How-To Lift a Jeep JK and GMC Truck

Uploaded by motorztv on 26.03.2012

I'm Chris Duke and today on Motorz we're going to show you how to lift a Jeep JK and a GMC truck.

Three seasons ago when we were first starting out with this show we wanted to do a suspension lift on our Ford F-150
project truck, but we didn't think that we had the tools or the skills to pull it off, so we just
took it to a local suspension shop and let them take care of it for us. Now since then we've lowered
our 08' Mustang GT and we've also lifted a 68' Jeep CJ 5 and
the process learning quite a bit about suspension. Now we get a lot of suggestions from you guys about how to
do one of these suspension kits step by step, and I've always wanted to show you on a late model vehicle
We're both in luck today because we're going to do two vehicles. We're going to do a 3 inch
suspenion kit on a 2010 Jeep JK, as well as a 2 inch tortion
bar kit on a 3/4 ton 2004 GMC pickup truck.
When we're all done we're going to top them both off with larger wheels and tires from Dick Cepack.
Joining me on the show today is Trent McGee from Daystar who's going to assist with both installations. Welcome to the
show man. [Trent] Thanks Chris. [Chris] So what do you we got here? [Trent] Well we have two different kits, like you said we're
doing a 2004 Chevy truck, so those use a tortion bar type of suspension now.
To level one of those out we have replacement tortion bar keys. These are high quality keys that are
manufactured right here in the USA. They are forged, which is much stronger than cast steel.
We're also going to be lifting the back, so we have inch and a half blocks here and of course last but certainly not least
uh, shock extensions for the front. [Chris] Ok [Trent] Now on the Jeep, the Jeep is a different type
of suspension. It's coil springs with solid axles. So, what we're going to do is we're going to be installing these three inch coil
springs spacers. These are positioned above the factory coil springs. Now, because of this
lip you're going to have to replace the shock absorbers. So, we've got our twin tube hydrolic scorpion shocks. [Chris] Ok. [Trent] These are
made specifically for each application. We have some sway bar brackets for the back, a
track bar for the back and then bump stop extensions front and rear. [Chris] Ok, now why polyurethane spacers
instead of the metal ones? [Trent] That's a great question! We use polyurethane because it's an insulator. It absorbs
noise, vibration and harmonics. Now, with some of the other kits that you see out there you'll have steel or
aluminum, where you'd have metal on metal contact. Something that would potentially pop and groan and make noise.
Also, if you were to take apart your suspension, which we're going to do today obviously. [Chris] Right. [Trent] You would see rubber
urethane, sometimes both in there. That stuff's there for a reason. So what we're actually doing is just building off
of what the factory is already doing. Plus, you've got the factory coil springs in place so,
ride quality is going to be just like it used to be. [Chris] Now I notice you have a couple of different tortion keys, what's that all about?
[Trent] Yes, well the Chevy uses one of eight different tortion bar keys from the factory...[Chris] Wow.
[Trent] And the indexing, which means this hex in relation to this flat here, various up to eighteen
degrees. Well what everybody else does is they just offer just one levelling kit tortion key, well
that only addresses about 40-50% of the trucks. So in the other half of
the trucks out there you won't get all the amount of lift you're supposed to, and in some cases you won't get any lift
at all. So we're the only company out there that addresses that wide range of tortion keys and so
I have two different tortion keys for the HD. Now which one you use is dictated by the color code of
the factory tortion key. [Chris] Right on, now a lot of people are familiar with the standard suspenion kit
, the tortion bar kit is a little bit different. Why would someone want to go with one versus the other? [Trent] Well, a tortion bar
has more to do with the design of the suspension. Chevy trucks have been using tortion bars for a long
long long time now, since 1988. So, there are taller lifts out there
say four or six inch kits. But, with independant front suspenion you're talking about major, major modifications
replacing knuckles, dropping control arms and all that other stuff. [Chris]
Quite a bit of work. [Trent] Yeah, quite a bit of work. But with a levelling kit such as this here, we're just replacing these keys
we're picking it up just a couple of inches but we're staying within those factory design paramerters so
you don't have to change a bunch of other stuff. [Chris] So Trent what other kind of products do you guys make at Daystar? [Trent] Well Chris, I have
lots of different products. But specific to the Jeep Wrangler JK, I have dash and switch panels as
well as a variety of other accessories. The upper dash panel goes just above the radio on the center stack of the
dash, gives you a spot for small items. Cell phones, sunglasses, GPS units, stuff like that. I also
have my switch panel. Of course this one's available in camoflauge or black, just like the rest of my dash panels.
It gives you a spot for up to four switches for electrical accessories such as air lockers or
lights or what have you. Then I have my hood wranglers. That is a heavy duty latch upgrade for
the Jeep JK. Those things have a really bad problem with hood flutter and this just kind of tightens up the latch.
Also I have several universal style products such as my winch isolator here. Now this is a polyurethane
block that nests with a roller or I have a different one for a haas style lead. But it kinda
cleans up the winch hook installation and gives you a spot to nest that winch hook so it's not rattling against the
frame and you don't have to run it over to a secondary anchor. [Chris] So, where are you guys located? Tell us a little bit more about Daystar.
[Trent] We are located in Pheonix, Arizona. We've been in business since 1977. We are a family owned
and operated business. Everything that we manufacture comes right out of our plant in Pheonix. Been doing it
for a long time and hopefully we'll continue to do so. [Chris] Awesome! Well I think you'll agree with me, that there's nothing worse than
a stock Jeep. So let's get this thing in here, jack it up and put some stuff on it. [Trent] Absolutely, lets get started!
[Chris] Alright lets go! Tools you're going to need from the Sears Blue Tool Crew for our lift on our Jeep JK...
include a trim removal tool, some needle nose pliars, various wrenches, ratchets and
sockets. A pry bar tool, a hammer, some spring compressors, a cordless drill and
you may find it easier if you've got some air tools. And of course some gloves and some safety glasses.
No when we come back from our break we'll get started on our Jeep.

Well Trent we've got the front end of our
Jeep jacked up. We've got some stands underneath our frame and we've got our jack underneath our axle to support
that. What all are we going to do up here? [Trent] Well basically we're going to start by taking loose the shocks. The shocks are actually
the limited for extension travel so we need to get those out of the way. [Chris] And we're going to put these guys up in there. [Trent]
Yeah, we're going to put of course the Daystar Scorpion shocks, these are longer than the factory shocks in addition to being
higher quality shock. Then we're going to take the sway bar links loose and that's just so we can
lower the front axle far enough in order to install this coil spring spacer on top of the existing
coil spring. And last and certainly not least, this is our bump stop extension. Basically
we're just going to pry this bump stop out of its cup there and pop this into the cup and then
the bump stop will go right in here. [Chris] Ok, lets grab some Crafstman tools and get started. [Trent] Absolutely.

[Chris] Aww yeah! With everything
disconnected we can lower our axle so we can get the spring on outta here, just when you're doing that keep a close
eye on these brake lines. Go ahead and let it rip Trent.
Then remove the factory
bump stop. Then install
the new bump stop extension. It's a little bit difficult and a trick you can use is to take the factory bump stop
insert it into the bottom and then use the spring perch right here to press it on in.
Trent go ahead and hit that jack.
Come on now... there we go!
Then reinstall the factory spring. You're going to need some help pusing down on that axle
to give you enough room.
Then install the new cool
Daystar Scorpion shocks.

Now after tightening down both the top and
the bottom bolts on your shock, repeat this whole process on the other side before reconnecting everything.
We just finished the passenger side, which is the exact same process that we just
did on the drivers side. The only difference is we had to compress the spring using these spring compressors. Now Trent
is that something typical with this lift? [Trent] You know, not always. It almost seems like it depends on the vehicle
uhm, with our inch and three quarter kit, it's a shorter lift, it definitely wouldn't be necessary. [Chris] Ok.
[Trent] Sometimes with these three inch spacers the spring compressors do make things easier. [Chris] Ok, lets go ahead and
reattach our brake line bolt and our end link bolt and put our wheels and tires on. [Trent] Fantastic.
Before you put on your new wheels and tires make sure you remove these two
retaining clips. They're put on at the factory to keep this rotor on while it's going down the assembly line.
Dick Cepack provided
both wheel and tire combinations for this episode and man do they look awesome!
For our Jeep JK we'll be installing their DC2 17 by 9 wheels and
since our Jeep will be doing some heavy off roading, nothing is better than Dick Cepack's mud country
tires. These bad ass looking 35's are great for on and off road use.
They feature the lates in radial tire technology including a precision laser cut.
The wheels feature a gloss black and machine finish with a tough layer of UV clear coat protection
for superior durability and ease of care, even in the harshest of climates. The DC2
wheel is a strong aluminum wheel made especially for today's trucks, SUVs and four by fours.
With the front all done, we can turn our attention to the rear of the vehicle. Now since the
front is already jacked up on 35's we need some additional height back here. So we have our twelve
thousand pound capacity ramps. Whatever you use just make sure it's a stable surface. So Trent
what's going on back here with your products? [Trent] Well, it's pretty much the same as the front but we are
going to have a couple of extra steps back here. [Chris] Alright. [Trent] Now we're going to position the coil spring spacers on top of
the factory coils just like in the front. We're also going to do the bump stop extensions
However, we I also have these brackets which are going to space down the sway bar
and this track bar bracket for the rear. Now this bracket will go
over the factory bracket on the axle. [Chris] And of course we've got our Scorpion shock right here. [Trent] Right. [Chris] Alright
let's get started man. Remove the two sway bar brackets with a 5/8 socket
so you can lower that sway bar.

Trent why don't you go ahead
and lower that axle and I'll take that spring out. [Trent] You got it.
Where does that rear track bar bracket go? [Trent] Well, it goes right over the existing track bar bracket right here. Now,
the purpose of this bracket is to correct the track bars operating angle so that the rear axle
will remain properly centered under the vehicle. So what we're going to do is place it over the original bracket like so
we're going to pin it using this original hole here and then we need to use the
bracket as a template to drill the two additional holes that we need.
[Chris] Now just like we did
up front, add in the bump stop extensions. Put the new spacer from Daystar imbetween
the spring and the isolator and reinstall.

Install the
sway bar drop bracket with the provided hardware.
Install your new Daystar Scorpion shocks using the factory hardware.

After torqueing down our lug nuts and installing our new center caps we can
take it down to a local shop to get an alignment. Just remember to re-torque all your lug nuts after twenty
miles and your suspension components after one hundred. Now when we come back from our break we'll get to that

Our GMC truck rolled into our shop today with these boring
stock wheels. But thanks to Dick Cepack and a new lift from Daystar when the truck
rolls out of here it will be sporting these awesome 17 by 9 side biter wheels which feature a
beautiful gloss black finish. Now wrapped around them are their 285 Baja ATZ
radials. These all terrain tires give you the grip you need and provide a smooth ride to get you
down the road in comfort. Now before you start measure the height of your vehicle so that you can adjust the tortion
keys later to get the exact height you want. Well Trent we've got our 2004 GMC
2500HD truck in the shop here, it's lifted up. Where are the springs man?
[Trent] Actually it's this big thick bar here that runs from the lower control arm back to about mid cab.
It's called a tortion bar. Although it can be confusing to some people, it's actually
pretty simple. It's basically a spring flattened out and it's the twisting motion a tortion bar
that will actually control the ride quality and the ride height. [Chris] Now how long has GM had this in their trucks
and SUVs? [Trent] Believe it or not they've been using this same basic suspension since 1988. Now,
the nice thing about that is that what we're going to be doing today basically applies to any of those trucks all the way back
to 1988. [Chris] Very cool. Now we don't have a whole lot of parts here to install, so what are we actually
installing? [Trent] What we're going to be doing is we're going to be installing this tortion bar key. This is a replacement
key and allows us to have more adjustment in the tortion bar itself. We'll get more into that when we
actually get the factory parts out. The only other part we have here is the shock extension. Now this
bracket basically replaces the factory bracket on the lower control arm here, raises up the shocks
attachment point to compensate for the lift. The nice thing about doing this is that we don't have to replace the shock
itself. [Chris] Pretty simple installation. So what about this giant over grown C clamp that we have here? What's that?
[Trent] This is a tortion bar puller tool. This allows us to control the amount of
pre-load that's in the tortion bar itself. Now the important thing to remember here is that even though the suspension
is at full extension travel there are hundreds of pounds of pre-load within the bar so you need
this tool in order to control the unloading of the bar. You do not want to be using
like a regular C clamp or something else. However, you can get these, you usually rent them
from a tool store. [Chris] Ok, so you can buy it, it's pretty expensive but just about any store is going to be able to rent that to you.
[Trent] That's correct. It's usually a deposit type thing and then they refund your money when you bring it back.
[Chris] Ok, so what are we going to get started with? This guy here? [Trent] Yep, the first step is to pull out the factory tortion
[Chris] Ok, lets get going! The tools you're going to need from the Sears Blue Tool Crew for our GM truck lift
include a floor jack and jack stands of course. A ratchet with an extension and various sockets
a 21 mm wrench, red locktite, a torque wrench, gloves with safety glasses
various persuasion devices and I highly recommend air tools to get the job done quite a bit faster.
A tape measurer, a screw driver and diagonal cutters to get those rotor clips off and a
tortion key tool which you can either purchase or rent. Measure the distance between the
bracket and the bolt head before and after the installation of the new keys.
Then release the tension with the tortion bar puller tool so that you can remove the adjuster bolt.
Now once that's removed you can back off the tortion bar
which may require a little bit of persuasion. After the tortion bar is out of the way
the factory tortion key should slide right on out. Now Trent this is the
key that we just pulled off of our GMC truck. I notice that you also have two different keys available.
How would I know which one to get? [Trent] Which kit that you use is determined by the color code
of the factory tortion key. Now it's going be a little paint stripe that's right along the bottom of the tortion key here,
You would be able to see it on the truck already installed. Unfortunately
it's already gone in this case. So what you'd want to do is call the dealership, give them your VIN number and then they
can determine what color code key that you use. Now once you have that color code
you refer to our application chart and we spell out which color code key works with which
kit. I know that sounds like a lot of extra steps but this is really the only way to know that you're going to get
true two inches of lift with one of our levelling kits. Most of the other guys out there, they just have
one tortion key for these HD's and that means in some cases you're not going to get all the lift your supposed
to and in some cases you won't even get any lift at all.

Replace the stock shock mount provided by Daystar. Now the reasons why you want to
do this is because you get to keep your stock shocks and it compensates for the additional height that you get
from your suspension lift. Use a 21 mm socket and wrench to remove the lower
shock bolt.
Remove the two bolts from the factory bracket using a
15 mm socket. Install your new bracket using some red locktite on the new bolts.
To install one of the bolts in that bracket you're going to need to remove your shock so grab a
16 mm and a 15 mm wrench.

Well Trent with our front end all done all we gotta do is put our wheels and tires
on. Is there anything else we need to do? [Trent] Yeah, we do need to make some final ride height adjustments. Now you always want to do that
with the new tire and wheel package. So we get them bolted on here and then it's just a matter of taking some measurements and
adjusting the tortion keys. The adjustments themselves are real easy. Tighten goes up and loosen goes down.
[Chris] Alright, sounds good enough. Now once we're done with that anything else we need to do here? [Trent] Well if we were just levelling
this truck, in other words making the front even with the back, yeah we'd be all done. But, since we're going to
actually lift this truck two inches all the way around we need to put some lift blocks in the back. [Chris] Alright, well let's get
these on here and flip it around. [Trent] Very good. [Chris] So Trent what do we have to
do to lift the rear of our vehicle up? [Trent] Well, this really couldn't get much simpler. We just need to put these
lift blocks imbetween the leaf springs and the axle. In order to do that what we need to do is
pop loose the original U-bolts along with the lower end of the shocks. Lower the axle down enough to install the
lift blocks and new U-bolts, button everything back up and we are done. [Chris] Check out the Motorz
TV website to watch all of your favorite episodes and more. Talk with other viewers
online in our popular forums area. Catch the latest news and information surrounding the show
as well as the entire automotive industry. Take Motorz with you on the road
with our free app available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. And win free parts
by entering in our monthly give away. It's all right here at

Hey let's talk tools
from the Sears Blue Tool Crew. Now you already know that common ratchets come in three different sizes. You've got
your half inch, your three eights, and your quarter inch. There's good reasons for each size wether you're working on a huge
tough bolt and you need a half inch ratched or a smaller bolt in a tight space and your little quater inch
will do just fine. Well today in the shop I've got a variant of that quarter inch ratchet from Craftsman.
Huge improvement over the traditional quater inch ratchet. First, it features a longer handle
design which gives you even more torque. If you've ever used a breaker bar you know that the longer the handle
you work with the easier things come loose. that's the idea here with the longer handle on this little
guy. It also has a sealed head to keep dirt and other contaminants out of the
ratchet mechanism which means it will be even more durable. Finally, it features an
84 tooth mechanism, which means it requires less than 4.5 degrees of ratcheting arch to turn the bolt.
It's made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty. Now for more information on this innovative
new tool from the Sears Blue Tool Crew, just head on over to our website and click on the Partz button.

[Chris] Well Trent we lifted two completely different
vehicles using two completely different lift kits and they both turned out looking great. The cool thing is
anybody could do it in their two car garage using some air tools and hand tools. [Trent] Absoletly. Yeah we did use some
air tools today, especially on this GMC pickup. But, a guy could do it with some simple hand tools.
Now I do want to stress that both of these vehicles will need to be aligned once the installation is complete but
like you said it's a very simple, very affordable way to completely transform the look of your truck. [Chris] Yeah,
well thanks for being on the show Trent. It was a pleasure having you here and helping us out. [Trent] No problem, my pleasure. Thank you. [Chris] Now for more
information on all the tools we used from the Sears Blue Tool Crew or all the products that were featured on todays episode
just head on over to our website. We'll catch you next week on Motorz!