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Body lift vs. suspension lift

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Texas84K5, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Texas84K5

    Texas84K5 Registered Member

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    I want to put 33's on an 84 K5. I don't do much off roading, definitely not rock crawling. I like the stance of a 32 or 33 inch tire. Why should I do a suspension lift rather than a body lift? I think that 2" is all that I would need. Any recommendations are welcome.
     
  2. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Suspension is always the best way to go, but if the pocket book is tight, a body lift works fine too. It's your personal preference on this one.
     
  3. Texas84K5

    Texas84K5 Registered Member

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    I believe that my springs should be replaced due to age, the rears should be beefed (anchor for rear bumper). Are there any other mods necessary or recomended with a two in suspension lift? Do I have to change out shocks, drag link, anything?
     
  4. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Fellow Texan.. where are you from?
     
  5. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    i know all trucks are different, but my truck ran 33's at stock height w/ minimal rubbing.
     
  6. Texas84K5

    Texas84K5 Registered Member

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    Weatherford. I bought this blazer on a lark for $500. Spent thousands since. Still not done. Know any good 4X shops in the Dallas area?
     
  7. Mreetz

    Mreetz 1/2 ton status

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    I had 32s on mine with no problems. Put on a 4" lift and hated the look! Got 35s now, lookin good.........
    I'm going with a 1" body lift after this. I think you'll find less work installing the suspension lifter vs. the body lift of the same size.
     
  8. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    if off-road performance is irrelevant, sure, go with a body lift. If you install it yourself it'd be cheap...

    J
     
  9. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    I would do a 2 1/2" suspension lift and 33's. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
    with that size lift, you shouldn't run into any problems with angles or anything unless you have a u-joint that needs to be replaced anyway.
     
  10. Texas84K5

    Texas84K5 Registered Member

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    you seem very confident about the 2.5" lift. I'll buy that, but who's? Was the u-joint comment directed at my other posting of hub noise?
     
  11. BigBri

    BigBri Registered Member

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    Suspension lift is definately the way to go, a 2.5" lift will be just fine with stock pitman arm. I once saw a blazer at my old shop that had 33's on it, all he did was trim the fender's and stuck some aftermarket flares on it, it looked pretty cool but he said that any off roading resulted in a lot of tire rubbing.
     
  12. René

    René 1/2 ton status

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    For more wheel clearness take a bodylift, for a better ride the suspension lift...

    BTW: My Burb has 33x12.5 without any lift.
     
  13. keeferk5

    keeferk5 Registered Member

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    My 85k5 nhad 32 x 11.5 on it when I bought it, and It did not rub, I have since gone up to 33 x 12.5 with stock height(brand new stock springs) and new shocks and I have to try pretty hard to gat them to rub.
     
  14. OU812

    OU812 Registered Member

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    Unless you plan on adding a electric fan stay away from the body lift. A 2-4" lift is your best bet. even with 4"s of lift you shouldnt have to mess with anything and dont have to worry about driveline angles. The only thing you will want to do is use the brake line drop brackets usually supplied in a kit.
     
  15. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Usually, the taller the suspension lift, the stiffer the ride due to spring arch. This is why there is so much talk over having a flatter spring for off road flex and a general smooth ride. A stock K5 has a negative spring arch up front and a 4" lift puts you at a positive spring arch. The stock springs will generally ride smoother depending on the suspension lift because most aftermarket lifts have a higher spring rate than stock. The 2.5 inch lift gets you right in between (good call muddin4fun). The back, however is already positive arched so a lift tends to get harsh back there with minimal lift. This is why so many 4" lifts or smaller come with blocks (and because its cheaper) as a means to keep a smooth ride and good flex. The body lift will keep the smooth ride while making clearance for taller tires. If your going to off road, a suspension lift will get you farther. If your mostly on the street and ride is a big concern then go with a body lift. There are suspension lifts which are soft like a stock ride but you tend to pay a premium for those. A suspension lift up to 4" is relatively cheap and easy, a body lift can get more involved with the fan shroud, steering shaft angles and other small oddities as you increase the lift.
     
  16. René

    René 1/2 ton status

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    Not at all! If a spring is hard or soft has anything to do with the arch. One can recognize only if the strength rises progressively or not. Because one would like to have always a progressively working spring, one must use several leaves.

    With the original springs in front, one has only a very small spring travel. Therefore it must be very rigid to not run constantly into the bumpstop. With a 4”-lift kit one has also 4” more spring travel and can soarrange the spring softer and more flexible.

    A block at the rear axle has some serious disadvantages.
    First of all, the axle can move more from side to side. One notices that particularly on bend roads.
    Secondly, the spring travel remains original and one gives away the chance for more traction.
    Thirdly, the spring rates must fit in front and in the back to each other. If one uses now a softer spring in front and leaves the original in the back, the handling becomes worse and the car begins to trample.
    Actually a block kit is only cheap.

    A lift kit that use its possibilities fully, isn’t the correct way to give its wheels more space. It improves only the handling characteristics in offroad conditions.
     
  17. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with most all your points. Blocks are a horrible way to lift, especially with axle wrap and axle walk characteristics but performance was not my point, the ride was. I made no mention to blocks being a good choice, only a factor that you'll find on most small lifts to keep the expense down. If the ride is acceptable now, then I recommend a body lift even if the suspension hits the bump stops sooner due to a limited range of motion as a body lifts most noticeable trait will be in the slight lift in the center of gravity.
    But lets look at the arch issue as well. How much flex would you expect to get out of a half circle if you were to apply pressure to the cener of it as opposed to a flat bar. Two compounds of the same material and size would display dramatic differences in their bending characteristics by that alone. Would you say that a 12 inch lift would have a softer or harder ride than a 4 inch lift even if you spend a premium on them considering the distance between their mounting points does not change (asuming your not custom fabricating all new suspension, then it IS possible, but thats not the case here )? This means that your applying pressure to the horizontal spring center vertically and the vertical spring ends the same which is not able to flex vertically due to its orientation. You could potentially spend a small fortune with a high end progressive spring setup (like Nationals) and many,many leafs, but the roll characteristics alone from raising the center of gravity and having a huge range of travel would make that a rather expensive route as you'd need a bunch of extra measures to counter it... most of which would end up making it feel stiff again. It seams that what he's after is an easy solution to clearing a slightly larger tire while maintaining its current road characteristics, since he doesn't really off road it much.
    So, regardless of the train of thought, I think we both agree the body lift is best suited.
     

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