The 3" Body Lift by Trail Master #9315 was not as hard to install as I had thought. Many had said that with a 20 year-old vehicle, it would be a nightmare to remove the original body mount bolts to say the least. This was only the case with two of the twelve thanks to being purchased in the South West.
The rear-most mounts near the rear bumper had given me the most problems due to the blind nuts within the body spinning because the tack-welds holding them in place had busted off the body. I had to open the body frame rail with a screwdriver and hammer (easy to do because of the rust) and then wedged a 1 1/4" wrench on the blind nut and used and impact gun on the bolts. The whole process for these two mounts took close to 2 hours!!!
The other 10 mounts took about 30 minutes to remove. The tranny linkage needed to be removed to be lengthened 3" as well as the linkage for the QuadraTrac unit.
After all body mounts bolts and linkages were removed, you have to remove the bumpers to clear the body from under the bumpers. I jacked one side up, ensuring nothing was restricting the body from lifting off the frame, like wiring harnesses or brake lines or fuel hoses, put in the body blocks and lowered her back down. I repeated the process for the other side.
After ensuring the body was set back on the frame correctly (straight), I started 10 of the 12 new body mount bolts leaving the rearmost blocks out. After cutting the rusted metal away from the rear, I used angle iron and marked where the old blind nuts needed to be welded after measuring the placement of each side. After welding the blind nuts to the new metal, I jacked the body from the rear just enough to place the angle iron supports and new body blocks in place with the bolts before welding in the angle iron. This ensured proper placement of the new supports. Since the tranny linkage and QT linkage needed to be lengthened, I did it at this time with the extension rods supplied with the kit.
Now it was time to relocate the radiator. Draining the coolant made it easier to maneuver the radiator to the proper position for clearance of the fan in regards the tranny cooling lines and the shroud. Once marked, I removed the hoses and Tranny lines, drilled new holes in the radiator mounting brackets attached to the radiator and placed it back in utilizing the original mounting positions the radiator support under the hood. Again...check clearance against moving parts. Installed the linkages, tightened down the body bolts to specs, refilled the radiator and installed the bumpers... oh... I had to put spacers (washers) between the bumpers and the frame to make the bumper not rub on the body (before I relocated them). Also, check under the hood for enough play in your vacuum hoses, heater hoses, battery cables and differential vent lines.
After I installed body lift on my rig, I didn't like the gap left between the body and bumpers... I thought a lot of how to relocate them to their original location and one day... it hit me! Raise the frame mounted bumper brackets the same height as the bodylift... I made 6 plates out of 3/8" diamond plate steel - two for the front mounting points of the front bumper, two for the side mounting points of the front bumper and two for the mounting points for the rear bumper.
It is necessary to remove the bumpers for accurate measurements. Leave the mounting brackets in place for measuring.
1. Take your measurements of the width between the bolts on the two rear bumper mounts, add 2" to the distance (this gives you the width of the plate) If you added a 3" body lift make the plate 5" high, (for 2" body lift, make it 4") Mark all your measurements between the bolts centered on the plate. Drill to the size of the existing bolts in frame.
2. Take your measurements of the width between the bolts and two side mounts for the front bumper, add 2" to the distance (this gives you the width of the plate) If you added a 3" body lift make the plate 5" high, (for 2" body lift, make it 4") Mark all your measurements between the bolts centered on the plate. Drill to the size of the existing bolts in frame.
3. The front mounting plates for the front bumper need to be measured for height in the same manner, but the width can be no narrower than 2" for stability. Again, if you added a 3" body lift make the plate 5" high, (for 2" body lift, make it 4") mark all your measurements between the bolts centered on the plate. Drill to the size of the existing bolts in frame.
4. Remove the brackets from the frame and install the plates to the frame with the original bolts. Install the brackets to the plates using high grade bolts, washers and nuts LOOSELY. Fix the bumpers back to the brackets and align them prior to tightening (speaking of the three-piece bumpers like mine) Level the bumpers to the truck and tighten the remaining bolts. Minor adjustments may be needed for different applications, but my bumpers are stronger now than they were!