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How to Install Rough Country 3.5 in. Suspension Lift Kit w/o Upper Control Arms on your Sierra

Installation Time

6 hours

Tools Required
  • 18MM Wrench
  • 17MM Wrench
  • 15MM Wrench
  • 21MM Wrench
  • 11MM Wrench
  • 9/16” Wrench
  • Floor Jack
  • Jack stands
American Muscle
Shop Parts in this Guide


1. Park the vehicle on a level surface and chock the rear wheels.

2. Jack up the front of the vehicle. Place jack stands under the frame rails and lower onto jack stands letting the front suspension hang.

3. Remove the tires and wheels. Remove the upper and lower factory skid plates using a 15mm wrench. Retain factory hardware and front skid plate for reuse.

4. Using a 21mm wrench, remove the tie-rod nut as shown in Photo 1. Strike the side of the mount to dislodge the tie rod end. Remove from the knuckle.

5. Remove and unplug the ABS sensor wire from the frame as shown in Photo 2.

6. Remove the upper ball joint nut using a 18mm wrench. See Photo 3. Strike the knuckle as shown to dislodge the ball joint. Separate the upper control arm from the knuckle.

7. Using a 18mm wrench, remove the upper strut nuts as shown in Photo 4. Retain factory hardware for reuse.

8. Using a 15mm wrench, remove the 2 bolts securing the lower strut mount to the lower control arm and remove the strut from the vehicle. Remove and discard the factory lower retainer clips. New hardware will be used. See Photo 5.

9. Mark location of alignment cams on upper control arms for reference of reinstallation of factory arms. Using a 21mm wrench and 21mm socket, remove the upper control arms from the vehicle. See Photo 6. Retain the hardware for reuse.

10. Cut the bump stop from the upper control arm mount on the passenger and driver side as shown in Photo 7 using a reciprocating saw. Passenger side shown.

11. After the bump stop has been cut from the control arm mount, grind and apply paint to the cut surface to prevent rusting. See Photo 8. Reinstall the factory control arm in the factory location using the factory hardware. Tighten using a 21mm Socket / wrench. Be sure to use the marks made earlier for alignment reference.

12. Locate the supplied strut spacer and install the supplied 10mm stud extensions. Using a 17mm socket snug the stud in the new spacer as shown in Photo 9.

13. Install the strut spacer on the factory strut with factory hardware and using a 18mm wrench. See Photo 10.

14. Install the strut assembly in the factory mount with the supplied 10mm nuts/washers & lock-washers on the upper mount. Tighten using a 17mm wrench. See Photo 11. Note: Flat washer must be installed on stud.

15. Install the strut in the lower control arm using the supplied 3/8” 2 1/4” bolts /washers & nuts using a 9/16” wrench. See Photo 12. It may be necessary to jack up the lower control arm with a floor jack to align lower strut holes.

16. Reinstall the sway bar on the lower control arm using a15mm wrench.

17. Install the factory control arm on the knuckle with the factory hardware . Tighten using 3/4” wrench.

18. Reinstall the tie rod end into the knuckle with factory hardware and using a 21mm wench.

19. Reinstall the wheels/tires.

20. Jack up the vehicle and remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.


1. Chock the front wheels.

2. Place a floor jack under the differential and jack up the rear of the vehicle.

3. Place jack stands under the frame rails and lower onto the jack stands.

4. Remove the tires/wheels.

5. Remove the factory shock absorbers using a 21mm wrench & socket. Retain the factory hardware for reuse.

6. Remove the factory u-bolts using a 21mm socket and lower the axle using the floor jack to allow for the 1 1/2” block to be installed.

7. Install the block on the factory spring pad with the flat part of the block on the spring and the thinner end towards the front. Jack up the axle to meet the springs, making sure to align the center pin. See Photo 1.

8. With the floor jack applying slight pressure to the rear axle to keep the pin aligned, install the new supplied u-bolts and tighten in a crossing pattern, using a 7/8” socket.

9. Locate the new shock absorbers part # 658726. Install the shock absorbers in the factory mounting locations using the factory hardware, Tighten using a 21mm wrench & socket

10. Install the tires/wheels.

11. Jack up the vehicle to remove the jack stands. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.


1. Have a qualified alignment center align the vehicle immediately.

2. Have headlights adjusted to proper settings.

3. Wheels must be retighten at 50 miles.

4. All kit components must be retightened at 500 miles and then every three thousand miles after installation. Periodically check hardware for tightness.

5. Install “Warning to Driver” decal on sun visor.

6. On some vehicles the front lower skirting will need to be trimmed if using certain wheel /tire combinations and with heavy offset wheels. Trim only as needed.

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