(approx) 2 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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Hey, guys. Adam here with americantrucks.com and today we're taking a closer look at and installing the HD Elevation Front Bumper, available for the 2014 to 2015 Silverado 1500. You should be checking this out if you're looking for a total protection front bumper, one that combines not only a full-width off-road front bumper, but one that combines it with a full brush guard. Now, this guy is obviously gonna give you protection for the bottom end of your front-end, but it's also gonna protect your upper grille and your headlights with that full wraparound design. Now, this is made from a combination of a punch steel plating as well as tubular steel, which you can see here and that combination is really gonna protect the front-end of your truck from pretty much any on or off-road obstacle. This thing can absolutely take a beating. And I will say, it's supermassive and it's all steel and it's fully welded, so it's really, really heavy. So it is gonna sag the front-end down a little bit, but if he's got a leveling kit on there, it'll boost the back up a little bit. Either way, lots of protection here and opportunities to add on in the future.Building off of the protection aspect there, you can see not only is the bottom half of the bumper that really hard steel, it's a textured black finish, and on top of that, it's got these protective bars going up the middle to add support, crossbars, tubular crossbars in the middle, and a honeycomb backing there with a steel plating. That's gonna add some protection from the smaller obstacles on-road that may come in contact with your grille. If you were to hit say a bird or an animal per se at the front-end, this is gonna take the beating and protect a lot more than just an aftermarket bumper. Now, the tubular steel, again, wraps around for the headlights and has a triple bar protection, which is a little bit more than some of the other total protective options out there. If something were to squeeze right between the top two bars there and hit your headlights, this guy will protect it from that. Some of the other options out there will not. Now, this is also gonna retain your factory fog lights, so not something other options out there have. If you're not looking to pick up aftermarket auxiliary lighting and you just wanna use your factory fog lights that your truck may have come with, this is gonna make that happen with pre-welded on brackets on the back end of the bumper. You can also add to that with the opening there in the middle. Now, the middle has another honeycomb or mesh backing there from the steel plating, but you can add a light bar behind that, a pretty small light bar, but a light bar nonetheless. Brackets are welded to the back there to make that easy too, so no need to do any drilling or custom modification. You can also transfer over any factory parking assist sensors at the front-end. There are pre-drilled holes there. Our truck did not come with them, so we will be plugging them up with the rubber grommets included in the kit.Finally, guys, the price tag for this one is gonna come in right around 1,250 bucks. Install gets two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Again, the bumper is very big and extremely heavy. You're gonna need at least two other people to help you get this guy on. We're gonna actually be using a cart to help us guide it into place. Because it is so heavy, you wanna have people supporting both sides while you work the wrench to get the bolts in place. From there, it's just a trial and error process to line it up and then you'll be good to go.The last thing before we jump into the install here is that because this bumper has slightly better approach angles at the corners here, your factory wheel well liners will hang down a little bit lower and be visible from the front-end, in which case I recommend either trimming them to be even with the bottom of the bumper so it's not so visible or removing the wheel well liners altogether. Trimming is definitely the better bet. With that said, guys, I'm gonna take you through the process. Let's get started.Tools used in the install include an impact gun, extension, couple of ratchets, 7-millimeter, 10-millimeter, 13-millimeter, 15-millimeter, 16-millimeter, 18-millimeter, and 19-millimeter deep socket, T15 Torx bit, Phillips head screwdriver, panel removal tool, 13-millimeter, 16-millimeter, and 18-millimeter wrenches. And if you need any additional tools for running your wiring.First up, of course, pop your hood. We got to get our factory grille out of the way. In order to do that, we need to access the bolts underneath by kicking off our top radiator shroud. Grab your panel removal tool, and we're gonna remove these black push pin clips along the top. Now we can lift up on the shroud itself and set it aside. So now we can grab a 10-millimeter socket and get off the four 10-millimeter bolts holding on the top of our grille. We have to take off the trim going underneath of the grille on top of the bumper. In each of the wheel wells, there's a Phillips head screw. So I'm gonna use this little stubby screwdriver to get these off. All right. Once you have one side off, that should break free. Do the same thing on the other side. So now we can take that trim piece off here. We already peeled off the one side. Once you take care of the other side here, it's all gonna come off in one piece. You can pull this off in one piece and set it aside. Underneath of the grille behind that trim panel we just removed, there are four bolts holding on the bottom of that grille there. Grab your extension and 10-millimeter, start from one side and work your way around. Now we can take our grille off. Start from the top, pull that guy down, make sure it's disconnected, and set it aside.Before we move on to the next step, I just wanna quickly say that you don't have to take the front bumper off in order to go forward. You can see the bolts holding on the tow hooks from here, but the bumper brackets on the backside do tend to make it a little bit difficult getting a longer bolt out of place. In order to give yourself more clearance, it's recommended to do one of two things, loosen up all of the bolts on the bumper and wiggle it around just to get enough clearance there, or just take the bumper off altogether. If you're already loosening the bolts, it could be easier just to take it off. That's the route I'm gonna take. It's completely up to you. From here, we're gonna grab our 19 socket and extension and get the 4 bumper bolts holding it on from the top. While we're up here, because I'm gonna completely remove the front bumper, I wanna unplug this fog light harness. It sits right in the middle there. I'm just gonna pinch and disconnect.Now, directly in front of each tire, there's a bar running underneath that connects the corners of the bumper to the frame. Crawl underneath and get that one 18-millimeter bolt on each side. You're seeing it from the top angle. You can see the bolt is facing downward. Grab your extension and impact gun and get those off. Now, if you just loosened all the bolts, at this point you can start wiggling the bumper to get some clearance on those tow hook bolts. But if you're removing it like I am, you can pull the whole thing off now.Now we have complete access to our tow hooks, whether you have the bumper off or not. Grab an 18-millimeter wrench, you're gonna hold the bolt head on the inside along with an 18 socket on the outside nut and get that first bolt off. With the nut loose on the other side, you can pull this straight back. All right. Now on the opposite side, I'm gonna switch over to my 19 socket and get the other bolt off. Tow hook comes out and you can set those bolts aside. Now you can repeat the exact same thing for the other tow hook.Last step for the uninstall is going to be to remove these black plastic brackets from underneath the headlight where it meets the fender. There are two 7-millimeter bolts facing out with the bolt head on the inside, so you have to go underneath, and then there's one in the wheel well. So I'm gonna get this one-off then you'll repeat that for this and then in the wheel well. Once you get far enough along, you should be able to get your hand in there to get the bolt out. All right. There it is, just a small 7-millimeter bolt, again, right there facing outward. Tuck that down and repeat that for this. Okay. So now we have one more in the wheel well. We actually have one more here on the side down below. This one's a little bit easier to get to. Okay. Repeat that for the other side.So we got our factory bumper off of the front-end of our '14 Silverado and it's on this rack here right on top of our HD Elevation front bumper. Let's go through some similarities and differences and I'm sure as you can suspect, completely different head to toe. The materials, the fit, the finish, the functionality, everything is a complete revamp. The new Steelcraft HD Elevation is obviously a bumper brush guard combo, not something you can say for the factory bumper, which goes without saying. This guy is made from a completely one-piece fully welded full-width steel material with a two-stage epoxy pre-coding and a high-quality black powder coating on top of that, which is actually a textured black, which gives it a nice textured finish, gives it a nice stealthy finish as well, and, of course, it's corrosion and rust-resistant on top of that.Now, the nice thing about this particular bumper is not only that it's a full-width bumper, but the brush guard is gonna help protect the grille. So where your factory bumper stops here, the new Steelcraft bumper will extend past that, protect your grille with some tubular steel bars that go across as well as that honeycomb or mesh insert welded to the center. So you have centered protection for the smaller obstacles. Now, the full-width wraps around to the headlights too. Now, some of the other ones out there don't have three bars like this. They have an open center. This one gives you a little bit more protection for your headlight area with the tubular steel there as well on both sides, so truly a total protection front bumper and brush guard combo.Now, comparing this to the factory in terms of functionality, aside from the durability, which is very obvious, this guy here leaves a little bit more room to add on in the future. So this guy actually has a cutout there in the center. You can see that mesh insert where you can add a smaller light bar, not the case for your factory bumper. But the nice thing about the new bumper here is if your truck came with fog lights like ours did, you can easily transfer those factory fog lights over to the corners of your new bumper. So that's something that actually would be pretty similar. Not every aftermarket bumper, not many aftermarket bumpers, as a matter of fact, allow you to keep your factory fog lights. Usually, you have to add some auxiliary cube lights from the aftermarket world, not the case here.Finally, the last thing I wanna talk about is some ground clearance and approach angle differences. Now, this Steelcraft bumper is not really one of the ones that are optimizing ground clearance and approach angles, but it is gonna have better approach angles than the factory bumper. The factory bumper has this chin spoiler or this lip that hangs down and really, really low, not the case for the new bumper. So you do have better angles in the corners. They'll come up a little higher so your tire can contact obstacles before your bumper can. But if it did, it would be protected. With that said, before we head over to the vehicle, we do have to transfer over those fog lights, so let's get to work on installing them from the back of the bumper and transferring them over.Now that we have our factory bumper on our table, we're gonna start disassembling our fog lights brackets. Now, as you can see, it's a part of this bigger exoskeleton, but we don't have to take the whole thing off, just the bracket surrounding our fog light to pop this out of place. Before we actually do that, we wanna pull off our harness clips, keeping this on that bracket. Just pull those straight back and they'll come out. Now, because we're transferring over the fog lights, we're going to have to transfer over the entire harness from the back of the factory bumper over to the Steelcraft one, but for now, we're just gonna take that off of the bracket we're removing. Grab a 15-millimeter socket and an impact gun or a ratchet and pop these bolts off. All right. Now that we have the fog lights out of place, we're gonna feed this harness through and remove that from the bumper. We'll start by pulling off all of these clips. Now, to get these push pin clips that are holding it on the inside of this bracket, a panel removal tool will definitely help. All right. Now we can get the entire bumper off the table, bring those fog lights back on to start disassembling that.Okay. Next up, we're gonna unbolt the fog lights from the actual bracket housing that we've removed. We have to get this chrome trim off. And in order to do that, there are two 7-millimeter bolts on each side. I'm gonna use my 7 swivel socket just to get in these tight angles, get those guys off. Okay. Another one right here. Okay. So now we can use a flathead screwdriver to pry open these tabs and pop that chrome off. Okay. With that free, we can pull the fog light out from the front by pinching these three tabs closed and pushing it through. Okay. Once you to knock that guy out, fog light falls through, and we can transfer it over. Repeat that on the other side.All right. Next up we're gonna take our fog light adaptor brackets and we're gonna install it just like that. They are side-specific. You can see a little D for driver, P for passenger, set those guys up. You wanna grab the hardware included in the kit, the small 10-millimeter bolts along with a couple of washers. You wanna put the bolt head along with a washer through the top just like that, follow it up with a washer and nut on the backside. All right. You're gonna do that for all three sections. Okay. Grab your 10-millimeter deep socket and wrench and tighten those down. Now we can install our fog light.So now what we have to do is basically install our fog light from the front, pushing it up in. Now, you should have three tabs here. Ours is broken in this corner, so we don't have one and the plastic piece here is broken as well. So I'm just gonna be able to show you guys what it looks like on this one and then you'll repeat on the other side. The same as it was on your factory assembly is gonna snap into these three holes here. So you're basically gonna push it in from the front and then squeeze this with needle nose pliers and snap it in there. All right. Just like that. Now, like I said, you should have three of those, it would line up just like that. Repeat on the other side.All right. Here's an alternative way to do those fog lights on the other side. Here our fog light has three tabs as it should. Like I said, the other side was broken. You can actually install these through the bracket before going onto the bumper with the bracket, may make life just a little bit easier here. What I'm gonna do is start in the corner where there's just one. And, again, it might be easier for you to use some needle nose pliers to pinch that guy, slide that guy right into position, and then follow suit with the rest of them. All right. This one's giving us trouble a little bit, so I'm just gonna pinch it again. Line that up and push them through. Now, the fog light's attached to the bracket, we can install this in one piece. All right. So now you can repeat the bolts in all three corners there.Now, if you have factory parking sensors, you wanna transfer them over to these little sections here. There are four of them, one on each side and two in the middle. If you don't have parking sensors like we don't, you're gonna take these rubber grommets included in the kit, you're gonna plug those holes up just so it's just not an open hole in the bumper there. Push that guy into position, repeat that for all four. Okay. Here's the other side, basically the exact same thing. Repeat this for the middle. Next we can install our support brackets onto our frame here where the tow hooks were. It's gonna go right on each side just like that, and there's gonna be another one over this side. Grab the double bolt plate. Starting on my passenger side, I'm gonna insert that just like that to hold it in place. You're gonna put a washer and a nut on both of the studs on the outside. Do the same thing on the inside here, except for this one there's only one bolt plate. All right. Grab your 19 socket and tighten those down. Repeat on the other side.Next, you're gonna grab the big blocky bracket. That's gonna sit up on the frame just like this. Grab your factory bolts. They're gonna go through the top, the side, and the inside here. I'm gonna put those in first to help hold this guy in place. Wanna try to thread these in as much as you can by hand, just because this thing is super heavy for a bracket. All right. The more you thread this in the easier it will be to hold it on. I'm gonna do the inside here. All right. Now we have one tucked in the inside, which is tough to see, but you're basically gonna take an extension and go straight through with this and tighten that guy down. This one, I'm gonna put on my extension and feed into that opening. All right. You may need to make a little bit of an adjustment there, get it to grip. All right. Start threading that in. All right. So we've got that started. Now we can grab the rest of the bolts included in the kit and tighten them down to the adapter brackets we just installed. All right. For this, you wanna take the bolt included in the kit. I'm gonna put a washer on the bolt head side, washer on the backside. Follow it up with the nut. Okay. Same thing on the opposite side. All right. Again, this one's a little tough to see. Feed your hand in there and put it through the opposite support bracket. Now you can grab your 15 socket and tighten down the factory bolts and then switch over to a larger socket and wrench, tighten down the rest of them. All right. This one's a 19-millimeter. Tighten those down. Repeat this whole process on the other side. Next we can take our factory tow hook if your truck came with them, and it's gonna slot right here to the big bracket. Now we can tighten down this factory hardware. Okay. Repeat on the other side.All right. So we got my helping hand here. We're using a cart to help guide this guy into place because it is so heavy. But if you have multiple people to help you out, that might make life a little easier. Line it up to those brackets and put bolts through. All right. So with a little bit of trial and error and couple of jack stands and a helping hand, we got our bumper holes lined up to the brackets on the frame. Put a bolt through, washer on the backside, follow it up with a nut. Repeat that for all of the bolt holes, get all the bolts through, and then tighten them down. All right. So we got one more bolt left, put the truck up in the air just to make life a little easier. Make sure you have a washer and a nut on the inside, and then you're gonna tighten them down. Okay. Make sure the bumper is lined up. Maybe a little bit of trial and error. Have a helping hand help to line the bumper up. Tighten it down. All right. Repeat on the other side.All right. Last step here before we start putting our grille back on is to feed it over the factory fog light harness that we took off of the back of the factory bumper, plug them into the fog lights on both sides, feed it over to the opposite side as well. Now, you may wanna zip tie back the excess. That's obviously personal preference. Plug in the master harness to the vehicle. Tuck that guy back up, zip tie it if you want to, and we're gonna move on.All right. Take your factory grille, drop it over the brush guard here, line it up to the factory holes and we're gonna bolt it back up. Grab your 10-millimeter bolts and put them back through the top. Take your radiator shroud and drop it back into place. Grab your factory push pin clips and secure it under the hood.Last step up here, of course, is optional, but I'm gonna recommend it. Now, because your new bumper has slightly higher approach angles, your factory wheel well liner does hang down a little bit lower so it's visible from the front-end. Now, the solution to that would be to take a box cutter or something similar and just cut off the excess there parallel to the bottom of the bumper, that way you don't see the excess from the front-end. Now, because our bumper is just gonna be going back to stock, we're not gonna be modifying our wheel well liner. I'm just gonna be tucking it back, but just know that your options would be to either leave it, trim it, or completely remove the wheel well liner altogether.That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the HD Elevation Front Bumper, available for the '14 and '15 Silverado 1500. You can get yours right here at americantrucks.com.
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