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2016 Z71 3.6L Crew Cab Long Box in Hideous Red
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all!

I've had my Z71 4x4 crew cab long bed for a few years now and never got around to leveling it. I just started thinking about doing it but got to thinking. I know, I know, that is a dangerous thing which causes analysis paralysis but here I am. I searched around a little and couldn't find a thread about this so if this is redundant, I apologize.

Simply put, what are the pros and cons of leveling my 2016 gasser?
 

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2018 Chevy ZR2
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398 Posts
I've leveled every truck I've ever owned. I don't really see any "con" to a level. Now the crazy outrageous lift kits, theres some cons. But really none on just a level Kit.
 

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Former '17 Canyon All Terrain 3.6L CCSB owner
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By no means an expert here, but I'd say it depends on your end game. Do you want bigger tires? Do you tow often? Or do you just want to get rid of the rake? Single data point here, but I purchased the GM front level and ended up returning it before installing because 1: the part was only $150 but the cheapest quote I got for installation was about $800 (and I don't have the tools or wherewithal to do it myself) and 2: I tow a heavy boat fairly often during the summer and I didn't want to degrade the towing capacity. Probably not enough of a change to cause a serious decrease in towing capacity, but I erred on the side of caution.
 
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2018 Chevy ZR2
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By no means an expert here, but I'd say it depends on your end game. Do you want bigger tires? Do you tow often? Or do you just want to get rid of the rake? Single data point here, but I purchased the GM front level and ended up returning it before installing because 1: the part was only $150 but the cheapest quote I got for installation was about $800 (and I don't have the tools or wherewithal to do it myself) and 2: I tow a heavy boat fairly often during the summer and I didn't want to degrade the towing capacity. Probably not enough of a change to cause a serious decrease in towing capacity, but I erred on the side of caution.
800$!!!!! For a level Kit install??? Good lord.
 

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2017 & 2021 ZR2
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Like RJL.....a leveling spacer has gone into both ZR2s the day I brought them home. You can literally do it with hand tools in about 45 minutes, then go get an alignment. For me it's aesthetic, as I can't stand the rake of a stock truck. I've had zero negative impact at all driving on/off road or towing. Both tows in the pics were cross country. Leveling kit on Amazon is $49.00.


 

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Former '17 Canyon All Terrain 3.6L CCSB owner
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800$!!!!! For a level Kit install??? Good lord.
Yeah, the GM front level requires taking the wheel and spring off, putting 1/2" "lower and upper" spacers in as opposed to just popping a 1" spacer in

Cameras & optics Camera accessory Camera lens Font Camera
 
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Only potential cons are you lose 1" of droop travel since lifting the suspension moves the resting position to a place lower in the travel which raises the truck upwards. Also if you have a heavy load in the bed, the rear will sit lower relative to the front than it would otherwise. Your front viewing angle might change by some immeasurable amount.

It's all only 1", it's not major.
 

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You do have to disassemble the coilovers to install the GMPP level but it's not that bad. 3-4hr job with the right tools (which is really common hand tools plus a strut compressor. I used this one: ABN 11.5in Strut Spring Compressor Tool. Technically I used it twice since I also used it to remove the GMPP leveling kit when I put on King coilovers). I followed the RC leveling installation instructions and they were spot on. Also believe there is a video put out by them.

All "leveling" kits are generally a preload spacer, coil spacer, or combination of the two. All preload spacers will increase the firmness of the front suspension and require disassembling the coilover. In essence they increase the springrate of the front coils. All coil spacers will decrease downtravel, generally by the amount of "lift" they provide. If you don't do anything but mild offroading (or less), a coil spacer (like RC, 589 fab, etc...) will work for you. If you want to hit mild to moderate trails occasionally, I recommend a combination (like the GMPP one). If you want to hit more technical trails, I don't recommend either of these options.

As stated above, the cons are reduced down travel equal to the level and/or increased suspension firmness up front. The pros are looks and you can almost clear 265/70R17s but they'll probably still slightly rub at full lock, especially if articulated (incline, obstacle, etc...). I gained ~1.5" out of the GMPP level.

Coil Coil spring Suspension Shock absorber Gas


Automotive tire Wood Bumper Gas Automotive exterior



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I've considered this for my Canyon. Although more expensive, would the lifted strut kit, (shocks and struts) be an easier install? And another question, would 2" be too much if I'm just wanting a level appearance?

Rough Country and probably others make a complete assembly.

2 INCH LEVELING KIT

 

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I've considered this for my Canyon. Although more expensive, would the lifted strut kit, (shocks and struts) be an easier install? And another question, would 2" be too much if I'm just wanting a level appearance?

Rough Country and probably others make a complete assembly.

2 INCH LEVELING KIT
Yes that would be easier and some do it, and then some add a 1 inch block in the back to make it more level, all trucks are different.

to the OP, you have a long bed, so I would guesstimate how much you need to raise the front to make it level. You can use the bed as a reference, along witha level.

the RC/589 and gm levels raise the truck up a little over an inch, some say up to 1.5 inches

Readylift makes 2, one shows 2 inches and the other says 2.5 inch level, people who buy them end up putting 1 inch blocks in the back so they are not nose high.

and make sure you re-aim the lights...

fyi" when i had mine installed the local off road place wanted $1,000 for parts and install
I paid the corner shop 2 hrs labor and alignment = $280 , I have the tools but a wife who says I am to old to be doing these things.

Last truck I had, installed a suspension and body lift while she was gone one weekend...
 
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Yes that would be easier and some do it, and then some add a 1 inch block in the back to make it more level, all trucks are different.

to the OP, you have a long bed, so I would guesstimate how much you need to raise the front to make it level. You can use the bed as a reference, along witha level.

the RC/589 and gm levels raise the truck up a little over an inch, some say up to 1.5 inches

Readylift makes 2, one shows 2 inches and the other says 2.5 inch level, people who buy them end up putting 1 inch blocks in the back so they are not nose high.

and make sure you re-aim the lights...

fyi" when i had mine installed the local off road place wanted $1,000 for parts and install
I paid the corner shop 2 hrs labor and alignment = $280 , I have the tools but a wife who says I am to old to be doing these things.

Last truck I had, installed a suspension and body lift while she was gone one weekend...
Wife as she gets in your last truck: Was this step always this high ?

Hunter62:
Vertebrate Cartoon Primate Toy Mammal
 

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Wife as she gets in your last truck: Was this step always this high ?

Hunter62:
She asked "When did you lift the truck up"? as she pulled herself in, then just shook her head..
 

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The reason the tails are up are mostly do to the fact #1 truck are intended to haul loads and it help it from being tail down if you add weight of tools cap etc.

#2 leaf springs will sag over time. Toyota and even the S10 had some years the springs sagged and made these trucks tail draggers

It is a matter of looks mostly some it bothers some not.

The major con is buying a cheap bad kit that could create issues. Rare but it happens.
 

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I've considered this for my Canyon. Although more expensive, would the lifted strut kit, (shocks and struts) be an easier install? And another question, would 2" be too much if I'm just wanting a level appearance?

Rough Country and probably others make a complete assembly.

2 INCH LEVELING KIT

I’ve had that RC combination on my 2019 Colorado crew cab since bought new. My suspension shop guy said easy job. When on level pavement my truck appears to be perfectly level. Just needed alignment afterwards. The ride is the same as OEM. Some will say to do a differential drop. But both my suspension shop guy and service manager and parts guy that has it on his truck at my GM dealership said not enough angle that it’s necessary with just 2 inch level.
 

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2022 Colorado Z71 V6 3.6L 4WD Crew Cab Black
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1: the part was only $150 but the cheapest quote I got for installation was about $800 (and I don't have the tools or wherewithal to do it myself)
Been considering the GM 1" level and whether to try that myself. Pretty bad when installation costs more than the part. Looks like GM dealer installation is $364 on the accessories website if you want to consider that route.
 

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Former '17 Canyon All Terrain 3.6L CCSB owner
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Been considering the GM 1" level and whether to try that myself. Pretty bad when installation costs more than the part. Looks like GM dealer installation is $364 on the accessories website if you want to consider that route.
Yeah, the quote I got was from a local Chevy dealership. I showed him what the accessories page said and he pulled up some other document showing almost double the necessary time/work. Not really a big deal to me at the end of the day, as I wasn't doing it to get extra clearance for tires.
 

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Pros: Looks awesome
Cons: Looks worse when towing/hauling heavy
Pros: Looks awesome
Cons: Performs worse when towing/hauling/offroading.
 

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