We thought it would be a good idea to show you a lift install and lowering job in the same issue. Then we got to thinking, why not do it in one story, to one truck, and show it side by side? But how do you make it all fair so that we weren't installing a million-dollar lift and just heating the stock springs with a torch to get it down? We set a budget cap of $1,700 and came in just under the wire. There are a few things we left out, such as install labor and alignment cost. These will vary from shop to shop, so you're on your own with that stuff, or you can just do it yourself.
For the lowered end of it, we contacted McGaughy's and had the company ship us one of its mild lowering kits. The kit contains a 2-inch drop spindle and lowering blocks. This will lower the truck but leave the factory spring rates intact. In fact, you can use your factory shocks. In our test truck, they were leaking and pretty much dead, so we forked out some extra bucks and had McGaughy's add them to the order. So now the only thing that will change the factory ride characteristics will be the revalved shocks and the new wheel and tire combo. Speaking of the rollers, we hooked up with Discount Tire Direct and Bridgestone to outfit the truck street-style. We picked out a 17-inch Vintage rim and a 245/40R17 Potenza tire. Coupled together, these make a cool-looking setup that will give the truck added handling and braking capabilities.
The lifted side was more of a one-stop shop, thanks to Pro Comp. The company sent us a lift kit featuring a spindle, add-a-leaf, and new set of shocks. This will lift the truck, but again, leave the factory spring rates intact. As with the lowering, the only thing that will affect the ride will be the revalved shocks and the new wheel and tire combo. The rollers are from Pro Comp Tire, consisting of a 15-inch chrome-plated steel wheel and a 30-inch all-terrain tire. The steel wheel will be way-strong to take the abuse the truck might be put through, and the chrome finish will be easy to maintain. The tires will provide plenty of traction on all surfaces the truck will come in contact with, such as center medians or curbs.
We needed a little help installing this stuff, so we contacted Diller Racing and suckered the owner Craig "King of the Sawzall" Diller into doing all of the grunt work. We - or we should say, he - had all of this work done in one day, while we were snapping pics. That's right: one day. It's all pretty straightforward, and you will only need a few special tools, such as a big C-clamp and a pickle fork; everything else you better already have in your toolbox.