Here at Truckin, we know that trucks are cool, and as readers of Truckin, you know that trucks are cool. We are constantly playing the Photoshop game in our head when we see a stock truck. Its wheels and tires get swapped out, ride heights are altered, and the whole look and feel of the truck changes to our fancy.
With the right parts, it’s also really easy to do that, especially with the infinitely customizable platform that the ’16 Chevy Silverado 1500 offers. It’s a super-popular truck out on the road, and due to that, the aftermarket clamors to support it with upgrades. As soon as the 1500s hit the road, companies like ReadyLift had already done their prototyping and had their products ready for the truck’s debut when it hit dealer lots.
| Our ’15 Chevy came to us just as stock as can be, with the agreement to lift it to a comfortable level. These third-gen Silverados make for a great platform for customizing, and you can do just about anything to them. This is just another example of how the aftermarket followed the 1500’s development with these easy-to-install kits.
ReadyLift did their homework when designing their SST kit. You’ll be glad to know it’s designed to be installed with no cutting or welding—no permanent alterations of any kind. If you want to go bigger, you can. If you want to turn the truck back to stock, you can do that, too. The 4-inch lift is designed around the DOM tubular upper control arm that features polyurethane bushings and a Zerk’d ball joint pressed into the crown, which retains the OEM geometry and requires no modifications to the spindle. The rear is lifted with 3-inch blocks and the rear shocks get dropped an inch using innovative drop brackets, allowing you to use preexisting shocks. To complement the new kit, we also had a set of 18x9 Raceline 930 Shift wheels with 285/65R18 Falken Wildpeak AT3W tires mounted up for us.
Follow along as we take this ’16 Silverado to the Tech Center here at the Truckin headquarters for a quick install of this straightforward kit. For more information on ReadyLift, Raceline, or Falken, please check out the manufacturer websites.
| This SST lift and level kit from ReadyLift was simple enough,
including 4-inch strut extensions, rear shock extension brackets, 3-inch rear blocks with new U-bolts, new upper arms with pre-pressed ball joints, greaseable bushings, and all new hardware.
| Since the truck owner was a local, we enlisted the help of the Tech Center shop manager, Jason Scudellari, and used our home shop to do the work. We raised the truck up, got to work unbolting the tie rod, and removed it from its location in the spindle.
| Next, we unbolted the sway bar endlink from the lower control arm. After the swaybar was free, we rotated it up and out of the way. No need to fully remove the sway bar, as our lift does not require it to be relocated.
| Since we were lowering the upper control arm and strut, we had to unclip the ABS electrical connector for reinstallation later.
| The brake line had a bracket that we also removed as we were swapping the upper arm with the one in the kit. The new arm would serve as the new mounting point for both the brake line bracket and the brake line.
| To prepare for the new strut spacer, we removed the harness clips from the top of the strut studs, as well as loosening and removing the strut nuts. Before that, we supported the lower arm and the spindle assembly with a jack to make it possible to lower the strut.
| Next, we loosened and removed the upper ball joint nut, to prepare to remove and replace the upper arm. We used the jack to lower the lower arm and spindle out of the way, making sure not to overstretch the brake line.
| We loosened and removed the upper cam bolts, saving them from the scrap pile for reuse when the new upper arm is installed. It was now time to remove the upper arm from its original location.
| When placed side by side, the new arms are stronger, have a greaseable ball joint with Zerk fitting, and just plain look better. The old arms were destined for the scrap heap.
| Our new arms from ReadyLift feature polyurethane bushings, and these crush sleeves designed to hold the washers while the arms are installed. Our sleeves and bushing were greased up from the supplied lubricant, and we were ready to install them on the new arm. We had to install the strut spacer first, so we left them on the floor for now.
| With the strut dropped down far enough, but still supported by our jack, we had enough room to install the strut spacer. We slipped it over the stock bolts and tightened down the lower nuts, before installing it back into the stock location and tightening it all down.
| The new ReadyLift arm was set to be installed. The crush sleeves did their job and held the washers in place as we muscled the new arms into place in the factory location. We bolted them down, but just loosely for now and tighten them up later.
| We were now ready to start the reassembly process of the front suspension. We reconnected the new upper control arm with its new ball joint to the spindle, and torqued the ball joint nut down to 85lb-ft.
| The tie rod end was next to be reinstalled on the spindle and was torqued down to 65lb-ft. The swaybar was rotated down and installed using the factory hardware into its stock location. With that, our front suspension was that much closer to being completed.
| All that was left was to install the brake line bracket to the new control arm with an M6 nut from the kit torqued to 5lb-ft. We also reconnected the ABS, and torqued the arms to 120 ft-lbs.
| With the front suspension all buttoned up, we moved to the rear. First, we rigged both sides of our rear end with a custom-made adapter for a transmission jack to support the rear end.
| We unbolted the upper and lower bolts of the rear shocks ready to add the rear shock extension. With the addition of lift blocks in the rear, we had to drop the shock’s mounting point.
| Here is a close up of the shock extensions, which is a simple and economical solution to the desire to add a few inches to the rear shocks.
| Underneath the rear leaf pack, we’d planned to add a lift block from the kit, so we had to unbolt the U-bolt plates and the U-bolts from the axle.
| Here, we are installing the kit’s new U-bolts and the lift block. All we had to do was drop the rear axle down far enough, using our custom rear axle support rig that is attached to a handy transmission jack. With blocks in place, we bolted back the whole assembly, tightened down all the hardware, and our lift was done!
| All that was needed now was to mount up our new set of 18x9 Raceline 930 Shift wheels with 285/65R18 Falken Wilpeak AT3W tires. Our ’16 Silverado 1500 was ready to mod the mean streets of SoCal and do it in style! With just a little lift and proper wheel and tire package, out not-stock-anymore truck has gained a little bit of attitude and great looks in just a few hours.