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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I want to state that I have an 07 NNBS extended cab 2x4. I'm not sure if this changes anything with the suspension aspect of it but it might as I don't have a cali stance with the drop like others do. It also may have something to do with the equipment I used.

The equipment I used for my 5/9 drop
front: McNaughys drop struts with no rings, no-name drop spindles, belltech camber kit
rear: no name flip kit, Belltech notch kit, belltech 7" drop shocks, Belltech leveling shackles



1. Don't get those cheap $160 no name drop spindles off ebay or amazon
- I did this and regret it something fierce. "Why?" do you ask? To fix the camber after installing these, I had to buy the belltech camber kit at nearly $100, buy a pneumatic press (and you will need it) at $100 to press out the old and in the new a-arm mounts, buy carbide bits $40 to grind out the camber adjustment, and I still have 2* of camber, plus my tie rod ends are at an odd angle which I am sure will destroy them soon.​
- McGaughy advertises that they have the only spindle kit on the market that won't mess with your geometry, I think I would definitely go that route next time and they are only $40 more than the cheapos...​



2. Flip kit - I bought that cheap no name brand thing off ebay
- Actually didn't think it was built that badly, and it installed quite easily. I don't regret going cheap on this part because it definitely does its job. I reused the stock u-bolts which isn't recommended but others have done it as well.​



3. When flipping the rear, you don't need to touch the tank
- I did this by myself with the truck on jackstands. I simply took the passenger leafs off completely, took the shackles off the driver, pulled the axle towards the passenger side, then pulled the driver leafs out far enough that the axle cleared the leafs, pushed it back over and on top of the driver leafs and reinstalled the shackles and the passenger leaf.​



4. Don't bother doing the flip unless you are going to notch the rear...
- again, maybe its the equipment I used, but damn, I cut out the bump stop extensions but then drilled and tapped the frame to reinstall the bump stops. The axle sat on the bump stops squashing them to half their height. This was with the leveling shackles on as well that lowered the rear another 2 inches.​



5. The belltech notch kit is awesome!
- I have worked with a lot of manufacturers with the various projects I have going on. Most of which have extremely poor instructions, the like of which you can barely read as it is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a... you get the picture... The instructions are ledge-able, clear, and have pictures, and templates for the notch!​



6. plan on going through at least 4 of those cheap grinder cut off wheels.
- If you are installing the notch with at the same time as you are installing the flip, do it with the axle on the ground but its not really necessary, but it is annoying to work around after its flipped.​



7. If you are installing the notch with at the same time as you are installing the flip, don't bother cutting off the stock bump stop extensions as they will come off with the notch.



8. When it says use the notch kit as a template for the holes, do just that.
- Don't put it up against the frame, draw circles with a sharpy in the bolt holes and take it off, because your holes will be off. Instead, place it where its supposed to be and clamp it down with c-clamps and drill into the holes on the notch into the frame, they will be exact. When you do the same on the other side, bolt it down like you are permanently installing it with the bolt tabs and do the same with the drilling through the holes​



9. Don't waste your time with cheap drill bits.
- You won't get through all 32 holes without a good bit, I used a cobalt bit and sprayed it with cooking spray to keep it lubricated. You may want to invest in a spare just in case you break it as it is a delicate bit, if you don't end up needing it, great, bring it back! If you do, you will thank me!​



10. Organize the bolts before you get started.
- ...along with their nuts and washers, trust me, its annoying trying to figure out which goes with which when doing the install​



11. I skipped installing the bed notch and don't regret it, I don't hear anything, haven't seen anything banged up



12. you don't have to completely drop the tank to get the driver side notch in
- Just lower it a bit, its about 6 bolts all together, no biggie and it will only go as low as the hoses and wiring allow it, but I used a jackstand to support it a bit.​



13. do one side at a time and support the rear of the truck when installing the notch
- I used a jack to support the shackle mount when cutting out the notch and left it there till all the bolts were tight​



14. follow the instructions and don't skip any of the steps
- ...especially with drilling the corners of the notch as you will weaken the frame if you don't drill it first. Also, cut up to the drilled holes, not through them, cutting through them defeats the purpose of them.​



15. You will have to loosen the exhaust to get to the back of the passenger side frame
- I took the exhaust off the hangers and removed it from the flange under the passenger side, this way I could move it around to get it out of the way of cutting and drilling the notch.​



16. Installing or removing the leveling kit
- To get the stock bolts out, of the shackle>leaf mount, you will have to unbolt the axle from the leafs to pull them out far enough to pull the bolt out​



17. Dorman OEM replacement shackles
- These come with replacement bolts as well, and the bolts leave enough room that you won't have to pull the axle off if you need to get back at them again​
- grease up the rubber mounts before you install them or you will get a squeaky ride... even just getting in and out of the truck at 200lbs I heard it... quite annoying​



18. your stock tires won't fit - 265/65/18's, the stock 20's? HA, don't even bother taking the truck off jackstands...
- I don't know what everyone is talking about, you can't fit your stock tires under this drop, they are way too tall and will rub like crazy which will destroy your inner fender liners, and in the case of my bed, will rub so much that the metal will heat up and burn the paint off the other side of the fender well inside the bed (I didn't see that coming and had to get to work in the morning).​
- the NNBS has no room to tuck tire, go ahead, go look, I'll wait​
- TOLD YA! I KNOW! I couldn't believe it either.​



19. Take into consideration your tire selection
- not only will it change fender rubbage but it will change your ground clearance as well​
- 245/45/18's with the drop shackles installed as well as the flip and notch left my frame 2 inches off the ground, I couldn't get into my driveway and forget about the parking garages, or speed bumps... hell, the highway was even an issue! I ended up removing the leveling shackles and replacing them with OEM units sadly.​
- I have 245/45/20's and I might put the leveling shackles back in once I get them mounted and balanced.​



20. Cali stance - love it or hate it
- I didn't have this problem but if I did I was ready to install a lifting shackle, you can find them on ebay and they lift the truck about 1 inch over stock in the rear​
- if you have a 2x4 you can also address this with staggering the tires. 245/40/20 up front and 245/50/20 in the rear, that will level it out some, there is about 1.5 inch difference in tire height there. If you to this with a 4x4 never use your 4 wheel drive as it will destroy your transfer case! All tires must be the same size with 4x4s! (unless there is something new I just don't know about)​



21. trans/driveshaft vibration
- This is a common issue, because you are changing the height of the rear end thus changing the geometry of the driveshaft. I wouldn't go installing the 1inch wedge that came with the flip kit immediately, drive it, see what it does. I had the issue before I notched the rear, but once I notched it, it dropped the rear down more and I didn't need it as the vibration went away.​



22. Camber kit installation
- honestly, this is the biggest pain in the ass of the entire drop! Between grinding out the camber adjustment and getting the stock bushings out, I don't know whats worse.​



23. Stock a-arm bushing removal
- I burned out the stock bushings, it was the only way I could figure out how to remove them, it actually was quite easy once I figured that out. I let them burn and smolder as I ground out for the new camber spacing.​



24. Installing the new bushings
- Don't bother following the instructions, they show them being installed using a c-clamp, NO WAY THIS IS GOING TO WORK UNLESS YOU HAVE A MONSTER C-CLAMP! You will either need a pneumatic press or one big ass vise.​
- Install the new bushings with the holes facing closest to the engine.​



25. Take the truck immediately to an alignment shop after changing the front.
- once you mess with the camber, geometry and such it is going to give it such a massive toe that you won't want to drive it anywhere as it will just eat your tires. My tires screamed at any speed over 35mph, good thing there was a shop just 5 miles away.​
-The rear doesn't matter so much as it is a solid rear and can't be adjusted at all but it might be good to know you are still on point. Most alignment shops have a warranty period so just take it back as you go if you are worried about it.​



26. spare tire
- take note if your rear is too low to get to it in a pinch, as well as if your bottle jack is even a thought anymore, you may find yourself stuck on the side of the road one day with no access​



27. front air damn
- remove it or lose it, there is no way you are going to be able to keep it if you lower the truck as low as possible with this setup, it will end up just getting ripped off somewhere down the road​



28. Watch those bumps in the road
- I am a slow driver, but now I am road conscious as well, because you don't know when that next bump in the road, manhole, drip, or sewer drain is going to cause your frame, or anything else for that matter into the ground.​



29. After every install, drive the truck
- Don't put your tools away, get cleaned up, sit back and relax for the night... you need to know if what you just installed will affect you driving the truck in the morning, especially if its your daily and you have to get to work in the morning. Do the tires rub? is it high enough to clear road obstacles? Does it drive in a straight line? Hows the toe? Do you have to remove any parts to get by till you can address any issues?​



30. Take your time
- Although you have to do most of this stuff bilaterally, you can do it in stages, over the course of a couple days, weeks, whatever.​
- I installed the camber kit one day, spindles and struts another, cut out the bump stop extensions another, flipped it another, notch a week or so later. People at work kept noticing it getting lower and lower till I was done. I work a lot (3 jobs), have a full time girlfriend, took a vacation, so I worked on it when I could, probably did the entire thing over the course of two months.​



I think that is about it. This was inspired by and the questions I had and didn't get an answer to as well as unforeseen issues I encountered along the way.

thanks for reading.

20140917_174425_zps31d15667.jpg
 

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Toxic Masculinity
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3,739 Posts
28. Watch those bumps in the road

- I am a slow driver, but now I am road conscious as well, because you don't know when that next bump in the road, manhole, drip, or sewer drain is going to cause your frame, or anything else for that matter into the ground.
28. oh that number rings so true... road conscious is when you're rolling down the hwy with more than a normal load. Us lowered guys that really have a feel for the surface they're rolling/driving on...

hwy's have a surface consistency where the road looks the pretty much the same. Then notice the dark patches in the hwy ahead... these are the dips coming up... on a lowered truck with clearance issues THIS dark spot is where you'll have tire rub.

In the center of these dark patches you'll see where cars/trucks have bottomed out gouging the hwy.

I can see it ahead... long before I feel... or even hear it... can't y'all ?

never noticed??? no???

guess you're not the driver you thought y'all were... hey don't feel bad... somebodys got to flip burgers :kiss:

open you're eyes :read:
 

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Bitchin' Stitchin'
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"Road Conscious"
Lol! Sooo true!
The learning curve for that has to be steep! If it ain't, be prepared to break out the wallet. Either to pay for damage, or to raise the truck back up some.
I've learned to plan my routes. There are roads around here where speed bumps have been installed due to commuters using them as their own personal race tracks during the morning & afternoon rush periods. I'll travel those at any other time but those.
Otherwise I've got more than a few angry, cursing, fist shaking tailgaters on my ass.
Some roads I won't even think about travelling, at all. Other roads that I do travel have their obstacles forever etched in my mind. All in the best interests of my truck, spine, tooth fillings, and once again, the wallet.
The fast lane on highways is usually in better shape than the slow one. The slow lanes get beat up by the Semi's. Rippled pavement, tire grooves & dips/drops/holes on the entries & exits of bridges.
Those dark patches in the road indicating dips. If possible, move slightly to one side or the other. The centers & edges will be a bit higher.
Speed bumps taken at an angle so that one tire at a time goes over them. Slowly! Ditto for railroad crossings.
Both my trucks have been low for a combined total of 11 years. There are potholes around here that I'll remember forever!
After a while, driving a lowered vehicle becomes second nature. Kinda like riding a motorbike where you learn to stop in such a way so that when you put your foot down, it's not in the center of the lane where all the oil gets dripped.
Same idea with a lowered vehicle. You learn which roads to drive, at what times, & where exactly on that road. Or pay up for the resulting damage.
I've also learned to look a loooong way ahead!

"No, officer. I'm not drunk. I'm avoiding the damn potholes!"
 

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Married and broke
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Your truck is barely 2" off the ground. Damn. No thank you.... Lol. I'll stick with my 5/7 and it may end up being 4/6 after this weekend.
 

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So what you're saying is, you didn't do your research? :crazy: some good info. Some facepalms haha
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What I'm saying is, I did research but there was a lot of conflicting information. Some questions were left unanswered. I thought others might have similar questions or might appreciate the insight. I was prepared for the obstacles. I had spare rims and tires, backup vehicle, multiple shackles, gave myself time, only worked on it when I had an extra day if need be, always planned on reverting it back if I had to. Never took on too much.
 

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CHIMICHANGA
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Good Stuff!
 

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good little read up, wish it was in this format when i did mine years ago. and #28 you will know the roads like the back of your hands, i learned them real quick.
 

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NNBS ECSB
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Thanks OP for putting all this info together. Very useful and true, the things you have to learn the hard way. How is your truck now, anything you would change or do different if you could do it all over?
 

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Married and broke
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Here's what no one told me before I dropped mine. There's NO room for tires when lowered. If you do run a tire that will clear, then you fight the issue with the gigantic frame rail under the cab that is close to the ground. You can't have both frame clearance AND tire clearance. That's why these trucks have enormous wheel well gaps when stock. Go check your truck, I'll wait. Yup, virtually no wheel well up inside. My 5/7 drop of 2 months is going up forsale very soon. That and now I have to replace both my front wheel well plastic liners from the tires rubbing through.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gator, I completely agree with there not being enough wheel wells. I went they most of my growing pains with the tires. There is a lot of conflicting information on tire size. At one point my truck sat exactly how I wanted it but then my frame was only 2 inches of the ground. Now it's 5 inches and I barely ever scrape but I'm not a huge fan of the look... it needs to be lower.my tires are already low profile and the wheel gap is far too big. I think the next stop would be a body drop and channeling but that isn't going to happen.
 
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