Photo 2/32 | Eibach Suspension Install 2010 Chevy Tahoe Before | 1. Before: Our 100 percent stock 2010 Tahoe was looking pretty sad and the ride was far from sporty. With the right parts and some handtools, we're going to change all of that.
Photo 3/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Nuts From Strut Mounting Plate | 2. With the Tahoe securely resting on jackstands and the wheels off, we began the install by removing the three 18mm nuts on top of the strut mounting plate.
Photo 4/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Sway Bar Endlink Nut | 3. Using a 15mm wrench, the sway bar endlink nut was removed so the lower control arm would have more droop.
Photo 5/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Outer Tie Rod End | 4. In order to remove the outer tie-rod end, we had to use a 21mm wrench for the nut and a 10mm wrench to keep the threaded end from spinning.
Photo 6/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Upper Ball Joint Nut | 5. Again using an 18mm wrench, we removed the upper ball joint nut and then gave the spindle a few whacks with a hammer to relieve the tension. By separating the upper ball joint from the spindle, the entire spindle and lower control arm assembly will move easily and provide the necessary clearance for the strut to be pulled free.
Photo 7/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Unbolting Lower Strut Mounting Bolts | 6. We could then unbolt the lower strut mounting bolts and pull the strut/coil spring assembly out as one unit.
Photo 8/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Eastwood Three Poeition Coil Spring Compressor | 7. At this point, we got out our Eastwood three-position coil spring compressor (PN: 49016, $49.99 at eastwood.com). Unlike most coil spring compressors that utilize two large threaded bolts, the Eastwood unit incorporates three 5/8-inch threaded rods that create equal tension across the coil spring.
Photo 9/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Tightening Down Coil Spring | 8. Using a large 24mm socket with a �-inch ratchet and a crescent wrench, the Eastwood coil spring compressor was tightened down. It's important to note that each threaded bolt was tightened a few turns at a time and then rotated to ensure proper tension. This kept the bolts from flexing and stripping. It took a little time to get the spring to compress enough to remove the strut, but it saved us money and a trip to a mechanic's shop.
Photo 10/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Eibach Springs Struts And Shocks | 9. We were now ready to begin reassembly. For this Tahoe, we wanted a comfortable yet sporty ride, so we ordered every Eibach part available for the SUV. As shown, we'll be adding new progressive lowering springs (PN: 38156.540, $289.95 at autoanything.com) and front struts and rear shocks that are specifically engineered to work together (PN: 381706.840, $447.95 at autoanything.com).
Photo 11/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Original Coil Spring Mounting Cup | 10. Reassembly began by removing the original coil spring mounting cup from the factory strut, sliding on the retaining ring, and then sliding on the factory cup onto the new Eibach strut.
Photo 12/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Placing Bumpstop | 11. After we swapped over the metal bumpstop cap onto the new strut, the included shorter strut bumpstop was slid into place.
Photo 13/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Coil Spring Comparison 1 | 12. The new Eibach coil spring (bottom) was definitely shorter than the factory spring and we were excited to see the lowering kit installed on the Tahoe.
Photo 14/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Tightening Eibach Coil Spring | 13. Using the Eastwood coil spring compressor, the Eibach coil spring was diligently tightened down a few turns at a time. There was no need to be in a hurry, as the new spring requires even more strength to compress it.
Photo 15/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Thread Pitch Comparison | 14. It was at this point we ran into our first snag. The new Eibach strut assembly (bottom) had a different thread pitch than the factory strut (and Eibach does not include hardware with the struts). You can also see there is an unthreaded shank on the Eibach unit that the factory did not have. Because of these two problems, the new strut would not fit into the factory strut mounting plate.
Photo 16/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Lock Nut | 15. A quick trip to the local hardware store netted us the new 12x1.75mm lock nut and solid spacer needed to fill in the unthreaded shank area. We were also forced to place the strut mounting plate into a drill press and drill out the hole so the strut would properly fit into the plate. Thankfully, we had the right tools in the garage.
Photo 17/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Placing Eibach Strut | 16. With the new strut and new coil springs assembled, we reused the factory hardware and installed the Eibach strut.
Photo 18/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Spc Alignment Cams | 17. As we mentioned, we ordered all the necessary parts to make our Tahoe handle and ride at its best. Part of that order included these trick SPC alignment cams (PN: 5.86375K, $66.95 at autoanything.com).
Photo 19/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Placing Alignment Cams | 18. Providing 1.5 to -1.5 camber and caster, these alignment cams will ensure our truck gets dialed in to factory specs. What this means to you is a better ride, true steering wheel direction, and even tire wear.
Photo 20/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Eibach Antiroll Sway Bar Kit | 19. Lowering a truck or SUV will help it handle better thanks to a lowered center of gravity, but to get the most out of your truck or SUV, bigger sway bars are a must. To keep body roll at bay, we ordered Eibach's antiroll sway bar kit for the front and rear (PN: 38106.320, $441.95 at autoanything.com).
Photo 21/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removed Sway Bar Mounting Bolts | 20. Our first step was to use a 10mm socket to remove the two sway bar mounting bolts on each side. We could then apply the included grease to the new 38mm Eibach sway bar, polyurethane bushing, and factory mounting bracket.
Photo 22/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Bolted Anitroll Bar | 21. This was by far the easiest part of the install, as the bar simply bolted right up. The endlinks were then reattached and the rest of the front suspension tightened down.
Photo 23/32 | Eibach Suspension Install New Coil Springs Alignment Cams And Anitroll Bar | 22. As you can see, the front of the Tahoe now features new coil springs, new struts, new alignment cams, and a new antiroll bar. Performance handling was in our future.
Photo 24/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Rear Endlink Nut | 23. We could now move to the rear suspension. Having a floorjack at the ready is key for the rear, as it's easiest to do one side a time. In order to remove the rear endlink nut, an Allen socket was used to keep the threaded end from spinning and an 18mm wrench used to remove the nut.
Photo 25/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Removing Coil Spring | 24. Using a floorjack to lift up the passenger-side axle, we removed the shock and then had some slack on the coil spring so it could be removed.
Photo 26/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Coil Spring Comparison 2 | 25. The new Eibach progressive coil spring (top) is engineered to drop the rear 3 inches, while providing a quality ride.
Photo 27/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Placing Eibach Progressive Coil Spring | 26. Being that the coil spring was shorter, we had a much easier time sliding it into place. It's important for us to not leave out the rubber isolator on the new coil spring to avoid any squeaks.
Photo 28/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Cut Factory Bumpstop | 27. Per the Eibach instructions, we measured and marked the factory bumpstop and used a saw to cut it. This will provide the extra clearance needed for the lowered ride height.
Photo 29/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Placing Eibach Shock | 28. The new Eibach shock was then installed into the factory location.
Photo 30/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Rear Antiroll Sway Bar | 29. Just like the front, the rear sway bar went on without any hassle. The rear suspension was now complete and ready to return a whole new driving experience to the Tahoe. With the SUV back down on the ground, we measured the drop kit and were disappointed when the tape measure revealed only a 15/16-inch front drop and 2�-inch rear drop. We were hoping for a full 2-inch front and 3-inch rear drop, but even after letting the spring settle, our measurements did not change. However, the Tahoe was one of the best riding and handling lowered vehicles we've completed after receiving an alignment.
Photo 31/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Gianelle Wheel | 30. Our wheels of choice were 24x10-inch Gianelle Yerevan with a machined black face and chromed stainless steel lips. These wheels give the Tahoe an exotic, European look, which is a nice change of pace from the typical chrome wheels seen on so many SUVs. To get the most out of our new suspension, we wrapped those Gianelle wheels in 285/35R24 Nitto NT420S tires. We'll show you the DIY Baer brakes install that you can see peering from the Gianelle wheels in a future issue .
Photo 32/32 | Eibach Suspension Install Cover Photo | One day of wrenchin' in the driveway had our Tahoe looking good and handling like a much smaller, much sportier SUV. The Gianelle wheels and Nitto tires gave the Chevy a European flair, which we think sets the Tahoe apart from the norm.