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  1. #1
    Master Mechanic
    Dirty Dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Regina Saskatchewan Canada
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    Default Lifting Your Truck (part 2) body lift

    Hey everyone welcome back
    Today we will start with the aspects of putting a body lift on your truck.
    There are a few reasons why some one would want to put a body lift on a truck, lifting the body from the frame. I think the biggest reason is to accommodate Larger tires, and suspension lifts, looks also is a big part of this body lift thing. In the past most of the body lifts i have done have been strictly for clearance, and this one is the same.

    let me start like this, with the new trucks it is a little more sophisticated due to air bag sensors and modern technology, it is not such a straight forward, unbolt lift and separate body from frame, block with hockey pucks and install new longer body bolts....
    Keep in mind that you are dramatically changing the centre of gravity on your truck, and as the suspension lift you will need to relearn your driving practises.
    I can only Stress that the body lift and the suspension lift will be like driving a totally different truck when completed...!!! please use with caution and drive safely....Click image for larger version. 

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    Ok on to the kit itself, we will be working with a 3 inch body lift from Performance Accessories, receive the kit and lay out on the shop floor to make sure all the parts and pieces are there. This Kit (kit #10223) was designed to fit a 2008 Colorado.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39370 Once you have determined that all the parts are there its time for the tear down.It also helps to completely read your step by step instructions provided with the kit, from cover to cover, make sure you have all the tools, rigging and parts/shop supplies needed.

    The tear down... First and most important step is to remove the fuse for the air bag controller, in your main fuse box, then tie your steering wheel into a position where your front wheels are pointed straight ahead.( your seat belt usually works for this by looping through the wheel and connecting to latch. both of these steps are important to your air safety system...
    Now remove the neg wire from your win Battery posts...
    We started with the front clip removing and unplugging everything along the way, we also loosened or undid all wire clips /ties and tubing mounting from the inside of the fender walls to assure no stretching or bending of anything during the lifting of the body off the frame. On a 3 inch kit this should be good enough, anything over three inches you will need to extend wires and tubing..
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    Ok on to the rear of the truck same steps apply back here, don't for get to remove the retaining screw for the fuel filler tube and the ground line to this tube, Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39378 Well we made that sound easy and for the most part it is just very time consuming ...
    Once the tear down is complete its time to rig the body for lifting, we used a combo of over head come alongs and a transmission jack and a sort chunk of 2x4 wood blocking... you can use a pot jack or floor jack, just remember your lifting safety and when the body is lifted keep your digits from between the frame and body, and they will still be your digits when the lift is complete..

    We are ready to unbolt the body from the frame.........

    Will be back latter to post some more......

  2. #2
    Master Mechanic
    Dirty Dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Regina Saskatchewan Canada
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    THere are two ways of lifting the cab from the frame, that we use here in the shop, we will be using a side by side lift here in this post, It is something anyone can do with minimal equipment, and very little chance for errors.
    So a side by side life, start by loosening the drivers side body bolts, until there are around 5 threads or so remaining attached, then remove the passenger side bolts completely. Use a floor jack or equivalent to raise the right side of the cab 3&1/4 inches, this will provide you with enough room to install body blocks in-between the frame and the cab. Start the new longer body bolts around 5 or 6 threads but leave them as loose as you can. Now remove the drivers side body bolts and repeat the same steps on the drivers side. Your cab is now lifted 3 inches, snug all the body bolts up, and lets move on too the box. this method of lifting the cab and box will work on lifts up to 4 inches, any thing over that should be done, by lifting both sides evenly at the same time.
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ID:	39456During the lifting it is good to have a spotter or two , watching the truck in the engine compartment and the underside, to make sure there is nothing being bent or stretched, listen carefully as you will hear something going wrong before you actually will see it.

    Once you have the cab sitting on all 6 or 8 blocks(depending on your truck) you can snug all the body bolts up, do not torque yet, we will do that after the box has been lifted..
    Use the same steps on the box of the truck watching for clearance between the cab, and box on the way up. we used a different lift method for the box, they tend to be lighter and have been known to shift during the lift, so we use a small come along hoist and actually hang the box instead of the floor jack, this giving us total control of the movement of the box during the lift...
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    Ok there will be some space blocks that will need to be mounted where the body rested on the frame, these will very in numbers and placement depending on your truck. find these locations and mount blocks to the frame only. once these are in place torque down the body bolts to manufacture specs.

    We now have the entire body lifted and blocked, torqued down....
    whats left? front and rear bumpers, lowering the rad, tying back all wires hoses , fuel filler and a few more little things,,,
    will be back later to show you the bumpers.

    As we intend to be able to tow a small trailer with this truck we will be varying the bumper instal on this lift.....

  3. #3

    mfleetwood's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Denver, CO
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    Lookin' good so far....can't wait to see the final pics!

    Mike (Denver, CO) - 2008 Sierra 1500 Z71 SLE 5.3L 4WD

    SUSPENSION: Rancho 4" Suspension Lift; Rancho RS9000XL Shocks; Rancho Skid Plates; Rancho MyRide Wireless Shock Controller;
    BFG All Terrain KO 315/70/17
    DRIVE TRAIN: 4.56 Gears; Detroit TrueTrac Differential; True Cool 40k Transmission Cooler
    PERFORMANCE: DiableSport Predator Tuner; Custom Tuned by Diablew; Magnaflow Exhaust; AFE Cold Air Intake
    ELECTRONICS: Kenwood DNX6180 Touchscreen; Subthump box w/10" Kicker; Driver Information Center (DIC); Rear View Camera
    ACCESSORIES: Westin Brush/Grill Gaurd; Westin Nerf Bars; Truxedo Tonneau; 20% Tint; Tow Mirrors w/Heat & Signals

  4. #4


    Good stuff man. Thanks for the lift tutorial.
    Please Tell Your Boobs To Quit Staring At My Eyes

  5. #5
    Master Mechanic
    Dirty Dog's Avatar
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    Regina Saskatchewan Canada
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    Ok on to the Rear Bumper, the first thing i noticed when i did my pre read of the instructions, was that once this kit was installed towing was not an option.
    This was no good, Not that this particular build is going to tow more then a Skido, or jet ski, we need it to tow. So with a little ingenuity and the parts provided, we installed this kit so it could tow...(note, this truck was equipt. with stock tow bumper 2" receiver)

    Ok slide the bumper back into the frame, no need to bolt it in any time soon, we will leave it loose for the next several steps, this enabling us to fit the bumper as many time as needed, with relative ease. After we get our modifations close we will have to tighten the bumper to the frame to do the tweaking, of our custom bumper.
    Strip down the bumper itself, so you are left with just the structural part of your bumper.Click image for larger version. 

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    We will build up from here, be careful as you lift and lower the bumper to adjust and trim, not to scratch the paint, as each time you build add and trim you will be bringing the bumper closer to a perfect fit..
    this kit was very nice, offering both strength, and durability with very little weight.... so follow the pics along to the finish. it is really just up down trim and fudge till you get the fit you want..Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39480 You should have a helper around for this as lifting and lowering can be difficult at times,,, but you could put that helper to use , and get them to install the new tail lights
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ID:	39485Ok a couple tips, by leaving the chrome pieces loosely fastened you can fin tune the gap by tightening down in different orders, as usually there is some torque, and spring to them and by tightening in different order you can manipulate the final fit...... be back later with the front bumper...
    Last edited by Dirty Dog; 05-15-2012 at 05:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Master Mechanic
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    Mar 2012
    Regina Saskatchewan Canada
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    Hey welcome Back every one, sorry have been away for a day or so the real world got in the way a bit. Lets recap a little here before we start the Front Bumper. Our goal with this build is to have a stock/ or as close to stock vehicle with a 6" total lift, I know that sounds off but it is our goal. when fitting the rear bumper we lifted and set in place no less then twenty times during the fitting process. We had plenty of trimming and grinding on both the bumper frame and the cosmetic bumper skin. we only take a little off each trim or grind, as it is only common sense that it is easier to trim more off, then it would be to fill gaps.
    The front bumper turned out to be less of an ordeal as we could use more of the provided parts and instructions from the kit, as we will not be using the tow hooks on the front, we did however make them as strong as possible, but still not as strong as the stock set up.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39654There was some trimming required to allow for the tow hooks and frame, but only on the plastic moving for the front, we could have got away with less if we removed the tow hooks. But our goal was to make look as close to stock as possible. Which we achieved with great success....
    Now we have the truck lifted, and the front and rear bumpers attached and torqued in, we still have to make this truck function. dropping the rad so it lines up with the fan is the most important step. Your kit will provide you with some drop mounts, you will have to cut away some of the rad support frame to accommodate these brackets. Once you have mounted these brackets replace the rad and secure it with the top drop bracket, and replace all the fan shrouding, trans cooler pipe works and rad hoses. You will find pics of these steps in your instructions and they will be posted at the end of this thread.
    Your steering extension can be added at this time, make sure you line up the marks you made before the tear down and install the extender.
    the Air conditioner rad/ condenser now needs to be remounted to the rad support frame, as we have dropped the rad , along with the stock mounts, a few holes will be need to be drilled to accommodate the new mounting brackets.Click image for larger version. 

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    Ok now its time to back throughout the engine compartment and reinstall all and any wire clips or hose brackets, that were removed during the tear down, On this lift (3") everything fit back into the stock location, if you are lifting higher some extensions or rerouting may be required.
    The Stock air Box is required to be lifted about two inches, we opted out of this step as the next mod up for this truck will be a cold air induction kit.
    the engine compartment is now complete, you can now unsecured the steering wheel and test for clearance through out the full steering movement.

    We only have a few items left to modify before we can go for a test drive, the Gas filler/breather lines this is a simple procedure shown in the pics below, not much to explain on this.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	39660 then re install the filler set in truck , and remember to re attach grounding wire

    The Nerf Bars will be the last thing needed to be modified as they are a little long on the front end and will not line up to the factory mounts, simply remove the end caps and trim 1/2 inch from the front of the bars we used a band saw, but a large pipe cutter or zip disk will work just as well.
    Last edited by Dirty Dog; 05-18-2012 at 12:09 PM.

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