Vehicle suspension, steering, lift kits, long travel kits, and performance upgrades can be very complex, especially when it comes to selecting the proper components specifically compatible to your vehicle, and extending to proper installation, adjustment and operation.
Here you’ll find answers to the many questions our customer service and technical sales staff field frequently, along with practical answers designed to help you get what you’re after.
If the particular questions you’re looking to get answers to aren’t here, please call on our experienced, helpful staff and they’ll do their best to assist you.
Q: WHY IS THE LISTED REAR LIFT HEIGHT LESS THAN THE FRONT?
The majority of factory pickups set about two inches high in the rear when empty. This is so the truck's rear end will not be excessively low when the truck is loaded. With most people that lift their trucks and SUVs, towing and load carrying is not a priority - lifted performance, tire clearance, and vehicle "look" are the primary issues, especially when a “more level” stance is desired, and extra room is needed at the front, so the tires can clear the fenders when turning. Also, a more even front-to-rear attitude improves an unloaded vehicle's weight distribution which generally improves its handling when not carrying a load. Note, on most applications you have the option of altering rear lift height and /or method.
Q: WHICH DIRECTION SHOULD THE SHIMS ON MY LEAF SPRINGS FACE?
On vehicles with leaf springs mounted over the axles, the fat or tall part of the shim should face towards the bumper (i.e. the tall part of the shim on the rear leaf spring should face the rear bumper) On vehicles with the leaf springs mounted under the axle, the fat or tall part of the shim should face towards the center of the vehicle.
Q: WHAT WHEEL AND TIRE PACKAGES FIT AFTER I INSTALL MY LIFT KIT?
With all the different tire, wheel, and wheel offsets available we recommend you check with your installer for specifics, but typically we have a max approved tire diameter listed on our site with your kit.
Q: WHAT IS OFFSET?
Wheel offset is the measured distance between the hub mounting surface and the center line of the rim. Offset determines how far the wheel will stick out past the hub. The more negative the offset the farther the wheel will be positioned outside the fender. The more positive the offset the farther the wheel will be positioned inside the fender. It is important to mention that the more negative the offset the more lift that will be required. Generally high negative offset wheels, -44 and -76, are only available in wider applications such as 12-14” respectively.
Q: WHAT IS A LIFTED TRUCK?
A lifted truck is a truck with a modified suspension that sits higher off the ground than the stock truck. Lift kits add ground clearance and let you fit larger wheels and tires for better off-road performance, raised stance, and improved driving visibility.
Q: WHAT DOES A LEVELING KIT DO?
A leveling kit raises the front of a stock truck, so its body sits level (fully horizontal) to the ground. Leveling kits are needed because factory trucks are often lowered in the front to reduce drag and raise fuel economy. Many drivers prefer the look of a leveled truck.
Q: MY STEERING WHEEL SHAKES OR SHIMMY’S? OR WHEN I HIT A BUMP THE TRUCK GETS OUT OF CONTROL (AKA THE DEATHWOBBLE)?
This answer could take all day but the simplest answer is…Do not ignore this problem!!! Death wobble can start from something as simple as tire balance, but it could also be something getting ready to come apart. Loose tie rods, ball joints, wheel bearings, improper alignment, bad steering stabilizer, all of this can cause these symptoms, but a quick check can tell you for sure.
Q: I JUST INSTALLED YOUR LEVELING SYSTEM...DO I NEED TO ALIGN THE TRUCK?
Yes, please refer to your installation instructions.
Q: I AM INSTALLING YOUR UPPER CONTROL ARMS...DO I MOUNT THE BALL JOINT TO THE TOP OF BOTTOM OF THE CONTROL ARM POCKET?
Please refer to your instructions. Each control arm has different requirements.
Q: HOW WILL LIFTING MY TRUCK AFFECT MY DRIVESHAFTS?
Driveline correction is incorporated into virtually all Cognito lift kits. Our rear lift blocks are either tapered or flat, depending on application, to address driveshaft angle. In certain applications, relocated differentials, are re-timed for the proper angle, and to restore shaft spline engagement. With lifts over 6” longer driveshaft’s may be required; review the product’s installation instructions or give one of our tech’s a call for exact fitment requirements.
Q: HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT SHIPPING METHOD WAS USED, AND HOW DO I TRACK MY SHIPMENT?
We use a UPS for smaller shipments, and you are provided their usual service options (Ground, Second Day Air, etc.) at checkout. Heavier shipments are shipped via the appropriate truck freight carries for your geographical region. The tracking number will identify the truck freight carrier.
Q: HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHECK OVER MY SUSPENSION?
We recommend an evaluation after the first 100 miles on a new install. After that, we recommend at least a yearly lift evaluation. Catching a potential problem before it happens can save you thousands in repair costs or maybe even save your life.
Q: HOW LONG WILL MY STOCK STEERING COMPONENTS LAST?
Most steering parts are considered “consumable” components (designed to wear out and be replaced, in sacrifice to save other more substantial related components. Check with a professional mechanic or refer to your owner’s manual for specifics. Cognito suggests having suspension and steering parts checked by a professional four-wheel drive, lift shop, or mechanic at least once a year.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR COGNITO TO SHIP MY ORDER?
If the product is in inventory and on the shelf, we strive to ship all orders within 48-72 hours.
Q: HOW IS VEHICLE RIDE HEIGHT MEASURED?
There are two preferred points to measure vehicle ride height. Both measurements should be taken on a level flat surface. One is at the center of the fender well to the ground. The other is at the bump stop to the axle housing or frame.
Q: HOW DO I DETERMINE WHICH KIT I NEED TO LEVEL MY TRUCK?
The ride height of each vehicle varies due to the condition and trim model of the vehicle. The most optimal way to determine which kit you require to level your truck is to park your vehicle on level ground and take a tape measure to measure the distance from the ground to the top center of the fender arch. Take the measurements for both the rear and front and then subtract the two numbers. This is about the amount you will need in order to perfectly level your vehicle.
Q: HOW DIFFICULT IS INSTALLING MY LIFT KIT?
Gauge complexity by reviewing the product’s installation instructions and installation notes, viewable from its landing page.
Q: DOES THE TRUCK NEED AN ALIGNMENT AFTER INSTALLING A LIFT KIT?
In most cases, Yes. When you raise your vehicle with a lift kit or leveling kit, you have made changes to the frontend geometry (toe, caster, and camber). While these changes vary by degree in specific year, make and models, these changes need to be addressed. It is usually more noticeable when you add taller, wider tires and wheels. Re-alignments should be part of your regular maintenance regimen to ensure proper handling and tire wear. For vehicle-specific information, review the product’s installation instructions.
Q: DO YOU OFFER A SYSTEM FOR THE 2014-2018 1500 TRUCKS/SUV'S WITH MAGNERIDE OR QUADRASTEER?
No, unfortunately, we do not offer Magneride or Quadrasteer compatible system at this time.
Q: DO LIFT KITS AFFECT HANDLING AND BRAKING?
In a word, Yes. Lift kits radically transform how your vehicle drives, both off-road an on. ... Plus, it will take more time to stop your vehicle after you've installed taller tires and heavier wheels.
Q: CAN I USE THIS KIT ON TOP OF ANOTHER SUSPENSION LIFT KIT?
Our suspension lift kits are designed and tested to work with factory suspension components ONLY and should never be used on any vehicles with a suspension lift kit already installed. However, our suspension lift kits can be used in conjunction with a body lift.
Q: CAN I PURCHASE FROM YOU DIRECT, OR DO I NEED TO PURCHASE PARTS THROUGH A DEALER?
We can absolutely sell you the parts direct. Or, if it is more convenient for you to source them through a dealer, that is ok as well.
Q: AM I GOING TO NEED TO RE-GEAR MY TRUCK AFTER IT'S LIFTED?
The lift kit typically has no correlation to the gear ratio however the new oversized tire you choose could. Be sure to check with your local professional installer on gear recommendations.
Q: SHOULD I BUY BLOCKS, SPRINGS, OR ADD-A-LEAFS IN THE REAR?
Most suspension lifts come standard with rear lift blocks. We usually prefer to use blocks on daily drivers that only see occasional off-road use or towing because they maintain the factory ride quality. If you off-road your vehicle on a weekly basis or routinely tow heavy loads, then lift springs may be a better option.