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Any body lift horror stories?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by bigk, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. bigk

    bigk 1/2 ton status

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    I know this is an old topic, but I was curious about some new input on 3 inch body lifts. I have one that I haven't installed yet, and would like to know if they're more trouble than they're worth, both for installation and stability on the trail. I just think that a little hassle with a body lift might eliminate alot of hassle and cost with a too tall suspension lift. Plus, there have been several times that I wished I had more clearance between the body and running gear for access and for cleaning tha mud out. As far as what some guys have said about them not being any good on a truck that sees real action, or that they shouldn't be used with a suspension lift, there were some serious trucks in the Top Truck Challenge using them. Anyhow, thanks in advance.

    Karl
    Temporarily Unemployed Underwear Model
    87 3/4 ton
     
  2. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    hey i'm looking to buy one here pretty soon i'd like to know too.

    people that get good mileage aren't having any fun!
    scott,
    1989 GMC suburban 3/4t 4" lift finally rollin on 36" swampers, tbi350, th350, np241
     
  3. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Whatever you do, do not make a home made lift.

    A guy here in town had a '79 Ford F150 and decided he wanted to lift it via a body lift. But he was so cheap, he used only the stuff he could get from work, free. Then he rounded up cheap grade bolts and went ahead and did everything.

    What did he use for blocks, you ask? [​IMG]













    BRICKS!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]




    I'm not picking my nose...I'm just pointing at my brain!! [​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/thatK30guy>The K30 Collection</a>
     
  4. BigTex

    BigTex 1/2 ton status

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    Karl, I installed my 3" body lift a few months ago. Everything went fine. The work itself is very easy. The only hard part comes from battling rusty bolts, but if rust is not a problem, then you should have nothing to worry about. The only tools you'll need (if you don't have any air tools) are a good shop jack and a breaker bar (I used the end of my floor jack) to break the bolts loose. You can do it yourself but I would enlist the help of one of your buds. The only real modification is welding a 3" extension onto your tranny linkage. Well, that and you are going to have to fab bumper brackets if you don't want the extra goofy looking gap. Espen has a good write-up on his homepage on how to do that. You may also have to move your gas tank down a bit to fit some bolts in, but that's easy.

    As for the looks of it, to be quite honest with you I don't like the look of the 3" pucks, but I installed it for 2 BIG reasons. First of all, I, too did not want to battle major vibration problems with a too-tall suspension lift. Second of all, I'm all for lifting my rig an extra 3" to save my expensive Swampers from being chopped up by my fenders. I currently run a 4" Rancho along with the 3" body lift, but prior to the body lift my fenders kept chewing on my 36" tires.

    Check out my members ride area for pics. If you have anymore questions, ask away.

    <font color=red>"SETTING OFF ALARMS IN A CITY NEAR YOU!"</font color=red>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/BigTex-Mean-Machine>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/BigTex-Mean-Machine</a>
     
  5. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldnt do a body lift. The only people (4 of my buddies) I know that have body lifts are jeeps, and all of them have broken bolts and lost mounts. They all say if they had to do it again they would never do it. Two of them got rid of them and the other two are going to but need to save up for a bigger lift.

    86Jimmy 4"&35"MTRs,87 burb 4"&35"MT,69Firebird w/525 hp,and 70GTO live in PHX,AZ<a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/modifierperformance>My vehicles</a>
     
  6. bigk

    bigk 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, broken mounts and bolts is a concern, but here's a thought. If the frame is strengthened and the suspension made more flexy, wouldn't that maybe keep the frame from twisting and breaking things? I've always wondered if frame flex is a good thing. I had a 73 K5 years back, and one time in the snow one corner sunk in and it got so twisted up that the top gapped away from the windshield. That just didn't seem healthy to me. Has there been much discussion on frame boxing on here? I don't know a thing about it, but I have a couple friends that are expert welders, have their own shops, and could do the work if I knew what to tell them. My thoughts were to use a real soft 4 inch suspension lift with my 3 inch body lift to fit 38's, or maybe 39's with some more trimming. If I'm totally off base, I'd like someone to set me straight before I make a mistake that I'll regret. I've come to count on this site do just that with all the knowledge floating around here. I really want to keep my truck as enjoyable to drive and as all purpose as possible.

    Karl
    Temporarily Unemployed Underwear Model
    87 3/4 ton
     
  7. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    First of all, I won't knock anyone that thinks either way about them because they all have a point. I have a 4" body lift installed by the previous owner and a 4" suspension lift and I love my truck but it all depends on what type of wheeling you do. The clearence is great on the rocks but if you get yourself on a good tilt it's scary. If your just running mud, why not? It's easy to clean and keeps you a little higher out of it. Some other things to think about. If you have a stock fan set-up, raising the body 3 or 4" will off center the fan. I use both the stock fan w/ dual electric back up fans. I took the stock shroud and built 4" spacers to seperate the two halfs and it worked great. The parking brake cable is kinda tight so anything more than 4" would require a new cable. The fender wells open up to the motor and if you don't want to coat it, do like I did, Buy a semi truck mud flap and custom cut it to cover the opening and keep the motor clean. Check all your wires to the frame to make sure you don't break any. I might be missing something but I hope it helps.
    Some day I might dump the body lift myself because of the type of wheelin I do but I haven't had any problems and I have enough room under the back to mount some air tanks[​IMG]. I won't be going any smaller than 38's and I hate to cut out anymore (if any is left) to fit tires and not go higher. My nose already bleeds when I get in[​IMG]

    [​IMG]<font color=red>[/b]"Rid'in HigH in my K5"[​IMG]
    ....[​IMG]<font color=blue>[/b]"8" Lift -<font color=purple>38.5's"[​IMG]....
     
  8. JunkYardCrawler

    JunkYardCrawler 1/2 ton status

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    i don't really trust body lifts. i knew this guy that had a 3 inch body lift on his 3/4 ton 73. not toataly sure why but they tour up his body mounts. made them look like squished doughnuts. gong to a longer bolt like that means you can put more leverage on them and break them easie. just my thoughts
     
  9. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    just make sure you have enough length in your wires and what not. strengthing up your chassi and softening your suspension will help. one or the other will work. or both
    i am only going with 2 inch BL. i dont like the looks of a 3 inch.
    nor do i think it will help too much more than a 2 inch. if i hadnt already bought the 2 inch a long time ago i would go with a 1 inch from ORD. that is all i really need.

    i am going to run a VERY soft 4'' sus and a 2 inch body with 39.5 boggers. so i will do a lot of cutting.
    talk to you later.
    grant

    1974 Chevy Blazer Cheyanne. but it is on 33's now, with saggy old springs. i am in Yuma Arizona if ya got any parts for me.
     
  10. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    I think the so called body lift problems are way overplayed. Obviously like a lot of other things you never hear how great a body lift did last weekend.... it isn't like the sweet gears out back or my suspension flexed great or whatever... thus the only stuff you hear is the bad stuff, when stuff breaks. Alot of those are body lifts fabbed up or done wrong. Get a good kit like from trailmaster or another reputable manufacturer and you should be good to go. You get some cheapie kit w/ grade 5 bolts or fab up a hockey puck affair and of course you are looking for trouble. Just my $.02

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  11. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Good call Storm Trooper! I think a lot of people here forget not everyone here is a major rock crawler. Heck some people don't even hit the dirt w/ their trucks. Gotta take a real look at what you want to do with your rig and evaluate for yourselves what mods to do to make your rig perform the best for your offroading.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  12. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I like the ORD 1" body lift, personally. Those solid aluminum pucks and high grade bolts are pretty tough...I have never had, nor do I forsee, any real problems with such a short body lift...at the same time, it IS an extra inch for those tires! =) Besides, mad fender trimming is way more cool than a freaky-tall body lift anyway! ;)

    J


    See the on-going build up of my '85 Jimmy! http://community.webshots.com/user/jekbrown
     
  13. Dieselmh

    Dieselmh 1/2 ton status

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    I had a buddy with an F-150 with a 3 inch body lift. After about 6 months of light wheelin', he broke a bolt up front, and the weight shifted a little and actually crushed the mount that had the broken bolt. I don't know what brand lift it was, but it scared me away from body lifts altogether.

    Diesel

    Shouldn't it be called uncommon sense?
     
  14. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    You need to lengthen your cluch rod the same amount of lift you put on. Don't forget to disconnect it before you do the lift. Another consideration is keep an eye on the steering column angle at the rag joint. The steering box is bolted to the frame and the column to the body. Something else to remember is the bumpers will look weird if you don't raise them as well, but watch your local codes. Another thing is exhaust hangers. If you have some exhaust hangers that are connected to the underside of the body disconnect them and lengthen them so they don't tear anything up. Your shifter will be shorter too (and a further reach for low and 4th), and your transfer case shifter may hit the body at the front of the hole, if you have a 205, that will cause it to either not want to go all the way into low or if the body flexes a bit it may knock it into neutral.....bad thing...so you may need to elongate the hole for the transfer unless you come up with some jazzy idea on how to change the shifter angle. Make sure your fuel filler hose is long enough so you don't rip the top of the tank off. The fan problem has already been addressed. Remember, most important of all, as you are jacking up the body to keep an eye on the brake lines at the master cylinder to make sure they are not binding on anything and are giving plenty of flexability because they will be stretched out a bit more as well. Watch for the coils in the lines under the master cylinder wanting to kink as you go up.
    I built my own body lift when I had my 79. (it now belongs to mudnutt) I have never had a problem with it. I built it stout though. I used grade 8 bolts. don't go any higher than grade 8 bolts. The harder the bolt the less it will bend before it breaks. Grade 8 seems to be a happy area. If you use anything like a mudflap to cover the gap between the body and frame make sure it is removable so you can clean the gunk out of it or it may be a breeding ground for rust...let's see...what else. Oh yeah... if you are doing this and you don't have anything else to drive..like to the liquor store, make sure you have plenty of beer before you start so you don't have to hitch hike to the store. If I am forgetting anything I hope someone will step in and cover it.

    John

    Like to go sloppin' 'round in da mud in a rapid fashion....=)

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun31?&page=1>BLAZER PICS</a>
     
  15. CarolinaBogger

    CarolinaBogger Registered Member

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    anyone have any pics of the auto trans shifter linkage extension? Also, what solutions did yall do for the gas filler hose? did yall just extend it somehow or did you have to replace the whole thing? Thanks yall

    <font color=green>"I'm old enough to know better, but I'm still to young to care!"</font color=green>
     
  16. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I'll throw my question out also - what do you need to do to the NP241 for a 1" body lift? Anything?

    Thanks.

    Dave

    Horn Broken... Watch For Finger.
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  17. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    You can use the old hose fro the gas tank you just have to loosen the clamps and adjust it. I used a new one because the hose was old and rotten and when I tried to pull it off it cracked.
     
  18. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    i am running the same 2" that was on the truck when i bought it in 1990. never broke a bolt or had problems of ANY kind.
    I am willing to bet the body lift on mine was a used one and spent a long life under another truck before it found its way onto mine knowing the previous owners ways.
    completely trouble free would recommend it to anyone
     
  19. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    it is beacause he overtightened the bolts on ancient bushings. impact wrench NOT required for body mounts
     
  20. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Good advice...if you are going to install a lift, before to do anything, disconnect the tranny linkage...and steering shaft. I didn't do that, and my factory steering box started leaking soon there after. Not good, as noted, the steering box is connected to the frame....but the other end of the steering shaft is connected to the body.

    Jason


    See the on-going build up of my '85 Jimmy! http://community.webshots.com/user/jekbrown
     

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