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What Is an ATV Lift Kit?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 23, 2024
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The all-terrain vehicle (ATV) lift kit is designed to offer the ATV more room for larger tires, as well as allow the machine to operate in deeper water, mud and snow. There is an ATV lift kit available for nearly every model of two- and four-wheel drive machines manufactured. Depending on the ATV lift kit, the entire installation can be accomplished in a matter of hours using common hand tools. Increased fender-to-tire clearance, increased performance and a visual statement that separates a lifted ATV from that of a standard lift suspension often makes the inclusion of an ATV lift kit an anticipated addition to any machine.

A typical ATV lift kit is designed to increase the suspension travel of the ATV by installing lift blocks between the shocks, suspension and swing arm of the machine. With the average ATV lift kit, nothing else is required to be changed except the addition of the kit itself. On some of the more extreme lift kits, extended brake lines, drive chains and wheel spacers are often required to complete the lift kit installation. Longer drive axles and suspension pieces, such as front A-arms, are often required when installing the more radical lift kits onto an ATV.

It is important to consider the added height of the machine whenever an ATV lift kit has been installed. The vehicle is likely to be prone to tipping and unstable due to the increased ride height. Another consideration when installing an ATV lift kit is the addition of a snorkel system. A snorkel system raises the point at which the engine receives air from low in the vehicle's frame to a point at or slightly above the handle bar controls. This raised air intake height allows the ATV to take advantage of the lift kit's deep-water foraging by allowing the engine to operate while virtually underwater.

Some manufactures of ATV lift kits recommend the addition of wheel spacers to place the wheels further out on the axles. As the height of the ATV is raised, the roll center of the vehicle is also raised. By widening the stance with the addition of wheel spacers, the roll center is dropped slightly. This increases the ATV's stability and makes it easier to control in some off-road situations. The addition of taller wheels and tires will also add to the amount of lift generated by the kit and increase the ground clearance of the ATV.

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