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1988-1998 Chevy/GMC 2WD C1500 P/U Ext. Cab V8 7″ Performance Suspension System

September 30th, 2009 · No Comments

1. Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Jack up the front end of the truck and support the frame rails with jack stands. NEVER WORK UNDER AN UNSUPPORTED VEHICLE! Remove the front tires.
2. Working from both sides of the truck, remove and discard the factory sway bar end links from the truck. Remove the sway bar from the truck and save with hardware.
3. Remove the bolts attaching the brake caliper to the spindle, save the hardware. Remove the caliper and tie it up and out of the way. DO NOT ALLOW THE CALIPER TO HANG BY THE BRAKE LINE! Remove the brake rotor and save. Remove the ABS / Dust Shield from the spindle and set them aside and save along with the hardware.
4. On the driver side of the vehicle, support the lower control arm (LCA) with a jack and remove the front shock and discard, save the hardware from lower shock mount and discard the upper shock hardware. Remove the nut from the end of the tie rod and separate the tie rod from the spindle by hitting the end of the steering knuckle with a hammer. DO NOT HIT THE THREADS ON THE TIE ROD END. Save the hardware. SEE PHOTO BELOW.
5. With the lower control arm still supported by the jack remove the cotter pins and loosen the nuts holding the upper and lower ball joints to the spindle, do not remove the nuts completely at this time. Separate the ball joints from the spindle by hitting the side of the spindle near each ball joint with a hammer. DO NOT HIT THE THREADS ON THE BALL JOINTS. Remove the ball joint nuts from ball joints then remove the spindle from the truck and discard, save the ball joint castle nuts and discard the original cotter pins.
6. Slowly lower the floor jack supporting the lower control arm to release the coil spring. EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN WORKING WITH COIL SPRINGS UNDER LOAD! Set the coil spring aside and remove the upper spring isolator and save them. DO NOT DISCARD THE COIL ISOLATOR, THEY WILL BE REINSTALLED ON THE NEW COILS.
7. Locate the factory bump stops on the factory lower controlarms and remove them. Discard the bump stops and the hardware.
8. Remove the factory lower control arms from the truck and save the factory hardware.
9. Remove the upper control arm from the truck and save the hardware. Inspect the control arm pockets to see if the alignment cam knock-outs have been removed out of the pockets. If they have not been removed, do so at this time. If they have been removed the pivot holes will be slotted.
10. Using a solvent like acetone, remove the black wax off the frame on the UCA mounts. Locate FTS1500GK and tack weld the UCA gussets into place as shown on the supplied drawing. Slide the UCA back into the frame mount and be sure there is adequate clearance between the UCA and the new gussets. Remove the arm once you have checked for proper clearance. Completely weld both sides of the gusset onto the frame and UCA mount. Inspect the factory UCA pocket for proper factory weld size and penetration. Many factory welds are undersized and do not have good penetration due to automation assembly process at GM. Should the factory weld on the UCA pocket appear to lack proper penetration and structure re-weld at this time. When all the welded areas have cooled, paint all exposed areas. Reinstall the upper control arm using the original hardware. When reinstalling the cam bolts in the upper control arm, set the cam in the middle of its adjustment.
11. Repeat steps four through ten on the passenger side of the vehicle at this time.
12. Following the diagram on the last page of this instruction sheet, mark and cut the factory front lower control arm pockets.

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