Lowering Your TruckLose two to four inches in one day
Lowering your GMC or Chevy CK1500 can be a simple project that you can do at home without exotic tools or a Swiss bank account. We followed along while the experts at Sport Trucks by Dean installed 2-inch shorter front coil springs and a rear shackle and hanger kit from Bell Tech to lower the rear of this Y2K model four inches. These parts are available mail order and, with a normal complement of hand tools, can be installed in a day or less.
The front modifications are as simple as replacing the stock front coils with 2-inch shorter coils from Bell Tech. The spring wire is slightly heavier than the factory to retain ride quality but drop the nose without losing suspension travel or support. Cutting the factory coils might seem like an inexpensive way to go, but since the spring is designed specifically for the weight application, all you've done is ruin your ride and suspension quality. Any modifications to the front end should be immediately followed with a professional alignment.
To accompany the 2-inch/4-inch lowering, we are installing a set of ASA wheels and Bridgestone 275x60R17 tires from The Tire Rack for the right look. This combination is the same diameter as the original P235x75R16 Goodyear Wranglers on stock wheels. By retaining the same overall height, the speedometer and rear gear ratio is not altered, which normally occurs when you install a smaller or larger diameter tire. The Tire Rack sells wheel and tire packages (they arrive mounted and balanced) by mail order, allowing you to select any combination you want.
We recommend using a spring compressor (available from most local tool rental yards) to retain the front coil spring before removal. Every technician has his own tricks for this process, but using a compressor is the safest way to go. Coil springs can be under severe compression and may fly out like a cannon ball, removing parts of you or a large piece of your garage. Always play it safe!
Prior to starting the job, you should familiarize yourself with the parts to be replaced as well as how the new parts should be installed. Completely read all instructions at this time, carefully referring to any illustrations or photos provided. Have the required tools handy and a friend to assist with the heavy work. The vehicle should be placed on secure floor jacks at each corner. A clean level work surface is a plus. Allow yourself a day to do the job. When finished, DO NOT drive the vehicle except to the alignment rack.
The Tire Rack, 771 W. Chippewa Ave., South Bend, IN 46614, (800) 981-3782, www.tirerack.com
Sport Trucks by Dean, 619 Fitch Ave., Moorpark, CA 93021, (805) 529-3844
Bell Tech, 2822 E. California Ave., Fresno, CA 93721, (559) 445-0942, www.belltechcorp.com
Assorted sockets with ratchets (air powered if possible) and breaker bar
Floor jack and four heavy-duty jackstands
Cut-off wheel or air hammer