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Lifting a 2015 Silverado with a CST 5.5-inch kit

Curbs are fun again

Mar 31, 2016
Photographers: Anthony Soos
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.
Photo 2/31   |   002 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
Photo 3/31   |   003 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
Photo 4/31   |   004 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 5/31   |   005 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 6/31   |   006 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 7/31   |   007 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
Using an 18mm socked, we removed the two bolts attaching the caliper and set it aside using a hanger. We also removed the rotor.
Photo 8/31   |   008 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
We loosened the upper and lower ball joint nuts and broke them loose with the persuader.
Photo 9/31   |   009 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 10/31   |   010 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 11/31   |   011 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
We removed the upper and lower A-arms to freely reach the top of the coilover.
Photo 12/31   |   012 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 13/31   |   013 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 14/31   |   014 2015 Chevrolet CST 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.
Photo 15/31   |   015 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 16/31   |   016 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 17/31   |   017 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
We attached the lower coilover bolts to the lower arm and snugged them down.
Photo 18/31   |   018 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
With the new CST lift spindles attached to the hubs, we set the hub on the lower and upper arms and torqued them down
Photo 19/31   |   019 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 20/31   |   020 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 21/31   |   021 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 22/31   |   022 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
We started by supporting the rear axle with jackstands and buzzed out the rear shocks from their mounting points, top and bottom.
Photo 23/31   |   023 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
Next, we began removal of the leaf springs by by loosening and removing the U-bolts.
Photo 24/31   |   024 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
Continuing with the leafs, we easily removed the bolts from the hanger and shackle on the passenger side.
Photo 25/31   |   025 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 26/31   |   026 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 27/31   |   027 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 28/31   |   028 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
We also ordered a new set of longer rear shocks through CST, and we made short work of installing those.
Photo 29/31   |   029 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.
Photo 30/31   |   030 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
With the lock ring in place on all four wheels, we popped in the center cap, and torqued the lug nuts to spec.
Photo 31/31   |   031 2015 Chevrolet CST Lift
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.

Sources

BFGoodrich
877-788-8899
www.bfgoodrichtires.com
Method Race Wheels
800-543-9276
http://www.methodracewheels.com
OMF Performance Products
www.omfperformance.com
CST Performance Suspension
www.californiasupertrucks.com

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