For Silverado 1500 owners, check the front and rear sides of your truck. You will find that they are not on the same level. The front side of the car is lower than the rear side.
This is not an exclusive feature to Silverado 1500, you will find it in almost all trucks and SUVs.
The reason for this difference is that manufacturers believe when you place some load on the truck bed or the back of an SUV car, the backside will lower down.
So, if both sides were of the same level, the backside will bottom out upon loading the car which may cause the suspension system to stop functioning.
Hence, Silverado and other truck manufacturers design the cars with a different level between the front and back sides of the truck known as the rake.
However, some car owners will prefer to have the whole car body at the same level (The higher back level). That’s where leveling kits come in handy.
“Installing a leveling kit won’t harm the car as you lift the front side to level with the backside, not the opposite.”
In this article, we will explain different types of leveling kits and how to install leveling kit on Silverado 1500.
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Types of leveling kits
Leveling kits all have the same purpose. However, there are different types of them to suit different cars. The main types are:
Coil spring spacers
Coil spring spacers are added parts to the spring buckets. To install this leveling kit, just add the spacers to the top or bottom of the buckets.
Further, you may need to add shock extensions if the coil spring spacers come with them.
Torsion bar keys
As it appears from the name, this leveling kit is used on the torsion bar suspension system. The main difference between this kit and the previous one is that this one needs replacing some of the OEM parts.
You have to replace the factory keys with the new ones to adjust the height. However, the new ones are made to suit the extra height.
Similar to coil spring spacers, this front lift kit for Silverado 1500 is installed into the OEM struts without replacing them.
Add them to the top or bottom of the struts but make sure your vehicle already has front Coilover struts.
Tools needed to install Silverado lift kit
Whatever kind of leveling kit you will install to your Silverado, you will need some basic tools. These include:
- Floor jack to lift your car (Make sure it is suitable for the weight of your Silverado)
- Hand tools as hammer, socket, ratchet, screwdriver, and pliers
- Different sizes of wrenches
- Screws, nuts, and bolts
- Torque Wrench
- PB Blaster
How to install leveling kit on Silverado 1500?
“Although installing a Silverado leveling kit is not a very difficult mission, you need to take care as you might need to replace some OEM parts.”
The process is easy but takes time. So, read the following steps carefully.
Prepare the car for installing the new parts
- With a floor jack, lift the front of your Silverado. Place the stands underneath the front of the car, so, you can remove the front wheels easily.
- Using the suitable deep socket and ratchet, remove the bolts of the front wheels and uninstall the wheels.
- Using a 15 mm socket, remove the bolts of the skid plate. You need to remove these bolts to further unplug the connectors attached to the electric power steering.
- The next step is to remove the knuckle which acts as a connection between the wheel, suspension, and steering. With an 18 mm wrench, unscrew the upper strut bolts but don’t remove the nuts.
- Next, use a hammer and the same 18 mm wrench to remove the upper ball joint nut to easily remove the knuckle.
- Uninstall the steering linkage nut, this time you will need a larger size wrench. Use a 21 mm wrench and a hammer to hit the knuckle and remove the knuckle.
- Remove the bottom strut bolts, sway bar nut, and bushings with a 15 mm wrench. Also, remove the bolt clips and now the car is ready to install the Chevy Silverado lift kit.
Installing the leveling kit Silverado 1500
- With your Chevy Silverado leveling kit, you will find new bolts, washers, and nuts. Now, you need to align the holes of the lower strut mount using the strut spacer to install these new parts.
- The kit has different sized bolts; 90mm for the aluminum control arm and 80 mm bolts for the steel control arms. Install each of the bolts in their right place but don’t tighten them too much.
- Use wrenches of 17 and 16 mm to tighten bolts and nuts. Also, you can move the knuckle to one side to tighten these bolts easily.
- Now, tighten the upper strut nuts and connect the upper ball joint to the control arm. The two processes need an 18 mm wrench to tighten the nuts and joint.
- The following step is to install the nut of the steering linkage using the same 21 mm wrench you used to remove it.
- After you are done with all the previous steps, you have to repeat them on the other side of the car. Do the same thing on the opposite side.
- Reinstall the skid plate and three power steering connectors, in the same way, they were before starting the whole process. Also, don’t forget to reinstall the sway bar bushings and nuts.
- Reinstall the two wheels with the 21 mm socket, then, remove the jack stands.
- Lower your Silverado to the ground and tighten all bolts.
The final step is to do the alignment to make sure everything will perform as it used to. Never skip this step as it will help for a longer lifetime of your leveling kit and suspension system in general.
“You can get the alignment done at a professional mechanic for better and reliable car alignment.”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to maintain the Silverado leveling kit?
The first thing to do is to make sure that you installed them in the right way. Next, check all the nuts and bolts for tightness now and then.
The recommended intervals are every 1000 miles. Also, check other parts like the steering system and suspension. However, it is better to take your Silverado to a professional to check those.
2. What does a leveling kit Chevy 1500 include?
According to the type of the kit, for example, a 2-inch leveling kit Silverado 1500 includes lower strut extensions, 90mm and 80mm bolts, washers, and 10mm nuts.
3. What is the difference between leveling kits and suspension lifts?
Leveling kits are easier in the installation process. So, most people prefer them compared to suspension lifts.
Also, with the leveling kits, you don’t need to replace OEM parts or just replace a few parts. Thus, they are more effective and less in price.
4. What are leveling kits used for?
Leveling kits are used to give an extra lift to the front of the vehicle. So, both the front and rear of the vehicle are on the same level.
These are different from a lift kit although both terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The difference is that leveling kits levels the front with the back of the truck which is already higher.
Lift kits add extra height to the whole vehicle.
Leveling kits are important to trucks and SUVs as they provide better ground clearance. Also, they reduce the rake and give a better overall appearance to the truck.
Therefore, leveling kits are both functional and aesthetic additions to the car suspension system. They are not necessary but they have important functions.
5. How to choose the best leveling kit for Silverado 1500?
Choosing the best product depends on several factors including the height, type of lift, and whether your vehicle has Coilover struts or not.
For example, if you want just a 2-inch lift for the front part, you need to get the basic 2-inch leveling kit. Alternatively, if you want to add extra height to the whole car, get the 4-inch lift kit for Chevy Silverado 1500 4wd.
Further, make sure you are getting the correct leveling kit for the specific brand and model of your car.
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Lifting the front of your Silverado is a practical way to level both sides of the car for better performance. The best way to level a Silverado 1500 is by using a leveling kit that doesn’t need much replacement of the OEM parts.
Apart from eliminating or reducing the rake, leveling improves the handling and provides better ground clearance. Thus, we recommend you invest in a high-quality leveling kit to enjoy its advantages.
The above read explains how to install leveling kit on Silverado 1500. So, if you are thinking of getting a new leveling kit, you now know how to use them.
As you have seen, the process needs some mechanical work but anyone can do it. However, it is always better to seek the help of a professional if you don’t know how to use the kit.
“In all cases, you should check your Silverado at a professional mechanic every few miles to make sure everything is working well.”