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An Uplifting Experience

Chevy Enthusiast Goes to School for Lifting a 2007 to 2009 Chevy Silverado.

The battle between lifted and slammed trucks is over; both are winners. And a lifted truck doesn’t have to be Joe Off-Road Racer to look good. Sometimes, all you need is just a little more air between the tires and fenders to make ’em right.

Lifted Chevy Silverado

The good news is that lifting a 2007 to 2009 Chevy a few inches is as easy as switching out suspension parts. That’s what Drew Brichford of Cleveland, Ohio, did with his ’08 Silverado.

Drew, who works for Stylin’ Trucks, took to his keyboard and ordered up a Rough Country kit with three more inches altitude in the front and an inch and a half on the normally raked rear of his Chevy. For this relatively easy install, Drew took his truck to the Cleveland-based Ohio Technical College (OTC). There, five student techs who had all but completed their programs were working in the high-performance shop and switched out the parts to make it happen.

The Rough Country kit consists of new shocks and an extra spring for the rear leaf package and new A-arms, strut spacers and a skid plate/guard for the differential up front. The procedure would be to take the rear springs off, add the new leafs, return the package to the rear and throw on the new rear shocks. Up front, it was only a matter of swapping out the upper A-arms, adding the strut spacers and bolting the skid plate/guard over the differential. Remember, it’s always a good idea to check alignment after working with front end components.

Along the way, OTC instructor Ed Hofstrom told us how the leaf spring bolts and spring u-bolts should be replaced as they work under such tremendous loads. We’re talking loads so big that they actually start destroying the threads. It’s a solid tip, and we took it. The student techs had no problems and quickly lifted Drew’s black Silverado to make it look even stealthier. Follow along to see how it was done.

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1. The first step is to put the truck on a lift with support jacks under the rear end, as it will be completely disconnected and at full droop.
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2. Here’s a worn u-bolt. Note how the camera’s flash picks up the difference in the threads. After being tourqued down, the threads have already started moving “down” the bolt. They are actually breaking down, which is why you want to replace them.
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3. The new spring (foreground) and how it fits into the leaf package.
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4. Putting together the leafs will require the use of a vise or some serious clamps. You can also use the vise to take apart the leaf package. Remember to use a new bolt for the same reasons as the u-bolts.
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5. With the new, additional spring in place, install the leaf package back into the truck. The leaf package for a full-size Chevy is big enough that using two people when installing it is a good idea.
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6. An impact gun makes quick work of getting the nuts up the u-bolts.
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7. There is an alignment pin for centering the leaf package onto the rear end housing. Make sure it is seated properly.
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8. It doesn’t matter what end you tighten up first. Here the rear of the leaf spring gets secured.
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9. On Drew’s Silverado, he had already installed a neat cat-back exhaust system, so the front of the leaf spring had to be tightened around the exhaust tips.
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10. This is what the new u-bolts look like when in their proper position.
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11. Don’t forget to torque those new u-bolts to the correct specs. They’re all that’s holding the spring to the axle housing!
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12. All that’s left for the rear end work is to install and tighten the new shocks.
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13. The quickest part of the job was installing the skid pan/guard for the front differential — two bolts and it’s done.
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14 Here’s the new upper A-arm. We’ve posed it to show how it is arched upward. Note brake line mounting stud.
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15. This is what the stock placement of brake lines looks like. As it has lines for both the brakes themselves and the ABS sensors, make note of how they are routed and make sure they are not kinked, pinched or stretched during the removal and reinstallation of the upper A-arm, strut and spacer.
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16. Here’s the right way to do it: Remove the caliper and hang it on the lower control arm. Then disconnect the upper ball joint to free the A-arm. You’ll need to remove the struts, too, to install the spacers.
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17. With the upper A-arm now free of any other connections, mark the placement of the inner and outer eccentrics for correct positioning when they go back in. Now you can remove the eccentric bolts that hold the A-arm in place.
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18. The strut spacer in its proper location atop the strut. Now put it all back together and you’re done.
The OTC Crew
Here’s our gang of techs at Ohio Technical College with the finished truck.

Kudos:
Special thanks to Joe Carollo for writing a killer article, Chevy Enthusiast Magazine for publishing the killer article, and Ohio Technical College for assisting in the installation. Related Links:

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