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It's All About the Lift

Wherever you reside, you’re bound to see at least a few lifted vehicles, even if it might not be that obvious to you. There are many advantages to having a lifted truck or SUV as well as many different types of lifts that can be installed. 

Benefits

There’s more to having a lifted vehicle than just being higher on the road. Many off-road drivers have lifts because it’s best to have an increased distance between the axle and the ground. The more clearance there is, the less likely the underneath side of the vehicle will get damaged due to the elements and uneven terrain, otherwise known as “bottoming out”. Performance and off-road tires are typically larger than the standard tire and can fit lifted vehicles easier because of that extra height that’s been added. Other drivers simply enjoy the powerful look that comes with having a lifted vehicle. The increased ride height allows for greater visibility for the driver both on and off the road.

The 3 Types of Lift Kits

Suspension Lift Kit

A suspension lift kit extends the suspension components and shock absorbers that creates an increased distance between the axle and the ground, making the vehicle travel more smoothly. You not only gain height, but also ground clearance and suspension travel as well. The added height allows room for more aggressive tires in addition to bigger and wider wheels.

A suspension lift kit is the more expensive option because it can include modification to the steering, suspension, and spindle. You can achieve the tallest conceivable ride height with this type of lift, up to 9 inches and beyond. However, for every inch that’s added to the height, the more expensive the project will be and you will notice the most significant change to steering and suspension. This type of lift is also the most challenging to install and may require a shop with an experienced auto tech which will add shop fees to your project’s total cost. The suspension lift kit is the one we prefer to use on our vehicles here at Premier Auto Source.

Body Lift Kit

A body lift kit is basically the installation of blocks and spacers around the vehicle which lifts the body away from the frame and increases the amount of space under the wheel arch. This type of lift only raises the body so there is no real change in the distance between the bottom of your vehicle to the ground. Three to five inches is typically the maximum height that can be achieved. Body lifts do not require suspension or steering adjustment, which makes it easier to afford. Here at Premier Auto Source, we do not use body lifts on our vehicles, only suspension.

Leveling Kit

Have you ever noticed that the front of a truck or SUV sits a little bit lower than the rear? This imbalance, known as “rake” is based on the idea that when you add a heavy load into the bed or back of an SUV, it may cause sagging or cause the vehicle to bottom out. By lifting the rear end of the vehicle, the distance between the rear axle and the frame is increased, decreasing the chances of the underneath getting damaged.

Leveling kits lift only the front end of the vehicle rather than the whole body. It will reduce rake and may even allow for larger tires. This subtle change will make the vehicle look more aggressive and stand a little taller without having to replace multiple parts. Because only one end of the vehicle is being raised, and it doesn’t require many other modifications to be made.

Handling

When it comes to lifting a vehicle, a common saying is “lift as much as necessary, but as little as possible”. The reason why is because it can affect your vehicle’s center of gravity. Every vehicle is engineered to handle at its best according to where the center of gravity is.

Every lifting method changes the center of gravity because the weight of the vehicle is being lifted. This means that you will experience more body roll during a turn since the weight is riding higher up. It can affect stability during a hard quick turn as the weight shifts to the outside.

Combinations

It’s possible to stack a body lift and suspension lift to get the best of both worlds while staying within your budget and keeping similar truck or SUV handling features. You can get increased ground clearance by combining suspension and body lift along with larger tires that you would get with a full suspension lift - for almost the same price. Combining suspensions and lifts may allow room in your budget for other modifications you may want, like larger tires.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this gave you a better understanding of what types of lifts are out there as well as the features of each one. In short, if you’d like bigger tires with a higher ride, then a body lift is typically the least expensive and will only cause minimal changes to vehicle handling. If you’d like some increased ground clearance for off-road adventures, then a suspension lift is right for you. Many times, the best kit is a combination of both a lift/leveling plus a body lift kit that equalizer cost, vehicle handling, and results.

At Premier Auto Source we offer many different types of lifted vehicles, including Jeeps and trucks.  We are passionate about offering unique vehicles to the Wabash Valley, which means we are your one-stop-shop for exclusive pre owned Jeeps, trucks, and cars!  Shop our lifted trucks and Jeeps today on our website, or if you need help finding a specific vehicle, send us a message and we can find it for you quickly!

 

 

The History of the Ford F-150

Ford’s very first truck was built in 1917 and was based off of the Model T, and was named the Ford Model TT. Over the different generations the Ford F-150 went through countless modifications to make it what it is today. Even though the Ford F-150 wasn’t introduced until 1948, it’s history is definitely worth noting.

1st Generation (1948 - 1952)

The 1st generation F-Series trucks carried the designations of F-1 through F-8. They were rated by weight as panel trucks. cab-over-engine, conventional trucks, school buses, and the pickup. Each truck had a manual transmission, both driver and passenger side windshield wipers, and a foot-plunger windshield washer. The 1948 F-Series line was Ford’s first post-war truck that debuted a year before Ford’s first post-war car. Henry Ford shut down all civilian production during WWII to produce vehicles for our allies and troops.

2nd Generation (1953 - 1956)

The F-Series received new engines, updated chassis, more interior and exterior room, options such as radio, dome lights, arm rests, and lighter. During this time, the F-Series also underwent a name change. The F-1 became the F-100, the F-2 and F-3 became the F-250, and the F-4 became the F-350. 

3rd Generation (1957 - 1960)

This generation brought about a new, modernized style where front fenders became a part of the truck’s body. Also, the hood was integrated into the bodywork, which became a prominent feature for the next 20 years. Ford also began the production of four-wheel-drive pickup trucks in 1959.

4th Generation (1961 - 1966)

Notable differences in this generation included the Twin I-Beam front suspension which allowed the front wheels to run independently, which led to better maneuverability and an overall smoother ride. The 4-door-crew-cab emerged in 1965.

5th Generation (1967 - 1972)

There were 3 separate trim packages that became available: Base, Custom Cab, and Ranger. This generation was also the first generation to offer factory installed air conditioning as opposed to dealer installation. A new grill design and a 302 Windsor V8 engine was optional, and other options included AM/FM radio.

6th Generation (1973 - 1979)

This generation experienced significant changes including larger cabins, front disk brakes, a relocated gas tank outside the cab, improved heating and air, and more galvanized steel. This was also the time that the 4-wheel-drive SuperCab made its debut. In 1975, the F-150 was introduced and became one of the most best selling trucks.

7th Generation (1980 - 1986)

It was during this generation that Ford experienced the first complete redesign from the ground up since 1965. The new modifications included improved aerodynamics and fuel economy as well as interior and exterior modifications. In 1983, diesel power was added to the F-Series. This was also the first generation to include upscale amenities such as power windows, power door-locks, power mirrors, interval windshield wipers, tinted windshield, locking gas cap, inside locking hood release, and more.

8th Generation (1987 - 1991)

This generation included all new interior options. In 1987, the first 5-speed manual overdrive transmission was introduced and 4-speeds were discontinued. In 1989, a C6 3-speed automatic was replaced as a base automatic transmission by an E4OD, 4-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive unit. In 1988, the Ford F-150 became the first pickup truck that was sold as a non-carbureted engine. In 1989, the F-Series was established as the nation’s best selling vehicle.

9th Generation (1992 - 1996)

The FlareSide bed was reintroduced since its retirement in 1987 as an option. This generation marked Ford’s 75th anniversary of its 1917 Ford Model TT and Ford offered an anniversary package on it’s 1992 F-Series that included a 75th Anniversary Logo. 1994 models offered an updated dashboard and a driver’s side airbag in the F-150. Hi-tech options included remote keyless entry with alarm, power driver’s seat, and compact disc player. 

10th Generation (1997 - 2003)

The F-Series lineup was split into two categories: F-150 became a personal use truck while the F-250 became classified as working class trucks. The 4.9L inline 6 was replaced by a standard V6 engine and fully independent front suspension was added. In 1999, the SuperCab had a fourth door added to it. In 2001, the F-150 was the first of its size to offer four full size doors. Motor Trend magazine named the new F-150 as Truck of the Year in 1997 and sales skyrocketed from 750,000 to over 900,000 in 2001.

11th Generation ( 2004 - 2008)

All F-150’s were given four doors, regardless of their cab type. The Triton Engine was introduced and the flex-fuel version of the 3-valve 5.4L Triton V8 became available in 2006. Also in 2006, some models offered a built in navigation system for the first time. The Ford F-150 earned the North America Truck of the Year Award in 2004, Motor Trend’s magazine Truck of the Year for 2004, and Car and Driver magazine’s Best Pickup Truck for 2004 and 2005.

12th Generation (2009 - 2014)

Beginning in 2009, many upgrades became available including new and  roomier interior and exterior that features a new three-bar grill and a greater towing capacity. A V8 engine was standard on all F-Series models for the first time in history and no 6-cylinder was available. In 2011, a 3.5L direct-injected twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 was offered in the F-150 and all engines came equipped with a new six-speed 6R80 Automatic transmission. Electric power-assisted steering became available on all models with the exception of the 6.2.

13th Generation (2015 - present)

In 2015, the F-150 became the first pickup to receive Adaptive Cruise Control. They also switched from a steel body to all-aluminum, dropping the total weight of the vehicle by 750 pounds. A more efficient base engine was added to include a 3.5L V6. Also introduced for 2015 was the 2.7L EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and the 3.5L version. For those wanting more power, the 5.0L V8 is still available. In 2017, the F-150 introduced the 10-speed automatic transmission, which helped improve fuel economy. In 2018, Ford tweaked the F-150 with a slightly new grill and new updated LED headlamps. They also slightly modified the tailgate and introduced a new 3.3L V6 engine too along with the second generation 2.7L EcoBoost. In 2019, the number of engines now offered for the F-150 included six variants including a new 3.0L turbocharged V6 diesel. In 2020, the 10-speed automatic transmission was available for all engines and trims for the first time. They also diversified the six engines over more trims, giving customers the opportunity to pick and choose their preferred engine and trim.

Here at Premier Auto Source, we have plenty of unique Ford F-150’s to choose from and we pride ourselves on helping customers find their next vehicle! Shop all of our pickup trucks on our website, or if you need help finding a specific vehicle, send us a message and we can find it for you quickly!

 

 


 

Spring Driving Safety Tips You Should Know

Spring is a time when everyone is ready to get out and about to enjoy the nice weather after a long, cold winter. However, with new seasons comes a new set of dangers to watch out for while on the road. Here are some common things you can check on your vehicle to ensure your safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of those around you during this spring season!

Check your Windshield Wipers

Most people don’t think about their wiper blades until it comes time to use them, so it’s best to go ahead and check them now. Wipe down your wiper blades with a paper towel or a cloth with a light detergent and then clean the windshield. After both the wipers and the windshield are clean, test your wipers by swiping after wetting the windshield with wiper fluid. If there are spots/streaks where the wipers can’t effectively brush off water, it might be time for a new set.

Check your Tires

Checking your tires during this time is extremely important because having good tires can help prevent an accident and injury to yourself and others. Tires with little tread can cause them to slide on the pavement’s surface, called hydroplaning, and lead to many accidents every year.

A way to check the tread is through what is known as the “Quarter Test”. Place a quarter inside the groove of the tire with George Washington’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, then the tread is less than ⅛ of an inch and the tire should be replaced soon.

Another test you could use is the “Penny Test”. If your tires didn’t pass the Quarter Test, the Penny Test will help determine how bad the tires are and how quickly they need to be replaced. With the Penny Test, you use the same process, but with a penny instead. Seeing Abraham Lincoln’s head above the tread means the depth is less than 1/16 of an inch and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. To put it into perspective, new tires have about five times that much tread. Tires that are 6 years or older, no matter their tread depth, need to be replaced fairly soon because the rubber starts to deteriorate, according to manufacturers.

It’s also important to maintain proper tire air pressure. Tires lose air during colder months and could lead to underinflation. Warmer temperatures can cause tires to be overinflated. With spring time comes these fluctuating temperatures which means it’s best to check the tire pressure fairly regularly. Not maintaining the right tire pressure can lead to increased wear on the tires and also poor handling.

Slow Down on Wet Roads

Rain can make almost any vehicle hydroplane, no matter how good your tire tread is. A lot of it depends on the speed at which you're moving. Roads don’t need to be icy to be slick. Even hail can have an effect that’s similar to ice when it covers the road. The best thing to do to prevent hydroplaning is to pay attention to your speed at all times. Stay a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you in case they make a sudden stop and use your brakes sooner when you know you’re coming up to a stop.

Watch Out for Potholes and Large Puddles

Rain can fill potholes in the road, making them harder to see. The water also could have opened up new potholes that you may not be aware of, even if it is on a familiar road. If you go through a pothole at full speed, you risk throwing your car out of alignment, puncturing your tires, damaging your vehicle's exhaust, and bending your rims. You should try to miss running through potholes as much as you can. However if you can’t, the best thing to do is to slow your speed significantly yet safely, that way it won’t impact your vehicle as much as it would if you were going the normal speed. 

Another thing to watch out for during this time is standing/moving water. Just 6 inches of water is enough to hit the bottom of most passenger vehicles. Which could flood the exhaust and leave you immobile. If you don’t think you could walk through it, do not attempt to drive through it. It doesn’t take much for cars to float and be carried away. Even the best tire tread won’t be able to keep the vehicle grounded. 

Share the Road

Spring is a time where everyone is ready to spend their time with their outdoor activities. Bicyclists, pedestrians that are walking and jogging, and motorcyclists should have confidence in you as a driver to keep themselves as well as yourself safe while on the road. Slow down and be aware of your surroundings, just as they are.

Watch for Severe Weather

Spring is normally prime time for severe weather and you should keep up to speed on incoming storms in your area and avoid driving if it’s severe. Sometimes, you can’t help but get caught in a heavy thunderstorm on the interstate. You may already have brand new wipers blades, but sometimes rain can be so heavy that it makes it difficult to see. When that happens, it’s best to turn on your hazard lights and safely pull off of the road and wait for it to pass.

Tornadoes are not something to take lightly while driving either. If you can see a tornado in the distance, drive at a right angle from the direction in which it’s heading and find sturdy shelter at a truck stop, convenience store, restaraunt, etc. So if the tornado is travelling east, change course and drive south.

Despite what most people think in the moment, highway overpasses are not shelters and should be avoided. They can create wind tunnels underneath the overpass and will increase the risk of getting hit with debris as well as being blown out from underneath and carried by the winds. If you are in a situation where there is flying debris, park the vehicle as quickly and safely as possible, remain inside the vehicle with your seatbelt on, put your head down below the window level, cover your head with your hands and a type of cushion (blanket, coat, etc.) if possible.

These are some helpful tips to be aware of during this time of year. Spring brings a lot of warmth and sunshine, but can also bring weather that can be unforgiving, if drivers aren’t aware of how to navigate it and make decisions that will ensure the safety of themselves as well as others.

 

3 Reasons Why Buying a Used Vehicle Makes Sense

When people begin thinking about buying their next vehicle, they instantly think about those nice, new cars at the dealership in town. However, there are reasons why consumers should take a step back and assess all of their options. All of their options meaning used vehicles as well! Despite what most people think, purchasing a used vehicle may be a better option for you, and here’s why!

It Will Save Money

Buying used is overall much more reasonably priced than buying new. Compared to brand new cars, buyers can expect to pay around $14,000 less on a 2-3 year old vehicle. Your budget may only afford an entry-level vehicle on the newer market. Instead, you can get a higher end used vehicle for the same price!

You will also get more for your money when you purchase used compared to new. Vehicles today are built to be more reliable and last longer. Odds are, you’ll drive your next vehicle longer than your current one. Used vehicles have less overall value than new ones, which should call for decreased insurance prices and registration fees (depending on what state you live in).

Minimize Depreciation

It’s typical that most new vehicles lose about 20% of their value as soon as they’re driven off of the lot. Within about a year of ownership, the vehicle has already lost about 30% of its total value and it will continue to decrease over time. Say you purchase a new vehicle for $40,000. When it comes time to sell it three years later, you can only sell it for about $20,000. Buying that vehicle new has cost you $20,000 in depreciation.

A used vehicle has already lost some of its value when it was purchased by it’s first owner, which makes it that much more affordable for the next owner to buy. It’s also possible to resell the vehicle a few years later with little loss in equity. If you purchase a used vehicle for $20,000, then sell it a few years later for $13,000, you only lost $7,000 in depreciation.

Minimized Risk

People used to compare buying a used car to “buying someone else’s problems”. Luckily, consumers have access to companies like Carfax and AutoCheck that create vehicle history reports that can provide important information including number of previous owners, mile verifications, wrecks, and more. 

As stated before, vehicles built today are meant to be more dependable. They should be able to go much longer distances before needing any major repairs. Even routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations should be fulfilled, but there should be longer periods of time in between these visits. 

At Premier Auto Source, we provide the luxury of purchasing a Pre-Owned vehicle which meets our strict standards and has a type of guarantee against defects, similar to a new car warranty. Premier Auto Source Pre-Owned vehicles have amenities of a new car purchase (warranties and preferred interest rates).  At Premier Auto Source, our vehicles have lower mileage, are well cared for, are up to date on maintenance, and have passed a 41 Point Premiers Inspection.

If you're interested in saving money on a preowned vehicle and would like something unique, then shop our website! All of our vehicles are hand picked! Many of our vehicles have upgraded tires and wheels. Send us a message if you have a specific vehicle in mind that we can source for you.

 

Buy A Better Ride at Premier Auto Source!