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Body Lift Kit Installation, Part 1

The truck after installation.

Contrary to popular belief, lifting your truck doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you like the look of an off-road truck (big tires, wide stance) but don’t want to spend too much money, you can go with a body lift. Also, there is no tinkering with the suspension, so you won't alter the factory ride quality.

Varying from one to three inches in height, most body lifts can be installed in a day and offer great benefits. You’ll be able to accomodate those big tires you’ve been looking at, you'll have added ground clearance, and a taller, more aggressive, off-road look.

The Body Lift Kit

In this article, we'll take a look at a kit designed and created by Performance Accessories. The folks over there manufacture body lift kits and body lift accessories like gap guards and bumper brackets. The body lift kit that we're covering in this article includes all of the necessary components and hardware, as well as detailed instructions with many, many, many easy-to-follow pictures.

HMH Offroad

HMH-Offroad Install Team.
Here is the install team at HMH Off-road, a local 4x4 shop in Macedonia, Ohio. They are more experienced at installing body lifts than us and have all of the necessary tools and equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

The owner, Ray, is off-picture to the left and can be seen taking our lunch order for some tasty Chipotle burritos. In the middle is Nate, an enthusiastic gent that likes to make perfectly normal "GEAUGA LAKE" signs read "UGA L", and to the right is Brent, our point-man over at HMH-Offroad.

We don't have a picture, but the inside scoop is that Brent had a mullet up until the day before the install. He had his hair cut and styled like Ryan Seacrest so he would look good in the installation pictures...

In all seriousness, the guys over at HMH were a delight to work with and we'd really like to thank them for allowing us to get in their way all day. I'm sure our constant questioning and our photographer and videographer stopping them for shots really got on their nerves.

Some random notes and important things that the installers Brent and Nate pointed out during the installation.
  • The instructions say to remove the fan, this was not necessary.
  • Do not remove all of the body mount bolts at once - the body may become unbalanced and fall off of the frame.
  • Never, ever trust a guy that says, "Just trust me on this..."
  • The transfer case shift linkage must be removed while lifting the body. The instructions note to do it after the body is lifted, but it may bind and break. Remove it early and save the headache.
  • Don't assume that Chipotle made your order correctly and included your extra chips and salsa. Always check the bag. Always!
  • Your seatbelt can be used to secure the steering wheel while working on the steering shaft.
Disconnecting the Battery.
1. For safety reasons, it's always good practice to disconnect the battery before doing any work.
Pull the Airbag fuse.
2. After removing the fuse box cover, remove the airbag fuse. Fuse locations may vary, consult the chart on the fuse box cover for specific location.
Measuring front bumper gap distance.
3. Before Installation, measure the distance between the front bumper and the fender.
Measuring rear bumper gap distance.
4. Measure the distance between the rear bumper and tailgate.
Measuring cab/bed gap distance.
5. Measure the distance between the cab and bed.
Unclipping Radiator Core Support Cover.
6. Remove core support cover clips.
Removing Radiator Core Support Cover.
7. Remove core support cover.
Removing Factory Grille Shell.
8. Remove the front grill shell.
Close-up of Grille Shell Clips.
9. The small clips holding on the grill shell.
Removing Bumper Support Brackets.
10. Remove front bumper support brackets.
Removing Bumper.
11. Remove the front bumper.
Removing Tow Hooks and Tow Hook Covers.
12. Remove tow hooks and tow hook covers.
Unbolting Lower Guard.
13. Unbolt the lower guard.
Removing Lower Guard.
14. Remove the lower guard.
Removing Air Flap.
15. Remove the airflap from below the radiator.
Removing Firewall Ground Strap.
16. Remove the ground strap from the firewall.
Unbolting and Removing Engine Cover.
17. Unbolt and remove the engine cover.
Unbolting and Removing Air Intake Tube.
18. Unbolt and remove intake tube.
Unbolting and Removing Upper Radiator Shroud Cover.
19. Unbolt and remove upper radiator shroud.
Removing Lower Radiator Shroud.
20. Remove the lower radiator shroud.
Unhooking Wiring Harness.
21. Unhook wiring harness from engine.
Securing Steering Wheel.
22. Before disconnecting the steering shaft - secure the steering wheel.
Marking Steering Shaft.
23. Mark the steering shaft for alignment and unbolt.
Removing Ground Strap From Bumper.
24. Disconnect ground strap from behind bumper.
Unhooking Brake Lines From Frame.
25. Disconnect brake lines from frame clip.
Unclipping Wiring Harness From Frame.
26. Remove wiring harness from frame clip.
Securing Parking Brake Cable.
27. Pull slack into parking brake cable and secure.
Unhooking Parking Brake Cable.
28. Using special pliers, disconnect the parking brake cable.
[Nate, the installer, says: " tool I ever owned. Left a man dead in the street in Amarillo for them things."]
Unbolting Fuel Filler From Gas Door.
29. Unbolt fuel filler neck from side of bed and from gas tank.
Cut Hose and Insert Extension Piece.
30. Carefully cut the outer rubber hose, leaving the inner plasic hose alone, and insert the supplied extension.

That's the end of part one of our Performance Accessories Body Lift Kit installation. Head on over to part two to see the rest of the install, as well as the ultimate test to see just how strong those plastic body lift pucks really are!

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Related Links:
  • Body Lift Kit Installation, Part 2
  • Performance Accessories Body Lift Kits
  • HMH Offroad
  • Truck Lift Kits
  • Chevrolet Silverado Accessories
  • Truck Accessories
  • Back to Stylin' Trucks Articles page
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