Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Suspension and Ride

02chevy02chevy Member Posts: 1
edited October 2014 in Chevrolet
I have a 02 Chevy 1500 extended cab, its got a 3" body lift and i wanna Raise the front end up slightly about 2-2 1/2" would a leveling kit do the trick? and where would be the cheapest place to find one??? any help would be great! thanx!

Rob Jones!!!


  • edmelenedmelen Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for having me on this forum...
    I have a 2003 Chevy Silverado Z71. I recently had it leveled out. I installed new skyjacker shocks to get a smoother ride. I think I'm beyond that. My ride is extremely rough. Enough to make my stereo come lose. Is there any way I can smooth this riding quake down? I thought about bushing kits....any suggestions?

  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    600 lbs worth of sandbags in the truck bed.
  • edmelenedmelen Member Posts: 2
  • jordanfjordanf Member Posts: 15
    If i replace ball joints do i need to have an alignment done. Its a 91 chevy 4x4, with the tortion bar setup so my upper and lower ball joints is about all i have up front
  • cccnealcccneal Member Posts: 3
    I had 300lbs in the back of my 04, 2500 silverado the other day. The truck road better than normal. Any thoughts about putting a heavier bumper on the back to give me a smoother ride and still keeping the bed free? Any idea on what the weight of the stock bumper is?
  • skipvskipv Member Posts: 7
    Cannot resolve rough ride problems. Tried special ride shackles but no help. Though about removing helper leaf. Running monroe reflex shocks. Any good suggestions would help besides adding any weight to the rear end for that kills mileage. Also though of a 4 link
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    ran edlebrocks then switched to bilstein HD and the ride was awesome. Not quite like a caddy but way better than edlebrock or the stock shocks. I also ran the royal velvet shackles and had Michelin LTX M/S tires
  • l204l204 Member Posts: 6
    It will ride a little stiffer. It does not bother me but my wife likes the car feel to it without the lift. She is a little picky. You can get 3 inches out of the lift keys but you should only go 2 inches to keep a good ride ( 2 inches will be with the bolts all the way out (down on the block). You can get them on ebay for around $60. They are not hard to put in with a couple of 5 ton pullers. Use two pullers to crank the new key into place and then take the one off that is in the way of the key block and put the block in. Do not put your fingers in the hole. If the puller gives you will have one less finger. Drive it around and if you dont like it put the old ones back in. If you like it go get the alignment. If you use spray paint to mark the bolts on the old keys before you take them out you can put them back in and not need to re-align it.
  • gemini5362gemini5362 Member Posts: 17
    I am curious about the ride you get with the bilstein HD shocks. Did you do anything else or just change the shocks. I have a 2006 2500 HD crew cab normal bed diesel. The ride is normally fine but If I am on a toll road or something with shorter concrete sections it starts getting bouncy when I drive above 80( I know what the speed limit is thank you) I am wondering if the shocks would help that I had the same truck configuration in a 2005 model and it did the same thing
  • l204l204 Member Posts: 6
    I am still using the same factory shocks but I plan on changing them out because they are a little maxed out. I am sure some day I will break them if I don't. My truck is the non HD model so you have a stiffer suspension to start with. Funny about the 80mph thing. Nice truck by the way.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    The Bilsteins would help but you would still have that bounce over those expansion joints. It has more to do with the wheel base of the truck. The stock shocks do suck. I also replaced the shackles with velvet ride shackels and still had the bounce over expansion joints at 80.

    I drove a GMC 4500 over some expansion joints last week. Talk about bounce with no load.....and I was going no where near 80.
  • keytonkidkeytonkid Member Posts: 3
    My recently purchased Chev. Silverado 1500 ext cab two WD pickup rides rough. Unless the highway is very smooth you feel the bumps and roughness of the road more that I was expecting. The truck has the appearance of a four WD but is not. It sets higher above the frame than other Silverados I have noticed; even higher than some Z71's. It has torsion bars front suspension. On the rear it has a 2 1/4" block between the leaf springs and axle which causes the rear end to set up high. Was wondering if anyone has had the problem and if they discovered a fix for it. Also, do the torsion bars make the truck ride rougher? I thought all Silverado 1500 had coil springs at front suspension but I found out differently. Thanks for the input.

    The KeytonKid
  • l204l204 Member Posts: 6
    Was it used when you purchased it? It sounds like someone has placed torsion bar keys in the front end. It also sounds like they cranked them down all the way leaving little room for suspension. The stock keys have a nice ride but torsion bar keys will have a stiffer ride and a very rough ride when you crank them down. I think the truck should be 2 inches lower in the front than the rear unless they changed something in 06. You might be able to tell if you look at the cross member at the rear of the the torsion bars. Look in the middle between the gap and you will see there is a large thick metal piece. The stock should be a plain black and some aftermarket are silver. Some of the aftermarket are black also. The second thing to look at are the bolts. If they are cranked all the way up someone has cranked down on them to raise the front end. The bolts should be out at least an inch or so. Take it in to an alignment shop and have them drop them back down. You will need a realignment after this or you could just jack it up and do it your self.
  • keytonkidkeytonkid Member Posts: 3
    This truck was new when purchased on 09/02/2006, had 42 miles on it. Therefore, I don't believe any alternations have been done on it since GMC made it. I looked under the truck, and although I am not sure I understand where to look for the large thick metal piece you mentioned at the cross member at the rear of the torsion bars (don't see one), there doesn't appear to be any modifications made. The bolts extend out 13/16" of thread, 1 1/16" counting head. To confirm your statement, the truck is approximate 2 1/2' lower in the front than the rear. Do you suppose the 2 1/4" block between the leaf springs and rear axle (I mentioned this in my original message) could be removed, which would lower the rear to approximately the same height as the front (it would appear to me)? Or would this effect the handling of the vehicle negatively? Thanks for your input.
  • l204l204 Member Posts: 6
    Not sure on those rear blocks but I will bet someone will jump in with that information. The bolt you are looking at pushes up on the key between the rails of the cross member. The more you crank down on them the more front end lift you get. Some shops will crank them all the way down for you and only charge for the alignment. The truck will then be level. Problem is the truck will ride stiffer. The truck just might soften up on the ride after you put some miles on it. If not some new shocks might be the answer.
  • keytonkidkeytonkid Member Posts: 3
    This is an answer to my own question asked in my reply dated 10/31/06 in which I asked if anyone knew if the 2 1/4" block between the leaf springs and rear axle could be removed, which would lower the rear end of the truck. This week I talked with the service manager of the dealer where I purchased this truck. He advised me would not be acceptable to remove this block; it would only cause additional problems (he did not say what kind). The conclusion I have reached concerning this truck is that I have purchased a heavy duty (this is my own description) Silverado 1500 ext. cab. two wheel drive that has a suspension like a four wheel drive (torsion bars, lift block on rear springs), that will haul a heavy load and pull a heavy trailer, a truck that is over rated for what my use of this truck is. And I did not realize this until I had purchased it, with little input from the salesman to design the purchase to my needs. Live and learn. One question I would appreciated someone's comments on is: what is the royal velvet shackles I have seen mentions in several e-mails I have read from this site and in what way do they help the rough ride. Thanks to all for your help.
  • jnealjneal Member Posts: 247
    "This week I talked with the service manager of the dealer where I purchased this truck. He advised me would not be acceptable to remove this block; it would only cause additional problems."

    Believe what he told you. When you start raising or lowering the rear end you change pinion angles etc and set yourself up for all sorts of driveline vibrations/problems if you don't know your way around suspensions.

    "a truck that is over rated for what my use of this truck is."

    Look at it this way, you have a truck that is capable of hauling/towing almost anything you want instead of a light-duty that you would have to worry about overloading etc. To me that is worth the bit rougher ride etc. Some complain about the LT tires on their truck and change them out for passenger car tires...again I put up with the bit stiffer ride to know that I can haul/tow anything I desire within reason.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Royal velvet shackles were originally made by BF Goodrich who discontinued them. Here's a link to another one that's similar don't know if this one is discontinued. search=Hangars%20&Category=Suspension
  • ak_gringoak_gringo Member Posts: 3
    Are any of you guys familiar with the different supensions available on the new Silverados? I recently ordered one and they appear to have put the Z85 trailering/handeling package on instead of the Z60 high performance. I've been waiting for two months to get this truck and now it's not what I ordered but I don't want to re-order over the suspension if there isn't much to gain in performance or ride quality.Any insight would be appreciated, it's on the way to the dealer this week.
  • minglemingle Member Posts: 2
    Just new to the forums hope that someone can help me out. Just added a 6 in pro comp lift to my truck with dick cheney rims and pro comp all-terrain tires size 35*12.5 by 16. The question; I just wanna be safe on my transmission since everything else is stock. Should I change the gear ratio, alternate the tranny in any way. I was advised by the installer that the engine/tranny can handle the tire size and lift w/out any kind of alterations. And if someone can help me out as well letting me know what gear ratios the truck has from stock, or directing me to a web site, that be great. Just wanted someone elses different point of view, any feedback is appreciated. MERRY X-MAS
  • emgoaksemgoaks Member Posts: 5
    For what it's worth...I have a 6" pro-comp on my 2000 - 1/2 ton and all is well with running everything else stock....they told me the same thing in terms of the stock parts being able to handle the extra tire size and height....they seem to have been correct, mine has been lifted for about 2 years now and no other modifications have had to be done and the truck does fine....given most of my miles are either highway or light 4-wheel, nothing too drastic
  • minglemingle Member Posts: 2
  • northernlit420northernlit420 Member Posts: 3
  • northernlit420northernlit420 Member Posts: 3
    I got an 07 silverado classic crew cab, with the ls2 package. which for standard features says i got z85 suspension for handling and trailering and the solid smooth ride... which i dont quite get which do I have? The ride seems to be quite bumpy so if i do have the z85 suspension is it possible to put z71 shocks on the truck and have that improve the ride?
  • 72ragtop72ragtop Member Posts: 2
    You can take the blocks out with no ill effects, other than sitting a little lower if you really load it up. I took the same blocks out of my 02 Z71 4X4 ext cab with no ill effects. Just need the std 2wd u-bolts (2 in. shorter). Levels the truck out and makes the bed more accessible. I admit raised trucks look nice, but the little lower height makes it nice to load and unload the bed, get in and out, sit on tailgate, etc. Good luck, Jim.
  • xbbusterxbbuster Member Posts: 145
    I just bought an '07 Classic ext. cab W/T. It has a rough ride especially around town. Just wondered if the Bilstein shocks would make much difference in the ride. The truck is used mainly for transportation not hauling.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Bilsteins would make a difference and so would the tires.
  • xbbusterxbbuster Member Posts: 145
    I thought perhaps it was the rack and pinion steering that was giving it a rough ride. I had a '95 reg cab Chevy truck with 99,000 miles on it with Monroe shocks and Michelin tires that rode like a Cadillac compared to the '07.Thanks for the info.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    If anything the rack and pinion steering would give it a better ride, but really shouldn't effect it either way.

  • bif_jrbif_jr Member Posts: 2
    I was told that a leveling kit on a 2004 Silverado Z71 will only raise my front end about 1" rather than the normal 2-2.5". Apparently the Z71 has a built in leveling kit on it. Is this true? Is there any other way to get 33" tires on my truck then without putting a 4-6" lift on? Thanks for any info you might have.
  • bif_jrbif_jr Member Posts: 2
  • peaeyepeaeye Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2004 Z71 and would like to level the front end. It looks like around 2.5 inches. A 4x4 shop told me you can get some lift from your torsion bars if they aren’t maxed out. Mine are. I asked about the torsion key lift kits and the guy there didn’t recommend them, he said they would cause other front end problems. This shop had no solution for me. This web site seems to contradict what they said,
    I’m not sure what I will do. Good luck to you. K
  • wcshiverswcshivers Member Posts: 1
    I just found your post about the 07 classic LS2 truck. I have the same problem. It beats me to death on dirt roads and around fields. Did you find a way to a softer ride? Thank you.
  • blharris77blharris77 Member Posts: 6
    Has anyone had any experience leveling the front end of a 2007 Sierra or Silverado? From what I can tell there are two options to do this: Buy a leveling kit or tighten the torsion bars. Anyone ever done either one of these? Are there pros/cons to each? Experiences?

  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    whether you're planning to raise the front or lower the back. Cheapest way is the torsion bar plus the cost of an alignment though you may not be happy with the ride. One thing with the torsion bar method. It doesn't cost much to undo it should you be unhappy.
  • 12ozcurls12ozcurls Member Posts: 65
    Well if you have a 2007 CLASSIC version of the Sierra or Silverado, then yes you could crank up the torsion bars. I would advise against this on its own because it will put tremendous stress on the ball joints and pit arm and will lead to premature suspension wear. However, there is a company that has a leveling kit that solves these problems. You can read about the kit here:

    Now if you have a new body style 2007 Silverado or Sierra, then there are no more torsion bars. They ditched the torsion bars in favor of coil over shock setup. There are several companies that make a spacer type of leveling kit. I think REVTEK makes one, I think most of the suspension companies make em. I would check out the Rancho one here:
  • duncancpcduncancpc Member Posts: 2
    I am going to put a 3" bodly lift, so i can fit 35's. Am i correct for only puting a body lift on?
    Also would like suggestions on an air intake. thinking a cold air intake system.
    Also will take any other suggestions that people have done to there toys.
  • 12ozcurls12ozcurls Member Posts: 65
    Well I would just go with a 6 inch suspension lift and forget the body lift all together. Below are some links that may help you. :shades:

    This is to a youtube video where the guy has installed a Fabtech 6 inch suspension lift and 35's.
  • duncancpcduncancpc Member Posts: 2
  • levin1levin1 Member Posts: 8
    I'd like to level out the front end. I pull a 10,000 lb trailer so I can't go too high unless I had something to keep the rear from sagging from the trailer. Is there a shock absorber that would give me some lift or will turning up the torsion bars be safe to do. I'm not into the high lift big tire thing but it would be nice to level it out with a safe method that wasn't costly. 1" to 2" would be nice. Thanks
  • blharris77blharris77 Member Posts: 6
  • 12ozcurls12ozcurls Member Posts: 65
    Well it depends what vehicle you have but I'm assuming its a '99-'06 Silverado/Sierra. cranking up the torsion bars alone will leave you with crappy ride quality and the suspension parts will wear faster, especially if you tow on a regular basis. If you want to level it, do it right. Check out this company and their kit:
  • thor2074thor2074 Member Posts: 6
    I have a 2006 Silverado Crew Cab 1/2 ton 2WD. It has the stock suspension, shocks and tires on it. It is very bouncy from the day I bought it new. It does fine on smoth surfaces (what doesn't), but when I hit the freeway with concret slab sections, the truck bounces like a bronco at any speeds over 45mph, almost making the passengers sick to their stomach.

    One thing I can add is that I have driven over this stretch of freeway for over 30 years in different cars and trucks, including Dodge, Ford, Chevy, and Toyota trucks, some with 3/4 tons and old solid front axels.

    No other truck has bounced this bad over the same concrete slabs. I do know that the wheel base is an issue, but I have had a long bed Ford F150 which is close to the same lenght as my Chevy Crew cab and never experienced such a bouncy ride.

    On top of all this, I was lead to believe Chevy's ruled in ride comfort my whole life and this is my first new truck I have ever owned, so I have been very dissapointed with my purchase.

    Does anybody have any ideas or helpfull solutions to fixing this? I'm not expecting a glass smooth ride, I do expect a somewhat rough ride over the concrete slabs, but not as bad as I am experiencing. Should I replace the shocks? I have read that Bilstien shooks are good shocks.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    HD Bilsteins are a good start. Do you by chance have those crappy General tires? If so they contribute substantially to the bounce due to thin sidewalls which create a balloon effect. You may want to change those out to some Michelin LTX M/S. Between the two you will notice a substantial change in the way the truck drives.
  • thor2074thor2074 Member Posts: 6
    Thannks obyone, I didn't realize the stock General tires would make a difference. Figures that GM would cut such corners in production and put a terrible tire on it's product.

    I will have to buy some new tires for it. Do you or anybody have an alternative to the Michelin LTX M/S tires mentioned here? I'm trying to keep the budget of tires closer to $100 a piece, and would like to know if other brands offer stronger sidewalls.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    You could try doing a search on tirerack for your size and check the survey results as to which tires did better than others and their pricing.
  • thor2074thor2074 Member Posts: 6
    I went to the site. The Continentals got high rankings on every category. They don't look like an aggressive or sporty tire, but if they are good tires then it's worth it. Anybody here have an luck with the Continentals?

    Oh, and anybody with info on the strength of the sidewall on the Continentals? Stronger than the stock Generals?
  • xbbusterxbbuster Member Posts: 145
    Thor3074, You aren't alone with a rough riding Silverado. I have an '07 2WD Ext. cab. The test drive when I bought was on smooth roads. The window sticker said it had "solid smooth ride suspension" It's the bounciest rough rideing truck I have ever had. And yes it has 17" General tires. Replacing the shocks and tires that obyone recommeded would have to cost at least $700 just to get a better ride for what I thought I was buying in the first place. I don't think I'll have this truck very long.
  • thor2074thor2074 Member Posts: 6
    Geeze, I want to get rid of my truck too. I thought Chevy was going to make me cool. Now I have no teeth from the bouncy ride. I want the new Tundra. The only problem is that I bought the Chevy new, and they took me to the cleaner, because I obviously don't know how to negotiate and am a sucker. If anybody has any beach front property to sell in Arizona, I'm a taker.
  • thor2074thor2074 Member Posts: 6

    If you bought a truck new, and paid a little over invoice, and paid for the Premium Warranty, and paid all them taxes, at what point is it financially right to sell the truck and take a hit on all that money I'll be loosing? I know I'll loose a lot as it is, but how can I minimze my loss?
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