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DJM's Chevy Colorado Lowering Kit Installation

Chevy Colorado
The bold lines of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are just screaming to be modified. From the angled flare of the fenders to the aggressive sneer of the front end, these trucks are real lookers right off the lot. But, as with most stock trucks, the factory ride height is just way too tall for our taste. That's why we decided to get in touch with our friends at DJM Suspension.  They would help us to turn our ordinary Chevy Colorado into a road-hugging, mid-sized masterpiece.

The Kit
The guys at DJM Suspension recommend their new 3/4 drop kit. In addition to the great new stance, this kit was also designed to improve the handling of our Colorado. Bringing the truck down 3" in the front and 4" in the rear lowers the center of gravity and provides flatter, more even cornering. Best of all, this kit is easy to install and all of the new components can be bolted on in a single afternoon using common hand tools - read on.

Determined to preserve the smooth ride quality of the Colorado, the engineers at DJM went with a lower control arm setup to drop the front of the vehicle. The new lower control arms re-use the factory coil springs.  By not swapping out the original springs, you keep the spring rate intact and maintain factory ride quality. 

For the rear of the truck, DJM manufactured a stronger, all-steel lowering block kit. DJM recommends the use of steel blocks in favor of aluminum blocks on most mid to full-size trucks and SUVs with rear leaf springs. To finish off this kit, DJM includes their specially-designed Cal-Max SuperShox for the rear of the truck to provide a little extra travel and a smoother ride.

The Installation
To see how this kit goes on we paid a visit to DJM where company president, Jeff Ullmann, walked us through the installation on their own crew-cab Colorado. Jeff starts by measuring the factory ride height at both the front and rear wheels. The truck measures 19-1/2" in the front and 20-1/2" in the rear (note: ride height is measured from the center of the wheel to the fender lip).

After removing the front wheels, Jeff must first disconnect the tie rod ends and brake calipers. The sway bar and end links are unbolted and the lower ball joint nuts are removed. The spindles are then disconnected from the lower ball joint and the entire factory lower control arm is removed. The ball joints are then removed from the factory arms and reinstalled onto the new DJM lower control arm. Finally, the DJM control arms are bolted into place and the front suspension is reassembled.

Next, we move to the rear of the truck. Working one side at a time, Jeff first removes the rear shock bolts and U-bolts to free up the spring plates. The lowering blocks are then positioned between the leaf springs and spring plates. The new, longer U-bolts and hardware are bolted into place to secure the spring packs. Finally, Jeff taps each part to be certain everything is seated properly before thoroughly torquing all of the bolts back to factory specs.

With the suspension all bolted in place, the truck is taken off the lift for final measurement. The tape reveals that the front and rear both sit at 16-1/2"; a full 3" lower in the front and 4" lower in the rear. Thanks to Jeff and the guys at DJM Suspension we now know what we've got to do to give our Chevy Colorado the same road-hugging, leveled-out stance.

Chevy Colorado strut bolt
1. DJM Suspension president, Jeff Ullmann, records the stock rear ride height, measured from the center of the wheel to the fender lip, at 20-1/2".
Spindle and lower ball joint
2. The front height measured at 19-1/2".
Chevy Colorado strut bolt
3. Jeff begins the front install by disconnecting the tie rod end.
Spindle and lower ball joint
4. The factory sway bar and end links are unbolted.
Chevy Colorado strut bolt
5. The lower ball joint nut is removed.
Spindle and lower ball joint
6. The strut bolt is removed.
Spindle and lower ball joint
7. The spindle is disconnected from the lower ball joint.
control arm
8. The stock control arm is removed.
Stock joint installed on DJM Suspension control arm
9. The stock ball joint is installed onto the new DJM control arm.
DJM control arm installation
10. The new DJM control arm is then installed onto the truck.
Pressure to tie rod
11. To complete the install, Jeff applies a small amount of pressure to the tie rod because the lock nut requires pressure to tighten.
Remove U bolts on Chevy
12. On to the rear of the truck, Jeff starts by removing the "U" bolt nuts to free up the spring plate.
Bushing
13. Jeff then selects the correct bushing to fit the "fab" steel block correctly.
Lowering block and leaf spring
14. The lowering block is positioned onto the leaf spring.
U bolts
15. The new, longer "U" bolts and hardware are installed to secure the blocks in place.
check parts
16. He then taps each part to be certain the parts are seated properly before thoroughly tightening the bolts.
rear shocks
17. The rear shocks are bolted in place.
ride height
18. Measurement of the ront ride height after the modification shows 16-1/2", a three inch drop.

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