2003 Chevy Silverado Stock Floor Body Drop - Low Job
How To Body-Drop Your Silverado The New-Skool Way
When you absolutely, positively, undoubtedly have to own the lowest truck on the block, accept no substitutes because a body drop is the only answer. It's one thing to set your truck up with an adjustable suspension system that allows you to ram the framerails into the tarmac at will, but it will never unleash the unbridled joy that comes with tuckin' a ton of rim and lugnut that only a body drop can deliver. Channeling or body-dropping the bed and cab of your truck down over the framerails several inches is the epitome of custom truck building, a modification that requires near complete disassembly of your ride, hacking the floor out of it and welding it all back together. It's definitely a mod that requires total commitment because once it's done, it's tough to undo. Body drops are not for the faint of heart, weary of warranty, or mechanically inept. Those of you who are handy with a MIG welder and associated handtools should have no problem performing a body drop using a little common sense, a tape measure, and this article as a guide.
We'll assume that if you're contemplating a body drop your truck already lays framerail with ease. This is something that needs to happen before you break out the plasma cutter or Sawzall and start cutting the sheetmetal on your ride. Getting your truck as flat on the pavement as possible beforehand will decrease the number of inches you'll have to body-drop your truck in order to get the rockers on the pavement. Keep in mind that the smaller the body drop, the more comfortable your truck will be to drive afterward.
Decades ago, hot rodders pioneered the art of channeling the body of their cars down over the framerails by raising the sections of floor directly above the framerails. Then, by lowering the body mounts, the body could be reinstalled onto the framerails several inches lower than stock. In the early '90s, mini-truckers took this modification to a new low (pun, definitely intended) by cutting the entire floor of their truck's cab loose from the rocker panels, rear cab wall, and firewall, raising it upward several inches, and then welding it permanently back into place. Those diehard mini-truckers made the mod their own and called it a body drop. A traditional body drop will literally decrease the amount of headroom and legroom inside the cab of your truck, and consequently make it less comfortable to drive. The same goes for the bed, too. If you have a tonneau cover and still want to pack the bed full of gear, then keep in mind that the depth of the cargo area will decrease substantially following a body drop.
There are other ways to achieve the same level of low that a traditional body drop or channel job will deliver and gain some much-needed interior comfort. It's commonly referred to as a "stock floor" body drop, and while the name doesn't exactly ring true (the floor is still modified in several areas), it's still a viable option that is quickly gaining popularity within today's custom truck crowd. Certain variations of the stock floor body drop entail lowering the cab mounts and sectioning the framerails of the truck to allow the cab to sit lower than it did when stock. Additionally, the driveline tunnel is raised upward so that when the cab is set downward in its new position on the chassis, the driveshaft has room to move about when the suspension is raised and lowered. The main benefit of a stock floor body drop is that unlike a traditional body drop, a major portion of the floor remains intact and this translates into a more comfortable driving experience. Also, you won't have that ugly step up into the cab, which is visible when the doors are open, that comes with a traditional body drop.
Sadistic Iron Werks of Hesperia, California, snapped these photos of their favorite way to lay a fullsize Chevy's rockers on the pavement. If you want to get technical, you could label this method as a combination channel/stock floor body drop. There is enough gap between the floor and framerails of 2000-and-later fullsize Chevy pickups to lower the cab mounts 1-7/8 inches without modifying the framerails. The only other major mod needed is to channel four small sections of the cab floor 3/4 inch to allow the cab to sit back down onto the cab mounts, after they are lowered 2-1/2 inches. From the inside of the truck, you can barely even tell the floor has been modified beneath the carpet. Also, unlike a traditional body drop, all of the interior paneling fits right back into place without modification. Without a doubt, this is probably the easiest and cleanest way to drop the cab of a fullsize Chevy and maintain driving comfort. The bed floor of this Chevy was raised 6 inches and then bolted back onto the frame atop 3-1/2-inch spacers. This puts the bed at the same level as the cab, while eliminating the need for any holes in the floor for the step notch in the framerails. Whatever you call it and however you achieve it, a body drop is the ultimate low and this is just one clean way of performing one. There's no doubt there are a hundred other ways to do it, so check out the photos and use Sadistic's tips to perform your own low job.
Sadistic Iron WerksHesperia, CA 92345