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.