How to Remove a Truck Suspension Lift Kitby Don Bowman
Removing a suspension lift kit will require the truck to be realigned after the removal of the lift. The wheels and tires--or just the tires, if the lift was not over 2 inches--must be replaced. This must be considered first, because when lifting a truck the normal tires and wheels can be used to go to a shop for an upgrade in size. When lowering the truck, the tires and wheels will not fit under the truck. The truck may have to sit on the jack stands until the tire situation is corrected.
Raise the truck on all four corners, and support it on jack stands. Support the rear axle on either side, then jack up the axle sufficiently to relieve weight on the spring. Using the 1/2-inch air gun and socket, remove the nuts from the U bolts holding the axle to the spring.
Remove the bottom plate and the lifting block between the spring and axle. Lower the axle onto the spring and replace the U bolts with new, shorter bolts. Install the lower axle support plate with the U bolts inserted through the holes in the plate, and install the nuts and tighten. Do the other side the same way.
Remove both front wheels. Remove the front caliper and hang it up out of the way with a coat hanger so that it does not hang by its hose. Disconnect the ABS wire connector if so equipped. Place the floor jack under the lower control arm and lift it so it barely touches the control arm. Remove the sway bar link.
Using the wire cutter, remove the cotter pin from the bottom ball joint. Loosen the ball joint nut but leave it on with five threads. Use the ball joint separator and separate the ball joint. Remove the nut on the top of the shock and remove the shock extender.
Lift the lower control arm with the floor jack just enough to take the tension off the ball joint nut. Remove the nut. Slowly lower the control arm and remove the coil spring. Install the new coil spring by inserting it up into its frame housing and grab the bottom of the spring and force it into the receiver in the lower control arm, as far as possible. Raise the control arm slightly and force the spring in further until it is all the way in the receiver, or use the pry bar to help it into the pocket. Once in, raise the lower control arm slowly and insert the ball joint into the bottom receiver of the spindle. Install the nut on the ball joint and tighten the nut.
Install the cotter pin in the ball joint above the nut. Install the shock to its original bracket. Install the sway bar link and tighten the nut. Install the caliper and attach the ABS connector. Do the opposite side in the same manner. Lower the floor jack. Put the new tires and wheels on. If you do not need to buy new tires and wheels, put the old ones back on.
Things You'll Need
- Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet
- Set of 1/2-inch drive sockets
- 1/2-inch drive air gun
- Set of metric wrenches
- Pry bar
- Ball joint separator
- Cotter pins
- Wire cutters
- 4 jack stands
- Floor jack
- Use caution when removing and installing coil springs. They are under great pressure, and can spring loose and cause serious injury.
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).