“How are we going to fill the day, and the days ahead? When is this all going to end? What am I going to do?! I’m SO bored!” If these thoughts are racing in your head, it may be time to consider mixing-up the monotony.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upset life as we know it. It is also a very concerning time as we worry for our families, our friends, ourselves, and the world. For many of us, it may also provide a unique opportunity. When was the last time you had more time on your hands than you know what to do with? I can honestly say that I’ve had more “I wish I had the time to…” moments in my 35 years in business than I can count. While our jobs provide us with many, many important necessities, it can also most certainly cramp our creative style!
MAYBE IT’S TIME TO START A PROJECT
For the mechanically-minded, and those with a propensity to customize or accessorize their vehicle, here’s one stay-at-home project that will help keep you occupied during this COVID-19 downtime. And maybe even enhance your life while you’re at it.
IT’S TIME FOR A LIFT
If you have a tool box (filled with tools, of course) and basic mechanical skills, now may be the perfect time to exercise your creative side. Online shopping offers the ability to research, compare, learn and understand which product or products will be right for you and for your budget – shipped direct to your place of isolation.
Adding a front leveling kit (and perhaps an additional rear lift) may be just the medicine you’re looking for. Whether your truck has a McPherson strut suspension, a leaf spring suspension, a torsion bar suspension, or coil spring suspension, there is an option to suit your requirements.
Leveling kits and moderate lift kits provide a subtle, lifted appearance, without all the complications of a 4-inch-plus lift kit, and without the expense. The necessity to cut, weld and fabricate is also taken out of the equation when dealing with leveling kits and moderate lift kits, as long as they are 3-inches or less. This also means that these kits can be reversed or removed, such as with a lease return. Another advantage I really like about a leveling kit vs a larger lift is that you can continue to enter and emerge from parking ramps; for many of us, a necessity for a truck we drive every day.
When choosing a product, my suggestion is to measure from the top of each wheel to the highest point of each fender, all four wheels. These measurements will provide you the critical ammo you need to make the best decision for which kit(s) will best suit your needs.
Once you have made your purchase decision and received your new parts, it’s time to get started! Now you’ll need to understand what exactly you are getting into. For the professional garage, the time to install a front leveling kit would be expected to take between one and three hours. Adding an additional moderate rear lift kit, I would expect an additional one or two hours of installation time. Keep in mind that a professional shop will typically have access to the best air tools, vehicle lifts and safety equipment. You could expect to double or even triple those installation times, so be sure you won’t need your truck any time soon. Also, be sure you have at least one floor jack or bottle jack, and two or more jack stands for safety before you get started.
ENHANCE YOUR TRUCK, ENHANCE YOUR LIFE
Now it’s time to get to work, and it will be worth every minute of it. Dig in. Your mind will drift, your body occupied, and COVID-19 will disappear; at least for the hours in front of you, entrenched in your new endeavor.
When you finish, you will have a sense of elation never before realized. You’ll not only have passed the time, but you will also have a fresh new perspective of your truck, and perhaps even of the world. Just add some larger tires, and maybe even a nifty new set of wheels. There is a myriad of online resources to choose from – again, shipped directly to your place of isolation.
Lastly, you’ll want to have a professional shop perform a complete wheel alignment to compensate for your new front ride height. Any time ride height is altered, suspension geometry is also altered as a byproduct. This holds true for any leveling or lift product of this nature, no matter what brand, no matter what the manufacturer may claim. Trust me on this one. My roots are in the design of aftermarket wheel alignment products to solve suspension geometry challenges; camber, caster, toe angles & tire wear. Be prepared for an expense of between $100-$300 for the wheel alignment, depending on whether additional alignment parts may be required.
Now it’s time to sit back, luxuriate in your accomplishment, and maybe even enjoy a nice Corona. Terrible pun intended.