truck to get the look and style you want. From coil springs and drop spindles to airbags and control arms, you really can’t go wrong.


James with daughter on the trails

About James...

Hi, I’m James. If I’m not working on this site, you can often find me outdoors roaming the trails. I’m an avid hiker, mountain biker, and overlander. I’m excited to share my passion for the outdoors with you.