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Lifting your Chevrolet Silverado for Work or Play

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Shop Silverado 1500 Lift Kits

Lifting your Silverado 1500 gives you a world of customization options. The increased ground clearance is both fashionable and functional allowing you to show off your trucks personality at work and play. Upgrade your trucks lift and rise above the rest.

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From the factory, the Chevrolet Silverado is pretty well equipped. It has tons of power, loads of comfort, and all of the luxuries you could desire, including leather seats. But some may find that they don’t exactly have the right amount of ground clearance. Deciding to use a lift kit should be inspired by the following scenarios: the need for extra ground clearance, moving to oversized tires, or correcting ride height.

Chevrolet Silverado: Leveling Kits

It’s always wise to start at the bottom and work your way up. Leveling a truck can be done in a few different ways. Typically, a leveling kit is used to correct the factory-set rake. This rake can be spotted when looking at the front of the truck; it usually sits a few inches lower than the rear. A leveling kit will lift the front end 1.5 - 2.5 inches - just enough to level things out. 

Leveling kits can be super useful in the work field as well. Plow trucks are the perfect example. The added load of a snow plow can increase the rake, making the truck sit very awkwardly. This also can be potentially dangerous. A leveling kit acts to correct this problem. 

To break it down quickly, leveling kits should be considered when:

  • Minimal ground clearance gains are needed
  • Slightly oversized tires are desired
  • Ride height needs to be corrected
  • Extra load will be applied to the vehicle

Chevrolet Silverado: Suspension Lift

Here we have it - the proverbial meat and potatoes of this piece. Suspension lifts are all the rage in the aftermarket, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. You’ll have spacer style lifts much like a leveling kit, which provide a few inches of lift, and more serious kits that can reach up well above six inches.

The trick is to decide what best suits your application. As mentioned earlier, spacer style lift kits are designed to raise your ride height just enough to fit some minorly oversized wheels and tires.

These types of kits are great for tradesmen who find themselves off the beaten path every now and again, along with the weekend warrior who’ll find themselves crawling along the old dusty trail on a Saturday.

These kits are also great for aesthetic purposes considering they won’t affect ride quality that much, and don’t require a step ladder for the operator to climb for every time they stop for a drink.

They are also seriously affordable; they rarely peak over the cost of a few hundred bucks. Not to mention the ease of installation in comparison to other lifts. Take note that depending on the Silverado, you may not exactly be dealing with spacers alone.

Though the rear will most always come with lift blocks the front can vary. Earlier models may be equipped with torsion bars which will come with keys that alter the ride height. Later models will use coil spacers. 

VIDEO: 2016 Silverado w/ 6-Inch Lift & 33-inch Tires Build

Following the trend of moving from smallest to largest, it’s time we step into a bit of a grey area: cheap lift kits. Spacer kits are usually cheap and this is ok as the design is super simple and there’s not a whole lot that can go wrong. Picking up a lift kit that gives 4 inches or greater that requires modification to the chassis and steering is something to really be leery of.

If you’re tossing it on a low buck beater, they can be great and provide tons of fun. if they won’t see too much abuse they can also be great. Just remember that if it’s too good to be true it usually is. Use your head because this is your suspension you’re messing around with.

The vehicle needs it to function safely, and if it suddenly fails while in operation you can be dealing with a lot worse issues than just saving up a few extra bucks to buy a name brand lift kit. This isn’t to say cheap lift kits can’t be good. Just be smart.

Big lift kits can cost a fortune, and there are so many different things they can come with that it would take a novel to explain those variances. The idea is, again, to pick what best suits your application. If you’re building a street truck that may see a trail every now and again, you’re probably not going to need to biggest and baddest lift kit on the market. Then again, maybe you do based on the fact that the quality, durability, and comfort can be all wrapped up into one package.

If you’re building a truck to thrash on regularly in the dirt, mud or sand, and maybe even the air now and again, you’re not really in the realm to settle for an eBay lift kit. Have fun and tons of it because that is truly what these style of lift kits are all about.

Moving to a large lift kit should be considered when:

  • Moderate to Maximum ride height gains are desired
  • Marginally oversized tires are being installed
  • Large off-road obstacles will regularly be tackled

Tire Clearance

Lifting your Silverado, or any truck for that matter, is primarily about gaining ground clearance. Though, the lift kit will not give you any noticeable gains in comparison to the wheels and tires.

That’s right - the majority of the ground clearance comes from oversized tires. So, when working with a budget you really need to take this into consideration.

Steering

Ride quality can take quite a hit when the suspension is modified. Your alignment will need to be corrected, or you will eat through those nice new tires you just picked up.

Since you won’t be avoiding this trip, it’s a great idea to take this opportunity to freshen up the steering components like ball joints, tie rod ends and any bushing that seems a bit outdated. Not only will this minimize undesirable squeaking and clattering, it can also prevent what is known as the death wobble.

This wobble can actually happen on vehicles with stock height. Sloppy ball joints and other steering components are the cause, and it generally occurs when worn out steering components meet a bump in the road. Lift kits put more stress on these components, making the infamous death wobble more likely to happen.

The death wobble can also be prevented with the addition of steering stabilizers. This shock type device mounts right to the steering rack and absorbs any vibrations, keeping you in control of the wheel.

Not only can they combat the death wobble but if you’re out off-roading and catching rocks that suddenly twist the steering wheel around they can save a thumb. These are an incredibly wise investment that won’t break the bank either. 

Load Levelers

This is a good time to review load-leveling kits. Load leveling kits are typically used in the work field. When hauling around a trailer or a heavy load, the rear end of the truck can sag quite a bit.

This is unappealing, and it can also be incredibly dangerous. As the rear drops the front rises. This takes the weight off the front tires meaning you will have less control while driving along.

To correct this, various types of leveling springs can be installed on the rear suspension. This isn’t exactly a lift kit, but it's a suspension device that corrects ride height for utility purposes.

Fitment includes: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Hybrid, LS, LT, LTZ, WT, XFE, Custom, HighCountry