The Fine Print

    Need-To-know Info For GM Lift Kits

    The ManufacturersPhotographerFred WilliamsPhotographerHarry WagnerWriterTom MorrPhotographer

    Prior to the ’88 model year if you wanted a lift kit for your GM pickup you just found the leaf springs that provided the lift you wanted and what fit your budget, then bolted them in place. While the steering needed to be addressed, the process was still relatively simple and inexpensive. All of that changed when GM went to independent front suspension. The introduction of crossmembers and upper and lower control arms in place of leaf springs make IFS a more complex suspension for four-wheelers wanting to lift their trucks for additional ground clearance and tire fitment.

    There’s a wide variety of IFS lift kits on the market, and they vary dramatically in terms of price, features, and construction. Once you have determined the tire size and amount of lift that you want, there are many more things you will want to consider. Read on to help ensure that you get exactly what you want when it comes time to lift your IFS GM.

    Top 10 IFS Lift Questions (OK, Maybe a Few Extra)
    Before purchasing your lift kit consider asking the vendor these questions to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want.

    • Is the lift compatible with ABS, ESP, Stabilitrak, and all other electronic sensors?

    • Can the lift be removed and the truck returned to stock?

    • Do I have to cut the front differential mounting ear?

    • Is any welding required?

    • Are any driveline or exhaust modifications required?

    • Is the front crossmember one piece or multiple pieces?

    • Is the track width altered?

    • Does the kit come with new brake lines? Are they an option?

    • Does the kit come with shocks? Are upgraded or dual shocks an option?

    • Are skidplates included? Are they an option?

    • Are steering modifications required? Are they included or an option?

    • Does the rear use lift blocks or springs? Are replacement rear springs an option?

    • Will the factory wheels work? What size and backspacing is recommending for wheels with this lift kit?