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Few newbie questions..

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by stockk5, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. stockk5

    stockk5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey, i recently bought a 85 K5 w/ a 305 in it. I already am planning on making it a decent truck for mudding so im researching some stuff. I was thinking about getting a 4" suspension lift and put some 35" mud terrains on it. I still have to use it for a daily driver so i cant go to nuts w/ the tires and everything. I was just wondering what you guys would recommend to upgrade on it for a kid who wants to have some fun offroad but not to crazy and can still use it as a daily driver. thanks a lot /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  2. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Look for a 350ci engine and toss the 305 /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  3. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    You'll defently want more power and torque. A 350 would be a good start, a 383 Stroker would be better in my opinion. You'll also want some better gears in your axles, maybe cheaper and easier to swap in some 3/4 ton axles with the lower gears already in them, but then you have to get 8 lug rims or use adaptors. Just a few thoughts. Mudding is a whole drifferent game then crawling. You'll want mid-range power more then low end torgue. Mudding has always been all about keeping the wheels spinning for me. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  4. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    For fun, add a locker, 4 inch lift, and some 33's that would be cheap and easy if you sourced some of it used here in the for sale area. Believe it or not, if you have that engine in top tune it will perform quite well, and you can spend money on other stuff like recovery stuff. Look at my pics in my sig , run a very simple setup. I have many trips under my belt when truck was really stock. A locker and good tires will make you fell like a superhero. Your transfer case has a decent low range, and if your running a stock auto trans it has a great first gear. Also add a tranny cooler if your running auto trans. Of course as budget allows always replace things with an upgrade /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  5. gm4x

    gm4x 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    For fun, add a locker, 4 inch lift, and some 33's that would be cheap and easy if you sourced some of it used here in the for sale area. Believe it or not, if you have that engine in top tune it will perform quite well, and you can spend money on other stuff like recovery stuff. Look at my pics in my sig , run a very simple setup. I have many trips under my belt when truck was really stock. A locker and good tires will make you fell like a superhero. Your transfer case has a decent low range, and if your running a stock auto trans it has a great first gear. Also add a tranny cooler if your running auto trans. Of course as budget allows always replace things with an upgrade /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I agree. You might set down sometime, and write down a list of everything you'd like to do to your truck, then start prioritizing (is that a word? /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif) the importance of each. Sure a new 350 would be nice (and probably eventually a requirement) but if your riding on stock suspension & street tires, it won't do you much good off-road anyway. Start-out getting the things that offer the most "bang for your $$". Read through some of the old posts (alot of info & pics too) and see if you see anything you might like to do yourself.
    Good luck & welcome to CK5! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. v-3500

    v-3500 Registered Member

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    One thing I would suggest is not to go more than 3-inches with your suspension lift, and then put a 2-inch body lift on it. When you go more than 3-inches on a suspension lift, you then get into driveline angle and length modifications, which cost more money.

    I agree about getting rid of the 305. Start saving your money for a 350 four-bolt main engine, after you get the lift and tires you want.
     
  7. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    On an 85 you shouldn't have any driveline mods needed for a 4" lift. You may need to shim your axle or drop the tcase but that is cheap. The driveshafts should be ok with 4" lift. The fact that it is going to be a mud truck makes that less of an issue because he won't be makeing the truck a flex monster for rock crawling. There is alot less chance of over extending a driveshaft in the mud then the rocks.

    My advise is this:
    1. Check your current axle gears. If they are 3.42 or 3.73 you can probably live for awhile with larger tires. Just don't cruise in OD till you get above 65-70 MPH.
    2. Lift it. 4" suspension & shocks
    3. A good set of MT's.
    4. Steering box brace. If the frame isn't cracked at the steering box yet it will be.
    5. Napa #38872 front brake lines
    6. Traction device in the rear. I wouldn't waste money on a rear 10 bolt unless it was open, then just drop in a lockright locker. If it is govlock, run it till it breaks (it will) then replace the 10 bolt with a 12 bolt or 14bolt. If you stay with the 10 bolt an locker then get spare axles.
    7. Traction device front. Be prepared to break front axleshafts with your 10 bolt but just get a few spares.
    8. Horsepower. Exhaust, intake, headers, etc. These things will help your current motor and are interchangeable to the next motor as long as it is a small block.

    Harley
     
  8. v-3500

    v-3500 Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    On an 85 you shouldn't have any driveline mods needed for a 4" lift. You may need to shim your axle or drop the tcase but that is cheap.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Shimming a differential with a degree angle wedge and dropping the transfer case seem like "driveline mods" to me. He may have to have a longer length custom built drive shaft as well, like my friend had to do with his Jeep Cherokee after he put a 4-INCH LIFT ON IT.
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    We're not lifting a Jeep here...we're lifting Chevy's and they tolerate a 4" lift without mods to the drivelines. Having to correct pinion angle to eliminate vibrations is not a driveline mod.

    Feel free to add your two cents, but if you're not sure, you should tread lightly...because someone here will be sure. Drawing a comparison between a Jeep Cherokee and a K5 is a bad way to advise someone here. The rear driveline on a Cherokee is much shorter and less tolerant of lifting.

    Rene
     
  10. bshewmaker

    bshewmaker Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    On an 85 you shouldn't have any driveline mods needed for a 4" lift. You may need to shim your axle or drop the tcase but that is cheap.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Shimming a differential with a degree angle wedge and dropping the transfer case seem like "driveline mods" to me. He may have to have a longer length custom built drive shaft as well, like my friend had to do with his Jeep Cherokee after he put a 4-INCH LIFT ON IT.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    So he can put 32's on it now? /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  11. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    Don't know where you're from, but I had an '84 w/305 when I lived in Denver, and it SUCKED. If you live anywhere near hills, much less mountains, ditch that bitch of an engine. IMHO one of the sorriest engines ever made.
     
  12. v-3500

    v-3500 Registered Member

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    I may not be the most knowledgeable person here, but I have been a GM truck owner since 1977, and can tear apart a GM truck piece by piece blind-folded. I have 15 years experience as a heavy line mechanic on light duty GM trucks and heavy-duty diesel trucks. I have read hundreds of "how-to" GM 4X4 lift articles in magazines, if you do not believe me, which all say that a 3-inch lift is the maximum height for not having to modify the drive shaft angle or length. That is my opinion backed up by both experience and reading material.
     
  13. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Driveline mods are having driveshafts lengthened, shortened, CV's added, etc. These can be expensive.

    Shimming the diff or dropping the tcase will cost you next to nothing and all they do is correct the angle of the driveshaft. If he is going to lift a truck then adding a shim when you put in new springs, add leaves, or add a block is not a big deal since you are already having to drop the axle to get to the springs. Dropping a tcase consists of removing 4 bolts, flipping a factory spacer and reinstalling 4 bolts. Neither are expensive or hard.

    And just so you know I am not comparing a Jeep to a K5, I am comparing and 85 K5 like he has to my truck which is an 85 K5 with 4-5" lift. I am running stock driveshafts with a 4* taper in the spring pack to correct pinion angle. Tcase is at stock height.

    So no need to cop and attitude. I think I have some experience and parallel information that is relavent.

    Harley
     
  14. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    And to add a little to your book of knowledge. I ran 2.5" of lift prior to my current 4-5" setup and on an 85 I had to drop the tcase to correct driveline angle to get vibrations to go away at 65 mph. So the blanket 3" max statement is just that. A blanket statment. Each truck with different wheelbases, trans/tcase, and axles will be different. The general rule of thumb from what I have seen is 4" is fine on most trucks without lengthening the driveshafts, but some angle changes will probably be necessary. 6" lifts generally need longer driveshafts.

    Sorry if I sound like an [darn], I don't really mean too.
     
  15. v-3500

    v-3500 Registered Member

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    From my many years experience as a mechanic, many a time a job would not go as easy as it seemed. Stripped bolt threads from previous people working on it, cracked or broken parts that where not manufactured correctly. The list of endless frustrations go on and on. I have done a few angle wedges, and only one of the jobs went smoothly without some kind of previously thrashed, incorrectly installed part, rusted worn out part, cheaply manufactured part breaking.

    On one of the driveline angle jobs I did, the spring saddle welded to the differential cracked when I torque (d) it down to specs. Then I had to remove the whole damn differential, from the truck, to take to a welder I trusted to weld a new one on.
     
  16. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I may not be the most knowledgeable person here, but I have been a GM truck owner since 1977, and can tear apart a GM truck piece by piece blind-folded. I have 15 years experience as a heavy line mechanic on light duty GM trucks and heavy-duty diesel trucks. I have read hundreds of "how-to" GM 4X4 lift articles in magazines, if you do not believe me, which all say that a 3-inch lift is the maximum height for not having to modify the drive shaft angle or length. That is my opinion backed up by both experience and reading material.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I dont believe you. I've lifted 4 chevy K5's with 4" susp lifts, and no driveshaft mods...and I dont just baby my trucks on the street.
     
  17. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    When I lifted my K5 (6" lift) I had new driveshafts made. With a 4" they would have been fine.
     
  18. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Ya, but those are things you are going to run into any time you are lifting a truck There is no way around it. For him to lift the back 4" he has to take it apart no matter what. I know exactly what you are talking about.

    When I went from my 2.5" lift to my 4" lift I had to completely disassemble my rear leave spring packs. I had a 2" add a leaf with 1" zero rate. I had to get the 1" zero rate out of the packs so I could install the 2" lift block (no cash for rear springs yet). When I got the axle off 1 of the center pins was snaped and the other was rusted to the axle. So I had to remove every leaf from both spring packs to get them to line up straight and get everything right. It was much more of a PITA then if everything went right. With old trucks you learn to expect if it can go wrong it probably will. That is the way life is though.

    Harley
     
  19. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    my buddy lifted his 86 k10 6" with no driveline mods, but with the new 8" he put on he does. my 4" I did I didn't even lower the t case.
     
  20. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I must be the only one with a 305 (4 barrel single pipe smog stuff) , 3.08 gears and overdrive that can off road , drive on the street and still hit passing gear around slower traffic, all on 33 inch tires (ask SLYDOG). Granted I don't use OD anymore until 65 mph or above. But it works and I am not tossing money into a engine until mine starts to smoke, other cool stuff to buy like sliders etc. Hills require 2nd gear on really steep inclines on street in 2wd but thats about it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     

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