UPPING THE STANCE
better handle our new horsepower and torque levels.
Now that we’re all up to speed, let’s get back to this month’s upgrades. Installing a front-end leveling kit on the 2011+ body style seems to be more relevant than with previous model years because the 2011+ trucks sit taller in the back. Rather than having a 2-inch rake front to back it’s a 3-inch rake, which in our professional opinion doesn’t look that great. Since we wanted to swap out the wheel and tires for something more aggressive-looking from Mickey Thompson, we had to address that low front end. The Stage 3 Leveling Kit from Kryptonite Products of Diamond Springs, Calif., was the perfect answer.
This system can safely raise the front of your truck 2 inches without hurting CV axle or ball joint angles, so it’s not recommended to go any further than this without doing a full lift kit, which would replace the front steering knuckles and change the torsion bar mounting locations. With a 2-inch leveling kit the 2011+ trucks still won’t have a completely leveled stance, so Kryptonite does offer a 1-inch drop shackle that can be installed on the rear leaf springs to bring the back end down and give you that complete leveled look. It’s something we’ll most likely be adding in the near future when we do some more rear-end work. For now, the 2 inches up front was enough to get the required clearance for our new tires.
This truck is used mainly as a daily driver and will see a lot of highway miles while towing through the summer months, but it will also get to see some off-highway use, which may lead to a few muddy mountain roads. Living in Utah, it’ll also see snowy commutes to work, so a good all-terrain tire can offer much better results for all-around use than the factory highway treads
Key components to this leveling system that will set it apart from cheaper kits are the replacement upper control arms designed and built by Kryptonite. The laser-cut, made-in-usa control arms will help provide the proper angles in the suspension...
After removing the front tires and inner fender liners, we got our first real look at the front suspension. The factory upper control arm will need to be disconnected from the steering knuckle and the two cam bolts removed. The stock shock absorber...
Laying the new Kryptonite arm next to the factory piece clearly shows their differences. We’ll now have serviceable ball joints and bushings with easy-to-access grease zerks where needed.
It only took about 20 minutes to get all the factory pieces removed from the driver side and even less when we moved over to the passenger side.
The Kryptonite Products Stage 3 leveling system includes upper control arms, torsion keys, ball joints and Bilstein 5100 Series shock absorbers for an additional 2 inches of ride height up front.