The Chevy 3500 Heavy Duty (HD) pickup with an 8.1L power plant is an impressive road machine and workhorse that has been enthusiastically received by the dually truck market. At standard ride height, the beast measures 23 ½" in front and 27" in the rear from the center of the hub to the wheel-well lip. With clearance like that it was obvious that this large, long and heavy truck had to be lower to the ground in order to please the bad boys who drive these monsters. DJM Suspension recognized the need early on and immediately engineered a 6/8 lowering kit for the HD models.
The DJM kit is a direct bolt-on system, dropping the front with upper and lower control arms; twin tube sleeves with urethane bushings; tie rod relocators and replacement bump stops. DJM's rear drop involves an axle flip kit; an axle clearance and frame reinforcement bracket (C-section) and removal of the overload springs and striker pads. The kit also requires replacement of the stock cross member with a DJM direct bolt-on cross member for additional ground clearance. Even though the DJM lowering kit is primarily a direct bolt-in, the installation isn't easy because both the stock suspension components and DJM's drop-kit components are big and heavy. But don't be worried; it's nothing you shouldn't be able to handle.
Rather than bring you a traditional "HOW TO" installation article, we decided to approach this install with a "WHY DO" article showing completed segments of the installation with explanations of why they were done and what they do. This should help out with some questions you may have when you are reading other typical install how-to's.
|Here's a view of the front driver's side corner showing the DJM direct bolt-on lowering control arm which replaces the stock control arm and provides a 6" drop in front. the lowering control arm features DJM's twin tube sleeves with urethane bushings. To ensure proper proper lubrication and to prevent squeaking and binding, each outer sleeve of the twin tube sleeves must be drilled and fitted with a zerk fitting.
|DJM's new upper control arms come with ball joints. The direct bolt-on control arms provide optimum caster and camber settings and ball joint angles. The kit also includes a tie-rod locator, a new component exclusive to DJM. Tie-rod locators have a slight angle so they can be aligned as closely as possible to the original position of the rod mount. After the rod ends are removed and bolted into the locators, they are threaded onto the tie-rods and rotated to achieve the optimum position and angle of the tie-rod assembly.
|The rear drop involves an axle flip and a "C" section. DJM's axle clearance reinforcement plate is a beefy "C" section frame support of 3/8" steel, and is engineered to provide additional clearance for the axle.
|A carrier bearing locator kit is installed to prevent vibration.
|To provide additional ground clearance, the stock cross member is removed and replaced with DJM's direct bolt-on, higher profile cross member. The switch utilizes the stock nuts and bolts.|