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add-a-leaf?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by jsc383, Apr 8, 2000.

  1. jsc383

    jsc383 Registered Member

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    i got a 87 with the stock 31"s and i just want to lift it a little like 2inchs or so. so i can get some 32s or33s in
    and some one told me that i should try something called add a leaf. I really like my truck (it only one i have) and i do not want to do some crappy discount job on it. so if any one has used any thing like this i would like to hear about it. thanks for any help.
     
  2. ggallin13

    ggallin13 1/2 ton status

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    IMHO, add-a-leafs suck. In some applications they do alright from what I hear (like to offset rear-end sag), but my experience with them is they stiffen the ride, make the spring-pack more delicate, and don't aid your articulation any. I have seen boken springs because of the add-a-leaf. It was a Heep Dangler on the Rubicon last year, so take that for what it is worth. Spend the extra cash and get new springs, you'll be glad you did.
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Registered Member

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    Here is my comparison. I had an '87 with 31's and the "ralley wheels (15x8 steel)". Sat nice....pretty level. Sold it to my dad. Bought a '90 K-5 with 32's and the 15x7, 8 vent hole aluminum wheels . They fit well also. Only difference was on the '90, the previous owner has a leaf added to all 4 corners. Not an add-a-leaf, but a professional spring company added a leaf to the stacks. The '90, when parked side by side with the old '87 sits about 1 1/2 inches higher in the front, and 2" in the rear. No rubbing problems at all. Both trucks have the h.d. front suspension and quad shocks.

    Dave Hiller
    90 K-5
    "The Anti-SUV"
     
  4. DBLAZER

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    Get a competant shop to install a 2" body lift and keep the ride taht you have. My 80 had an add-a-leaf added to it buy 4wheelpartswholeSTEELERS, I told them i used the truck offroad, they said it would work great. It worked well, at giving me a bad back from the ride and articulating like a toyota corolla. I hated it. Took it out and had the rear leaf hangers lowerd about 3 inches and it gave me the 1.5 inches that i needed in the rear, and it rode much better...


    89K5 payed 3k for the rig, spent almost 7k in the last 6 months on upgrades!!!!
     
  5. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Add-a-leaves make the ride really harsh. They were originally designed to help trucks haul more weight(like in the bed of a pickup), and not to make more clearance for tires.
    Any kind of body lift over 1 inch I would never do. Besides putting more leverage on the body mounts, you may have to adjust various linkages, fan shroud clearance, shifter length, etc.
    Instead of doing either, I saved the money until I could buy a 2.5 inch lift to fit 33's. Or you could have a good body shop trim the fenders a little bit and run some 32's.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  6. Kyle89K5

    Kyle89K5 1/2 ton status

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    I've been running a set of add-a-leafs in my Blazer for about 2 years now. I have zero complaints. I didn't notice any difference in ride OR artic. If given the option of doing it over I'd still run a set. Who knows, maybe I didn't notice a change in the ride because ITS A TRUCK NOT A FRIGGIN CADILAC. If you want a nice ride go buy an Explorer!

    Sorry, little venting there. A 2.5" susp lift would clear 33's if hard wheeling is not in your future. They also don't (usually) require any kind of stearing correction. This would prob. be the easiest route to take. I'm using an add-a-leaf to get rid of the rear sag and to fine tune the stance of the truck, not as my only source of lift.

    Kyle
    89K5
     
  7. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    You have a couple of options. New springs, but if your truck rides good now I wouldn't bother. Add-A-Leaf front and a block in back, not a bad way to good to get a small amount of lift. If you do this get some HD shocks and your ride wont suffer much. Last, and I think best, take it to a big truck spring shop and just get the springs rearched. What ever you decide 2" is not much lift on a Blazer, it realy wont mess up anything related. However, the weight of your new tires may cause the need for a better steering stablizer. Jim

    BigJBear '80 GMC
     
  8. Eric78K5

    Eric78K5 1/2 ton status

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    I've been thinking of adding lift myself, to clear 33" tires. Everything I've seen so far leads me to believe that it would be better to replace the springs with new ones. I mean, my K5 is a '78, so the springs are kind of old anyway. I've ridden in a K5 before and after an add-a-leaf was done, and there is some stiffness added to the ride, but it is a truck afterall.
     
  9. JOEBLAZER12

    JOEBLAZER12 Registered Member

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    Hey '73 K5, what brand of 2.5" lift do you have? How does it ride compared to stock(on-road)? Also, what kind of tires and rims are you running? I'm thinking of lifting mine 2.5" too, but I use it mainly on-road. Thanks!!

    Joe
    '89 K5
     
  10. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Well Joe, I can only partly answer your questions. I've been on crutches for the last 3 months, so I don't have the lift installed yet. I'm going to start on it this weekend. Anyways I bought Superlift springs for the front and blocks for the rear.
    And my wheels and tires just arrived today from National Tire and Wheel. I went with the 33x12.50 radial Swampers mounted on the 15x10 inch Eagle 589's. Those wheels have 3 5/8 inch backspacing which is perfect for most Blazers. Most other wheels were 4 inch backspacing which rubs the tierod ends. I'll be sure to give everyone an update when I get the lift bolted on. Mine is going to be driven mainly onroad too by the way. That explains the mild lift and the "radial" Swampers.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  11. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey 73K5, were you rubbing at the pitman arm-to-draglink rodend? Mine is rubbing there in a right turn. I'm running 33x12.5 BFG A/T's on 15x8 AR-23's (I bought it like this). I haven't measured the backspacing yet, but it sounds like you may have solved my problem for me!! Please update about the tire/wheel combo too!

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
    [​IMG] So many ideas, so little money...
     
  12. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    my wife wanted a blazer play toy to drive. she wanted it lifted a little and bigger tires on it. so being the cheap azz basterd I am, I put add-a-leafs in it. I thought she was going to divorce me!! I took her nice riding silverado and made it stiffer than my one ton! never agian. rough country ez ride springs all around. much nicer ride. still married though.
     
  13. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Jarhead. It was only the rim that was causing me problems. I don't think the tires ever rubbed. When I had 4 inch backspacing rims on my old '79, the outer rim of the wheel would scrap against the tie rod ends when I would turn tight in either direction. And I've read a bunch of stuff in mags that 3.5-3.75 is the best for 1/2 ton front ends. I'll update you in a few days about it...if I ever get my lift on.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     

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