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Low And Level 4x4 Avalanche

Chevrolet Avalanche Z71

Four wheel drive vehicles have been around a long time. In fact, the first 4x4 ever recorded was a French road tractor built in 1898. More recently, Dodge began building 4x4 trucks as early as 1934. Ford was next with its “F” Series 4x4 in 1948 followed closely by Chevy who introduced its first 4x4 in 1957. But enough about history, let’s talk about present day. What does DJM (a company known for its outstanding lowering kits) have to do with 4x4 trucks? Plenty. Read on.

In case you’ve had blinders on for the past 10 years, there’s a new trend when it comes to urban people hauling. 4x4s are hot. Really hot. And, they’re not just for farm work and snow plowing anymore. 4x4 trucks have become the preferred choice for every day cruising due to their comfortable size, great ride and extreme versatility.

But, like their 2WD cousins, these trucks and SUVs are just screaming to be modified. The guys at DJM Suspension answered the call with a full line of 4x4 lowering kits and components. DJM invited Stylin' Trucks to its St. Gardena, California production facility to see the company’s new 3/3 drop kit for the 2004 Chevy Avalanche 4x4.

Using their unique Calmax control arm system, DJM brought the front down a full three inches. These remarkable control arms maintain the full use of the vehicle’s four wheel drive options and fully align the front wheels back to GM’s alignment specs. For the rear suspension, DJM uses a coil spring and hardware combo (along with some minor frame modifications) to allow a three inch rear drop. This provides enough suspension travel that you’ll never know you’re riding in a lowered truck. Along with the great ride, you’ll also notice that the vehicle’s new lower center of gravity actually improves its handling. So, find a windy road and show it what you’ve got.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog some new tricks? Check out the installation photos to see just how easily this kit goes on.

Measure before installation on Avalanche
Measure before installation on Avalanche
Fig 1-2. Carefully measure the stance at all four corners from the center of the wheel to the bottom of the wheel well. This will identify any bias the truck may have.
Remove The Avalanche's Tie Rod End
3. Remove the tie rod end to free up the spindle for better access.
Hang the Avalanche Caliper
4. Bend a simple hanger to support the OE caliper. Don't hang it from the brake lines.
Remove Brake Lines from Avalanche Control Arm
5. Remove the brake lines and caliper from the OE control arm.
The Avalanche Caliper is Moved
6. The caliper hangs out of harms way without risking damage to the brake lines.
Remove Torsion Bar Lead Bolt
7. Remove the torsion bar lead bolt from the OE cross member.
Remove Stock Avalanche Shock
8. Remove the stock shock absorber.
Remove Avalanche Center Axle Nut
9. Remove the center axle nut from the front axle.
Remove the Avalanche's Front Axle
10. Completely remove the front axle.
Loosen the lower Ball joint nut.
11. Loosen the lower ball joint nut but do not remove it.
Free the Avalanche spindle from the factory control arm.
12. Free the spindle from the factory control arm.
Remove the Avalanche Control Arm
13. Remove the control arm.
The Avalanche is ready for the new control arms.
14. As you can see, we're ready to begin installing the new 3" control arms.
Grease up the Joints
16. Grease up the pivot joints and make sure everything is flowing well.
Prefit the control arm to the Avalanche Torsion Bar
15. Pre-fit the control arm, torsion bar and torsion key.
Lube the Avalanche Ball Joint
17. Lube the ball joint with grease. Pre-lubing will make the ball joint last longer.
Hang the new Avalanche control arm on the truck.
18. Hang the new control arm on the truck.
Here you can see the new DJM control arm installed on the Avalanche.
19. Here you can see the new control arm installed.
Secure all Bolts
20. Secure all bolts with one final tightening.
Tighten the Avalanche Torsion Bars
20a. Tighten the torsion bars to factory specifications. This will be enough to get you to an alignment shop.
The DJM rear Lowering kit for the Avalanche.
21. The rear kit - two coils, relocators & hardware.
Remove the Avalanche's Sway Bar End Links
22. Remove sway bar end links.
Drill a hole for the new bushing.
23. Drill a hole for the new D-bushing mount.
Unbolt the trailing arm at the axle.
24. Unbolt the trailing arm at the axle.
Install the new DJM trailing arm lowering bracket on the Avalanche.
25. Install the new DJM trailing arm lowering bracket and bolt the arm back in place.
Steps 26 through 31 are optional, but will improve the ride and increase travel.
Remove the Avalanche bump stop brackets.
26. Using a plasma cutter, remove the bump stop brackets.
The Avalanche bump stop bracket.
27. Here's a shot of the bracket we removed.
Clean up the frame with a grinder.
28. Clean up the fram with a grinder and touch-up paint so it looks professional.
Drill a hole to bolt up your new DJM bump stop.
29. Drill a hole to bolt up your new bump stop.
Tap the hole.
30. Tap the whole with 3/8 16 thread.
Screw in the new DJM bump stop.
31. Screw in the new bump stop.
The new Avalanche Sway bar mount.
32. This new bolt will serve as the new mount for our relocated sway bar link.
Add the new DJM coils.
33. Add the new coils and bolt up the rest of the hardware. Re-install the wheels and tires and you're done!
Check the Avalanche ride height.
35. Check and record your new, lower ride height.
Chevy Avalanche

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