Project 12-Gauge, Part 1: 2011 Chevy Silverado Suspension Photo Gallery
Locked and Loaded Silverado Thanks to Auto Anything
Harley Camilleri –
Jul 1, 2012
Photo 1/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado bmf Sota Wheels | Project 12-Gauge, Part 1: 2011 Chevy Silverado Suspension
Photo 2/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado bmf Sota Wheels | Four inches of lift may not seem like much, but it's perfect for the enthusiast where multi-weather driving and utilitarian work demands are more important than trying to be a parking lot stud on the weekends. In all, the Silverado did exactly what we hoped it would do and we did it with as little change as possible.
Photo 3/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado before | 1. Behind Street Trenz in El Cajon, California, we took note of the Silverado's heavy forward rake and lack of undercarriage clearance. We'll be changing that ASAP!
Photo 4/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado ready Lift Sst Kit | 2. We like simple, and the Ready Lift SST (PN: 69-3285, $939.95) suspension system was just that. At the heart of the system was a steel strut spacer and DOM tubular upper control arm. The heavy-duty control arm featured OEM-style ball joints pre-pressed into a crown that retained OEM geometry throughout the suspension cycle and provided additional clearance for increased suspension travel. To lift the rear of the Silverado, this SST system included 3-inch OEM-style cast-iron rear lift blocks and U-bolts with shock extenders to retain the great factory ride. The U-bolt nuts did not make the picture, but this is all you need to add four inches of front and 1-3/4 inches of rear lift to your '07-'12 Silverado or Sierra two-wheel-drive.
Photo 5/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado strut Removed | 3. With the front brake caliper removed, sway bar disconnected, and outer tie rod unbolted, Dan Reed went ahead and broke the spindle free from the upper control arm. After removing the three top nuts and two bottom bolts, the strut assembly was pulled free and the upper control arm was unbolted from the truck.
Photo 6/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado ready Lift Control Arms | 4. It was necessary to lubricate and assemble the bushings into the Ready Lift control arms before mounting them in the Silverado using the stock hardware. The control arms came with the ball joints already pressed into place.
Photo 7/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado ready Lift Strut Spacer | 5. Ready Lift does not require doing anything besides bolting its strut spacer onto the spring hat and reinstalling the assembly into the truck. No alterations were made to the coil spring (like a preload spacer) that would alter the impressive ride.
Photo 8/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado upper Control Arm Ball Joint | 6. New hardware was supplied in the kit, so Dan attached the upper control arm's ball joint to the factory spindle.
Photo 9/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado front Suspension | 7. This system really went into place quickly and had us eager to finish up the rear lift to see how the new stance would look.
Photo 10/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado lower Shock Bolt | 8. Dan removed the lower shock bolt first to allow the shock to hang freely from the top mount. Once the upper bolt was removed, the Ready Lift spacer was slipped into position and everything was bolted back together.
Photo 11/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado rear Block | 9. Adding the necessary lift to the rear was done with a cast block and U-bolts that replaced the original smaller block that GM uses. Again, no modifications were done to the factory leafsprings.
Photo 12/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado bmf Sota Wheels | 10. The new wheels and tires made a dramatic improvement to the Chevy. The Falkens will be smooth and quiet on the highway while providing plenty of grip off road, and the BMF black machined S.O.T.A wheels will scare the ducks into giving up with or without any firearms. Keeping with the form meets function philosophy, this duo doesn't make any compromises.
Photo 13/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Research Step | 11. It may seem trivial to use steps on a mildly lifted truck, but we wanted to keep the truck as user friendly as possible, especially when our truck is driving around town. AMP Research products were easy to install and will provide a long life of operation if not damaged.
Photo 14/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Bedstep2 | 12. AMP's BedStep 2 (PN: 75400-01A, $217.28) is strong and rugged and is ingeniously designed as a nonslip step, which quickly flips down to provide a faster, easier, and safer way to load or unload your pickup's cargo. The BedStep mounts under the rear bumper so it works even with an open tailgate or trailer hitch.can be mounted on either the driver or passenger side depending on the owner's choice. We went with the passenger side by orienting the main attachment blocks accordingly.
Photo 15/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado rivet Nut Drilling | 13. Helping create the necessary strength to hold up to 300 pounds is a bracket that runs to the frame. A hole required being drilled to accept a Rivet Nut threaded insert included with the BedStep 2.
Photo 16/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Bedstep2 Bracket | 14. Once Dan had the Rivet Nut in place, the bracket simply bolted right to it.
Photo 17/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado mounting Blocks | 15. You can see how the multiple mounting blocks and the step's pivoting arm sandwich the frame bracket.
Photo 18/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Powersteps U Nuts | 16. Moving onto the PowerSteps (PN: 75126-01A, $1,114.95), we first inserted these U-nuts into holes already in the Chevy's rocker panel.
Photo 19/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Powersteps Pivoting Arms | 17. An aluminum block sandwiching the rocker pinch molding and the U-nuts provide a more than sturdy place to mount the PowerStep's pivoting arms.
Photo 20/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Powersteps Power Cable | 18. Physically mounting the steps was very straightforward. The most difficult portion of the steps' installation was running the proper wires to actuate the steps as the doors are opened and closed.
Photo 21/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Powersteps | 19. Looking at the passenger side of the truck with both the electric PowerStep and manual BedStep 2 extended, it becomes plain to see how useful these accessories can be for your work or play truck.
Photo 22/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado amp Bedstep | 20. Out back, the Amp BedStep (PN: 75300-01A, $193.03) was even more of a necessity, as hopping into the bed through the open tailgate was a bit of chore before the suspension height addition.
Photo 23/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado extend A Flender Flare | 21. Although a full camouflage wrap was planned for the truck, it was still decided that keeping mud and filth from being splashed down the sides of the truck was a necessity. Extend-A-Fender flares from Bushwacker (PN: 40925-02, $386.88) provided just the right coverage while still retaining a factory appearance.
Photo 24/24 | 2011 Chevy Silverado fender Installation | 22. The flares were a no drill installation using self-adhesive tape and factory screws in the front fenders. In the rear fenders, Bushwacker supplied clips and screws to retain its flares. Again, installation was very basic and we gained 1 3/4-inch of coverage with little physical exertion.