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Completing our 6.5-inch Lift on a GM 2500HD

Part Two: We Continue our build at Powerhouse Performance with the BDS Recoil System, American Force & Cooper Tire

Apr 23, 2020

When we last left off, we had our very clean and very stock 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD 4x4 out in Simi Valley, California, at Powerhouse Performance, where Thomas Stevens and the crew installed the 6.5-inch front lift kit from BDS Suspension, complete with Fox 2.0 performance shocks. If you haven't seen that story yet, you can check it out here - Installing a 6.5-Inch Lift on a GM 2500HD.

The shadows were getting longer, but we all decided to persevere and knock out the rear of the truck—even though it took us well into the night. The rear kit basically consists of a block and U-bolt kit, except BDS features custom fabricated blocks that are available in 3-, 4-, and 5-inch heights, so you can fine-tune your stance any way you like; we went with the four-inchers. Also included are Fox 2.0 performance shocks for the rear. And finally, we opted for one other really cool upgrade.

Photo 2/25   |   As you may recall, we started with a very clean and bone stock 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4.

BDS Suspension's Recoil system is a spring-loaded, full-floating traction bar engineered to improve traction and limit axle wrap without limiting suspension travel or decreasing ride quality. These traction bars allow you to tune the spring compression for optimal performance on-road, off-road, or towing. Recoil traction bars are fabricated from 2-inch OD x 3/16 wall steel tubing. Total length is 60 inches, and the bars mount to the vehicle using fabricated -inch steel brackets.

Once we got the back half of the 2500HD up to par and installed the Recoil system, we mounted up the Cooper Discovery SST Pro tires in 37x12.50R20LT to the polished 20x9 Guardians from American Force. Soon, we were on our way home. And the next day, we headed to the alignment shop to make sure this Silverado was headed down the road with laser-straight precision, but not before we perform one more mod in the form of a brake upgrade. Check out the final installment of this killer build very soon.

Photo 3/25   |   And in the first installment, we tackled the front end by installing the BDS 6.5-inch lift kit and Fox 2.0 performance shocks. That is where we left off.
Photo 4/25   |   The Recoil traction bars might look like standard bars, but they're not. At the frame end, these bars use a durometer-specific polyurethane bushing that free floats in the traction bar, utilizing dual-stage internal compression springs and UHMW polyurethane bearings. To adjust the spring compression, the supplied spanner wrenches at the axle loosen the jam nut. From there, the main bar can be rotated to load or unload the springs for towing, putting the rubber to the pavement, or making sure you have max travel in off-road situations.
Photo 5/25   |   Of course, there is still the matter of installing the custom 4-inch BDS block kit. Also shown are the front and rear mounts for the Recoil system, the included spanner wrenches, and all of the hardware for both.
Photo 6/25   |   Thomas jumped on the task of mounting the polished 20x9 Guardians from American Force inside the Cooper Discovery SST Pro 37x12.50R20LT tires.
Photo 7/25   |   The rest of us jumped on the task of making the back of this 2500HD match the front.
Photo 8/25   |   First, we removed the stock shocks from the upper and lower mounts.
Photo 9/25   |   Then, with jack stands under both sides of the rear axle, we buzzed off the factory U-bolts.
Photo 10/25   |   From there, we slowly lowered the axle down from the leaf springs.
Photo 11/25   |   When we had the clearance, we popped BDS blocks into place and raised the axle back up. Then we slipped the new U-bolts into place.
Photo 12/25   |   Soon, the new U-bolts were torqued down, and we were ready to move on.
Photo 13/25   |   The Fox 2.0 performance shocks were installed next. They simply bolt into the stock mounts with the factory hardware.
Photo 14/25   |   Our installation of the Recoil mounts begins with marking and drilling the back of the bumpstop pads as per the instructions.
Photo 15/25   |   The mounting bracket is bolted solid to the axle pad, then wraps around the U-bolts and is attached to the axle tube with a smaller U-bolt. Pretty clever, and it's required so the traction bars are dead straight with the frame and leaf springs.
Photo 16/25   |   Lock nuts are used to lock the bracket down on the U-bolt.
Photo 17/25   |   The rear of the bars simply bolt into place in the mounts.
Photo 18/25   |   Up front, we temporarily bolted the mount up to the bar end.
Photo 19/25   |   An existing hole in the frame is drilled open and used to locate the front mount. Then the other two holes were drilled out. But there's a science to getting that bolt into the fully boxed GM frame.
Photo 20/25   |   Here's where it gets interesting. A bolt wire is fished through each hole and out the factory hole above, where each tab bolt is pulled back through and into the hole.
Photo 21/25   |   From there, the mount is secured with the provided hardware, and we bolted the front mount in place. We adjusted the load on the spring to a recommended starting point by turning the bar accordingly, then locking down the nuts in the rear with the provided spanner wrenches.
Photo 22/25   |   We were finally ready to get this Chevy HD back on the ground. Thomas found us some black lugs to contrast with the polished wheels and mounted them up.
Photo 23/25   |   Both the American Force Guardian wheels and Cooper Discovery SST Pro tires feature an aggressive, but not over the top pattern, and the 37 on 20-inch combo is perfect for the mixed highway and off-road use this truck will be seeing.
Photo 24/25   |   With the truck back on its own weight, we bled the brakes, torqued the last of the hardware, and triple checked our work.
Photo 25/25   |   We thanked Thomas and the powerhouse Performance crew for a job well done and hit the road home. But we had one more stop before calling this one done. Stay tuned!

Source Box:

American Force

BDS Suspension

Cooper Tires

Powerhouse Performance


American Force Wheels
Miami, FL
BDS Suspension
Cooper Tire
Findlay, OH
Powerhouse Performance