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Lifting a Suzuki

Discussion in 'Suzuki Carry' started by JRinTX, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator

    What kind of lift kits are people using? What types of problems are you encountering? Any clever ideas or discoveries on lifting these trucks, particularly Suzukis?
  2. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    I have tried 2 lift kits on a Suzuki Carry. one 3" and one 2". Neither would work. The camber on the front wheels was so bad that it bound the CV joint. The really wierd thing was with the lift on it...the Carry would not roll backwards, well it would roll, but as it did, the whole truck would lift away from the wheels until it bound and stopped....when rolled forward again, the body would come back down but there was still binding in the CV joint on the right side.

    I lost a huge sale because of this problem...I hope someone else out there has resolved it and will post it here.

  3. xroadsimport

    xroadsimport Gold Supporting Member

    It is not a problem at all. We have our old lift design out that we have just discontinued. The new lift will be out within 2 weeks. We have solved the camber problem and made it adjustable. We may release kits to go over 3" soon.
  4. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    If you get it resolved....I want to try it...I have several customers that would like it...but I have had too many problems with the ones I have tried so far.

  5. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator


    I have had the same experience as ABC. It is a problem when simply using the spacers on top of the struts.

    Without divulging any proprietary information, can you give us a little explanation concerning what is different about your lift kit? I have been doing a lot of research and testing on the best way to lift these trucks. Are you also lowering the front differential in order to maintain the same angles on the CV joints? When you lower the diff, how do you deal with the front drive shaft going to the transfer case? It is very close to the crossmember that supports the motor mounts. Do you lower the entire engine, trans, tranfer case assembly by dropping the crossmember?

    Also, what do you do on the rear? I am doing a spring over on the rear, not the long shackles.

    I hope you come up with a solid lift kit. I have inquiries and no one to recommend for a reliable set-up.
  6. xroadsimport

    xroadsimport Gold Supporting Member

    We have solved the camber issue. I can't tell you exactly untill the kits are out. On kits that lift 3" or less we do not lower the front differential. It is all done with spacers and the shape of the spacer. We have done many trucks in our shop and trucks are a little different in how they react to the lift. Doesn't make sence but even the same model year. That is why we made them adjustable.

    The back is done with an add-a-leaf. I like this much more than the long shackel that I hate. It is much easier than doing a spring over right and can be combined with a spring over to lift beyond 3".

    We will be offering lifts beyond 3" in the future.

    Hope this helps. I will have pictures later.
  7. jimstractors

    jimstractors New Member

  8. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator


    I have had the same experience. 2" is about all you can lift one of these trucks (Daihatsu or Suzuki) without causing the CV joints to bind when the suspension is fully extended.
    If the offset between the top and bottom flange is correct, there will not be a camber problem.
  9. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    I have 3 kits sitting in my shop for the very same guy on ebay. 2 of them are 3" lifts and one is a 2" lift. None of them would work on my Suzuki. I spent several hours on the phone with the guy that manufactures them...and he was very helpful, but we never resolved the problem, and I had to give my customer a refund and send him away without the accessory he wanted on his truck. *I hate doing that* Not to mention the labor hours I had to absorb. Just not worth it for me right now.

    If anyone wants the kits I have they are welcome to them...I will sell them for what I paid for them and ship them for free. (to a reasonable location).
  10. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator


    Can you give us details about the problems you had with the lifts? Also, was it the 3" or the 2" lift?

  11. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    I started with a 3" becuase that is what my customer wanted. After much prying and pushing, we were able to get the spacer above the front stuts. We let the truck down off the lift and started to back it out of the shop...and noticed it would not roll easily, and as we rolled backwards the front of the truck started to raise up, way up! When we rolled it forward and it lowered down again. I could take the wheels off the ground and they would turn, but had some binding in the CV joints. So I called the manufacturer and asked him about it...he could not figure it out...so he sent me a 2" lift. We installed that and had the same exact problem. So I just took the lift off all together...and told the customer I could not do lift kits becuase they were too labor intensive to justify the profit.

    Now I also have a mitusibishi kit that I have not tried yet...but I have now been "snake bite" and don't really want to put the time into R&D for someone else.
  12. jimstractors

    jimstractors New Member

    The first lift we has was a Suzuki with a 2" front lift using 2 1/2" pipe. Using longer bolts, the pipe was used to extend the shock mounts. This worked for awhile, until after a rough weekend on the dunes at Pismo Beach, the pipes moved around a little and the camber went way off. Then I tried a 3" 'eBay' lift (that's all he made at the time). Not only was it a bugger to get in, the CV joints bound in normal driving, even before bouncing around off road. I emailed the mfg and had him make a 2" set for me. These have worked perfectly on 2 Suzuki's and 2 Diahatsu's so far. Now he mfg's both the 2" and the 3" lifts.
  13. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    Have you lifted a Mitsubishi? I have a customer that want his lifted, but I am not sure I want to try this again. Was a loosing effort last time.
  14. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator

    I have been doing quite a bit of research and design on lift kits for Suzuki, Daihatsu and Mitsubishi. The most common method of lifting these trucks right now is the spacers on top of the struts. The problem with this is that if you go over about 2", the CV joints will be at too great of an angle. For instance, on the passenger side of a Suzuki (the shorter CV axle), lifting the truck 3" will put the CV joint at about a 20 deg angle. And it changes the geometry of the suspension because you no longer have a straight line at one end of your shaft, both ends of the drive line are at angles. This will cause vibration, noise and excessive wear. Also, the CV joint will bind against the inside of the diff housing.
    I have drawn the entire front suspension of a 1992 Suzuki in AutoCad and working on a 91 Daihatsu. I am using these layouts to design and build a lift kit that does not alter the geometry of the front suspension. Sorta slow going because I have to make a living at a full time job... I only get to do this fun stuff part-time!:( Although I do have a couple of prototypes that I'm testing.

    I guess that this long winded story had a purpose!:confused:

    What I have found is that the spacers are accceptable (but not a great solution) for up to a 2" lift. The spacers must have the correct offset between the top and bottom flanges to maintain the correct camber (most do not). But, to really do it correctly, the front differential needs to be dropped by an equal amount to the lift. This ensures that the driveline angles stay the same. Dropping the diff changes the angle of the driveshaft to the transfer case, but this can be tolerated if the input shafts of the diff and transfer remain parallel after the lift.
    I hope this all makes sense and any additional input will be greatly appreciated.
  15. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    OK, let drop back and think about this for a minute. What is the purpose of a lift kit...well most people put them on to gain more fender clearance so they can put on bigger tires....it is the big tires that give the better ground clearance...not the lift kit. If you drop the diff down the same amount as you lift the chassis, you have defeated the purpose. So not you will have cool big tires, but the distance from the diff to the ground will be the same....am I right?

    Also what about binding the front drive shaft?
  16. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator


    You are correct, the larger diameter tires is what gives more ground clearance. The spacers on top of the struts just force the suspension to its maximum extension (actually beyond it's intended max extension) which lifts the truck and gives you more fender clearance for larger tires.
    What I am suggesting is spacing the struts, lower control arms and front differential down by equal amounts. Then when the larger tires are installed there will be more ground clearance under the diff. This way the relationship between the diff and the spindles is the same as the original design. This will maintain the original geometry while still lifting the truck for extra fender clearance. This is important to prevent the CV joints from binding because of excessive angles. This is what causes the truck to raise up when backing up, the CV joints are resisting turning while the rear wheels are pulling the truck backwards, therefore the struts extend and raise the front.

    I guess we could get the same results with a Sawzall, just by cutting 3 or 4 inches out of the fenders!:p

    The only thing that changes with my method of spacing down the entire front suspension is the angle of the front drive shaft. But, this is not much of a concern because it is so long that the difference in its angle is minimal. The only real concern is ensuring that the differential output shaft and the transfer case shaft remain parallel. This is important in a u-joint application in order to avoid vibration and premature wear. Also, the motor mount crossmember may have to be notched or modified to clear the front drive shaft. (I have not gotten that far yet).

    Think about lifting the rear...when the rear, solid axle is dropped (in effect raising the truck), the rear diff is also dropped. The only way additional ground clearance is gained is by installing larger diameter tires.

    Also, check out the lift kits that are commercially available for full size trucks with independent front suspension. Everything gets a spacer under it!

    Is this as clear as mud?? :D
    Please ask questions or make comments....
  17. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    OK, so in effect you will add some ground clearance but not at much if you left the diff where it is...correct?

    I wonder about the safety of jacking up these trucks.....I have driven mine over some off-camber hill and the high side rear wheel comes way off the ground. Just curious how much more "tipsy" they will get when you raise the CG....
  18. JRinTX

    JRinTX Moderator


    My method will add exactly the same amount of ground clearance to the front as you add to the rear.

    As far the higher center of gravity...thats a good point. The higher the CG the higher the risk of rollover.
  19. xroadsimport

    xroadsimport Gold Supporting Member

    Lifting the trucks is not a problem. I will have the stage 1 lifts out in a few days to a week. You will have no problem installing them. The most you will have to do is trim some fender. They work without causing any CV joint damage. The max we go to is 3" in stage one.

    Stage 2 kits will go further. It is just more complicated and takes more work to install.

    Some trucks are easier to lift than others. We will not have the big lifts for all the truck models.
  20. Brusce

    Brusce New Member

    Lifts look cool but mess up the front end geomety.

    I just installed a 3" lift (ebay-spacer and shackles) on my '92 Suzuki Carry and I almost immediately regretted it. I took a stable, smooth, well engineered truck and made it into a death trap. Backing up is a joke, it feels even more top heavy, and as far a off road performance I've gained nothing......but there is one incredible cool side effect. I take it up to about 20 mph, stab the brakes, and I kid you not....the rear wheels come about 18 inches off the ground doing a nose wheely..:eek:. I hope to post video before removeing the lift kit. Bruce Costantino Arcadia CA
    Cole likes this.

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