Lifting a Chevrolet Silverado 1500: What You Need To Know
If you want your full-size Chevy pickup to be taller, a lift kit is what you need.
The Chevrolet Silverado continues to be popular with full-size truck buyers. The light-duty version has four engine choices and can tow up to 13,300 pounds. It's capable on the road and off straight out of the factory, and most Silverado 1500 trims have 8 inches of ground clearance, except for the Trail Boss (10.9 inches) and the off-road-oriented ZR2 (11.2 inches). If you're looking to fit larger tires on your truck or give it more ground clearance, a lift kit might be worth investigating.
The Best Lift for Your Chevrolet Silverado 1500
If all you want is the look of a lifted truck, there are a number of inexpensive body lift kits for two- and four-wheel-drive Silverados. They won't get you any extra ground clearance or offer the same advantages as a suspension lift that will raise both the frame and the body from the axles.
It all comes down to your end goal. A body lift allows you to fit larger tires and keep them from rubbing on the fenders, but a suspension lift unlocks serious off-road performance.
How to Lift Your Chevy truck and Keep Its Factory Warranty
Use a suspension lift from Chevrolet Performance parts to retain your factory warranty. If you want to lift your Silverado higher you can turn to the aftermarket, but you may void parts of your factory warranty related to the changes the lift kit makes to your truck. You'll get shocks, jounce bumpers, leaf-spring spacers, plus the ability to change your front camera to match the new ride height. The kit also allows drivers to calibrate the power steering, ensuring that all driver-assist features continue to work. Some models will also need upgraded steel leaf springs. Expect to spend about $1,000 on the lift kit for two-wheel-drive models or around $1,500 for four-wheel-drive Silverados. The upgraded leaf springs cost $600. Pricing is for parts only, and installation will cost extra.
Upgrading your Silverado 1500 to the Multimatic spool valve shocks found on the ZR2 trim is also an option. You'll pay nearly $4,500 for the setup, but it's an excellent way to upgrade your older non-ZR2 Silverado.
If you want your Chevy truck to be even taller, you can grab an aftermarket 6-inch lift kit from Rough Country that allows owners to fit larger 35-inch tires on the truck.
If you tow, it's best to purchase a drop hitch to keep the trailer level. However, if fuel economy is important to you, raising your vehicle and adding larger tires will hurt the vehicle's fuel economy.
Other Considerations When Lifting Your Silverado 1500
Lifts of more than 2 inches will likely require other modifications. It's recommended to swap out your stock wheels for something with a specific backspace and width, modify your exhaust, and consider adding steel brake lines. Depending on the resulting geometry, the angles of your axles could be too steep. Be ready to make changes to the differential, upgrade your CV joints, or likely both.
If you add larger tires, your truck may feel sluggish off the line, so you might need to re-gear your differential. Your speedometer will not be accurate after adding larger tires, so be prepared to recalibrate it. You'll also want to add a new set of front upper control arms to help with high-speed stability and retain your alignment.