Chevrolet unveiled the new '07 Tahoe early in 2006 to the general approval of media and consumers alike. While the new Tahoe is handsome enough, it is not exactly an edgy design. With a square chin and broad shoulders, it certainly exudes a muscular presence, even though the (current) top level 5.3L LS2 engine is a bit overmatched. There is plenty of help available in the engine department, but that is a project for another time. What we need to address first is that mile-high ride height.
No doubt, there is a bit of trepidation associated with dropping a brand-new truck. Our subject had less than 1,500 miles on it when the McGaughy's parts were added. One of the advantages to tackling this early on is the ease with which things come apart. No torches, air chisels, or explosives were necessary for disassembly, and shouted expletives were kept to a minimum.
By now, most readers know that lowering a vehicle isn't that difficult. A quality kit such as this is not cheap, and when you add in the additional shop labor required for the installation, it can put the price tag out of reach. The upside is that McGaughy's tells us its lowering kits are designed so they can be installed by the average guy in his garage. We wanted to see if the average guy could accomplish this in a weekend, armed with only basic handtools, a floor jack, and a set of jackstands. It turns out that this is completely doable. No hoist, no specialty tools-hell, not even an air compressor was present for this gig.
The enhanced handling imparted by the massive decrease in body roll this kit offers is a monumental improvement. Please be realistic in your expectations, though. Understand that lowering your truck will not turn it into a Corvette, but you will find that the truck is far more responsive to steering input and reacts more predictably in demanding situations. There is a marginal increase in ride firmness, but this too is welcome. Gone is the lumbering, cruise ship-like glide, replaced with a noticeably taut ride, granting the vehicle occupants actual road feel. This is not to suggest that the ride is abusive, but it is just more car-like. And that is a good thing, as it helps to undo Chevy's notion of refinement, which isolates the driver and passengers from the driving experience to furthest extent possible.
True to its word, McGaughy's kit is easily installed by the average DIYer. You can expect it to take the better part of a day, if you are a first-timer working without the benefit of air tools. Installation time will be significantly less with more experience and specialized tools. So, with that, take a look at the following installation photos and decide for yourself if your truck needs to be on the down-low.
The two-wheel-drive ride height...
The two-wheel-drive ride height varies little from the typical 4x4. An altitude adjustment is definitely needed.
Tech Tip Before tearing into...
Before tearing into the project, take a minute to measure the vehicle ride height at all four wheelwells. Don't forget to write down the measurements, because they'll be useful for later comparison. Now you can get your hands dirty. Jack up the front end and support it with jackstands, then remove the wheels. Here's a look at the new coil-over-shock front suspension. Incorporating a wider track and new steering system, the Tahoe delivers a smoother, quieter ride and more responsive handling than the previous model.