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2014+ Leveling Kits


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On 7/5/2018 at 5:04 PM, TNAZ said:

Goal of my upgrades was to have a better "stock" look, not void my factory warranty (still some risk), and actually have a truck that could go down a fairly rocky dirt road such as in a National Park.  Stock truck rode perfectly on pavement but off-road bounced so much that it felt like the truck was ripping itself, and me, apart at just 20 mph.  What I ended up doing is like what GM is now doing with their "Trail Boss" package (package has 2" lift, 33" tires, Off-road struts/shocks, skid plate, Eaton locker rear end--I think).  This forum was key to helping me and I want to give back and hope it helps others in any possible way.  Other site I used was "CustomOffsets.com" gallery--I tried posting these photos there recently but they no longer allow "stocker" truck postings.

 

Summary:  Bilstein 5100s front (highest setting) and rear.  Stock rear blocks.  Toyo MT Load Range "E" model (exactly 33 x 12.7 per Toyo site).  Stock GMC rims (18 x 8.5; +24mm offset; NO spacers). 

 

Bilsteins:  I got 1.5 inch lift in the front (others are reporting getting more than that).  It would look better to me with another 3/4" but I got what I got and don't want to add anything other than the Bilsteins due to my GM warranty concerns.  Bilsteins eliminate the body roll in turns, take bigger dips great, and have cut my dirt road driving bounce in half versus stock--they ride fine on highways at speed also.  Given the Toyo MTs have such deep tread and have some "tire squirm" in higher speed turns (ex: highway entrance ramp), the elimination of body roll with Bilsteins is very helpful to keep the truck "planted" so it doesn't feel like it will get away from you.  I also think the Bilsteins are better for the suspension because the Toyo MTs weigh twice as much as the stock tires and the Bilsteins handle that weight better. 

 

Toyo MTs:  I have not had any rub except for on the liner on the passenger side and it was only at full lock--one zip tie fixed that.  I have at least 1/2 inch clearance on sway bar and upper control arms in all directions at full lock and with the suspension "articulated" as in an off-road situation.  For you tire shoppers, I did NOT have to do any NorCal mod and do NOT have any rubbing, but if the tire diameter was any greater than 33", I would have had one point of contact on the driver side at full lock with suspension articulated--again, I have no rubbing with what I bought.  Each of these trucks seem to have slight build variations.  Some folks report using greater diameter tires but my truck would have an issue with any bigger diameter tire.  It is critical to look at the exact tire specs for each tire considered on the respective manufacturers website as well--one might be labeled 33 x 12.5 but only be 12" wide.  For looks, I wanted a "wide" tire also along with that aggressive and functional tread design (I do not tow and am never in snow) and sidewall puncture resistance.  Never had off-road tires before and was surprised at how fine the Toyo MT rides, even at 80 mph (I am a lifetime Michelin LTX guy before this as comparison).  Tires have triple ply sidewalls and the tread is beautiful but it does burn off quicker than you would like it to--you gotta pay to play.

 

 

 

 

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looks really good, thanks for the write up!  I might make a suggestion since you are on rocky roads so much, add some mud guards...I have been really impressed with mine, was surprised how much road rash was spraying on my truck for as little of off roading I do...

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On 7/5/2018 at 6:04 PM, TNAZ said:

Goal of my upgrades was to have a better "stock" look, not void my factory warranty (still some risk), and actually have a truck that could go down a fairly rocky dirt road such as in a National Park.  Stock truck rode perfectly on pavement but off-road bounced so much that it felt like the truck was ripping itself, and me, apart at just 20 mph.  What I ended up doing is like what GM is now doing with their "Trail Boss" package (package has 2" lift, 33" tires, Off-road struts/shocks, skid plate, Eaton locker rear end--I think).  This forum was key to helping me and I want to give back and hope it helps others in any possible way.  Other site I used was "CustomOffsets.com" gallery--I tried posting these photos there recently but they no longer allow "stocker" truck postings.

 

Summary:  Bilstein 5100s front (highest setting) and rear.  Stock rear blocks.  Toyo MT Load Range "E" model (exactly 33 x 12.7 per Toyo site).  Stock GMC rims (18 x 8.5; +24mm offset; NO spacers). 

 

Bilsteins:  I got 1.5 inch lift in the front (others are reporting getting more than that).  It would look better to me with another 3/4" but I got what I got and don't want to add anything other than the Bilsteins due to my GM warranty concerns.  Bilsteins eliminate the body roll in turns, take bigger dips great, and have cut my dirt road driving bounce in half versus stock--they ride fine on highways at speed also.  Given the Toyo MTs have such deep tread and have some "tire squirm" in higher speed turns (ex: highway entrance ramp), the elimination of body roll with Bilsteins is very helpful to keep the truck "planted" so it doesn't feel like it will get away from you.  I also think the Bilsteins are better for the suspension because the Toyo MTs weigh twice as much as the stock tires and the Bilsteins handle that weight better. 

 

Toyo MTs:  I have not had any rub except for on the liner on the passenger side and it was only at full lock--one zip tie fixed that.  I have at least 1/2 inch clearance on sway bar and upper control arms in all directions at full lock and with the suspension "articulated" as in an off-road situation.  For you tire shoppers, I did NOT have to do any NorCal mod and do NOT have any rubbing, but if the tire diameter was any greater than 33", I would have had one point of contact on the driver side at full lock with suspension articulated--again, I have no rubbing with what I bought.  Each of these trucks seem to have slight build variations.  Some folks report using greater diameter tires but my truck would have an issue with any bigger diameter tire.  It is critical to look at the exact tire specs for each tire considered on the respective manufacturers website as well--one might be labeled 33 x 12.5 but only be 12" wide.  For looks, I wanted a "wide" tire also along with that aggressive and functional tread design (I do not tow and am never in snow) and sidewall puncture resistance.  Never had off-road tires before and was surprised at how fine the Toyo MT rides, even at 80 mph (I am a lifetime Michelin LTX guy before this as comparison).  Tires have triple ply sidewalls and the tread is beautiful but it does burn off quicker than you would like it to--you gotta pay to play.

 

This is a fantastic write up. Thank you. 

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On 7/9/2018 at 4:48 PM, thsoccer3 said:

I still have not diagnosed my "knock" noise since installing 2" front level.  I chose the "donut" style spacer that mounts to the shock upper. 

My noise is a single knock when traveling slow that sounds like something is shifting on the driver side when going from forward to reverse. 

I am beginning to think I possibly did not grind the factory bolts flush with the top of the new spacer and there may be a small gap that is allowing a forward / backward shift. 

My next plan is to completely take apart the driver side and start over.

Any opinions? 

I would probably bet money that its sway bar link related.  When weight gets shifted from one side to the other and a pop/knocking sound is heard typically just once, then that's my guess.  I had issues with my old truck doing the same.  When I got new tires and an alignment, it fixed the issue.  I would remove the sway bar and links and test to see if it makes the noise or not, then replace the links if that's the issue.

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48 minutes ago, DENALIHD66 said:

I would probably bet money that its sway bar link related.  When weight gets shifted from one side to the other and a pop/knocking sound is heard typically just once, then that's my guess.  I had issues with my old truck doing the same.  When I got new tires and an alignment, it fixed the issue.  I would remove the sway bar and links and test to see if it makes the noise or not, then replace the links if that's the issue.

Thank you for your opinion! I believe you are on track. I had this hunch as well, and 2 days before my above post, I replaced the driver side link. 

 

I did not pay attention to the angle before the install, but it seems as if both links are in a forward angled position.  During install, I do not remember having a problem getting either link in or out, and this time I had to fight to get the bolt in and out.  I did not loosen the passenger link, as my noise seems to be coming from the driver side, but it appears to be in the same forward-angled position. 

The reason I posted a few days ago is since swapping the driver's side link is I still hear the same noise; however, it is less frequent.  I was hoping to have this resolved before installing the new tires and alignment - preventing the need for an additional alignment if having to work on the truck afterwards.

 

In conclusion, I have installed the level, and swapped the driver's side link only, which decreased the frequency, but did not solve my issue.  Do you suggest new tires with alignment, and then drive immediately home and swap both links?  Or should I swap the passenger link as well and get an alignment before installing the new tires?

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Or possibly I should have the alignment done and ask them to check both sway bar end link angles while it is on the lift?  Maybe drive it for a week to ensure the noise is cured before installing new tires.

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10 hours ago, Rally_18 said:


Looks good what’s the setup?


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Thanks!

Readylift 2.25 front with UCAs; 2.25 blocks in rear; Black Rhino 20x9 with Falken Wildpeak A/T3W 275/60

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On 7/10/2018 at 5:12 AM, spenpet said:

looks really good, thanks for the write up!  I might make a suggestion since you are on rocky roads so much, add some mud guards...I have been really impressed with mine, was surprised how much road rash was spraying on my truck for as little of off roading I do...

Thanks for the mud guard suggestion.  Since I have the "base" model truck, it didn't have rear wheel well liners so I added those already and now maybe I will add the mud flaps. 

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Thanks for the mud guard suggestion.  Since I have the "base" model truck, it didn't have rear wheel well liners so I added those already and now maybe I will add the mud flaps. 

What wheel liners did you add?


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