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Revamping the ’88 Shortbed: Installing a Coilover Conversion

MARK OJA September 18, 2023 Feature Stories

Our ’88 Shortbed Gets a Suspension Upgrade

A coilover conversion offers numerous benefits for an OBS pickup, providing enhanced adjustability, improved handling and stability, and customization potential. By replacing the stock suspension components with coilover, truck enthusiasts can achieve a more dynamic driving experience tailored to their preferences. Reduced body roll, improved cornering stability, and improved overall handling performance provide a more controlled and confident driving experience.

Now that the old parts are removed , clean the area in preparation for the new coilover setup.
The “Billet Beater,” original on the outside, cool on the bottom side!

We are continuing to upgrade our shop project, the 1988 shortbed, the “Billet Beater.” We are leaving the exterior in its original paint but improving the suspension, drivetrain, and interior. It’s a perfect platform for an Aldan American coilover conversion kit.

Established in 1981, Aldan American’s products are designed, tested, and made in the USA. The Road Comp Series is designed for a OEM-like fitment that offers greater tune-ability and up to a 2-inch front height adjustment. A true bolt-on design, it’s easy to tune, a smoother ride on the street, fully rebuildable, and offers a lifetime warranty. Take the time to get a new frontend alignment, too, to save those tires. Let’s go!

Jack up the truck, secure it on jackstands, and remove the wheels.
Place the jack under the lower control arm and disconnect the lower ball joint.
Remove the upper shock bolt.
The difference between the old spring an the shock and the new setup is impressive.
Disconnect the lower shock bolts and the outer tie rod end.
Now that the old parts are removed , clean the area in preparation for the new coilover setup.
Remove the spring. This is a lowered spring, so it comes out very easily.
Assemble the spring onto the shock using a liberal amount of Never-Seez so the collar does not lock on the shock housing. Slide the shock assembly up into place and attach with the provided hardware.
Reattach the lower ball joint and the tie rod end to the spindle. We set the retaining ring up approximately 1.5 inches as a starting point for ride height.
Remove both rear shocks.
Install the upper mounts and both rear shocks. Make sure to double check all your bolts, front and rear.
The new shocks look amazing and come with new hardware and upper mounting brackets.
Using the supplied adjusting wrench, set the front ride height. We went 1 inch lower than before for a raked look. Now, we’re off to alignment, and then it’s back on the street for the Billet Beater!


Aldan American


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