Chevy Lean and How-To Fix
Does your S-series lean to one side? "Chevy Lean" Help.
I found this on another website, I give full credit to the original poster s10cyncrvr.
A majority of 2nd Gen S-series trucks have a problem of the driver-side being lower then the passenger side. This has been called the "Chevy Lean." There are many threads on forum boards as to why this occurs and how to fix it. Often times the information is untrue and people get confused. I've done a lot of research on this topic and have came up with the following information...
1) Does your truck have the "chevy lean"?
Almost all trucks do. I have had some people tell me theirs dosn't but everyone I owned has. The lean isn't very noticeable when your truck is stock height, but after you drop it the distance between the tire and fender decreases and it becomes more apparent. The only way to know for sure is to measure from the ground to the highest spot on the fender lip at every corner. You'll probably find that your drivers side is approx. .5" to 1" lower then your passenger side. If it doesn't lean before you drop it, it shouldn't lean after you drop it. If it does lean before you drop it, then it will most likely lean after you drop it.
2) What causes "chevy lean"?
This I'm not 100% sure on. The best theory I have heard to date is that the lower control arm spring pockets were stamped differently. There are a lot of myths about what causes it which include: gas tank on the drivers side, your always sitting on the drivers side so the springs wear faster, you have bad shocks, or that it was caused by lowering components. These for the most part are all untrue. Although, always check to make sure your suspension components are in good condition. If your truck is older with high-mileage then it may be that your springs are worn on the drivers side. Put your new suspension components on and re-measure. Also, if someone has lowered it before you, make sure the springs are seated properly in the pockets.
3) How do I fix it.
The best way to fix it and level out your truck is to buy a spacer that Belltech sells. part # BEL-4930. Summit sells it along with numerous other companies. This is a 1/2" polyurethane spacer that sits on top of the driverside front coilspring. It will raise the driverside of the vehicle up 1/2" in the front and the rear will raise up some too. Usually this will be enough to level the truck or make it less noticeable. It can be tricky to get in so here are some tips.
- Leave the rubber isolater on the bottom of the coil spring and remove the rubber isolater from the top of the coil spring. This will allow the spacer to slip further down into the spring for better stability.
- Tape or ziptie the spacer to the top of the coil spring. It will want to move around when you try to install it so really get it tight on the coil spring.
- When you install the spring make sure it is seated properly on top. the spacer and the coil should both tuck up into the cup in the frame. Sometimes it feels like it pops into place but when you look it has shifted. Take your time, this is the hardest part of the installation. Using a coilspring compressor greatly helps the installation process.
I don't recommend cutting your passenger side coil to level it out. First, it will cause a different springrate between your two front springs and second, the inner fender is tighter on the passenger side beacuse of the AC box and you may run into issues with rubbing.
4) How do I know if I fixed it.
After installation remeasure your height at all 4 corners. If it lifted more then 1/2" on the drivers side, make sure you have the spring seated properly. Give the suspension a few days to settle and remeasure and compare the measurements to your previous ones. After the spacer install my driver's side is till 1/4" lower then my passenger side. This isn't very noticeable at all and should be nothing to worry about.
Hopefully that answers all your questions but if you still have something you are unsure about, post a new thread and someone will try to answer it.
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