Lift your truck, drop your car!
Apex is your one stop solution for automotive suspensions. Whether you're looking to drop your car for better handling and an enhanced look, or lift your truck so you can climb over rocks and trees and add that aggressive look, we've got you covered! At Apex Customs Phoenix our expert technicians understand that every suspension package is unique depending on it's intended application. We will build the automotive suspension package that works best for your ride and intended application.
Suspensions are one of the best mods you can make to your ride. Not only do they offer a unique look, but they will improve the handling, capabilities, and value of your car, truck, or SUV. There are several components to consider when you're looking to improve the performance and look of your vehicle, at Apex Custom Phoenix we can install, upgrade, and swap any performance suspension component you need. From full lift or lowering kits, to upgraded sway bars, bushings, and shocks, we can source the best components for your vehicle and application, install the parts, and tune the suspensions performance.
Offering performance suspension installation services for Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Glendale, Chandler and surrounding areas in Arizona.
- Car Lowering
- Truck Lifts
- Jeep Lifts
- Performance Strut Bars
- Performance Sway Bars
- Performance Shocks
- Polyurethane Bushings
Performance Suspension Services
Give your car better handling by lowering the suspension or give your truck that aggressive look by raising the suspension. Lowering will also help eliminate unsightly factory wheel gap and helps improve your cars handling and ride characteristics. Lifting will allow your truck to tackle deep puddles or climb big ass rocks. At Apex we can provide the suspension service you're looking for. Here are a few of our most popular performance suspension services:
Car Lowering Service
If you're looking to lower your car for better performance handling and improved looks, then you've come to the right place. Our expert technicians can install the lowering kit of your choice, swap out your factory suspension parts for upgraded aftermarket components, and tune your ride height and suspension settings to your requirements.
From lowering springs to full race coilovers, we can handle any project you can throw at us. We'll help you pick out the best components for your application and provide recommendations on ride height and shock stiffness. With every suspension upgrade, our technicians will provide your car the white glove treatment.
Truck & Jeep Lifting Service
Looking for a lift kit for your truck or SUV? Whether you're looking to eliminate the factory rake, or looking for a monster truck, Apex Customs has you covered. With over 30 years of experience, our technician has installed thousands of suspensions from Toyota pickups to Semi Trucks. We have the knowledge and expertise to ensure your lift kit is installed properly and safely so your investment will last for years to come.
From body lifts to full suspension makeovers, we can help you choose the best performing lift kit for your truck or SUV. We will swap out the OEM components for aftermarket performance suspension, tune the components so you get the most out of your investment, and provide you with the care and maintenance tips you need to keep your lifted ride in top condition for years to come.
Sway Bar Upgrades
Do you want to take corners are full speed? Sway bar, also known as anti-roll bar, upgrades are a great performance addition to any car that has a need for speed. Aftermarket sway bars will reduce body roll and improve responsiveness of your ride. At Apex Customs Phoenix we can swap your puny stock sway bars for a set of thick bars that will give your car the edge from the highway to the track.
Our sales team will help you source the best roll-bar for your application and our skilled technicians will get it installed to spec. Eibach and Hotchkis is our brand of choice, but we can work with any brand you're looking for.
Shocks are a critical component to any performance suspension system. Whether you're looking to replace your factory shocks with their high-performance counterpart or just replacing OEM shocks to handle the demands of your new performance springs, Apex Customs Phoenix has you covered.
Our expert technicians will swap our your tired shocks for new performance dampers that will give your car, truck or SUV the edge on the highway or the raceway. Our sales team will help you source the best shocks for your vehicle's intended use, just give us a call today and we'll get you taken care of.
Poly Bushing Swap
Bushings are a critical suspension component often overlooked by automotive enthusiasts. If you still have OEM suspension bushings on a killer aftermarket suspension, you're leaving performance enhancements on the table. Polyurethane bushings are inexpensive and can make a world of difference in the performance and responsiveness of your car, truck, or SUV's suspension.
At Apex Customs, we will swap your soft factory bushings with the best Poly bushings on the market. Our technicians have the skills and experience to ensure your bushings are installed properly and your components are retorqued to spec.
Car Lowering Q&A
Lowered Suspension Advantages and Disadvantages
There are pros and cons to lowered suspension systems. Some drivers change their suspension systems so that the vehicle sits lower to the ground. Any kind of aftermarket suspension system or alteration has its own specific effects on a vehicle.
Better aerodynamics. With a lowered suspension, there's less air going underneath the vehicle, and this can create a better outcome for wind drag on a car. That's why some sportier models sit a bit lower to the ground.
Improved traction and handling. In general, having the vehicle so low to the ground can increase the grip of the tires on the roadway and improve handling. However, this is not always the case, as lowering can in some instances cost handling issues.
- Reduced rollover risk. When its center of gravity makes it a rollover risk, almost any vehicle benefits from lowering. The higher the vehicle sits, the easier it tips over.
- Greater comfort. Some drivers report that they feel better with a lower suspension. Additional stiffness can be desired in a suspension, and this is one of the perks that some drivers mention after lowering their suspensions.
Disadvantages of Lowered Suspension
- Increased bottoming out. One of the most common problems with lowered suspensions is that the vehicle can more easily hit the road when it bounces. Speed bumps can also be problematic. Contact with the ground can cause parts of the underside of the car to be seriously damaged. The oil pan and exhaust system are particularly vulnerable.
- Uneven tire wear. In some cases, a lower suspension can cause tires to wear unevenly, or cause extreme wear patterns. Drivers should look out for this consequence when altering their suspension in any way.
- Potential conflict with other parts. An even more dangerous consequence of a lowered suspension occurs when elements of the suspension system come into contact with other vehicle systems. Low suspensions can get caught up in anti-lock brake apparatus, sway bars, or even with the sidewalls of the tires. An incorrectly set up suspension can actually chew on tires, causing some serious potential risks.
- Lifting and towing problems. For those who like to use manual jacks to raise a vehicle for routine maintenance, lowering the suspension can make a simple job a lot harder. Think about your access needs before shifting your car's frame lower toward the ground.
All of these are important considerations for vehicle owners who want to mess around with the suspension system that came direct from the factory. Experts recommend paying extra for quality shock absorbers and other parts, and avoiding cheap aftermarket systems that can cause failure or other serious risks on the road
What You Need For A Performance Suspension
When it comes to modifying a vehicle, lowering suspension and ride height is often the first step many enthusiasts make.
For the best compromise between handling and looks, choose a kit that includes matched springs and shocks from the same manufacturer, with drops of no more than half an inch to an inch. This allows the spring rates to be increased with improved damping rates to match. Kits that include only lowering springs are cheap but will have spring rates close to factory rates to be compatible with the factory shocks. What this means is that your suspension is lowered and travel is reduced, yet there is no increased spring rate or damping force to prevent bottoming out of the shocks. In the case of a rally suspension or suspension that will be used on rough, uneven roads, lowering should be avoided at all costs with attention paid to increased damping and spring rates. Lowered suspensions tend to work best on smooth roads, while excessively rough roads and uneven surfaces require near-stock ride height to function properly.
Strut bars are an automotive suspension enhancement which is used with MacPherson strut and monocoque or unibody chassis cars. The strut bar provides added stiffness between the strut towers in order to tighten up suspension and reduce strut tower flex by tying the strut towers together. By tying the strut towers together, chassis flex will be reduced when a vehicle is cornering providing enhanced suspension performance. In order for a strut bar to be effective, it must be rigid throughout its entire length.
There are a number of aftermarket strut bars available for most cars, trucks, and SUV’s on the market. An aftermarket performance strut bar is a relatively easy installation and is a relatively affordable way to tighten up your vehicles suspension and improve its cornering abilities without requiring expensive modifications to the stock suspension system.
Sway bars, also referred to as anti-roll bars and anti-sway bars, are the component of an automotive suspension that reduces the body roll during fast cornering. A sway bar connects the left and right wheels on a car, truck, or SUV together through short lever arms which are then linked by a torsion spring. The sway bar increases an automotive suspensions resistance to roll adding roll stiffness.
The purpose of the anti-sway or anti-roll bar is to force each side of your car, truck, or SUV to rise and lower at similar heights which in turn reduces the sideways roll or tilting on the vehicle on curves, sharp corners, and large bumps. By upgrading your stock sway bars with larger aftermarket sway bars, you will stiffen the vehicles suspension and improve the cornering abilities. Improved cornering capabilities allows your vehicle to drive faster through corners which is especially helpful in an automotive race.
Suspension bushings are often overlooked by the automotive enthusiasts even though they are vital to your suspensions performance. By upgrading your stock suspension bushings to a polyurethane bushing, you can increase tire life, decrease the deflection in your suspension, increase responsiveness, reduce braking distance, and improve both performance and safety.
Polyurethane has been around for over thirty years however it wasn’t until recent technological advances that polyurethane became such a powerful material of suspension bushings. Automotive suspension bushings are one of the most stressed components on a vehicle. They undergo incredible stress under the most arduous of conditions that have no lubrication or regular maintenance.
Standard car and truck bushings are manufactured from a rubber compound that is made out of natural materials that often become soft and pliable under stress. As the bushings become soft, their ability to handle cornering, bumps, and the stresses of regular driving are reduced and you end up with a poor performing suspension. Polyurethane on the other hand is engineered to handle the extreme stress or a performance vehicle that is pushed to the limits. Poly bushings can be made 25% to 30% stiffer than standard bushings while maintaining the same noise absorbing properties.
Springs are a core component of automotive suspension, they support the weight of your vehicle which allows it to remain stable during rough driving conditions. Springs are able to expand and contract absorbing vibrations during dips and bumps while driving.
There are various types of springs used in automotive suspensions, coil springs and leaf springs are the most common. In addition to the standard coil and leaf springs, there are also air spring systems available which allow you to adjust the ride height of your car, truck or SUV. Coil springs are used in conjunction with shock absorbers to provide optimal handling, braking, bump damping, and an overall comfortable ride.
When it comes to improving your suspension with aftermarket parts, coil springs are usually replaced when you are either lowering or raising your car, truck, or SUV. Because lowering or lifting your vehicle changes the geometry of your suspension system, larger or shorter coil springs are required. When lowering your car, shorter springs mean less spring. As a result, lowering spring manufacturers compensate for the shorter spring by adding thicker coils in a tighter pattern.
Even if you aren’t looking to lower or lift your vehicle, you can also install aftermarket springs that offer a stiffer spring quality. By stiffening your springs, your vehicle will respond better while cornering and braking. The tradeoff to this performance enhancement is stiffer springs will result in reduced ride quality when driving over bumps or potholes.
Coilovers are well known in the aftermarket suspension world. A coilover is really nothing more than a coil spring over a shock absorber. Other suspension applications such as leaf springs separate the shock absorber from the spring. One of the primary benefits of aftermarket coilover systems is they allow for adjustability of both the coil spring which changes your ride height as well as the shock absorber’s stiffness. With an adjustable coilover system, you can change your vehicles suspension from sport mode or comfort mode depending on the application you’re looking for.
Coilovers come in a range of sizes, shapes, and brands. Everything from a sleeve coilover to a full- bodied race coilover with separate oil canisters for ultimate adjustability and performance. Here are the common types of coilovers available in the aftermarket:
- Coilover Sleeves
- Non-Shock Adjustable Coilovers
- Shock Adjustable Coilovers
- Shock Adjustable Coilvers with Camber Kit
Coilover Systems vs Lowering Springs
Deciding the best route for your suspension upgrade can be a challenging task. Balancing driveability and performance is a tough decision because there are tradeoffs for either choice. If you’re just looking for the improved look of a lowered car and not too concerned with the enhanced performance an aftermarket suspension offers, then a lowering spring is a good option. They are affordable and will add some enhanced performance simply by lowering the center of gravity of your car. However, if you’re looking for a system that will provide true performance enhancements while also allowing for adjustability, a coilover system is the best option. Lowering springs have a pre-established drop, you purchase the spring kit based on how much of a drop you want. Once you install the springs the, the only way to change the drop is to install a different set of springs.
The end links for the lowered suspension keeps several of the other components in place by securing the sway bar or anti-roll bar to the vehicles frame parts. Suspension end links provide a crucial role in the performance of your vehicle by minimizing the body lean of your car, truck, or SUV while cornering.
The common failure part of end links are the bushings at the ends of the links. If you’re putting your vehicle through harsh driving conditions such as an automotive race, aftermarket bushings will provide enhanced performance through their durable bushings and strengthened metal shafts. Additionally, if you are lifting your truck or SUV or lowering your car, adjustable or different sized sway bar links will be required to accommodate the change is suspension geometry.
Shock absorbers are a another critical component to a vehicle's suspension system. Shock absorbers will absorb the up-and-down of a car, truck, or SUV whenever it hits a bump or pothole. Beyond just absorbing the impact, shock absorbers allow the vehicle to maintain maneuverability after it has encountered the change in surface area. Without shock absorbers, the car, truck, or SUV would continue to bounce on the coil springs after hitting a bump. Shock absorbers prevent the energy stored in the springs from being released to the vehicle. Springs alone are not shock absorbers as they only store, not absorb and distribute the energy.
Shock absorbers are made in one of two designs, either a twin tube or mono-tube. A mono-tube shock is manufactured with a single tube that is mounted in an upside down position which helps reduce the load of the absorbed energy. A twin tube shock by contrast, is manufactured with an inner tube and outer tube which work together to absorbed the energy. Thanks to technology advancements, modern shock absorbers are fitted with velocity hydraulic damping devices to provide increased speed in the movement of the suspension in order to attain greater resistance. Hydraulic shocks provide a versatile product which can easily adopt to changing road conditions which reduce bounce, sway, acceleration squat and brake dive.
Aftermarket shock absorbers are a great enhancement to your automotive suspension system. The best aftermarket shocks will include adjustability settings that allow you to change the stiffness of the shock absorption. Stiffer responses in a shock absorber allow the car to recover quickly after a bump or pothole which provides improved performance.
Advantages of Lifting a Truck or SUV
A lift with monster tires is one of the coolest modifications you can make to a truck, Jeep, or SUV. There is something about raising an off-road vehicle a few inches higher that simply cannot be matched in the looks department not to mention the cool factor of driving a miniature monster truck.
Most truck and SUV owners enjoy a slightly higher truck that can fit larger tires. As a result, the aftermarket off-road industry has developed a variety of suspension lifting kits that can fit just about any truck or SUV. Most suspension lifts will raise your truck or SUV 2” to 5” for a lift that looks cool and adds towing ability while not making it undrivable. There are some off-road enthusiasts that like to push the limits by installing extreme lift kits to really give your truck or SUV that wow factor. At Apex Customs, we can install any aftermarket lift kit you desire. From simply body lifts, to full suspension lifts, our skilled technicians will have your truck climbing rocks in now time.
There are many potential advantages to installing a suspension or body lift to your truck or SUV. Here are a few advantages to take into consideration:
When you install a lift kit on a truck or SUV, it raises the body panels of your vehicle which allow you to install larger wheels and tires. Larger wheels and tires not only look really cool, they also raise the lower chassis of the vehicle providing improved ground clearance. With stock suspensions, trucks and SUV’s are required to run narrower and shorter tires that have non-aggressive tire grooves. When you lift your truck or SUV, not only can you add larger diameter tires, it also allows you to install wider tires with more aggressive tire groves than can handle rain, mud, and snow more effectively.
Improved Off Road Driving
There is no better way to improve the off-road capabilities of your truck or SUV than a suspension and/or body lift. Lifting your truck pays back in dividends when your facing deep ruts or large rocks out on the trail. The added ground clearance, increased suspension travel, and ability to add larger tires provides your truck with the capability to drive over and through deep ruts and puddles, large rocks, fallen debris, and through even the thickest of mud holes.
Additional Ground Clearance
The most obvious advantage of a truck or SUV suspension lift is the added ground clearance. When you raise the suspension of your vehicle, it allows you to put larger wheels and tires on the truck which in turn lifts the entire chassis giving you more ground clearance. In addition, the suspension lift will raise the body panels higher off the ground and provide more suspension travel distance.
By adding ground clearance to your truck or SUV, it allows you to travel over rough paths and roads that have potholes and road debris as well as snow and mud. For the off-road enthusiast, extra ground clearance is especially useful to be able to travel over rocks and trail debris.
Enhanced Towing Ability
Another often over looked advantage of an SUV or truck suspension lift is increased towing capacity. A lifted truck will provide a better weight advantage and safety margin over the vehicle you are towing. These towing capacity improvements are only a reference to a truck or SUV that is mildly lifted truck, we do not recommend trying to towing anything with an extreme suspension lift.
By lifting your SUV or truck, it will improve you driving visibility by increasing your viewing angle over the vehicles around you. When you are able to see above the cars and trucks around you, it improves the safety while driving allowing you to avoid dangerous situations and maneuver around them. Lifting your truck or SUV provides leverage over the smaller vehicles around you including large trucks like Semi’s and delivery trucks.
Easier and Safer Driving in Bad Weather Conditions
A suspension lift on your truck or SUV provides superior drivability during bad road conditions. Whether you’re facing heavy rain, flooding, or snow and ice, a lifted truck will plow through the rough conditions and get you home safely. Riding higher is helpful for impassable roads because the improved ground clearance and larger tires allow you to drive over deep puddles or snow drifts.
Aftermarket Suspension Q&A
Why is the rear of my truck higher than the front?
Most trucks and SUVs these days come with a slight rake from the factory. Typically they sit two to three inches higher in the rear when unloaded to prevent the rear from being too low when they are fully loaded. For most automotive enthusiasts, towing capacity and load are not as much of a priority as tire clearance, appearance, or performance. Most clients are looking to level the rake when they choose an aftermarket lift so your truck or SUV appears level in the front and rear.
Is an alignment required after installing a lift or lowering your car?
Yes, we always recommend having an alignment done to your vehicle after you do a suspension upgrade, especially when you are swapping out multiple components like a lift or lowering kit. We don’t offer alignments at Apex because we don’t have the equipment, however we can recommend several reputable shops that can complete the alignment after the suspension has been installed.
How will a lift or lowering kit impact my vehicle’s warranty?
Thanks to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), an organization which works on behalf of the aftermarket automotive industry, there is a list of rights regarding vehicle manufacturer warranties and aftermarket equipment. For a Car, Truck, or SUV manufacturer to refuse a warranty claim, it is up to the dealership to prove that aftermarket parts are what caused the issue with the vehicle. More information can be obtained on the SEMA Action Network’s website: http://www.semasan.com
How will a lift or lowering kit impact my vehicles stability?
When you lift your truck or SUV or lower your car, you are changing the center of gravity the vehicle manufacturer intended for the vehicle. As a result, there will be changes to the vehicles stability. For car lowering kits, you can typically expect an improvement in your cars stability thanks to the lower center of gravity. When you lift your truck or SUV you can generally expect the stability to be reduced due to the higher center of gravity. There are cases when you can actually improve the stability of your truck or SUV if you install a moderate lift kit combined with taller and wider wheels.
Should I consider changing my vehicle’s axle gears with my lift or lowering kit?
When you change the tire size on your car, truck, or SUV, it will have an impact on your vehicle’s gear ratios which has a corresponding impact on performance, fuel economy, and even your speedometer. There is no single, simple answer to when you need to swap out your axle gears. A general rule of thumb for lifted vehicles is you can satisfactorily run up to 35” tires with factory gearing. The lower the gear ratio on your factory truck the better. Lowered cars generally don’t need gear swaps unless you are looking for a racing application. There are a variety of aftermarket options for gear swaps for most vehicles if it’s something you are interested in.
How will a truck or SUV lift impact my driveshaft?
Most aftermarket lift kit incorporates driveline corrections into the kit. The suspension kits will include replacement springs and shims and rear lift blocks that address the change in driveshaft angle. In some applications, a relocated differential is required, it needs to be re-timed for proper angle and shaft spline engagement. Holes and lift block pins will be offset to address various shaft length concerns. If your lift is over 6”, you may need to lengthen your driveshaft or added a driveshaft spacer.
How much should I lift my truck?
Choosing your lift size comes down to a matter of preference. Generally a 2” to 3” lift is a good option for improved looks and performance without impacting the everyday drivability of your truck or SUV. When you lift the center of gravity on your truck or SUV will impact the stability of your vehicle if you go too high. Most people add a suspension lift in order to add larger tires. The size of tires you choose and the tire tread on the tires is a good guide for determining the size of lift you should go with. Another consideration is your budget, lift kits and installation can be expensive so be sure to understand the full cost of your lift before committing to the purchase.