The new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are visually a breath of fresh air. The bold body design is daring while being distinctly identifiable. But as with any new pickup, there are always aspects of the vehicle that need to be improved. One of the popular aftermarket upgrades are suspension modifications to alter the stance and overall appearance of the truck. This is where ReadyLift® Suspension comes in.
ReadyLift® is the number one requested manufacturer of mild lift and leveling suspension systems for pickups and SUVs. Each vehicle suspension system application is designed with the goal of providing the truck owner with an affordable mild lift system that is easy to install while maintaining the factory ride. And each kit offers the truck owner the opportunity to upgrade to larger, more stylish wheels and tires. With the current economy situation, more and more consumers are discovering that mild lift and leveling kit systems save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over super-tall full-blown suspension lifts that kills fuel economy and ride.
The new GM half-ton pickups, while innovatively stylish, offer some unique challenges for both truck owners and suspension manufacturers. The most noticeable is the issue of the front end of the GM trucks sitting considerably lower in the front as compared to in the past. As more and more consumers are discovering, these trucks look much better sitting at a level stance, which can also offer the opportunity to up-size to a larger tire size to amplify the appearance changes as well as increase the usefulness of the vehicle.
Challenges with the new suspension design somewhat limit the ability to lift the front suspension without sacrificing ride in the process. ReadyLift® has just designed a new mild lift system (66-3085) for the new coil-over strut-equipped GM half-ton pickups that doesn’t change the factory ride while raising the front end up 2.25” from stock which is the perfect height to level the truck. For those who tow or haul with their trucks and still want the mild lifted look, ReadyLift’s new 66-3003 3” lift rear block kit includes an OEM design iron 3” rear lift block that replaces the factory 1” block and puts the rake back into the truck’s stance. This combination of kits is the perfect Tow Package for the GM truck owner looking for a lifted stance, but still wants to retain some rake for towing or hauling.
The components for the front include ReadyLift’s popular aluminum strut spacer that installs over the factory studs without having to cut the studs off or swap the struts from side to side. An additional billet aluminum spacer installs under the lower strut mounts between the strut and the control arm. This combination provides 2.25” of front lift without sacrificing that important ride quality.
Installation is easy enough that most consumers with mechanical knowledge can complete the installation. An alignment will be necessary upon completion. This ReadyLift kit provides enough lift to clear up to 33” diameter tires. The 66-3085 and 66-3003 kits are sold separately.
To view a complete step-by-step video version of this same installation, click on the link.
ReadyLift 66-3085 Leveling Kit
The ReadyLift 66-3085 2007-UP GM 1500 ½-ton 2.25” Mild Lift Kit includes two billet aluminum upper strut spacers, two billet aluminum lower strut mount spacers and all necessary hardware.
Step one in the installation of the 66-3085 kit is to remove the factory skid plate. The skid plate should be removed before attempting to jack up the vehicle so that you don’t risk trying to jack the truck up without having a good bite with the jack pad.
After jacking the truck up and securing it on sturdy stands, remove the front wheels.
Disconnect the wheel speed sensor cable from its containment clips found on the control arm and spindle.
A 10mm socket is used to remove the brake line bracket that attaches to the upper control arm.
An 18mm socket is used to loosen the upper ball joint nut. The nut should remain on the ball joint stem.
Using a small hammer tap the top of the spindle to release the ball joint seating. By leaving the nut attached to the ball joint, the spindle is restricted from falling off the ball joint when you are not prepared for it.
Remove the sway bar end link assembly to free up the lower control arm.
A 10mm socket is used to remove both lower strut mount bolts.
Be sure to support the lower control arm before remove the bolts.
Remove the three upper strut nuts that secure the strut to the frame housing.
To remove the strut, lower it down through the control arm, then upwards and out over the spindle.
Install the new ReadyLift® strut extension spacer onto the top of the factory strut. Unlike some kits, you don’t need to cut the studs off or swap the struts from side to side. The ReadyLift aluminum spacer is designed to provide the necessary lift while retaining the use of the factory strut studs. This is a great advantage should you ever want to return the vehicle to stock such as with a lease vehicle.
Carefully install the strut with the ReadyLift spacer on top into the upper frame pocket. Secure the strut with the provided new nuts. Leave the nuts only hand tight so the bottom of the strut can be adjusted when the lower control arm is raised up.
Place a jack under the lower control arm and raise it up. Then place the new ReadyLift lower strut mount spacer over the factory control arm holes as shown.
Position the strut and nut clips over the spacer and install the factory bolts to permanently secure the assembly.
Once the lower strut mount is secured, return to the upper strut studs and permanently tighten all three nuts.
Reinstall the sway bar end link assembly. You will only be able to install the nut onto the end link bolt. You will have to tighten it once the spindle has been re-attached to the ball joint and control arm.
Using a pry bar inserted through the coil spring and over the upper control arm, pry downward to force the control arm down and the ball joint stem into the spindle. Install the factory nut and tighten.
Return to the sway bar end link assembly and permanently tighten.
Re-attach the brake line bracket to the control arm and insert the wheel speed sensor cable into each of the factory harness clips.
66-3003 Rear Block
ReadyLift's 66-3003 rear lift block kit is designed for use when wanting to retain a certain amount of rake for towing and hauling. With most GMT900 trucks, this OEM-style 3" high quality block will replace the smaller factory block.
As with the front, jack up the rear suspension and support the vehicle on sturdy stands. Once secure, begin removal of the factory u-bolt hardware.
Remove the u-bolts and u-bolt plate. The factory u-bolts will be replaced.
Place a jack under the front of the leaf spring pack and lift the springs up enough to remove the factory lift block.
Install the new ReadyLift® 66-3003 3” OEM Style rear lift block and lower the spring back down onto the block. Be sure the alignment pin lines up and connects with the springs.
Install the new ReadyLift® e-coated longer u-bolts to the factory u-bolt plate and permanently secure. Be sure to double check the tightness of the u-bolt hardware after the initial drive.
Here is a better look at the 3” 66-3003 ReadyLift OEM style rear block. This block is an exact duplication of the OEM block, only taller to provide additional lift to put the rake back into the truck should the owner tow or haul.
This lift system provides not only a taller stance, but allows for the installation of tires up to 33” in diameter.
For this installation we installed Nitto Dura Grappler Highway Terrain 275/60R20 tires onto the factory wheels. At full turning lock there is no rubbing on the inner fender panel either in the front or the rear.
The finished product is a great looking new GM truck with a taller stance providing a more commanding view of the road while maintaining the factory ride.