The Professional Choice

2007 Tahoe 2/3 Calmax Kit

2007 Chevy Tahoe Suspension Drop by DJM

A  2/3 DROP FOR THE 07 TAHOE

DJM Suspension installs their 2/3-drop kit for the new Chevy Tahoe…

Story & photos by Marshall Spiegel

Originally published in 2007

2007 Tahoe
2007 Tahoe with 2/3 Calmax Kit by DJM

Like all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S., the ’07 Chevy Tahoe was born with its butt in the air. It’s good looking with well-bent sheet metal; quality interior appointments and a price tag to match. The stock ride height is 20 ¼ inches in the front and 23-1/8 inches in the rear measured from the center of the hub to the lip of the fender well. Since Chevrolet was attacking the market as early as possible with this ’07 model, the crew at DJM Suspension decided to attack the Tahoe’s ride height as early as possible also.

After a bunch of staring and measuring from beneath the company’s own ’07 Tahoe, undoubtedly the first one purchased anywhere in the Los Angeles area, the DJM engineering department created three-inch drop coils with shock extenders and a 2/3 drop kit evolved for the new Tahoe. For a successful three-inch drop in the rear, the stock bump stops had to be trimmed. As the 2/3 drop kit evolved, the engineering guys discovered that the sway bar had to be moved ¾-inch to the right (passenger ‘s side) to clear the panhard rod bracket. As a result, two new mounting holes had to be drilled on the left side. Then new DJM end links were installed and tightened.

To stop a bind on the existing trailing arm and properly align the drive shaft, the trailing arm relocator had to be tightened also. After the installation was complete, the rear ride height measured 19 ¾  inches, a drop of slightly more than three inches.

The front end drop, which turned out to measure exactly 2 ¼ inches, is a matter of removing the stock lower control arms and replacing them with new DJM arms. The DJM twin tube sleeves must be greased before they are installed. An extremely important feature of this DJM front drop are the new DJM ball joints, each equipped with a fixed boot, essentially a bag that holds grease to lubricate the joint and keeps dirt and impurities away from the ball joint.

Stock Chevrolet lower ball joints are notoriously difficult to remove without damaging the boot. Using a pickle fork to remove the stock ball joint is very tempting, but this can easily damage the boot. When the boot is damaged, the grease leaks out and the dirt gets in. A damaged boot creates problems down the road until it is replaced.

Other lowering kits may have to reuse existing ball joints and control arms and, in so doing, may damage the ball joint boot. If the boot is damaged in removal, it should be replaced before re-assembly.

DJM’s newly engineered lower control arms lower the truck 2 ¼ inches and come with improved twin tube sleeves and new ball joints with fixed boots and zerk fittings. The result, according to the DJM engineering team, is perfect front-end geometry and excellent handling. I don’t know anything about “perfect front-end geometry,” but I do know “excellent handling,” and if you get a chance to drive an ’07 Tahoe with this 2/3 DJM drop kit, you’ll know excellent handling too.

(This kit is available at the djmsuspension.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!

2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit

[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_001.jpg]4540Starting Measurements
The most important first step with any lowering job is to measure and record the ride height. Stock irregularities will show up and you can consider how to deal with them before you tear into your project. We found the stock height to be 23 1/8th inches on this Tahoe. Note: always measure from the center of the wheel to the fender well, this will be consistent no matter what wheel and tire package you have
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_002.jpg]4100Let's Get Going!
We are going to start on the rear by removing the wheels. This is a good time to mention using properly rated jack stands and a good hydraulic jack through out the project. Your safety is important!
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_003.jpg]5200Cool Jack
Were using a a big hydraulic floor jack with an extension to help us manage the rear end while installing our kit
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_004.jpg]6780Shocks
Loosen and remove lower shock bolts
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_005.jpg]6890Swaybar
Loosen and remove the swaybar end-links
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_006.jpg]6910Coil Springs
With the lower shock mount and the swaybar end-links removed you can lower the rear end with the extension jack and remove the coil springs
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_007.jpg]6620Bump Stop & Coil Springs
Remove the factory bump stops and set aside for modification later. Replace the factory spring with the DJM 3" coil spring. Also you can install the shock extenders now
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_008.jpg]7340Spring Comparison
Here is how the factory coil spring (left) stacks up against the DJM engineered lowering spring. It's important to note that simply shortening a coil by 1" lets say will result in a 1" drop, most likely not. There are many factors at work with automotive springs so be very careful if you are tempted to save a buck and cut your coils!
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_009.jpg]6850Modify Bump Stop
Shorten the factory bump stop by cutting off material and installing in it's original location.
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_010.jpg]7280Rear Shocks
Using your jack supporting the rear end to lift the rear end up so you can attach the rear shocks to the new shock extenders
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_012.jpg]7420New Mounting
Drill out two holes for the pivot bushing mount on the left (drivers side) and install the pivot bushing and bracket with the new hardware provided
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_013.jpg]6750Endlinks
Install your new DJM swaybar end-links. It is not necessary to tighten too much, in fact it will cause the links to bind and damage the urethane bushings. So tighten until there is no play and maybe a quarter turn more. And as with all fasteners check them later after you have driven for a while to make sure they are till tight!
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_014.jpg]6860Wow!
Notice the difference between the original swaybar links and where the sway mounts after the lowering springs are installed.
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_015.jpg]6480Trailing Arm Brackets
The rear trailing arms locating the axle need to be moved down a little to keep from binding and making contact. The brackets in the DJM kit accomplish this by moving the mounting point to the axle down away from trouble.
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_016.jpg]6370Measuring
With everything installed in the rear you can take a measurement and see where you are. We got a measurement of 19 3/4" after the kit was installed, a little more than three inchs
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_017.jpg]5890Moving to the Front
As always we get a before measurement for a baseline. This time we measure 20 1/4"
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_018.jpg]5550Tie Rod
And after we have safely supported the Tahoe with adequate jack stands we remove the wheels and go to work removing the tie rod ends
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_019.jpg]4790Lower Ball Joint
With the help of a bottle jack we are supporting the lower control arm. Next is to loosen but not remove the nut on the lower ball joint and give a good whack on the casting (spindle) NOT THE BALL JOINT to break the taper
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_020.jpg]4580Separating the Control Arm and Spindle
Letting the jack do the heavy lifting move the control arm up and free the spindle from the lower ball joint. Be careful with the spindle so the brake line is not compromised
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_021.jpg]4570Strut
Loosen and remove the bolts attaching the strut to the lower control arm
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_022.jpg]4480Swaybar
Loosen and remove the end-link connecting the swaybar to the control arm. If your interested in high performance swaybars check out the Calmax Swaybars for 07-11 Tahoes at the djmfactorystore.com
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_023.jpg]4330Pivot Bolts
Loosen and remove the factory pivot bolts on the lower control arms
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_024.jpg]4310Remove the arm
Now you can pull the lower arm out of the mounting points
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_025.jpg]4730Compare
A quick look at the Calmax and the factory arms side by side
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_026.jpg]4450Install grease zerks
To avoid damage during shipping, the grease zerks are installed just before installation.
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_027.jpg]4280Lots of Grease
Don't be afraid to use plenty of grease. It's alot easier to apply now before you install the part. Make sure the inner (twin tube) tube is liberally greased up and shoot grease through the zerk. be sure to also grease the shoulders of the urethane bushings. Don't forget to grease the ball joint!!!
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_028.jpg]3980Install the Calmax Control Arms
Place the Calmax in the factory mounting points install the bolts and using the nylon locknuts provided, tighten. Of course you can over-tighten these, be careful. They should be no "slop" and tight. Do not squeeze the bushings, they will squeak and wear prematurely
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_029.jpg]3940Strut
Attach the factory strut just like the factory arm
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_030.jpg]3870Lower Ball Joint
And using the bottle jack, lift the arm to gain clearance and lower the ball joint into the spindle and tighten
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_031.jpg]3700Swaybar
Attach the swaybar end-link to the lower control arm
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_032.jpg]3850Tie Rod
Install the tie rod end to the spindle. Install the wheels and your ready to roll
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_033.jpg]5250Final Inspection
Check over everything you have done to make sure nothing is loose. Go for a short test drive and measure the front. We got 18" for a drop of 2 1/4". When you sure everything is buttoned up get a professional alignment and enjoy you new lowered stance
[img src=http://calmaxsuspension.com/wp-content/flagallery/2007-tahoe-23-djm-calmax-lowering-kit/thumbs/thumbs_011.jpg]3060Moving the Swaybar
In order to clear the panhard rod you need to move the rear swaybar to the right (passenger side) about 3/4".

6 Responses to 2007 Tahoe 2/3 Calmax Kit

  1. I have been studying your Tahoe 2/3 kit for 4 days now and have some questions to get me started. I have a 2007 Tahoe PPV with 154,000 miles. The stock tire/wheel combo on the PPV is 265/60R17 with a diameter of 28.5″. The stock ride with the vehicle unloaded is very rough and choppy, just like it was designed. I cannot find in the maintenance paperwork that came with the vehicle any evidence that the front struts or rear shocks were ever changed: so they must have 154,000 miles on them. I am convinced that a refreshing of the suspension along with the 2/2 suspension drop kit for the 2007-2012 Avalanche is exactly what I need. My front ride height averages 19 3/4 and the rear ride height averages 20 3/4. I like the current slight nose down look of the vehicle: this is why I am leaning toward the 2/2 rather than the 2/3.
    Question #1: front drop. Would the Calmax 2″ drop lower control arms attached to a stock strut give me the same 2″ drop as the 2″ inch drop springs attached to a stock lower control arm? To maintain full suspension travel and alignment specs the articles seem to lead me to the stock strut attached to the 2″ drop Calmax lower control arms.
    Question #2: rear drop. The PPV rear ride height (20 3/4″) is already 2 1/2″ (roughly) lower than the stock ride height of 23 1/8″ in the 2/3 article. Which of your springs would be appropriate for the 2″ rear drop I desire? I want to avoid having incompatible spring rates front to rear. Would this require you to order a custom set of springs for the rear of my PPV?
    Question #3: have you done any other PPV suspension drops in the past? If so, I would love to read their parts lists to get me pointed further in the right direction.

    My compliments on the depth of your website. The most complete information on a very complex subject.

    Gordon Bryant

    • Gordon,

      The Tahoe featured in the 2/3 article is the same Tahoe I drive every day! We’ve only put 67K miles on it though. To answer your first question -yes! The control arms are a much better way to go because you maintain full suspension travel and you don’t induce any negative camber by using a shorter spring. So if your going to replace the strut and lower it with the Calmax arms your front end will be brand new (with the exception of the upper ball joint and the tie rod end, good time to give them a critical look). On the rear I am not sure what to suggest. I have never seen or talked to anyone with a PPV package, I believe they have springs and shocks and swaybars that are stronger/larger than my Tahoe but I have no numbers to compare by. I can tell you this, you will get a 2″ drop with the arms up front because it is a mechanical drop regardless of what spring is on the strut, the problem is I really don’t no what would happen if you used a 2″ rear drop spring! I am pretty sure it would not give you 2″. It might not drop from your current ride hieght at all, or you may get 1″ or 1/2″ just don’t know. Since you have lower stronger springs to start with we can’t accurately predict. Here’s a thought or question, do you think the PPV has significantly more weight on the rear? If not maybe this would be a good time to go to a little softer part rather than police springs (both front & rear).

      Our Tahoe rides great and if you did go to a lowering coil in the rear and used the PPV spring up front I don’t think it would be an issue. Most of the mass is over the front end anyway (especially during braking) and the spring rates would have to be very different to cause problems. Hope this helps a little, let me know what you do I am very interested!

      Mark

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