Lifted Truck: Solid Front Axle vs Independent Front Suspension

Lifted Truck: Solid Front Axle vs Independent Front Suspension

Lifted Truck: Solid Front Axle vs Independent Front Suspension

If you're not a truck guru, you may not know the difference between a solid front axle and independent front suspension. But if you've bought a truck or an SUV in the last few years, you probably have experienced independent front suspension (IFS) in all its glory. You may not have even know that, in the world of lifted truck, there are two camps about which option makes for a better lifted truck experience.


Why is Independent Front Suspension Better?

Since IFS is used in most 1/2 ton and compact trucks, all SUVs, and many 3/4 and 1 ton trucks as well, there must be something to it. Why is IFS preferred by so many automakers? The real reason is comfort. Essentially, IFS means less bounce on bumps and the same handling at all speeds and in all environments. No mystery makes for a better driving experience, right?

The tires move independently using IFS, so that also means that you get the fastest, best handling on city streets or in off-road situations. With this system, you also get more ground clearance, an especially important thing for those who use lifted trucks for their off-road adventures.


Why is a Solid Front Axle Better?

Old-school lovers of the solid front axle are out there, and they are passionate about the way that things used to be done. In a solid axle system, you have fewer moving parts. As anyone who has ever tried to repair any piece of technology knows, more moving parts mean more things to break and fail--and that's especially true here. With simplicity of construction comes simpler service issues which may mean smaller bills as well.

The solid axle was also usually made of iron, rather than aluminum, so supporters say its more durable on tougher terrain. The steering can actually be stronger and less susceptible to changes than an IFS system and--especially important to lifted truck owners--a solid axle can be easier and less expensive to lift.