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'69 K5 Blazer Lift ? Search button wore out

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Musclerodz, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Musclerodz

    Musclerodz 1/2 ton status

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    After about 3 hours of searching old posts, I have a direction but still a few questions. I am new to building 4x4's so please bare with me.

    I have a '69 K5 Blazer I am doing a ground up on that will be mainly a DD. The frame is just about ready to be sandblasted and will be powdercoated. I want a mild lift but nothing drastic. I would also like to run 33" tires. I realize a 4" lift is recommended, but I don't want to use a ladder to get it. I have just about made up my mind to run the ORD flip kit out back. My only concern is someone mentioned this was not good for towing. The only towing planned would be a small boat or jet ski's to the lake. Any major stuff will be handled by the 1 ton crewcab. Up front is really where my questions are.

    I have found that there is not a lot of chioices when it comes to first gen lifts. I want this thing to sit level with the hard top and a slight rake with a soft top is fine. After reading everything on springs, I would like to run BDS but they don't list anything shorter than 4" for 69-72. If I run 4" up front, I am looking at a short block or zero level out back. That will equal around 6" taller than it is now and would require a step for me and especially the wife. I saw they have a 2.5" upfront for the 73 K5. What is the difference in lengths of the two springs? Plan "B" would be TC springs but I am not ready to give in yet.

    The planned drivetrain is to use a leftover LT-1 from another project, backed by a 700R4 with an Advanced Adapters tailshaft. What am I going to run into regarding the drive shafts? Will they need modified? Also I am planning on a 3.73 or 4.10 gear set with the 33" tires. I read the thread on gas mileage and kind of concerned it wasn't any higher than it was with the OD. This is a budget build and I am doing everything I can myself which will be about 85% of the project. Sorry for the long post, but I am ready to spend some money and need to get the suspension stuff finalized. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Mike
     
  2. Musclerodz

    Musclerodz 1/2 ton status

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    Any help out there?

    Mike
     
  3. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, you want to run 33's but don't want to trim. You also want a decent ride since it will be a DD. You are pretty much stuck with 3"-4" of lift.

    Suspension;
    If it were me, I'd run the BDS 2.5" lift springs and either a set of extended shackles and/or 1" lift add-a-leave (zero rate) in the front. For the rear, you can use the ORD or DIY shackle flip (not sure if DIY makes a 2" lift flip kit?) and tow just fine. Then if it sits low, you can again go with a 0-rate. You can tow just fine with them. Who ever said you can't is misinformed.

    Drivetrain;
    If you are going to run 33's w/ a 700-R4, go with 4.10 gears. That will make your tranny happy with that size of tire. Anything less and you'll burn up your tranny pretty quick. It will keep the rpm's in the right range as designed by the factory.

    Hope it helps! I sent you an e-mail as well.
     
  4. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    When I got my 71 K5 it had 4" lift (springs/blocks) and 33" tires.
    If you want to go lower then 4" lift you might have problems with the front of the front fender (aka "Fang"). It can be trimmed on the inside without being noticable on the outside. You might get away with it not rubbing but you might not.

    My vote would be for 2.5" Tough Country EZ-ride springs up front and either a 4" spring or 4" shackle flip in the back with 86-91 K5 rear springs (because they are softer then other years). I don't think you should keep the stock leaf springs because I am sure they are old and fitagued (mine were). Most of the lift springs are made for trucks that have less weight on the back.

    In the back the only area you will have problems with rubbing is the front of the wheel well. This is because the rear tires sit too far forward (from the factory) in the wheel well. If you drill a new hole in the rear spring perch 1" farther forward that should solve that problem.

    73-up springs are about 3" longer then the 69-72 springs. I have 73-up springs in my truck by moving the front spring hanger forward and making a longer shackle. http://scbd.org/phpBB2/modules.php?...ame=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
    It gave me a bit more then 4" of lift so you should go with 2.5" springs if you are going to do this.

    You might also want to install a anti-roll bar from a 73-91. The u-bolt plates will bolt onto your truck but you will have to make a mount for the frame brackets (which you should do before you power coat it same with the shackle flip).

    You might be able to get away with moving the engine forward (where a 2wd engine would be) and keeping the transfer case in the same mount holes. You will have to do some measuring between the differences of your old/new drivetrain.

    I would go with 4.10 or 4.56 gears. 3.73 should not even be an option. The OD will make 4.10 gears act like 3.08's.
     
  5. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I have never owned a first gen but I had a buddy who fit 33s stock no problem wheeled it hard no swaybars etc never rubbed anywhere. To keep it low I bet you could just do zero rates all the way around. You may have to trim the bumper a bit, but unless somebody were an expert on these trucks they would not know the difference. Also you might try getting brand new stock springs and the zero rates springs that old are sure to have sagged a little.
     
  6. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    You know now that I think back I didn't have any problems rubbing in the front with the 33's. But I did rub in the back with 4" of lift because the axle was too far forward. I know you can fit 32" tires on with no lift.
     
  7. Musclerodz

    Musclerodz 1/2 ton status

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    Was it the late model rear springs that moved the axle location? I don't remember the axle being not centered before I took it apart.

    BDS doesn't have 2.5" springs for the 69-72 K5's on their website and I will be calling them today to verify this. After discussing with the wife about this some, she is fine with the lift so I may just go to 4" BDS up front with a flip kit out back with a zero-rate leaf. I will just have to add a step. I am looking into a retractable one at this time. Thanks for the replies.

    Mike
     
  8. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    My rear leaves were (and are) factory. I replaced 2 leaves with some from another pack because they were cracked. I should have just bought new springs but I didn't have the money at the time. The factory rear wheel wells are tear-drop shaped. Because of that it makes them look like the wheel is too far forward and causes the front to rub long before the rear (mine rubbed with 4" blocks and bald 33" tires). With a 1" 0-rate you will be able to move the axle back 1" and I suguest you do it.

    Be very carfull when you order the front springs. Because there was no swaybar they put stiff springs up front and some aftermarket springs for 1st gens are VERY STIFF!!! My old ranchos (4" springs on it when I got it) were something like 720lb/in springs. You can't even get a spring that stiff for a 2nd gen. The 4" TC EZ-rides for the 73-91's that I have on my truck now are 295lb/in. My back likes me much better now but I have a lot of body roll on hard corners. You might be happiest with something in the 400lb/in range and an anti-roll bar from a 73-up.
     
  9. Musclerodz

    Musclerodz 1/2 ton status

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    Since there is no complaints and the excellent warranty for BDS springs, I will probably be getting a set of 4" springs up front, shackle flip kit, and zero rates to level the truck and be able to move the axle back if need be. For a sway bar, the easiest thing is to get a splined NASCAR style bar which are fully adjustable.

    With nearly total of 6" lift between springs, tires, and new body mounts, I will be needing a step. I have seen several retractable ones advertised. Any recommendations?

    Mike
     
  10. chevy_muscle

    chevy_muscle 1/2 ton status

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    I didn't read all of the replies, but I'm sure they covered your questions.

    BTW, I have a '69 too... post up some pics!

    Also, I have 4" lift with 33"s on mine and it saggs in the back. so I'll probably go with zero-rates back there.

    Finally, I would recommend against the 700r4 just because they seem to have a lot more problems than the th350 or th400. Do you have the original trans/case?
     
  11. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Something else to consider for 33's.....

    1" Zero Rates and a 1" (or 2") body lift.

    you don't need much extra clearance for 33's and with the body lift you can gain clearance without going overboard with suspension mods.

    Also, the zero-rates will allow you to shift the rear axle back 1.5" which will help you to get it centered in the wheel well better than stock. A larger tire will make it obvious that the factory placed the axle pretty far forward in that wheel well for some reason....:doah:
     
  12. Musclerodz

    Musclerodz 1/2 ton status

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    Chevy Muscle, Here is a pic before I tore it apart last month. Basically rust free except for rockers and front quarter panels. It does have the original 205 transfer case in it. I have noticed some people having problems with the 700R4's as well, but I don't necessarily blame the tranny for all the problems. The fastest way to kill a 700R4 is to under gear it or loaf it. Around town it should be ran in D and OD highway only. I wouldn't mind a 4L80, but it is simply out of the budget.

    Greg, I thought about a body lift, but then that plays havoc on the steering shaft which really isn't a big deal. I am just faced with having to replace springs anyway so it is the direction I am leaning. Zero rate though I will be definitely doing.

    Mike
    [​IMG]
     

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