Originally Posted by High Country Herb
How many miles per gallon will a truck get when it's high centered in packed snow?
Sometimes MPG takes a back seat to functionality. Don't get me wrong, 48" tires are pretty much useless, but there are uses for a truck where 30" tires just won't cut it.
Since the original topic of this thread was a Toyota truck that the OP was thinking about lifting 2.5" mainly for looks, it's a bit of a stretch to assume there's now a traction issue in snow or a clearance issue for the OP. But since it seems people want to discuss this, consider that what most people seem to miss about lifting is in most vehicles the diffs are the lowest point (unless you have front AND rear independent suspension), and suspension or body lifts do nothing to change any of that. The only way to change ground clearance is to put on bigger tires, and that's where lifting comes in so the body can clear the bigger tires as well as gain articulation (if the right kind of lift kit is used).
I'm not against lifting a vehicle for that purpose. I have a new Rubicon that will get a set of 35's and a suspension lift (with upper & lower arms, not a shitty budget boost or body lift), and a bunch of other mods. I intend to go back to Moab in the future and put it to good use, just like I did with my previous '09 Rubicon. Right now what I'm trying to decide is whether to get the Metalcloak 3.5 inch kit (which will require driveshafts), or get the same kit with 2.5 inch springs (which won't require a rear driveshaft, but will likely still require a front driveshaft and flat fenders). In this particular case, I could just cheap out and lift the vehicle 2.5 inches with a budget boost and 1" body lift, and have a "lifted" Rubicon for less than a grand (plus wheels and tires). This is the crap you typically see in many of the mall crawlers. Lifting in this manner reduces wheelbase and moves the front wheels towards the back of the wheel openings, and rear wheels towards the front of the wheel openings, misaligns the axles towards one side, misaligns the pinions causing wear on the driveshaft joints, and reduces caster in the front end causing handling issues. It also performs comparatively like shit off road compared to properly lifting a vehicle. Conversely, doing it right involves a full suspension kit that will run up to $2500.00 with control arms and track bars, flat fenders that will cost a grand, driveshafts that will cost a grand, and the list goes on & on.
Essentially this means you can stuff a set of 35's under a late model Jeep and look cool for a little over 2 grand, or you can do it right for around 7 grand, depending on the components. And to the untrained eye it will look nearly the same from 10 feet away. In fact, in my case it might cost more to lift the Jeep 2.5" than it would to lift it 3.5" due to the lower lift requiring flat fenders to clear the tires. But to serve my original point that less lift is generally better, for handling purposes I may just spend the extra money and lift only 2.5 inches.
As a side note, the effect of lifting the jeep 2.5 inches and going up 1" in tire height (2" in tire diameter) is a 20% - 25% drop in fuel mileage despite the lower engine RPM at cruising speed.