Body Lift kit
unbolting coil spring from a gmc truck
marking coil location on a spring perch
compressing a vehicle coil spring
close up of spacer on a coil over suspension
removing the grille of a GMC truck
unbolting steering shaft coupler
body mount being installed on a lifted truck
steering extension bracket installed
bumper relocation bracket installed
parking brake cable extension bracket
bracket mounted to vehicle frame
grinding and cutting weld on a bracket
drilling hole in a metal bracket
close up view of a bumper bracket
man installing bumper onto a truck
Body Lift Kit
coil spring and shock on a gmc late model truck

The Premium Lift System from Performance Accessories comes with nylon reinforced body blocks, bumper brackets, hardware and Gap Guards. Everything you need to install this system yourself in 6-8 hours.

The leveling portion requires removal of the factory coil/spring unit from the body. You’ll have to remove the top mount bolts, bottom shock bolts, tie-rod, spindle bolt and sway bar end links.

To ensure the coil spring goes back correctly on the spring perch, we mark them so that it’s easy to line up after the assembly has been removed to install the spacers.

For safety reasons, it’s very important to use a proper spring compression tool. If you don’t have access to one, consider taking the coil/shock assembly to a services shop that can do it for you.

The kit comes with two spacers for each side. One fits on the top of the spring mount over the factory studs.

Because the bumpers will have to be removed for the body lift, it’s necessary to remove the radiator core cover, front grille assembly and bumper covers.

Before the vehicle is raised, the steering shaft coupling must be unbolted. We’ll be adding a CNC extension here later.

We unbolted the factory body mounts and went along side each one, lifting it with a jack high enough to add the new body block and new heavy duty hardware.

With three inches of increased body height, the CNC machined steering extension is installed, connecting the steering shaft back together.

Up front, these brackets raise the bumper mounting points to properly position the front bumper to the body.

An extension bracket for the parking brake is also included for proper operation with the added body height.

The new rear bumper brackets are positioned into place to mark the holes that will attach it to the bumper cross member.

The cross member assembly is unbolted and removed from the frame. A cutting wheel is used to slice through the weld and remove and isolate the cross member.

Two new holes for the bumper brackets are drilled following the directions in the instructions.

With some minor trimming, you can see how the new cross member and bumper supports fit behind the rear bumper.

The bumper is then put back into position and is bolted onto the frame.

A support brace between the bumper and hitch ensures a solid mount that won’t wobble or move while towing a heavy load.

The final steps in the installation are to install the front and rear Gap Guards. These are held in position and holes are drilled for the retaining push-in pins.

Adding a set of 33-inch tall (or taller) tires to your pickup is almost essential for any off-road enthusiast. But the fact is not everyone can afford the cost of a full suspension system. So for those who want to raise their trucks to run a set of cool 20-inch wheels mounted on mud-terrain style tires, there’s a less expensive alternative to gain as much as 5-6 inches of lift without major suspension modifications.

Performance Accessories’ Premium Lift Systems combine a two-inch leveling kit with a three-inch body lift. These lift kits range in price from as low as $220 to $800, depending on the vehicle make and model. This makes them a great alternative for those looking for raise their vehicles on a tight budget. The body lifts also work with the electronic stability controls and do not affect new vehicle warranties. Furthermore, the vehicle’s suspension geometry isn’t compromised, so your truck maintains its comfort on the road, while you enjoy the benefits of extra ground clearance when driving in the dirt.

So why didn’t anyone think of this before?

According to Chris Faustmann, R&D Manager at Performance Accessories, most leveling kits and body lifts weren’t designed to work with each other. However, the leveling portion of the the Performance Accessories is designed to split the front-end lift by using both a coil spring spacer and a strut assembly spacer. Faustmann says this eliminates excessive spring load and allows the coil spring to operate within its normal motion and retain the stock ride. It also limits the overall length of the strut assembly so that the ball joint angles remain within stock settings when the suspension is under full compression.

We’ll show you how to install a Performance Accessories Premium Lift System on 2007-13 Chevy/GMC 1500 applications in the slide show above. This particular lift kit retails for less than $610 and allows the vehicle to run 33-inch diameter wheels and tires. The body lift portion of the kit raises the vehicle’s body in relationship to the frame, so there’s a direct increase in ride height when using larger diameter tires. The body lift mounts fit on top of the factory body mounts, and are made from nylon-reinforced body blocks. The kit also comes with a CNC-machined steering extension and urethane Gap Guards that extend the length of the factory wheel wells to cover the gap between the body and the frame. Performance Accessories rounds out these kits with powdercoated steel bumper brackets and high-grade hardware.

While the kit sounds simple enough to install, Faustmann recommends to set aside a full day (6-8 hours) to do the job. Installation of the top strut spacers and coil spring spacers requires that the strut assembly be removed from the vehicle. The coil spring must also be compressed to remove the factory urethane spacer; therefore, make sure to use a proper spring compressor tool or have a professional shop do this part of the installation for you.

When the installation is completed, the added lift will easily fit a set of 33-inch tall tires to give your truck the custom appearance you’ve been craving. And since there’s no change to the truck’s factory suspension, the ride is still smooth and stable, and the modifications won’t void the factory warranty.

Author: Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the president at DS Media, an agency that specializes in content marketing and online advertising and PR strategies. Sanchez is also an author, editor, and regularly contributes to a number of automotive enthusiast and B2B publications.