How Do Lowering Blocks Work?

by Derek Odom

Axle-Over Only

Before lowering blocks will work, you must make sure that your axle is on top of the leaf springs. If not, then the lowering blocks will in effect become lift blocks, because the idea is to raise the axle up, putting the wheels further into the wheel wells, which will lower the vehicle. One quick way to tell this is to see if the nuts on the u-bolts that hold the axle to the leaf springs are on the top or the bottom. If the u-bolt is upside down, and the nuts must be reached by accessing the wheel well, then the vehicle is most likely not a good candidate. If the u-bolt nuts are on the underside of the axle, however, it means that the leaf springs are on the bottom of the axle, and lowering blocks will indeed work for your application.

The Mechanics

To install lowering blocks on the vehicle, you will need to unbolt all the u-bolt nuts and lift the axle up enough to get the blocks in between the axle and the leaf spring. It is seriously recommended to employ the help of a few friends when doing this at home, because multiple jacks and hands will be necessary, and axles are extremely heavy. If you have multiple jacks, jack up the axle itself and then place the lowering blocks between the axle and the leaf spring. If not, carefully lift one side of the axle and install the lift block, then do the other, making sure the blocks don't fall out in the process. Take note that the lift block will have a round protrusion on one side, and a round hole on the other. This is meant to secure it firmly in place on the spring pad, located on the axle. Longer u-bolts will come with the kit, so the stock ones can be discarded. Once the lowering blocks are in place, install the extended u-bolts and secure the nuts to factory specifications.

What to look for

Keep hands free of the leaf spring itself, because if the axle slips it can cause damage to your fingers. Also, be aware that if the vehicle has metal brake lines, these may need to be modified slightly to account for the new stance, because the axle will literally sit three inches higher than it did before. Once the u-bolts are tightened down, torque them again every few days for the first week, because settling will occur, and an axle with loose u-bolts on it could cause a disaster. It may also be necessary to utilize shorter shocks on the vehicle, because the stock ones will now be permanently compressed and wear out much faster.

About the Author

Derek Odom has freelanced since 2008 and is also an author of the macabre. He has been published on Ches.com, Planetchess.com and various other websites. Odom has an Associate of Arts in administration of justice.