WHY YOU DON’T NEED CRADLE DROPS ON NEW GENERATION SUBARUS
Due to the newer geometry that Subaru uses in the rear cradles of the CrossTrek, Outback, and Forrester; ReadyLIFT R&D has determined that a rear cradle drop is not necessary to achieve the lift heights while keeping proper alignment. Subaru engineers did an excellent job at retaining camber, caster and toe throughout their design of these vehicles that a nominal rear lift height increase of 1.5” (which is in our kits) will not need cradle drops. The rear spacers are designed to take this into account by only lifting the rear 1.5”. The new 4 link designs using a triangulated upper arm, lower suspension carrying arm, trailing arm, and toe link; camber and toe are set to optimal geometry throughout the suspension cycle. Camber increases were thought out with the engineers and our kit stays within this max travel range that was designed.
Most independent suspension vehicles require around -.5 degree of rear camber to help with body roll, but this is on heavier SUV and wagons. The Subaru vehicles are fairly light and when lifted the camber that is gained from the lift will help with the larger tires and off road performance, where negative camber is more for on road performance and sharp cornering. Lifted Subaru’s are not meant to drive in this manner as with all lifted vehicles as the center of gravity has been increased. The other benefit to not needing to drop the cradle is the increased ground clearances. Where other kits drop the cradle, they also have to drop the exhaust as well; thus decreasing any ground clearance gains from the added height of the tires and lift. The only thing gained from dropping the rear cradle is having the camber fall into a negative spec which is not necessary for a daily driven off-road capable vehicle like the Subaru.
Old technology in the older Subaru’s made it necessary to drop both the front and rear cradles to gain height. Essentially making a body lift for these uni-body designs was necessary to do any nice off-roading or being able to fit a larger tire. The CV angles were compromised with the older designs that Subaru has changed with the new platforms. Camber changes were not optimal in the older chassis, so companies who made kits for the older vehicles just carried over the design element when creating cradle drop kits for the newer chassis. Since we work within the limitations of the stock geometry designs, we can rest assured that not having a cradle drop for these newer designs creates less work for the installer, less hardware, and a far cheaper kit due to not needing the expensive hardware.