We Install a Skyjacker 4-inch Lift System to Our First-Generation Chevy Colorado
Wheels, Tires & Lift on a First-Gen Chevy Colorado
To properly lift our 2008 Chevy Colorado, we opted for a Skyjacker 4-inch lift system, which consists of new front crossmembers, brackets, knuckles, brake lines, and hardware. The new steering knuckles ensure that the upper control arms retain the stock geometry, in addition to the front differential and rack-and-pinion steering box. Since these trucks come from the factory with a nose-down rake, new 2 1/2-inch rear leaf springs will raise the back side of the pickup level with the front. Skyjacker Black MAX shocks got the nod at all four corners to ensure a smooth ride and to keep all four tires in contact with the ground at all times.
When it came time to decide on wheels and tires, we all agreed that Mamba Offroad Wheels has some of the best-looking off-road alloys on the market. What we couldn't agree upon, however, was which series of Mamba wheel we liked best for the Colorado. Having such a variety of designs can make it hard to pick a favorite, but we eventually decided on a set of 17x9 matte black Type M19 wheels, The Intel. The Skyjacker lift kit requires a wheel with a minimum of 4 3/4 inches of backspacing, and the Mamba Type M19s come in with room to spare, measuring 4.53 inches. Wrapping the oversized alloys will be a set of 285/70R17 Kenda Klever R/T tires. These 33-inch-diamter, all-weather tires feature aggressive styling, optimized tread design, and three-ply sidewalls, which results in a tire that works great anywhere off-road, be it snow, mud, or dirt, while the construction provides long-lasting wear with reasonable ride and road noise.
While we've got the suspension and brake components pulled apart, we figured we'd make a few upgrades by contacting the folks at RockAuto for some brake components, new hubs, and a few other ancillary items.
With our expectations laid out and a pile of parts on hand, let's get started and see what it takes to make a boring old truck into a capable camping machine.