lift kits 101


New Member
So i know a bit about cars, and usually do my own work, but suspension work is out of my league. I have searched for a couple hours but cannot find definite answers to this issue.

I recently had a local shop give me an estimate on a 2" lift for my Tahoe. i drive in deep snow sometimes and can feel it drag on the floorboards, so i thought a lift might help. He gave me a price that was combined with some other stuff i wanted done. I specifically asked: "will i need different shocks?" his answer on two occasions, "no, the kit comes with shock extensions, all the right stuff. you will not need new shocks and you will keep your stock ride qualities". so this sounded reasonable to me, being a suspension newbie.

now, i get the rig back and there are no "shock extensions". you can see that the shocks are stretched out, and the cv axle angles seem extreme to me. it looks like all he did was put aftermarket torsion bar keys on, and a spacer on the rear springs.

so here is the question(s):
1. 2" lift and same shocks? actually looks closer to 3". doesn't sound right to me.
2. the cv joint angle looks like accelerated wear to me?
3. the stops are obviously different huge travel until it hits-- is this okay?
4. is there a lift kit available that would lift my rig 2" without this torsion bar crank?
5. besides the fact that the slime-ball lied to me, any other issues i am missing here? ball joints, etc...

thanks in advance
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New Member
2" lift and same shocks? actually looks closer to 3". doesn't sound right to me.

when you install any of those, obviously a difference between the 2 in terms of height. most owners go with 1.5" lift than 2" if they only need a "mild" lift. Going for 3" would really give a big difference. although it will show the frame because of the added height, you'll get more clearance especially if you're planning to put on bigger, beefier tires.


New Member
Has any body had a issue the tie rod angles. I have a 2001 Tahoe with rc key lift and 1.5 spacers in the rear. 20x10 rims -44 offset.295/60/20 nitto mt's,
I had it re-aligned and it steers great on a flat surface.
The issue I'm having is when I hit a dip or bump in the road the suspension flexes and the truck will jerk or steer left or right. I think ive figured out that the tie rod is moving from at a downward angle to straight and is moving the tires as a result.
I think this is called bump steer.
is anybody else having this issue. i searched and found nothing on it.


New Member
I just did aftermarket lift keys and 275-65-20s. I started out with the keys resting on the stops and bolts barely tightened. Then I drove the truck a few blocks, realized how rough it was and tightened the bolts up a bit cranking the keys. This improved the ride dramatically and lifted the truck maybe 2" in the front. The jounce stops of lower control arms barely have any gap after the wheel alignment and I installed a piece of 12-gauge steel so that the stops completely contact the control arm now. I made sure that my kit provided the shock extenders, although it's a bit much as my keys are not cranked very much so something does bottom out when I hit a dip at speed. Other than that, the steering geometry didn't move from factory spec a great deal & the tech had no problems correcting the alignment after the drastic toe-in condition resulting from the lift. A $hitty tech can half-ass the install, creating major problems. You definitely need shock extenders ASAP ($30 on eBay)

You also need a wheel alignment ASAP if you haven't done that already. Should be the first thing that you do. The upper & lower control arms should be loosened and suspension cycled several times before tightening the frame mounts again. If you don't loosen the control arm mounting points when you drop the suspension, there will be major tension on the bushings, creating even more problems. Another reason for the alignment ASAP as they will need to loosen everything up to make adjustments as well. If you haven't done the alignment already, consider letting off the keys a bit; it will only help improve the driveline angles. Once you spend $80-$100 having the wheels aligned, it's too late and your stuck with the final height unless you decide to drop it down some and go pay to have it aligned all over again but that's just pi$$ing money away.

Mine doesn't have enough lift to even warrant extended stabilizer links which was something I thought would be automatic. I had no bind though. For all of you doing these 3" keys, consider using about half of their working capacity instead of maxing out the crank. There is a huge difference between 1.5/2" and the 3" max rating. Don't cause yourself probs trying to fit the biggest tires possible. If you want 33"-35" tires get a true 6" suspension lift.

These trucks weren't designed to run 33"+ tires anyway. I want reliability and the thought of being stranded somewhere due to a broken axle or blown differential is my worst nightmare. Here's my truck; nothing to write home about but it's everything that I expected and it drives the same as how I bought it, even better actually. Oh & looks hell of a lot better.


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New Member
Hey man...nice looking rig. I'd like to do something similar what kit did you go with specifically? I just bought mine and am looking to do some things

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New Member
Hope you guys keep this post going. I bought an 04 z71 Tahoe myself. When I got the truck the front end was sagging down quite a bit. My cousin said there was most likely adjustment left in the torsion keys. I brought it over to his garage, and we put it up on the lift. there was plenty of adjustment left, and we were able to level the truck.
It has new tires on it, but I am not a big fan of them. (Fusion brand) I would like to lift the truck 1 - 1/2" more. Next tires I would like to go back to the BF Goodrich AT tires. I had those on my 3/4 ton pickup and was very satisfied.
If I were to lift the truck a little more to get that extra 1 1/2" what would be the recommended tire ? I would like to keep the stock wheels, more of a skinny tire and I also want to put a Meyer home plow for cleaning my driveway. Thanks Tahoedriver0468