Home Automotive AdviceMods, Tuning, and Performance Carolina Squat – Just A Fad Or Actually A Good Mod?

Carolina Squat – Just A Fad Or Actually A Good Mod?

by Jordan Harris
Carolina Squat

If you are a truck guy, you probably heard about the Carolina Squat. But have you been wondering what the Carolina Squat is? The Carolina Squat is a mod that modifies the suspension on your truck, but more about that and the origin of the Carolina Squat, we are going to learn later in the article.

Modifying your vehicle is one of the best ways to improve the looks and also improve the ride quality of the vehicle. That’s why many people do it and there are hundreds of ways in which you can modify your car and make it fully unique and original. When people see your car, they will instantly know who is driving it. Especially if you live in a small space where everybody knows each other

Not to mention your reputation in the car community will increase if you do some crazy mods on your car. People just love crazy mods, and the people who often know to surprise with a crazy mod, get the most rep from the car guys at the local car meets. That’s why there isn’t a better way than this to improve your rep.

In this article, we are going to learn what is the Carolina Squat. Then we are going to learn the characteristics of this mod and from where it originates. Then we will see how you can modify your car to make the Carolina Squat possible and how much you will need to pay to do this mod. So, let’s get started.

What Is Carolina Squat?

The Carolina Squat is a trend or a mod that some of the owners who own pickup trucks are doing to their trucks. We can thanks to this trend thanks to Instagram where this trend has exploded and many owners are looking to perform this modification to their trucks. Every day things get crazier and new mods appear. Who knows what we can expect next when it comes to mods, to be honest. But let’s return to the Carolina Squat.

As the name implies, the Carolina Squat is a mod where the truck is squatting on the rear wheels. At the first glance, it looks weird and also at the second glance as well. You really have to be into this stuff to have a big appreciation for this modification. By me, I kinda like it. But it ruins the performance of the vehicle. The truck stops being a truck and becomes a show car. And show cars are not that practical, to be honest.

That’s why it is good to give it a try if you are into mods and you want to try something new and unique. Especially if this mod isn’t done by anything in your car community, you could be the first one and get some gratification from your peers.

The good side of this mod is that it is reversible. It’s not like building a donk with welding and stuff. This mod is fully reversible and you could return your car to the factory OEM spec if you want to. Later in the article, we are going to see how you could build one. Because there are a ton of ways that you can achieve the Carolina Squat.

From Where Did The Carolina Squat Originate?

Although the name implies that this mod comes from the south, this isn’t the case in reality. All this squatting culture came from California. More precisely, from Baja racing.

Baja racing originates from back in the 60s were the first desert races in California started. But why Baja, what is the real origin of this name Baja? Baja stands for Baja California in Spanish, which in English means Lower California that is located in Mexico.

The first race was somewhere around Tijuana but this type of racing was also popular in the US California. Especially in the deserts where people were jumping on dunes and enjoyed their trucks.

The trucks were squatted so it was easier for them to jump over the dunes. If they are not squatted, they would simply break when they land on the ground. The bigger the jumps the bigger the rewards.


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The original race Baja 1000 is still held in Mexico and gathers a lot of participants all over the world, especially from Europe and the United States.

But how did this trend come into the US car culture? It all started from Instagram where people started modifying their trucks and were posting on the web. Then this trend has launched and more and more people started to participate in it.

The most attention it got in the south. More precisely North and South Carolina. That’s why it is called the Carolina Squat, even though it does not originate from the American South. Besides North and South Carolina, this mod is also popular in Louisiana and Georgia.

A lot of people down south appreciate this mod and are modding their trucks in the Baja style. Now let’s see what are the main characteristics of the Carolina Squat.

What Are The Main Characteristics Of The Carolina Squat?

Similar to low riders and driving donks. The Carolina Squat is a mod that plays with the suspension with the truck. The suspension has to be hacked in order to make this thing possible on your truck.

This can be tricky to do, especially for beginners that are not into doing work on their trucks and do not know quite a lot when it comes to mechanics. Doing this without experience can be dangerous as well.

That’s why the best thing you could do if you want to add this mod to your truck is to visit some of the shops that are doing this mod for other people. You will pay more money for this work. But the end result would be perfect and your truck would be able to jump dunes the next day.

Carolina Squat

It is also worth noting the purpose of your build. If you want to do this only for show. It’s probably going to cost you less than if you want to do this work for performance. Because if you make your truck a desert racing machine then you need to put some extra effort and money into this project.

You will need to beef up the suspension and install upgraded upper and lower control arms that would handle these jumps and also some good aftermarket coilover struts on your truck. Because if you jump your truck with stock suspension, then it would probably break in half and you will bend the frame.

If you do this for show. You don’t need to do much to improve your truck’s look and make the nose go up in the air. There are simple tricks that could be pulled off to get you the right effect.

How You Can Pull It Off?

There are a few ways that you can use to pull this off and lift your truck at the front end. Some of them are pretty simple while some of them require more car knowledge to be installed and also to make the mod functional.

But to be noted that these mods are not cheap. Even the simple ones will cost you a good penny to purchase and install at a shop. So, which are these three ways? Let’s find out.

Torsion Bar Adjustment

If you are running a torsion bar suspension and an older truck, then there is a high chance that you can adjust this type of suspension to achieve that Carolina Squat look that you are after.

The torsion bar is connected to your lower control arm. And on the lower control arm, there is a bolt that you can use to manipulate the torsion bar and lift the car up if you like. If you tighten it up. The torsion bar would raise the front end of your car, if you loosen it up, the car will lower down.

Just remember that you need to adjust the bolts on both control arms to lift the car up. If you only adjust one side, only one side would be lifted in the air. That’s why make sure that you lift both sides and both sides should be lifted equally. So, remember how many turns you make on each of the control arms.

This is the simplest method of pulling this off. But it won’t give you much. For a better result, you will also have to install a ball joint lift kit to keep the height up at all times. And that is something that we are going to cover next.

Install Ball Joint Spacers

Another cool hack if you have an older truck that you want to make to do a Carolina Squat is to install a ball joint spacer. Remember that this works with a torsion bar suspension and on this type of suspension it will be quite easy to achieve this squatting effect with a ball joint spacer and torsion bar tweak. But how do ball joint spacers work?

Ball joint spacers work in that way that they are installed between the upper control arm and the ball joint. Combining this method with a torsion bar adjustment is going to give you the desired effect.

The spacers will make sure that your suspension stays high all the time. There are different types and sizes of these spacers and you need to find the one that will fit the bill for your truck and your desires. A 1.5’’ spacer will basically give you a 2.5’’ lift. Which is enough to make the front end higher. But if you want to do the Carolina Squat, you would probably want something bigger.

These spacers are also fairly cheap and you could find them for extremely low prices. You can even fabricate your own spacers, if you have a CNC machine or if a friend has one of these machines. Here is also a video that describes how this process is performed on a Toyota SUV. It looks pretty darn good I must admit.

Install Bigger Front Wheels

Another good method to combine with the ball joint spacer and the torsion suspension adjustment is to include bigger wheels at the front.

Let’s say that you add an inch or two bigger wheels in diameter with a bigger sidewall. This will improve even more the looks of the truck and the truck is going to be a true Carolina Squat truck.

When picking wheels, you should get the same design as the rear. Possibly alloys that were specifically designed for builds like this. They will fit the bill quite nicely.

Also, picking low-profile tires is another benefit of making the truck even better. Combining low-profile tires with big wheels would be your best bet. But what about other ways that you can use to lift your truck? Let’s find out which are they.

Installing A Lift Kit

Installing a lift kit at the front is probably the way to go if you want to make this work as it should. This would work on most modern-day trucks with more advanced suspensions. Since there are kits that are premanufactured, designed, and tested by the companies that are producing them.

Getting a proper lift kit will guarantee your safety as well. Instead using DIY lift kits and some components that were never properly tested and could break can also be dangerous for you and your health.

That’s why get a proper kit for your truck. Kits go in sizes. The more inches you want to add, the more money you will have to pay. It cannot be simpler than this.

Carolina Squat

You can also lift your rear since these kits include the front and the rear lift components. But if you want to get that Carolina Squat look, you would only be needing the front lift kit for this purpose. Also, you can remove all of this componentry and return your truck at factory specs when you will feel tired from it. It cannot be better than this, or it can? Let’s see.

Add Air Suspension

If you want to take things to the next level, you could also install air suspension on your truck. With air suspension, you will be able to reach all of the stances that you desire and more.

Air suspension will give you all of the freedom that you ever wanted if you are a truck owner. Before you enter the truck, it could be lowered. And once you start the truck the suspension will lift the truck in the air.

Also, if you want to do the Carolina Squat, just lift the front end in the air as much as you can and lower the rear as you desire.

Air suspension could also be quite hefty to purchase and if you are looking to get 4 airbags for each wheel. You could expect to pay a few grand on this upgrade. But if you have the money, in my opinion, it’s completely worth it.

Do I Need Alignment?

This is a good question that needs to be elaborated on. The answer is, yes, you need to do an alignment. In fact, any suspension upgrade that you do makes your car drive differently.

So, when you lift your truck, you can expect that things will not handle as they did and the truck is going to be more difficult to drive as well and also control on the road. Because there is nothing better than factory and that’s why it’s always the best to be on the factory settings.

Nevertheless, if you make changes to the suspension of your truck. You can expect it to lose the alignment and it will require to be realigned. You will have to pay some money to perform this work but the truck will drive better and will not pull on one side.

Also, the tread wear would be even on all wheels and tires. If you drive without alignment for a lot of time. The tires could wear wrong, either on the inner or on the outer side and this will result in premature tire wear. The only way will be to replace the tires on your truck with new ones.

Can I Reverse My Truck After I Do The Carolina Squat Mod?

The short answer is yes, you can reverse your truck back to stock after you do the Carolina Squat. This is the case because a lot of these components are aftermarket and could be easily removed.

The work will not require welding or another type of fabrication on the chassis. It’s just bolt on, bolt off. You install the kit and you start to feel tired from it and you remove it from the truck. Then the truck returns back to normal and no more Carolina Squat look on that truck.

But be aware that whenever you do this type of work to make sure that you always do the alignment of the tires. Because as we said, the wheel might start pulling on each side of the tires could wear off prematurely. Overall a good mod to test and if you don’t like it, you can always go back and enjoy your stock settings.

Dangers Of The Carolina Squat?

When we cover a mod, it is also good to cover the dangers that this mod has in terms of the safety of the driver and the occupants since there could be some fatalities when it comes to the Carolina Squat.

This mod is impairing the driver from maneuvering the truck properly and it could not properly see what is in front of him. When the front hood is taller than you, it’s almost impossible to make an estimation of where you should stop in traffic and avoid hitting someone in the rear.

Also, the truck’s nose is pointed upwards which means that the headlights are going to point in the sky as well. Which in other words means that you will not be able to see anything at the night. Driving this truck at night would be a terrible idea. You can rear-end someone, as well as get yourself killed if you are not careful enough.

Not to mention that you would piss off other drivers because your headlights will point exactly in their eyes or above, making the chance of getting into an accident even bigger. That’s why if you want this mod, the best is to install airbags where you can adjust the height of the truck manually and make sure that whenever you are not driving it for a show that you will not hurt someone on the road and possibly hurt yourself.

Should Be Banned?

Many people also like this mod to be completely banned and deemed illegal because it’s so dangerous because it makes the driving view extremely poor. So, driving a car like this could get a lot of people in danger and possibly hurt them. Which I quite understand. But it is what it is, make sure that you don’t go over the top with this mod. Because some people overdo it. If you overdo something, then it becomes dangerous.

Everything that is done in the right way looks a thousand times better and is quite safer than something that is over the top. That’s why if you choose to go up for an inch or two it wouldn’t make a huge difference. But if it’s too much then, you could grab the police attention and get fined.

Carolina Squat Facts:

  1. The Carolina Squat is a trend where truck owners modify the suspension of their vehicle, so the front is pointing toward the sky and the rear end is pointing downward.
  2. The trend actually began in California as the “California Lean” or “Cali Lean” from Baja racing and became popular after drivers posted photos of their squatting vehicles on Instagram.
  3. The Carolina Squat is primarily a style trend and has little practicality for vehicles, rendering them virtually useless in terms of performance and carrying cargo.
  4. Truck modification culture has adopted the trend to some degree, and certain aftermarket parts manufacturers have brought out truck squat modification kits.
  5. The Carolina Squat is dangerous, as it changes the function and handling of the vehicle, making it difficult to tow a load, compromising the driver’s view, and creating a liability for the driver and a danger to others.
  6. There are ways to repair vehicles that have been modified to squat, such as fitting standard components or getting new leaf springs.
  7. Air suspension systems are an alternative to make a truck squat less when loaded up with cargo or towing heavy trailers.
  8. Load-assisting products are available on the market today and effectively address squat for a loaded vehicle but leave the vehicle’s suspension tuned for that loaded state.
  9. North Carolina has banned the Carolina Squat after an online petition calling for its banning gained traction.
  10. The Carolina Squat trend caught on in southern states such as North and South Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia, and is also known as a truck squat, truck lean, squatted truck, or the Carolina lean.

Conclusion – Carolina Squat

In this article, we have learned a lot about the Carolina Squat mod. We learned what this mod is all about and from where it originates. And as we understood this mod originates from Baja California, where these cars were purposefully created for Baja racing in the deserts of Mexico.

Then we learned how you can achieve the Baja effect and make your truck squat. As we mentioned, there are different adapters and kits that are on the market for this purpose and these kits can make your truck look like a real Baja truck.

Then we learned if you need to do some alignment after you do this mod on your truck. As well as the dangers of running this mod. Since it is not recommended to lift the front end too much. Because it could be dangerous for you and also for the other participants in the traffic.

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