There is no more basic suspension upgrade than a leaf spring lift kit, and it just so happens that Editor-in-Chief Rick Pw has a mid-'80s pickup languishing in his backyard, just yearning for some upgrades. The GMC 3/4-ton, affectionately known as Lawn Ornament, was squatting on de-arched leaf springs, tired shocks, and some skinny Dayton All-Season tires when we arrived at his house around 9 am. By 4:30 that afternoon, she was lifted and almost ready to wheel (Pw needs to order some 35- or 37-inch muddies to replace the little A/S's). The Tuff Country EZ-Ride 6-inch suspension has new leaf springs in each corner, new shocks, and most of the required hardware, making the install as idiotproof as possible. And when you consider that it was done in the backyard with only a floor jack, jack stands, an impact gun, and some good handtools, it's hard to argue that anything could be easier. Since every suspension install is different, we're not going in-depth into this one, but rather showing some of the cheap tricks we used for backyard wrenching. 1. Before you turn a wrench on any bolt, we recommend a healthy spray-down with your favorite rust eater, penetrant, or lubricant spray on the steering, spring bolts, shocks, and lugnuts. The more rust, the more spray. You should even start spraying a week before the install. We've used every type imaginable. One of our current favorites is Free-All by Gasoila Chemicals. The company also offers a great hand-cleaner towel known as Tub-O-Towels. Check 'em out.1. Before you turn a wrench on any bolt, we recommend a healthy spray-down with your favor 2. Wheeling in the dirt is fun, but rolling a floor jack in it can be a pain. We took a sheet of 1/8-inch steel plate and threw it under the truck for easy jacking and a clean surface to easily find dropped fasteners on. The big jackstands go under the frame as soon as the truck is high enough.2. Wheeling in the dirt is fun, but rolling a floor jack in it can be a pain. We took a sh 3. Speaking of lost fasteners, an old coffee can makes for a great parts bin because it's big and easy to dig through. We had one on a piece of plywood on each side of the truck for lugnuts and such.3. Speaking of lost fasteners, an old coffee can makes for a great parts bin because it's 4. Our rechargeable Ingersoll Rand 1/2-inch impact is pretty impressive, but sometimes it couldn't reach the nuts we needed to loosen. We tried using it on a swaybar bolt with a universal joint, but this is not recommended...4. Our rechargeable Ingersoll Rand 1/2-inch impact is pretty impressive, but sometimes it ...A safer and cheaper method is to use a proper breaker bar, or slide a piece of pipe over a quality ratchet. Note that we mention quality, as cheap ratchets may not survive the added leverage....A safer and cheaper method is to use a proper breaker bar, or slide a piece of pipe ove 5. The front axle drops quickly onto the ground with the springs removed, and the next step is attaching the springs to the shackle. Then the springs are aligned on the spring plates and the U-bolts tightened before swinging the axle up with the floor jack and installing the front spring eye bolt. Removing old steering parts can be easier while the axle is on the ground, and U-bolts should be tightened with an impact and then properly torqued.5. The front axle drops quickly onto the ground with the springs removed, and the next ste 6. Most suspension kits come with some sort of brake line drop bracket, but we prefer to use a longer brake line such as these DOT-compliant versions. Longer brake lines do not require bending or moving the factory hard lines, but must be carefully routed to clear spinning tires.6. Most suspension kits come with some sort of brake line drop bracket, but we prefer to u 7. The rear suspension installs as smoothly as the front. However, in the rear we installed the spring hanger end first and the shackle end second. To get the highly arched spring into the shackle, we used a bottle jack to push it out and a prybar to align the bolt holes.7. The rear suspension installs as smoothly as the front. However, in the rear we installe 8. With the rear springs mounted, the axle and spring plates required a medley of jacks, straps, and luck to align. Just be sure your frame is solidly supported by big jackstands and that no one gets trapped under the axle.8. With the rear springs mounted, the axle and spring plates required a medley of jacks, s SOURCES Free All/Gasoila Chemicals gasoila.com Tuff Country Suspension www.tuffcountry.com Ingersoll Rand Annandale NJ 8-00/-866-5457 irtools.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!