Possible Lift?

Tiny
BREAKERONE9
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 HYUNDAI SANTA FE
  • 3.3L
  • V6
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 104,511 MILES
It's not a problem, I'm just wondering if there's any way I can give my SUV about 3" of extra height so I can put on some bigger tires?
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Monday, March 7th, 2016 AT 12:48 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
You need to forget about that idea. That truck can't handle the bigger tires anyway. It will just kill all the power and fuel mileage. Those things are designed more like a car than a truck.
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Monday, March 7th, 2016 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
DO NOT ALTER THE RIDE HEIGHT!

That adversely affects front-to-rear braking balance, steering response, suspension geometry, steering linkage orientation, stretched rubber brake hoses, increased drive line angle with repeated universal joint and / or cv joint failures, a non-adjustable alignment angle called "steering axis inclination", (SAI), resulting in poor tire wear, and reduced handling and comfort. Altered ride height can land you in court after the other guy runs the red light and causes a crash. You can be sure lawyers and insurance investigators know all about these kinds of modifications and will use them to shift part of the blame for the crash onto you. They will argue you were partly at fault because you were less-able to avoid the crash, and they will be right.

Many repair shops including the two I worked at, and later in my community college Auto Shop, will not work on lowered cars or raised trucks. We won't even allow them in the shop because even if what we worked on had nothing to do with the suspension, too many people search for someone else to blame for their troubles, and if we were the last people to touch the vehicle, we get involved with any lawsuits.

The automotive marketing field is extremely competitive, so you can be sure if a manufacturer could offer a package that included the modifications some people make, they would surely do it if it meant more sales. They know it can't be done without compromising all of the safety-related issues I mentioned, and anything less than the best will result in a sue-happy lawyer getting involved.

I've had a lot of early 1970s Dodge muscle cars, (still have a few), and every one is at exactly the specified published ride height. As a suspension and alignment specialist, there is no way I would compromise anything that would put me or the other people on the road at reduced safety.

The drive line issue is even more important on your vehicle because it is so narrow and short. There is a range the suspension is designed to go through as the vehicle bounces up and down. You're hoping to change that range to make the rear drive shaft higher in the front. That increased angle increases the amount of twisting the universal joints go through. That can set up drive line vibrations and wear out the roller bearings and cups in a small fraction of their normal life span. The front half shafts will have similar increased angles and can cause the shaft to hit the inner cv joint's housing. Enough of that can result in a broken joint and you sitting on the side of the road.

The normal range of suspension travel is only about two inches during normal driving, and all the brake parts and suspension and steering geometry are designed to move within that range. You want to move the starting point well outside that range, then expect the vehicle to still bounce up and down another two inches thinking that will maintain the comfort level. With all the problems you're going to install, why do you need larger tires?
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Monday, March 7th, 2016 AT 1:26 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi brother Wrenchtech. I didn't even consider the things you mentioned.
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Monday, March 7th, 2016 AT 1:27 PM
Tiny
RENEE
  • ADMIN
Great information both Wrenchtech and Caradiodoc! I'm sure there are a lot of people who never think of the possibility of liability that can come from altering a vehicle. Keep it up!
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Monday, March 28th, 2016 AT 3:59 PM

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