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A different 52" idea.

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by mikey_d05, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Alright, at the suggestion of one of the mods I'm going to try and get a decent discussion going in a forum other than the garage.

    I'm planning on tearing down my rig once this summer and once a couple of summers after that. This rendition will include a 52" spring swap which will only kick the axle out .5" farther forward than it sits now.

    The second round I want to move my axle as far forward as possible and lower the truck as well since at that point there will be no sheetmetal and I can build around the tires. My question is, has anyone ever tried to move the front hangers out to the very front of the frame and up beside the frame to lower the vehicle. You'd end up having the tail end of the spring sitting somewhere under the sloped portion of the frame, but with a little work and custom hanger I think it could be done. The farther you were able to move the rear up, the better the pinion angle would be as well.

    Caster isn't really a concern of mine since this is a trail only hydro assist rig. However, one other problem this poses is crossover/axle interference. A straight drag link, ORD engine crossmemberg, and one of the Ford van steering arms that Rene dug up could very well solve that issue however.

    ...and, if 52's are too long and won't sit correctly in the rear, could it be done with stockers or some other spring? 44044's are a definite option as well but the 52's are free. I'm only after 0-2" of lift in the end here and flexibility is nice but it really isn't the be-all end-all of a rig in the terrain I live in.

    So, what kind of spring setups are people running to move their axle out as far as possible (4"+) and lower the rig at the same time?
     
  2. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I would think you could build some sort of extension on the front of the frame with a crossmember, and new hangars on it. Prolly easy to get 2 more inches or so with some minor fab work. The steering box may need to be moved forward too, but I am not sure on that. I dont know what kind of crossover interference there would be with the axle 4"+ forward the draglink may be in front of the crossmember and have no issues at all. How are you going to do ~2" with 52's maybe remove the AAl and one more? That would be pretty flexy:D With a custom hangar and a longer shackle on the curved portion of the frame the only thing I can think of is frame shackle interference on compression.

    I like the whole idea. The extra length on the front shaft is an added bonus with less angles too. I might not know what the hell I am talking about, but thats my thoughts for now:wink1:

    P.S. you think I could do this and fit 35's?:wink1: :haha: :haha:
     
  3. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    not much help on the springs, but ive got something that could help your steering issues.

    mikey, your truck would be a prime example of a case where i think a scout steering box would work perfectly. you could mount the box far enough back to have the pitman arm pointing forward. if you plan on running highsteer, you could run into tie rod to pitman arm clearance issues, or run the tie rod in back of the axle (wfo steering arms) or in the stock position.

    since you plan on running 40s or better, this would also leave more clearance to stuff a big tire while turning left. just my .02

    one quick question. have you considered a shackle reversal? have the front shacle actually moung on top of the frame? kind of like this, but in the front:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. zeroz400

    zeroz400 1/2 ton status

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    I always thought about doing 52s but make custom hangers on the bumper. Given you couldnt really put the front of the spring any higher then the frame unless you ran a bumper tha was the width of the frame rails. But possibly you could run the hangers wider and make something almost like a shackle flip on the outside of the framerail. That would help the pinion angle too. Makes sense in my head but there isnt a ton of room under the cab either.
     
  5. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I was actually thinking about a frame extension as well. I don't really like the idea of making the front of my frame any longer but 2" would let it sit approximately where my bumper is now and the tires would be much closer to the front of the vehicle (an automatic 2" plus however much the springs got moved forward) That'd also give me more room to slant my radiator backwards for a little more visibility. If I'm guesstimating right that'd put me at about 115" for wheelbase which is a little long for the terrain I run but hopefully the line lock solenoid that's in the mail will help a bit with my turning woes. I was planning on moving the rear backwards a bit but if I can get something like this rolling I can just hack the frame and body for departure angle instead.

    I'm not really after as flexy as can be...although it'd be nice when I run the rocks at Gilbert...but I am a little tired of blasting down core trails trying to keep up with TJ's and having my teeth rattled out in the washboards.

    For now I plan on keeping my "low-steer" setup because of my hydro assist rig but I'd like to hear more about the scout box and flipping the pitman arm. However, that would mean having to run a reverse steering arm correct? That definitely sounds like an intriguing possibility. Is that possible with a standard box like I have now or not? If I worked the distances correctly it might even allow for me to keep my current drag link. I'm planning on running an ORD crossmember because having a rig that low and still keeping the crossover might get a bit tight and I need all the space I can get.

    Ryan - I hadn't considered a shackle reversal because it seems like everyone puts shackles in the rear of their front springs...and I've seen lots of Jeep guys even go to the trouble of converting their rigs to switch the shackle from front to back...can you explain a little better the pro's and con's of each situation besides the obvious positioning advantage it would give me?

    Thanks for the help so far guys. This wouldn't be all that difficult to do this summer if I can get the body swap completed quickly.
     
  6. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    i dont think that you would have to run a reverse steering with the scout box. the pitman arm would be pointing forward, much like some of the toyota guys are doing. (then you could transfer parts to your toy frame:D ). i tried posting a thread in the garage about the scout boxes, but didnt get anywhere. i have been considering lowering my k5 a bunch, and am pretty much in the same boat as you.

    heres the tech article on pirate with a pic of how the box would mount. not for the scout box, but one pic clearly shows the box and draglink tierod and whatnot.

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/articles/productreviews/skyshockhoops

    but alas, pirate is down it looks like, so ill have to dig around.

    i dunno about the shackle reversal. it may be the only way to get the 52's or 56's to fit and get you the lift you want. not to mention with 56's backwards, youd be close to 90 degree approach angles. from what i know about jeeps: the forward facing shackle can allow the front axle to "dig" in when crawling up an obstacle. as the suspension compresses it forces the tire into whatever is compressing the suspension. not great for the street, but seems like a good idea on the trail. with shackles like the formula toy i posted up, the spring eye could be kept close to the frame as to not hamper approach angles.

    just a little rambling while i kill some time at work.
     
  7. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    damn. i actually had to work tonight.

    heres what i could find.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    That's going to be a chore. Especially with your "second round".

    You can move the front axle forward 4.5" before you run out of frame with stock hangers. That means the front hanger moved forward 7.5" with 52s/56s in their factory orientation. I ran 5.5" long shackles in the rear so as to keep pinion angle/caster under control. Anything less than 5.5" with 56s with the front hanger moved all the way forward will rub the frame.

    Even with the 4" lift gained by stock 52s or 56s your cab will rub 42s at full stuff and full lock with the axle moved forward 4.5".

    Moving the rear of the spring upwards isn't an option really. Unless you have one of those split spring eye springs that people keep telling me exist. Can't have the spring and frame competing for the same space.

    I had considered moving the front hangers up at one time. However, I realized I wouldn't gain anything. I was mostly considering doing it so I could make it so if I needed to get up something I could slide on my springs.

    I have 56s. I moved the spring hanger out 7.5" from the factory location. This pulled the axle forward 4.5". I used the factory rear spring hanger location. I put 5.5" shackles on. This was as short as I could go and not hit the frame. Most people run 7.25" shackles with their 52s.

    I run a Superlift #1104 pitman arm. It's actually too tall. My pitman arm can get trapped between the U-bolts on the spring plate. Regular highsteer is not an option, you must use factory or behind the axle highsteer.

    I moved my engine back 2.5". Therefore, I can run a straight draglink.
     
  9. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    bump

    come on fellas...somebody else has to have an opinion or some tech on this...
     
  10. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    If you widen the springs on the frame you have to do it on the axel? or are you just moving it forward and up?
     
  11. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Just forward and up.
     
  12. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Can you use a Astro steering box
     

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