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Toys For Trucks Lifts a 2018 Sierra HD With CST, Method & Toyo

Better With 37s

Jun 28, 2019

One of our favorite things to do around here at Truckin is take a very new, stock truck and alter the stance in one direction or the other. This month, we chose to take a bone-stock '18 Sierra 2500 HD and lift it up—way up! The first call we made was to CST Performance Suspension for a size large lift. The 8- to 10-inch adjustable lift kit for the front end includes CST's one-piece gusseted subframe with a steel fullsize differential skidplate, CNC-machined front steering knuckles, high-strength steering drop centerlink with Heim jointed support links to minimize wear of the factory idler and pitman arms, differential drop brackets, heavy-duty bumpstop brackets, extended sway bar end links, brake lines and drop brackets, CST laser-cut torsion X-member drop brackets, and all the necessary hardware. The kit also includes four Dirt-Series 2.0 steel body reservoir shocks along with rear leaf springs, 1-inch lift blocks, spring plates, and zinc-plated U-bolts for 7.5 inches of rear lift.

Photo 2/47   |   Before

Our next call was to Method Race Wheels for a set of 18x9 305 NV wheels in Matte Black. They feature one-piece cast 356 aluminum construction with T6 heat treatment, a V.1 Street-Loc lip with undercut that simulates a beadlock wheel, and replaceable zinc-plated bolts around the lip. We contacted Toyo Tires for a set of Open Country M/T 37x13.50R18LT tires to accompany the wheels. Open Country M/Ts feature 3-ply polyester construction; aggressive tread design with hook-shaped blocks; open, scalloped shoulder blocks; over-the-shoulder tread; and deep siping in the tread blocks. Most importantly, they look cool and perform well.

We'd heard about Toys For Trucks in Hesperia, California, for quite a while and decided it was time to take a trip out there for an installation. The crew specializes in lift kits and truck accessories and has a very nice facility and showroom. We showed up with our new Sierra HD and, a little more than a day later, we were on the road about a foot closer to the sky! Take a look as we do the work below and check out the websites to see what's available for your truck.

Photo 3/47   |   After
Photo 4/47   |   The CST Performance Suspension system is a very comprehensive kit. Besides the gusseted subframe, the kit comes with knuckles, tubular upper control arms, steering components, subframes, differential and torsion drop-down brackets, reservoir shocks, and an optional extended driveshaft.
Photo 5/47   |   CST has the rear covered, too. In addition to the new rear leaf packs, the rear kit includes a steel block, U-bolt kit, and a matching pair of reservoir shocks.
Photo 6/47   |   The 37x13.50R20 Toyo Open Country M/T tires fit the bill perfectly and have an aggressive look while maintaining road manners.
Photo 7/47   |   Toys For Trucks Lifts A 2018 Sierra HD 006
Photo 8/47   |   Toys For Trucks Lifts A 2018 Sierra HD 007
Photo 9/47   |   For starters, the torsion bolts, torsion keys, and torsion bars are removed, followed by the torsion crossmember.
Photo 10/47   |   Next, the shocks, calipers, and rotors were removed.
Photo 11/47   |   Then the hub was removed, followed by the axle.
Photo 12/47   |   Now the knuckle was unbolted from the upper and lower control arm and removed. Then the lower control arm was unbolted and removed.
Photo 13/47   |   The upper control arm quickly followed.
Photo 14/47   |   Finally, the control arm crossmember was unbolted and dropped out.
Photo 15/47   |   A section of the frame needed to be marked and trimmed out of the way. We took care of it with a Sawzall.
Photo 16/47   |   The last part of the teardown was to drop down the front diff with the help of a transmission jack.
Photo 17/47   |   Drop-down brackets for the diff were bolted in place.
Photo 18/47   |   The diff was then bolted back up to the drop-down brackets.
Photo 19/47   |   While it could still be reached, the factory centerlink was dropped out and the CST drop-down centerlink was bolted in place.
Photo 20/47   |   Then the CST subframe was raised into place and bolted down.
Photo 21/47   |   The built-in Heim joint steering stabilizers were then attached to the centerlink.
Photo 22/47   |   Next, the bumpstop drop-down bracket was bolted into place. Then the rubber stop was popped in.
Photo 23/47   |   Rebuild time! The factory lower control arms are bolted into the subframe.
Photo 24/47   |   The CST knuckles were bolted to the lower control arms next.
Photo 25/47   |   Then the upper control arms were bolted into place and attached to the knuckles.
Photo 26/47   |   We reattached the axles to the front diff.
Photo 27/47   |   The hubs and trimmed-down backing plates were bolted back to the knuckle.
Photo 28/47   |   Finally, the axle nuts were locked down.
Photo 29/47   |   The rotors and calipers were reattached next.
Photo 30/47   |   CST provides these beefy inner and outer tie-rod ends to take care of the factory weak links.
Photo 31/47   |   The sway bar end links were then reattached.
Photo 32/47   |   Upper shock brackets are provided and attached to the CST shocks before installation.
Photo 33/47   |   Then the reservoir shock was bolted in place.
Photo 34/47   |   The CST upper and lower skidplates were next to be installed.
Photo 35/47   |   Drop-down brackets and cover plates were then bolted to the torsion bar crossmembers.
Photo 36/47   |   Then the crossmember was bolted in place, followed by the torsion bars, CST torsion keys, and bolts. Finally, we could move to the rear of the truck!
Photo 37/47   |   The stock shocks were removed from the rear of the truck, followed by the stock U-bolts.
Photo 38/47   |   We then removed the front and rear bolts of the factory leaf springs.
Photo 39/47   |   The stock springs were carried out and the CST spring packs were bolted in place.
Photo 40/47   |   Then the new U-bolts and blocks were set in place and bolted down and trimmed.
Photo 41/47   |   We wrapped up the rear with the installation of the CST reservoir shocks.
Photo 42/47   |   Soon, we were wrapping up the install by mounting our Toyo tires onto our Method wheels.
Photo 43/47   |   For a 37-inch tire, the combo balanced out rather easily.
Photo 44/47   |   We bolted up the wheels and checked them with a torque wrench, then we brought the GMC back to the ground.
Photo 45/47   |   Our final stop was the Toys For Trucks alignment rack, where we trued up the front end.
Photo 46/47   |   And just like that, we took this 2500 HD from bone stock to badass!
Photo 47/47   |   The 18-inch Method and 37-inch Toyo combo was a winner. They were perfectly proportioned with the lift on our GMC HD. We are looking forward to many years of trouble-free driving both on the highway and in the dirt.


CST Performance Suspension
Method Race Wheels
Toyo Tires
Toys For Trucks