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Lifting Your Truck (part 2) body lift

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by Dirty Dog, May 14, 2012.

  1. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    :glasses: 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.... IMG_0513.jpg

    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. IMG_0541.jpg IMG_0542.jpg 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..
    IMG_0512.jpg IMG_0514.jpg IMG_0515.jpg IMG_0518.jpg IMG_0519.jpg

    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, IMG_0520.jpg IMG_0521.jpg 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......
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    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.
    IMG_0523.jpg IMG_0525.jpg IMG_0527.jpg IMG_0528.jpg IMG_0526.jpg During 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...
    IMG_0535.jpg IMG_0534.jpg IMG_0533.jpg IMG_0532.jpg IMG_0537.jpg

    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. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Lookin' good so far....can't wait to see the final pics!
  4. osgprometheus

    osgprometheus New Member 100 Posts

    Good stuff man. Thanks for the lift tutorial.
  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    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. IMG_0552.jpg IMG_0551.jpg

    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.. IMG_0539.jpg IMG_0552.jpg IMG_0549.jpg IMG_0557.jpg IMG_0555.jpg 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
    IMG_0566.jpg IMG_0567.jpg IMG_0581.jpg IMG_0582.jpg IMG_0607.jpg Ok 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: May 15, 2012
  6. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    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. IMG_0583.jpg IMG_0584.jpg IMG_0585.jpg IMG_0586.jpg IMG_0587.jpg There 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. IMG_0642.jpg IMG_0643.jpg

    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. IMG_0572.jpg IMG_0573.jpg IMG_0575.jpg 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: May 18, 2012
  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    The finished product and recap

    IMG_0568.jpg IMG_0569.jpg Ok Folks after installing the Nerf bars we are done, all thats left is to run the truck through some test paces to rattle it around and check our torques.

    Remember our goal was to gain wheel clearance to accommodate full suspension travel, while maintaining a stock look over all, after reviewing the truck we achieved this goal with great success... here are some of the finished product picks. IMG_0602.jpg IMG_0566.jpg IMG_0567.jpg IMG_0623.jpg IMG_0634.jpg

    We will be scanning the actual installation instructions and torque values as in our previous posts on this truck, so you all will be able to follow along, with the small details. We will also be posting a video of this mod, although right now it is still in production.

    I took the truck for a test drive the other night while we were shooting some video, and my opinion of this lift both suspension and body lift, has in no way affected the handling of this truck, it is stable and sure footed, and having a little experience in driving off road i would have very few reservations on driving the Lucky Penny Colorado on the trail, or track. it held its own in high speed turns, and through the mogles of our testing run. On the high way it has more wind resistance then the stock truck but this can only be expected, it handles smooth and sure both on road and off.
    We also maintained the stock appearance of the truck, minding that we added 6 1/2 inches of lift from the ground and 9 1/2 inches from the drivers seat to the ground...
    I will recommend this lift kit to anyone, DIY or Shop, it was complete and easy to work with and gave its the results we were looking for..
    Be back later with the manual and a video of the procedure and a test drive....
  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

  9. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    HP0039.jpg HP0031.jpg HP0032.jpg
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  10. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog New Member Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    having some troubles loading the last pages of the manual 18,19,20,21,22,23,24, not sure why yet, will figure out tonight when i get home.
    If you would like to check out the extend raw footage cut of the video stop by my profile the link is in messages, you can leave your comments there, if you wish....

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