Problems with GMC Leveling Kits

by Lynn Rademacher

Leveling kits can be used on GMC trucks to raise the front end of the truck. By raising the front end the truck can sit and travel level with the bed of the truck. This can be beneficial when hauling cargo. Many GMC truck owners raise the front end of their trucks simply for aesthetic reasons. Installing a leveling kit can create some problems to other parts of a GMC truck that owners should consider beforehand. Failure to address these problems during the leveling kit installation could damage components of the truck's suspension.

Tie Rods

The angle of GMC tie rods are changed once a leveling kit has been installed. This is a concern for owners who use their truck for off-road driving or who install over-sized tires after lifting the front end. The factory-installed tie rods at this angle could bend or break under the impact. To solve this problem owners should install post-factory tie rods which are designed for the angle difference created by the leveling kit.


New shocks must be installed after a leveling kit has been added to the front end of a truck. Stock shocks are not designed for the extended space between the axle and the wheel well. While the stock shocks might be able to be reinstalled, the leveling kit will have reduced the amount of travel the shocks have to use to absorb bumps and jolts. The result is a rough and unpleasant ride when the shocks hit the end of the available travel.


Getting the truck aligned is crucial after having added a lift-leveling kit. During the leveling process the casters need to be readjusted. Failure to align the front end results in poor tire wear and the truck will likely pull to one side or the other while traveling. At high speeds, vibrations may be felt in the truck if the casters haven't been adjusted. Many alignment shops will overlook the importance of casters because they aren't related to tire wear. But when the front end of the truck is lifted the handling will change if the casters aren't adjusted.

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