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52" springs up front, how do they behave on the highway?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Russell, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Hey guys!

    I'm considering a 52" spring swap up front on my tow rig to get a better ride quality out of it. I understand that I cannot use a swaybar due to the crossover steering that is required, but I'd be interested in knowing how well the truck would behave otherwise. The truck is used only for towing, and looking pretty, it won't be taken offroad at all...

    Out back I'm planning on a 63" spring swap as well, should I just get a set of 4" front lift springs, and hope that the longer rear springs improve my ride quality enough?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Instead of doing the 52's in the front I would just move the rear hangar further forward to get a better shackle angle. This would improve the ride quality without all the other issues that come with 52s. You could maintain the same steering and swaybar.
     
  3. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    52's in the front basically accomplish two things: they move the front axle 2" forward and they flex really well.

    They have lots of body lean, way more than stock. For a tow rig, more wheelbase is better but 52's in the front are not the way to go.
     
  4. camok5

    camok5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    You might be better off just getting a really good set of springs like Deavers or Alcans. I have been running my Deavers for about 3 years now and its a night and day difference between them and my old BDS springs. My buddy is running the Alcans which are a little cheaper but he says that he loves them.
     
  5. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    63 in the rear wont clear the hanger to frame as the gastank is in the way on pickups.

    a pic threw the gas door on my 64" swap with axle in stock position.

    big truck 004.jpg
     
  6. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    My truck doesn't have saddle tanks, retrofitted a Suburban 43 gallon tank in between the rear rails :)
     
  7. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    thats why i have 64" on mine same basic tank setup was done. just didnt want ya to make a mistake.

    few more pics for ya. and sorry last one a bit fuzzy but you can see where the hanger was moved ahead about 4" . also yes my rear shakle angle is a bit off yet. but it shows you how close thay are to the end of the frame.

    big truck 003.jpg

    big truck 005.jpg

    big truck 001.jpg
     
  8. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The main reason people will say 52's on the front don't handle good on the road is simply because:

    1- a stock 52 pack generally has a lot lower (softer) spring rate than the stock front springs

    2- you can't run the stock swaybar......which combine that fact with the soft springs and body roll is greatly increased

    You probably could either beef up a stock 52 pack, or get custom ones made with a higher spring rate that would handle better but still ride better. However you would probably still want some sort of a swaybar for the road, especially if it's a towrig. Maybe you could either modify the stock bar or adapt an aftermarket piece to work.
     
  9. resurrected_jimmy

    resurrected_jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    quality springs make all the difference
     
  10. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Good pics SweetK30!

    I imagine with that shackle angle, a guy could slide the rear hanger forwards an inch or so.

    I guess the magic question is this: How does she ride setup that way?

    Have you done anything up front?
     
  11. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I dd 52's on the front of the Shop R and D truck for a while and didn't mind it at all. Never really seemed squirly.
     
  12. JIM88K5

    JIM88K5 1/2 ton status

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    I think that most of the guys that have done this or that want to do this swap are looking for max flex and are not concerned with long term drivability. If you want the most flex as possible and have or want crossover steering, you have to junk the factory sway bar. I think that if you were to put the 52's in and leave everything else stock you will be fine. Do a search for the link to all the 52 inch swap threads...
     
  13. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Well, with my K5, I'm aiming for maximum flex. I'm thinkin I'll do a 4" lift spring up front, with 63s out back, and see how that rides before I decide if I want to do a 52 up front.
     
  14. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    My 52's are super soft and the truck rolls into corners something fierce, the kids think it's fun though. I would be scared to drive my truck down the highway, but have gotten it up to 55 or so since the swap.

    If you are concerned about highway characteristics 52's aren't for you. They flex like mad crazy yo yo and stuff.:xmas:
     
  15. iwaxmyjimmy

    iwaxmyjimmy College web wheeler Premium Member

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    everyone loves a slinky
     
  16. JIM88K5

    JIM88K5 1/2 ton status

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    Your first post says zero off road... Your reply to me says max flex....:dunno:
     
  17. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    The max flex was meant towards his K5. The original post was talking about his tow rig. I missed it too.

    52's have NO place on a tow rig. Worthless IMO to even bother with it......
     
  18. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I concur... Can't see any purpose in 63's out back either on a tow rig......
     
  19. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Yep, two seperate rigs.

    K5, which is off-road only, and my K25, which is a weekend driver / tow rig.
     
  20. y5mgisi

    y5mgisi 1 ton status

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    I dont see why someone wouldnt just swap in 52's but make it to where the axle was still in the stock location. That way you could still use stock steering/swaybar.
     

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