In this age of high-performance shocks, solid-axle conversions, and cutting-edge suspension systems it can be easy to overlook some of the more traditional ways to raise your 4x4. While advances in off-road technology are great, for many people these high-zoot components simply surpass their needs. For the average wheeler who's looking for a subtle boost and room for a larger set of tires, a body lift is an excellent and budget-friendly lift alternative.
Since the first body-on-frame constructed vehicle rolled onto the highway many moons ago, body lifts have been an active instrument in the automotive world. Used by OEMs to squeeze larger powertrains into existing vehicle models and by rockcrawlers to tuck their drivetrains up high for a flat underbelly, body lifts have definitely secured their place in the performance aftermarket.
While body lifts have a wide array of uses, the most basic is to raise the body of the vehicle 1-3 inches so that larger tires can be installed. One of the biggest advantages of equipping your rig with a body lift as opposed to a suspension lift is that a mild body lift allows you to raise the stance of the rig without modifying the suspension or drivetrain components. This means no changes in driveshaft or CV angles and no unique suspension parts to contend with.
To get a closer look at a modern body lift, we headed over to the 4Wheel Parts store in Van Nuys, California. We then followed along as the parts crew installed a 3-inch Performance Accessories body lift on an '06 Chevy 1500 4x4.