Do not lift over 2 inches on leveling kits - tie rod issues - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Do not lift over 2 inches on leveling kits - tie rod issues

My truck came with a stock rake of 3.25 inches lower in the front measured at the wheel wells.

Installed a Tuff Country 3.5 inch leveling kit when my 2019 Chevy 3500 HD had 1,000 miles on it.

Side Note: Tuff Country leveling kit had multiple upper ball joint failures in only 5,000 miles ... don’t recommend this kit for several reasons.

The Tuff Country Kit came with aftermarket torsion keys that we used to lift 3 inches in the front leaving 1/4 inch of rake.

I have 16,000 miles on my truck now and have broken three sets of tie rods ... factory set, Fabtech set, and Cognito set.

Cognito tie rod set broke yesterday within 15 miles after leaving the tire shop.

Luckily all of this has been under warranty thru the local tire shop so it has not cost me anything for the parts or labor.

Tire shop has finally thrown in the towel and we are putting a Fabtech 4 inch lift kit on tomorrow.

I did not go with a leveling kit to be cheap ... I did it to keep the back of my truck at stock height with air bags for towing a fifth wheel trailer.

Maybe others have been able to lift the front of their L5P truck 3 inches with just an upper control arm leveling kit and have no issues ... but did not work on my truck.

Just be cautious what the aftermarket companies tell you on their 3.5” leveling kits ... both companies told me it would work on my truck ... which it did not.

Also, be cautious of the aftermarket tie rods ... both inner tie rod dust boots slightly rubbed on the bump stop (jounce) perch that comes down from the frame. No mention of this in their compatibility disclaimers. Still waiting for their responses on this issue (probably unlikely I will get one).

I have an optimistic outlook that the 4 inch Fabtech lift kit will solve the tie rod issues on Thursday ... comes with a different knuckle that relocates the tie rod connection to a location with the the proper angle (almost flat). It also connects from the top to the knuckle instead of underneath ... something GM should have done several years back when the trucks kept getting taller and the tie rod angles kept getting steeper.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD 6.6L Duramax (L5P) Crew Cab 4x4 SRW Standard Box High Country Loaded w/ Rear Entertainment Package
Fabtech 4 Lift w/ 35s, Luverne Grille Guard w/ Parking Sensor Relocation Kit, Banks Derringer / iDash / Intake / DPF Back Exhaust, Vision Valor Wheels, Bilstein Shocks, Front & Rear Hellwig Sway Bars, Airlift Air Bags w/ Wireless Air

Last edited by UTEngineer; 08-07-2019 at 06:57 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 10:43 AM
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I hope you enjoy the fab tech 4 inch lift. Mine gave me problems from the day I put it on, it essentially is a glorified leveling kit. I ran it for a couple thousand miles till i couldn't put up with it anymore and upgraded to an actual lift. Looking forward to your thoughts and insight on it.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:02 AM
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When I was running my Zone 3" the highest I could raise the front was 2", rode great and never had any tie rod issues.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Northwest Coal Roller View Post
I hope you enjoy the fab tech 4 inch lift. Mine gave me problems from the day I put it on, it essentially is a glorified leveling kit. I ran it for a couple thousand miles till i couldn't put up with it anymore and upgraded to an actual lift. Looking forward to your thoughts and insight on it.

Subd
Thanks for the response ... was it this Fabtech 4 inch lift: https://fabtechmotorsports.com/produ...-shocks-k1123/

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD 6.6L Duramax (L5P) Crew Cab 4x4 SRW Standard Box High Country Loaded w/ Rear Entertainment Package
Fabtech 4 Lift w/ 35s, Luverne Grille Guard w/ Parking Sensor Relocation Kit, Banks Derringer / iDash / Intake / DPF Back Exhaust, Vision Valor Wheels, Bilstein Shocks, Front & Rear Hellwig Sway Bars, Airlift Air Bags w/ Wireless Air
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTEngineer View Post
Thanks for the response ... was it this Fabtech 4 inch lift: https://fabtechmotorsports.com/produ...-shocks-k1123/
No, sorry I guess what I technically had was their 3.5" lift with the knuckles and control arms. The one you are looking at is a true 4" lift it looks like. They didn't have that option when I was buying. The kit you are looking at has proper drops and should be just fine.

Wish they had that option when I was looking at lifts
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2017 GMC Denali: 5% tint all around, 55% windshield, RC traction bars, 6" Fabtech, 20x12 Hostile Stykers, 35x13.5 Toyo A/T
2003 LB7 ECSB Too much air, too much fuel(Died 26May2017)
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 08:17 PM
 
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That's unfortunate to hear about issues with a leveling kit that includes the upgraded control arms. I am planning to install the Suspension Maxx STAGE2 3" kit with FOXX shocks. I want good ride quality and reliability so I was hoping that this kit with the control arms and spacers would give me that.

I've almost pulled the trigger on ordering it numerous times, but spending $1600 on the kit to tear apart the front suspension of my brand new truck is not something I want to rush in to... The truck rides great right now, I just hate the front rake.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ 6.6L Duramax (L5P) Crew Cab 4x4 Z71
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by duramaxdan2500 View Post
That's unfortunate to hear about issues with a leveling kit that includes the upgraded control arms. I am planning to install the Suspension Maxx STAGE2 3" kit with FOXX shocks. I want good ride quality and reliability so I was hoping that this kit with the control arms and spacers would give me that.

I've almost pulled the trigger on ordering it numerous times, but spending $1600 on the kit to tear apart the front suspension of my brand new truck is not something I want to rush in to... The truck rides great right now, I just hate the front rake.
Is that $1600 the installed price? A Zone 5" complete lift that could be turned down to 3" and be perfect only costs $1100, still less than $1600 with Fox shocks.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:18 PM
 
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That's $1600 just for the kit...

https://suspensionmaxx.com/product/SMX-GM-HD-STAGE2F

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ 6.6L Duramax (L5P) Crew Cab 4x4 Z71
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by duramaxdan2500 View Post
That seems high just for a level, you can get a BDS 4.5 lift with Fox for $2100.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 10:59 AM
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Sounds like typical problems from wayyy over cranking the front end. Adding aftermarket keys is not the correct thing to do if you want to keep the factory ride. ANY leveling kit will not ride as smooth as factory no matter what the manufacturer says if it cranked too much; which some people are fine with. Unless the kit includes a diff drop and new knuckles, your ride is going to suffer more than likely. There are several threads on here that go over all of this. A lowered lift, or not cranked all the way up is the way to go and will ride nearly as well as factory. Take it from someone who used to think leveling kits were the way to go until I had a lift.

@Northwest Coal Roller I'm assuming you would agree after reading your posts?

@duramaxdan2500 You're better off with an actual lift unless you don't crank that kit anywhere near the 3" they say you can. Or install drop shackles and do a small level (the route I'm going to try on this truck).

@jwcgmc1985 Feel free to chime in here lol.

Casey
2016 Denali 3500HD - Stock
2018 Silverado 2500HD - Sold
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