A stink bug when it walks it has lowered front ends and raised rears. This is also the case with trucks off the dealer lot. From the factory, a pickup truck has the rear of the truck higher than the front to allow the truck to sit level when items are placed in the bed.
For our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, fixing this look was long overdue. To help get the truck looking right we reached out to MaxTrac Suspension to get their 2019-2020 Chevy and GMC 1500 2WD 3.5-inch front and 1-inch lift kit (PN K881932).
The Nitty Gritty
This kit included everything we would need to get rid of the stock look on the truck and allow us to add larger tires. To find out more about the kit and why it was the perfect choice for us we spoke with Jeff Simpson of MaxTrac to get the details.
“The benefits of this 2WD lift breaks down to three basic concepts,” Simpson said. “It is affordable, easy to install, and does not drastically change the ride quality. The 2WD lift requires fewer components making them more cost-efficient and easier to install.”
“Because this lift is achieved by solely relocating the front wheel bearing down on the steering knuckle, shock valving and spring rate are not changed,” Simpson continued. “The slight difference in ride quality can be credited to the new, leveled stance of the truck versus the previous nose-down stance which tends to result in a less desirable suspension reaction when going over larger bumps.”
Getting rid of the stink bug was top on our list, but to be able to have looks and performance is a no brainer. The kit would get the truck looking the way we wanted while also increasing the driving performance. But this kit isn’t for everyone.
“This kit will only work on 2WD models because of the way it achieves lift,” Simpson explained. “Lift is achieved by relocating the front wheel bearing downward 3.5 inches which put the wheel bearing directly in front of the lower control arm. On 4WD models, the axles run through the center of the wheel bearing, and with the wheel bearing’s new location it would cause for the axle to run through the middle of the arm, which is physically impossible.”
If you are familiar with lift kits and how some are better than others, it can be a complicated process to prevent damage to the vehicles suspension. MaxTrac made sure that they addressed this in the design.
“Every MaxTrac lift is designed to achieve the desired amount of lift or drop, while also being easy to install and ride comfortably,” Simpson said. “Our goal is to create a friction-free experience for our customers so that they can transform their vehicles into something that they can take pride in.”
With the details known it was time to dive into getting the kit installed on our truck.
A spindle lift kit can seem like a daunting task for any DIY installer, but the kit appears a lot more intimidating than it really is. Knowing this and using MaxTrac’s detailed instructions we dove into lifting the truck.
As with any install, the first part is to remove the factory components. We started in the front of the truck and once the wheel is off, you will notice that there are a lot more wires coming to the wheel bearing than in older vehicles. Care needs to be taken when removing these wires as they are to the ABS and brake wear sensors.
Starting with the wires and then moving onto the brakes went smoothly before detaching the spindle. When it comes to the spindle make sure that the nut on both the upper ball joint and lower ball joint are not fully removed so that the spindle just comes falling to the ground.
A couple of good hits with a hammer broke the factory spindle free. We were able to compare the factory spindle to MaxTrac’s spindle and it was clear where the hob would not be placed and explained why you do not reuse the factory wheel bearing backplate.
Having everything removed it was simply reinstalling all the parts back onto MaxTrac’s spindle. If you got it off then it can be put back on. Think about this install as a brake job changing a wheel bearing. The only additional step is removing the spindle.
One good thing to note on a lift like this you have one side to practice on and then one side to finish quicker than the first. Getting the right sized sockets and wrenches can be the most time-consuming part of an install., but doing the install again on the other side of the truck would go quicker having the proper tools out already.
We could tell the difference on the trucks lift as we lowered the truck down to flip it around to install the rear lift blocks. The truck was taller as we had to slightly hop into the driver’s seat compared to just sitting down.
The rear installed has fewer parts than the front, but we found that it required a little extra muscle. For this part, make sure that the truck is jacked up high enough and supported on the frame to allow the rear axle to drop lower than it hangs originally.
Having the axle too close to the ground will not allow the axle and springs to separate enough to add the blocks. A good tip for your install, you can’t do one side at a time as both tires and springs will need to be removed, ask us how we know.
Separating the springs and axle the rear lift block was placed in making sure the pin was firmly seated in both the axle and spring. The one-inch lift blocks are not directional so there is no need to figure out which direction they need to be installed.
Longer u-bolts are included in the kit as well as longer shocks. The new u-bolts allow for the added height of the block as well as the longer included shocks. We installed the top part of the shock first before cutting the strap keeping them compressed. This allowed us to have the shock extend itself with us having to try and compress it to get the lower bolt in.
Having everything installed we were able to bolt on our new wheels and tires to have a truck with a completely new appearance. Don’t get too crazy driving your newly lifted truck around, as a trip to the alignment shop is required after installing the lift.
Driving around in a newly lifted truck makes you feel like you are on top of the world. We were able to feel the height difference in the truck compared to the stock ride.
The ride quality was not sacrificed one bit and if anything we felt the trucks ride improve from the time we drove it off the lot. We were also able to get 17-inch Raceline 949B-7x wheels wrapped in 35×12.5R17 Kanati Armor Hog ATX tires under the Silverado.
“Our price point, quality, and customer service are what makes MaxTrac lifts stand out amongst the competition,” Simpson said. “We pride ourselves in producing quality lifts at an affordable price as well as taking care of our customers with every bit of courtesy, knowledge, and integrity that we possibly can.”
Overall we are very pleased with the lift kit and how the install went. The truck drives well on both pavement and in the dirt. We were able to get the lift and look we wanted without sacrificing any performance on the trail.
To find a kit for your vehicle, be sure to visit the MaxTrac Suspension website.