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Newer pick-up have high load height


Barney Eaton
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Many of you may also own newer GM pick-ups and complain about the high load height.   I purchased a new GMC in 2011 and my wife needed help getting in.   I started looking and found GM had added "riser" blocks to the rear axel.   I wondered why for several years and the best answer I found was the need to have a higher "exit" angle in the rear.   Somewhere I saw a number of I think 24 degrees.  Those riser blocks raise the back bumper to achieve this angle.   The block on my truck and later are a little over 1 inch which lowers the rear bumper almost 2 inches just by removing the blocks.   

In my case I also added rear shackles to get the rear level because I also installed front spindles that lowered the front 2 inches.   It still sits higher than the 2002 GMC I had but it is easier for the wife to get in and the tailgate is now at a reasonable height. 

One note...you cannot just remove the riser block (both 2WD and 4WD have this block) the rear axel U bolts do not have long enough threads when the blocks are removed,  I moved the blocks to the top of the axel, retained the original U bolts and have put over 70K miles on the truck with no problems.   

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Don't remember the company name, that was 10 years ago, they were in AZ.  There should be several companies selling dropped spindels. 

You can also change the lower "A" arm for a drop. 

Here are pictures of the "spacer"  ...the stock location is between the axel and spring. 

After moving it... it is now on top of the spring...  it was necessary to do that because the factory "U" bolt threads were too short if the spacer was not used. 

If that is concerning to you,  get new "U" bolts.  

spacer before.jpg

truck spacer 2.jpg

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

The reason the GMs are higher now is mainly cosmetic. At one time a selling point was the low cab height with high ground clearance. The problem GM found out was buyers buy the taller “macho” looking trucks over the low, car like lower ones. Ford and Dodge mainly do it because their HD trucks still run straight front axle whereas GM have IS even in their HD duallys. I have run GMC duallys for years because they were lower and perfect for towing 5 wheel campers level as they should be towed. The other brands always put the front of the camper way too high for bed edge clearance. Same with most 5th wheel trailers but now because of the move to taller trucks, the goosenecks have been raised. Many today pull the bed and run flat beds to help with the problem.  My current 08’ GMC is my tallest yet and one time I lightly touched the bed rail to my camper going over the top of a steep hill.  Never had that problem with my 05’ in that same campground. 

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