2007 Chevy Silverado Suspension Drop by DJM
THE ’07 SILVERADO IN THE WEEDS
DJM installs their new 3-6 Calmax drop kit for the new Chevy
Story & photos by Marshall Spiegel
Originally Published in 2007
The new ’07 Chevy Silverado has to be one of Detroit’s best efforts of late. It is a big, robust, comfortable pickup with more than enough power; excellent interior appointments and ride and handling to die for. It features stock ride height of 22 ¼”
in front and 25”in the rear. Like most new American vehicles, the rear is noticeably higher than the front, resulting in a stance that is unappealing too much of the market.
Drawing on the success of the drop kits they designed, engineered and are now manufacturing for the ’07 Chevy Tahoe, DJM Suspension of Gardena, CA, has created a line of drop kits for the new Silverado. The dimensions of the drop kits are 2¼ inches by 3 inches; 2¼ by 4½; 3¼ by 5; 3¼ by 6; 4¼ and 7. As always, the DJM engineers’ primary consideration was to produce lowering kits that would not adversely effect the Silverado’s ride and handling.
One of the lowest of DJM’s new drop kits for the ’07 Silverado, 3 ¼ “ by 6”, is achieved by installing specially engineered upper and lower control arms to lower the front and a flip kit and special hanger brackets to drop the rear.
By positioning the leaf spring bolt so close to the gas tank, the manufacturer has challenged the installer who must remove the leaf spring pack to flip the axle. The obvious approach is to remove or loosen the gas tank and an interfering section of the exhaust system so that the leaf spring bolt can be removed. Removing the gas tank is laborious; time-consuming and expensive for the customer. DJM is offering a quicker and easier technique by removing a few elements such as the “U” bolt, the leaf spring center bolt and the brake lines; supporting the axle on a floor jack with wheels and moving the axle sideways just enough so the leaf spring clears the axle. The following photos show exactly how the DJM approach gets the job done without the need for removing the gas tank and offending exhaust system components.
To further simplify the job and make it as easy as possible, the new kits from DJM come complete with ball joints installed and all components ready to install. However, to prevent damage in shipping, the zerk fittings for lubricating the twin tube sleeves are not screwed in place at the factory. Therefore, the enclosed directions require the installer to simply screw the zerk fitting into the predrilled lube holes and add lubricant through the zerk fittings.
As you can see from the accompanying photos, installation of the DJM 3¼ X 6 drop kit is clean and straightforward, giving the Silverado a considerably more aggressive and attractive stance.
(This kit is available at the djmfactorystore.com). Check out the photo gallery below to see how the parts went on, and click on the ( I ) in the picture to read the caption!
The best way to begin any lowering job is with good starting measurements. The most accurate way to do this is to measure from the center of the wheel to the fender lip. No matter what wheel and tire combination you use this relationship remains the same. So if you install the lowering kit and upgrade your wheels and tires it won't affect your after measurement! Here we measured 22 1/4'[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_102.jpg]9080Proper Foundation
The first step of course is to remove the wheels. Having the proper jacks and jack stands makes the job easier and much safer. Make sure your jack stands are rated for the weight of your vehicle and a good hydraulic floor jack and bottle jack are indispensable[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_103.jpg]9150Tie Rod End
Lets get going by removing the tie rod end[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_104.jpg]9560Lower Ball Joint
Loosen and remove the lower ball joint nut[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_105.jpg]8870Safety
Notice the jack stand under the frame and the bottle jack ready to go![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_106.jpg]8470Separating the Lower Control Arm from the Spindle
Using the bottle jack to lift the control arm up carefully pull the spindle down and away from the lower ball joint[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_107.jpg]8810Struts
Now you can loosen and remove the bolts securing the struts to the lower control arms[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_108.jpg]9170Pivot Bolts
Loosen and remove the pivot bolts and your ready to pull the factory lower control arm away from the mounts[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_109.jpg]9330Calmax Arms
Here are the Calmax arms ready to prepare for installation. Note: Use the installation helper to record your information[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_110.jpg]9020New Nuts
These new nylon lock nuts are to be used on the pivot bolts when the arms are installed [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_111.jpg]8900Pivot Grease Points
The zerks are not installed at the factory because they have been found to be broken off during shipping. They are easy to install, simply screw them in![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_112.jpg]8830Ball Joint Grease Point
And again screw the ball joint zerk in place[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_113.jpg]8590Grease It Up!
Apply grease through the zerks to make sure the passages are clear[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_114.jpg]8630Inner Sleeve
Liberally apply grease to the inner sleeve and insert making sure there are no burrs. Also grease up the shoulders of the urethane bushings before you install[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_115.jpg]8490Ready to install
Install the new Calmax control arms in the same mounting points as the factory arms [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_116.jpg]8400Arms in place
Using the factory bolts and the supplied locknuts secure the arms. Hand tighten only at this point [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_117.jpg]8340Mounting the Spindle
Using that trusty bottle jack maneuver the lower arm up enough to allow the spindle to receive the lower ball joint[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_118.jpg]8230Strut
Tighten the lower ball joint and mount the strut in position and tighten the strut bolts[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_119.jpg]8240Swaybar
Attach the swaybar to the Calmax control arm and tighten the pivot points (don't over-tighten). If your interested in High Performance swaybar systems check out the Calmax Swaybay setups for trucks and SUV's at djmfactorystore.com[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_120.jpg]8420Upper Arm
We start off with removing the ABS bracket and brake clip and unplugging the ABS wire[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_121.jpg]8170Pivot Points
Remove the nuts from the pivot bolts[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_122.jpg]8330Alignment Cams
As you remove the pivot bolts be careful to retain and arrange the alignment cams so you can install them again in the same order and position as you removed them [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_123.jpg]7990Ball Joint
Loosen and remove the upper ball joint nut, break the taper between the ball joint and the spindle and remove the upper control arm[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_124.jpg]8570Upper Control Arms
Compare the factory arm (left) with the Calmax arm. Notice the change in the ball joint angle to optimize the angle at the new ride height[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_126.jpg]7900Grease It Up!
Just like the lower arm liberally apply grease to the pivot points and ball joints after you install the grease zerks![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_127.jpg]7450The Upper Arms In
Push the upper arm into place, and using the factory bolts and alignment cams in the order and position you removed them. assemble and tighten[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_128.jpg]7360Upper Ball Joint
Insert the upper ball joint into spindle. [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_129.jpg]7940What are those washers for?
The hole in the ball joint stud for the cotter pin to go through requires the two washers on the nut side so you have proper alignment for the cotter pin[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_130.jpg]8050Finished!
Here is what the installation looks like completed[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_131.jpg]9170Lowered Measurement
Wheels back on and setting on it's own weight were getting a reading of 19". A drop of 3 1/4"[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_132.jpg]10300Yikes! the Hangers Welded On
In 2007 Chevy started welding the leaf spring eye hangers to the frame of Silverado's full time. The gas tank and exhaust system make removing this bolt a giant pain in the #*#. We decided not to remove the leaf spring[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_135.jpg]10000You Need Jack!
Just like the front were using the jack stands to support the frame in the rear, but we have changed from a bottle jack to a hydraulic floor jack with an extension. This baby has wheels which allow us to move the rear end around to help us install the rear kit![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_133.jpg]10630The axle
So we move back to the axle and remove the U-bolts and the spring center bolts, after we clamp the leaf spring pack[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_134.jpg]10130Reverse the Pin
We install the spring center pin upside down with the pin (head) up on top[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_136.jpg]10500Brake Lines
Remove the brake line and e-brake brackets from the frame so they are free to move with the rear end[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_137.jpg]10620Floor Jack Advantage
Because the floor jack has wheels we can push the rear end sideways to allow us to drop the leaf spring below the axle without having to totally remove it[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_138.jpg]10490Same Thing
Same for the other side[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_139.jpg]10530Axle brackets
The axle brackets are located over the spring center bolts and the axle is positioned in the axle brackets [img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_140.jpg]10580Pinion Angle
Now is when you want set the pinion angle. By rotating the axle you have total control over this procedure[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_141.jpg]11370Rear Assembly
Here is the axle on top of the leaf springs with the top plate, U-bolts and spring plate all working together to set the pinion and secure the axle[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_142.jpg]11520Bump Stop
It's time to remove the factory bump stop[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_143.jpg]11960Bump Stop Bracket
We used a plasma cutter to remove the factory bump stop bracket[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_144.jpg]12000New Bump Stop
Using the drill bit and thread tap provided in the lowering kit we drilled and created threads in the hole and installed the shorter urethane bump stop[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_146.jpg]12490Shackle Hanger
it is necessary to remove the factory shackle hanger (or mount). The factory part is on the left and we will replace it with the new DJM bracket which inverts the shackle mount[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_147.jpg]12660Your Choice
Using the DJM shackle that is longer than factory will yield either a 4 or a 5" drop. If you use the shorter factory shackle you will get a 6" drop![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_148.jpg]12670The 6
This is the 6" combination[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_149.jpg]12200The last big blow
Here we are beating away the last piece of the original factory shackle mount[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_150.jpg]12640The New Mounting Bracket
The new shackle bracket is secured in place and the leaf spring attached to the shackle. That's it![img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-silverado-36-djm-calmax-drop-kit/thumbs/thumbs_151.jpg]18890The Stance!
This is the 3/6 look. You can also do a 3/5, 4/6, or a 4/7 kit on these late model Silverado's. It's all your choice!