Spring Kits vs. Lift Kits for Your Side-by-Side: The Ultimate Suspension Showdown

As a side-by-side owner, you know that building and customizing your rig is half the fun of having one. Whether you're looking to conquer challenging trails or just want to boost your off-road style, you've probably considered upgrading your suspension. Two popular options for this are spring kits and lift kits. But which one is the ultimate choice? Let’s get into it.

Lift Kits: The Brutes of the SxS World

Lift kits are the king of the side-by-side world. These kits literally lift your rig higher off the ground, and they come with their own set of pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Lift Kits for Side-by-Sides


  1. Serious Ground Clearance: Lift kits can provide your rig with a towering presence, making it a beast on rough terrain. Rocks, roots, and ruts? Not a problem! You’ll be able to hit the trails with fewer worries, and more fun.
  1. Larger Tires: More clearance means you can fit larger tires on your SxS. This not only looks badass but can help to improve traction and performance, too.
  1. Style Points: Let's be honest, a lifted side-by-side just looks cool. If you want to turn heads on the trail, a lift kit is the way to go. Once you get into the world of lifted SxSs, the world really opens when it comes to wheels, tires, and even more suspension upgrades.


  1. Handling Challenges: Lifted side-by-sides can be a handful to drive, especially on tight turns. You might need to invest in additional modifications like widening your stance to maintain stability.  The good news is that with some extra seat time, you can learn what you’re working with to keep it safe and fast on the trails.
  1. Drivetrain Stress: Lifting your rig can put extra strain on the drivetrain, potentially leading to more maintenance and repairs in the long run. It’s a trade-off, but with CA Tech on your side, we can help you to build up your ride in line with the added strain.

Pros and Cons of SxS Spring Kits: The Functional Hero

Let's start with spring kits, the true heroes of SxS suspension upgrades. These kits replace your factory springs with custom-tailored springs designed to meet your specific needs. Here are some of the pros:

  1. Improved Ride Quality: Spring kits are like a spa day for your rig. They offer a smoother and more comfortable ride, reducing the harshness of bumps and vibrations. Thanks to all the extra suspension, you’ll be soaking up the terrain better than stock, with minimal transfer to the passengers. You’ll reduce fatigue if you’re spending days on the trail, and that’s an even bigger win if you’re headed for a race course.
  1. Better Handling: Upgraded springs provide increased stability, especially when navigating tricky terrains. Say goodbye to the feeling of tipping over when taking tight corners! Keeping more tire on the ground by allowing for more articulation means traction where you need it when you need it.
  1. Customization: With spring kits, you can fine-tune your suspension to match your SxS’s weight, your cargo, and your preferred riding style. It's all about making your rig truly yours. That fine tuning means you can get your suspension in line with your driving style, and adjust for different terrain, too.

Now, don't think for a second that spring kits are without their own downsides:

  1. Limited Ground Clearance: If you're all about conquering extreme obstacles, spring kits might not give you the extra ground clearance you desire.
  1. Cost: Quality spring kits can be a bit pricey. But hey, you get what you pay for, right? Here at CA Tech, we’ve got top-tier components that are worth every penny, with a lifetime warranty and the support to back them up.

Ongoing Maintenance: A Necessary Evil

Now, let's talk about the ongoing maintenance for both spring kits and lift kits because even the mightiest rig needs some occasional TLC.  The more you build your rig, the more you have to pay attention to the maintenance.  As they say, with great power (or suspension performance) comes great responsibility.

Maintenance For SxS Spring Kits:

  1. Regular Inspections: Check your springs for any signs of wear and tear. Look out for cracks, sagging, or corrosion. CA Tech offers high-quality springs that are less prone to these issues.
  1. Adjustments: Depending on your usage, you might need to make occasional adjustments to your spring kit settings. This ensures your rig continues to ride like a dream.
  1. Cleaning: Keep your springs clean and free from debris, especially if you're a mudder. A dirty spring can lead to premature wear and a less comfortable ride.

Maintenance for SxS Lift Kits:

  1. Regular Inspections: Similar to spring kits, inspect your lift kit components regularly. Pay close attention to bolts, brackets, and bushings to ensure everything is tight and secure. This isn’t as scary as it sounds, and it’s easy to make it a part of your pre and post-ride routines.
  1. Alignment: Lift kits will change your rig’s alignment, and require some initial adjustments. It's crucial to check and adjust it as needed. An improperly aligned rig will lead to uneven tire wear and poor handling over time. Keep an eye on it, and stay aware of your experience behind the wheel. Just like a car or truck, if it’s pulling left or right, it needs to be adjusted and aligned properly.
  1. Lubrication: Don't forget to grease your lift kit's pivot points and moving parts. This prevents obnoxious noise when you’re on the trail, prevents excessive wear and tear, and ensures smooth operation.

In the battle of spring kits vs. lift kits for your side-by-side UTV, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It all boils down to your riding preferences and how you want your ride to perform.

Spring kits are the subtle, refined choice, offering improved ride quality, better handling, and customization options without breaking the bank. They're also kinder to your rig’s drivetrain, leading to fewer ongoing maintenance headaches. On the other hand, lift kits can be the bold, attention-grabbing option, providing serious ground clearance, style points, and the ability to conquer the toughest terrains. However, they come with handling challenges and can be costlier in the long run.

Remember, whether you choose a spring kit or a lift kit, make sure you're investing in top-notch products from CA Tech. Your SxS deserves nothing but the best. So, get out there, upgrade your suspension, and let your rig reach new heights – or experience smoother rides – because, after all, it's all about dominating the trails.

Keeping your rig running it’s best and looking great and when you’re out on the trails, shouldn’t get in the way of a good time. If you’re looking for advice, need help with an install, or just don’t know what parts you might want to check out next, CA Tech has the experts on hand with the info you need. Give us a call at 423-790-0230 or shoot us an email at - we got you!



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