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A little help from old guys that know about K5s built for the feds

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by landsmasher, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    I have one. It was a Forestry Truck in the Sierras. I Have been comparing it to street modlels and the first thing I notice is that I have 6 leaves in the rear suspension and 3 in the front where as all the stock K5s I see have one less of each. I also have a PTO winch and no smog stuff on it. And it's smog legal in CA. (go figure)

    My question is this. Are there any hidden mods that I have yet to see that you know about? Like reinforcement of body panels and the like? Also I think it has a 3/4 ton rear end. It's a 12 bolt but the guy at the local driveline place said it has 3/4 ton hubs. (think he means brake hubs) But it's 6 lug wheels. Anyone know about this? Heard someone say something about "the elusive 12 bolt FF". (joke?) Take a look at what my truck looks like with 33s with Federal Stock Height. I think I can get 35's on there with a little trimming and no lift.
     
  2. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    I'm just wondering if y'all forgot where the tech forums are, or did you forget to take your Geritol? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    How thick are the leaves on the springs?
     
  3. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    I know where they are but I don't get much response from them. Lot's of 16 year olds in there and they don't even know what a turn table is. So I thought i would post it here too.

    The thickness looks about the same untill you get to the axle and there is a short one that's about 5/8 inch thick. That's on the rear and on the front they are about a quarter inch thick. I would have to go measure and its in the shop right now. The fronts also have the "military wrap".
     
  4. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The military wrap is a good thing. I don't know if you could throw 35's on your truck since I don't immerse myself in the 70's generation of trucks, though if it helps I'm going to 35's on my stock '87.
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    When the government first mandated unleaded gas and catalytic converters in the mid-70's, they weren't required for light trucks with a GVWR of 6,000 lbs or higher. GM added a leaf to each pack and suddenly the GVWR on a K5 was 6,050 lbs. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif A few years later the cutoff was raised to around 8,500 lbs, so I'm sure GM deleted the addtional springs to make 'em ride more like a soccer-mom would prefer. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif (Ford did something similar to the F-100 and the name was forever changed to the F-150).

    There were also towing packages available that came with bigger brakes in some years.
     
  6. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    I think I can throw 35's on there. It's about 3 inches higher than the stocker 83 that I compared it to today. So with a little trimming I think I can do it. And if it doesn't work out I can always lift it a bit. Maybe a body lift. I want to keep the CG as low as I can... Waddaya think? /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  7. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I say you could do the 35 thing but be weary of gearing with 35's if you have an auto tranny....real easy to burn it up with big tires and highway gears.... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  8. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Yup. 35's have that "I look cool" factor going on.
     
  9. chulisohombre

    chulisohombre 1/2 ton status

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    sounds like the front springs are the same as mine.i think they are rancho.they also have the military wrap on them.you could fit 35's with about 2 inches of trimming so you dont hit the fenders.it looks kinda close right now with your 33's.
     
  10. yellowK20

    yellowK20 Well Lubricated Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    gm did the same thing with "Heavy Half" in the late seventys /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  11. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    sm465 and 205 Xfer case. No automatic here. Hey Bubba you aint allowed in here. Go back to the NON 4X4 place... /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    The fronts also have the "military wrap".

    [/ QUOTE ] That came on stock springs. I've got a bone stock '88 Blazer in the garage and it has the military wrap on the 2nd leaf of the stock negative arch springs.
     
  13. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    My 87 K5 was a Border Patrol unit for 6 years (104k miles)and spent it's whole life on the Canadian border. It had the 6 rear and 3 front leaf springs, 3.08's, 465, NP208, 10 bolt front and 12 bolt rear axle (yes, 12 bolts), 265x16 on 6 bolt steel rims, and a 305TBI engine. Usual skid plates, 30 gal gas tank, rubber floor mats only and modified shock mounts. Appears that the rear shock mounts were "beefed up" with additional steel re-inforcement to avoid breakage. Front were dual shock setup. I put 33's on with no additional lift and only slightly trimmimg the sheet metal. Later I installed a 4" lift for the present 35's. Stock high back buckets and a custom steel console that appeared was their "desk" when the lid was opened and flip forward towards the dash. Just opposite of a stock console. At one time had 3 external mount antennas for various radios.
     

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