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Is a differential drop necessary?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by pohouse, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    New to me '08 GMC Sierra 1500. 5.3L Z71. I will be installing a lift/level kit.
    2" block in the rear and Add a leaf. Front will get leveled. When I bought the truck it already had a 2" level kit on the front (top strut spacer only) I might need to go a little higher to level out.
    Some of the kits I've looked at include dif drop spacers to reduce the CV axle angles. Other kits do not include the spacers. I'm also concerned about the lower strut spacers being too close to the CV shafts. Should I stay away from the lower strut spacers? Talk to me lift kings.:salute:
  2. xgiovannix12

    xgiovannix12 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    dropping the diff will take the strain away from the Cvs.

    When The Cvs have to much angle they will wear quicker. If i had the chance to drop the front axle I would.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    by the sounds of your post you are trying to stack 2 leveling kits in the front ?

    you can NOT stack lifts / level kits . its not good and most of the time wont reconnect stuff as its all spaced down to far.

    if you had just a level kit in the front and want more . then you need a full on lift kit and then remove the level kit.

    I just fixed a guys truck his dumb buddys installed his lift kit and didn't know / read the directions . left the front leveling kit on and it was real high in the front and bound up c/v shafts / upper a-arms hit the coilsprings / alignment wouldn't come in place.

    do your home work before you trash something . hope this helps .

    and yes diff drop is best on level kits if its offered.

    and for the love of all things holly stay away from rough country lifts . there cheep priced for a reason . . . . . :angry: that's 1 brand I will not install or sell.

    and stay away from ebay no name stuff . o.m.g crazy scary home brew stuff lots of times.

    zone / tuff country / bds / skyjacker / superlift are all nice stuff. and zone is the top seller in my area .
  4. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Sweetk30 thanks for reply. When you say don't stack, do you mean not to use a spacer on the top and bottom of the front strut? Just go with one or the other? Some kits utilize both. Not trying to get three inches out of a leveling kit. My plan is to install the rear and see what the stance is.
  5. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    Idk about Chevy's but some people use a leveling strut plus spacer on fords.

    Or even use a blistein 5100 set on 2 inches plus a 6 inch spacer
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    A leveling kit only gives you enought to level the truck 1.5-2". So if you're putting 2" blocks in the rear your not doing anything to help....

    If you want to lift your truck. Spend the money and do it right or don't do it!
  7. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923


    I installed kits for a few years at a custom shop. Skyjacker, fabtech, Rancho, & BDS were the good ones. You get what you pay for. Drop the front diff, steer clear of spacers and retain factory alignment geometry. Also be aware that when it's all said and done, you're still stuffing big heavy tires and high leverage on scrawny little half ton wheel bearings, u-joints, differentials, steering linkage, and ball joints.
  8. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    o.k. some leveling kits do top or bottom . and some do 1/2 and other half . why I don't know .

    but you should never level more than around 2.5 on a 1/2 ton chevy from real world stuff I have seen .

    and fords I just recently redid a guys 1/2 ton as it had a off brand 3" leveling kit and the upper a-arms were binding in to the coils and also eating c/v shafts up like candy .

    leveling a truck is a gamble on life span of half shafts as your making them run out at the edges of there max working angles more. some like it some don't . and aftermarket parts store ones tend to not like them as much .

    as said a leveling kit is just that . makes the front sit up so the HUGE factory rake is gone . if you change the back then you just added back in the rake .

    if you need extra in the back for heavy loads look at a set of air bags like ride right or firestone. this lets you set the assist you need and when no extra load you run 5psi and its still stock ride.

    and all this work on a 1/2 ton ? ? ? if its for a work truck just go get a 3/4 or 1ton . 1/2 ton trucks are more a grocery getter / soccer mom vehicle these days if you ask me . some of the new new stuff is getting better . but with a 3/4 ton or 1ton you get bigger brakes / suspension / axles / tranny / frame / tires . and it will last longer and not kill you in maint costs over the life of the vehicle .

    here is the rancho quick strut lift / level setup . you need 2 of these to make the front go up . http://www.summitracing.com/parts/r...year/2008/make/chevrolet/model/silverado-1500 but don't stack a level kit on top . as this is lift / level / performance all in 1 package .

    and anything you add / change = full alignment afterwords .
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  9. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    ^^^^ agreed ^^^^
  10. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    yes my comment there is from 15+ years turning a wrench as a mechanic .

    I have seen so many people waste more cash in the end over 1/2 ton stuff than just buying even a light duty 3/4 ton .
  11. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Yup, I too have seen it first hand.
  12. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Why does everyone assume im a jack trying to lift a 1/2 ton for as cheap as possible and work it like a one ton?
    I installed add a leaf on my 03 and cranked up the torsions and the truck did all I asked it to do. It has 204k on it and going strong. I do not haul heavy trailers and only plow 3 small commercial lots. I would like to raise my 08 because I really like the look. It's really all about appearance, but I don't want to sacrifice reliability.
    The cost of a 'real' lift kit is not a problem. I appreciate knowing which parts are quality. After I install the rear set up, I will see whats needed for the front. If I need a 3" 'real' lift to level the truck, that is what I'll put on.
    I'm a believer of using a 3/4 ton if you need one. Fact is I dont. My trucks need to run good, and look good. My business and reputation depend on it.
  13. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Btw. Bigger tires not part of plan. Stock 265/17.
  14. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I told you..... If you want to lift your truck spend the $1500-$2000 and do it right!
  15. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    and my comments were in general chat . not directed directly at original poster . Thumbs Up
  16. Ant118

    Ant118 Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Don't forget about the angle of the plow too when you raise the truck. I have a 4" lift on my duramax and had to adjust my plow frame on the truck. You don't an aggressive angle if attack on the blade. It will trip constantly.
  17. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    That's why I put a shade taller treadwright tires on my F150 and put 800lbs of ballast in the back.

    Leveled it out nicely. :salute: