How to Lift a 2WD Truckby Russell Wood
Lifted trucks allow you to go off road and drive over any bump you encounter. Lifting two-wheel-drive trucks is easy, and the procedure is similar in all two-wheel-drive trucks. For this article, we will lift a 1995 Chevrolet truck using taller springs and blocks for a mild lift.
Lifting the front
Jack the front of the truck into the air using the jack and place it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure before you remove the front wheels.
Remove the front shocks using a wrench and socket set. The shock will drop from the bottom of the control arm through the center of the spring.
Place the spring compressor onto the front spring and tighten until the spring is compressed. Make sure all tension is off the spring.
Put the jack underneath the lower control arm so you apply pressure to the arm. This is a safety precaution. The springs should have no pressure on them since the spring compressor is on them, but the jack will hold the control arm should the spring pop.
Use the cotter pin puller to remove the cotter pin on the upper control arm. Then unbolt the ball joint from the spindle.
Hammer the side of the spindle so the ball joint is freed from the spindle. Should the ball joint not separate, use the ball joint separator and a hammer to push it through.
Lower the jack slowly and then pull out the spring. Undo the spring compressor slowly so the spring isn't putting tension on one side or the other.
Put the spring compressor on the taller springs. You'll want this to be tightened down as much as you can so you can get the spring in place. Use an impact wrench on the compressor if you need to apply more torque, but alternate sides on the spring compressor so tension is even on both sides.
Install the taller spring into the coil pocket. Bolt the upper control arm back to the spindle and install a new cotter pin.
Remove the spring compressor slowly, making sure the spring settles in the pocket correctly. Reinstall the tires, jack the vehicle up, remove the stands and the front is done.
Installing the rear lifting blocks
Jack up the rear of the truck by placing a jack under the center---or pumpkin---of the axle. Place jack stands underneath the frame of the vehicle as well as under the axle. These two pieces will be separated soon, so make sure the vehicle and the axle are secure. Place another jack stand underneath the axle where the driveline connects.
Unbolt the U bolts that hold the leaf spring to the axle. Do this slowly, as the springs may be under pressure. Do one side, then the other so that the axle is free.
Place the lift block supplied with the lift kit onto the top of the axle. You want the hole in the middle of the block to line up with the pin in the leaf spring.
Loosely place the new U bolts provided in the kit onto the axle the same way they were installed from the factory. Tighten each corner of the U bolt slowly so the pin lines up as it goes. Once everything is connected, tighten down the U bolts completely. Jack the vehicle back up in the air, remove the jack stands and place it on the floor. The lift is now done.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Long pry bar
- Wrench set
- Cotter pin puller
- Cotter pins
- Five pound sledge hammer
- Impact wrench
- Air compressor
- Jack stands
- Ball joint separator
- Spring compressor
- Be careful with the springs, as they are under great tension. Be sure the vehicle is secure on jack stands before crawling underneath the vehicle.
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.