- I’m planning to give my Chevy a lift using a body lift kit. Any tips on how to do it right?
One important tip to bear in mind: even if you’re sure that you want higher lift (4” or more) for your ride, it ALWAYS pays to start with a small lift first and just eventually work your way up. Remember that the faster you lift your ride, the more issues or troubles you are likely to encounter. By lifting in increments, you can properly work out any problem or kink along the way. So the best way to lift your ride is to start small and carry out the lifting in increments—raise it a little bit higher at a time instead of aiming for a tall lift right away.
- Will a Chevrolet body lift kit help give me a comfortable ride, particularly on rugged terrain?
No. Body lift kits and lift blocks are used to raise the vehicle’s body above the frame for visual purposes. By providing bigger undercarriage clearance, the body lift kit also allows installation of larger tires, which are said to be better for off-roading. The lift kit, however, doesn’t improve the vehicle’s suspension, so you’ll still feel each bump and dip on the terrain because you still have normal shocks. Body lift kits are ideal for those who want a ride that looks more muscular and powerful on the road and not for people who want better performance and improved driving comfort even when traversing unpaved roads.
- Can I install a Chevrolet body lift kit all by myself?
It depends on your DIY skills, automotive know-how, and the time you can allot for the task. Doing the task requires you to spend a lot of time under your rig, adjusting everything until you get it right. The problem with lift kits is that most of the time, the real problem doesn’t manifest until you have everything reinstalled, which means you may have to do some of the steps all over again. So if you don’t have enough DIY experience and you can’t allot that much time to such task, you’d better let a trusted mechanic do it for you.
- What if I want to go for larger lift, let’s say 3” and above, do I need to purchase anything other than a body lift kit designed for such?
Yes, if you want larger lift, you may also need longer shocks and longer control arms. Depending on your ride, you may need to lengthen your brake lines, both in the front and rear. Those who are planning to lift 4' and up should also get longer upper control arms. In some vehicles, you will also need a longer trackbar and longer emergency brake lines as well.
- Can you share some pre-installation tips that could help make this complicated DIY task a bit faster and easier?
It would help if you can start preparing your ride one week in advance by spraying the bed bolts and body mounts bolts everyday with WD-40. It also pays to have extra T-47 torx bits, as chances are high that you’ll strip or break one as you go on with the task. It’s also a good idea to have a camera and use it to take photos of where you’ve removed some components and hardware. You can use the photos as reference so it will easier for you to put the components back in place later on.
- How about some post installation tips so I can check if I did the body lift kit installation right?
After re-installing the air bag fuses into the fuse panel, you now connect the positive battery cable, followed by the negative one. Turn on the engine and wait until the thermostat opens. Check and fill the cooling system if there’s a need to. Double check all the hardware for correct tightness. To be sure that there’s no binding, turn the steering wheel from full lock on one side to full lock on the other side. Issues on shifting and braking, as well as on the transfer case, can be checked by taking your ride out for a test drive. Also test the parking brakes. If you think the installation was successful, wait 500 miles and then recheck all the hardware once again.
- Besides requiring more modifications, does aspiring for higher lift have other disadvantages?
It can compromise your driving safety, too. Bear in mind that the as you raise your vehicle’s body, you are also raising its center of gravity. The higher the vehicle’s center of gravity, the more difficult it is to handle, making it more likely to roll. So before aiming for higher lift, start with smaller lifts first and once you get the hang of it, just lift in increments—medium-sized lift then bigger lift.