Knuckle VS Bracket Lifts

Knuckle VS Bracket Lifts

– What’s going on guys Fuller
here with custom offsets. Custom Offsets TV on youtube. And today we’re talking about the difference between bracket
lifts and knuckle lifts. So we’ve been getting a couple questions and with Rough Country
bringing their bracket lift and people are just asking, what’s better? A bracket lift or a
knuckle lift what are the differences and which one should I run. (upbeat music) (drill whirring) So before we dive completely into it. I did want to give you
a little bit of history on lift kits and kind of
explain where these two different types of kits came from. So, back in the day
trucks had leaf springs for the front and then they moved to IFS or independent front suspension. And that’s when the
introduction of a bracket lift came into play and as
trucks progressed and technology got better and
better, and people realized that these bracket lifts
weren’t quite holding up. They developed a knuckle
lift kit and then more and more people were going
to the knuckle lift kit’s because they were much stronger, and the reason why they
didn’t come out with knuckle kits originally is because most of the factories that are
casting these lift knuckles simply were able to make them. And they could just
manufacture a bracket kit rather than cast these huge knuckles. They just they didn’t
have the factories and the technology to do that size casting. Way back when and then
as factories got bigger and bigger like I said. They were able to make these knuckles and realize that the knuckle
kits were much stronger. So throughout the history of trucks, there’s been different
kind of styles and fads that are in and out. Like right now a lot
of people are running a very aggressive stance
like with their wheels and tires sticking out super far. But, not that long ago
people didn’t want that. So people were opting to
go with a bracket lift because it didn’t increase
front track width. And therefore it kept
your wheels and tires in basically the factory mounting points. Whereas a knuckle lift
kit a lot of them now are sticking out about an
inch and a half on each side. So that’s a pretty big
increase for front track width and some people don’t want their wheels to stick out that far. So if they’re trying to run factory wheels or OEM sizes and they
didn’t want em’ to stick out that far or they didn’t want the front to be out wide and the
back to be tucked in. That’s why people were opting
to go with the bracket lift. With the bracket lift
because it’s using your stock knuckles and all your stock steering components and everything like that. It does allow you to run factory wheels which means you can still run your spare if you were to have some issue
with your wheels and tires. A bracket lift is a much more complicated setup than knuckle lift, so there’s a lot more parts involved which also means there’s a lot more labor involved just because there
are so many more parts. So a bracket lift will basically take your OEM suspension and drop everything down. We’ll kinda dive into what a knuckle lift is in a little bit to compare to two. But lift kits on both ends of the spectrum are gonna drop your lower control arm. The difference is mainly
in the upper control arm. So a bracket lift uses a
bracket hence the name, to relocate where your stock
upper control arm’s mount. So it’s using the factory knuckle and the factory control arms both lower and upper. But, using brackets to
relocate where those mount. And again that’s just pushing all of your suspension down closer to the ground which in turn lifts your truck up. A knuckle lift replaces
your OEM knuckle with a new knuckle it’s a much taller knuckle, and that’s where your lift comes from. And then most times they’re giving you new upper control arms
so you can have correct angles and everything like that. So when it comes to differences
between the two kits, there’s not really a whole lot that people argue back and fourth on. But one of the biggest
things that people do care about is the strength of the kit. So from what I’m hearing
from the guys who install them and people that
are running them is they don’t believe bracket kits are quite as strong as those knuckle kits. Because those knuckles, that’s one solid cast piece of metal
they’re super heavy duty. If you’ve ever seen them off of a truck, I’m sure we’ll show you a
clip of what they look like. But pretty beef so you
don’t have to worry about things breaking, and that’s where all your lift’s coming from. Whereas the bracket kit
is just a fabricated couple pieces of metal put together to drop your stock components down. And if you’re adding extra
weight with bigger wheels and tires and all that extra rolling mass, it can be kind of risky putting all that weight onto your stock components. And that’s why most people
go with the knuckle lift. So the biggest downfall I
see with bracket lift is that there are just more
components to install which makes the installation process a little more complicated. And the fact that you’re
dropping down extra components. So in knuckle kit, you don’t
need to drop the steering rack. But on a bracket kit, you do. So all those steering
components drop down then there’s new hardware for that, new ends. It’s just a lot of components
that gets kind of confusing. You also need to a little
bit more cutting so on almost every bracket
kits that’s out there. You need to cut out the
upper control arm stops where they would droop down
because you’re installing a new bracket that just
won’t bolt up unless you cut those stops out of there. On the opposite side of the things, the biggest downfall I
can come up with for a knuckle lift kit is just that
increased front track width. So what I mean by that is, it increases the track
width or how wide your wheels are on each side by
about an inch and a half. So it’s really easy to fix
though because you can just add spacers in the rear
to get those sitting flush and then you don’t have to worry about it. So to give you guys an
idea on pricing I went out and compared the seven
inch Rough Country bracket kit versus the seven-inch knuckle kit. And what I found was, because there’s more
components in that bracket kit it drives the price up. So a standard seven inch
kit for like the fourteen to eighteen GM fifteen hundred’s is right around a thousand dollars. If you get the bracket kit its upwards of twelve hundred dollars with
all those extra components installed and then if
you want the bracket kit with upgraded struts you’re looking at about fourteen hundred dollars. So those bracket kits are more expensive mostly just do to the increase in parts. And that also means you
might be paying more for install as well because its a
little more labor intensive. So let us know in the comments which one you would rather run, a bracket lift or a knuckle lift. Or if you have experiences
with either one of them drop your thoughts below in the comments. Make sure you like this video, hit the subscribe button because we’re trying to reach two hundred-k. I’m Fuller from Custom Offsets, peace.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Don’t see the point of a bracket kit compared to a knuckle kit… seems like the knuckle kit is superior in all ways

  2. I noticed that the front tire looks like its displaced forward in the wheel well in the thumb nail. Is this a look I could replicate or is it an optical illusion?

  3. Omg fuller. Sometimes I feel like I’m listening to you talk and talk and talk about nothing. Or like reading Wikipedia.

  4. Or do what I did with my 2018 Silverado. Went with the 6” fabtech gen 2 knuckle kit that maintains the factory track width. No crappy spacers needed!!

  5. Bracket lift: crossmember chop to drop transfer case = perceived frame/ structural compromise,,,clearance issues..

    Knuckle lift: widely considered to be what we out west (southern desert region)call “long travel”: longer re enforced knuckles/spindles , longer upper and lower control arms= longer shocks, more articulation, better clearance ,,,compensated by wider fiberglass (paint matched) fenders ,,,NOT WIDER WHEELS!,,

    Reference: Camburg engineering , Total Chaos , Baja kits , etc…

  6. You guys put out great videos. I personally think y'all should make a video on Fabtech Gen 2 lifts for +14 GM 1500s that use a reengineered knuckle to keep the factory track width and also keep the rack and pinion gear in the correct factory spot. Keeps front track width correct, involves less labor than a bracket kit, better quality, better looking, and better riding. I had the 5" bracket kit from rcx on my 17' 1500 Sierra and I was very displeased. This kit is night and day speaking from experience. A review and or install video on this kit would be great content. Just food for thought. Keep doing what y'all do. it has educated me vastly on Wheels, tires, suspension; etc.

  7. I got a f250 with a 12inch lift on 40s and my tires pull like a mother any advice or solutions on what I can do ? Beef up steering stabilizers ?

  8. How bout a knuckle sandwich. I’m running a knuckle lift kit and it gives me beautiful clearance. I can roll over a bicycle and not worry about wrecking my oil pan.

  9. I run 3.5 knuckle kit of my Silverado 1500 from rough country and didn’t see a track width increase up front only complaint was the bump stops got cut out

  10. Personally I have a knuckle kit and knock on wood no problems with it I love it rides great just had to add a 2 inch spacer in the rear to bring tires out equal to front

  11. Thanks for explaining the difference. I hear alot of talk about a 4 link suspension lift or an SAS kit it drives me nuts not knowing what the heck their talking about. Could you please explain this for me? Thank you.

  12. So I'm running the 5.5" RC kit on my '05 ram 1500 4×4 sittin on 20×14's with 33×12.5's . The kit came with the brackets and new knuckles. what do you consider that?
    i know its a dumb question but after watching this video i'm curious to what you would consider it.

  13. Hey great video guy's I've been busy in the Bakken oil field an haven't kept up with your vids but catching up tonight my first day off but knuckle lift kits is most guys run up here

  14. I'm actually surprised that the knuckle lifts are considered stronger. I had a 4.5" on my Silverado (granted it was budget Fabtech..) and they were severely bent after what I'd now consider pretty light abuse.

    Obviously, if you're planning to beat on the truck, a kit including control arms is the bare minimum but now I'm really curious how just weak those bracket kits are.

  15. Can yall do a review on a spindle lift kit for the 2wd trucks.. i hve a 7” maxtrac lift.. and is it possible to go higher

  16. I had a pro comp bracket lift on 05 Chevy 1500. Rode like crap. I had to rebuild the front end components ie: tie rods, idler and pitman arms, ball joints etc. about every 25-30k miles. It may have been the people that installed it ( I bought the truck how it sat) but the idler arm bracket mount was cut off and re welded to drop it some to keep everything level and symmetrical. I wound up swapping it out for a superlift knuckle kit and having a shop spend the time to make sure everything was as close as possible to where it was when factory and it was soooo much smoother and a lot less headache maintenance and wear.

  17. I got my truck with a bracket kit and It's my daily driver on some very hard roads with no problems to date. however I will be updating my year of my truck so I will get it done with a knuckle kit seeing my friends truck looks like it gets a better turning radius than mine that's the same year truck..

  18. I'll vouch for the knuckle lift anyday, a car ran a redlight and i ended up tboning them, every part of my steering on the front of my 03 gmc stepside was in pieces, except the 6in lift knuckles. the ball joints where in 2, the tie-rods where turned into knots of metal, the cv axles where torn into 3 parts, even the wheel bearing was torn in half, but that knuckle looked brand new still.

  19. Would the 3.5" knuckle lift from RC for an 08 Sierra 1500 be Ideal with ball joint angles or should I just run the 5" suspension kit?

  20. Question, new to the whole lift game. I know there is a video by Custom Offsets, which talks about what goes up can’t come down. Is this statement relevant to both bracket and knuckle lifts?

  21. I'm running a 4.5" MaxTrac Knuckle lift with 3" lift blocks and fox shocks and coilovers in my Chevy Silverado 2013 1500 2wd, the knuckle s did add about an 1" track width in the front on both sides, but the ride is great, and the kit wasn't that pricey and easy install. And the knuckle didn't affect my upper and lower control arms.

  22. I have a bracket lift kit from Whiplash 02 gmc 1500 4×4 , my lift broke ripped apart and they wanted to charge me 1200 for a used lift to replace my parts .. its supposed to have a lifetime warranty, they switched to 1/4 inch steel , mines 3/16 .. they didnt want to stand behind warranty .. steer clear of whiplash .. the lady I spoke with called me every name in the book when I asked for them to honor their warranty….

    .. I need the diff support and both upper a arm drops .. does anybody know where might have these parts ? .. 10" lift

  23. is there any way you can get a BDS kits with knuckles without getting that 1.5" track width?? Thats the only thing thats keeping me from pulling the trigger on the BDS 4" coilover kit for my 18' Chevy Silverado.

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