Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM

Installing a 7-inch lift with Bulletproof Suspension, Fox Shocks, and LMC Truck

Project Over/Under, 2003 Chevy Silverado: Part 7

Sep 10, 2020
The day is finally here! After months and months of planning and truck building, we were finally ready to tear into the suspension of our '03 Silverado. Even though we have rebuilt almost all of the truck in the past several months, we hadn't taken so much as a wheel off when it came to its underpinnings. But all of that was about to change.
We were pretty specific when it came to exactly how we wanted to lift this truck. In keeping with the overland theme, we were seeking more than just drop-down brackets; we actually wanted to increase the travel a bit. But we also intended to keep the stock front-end width and not have to run fiberglass fenders—things that ruled out a full-on long-travel kit. Our options were limited, but we were happy to find exactly what we needed from Bulletproof Suspension. While mostly known for giant lifts on full show trucks, Bulletproof also happens to carry a 7-inch lift kit for the '99-to-'07 GM -ton two-wheel drives. It consists of fabricated spindles, coils, and tubular upper control arms, along with all the necessary hardware. We also wanted to replace every single component we could, ending up with a truly brand-new front end, so we ordered up a whole bunch of parts from LMC Truck. Included were new hubs, steering components, and parts to completely rebuild the stock lower control arms we were reusing.
Read More on This Project!
Installing a Viper Alarm, JL Audio, and a Custom Subwoofer Enclosure in our Standard Cab Silverado
2003 Chevy Silverado- Project Over/Under: Part 7.5
Project Over/Under: Part 8 - Gearing Up with Nitro Gear & Axle
In this installment, we got as far as stripping the truck of factory parts, cleaning up what was left, and bolting up the main components. Next month, we will finish things up, including installing the Atlas rear leaf packs and the 18-inch Fuel wheels and 35-inch General tires.
Photo 2/36   |   Over the next couple of installments, Project Over/Under is finally going to look like the KP Concepts rendering.
Photo 3/36   |   We figured we'd give you one more reminder of our humble beginnings.
Photo 4/36   |   And here's where we left off last month. We've got everything handled except for the altitude.
Photo 5/36   |   The 7-inch lift from Bulletproof Suspension consists of fabricated spindles, tubular upper control arms, and lift coils. Bumpstop extenders, upper ball joints, and steel braided brake hoses complete the kit.
Photo 6/36   |   We ordered a set of Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP smooth-body shocks for the front and 2.0 reservoirs for the rear. These shocks are loaded with all the technology of a race shock rolled into a stock-sized shock.
Photo 7/36   |   An order to LMC Truck filled in all the blanks, ensuring we were installing all-new parts. Our list included hubs, lower control arm bushings and brackets, and steering components. We also picked up some sleeves from ReadyLift to stiffen up the tie rods (bottom).
Photo 8/36   |   We pulled in to New Century Tire in Westminster, California, where Junior and his crew were ready to tackle a couple of days of hard work.
Photo 9/36   |   With the truck up on the lift, we took the wheels off for the first time. It was exactly what we expected: a clapped-out front end that needed a full rebuild.
Photo 10/36   |   Jose made quick work of the teardown, starting with the brakes, sway bar end links, and tie-rod ends. Then he loosened the upper and lower control arm bolts.
Photo 11/36   |   With a jack under the control arm, the upper ball joint was separated from the spindle, and the coil was popped out.
Photo 12/36   |   The spindle was removed from the lower ball joint, then the upper and lower control arms were removed.
Photo 13/36   |   We quickly amassed a pile of parts that were going in the scrap bin. In fact, the calipers and lower control arms are the only components we will be reusing.
Photo 14/36   |   Speaking of lower control arms, Jose had his work cut out for him. He was tasked with removing the riveted factory ball joint and bushings. He started with a disc grinder through the rivets, then switched to an air chisel.
Photo 15/36   |   Then he drilled through the rivets. As you can see, this was a long process.
Photo 16/36   |   Finally, a pointed bit on the air hammer was the final step to free the old ball joints.
Photo 17/36   |   Next, the factory bushings were pressed out—the old-fashioned way.
Photo 18/36   |   We cleaned up and painted the lowers and slid the new Moog ball joints in place.
Photo 19/36   |   Then we torqued down the heavy duty bolts. We liked the quality of the Moog Problem Solver products.
Photo 20/36   |   Next, we pressed the new bushings into the control arms. It was actually a pretty smooth operation once the old ones were removed.
Photo 21/36   |   At this point, our lower control arms were rebuilt and ready to go on with the new parts.
Photo 22/36   |   While Jose was doing the hard work, we stayed busy cleaning up the frame and inner fender. We were ready for assembly.
Photo 23/36   |   We set the lowers into place by sliding in the bolts, but they weren't snugged just yet.
Photo 24/36   |   We set the Bulletproof uppers in place with the factory adjuster bolts. We left these loose for now, too.
Photo 25/36   |   Then we bolted in the Moog upper ball joint and torqued the four bolts down.
Photo 26/36   |   We installed the Bulletproof fabricated spindles on to the upper and lower ball joints without the spindle in place. Jose was a man with a plan.
Photo 27/36   |   Rather than try to pry the coil up at a heavy angle the traditional way, Jose preferred to pull the lower control arm bolts, load the coils, and slowly jack the lower control arm straight up until the bolts could be reinstalled.
Photo 28/36   |   This is a slower and more controlled way to get the coil installed, with less risk of the coil flying across the shop.
Photo 29/36   |   Once the bolts were back in place, we got out first glimpse of the 7-inch lifted suspension starting to take shape.
Photo 30/36   |   The Fox front shocks were next. They simply slide in place before being bolted down.
Photo 31/36   |   We still have the traditional setup for this model, but we're using some of the best parts available. Once the shocks were snugged down, Jose began to tighten up all the bolts.
Photo 32/36   |   Then we worked our way around and double-checked our work before installing cotter keys.
Photo 33/36   |   For the next step, we installed the hub bolts with a little Loctite.
Photo 34/36   |   Then the new hub from LMC was set into the spindle.
Photo 35/36   |   The bolts were snugged down and torqued. We are going stop here and finish up our build next month.
Photo 36/36   |   Check back when be button up the front, add Atlas leaf springs in the rear, and finally install these 18-inch Fuel Wheels and 35-inch General ATX tires.


Bulletproof Suspensions
Mentone, CA
Fox Factory
LMC Truck
Lenexa, KS
New Century Tire
Westminster, CA