Trucks are versatile vehicles. Aside from functioning as a durable carrier of heavy cargo, trucks can be modified to be driven on all terrains. This is possible only when the truck has been installed with a suspension kit. Suspension kits also give the image of an imposing truck with its height and large wheels.
You can either go the safe and risk-free track of bringing your truck to a mechanic for professional installation or do the installation yourself. Installing the suspension kit yourself may sound very challenging but it is possible even for the mechanically challenged individual. You just need to be well-informed on the requirement of this task and you're good to go.
Before you start installing a suspension kit on your truck, think about these factors first:
- What does your truck manual say? Check your manufacturer's manual first and see if you will need intricate mechanical work like welding or cutting. If this is the case, you have no choice but to go to a mechanic who has the tools needed for the project.
- Know the needed modifications. Your truck may need to have some modifications done before installing a suspension kit. Some trucks need their engines to be tuned at a specific gear ratio when installing larger tires. If you do not have an idea on the gear ratio needed for a specific tire size, go to a mechanic and let them do the task.
- Understand the legalities. Some states have written regulations regarding automobile suspension. Check the law first before proceeding with this project.
- Prepare yourself for change. Having a suspension kit and large tires installed will definitely affect your truck's performance. Traction is poor on wet roads, turns are less stable, and the height may take time in getting more used to.
Here are the steps you need to do in installing a truck suspension kit:
- Disconnect the battery to prevent electric shock.
- Lift the truck off the ground using jacks.
- Loosen and remove the nuts that are connecting the lower shock mounts to the wheels.
- Detach the shocks from the mounts. You may need to use a hammer to give it a little push.
- Remove the studs that attach the leaf spring mounts to the frame.
- Remove the U bolts, leaf springs and the mounting brackets.
- Attach the new suspension springs on the mounting brackets.
- Replace the old bushings of your truck's wheels with new ones.
- Reattach the leaf springs. It would be better if you use new bolts.
- Reinstall the U bolts to the mounting frame.
- Place the new shocks on the mounts and tightly attach them with the nuts and bolts.
- Lower your truck to the ground and connect the battery cables.
The steps may vary according to the suspension kit you will be using and your truck's model. Read the instructions carefully and make sure that you follow each step. When in doubt, consult a mechanic to check your installation and the alignment of your wheels.