With the 2000 model year, Chevrolet introduced an all-new front (torsion bar) and rear (coil spring/trailing arm) suspension for its full-size trucks and SUVs, designed to improve ride, handling and safety. Immediately, the aftermarket responded by offering the urban automotive enthusiast lowered front control arms, new torsion keys and shorter rear springs to drop the truck’s ride height.
Now, the suspension lowering experts at Mike McGaughy’s Suspension Parts (in Fresno, California) have taken it to the next level by introducing dropped front spindles for 2000 and newer Cadillac, Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs. Dropped spindles offer the advantage of retaining factory ride and steering geometry with a lowered suspension. The spindles are so revolutionary, in fact, they won GM’s 2003 SEMA Design Award for Most Innovative Product.
Before opening the company in 1988, McGaughy’s had already successfully engineered a power steering conversion for ’55, ’56 and ‘57 Chevrolets. Since then the business has expanded to include a full line of bolt-on components for those applications. “Now, after more than 34,000 steering boxes, and tens of thousands of dropped spindles, disc brakes and other conversions installed around the world, we’re creating new parts to increase the value and fun of your Chevy,” says McGaughy. “Our parts are running in cars and trucks as far away as Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.”
To see just how simple it is to adjust the altitude of a new-generation GM truck we followed Dave Derichsweiler at Billet Superstore (in Anaheim, California) as he installed a mild 2-inch front drop and 3-inch rear drop kit on a 2004 Suburban. Lowering kits are also available for Dodge, Ford and even Hummer 2. For those interested in really “getting down,” McGaughy’s also offers a 3/5-inch drop kit.
The installation was straightforward but if you plan on doing it yourself MaGaughy’s instructions say to use a repair manual for caliper and rotor removal and rear spring disassembly. One caveat: the Suburban was outfitted with a set of 24-inch wheels and wide Pirelli 315/35×24 Pirelli radials, so some trimming of the rear plastic inner fender linings and trailing arm gussets was required to keep the rear tires from rubbing. The upper rear shock bolts were also installed with the heads out for extra tire clearance. No such alterations are required for narrower/smaller tires. You’ll need 17-inch or larger rims to use these dropped spindles and of course a front-end alignment is required immediately after the installation. Follow the photos now as we show you how they did the drop.