Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Can rear springs go up front?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blue85, Dec 7, 2000.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Posts:
    9,088
    Likes Received:
    488
    Location:
    Grand Rapids area
    Late 80's rear springs are super flexy (I like them). I believe that the lengths of the front and rear springs are the same (at least on 1/2 tons), so can you put a set of rear springs in the front? Has someone done this? If so, what is the resulting front height?

    "All right...who keeps squirting this oil in my driveway?"
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    6,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California (Modesto area)
    I have never heard of someone doing this.
    If the mesurment from eye to eye and eye to center pin are identical AND the bushing bolt hole is the same size the they should fit! But do you really whant to do this??I don't know sounds weird.......

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  3. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Posts:
    9,088
    Likes Received:
    488
    Location:
    Grand Rapids area
    I don't know that I do want to do this, I'm just bringing up an idea. These springs are easy to find, flex good and are cheap. The widths are the same and the centering pin is the same. Can anyone confirm whether or not the eye-to-eye lengths are the same? For that matter, are the centering pins exactly in the center on both springs anyway?

    "All right...who keeps squirting this oil in my driveway?"
     
  4. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Posts:
    3,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    The centering pin is in the exact center on the front and rear. If you put springs from the back on the front, you would get a lot of lift because the stock front springs are negative arch and the rear ones are pretty arched. You would have probably 5" of lift at least. Don't quote me on this, it is a very rough estimate, but it would be high

    90K5
     
  5. BUDDY

    BUDDY 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2000
    Posts:
    744
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midland, TX
    I think it sounds like a pretty good idea. You'll probably have to remove a spring here or there and it would probably give you a few inches of lift. I think it would be good to test it out and do some experiments with different leaf pack combinations, to get the best ride and flex that you can deal with and/or are comfortable with. When you are doing this stuff, take the time to disassemble the leaf packs, radius and smooth the edges of the leaves and put in some teflon spring pads. You can get the pads from a local spring shop for a few bucks, and they will help out a lot. This type of stuff is pretty simple to do and will help both the ride and durability of the springs as there aren't any sharp edges to create stress risers in the spring steel. Pick out your favorite color of hammerite and paint them before you go to put them in. And finally, just get a couple cans of grease and slather the leaves in any contact areas before you put them back together.

    Once you figure out what gives you the best overall performance for you and your driving style there you go.

    The cool thing about this type of project is that you aren't limited to just GM or even just truck leafsprings, you can mix and match from different manufacturers and get probably exactly what you want it'll just take time, patience and little work.

    !!!!JUST BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU ARE TESTING THIS STUFF OUT!!!!

    I take no responsibility for you or anybody else's accidents or mishaps that may or could happen as a result of your research. It just sounds like it could work with a little time and effort.

    HTH,

    buddy

    I've got my dream truck and it's a 72 K-5 that is getting there!!
     
  6. EDdaTREE

    EDdaTREE 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Posts:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austintown, OHIO
    I think I recall one of my wheelin' buddies doing this swap...I'll have to get hold of him and double-check but I DO believe it's a roger. My other bud may have done the same deal.

    "I'm not stuck...I'm just resting!"
     
  7. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Posts:
    9,088
    Likes Received:
    488
    Location:
    Grand Rapids area
    BUDDY,
    These springs already have the teflon pads. That's part of what makes the swap seem apealling. Yes, the arch is much higher than stock front springs, but the front is also heavier. You would also be getting some lift due to the fact that the spring pack is thicker. It would probably make sense to take out the overload.

    Even though the number of leaves is similar, I can push the back of my truck up and down easily, but the front I can hardly move, due to my stiff Rough Country's. When I go slowly over a bump, the front kind of jerks up, but the back swallows it up. If I could get something as soft as those rears up front, the truck would ride and flex great.

    I will try to measure the lengths of both soon. If memory serves me correctly, the rears are 52" from eye to eye.

    If this works, you could do a homemade shackle flip in the rear for nearly free, pick up an extra set of late 80's rear springs from a junkyard for $100 and then spend maybe $40 on some 1" or 2" blocks to level out the rear and lift your Blazer for less than $250 including shocks! Or you could adjust the leaf count in the front to level the truck and spend even less. It almost sounds too easy, though. It seems as though someone would have thought of it a long time ago and lift kit manufacturers wouldn't sell so many straight-axle Chevy kits.

    "If it aint broke...Make it work better!"
     
  8. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2000
    Posts:
    3,238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville Tn
    I don't know about the 80's, but my 90 has a 5" difference from eye to eye. The fronts are 47" and the rears are 52". Seems liek your rear front shackles would be way off from the vertical position, if you could even get them in there.
    But I'm a newbie to the lifts. So thats my .02, but with inflation it might not even be 1 penny. LOL!!

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
    http://mccordhouse.freeservers.com
     
  9. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Posts:
    9,088
    Likes Received:
    488
    Location:
    Grand Rapids area
    I'm pretty sure that the 80's springs are the same as on a '90. With five inches of difference, even if you could move the shackle mount on the frame, the axle would still sit 2.5" further back then it should. Then you would probably rub with 30" tires! I guess that what I suspected is true. If it were that easy, people would have done it a long time ago.

    Aha! Here's my next idea: How about keeping your stock front springs and combining them with a pair of stock rear springs. Use the top leaf from the front and all of the other leafs from the rear, except for the overload. If any of the other leafs is too long, cut them down and move the teflon pads in. The center bolt from the rear back should be plenty long to slide right through that new spring pack. The bracket and bolt thingies (sorry, I can't remember the name right now) attached to the rear springs should fit around this pack and keep things from moving around. Now that should work, but really at this point, you could start taking springs from Fords or Dodges or whatever, as long as they are 2.5" wide in order to get the lift and spring rate that you are looking for. This would probably require buying a set of U-bolts for the front springs or reusing a set that come with some lift springs. The rear U-bolts don't have a larger one that is needed to go around the end of the front differential.

    "If it aint broke...Make it work better!"
     
  10. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Posts:
    4,675
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Ohio
    One thing to keep in mind is that generally the rear leaf springs on trucks are a much lower spring rate than those found on the front because of all of the extra weight the front carries (engine, etc..). Just stick a 350 engine in the back of a Blazer and see how much it sags. My guess (if you could swap rear springs to the front) is that you wouldn't get that much lift because of how much the springs would sag.
     

Share This Page