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  • Finalizing a Custom Lifted Suspension with Atlas Spring, Hellwig, EBC Brakes, Fuel Wheels & General Tires

Finalizing a Custom Lifted Suspension with Atlas Spring, Hellwig, EBC Brakes, Fuel Wheels & General Tires

Project Over/Under, 2003 Chevy Silverado: Part 7.5

Sep 11, 2020
When we left off last month, we were well on our way to finally getting our '03 Silverado to a proper ride height. We were performing the work at New Century Tire in Westminster, California, a shop that has been a great partner to Truckin for 15 years. We quickly tore down the front end before the laborious task of rebuilding the factory lower control arms—one of the very few front-end parts we were reusing. Then we hung the Bulletproof Suspension upper control arms and fabricated spindles in place along with the new coils and Fox shocks. We bolted on the new hubs from LMC Truck before wrapping up.
There's a whole lot more to do before we drive out of here, starting with wrapping up the front end. We started by adding the EBC Brakes anodized black rotors and Orange Stuff brake pads to the cleaned-up factory calipers and also added the G&J Aircraft steel-braided brake lines used by Bulletproof. We also added the Moog inner and outer tie rods from LMC and beefed them up with a pair of sleeves from ReadyLift. Out back, we ditched the stock leaf pack for an overland-specific set of springs from Atlas, followed by more EBC components, and a pair of Fox reservoir shocks. Finally, we bolted on a set of billet adapters from Wheel Adapters USA so we could complete the HD look and bolt up the eight-lug Podium wheels from Fuel Off-Road. Once they were mated to the General Grabber ATX tires, we hit the alignment rack and headed straight to the desert for some testing and photos.
More on This Project!
Installing a Viper Alarm, JL Audio, and a Custom Subwoofer Enclosure in our Standard Cab Silverado
Project Over/Under: Part 8 - Gearing Up with Nitro Gear & Axle
Project Over/Under: Part 9- Adding Dual Batteries and a High-Output Alternator
We're nearly done with Project Over/Under, but there are still a few loose ends. Check out our completion of the lift below, stay tuned for the next installment, and explore the entire build at truckin.com.
Photo 2/40   |   2003 Chevy Silverado Project Over Under Part 7.5
Photo 3/40   |   Last month, we started with a previously untouched front suspension. It was ready for a complete rebuild.
Photo 4/40   |   We got all the old parts stripped away, did a bunch of cleaning, rebuilt the lower control arms with LMC components, and bolted up the Bulletproof-fabricated spindles, springs, and upper control arms.
Photo 5/40   |   We still have quite a few parts left to add to the Bulletproof kit to fully update our 15-year-old Chevy. We ordered up a beefy new sway bar with all the hardware from Hellwig.
Photo 6/40   |   EBC is always a great resource for upgraded rotors and pads for any truck we're working on. We ordered up black-anodized drilled and slotted rotors along with EBC's extreme-duty Orange Stuff pads.
Photo 7/40   |   We were super excited to work with Atlas Suspension to try out its Expedition packs. Essentially two springs in one, this leaf spring is a progressive two-stage pack. All the features of Atlas' off-road Progressive Pack are included with this design, but with an additional load-carrying second stage that assists with towing and hauling.
Photo 8/40   |   We really wanted to complete our HD look with a set of eight-lug wheels, so a set of adapters was required. We didn't take that lightly and searched for strong, slim, U.S.-made adapters. The billet setup we found from Wheel Adapters USA fit the bill perfectly.
Photo 9/40   |   The 18x9 satin black Fuel Podium wheels were the simple but aggressive wheel we needed for this project.
Photo 10/40   |   We recently tested the General Grabber ATX and were plenty happy with the results. So much so that we ordered up a set for our project in 35x12.50R18s.
Photo 11/40   |   The factory sway bar was still hanging around, so we made quick work of getting rid of it.
Photo 12/40   |   Next to go were the worn-out tie rods. First the outers, then the inners.
Photo 13/40   |   With the new hubs in place on the new spindles, we popped on the EBC rotors and the caliper bracket.
Photo 14/40   |   After a little lube and the Orange Stuff pads, we slipped the caliper in place and bolted it down. The steel braided line was bolted up, too.
Photo 15/40   |   The other end of the line was connected to the stock location.
Photo 16/40   |   With the new inner tie rod connected to the rack, we then threaded the ReadyLift sleeve into place.
Photo 17/40   |   Then the outer tie rod was threaded into place before it was installed on the spindle.
Photo 18/40   |   Jose hoisted the Hellwig sway bar into place and bolted it down with the new mounts and end links.
Photo 19/40   |   The last item to go on up front is the bumpstop drop-down bracket. It actually provides a stop for downward and upward motion.
Photo 20/40   |   After one hole is drilled out, two bolts hold the bracket in place on the frame.
Photo 21/40   |   Finally, the total rebuild of the front end is a wrap. Quite a difference from where we started. Now we turned our attention to the rear.
Photo 22/40   |   Jose jumped right in by removing the stock rear shocks.
Photo 23/40   |   With a jack supporting the rearend, the stock U-bolts are removed.
Photo 24/40   |   The front and rear eye bolts are removed, and the factory leaf spring is tossed.
Photo 25/40   |   After droping the axle down about 4.5 inches, the new Atlas spring, complete with military wrap, is set in place.
Photo 26/40   |   One corner at a time, we reinstalled the eye bolts.
Photo 27/40   |   Then we reinstalled the U-bolts right over the Atlas springs. They could be reused since we weren't adding a block.
Photo 28/40   |   The Fox Racing reservoir shocks were next up. We simply bolted the top portion into place. Then we bolted the reservoir to the shock body using the supplied bracket.
Photo 29/40   |   We removed the stock brakes next and cleaned up and painted the calipers.
Photo 30/40   |   No sooner were the old rotors off, than the EBC rotors were back on. Then the caliper bracket went on and the pads were loaded in.
Photo 31/40   |   A little lube for the backside of the pad, and the calipers were bolted up.
Photo 32/40   |   At this point, the back end is done and ready to set back on the ground.
Photo 33/40   |   Once the rear was on the ground, Jose bolted up the lower shock mounts, then did a final torqueing of all the bolts.
Photo 34/40   |   The non-threaded part of the studs had to be trimmed before the hubs would fit. Then we bolted up the inside section using Loctite and torqueing to spec.
Photo 35/40   |   We bolted the outside section to the inside using the provided bolts, along with more Loctite and proper torqueing.
Photo 36/40   |   Jose jumped on the mounting and balancing and knocked out our 35s in a matter of minutes.
Photo 37/40   |   Balancing was also a cinch. We even had one wheel that balanced perfectly with no added weights.
Photo 38/40   |   It was the moment we've been waiting for months: bolting a proper-sized tire on our project.
Photo 39/40   |   The last stop was the alignment rack. We were curious as to how hard the truck would be to align with all the new parts, but the New Century Tire crew knocked it out in no time. After a final testdrive, we hit the road for the desert.
Photo 40/40   |   After several months, and working from the inside out, we finally present to you: Project Over/Under! And we're happy to say we immediately broke the truck in with a weekend of camping and cruising trails in the SoCal desert. We still have a few stories to go, but we couldn't be happier with the results so far!


Atlas Suspension
Bulletproof Suspensions
Mentone, CA
EBC Brakes
Las Vegas, NV
Fox Factory
Fuel Offroad Wheels
Rancho Dominguez, CA
General Tire
Charlotte, NC
LMC Truck
Lenexa, KS
New Century Tire
Westminster, CA
Wheel Adapters, USA