Tutorial: 3" Body Lift

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by RHamill, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. RHamill

    RHamill Ryan

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    I figured I would start this thread because it's easier for someone that has a very detailed question to come here and see something, I also recommend anyone and everyone looking for advice on a 3" Body Lift on a GMT400 to visit 'The Body Lift Thread" which is stickied in the "Stock Suspension + Bolt on Kits" section.

    Alright let's get cracking,

    I ordered the Zone 3" Body Lift for the 95-98 C/K trucks

    In the picture I already removed the front bumper relocators and some hardware, but you get the jest of it.
    [​IMG]

    This kit provides you with everything you need except rear bumper relocators to do a successful 3" body lift

    * CNC machined steering extension included
    * Fuel fill extension included
    * Fan shroud relocation included
    * No welding required
    * Front bumper relocation brackets included
    * Complete and easy to follow instructions (I had some problems, but I will resolve them here)

    Ok, so you got your 3" Body Lift, and hopefully a GMT400 to put it on, well if your thinking its going to take a few hours and you can do it at your friend Gerard's house, that's not the best idea, Unless Gerard's parents or Gerard don't care if you scatter all your parts all over the floor of the garage.

    So, to begin, with, make sure you can take your Truck BACK out of the garage after putting the body lift on, I have a 7 foot high garage opening, but the door hangs down 4 inches, so 80 inches, my truck ended up being about 2" shy from hitting that door while coming out, when I get 35's it probably ain't going back in there.

    Pull your truck in to a garage, or if you live in Cali, then you will probably do it outside (bastards, :lol: )

    Unhook battery cables, negative first.

    Pop the hood on the truck and spray a little PB blaster on the steering shaft bolt, it's located about 8 inches down from the firewall to the left of the coiled brake lines under your master cylinder, there is a flexible boot on the steering shaft you might want to pull down towards the steering gear box. Here is kind of a lame picture of what your looking for, except my extensions already on.

    [​IMG]

    I will explain how to put the extension on after we lift the cab of the truck, but now is the time to take that bolt out of the steering shaft, make sure your steering wheel is locked, if its not, no big deal, just make sure your wheels are straight, because you can always re line things up and call it good, taking that bolt out will help you later, because when you lift your truck, that lower steering shaft will fall right out of the upper.

    After doing that, you can go over to your gas lid, remove the 3 brass colored screws that hold the filler neck to your box side there, they make a loud popping sound when turning them (well for me they did), spray the clips on the other side with PB blaster. These screws call for a Torx headed screw driver, I used a torx headed Allen wrench.

    [​IMG]

    After doing that, slide over to the front bumper, I started by removing the tow hooks, find a socket that fits those, I'd find a half inch drive wrench, they are big bolts, mine came off easy because I took them off previously and painted them. But if you need to use a breaker bar instead of impact, be sure to spray the bolts and inside the frame there where the bar is that has the treads to hold these bolts on.

    Now you can take the 8 screws out for the parking light housings, 4 on each one, remove them and remove the bulb assemblies. Now reach in and remove the bulb assemblies for the bottom corner lights.

    After doing that you can begin to take the grille off the truck, since the hood is already popped, grab a 7mm socket and take the 5 screws out that hold the top of the grille on, remember there is 1 in the middle of the grille that is screwed in the hood latch housing. After that grab a very long screw driver and remove the clips on the bottom of the grille that hold it in place, the middle one is under hood latch housing thing, that takes a very long screw driver and a precise hand. The others can be accessed from the space now made from taking parking light housings out.

    Now take off that plastic piece that runs the top of the bumper that is under grille, it has all the clips on it that you removed previously, there should be 5 screws 7mm to remove that, and it hooks on the ends and in the middle so don't rip it out of there.

    For the bumper, there is outer brackets and main brackets, start by removing the 2 bolts that hold the outer bumper brackets to the frame on both sides,

    The colored ones, I already have relocating bracket on them.
    [​IMG]

    then I moved on to the 3 bolts in a triangular pattern that hold the main bumper brackets on, those are tough to get off, you will need an extension.

    Remove the 2 inner bolts on top of bumper and 2 inner on bottom of bumper, loosen the others, swing the outside bumper brackets towards ends of bumper, remove bumper.

    I jumped the gun and put my relocators on before I lifted the truck, DONT do that. But this is how your truck should look, minus the locators.
    [​IMG]

    In the instructions it says for us Automatic Transmission guys to remove kick plate, remove front seat and pull the carpeting up to reach a clip that is on transmission cable and pull the slack down.. No. Not happening. What I did was got under my truck, found that cable that runs up the bottom of the floor pan, and I pulled it out from the cab of the truck, there's a rectangular grommet, once that's out get some side cutters or a pocket screw driver and remove that clip, then stuff the grommet back in properly. It's hard, I know, but takes less time then removing a 60% bench seat.

    Now I didn't adjust my parking brake cable, because it was already very loose and I never use it, so follow whatever directions come in your kit to do that.

    Now its time to get under truck and remove some body mounts, I started with drivers side, grab a 15mm 6 POINT! socket, and begin removing all drivers side bolts, the very front ones thread down, so you will need a deep well 15mm and a 15mm with an extension to hold top of bolt from up top.

    I know that I make it sound easy here to remove bolts, but it's a pain if there is rust, so bare with me. If you are using an impact, more power to you.

    After all drivers side bolts are removed, grab your air compressor and spray out all the holes from the body mount bolts and spray a lubricant in there, go to passenger side and loosen all the cab bolts half way to allow for some flex when raising drivers side portion of the cab.

    I removed my lower fan shroud and trimmed it at this time so fan wouldnt hit it, those spacers that came in the kit, I don't even know how they used them, when raising the truck the radiator comes with body and so does lower fan shroud, regardless of spacers that lower fan shrouds going to get hit by the fan now that its raised up, so what are spacers going to do when the lower shroud is up with radiator? I don't get it.

    Here's what I did, I didnt use those damn spacers.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's what another member did, don't get it, the lower shroud is still 3 inches higher than factory, what are the spacer supposed to be doing?
    [​IMG]

    Get 2 jacks and some blocks of wood that are long and sturdy.

    I placed 1 jack right behind front wheel and 1 jack just before bed, I lifted right up on the floor pan in-between frame and body panels. But you can lift from anywhere really, not on body panels though, I wouldn't recommend that.

    Have someone check while you run both jacks with both arms, Its easier because you know how much strength to exert and what time to do it.

    The drivers side of cab should now be raised, try and fit some spacers where in-between frame and body, make sure you at least drive some bolts in a few turns before lowering body, and ALWAYS watch out for jacks when someones hands are in there, you don't want them getting blood on your truck. Be sure you put the body spacer on top of all the factory bushings and what not.

    This is factory, put spacer on top of that round metal guy on top of bushing.
    [​IMG]

    Make sure to use a washer on the bolts you put in the blocks, as it would be silly not to, you don't want to be silly.. do you?

    It's ok to thread them in now, you will be taking them all out later to loc-tite them, remember for the front one, the bolt threads down, use a washer to silly! for the bottom of that bolt use the BIG washers that came in the kit.

    Ok, so I'm hoping you all understood this so far, if there was no problems with things binding you can go to passenger side and repeat the same steps, but for the other side, remember to blow out the threads from the body after removing bolts and lube them. When lifting passenger side, watch out for the ground straps by manifolds, you don't want to hyper extend them and rip them.

    Once all body mount bolts are in, take them out and loc-tite them, then put them back in, torque to 65, if you don't have a torque wrench, then reef them in by hand and figure out which vein in your hand pops out when things are tight.

    Now go back to the steering arm, it should be apart now, Spray some PB or put some grease in the extension so the steering shaft will slide in. I put the male end of the extension in the upper shaft first, then put some vice grips on the lower shaft, then lined up the shaft with the female pare of the extension, then tapped the vice grips with a hammer to get it in the extension, the lower steering shaft is telescopic. It's like a dog wiener I guess you could say.

    Use factory hardware for upper and use the new 1 1/4 bolt and 5/16ths lock nut, use washers!

    Now you can put those bumper relocators on the opposite way they came off, (3 bolts in a triangular pattern) then put bumper on, put the outer bracket relocators on (the curved part goes towards front of truck as you can see in this next picture, then swing outer brackets back in their spot once bumper is back on the new relocators, bolt everything up, torque to about 80-85 ft lbs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You should look like this now ^ ^ ^

    now you can put that trim piece back on top of bumper there (the one that has the clips on it) then put the grille on, and the parking light housings.

    I'd assume you put the upper shroud on too, if not, go ahead.

    Alrighty close that hood, and move to back of the truck, there is 8 BOLTS on a short bed and Long bed, regardless of what the instructions say for these Zone kits.

    The bolts thread up in to box, but you cannot just get in box and take a nut out, it's not that easy.. You will need an extension to run up through the frame in a hole, there is 1 right after the last body mount from frame, then another, then another and 1 by rear bumper (sort of) they all run right down the line, other side is same way, the 2nd one for drivers side is hard to get to, there is brake lines in the way and the gas tank, be careful.

    Like before, remove one side (clean threads with compressed air and lubricate) and loosen other, raise the box with 2 jacks on 1 side, slide blocks in, put bolts in (with washers) do a few turns, repeat on other side.

    If you start with drivers side first, make sure that filler neck doesn't bind up and break plastic parts as you lift.

    After the box is up, now is where you begin on filler neck, get a box cutter knife or something shard, DON'T USE POWER TOOLS BY GAS TANK, if 1 spark flies down that filler neck and lands in tank, you will be dead probably, because you disregarded my directions :evillol:

    Cut the filler neck about 2-2.5 inches after that hose clamp by metal part of neck, then get some petroleum based grease and put it on your filler neck extension, slide it in the half of the hose closest to gas tank about 1 INCH, then put 2 hose clamps on that, then move to other side, slide it on about 1 inch, then have someone pull it up towards truck so you can screw it back on, then tighten them hose clamps where metal goes in to both sides of hose.

    That's it. If you got rear relocators for bumper or you know how to flip factory ones, let's see it and how to do it.

    Here's some more pictures of my truck.

    Before body lift:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After Body lift:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bought this for my frame, at a good time too, $20.00 Mail in Rebate brought it down to 60 bucks.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for Reading!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
    stenny and Butch like this.
  2. SlimT

    SlimT Newbie

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    truck looks good man. When you putting 35's on it?
     
  3. DRAGGIN95

    DRAGGIN95 Warranty Killer! Staff Member

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    Good write up, and the truck look's good!
     
  4. slim

    slim I'm Awesome

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    nice job, very easy to install. looks good!
     
  5. RHamill

    RHamill Ryan

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    I undercoated frame today with that Herculiner, I hope it will dry properly in this cold weather. 35's are going on in about 2 months, I still need to buy rear bumper relocating brackets, I have a 2wd lower valance coming in tomorrow for $28.00 new :D and if this idiot from Craigslist sends me some more pictures, I'll have a color matched grille for $45.00. Tires will be about $647 from Treadwright.
     
  6. CowlBoy

    CowlBoy I'm Awesome

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    looks good man. get some gap guards and were are those new pics you said you had for me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  7. RHamill

    RHamill Ryan

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    In a minute bud, uploadin in a sec
     
  8. CowlBoy

    CowlBoy I'm Awesome

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    nice!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. RHamill

    RHamill Ryan

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    Pictures taken at buddies house and resized with MS paint program :( lol

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    2 days ago, 4 showers, gasoline, orange goop, ASAP cleaner, soap, painters hand paint remover, more gasoline, 1500 grit light sanding, green scotchbrite and this is whats left...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  10. the big blue bus

    the big blue bus I'm Awesome

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    looks real clean. painting frame really helps and gap guards. i have people tell me all the time my frame looks really nice cuz i sprayed it all black and the inner wheel weels and control arms and everything. what size tires you going to run?
     

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