Lifting a 2015 Silverado with a CST 5.5-inch kit
Curbs are fun again
Single-cab trucks have always been looked at as utilitarian, but in the pages of Truckin, we see a blank canvas for customizing one of the best-looking platforms on the market. The standard cab, short bed combo has been the number-one choice for customizers going back many years and many different generations of trucks. It offers a balanced combo of cab and bed and makes the truck look amazing from just about any angle. These trucks also start at a reasonable price, have a huge network of aftermarket parts to support upgrades, and practically beg their owners to beef them up.
This truck started out at standard height as it came from the factory, then it spent some time closer to the ground due to a lowering kit. Now, the decision has been made to raise it up a full 5 inches above stock and give it a more commanding view of the road. A call went out to CST Performance Suspension in Moreno Valley, California, and a Mid-Travel System complete with lift spindles,upper control arms, and CST-fabricated lift spindles were set aside and waiting for us to arrive. We wanted to perform the work inside the CST facility to take advantage of their talented install team, and hopefully, get a tour of this innovative company. CST is actually the acronym of California SuperTrucks, Inc., which designs and manufactures all of its quality suspension components in-house. The company is not only good at what it does, it lives and breathes the off-road market. Owner Chris Robinson brings more than 30 years of design, fabrication, and racing knowledge to the table. Combining decades of experience with a talented support team is what separates CST from its competitors and allows them to make some of the most high-quality suspension components in the industry.
Another really awesome aspect of this build will be the wheel and tire set up ordered up from OMF Performance Products. OMF fabricates beadlock wheels that stand up to serious punishment while rockcrawling, ATVs, UTVs, drag racing, sand buggies, and off-road racing. To have that lock ring look for street purposes, OMF can fabricate a Sim-U-Lock for any wheel on the market, starting by machining the face, TIG welding on a mounting ring, and adding an outer beauty ring to complete the look. Our wheel started life as a 17x8.5 Method Roost wheel with 4.75 inches of backspace. It was cut down in that same process, had a custom OMF center cap to go with it, and we added stainless steel button head hardware to really set it off. A final cap to this build will be a big beefy set of 35x12.5R17 BF Goodrich All Terrain A/T tires.
Follow along as we take this formerly low-rolling ’15 Chevy Silverado into a high-rise of a truck with this complete Mid-Travel System from CST.
This complete kit from CST consists of laser cut ¼-inch lift spindles that are fabricated in-house, extended travel upper arms, and extended travel CST 2.5 coilovers. Also included in the kit are steel braided brake lines and all installation hardware.
We planned to tackle this lift by doing the lift spindle, uniball arms with the stock tapers, and the coilovers all at the same time. So, we removed the front wheels and assessed the situation.
We started by loosening the tie rod nut with an impact wrench and buzzed those off from either side easily. Next, we separated the tie rod end. In addition, we unclipped the ABS wire, seen hanging down.
Using an 18mm socked, we removed the two bolts attaching the caliper and set it aside using a hanger. We also removed the rotor.
We loosened the upper and lower ball joint nuts and broke them loose with the persuader.
With the upper and lower ball joint bolts removed, we lifted the upper joint off the spindle, lifted the spindle off of the lower ball joint, and set it aside to be disassembled on the bench.
In preparation to remove the stock coilovers as a whole, we removed the lower bolts, the sway bar endlinks, and loosened the bolts on the lower A-arm so it would just swing down out of the way.
We removed the upper and lower A-arms to freely reach the top of the coilover.
With both A-arms out of the way, we loosened and removed the stock coilovers using a 15mm wrench. Because we were replacing the whole assembly with a new CST coilover set from the kit, we left the shock and coil still mounted together and set them aside.
We addressed the brake lines next, removing the soft lines from the hard lines using a 13mm wrench, and installing the new CST brake lines, which are longer to accommodate the lift.
The spindles came next, and we disassembled them from the hub. The old spindles were actually lowering spindles, and you can see the difference right away. We slid the taper sleeve into the new spindle and installed them onto our hubs.
We installed the taper sleeves that came with the kit, and greased up all the bushings before installing both the new upper and existing lower arms.
Ready to install the new coilovers from the CST kit, we slid it into the upper mount first with a little Loctite on the threads and tightened it down with a 9/16 wrench.
We attached the lower coilover bolts to the lower arm and snugged them down.
With the new CST lift spindles attached to the hubs, we set the hub on the lower and upper arms and torqued them down
As the rotor went back on, we continued the reassembly process and installed the brake caliper with its new lengthened brake line. We reattached the sway bar end link and tie rod end.
With the hub and brakes back together, we went ahead and did the final adjustments, tightened down the control arm bolts, and realigned the adjustment cams to their original position, a good starting point for when the truck is aligned.
Into the homestretch on the front installation, all we had to do was route the brake lines and ABS connector, then zip tie them into place. We greased up all the zerk fittings, and it was time to move to the rear.
We started by supporting the rear axle with jackstands and buzzed out the rear shocks from their mounting points, top and bottom.
Next, we began removal of the leaf springs by by loosening and removing the U-bolts.
Continuing with the leafs, we easily removed the bolts from the hanger and shackle on the passenger side.
The driver’s side proved more difficult, as we had to loosen the gas tank and angle it out of the way to reach the hanger. We supported the tank from below with a floorjack and muscled it away from the hanger.
This truck spent most of its short life lowered, and the stock springs had been replaced with the de-arched variety. We ordered up a new set of stock springs, and we could immediately see the difference.
With the old leafs out, we placed the new lift blocks on the axle and installed the new leafs on top. We then installed the longer U-bolts from the kit, bringing them down good and tight.
We also ordered a new set of longer rear shocks through CST, and we made short work of installing those.
With all the suspension work out of the way and tightened to the proper torque settings, we went ahead and prepped our new 17 x 8.5 OMF/Method Wheels shod with 35x12.5R17 BF Goodrich All Terrain A/T tires. The wheels had a lock ring that needed to be installed before we could mount them to the truck.
With the lock ring in place on all four wheels, we popped in the center cap, and torqued the lug nuts to spec.
The height adjustment and modified Method wheels only hint at the awesome technology underneath the truck. The CST Mid-Travel system will provide comfortable street driving and impressive off road control for years to come.