2014 GMC Sierra 1500 front suspension overhaul questions

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Mar 2, 2004
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Helping a good friend do some suspension work on the front end of his 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE 5.3L (2wd). A local frame & alignment shop told him the upper control arm ball joints were shot, they quoted him $1100 to fix it. I'm going to help him fix it, but I'm not terribly familiar with these trucks.

He wants to go through the whole front end and I can't blame him as the truck is approaching 170K. This would include upper & lower control arms, I suggested sway bar end link bushings, outer tie rod end boots are cracked so we're gonna change those too. He's considering doing front shocks/struts also, I honestly don't know what to call them, if they're actual struts or coilover shocks. I don't work on a lot of RWD/4WD stuff, but watching Youtube videos and such, the control arms don't look that complicated. Nothing special about his truck, it's got the standard cast iron knuckle, no aluminum stuff which would be present on some 4WD models with upgraded suspension. His is 2wd. We found the appropriate parts on Rockauto, TRW brand is on closeout right now, so we went with those.

Couple questions:

I assume at some point the springs will have to be compressed. Is this required for control arm replacement, or only if we decide to replace the shock/strut inside the spring? After looking at it, it appears the strut/coilover comes off by itself as an assembly, and replacing control arms won't require spring removal, but I'm not certain of this. Any other parts I'm missing or should consider replacing for a decent suspension overhaul? TIA for any help/input.
 
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92saturnsl2

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Why not buy one of the Haynes manuals for the truck. It would give you some guidance.
Haha, so I can spend 4 hours of my time sifting through 1,053 different variations of Chevy/GMC trucks spanning 11 different model years (just guessing but probably close) in the same manual? Been there done that. There's enough information on the internet to make this a very easy job to figure out. I just thought there's enough mechanics here and a popular enough truck that this would be a good place to start.
 
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You don't need to compress the springs unless you are replacing the strut and reusing the springs. The only thing is you MIGHT need to jack up on the lower control arm to compress the strut a bit so you can get the upper ball joint fully seated in the knuckle since the droop stops will limit the upper control arm. Honestly GM IFS on the trucks is stupid simple, don't be afraid to tear into it, if you have any mechanical ability at all you can figure it out.
 
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Why not buy one of the Haynes manuals for the truck. It would give you some guidance.
Haynes manual may at best give you torque specs for suspension components and not much else for the job. "Reassembly is the same as disassembly" He would need a Chevy/GM service manual.
 
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