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How high should I lift the truck?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by merc359, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. merc359

    merc359 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, that is a no brainer. Is any truck ever high enough?

    However, from a more practical aproach, I want to run 35" BFG Mud terrains. I have 4:10 gears, a TH350 and NP205 T-Case all on a 78 shortbox chevy.

    If I do a 3" body lift and 4" suspension lift, will that give me sufficient tire clearance to avoid fender rub or will I still have to trim the fenders back? Keep in mind I don't do a lot of heavy off-roading - Lighter stuff - I just like stuff to be built strong.

    If anyone has any experience with this or a similar combination, your feedback would be useful.
     
  2. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    I got a 4+2 and run 35x14.5's. Personally I would run a 2" body lift max, cause 2 maxes out some adjustments on some vehicles. Every vehicle is different and on some a 2" is too tall for some adjustments, but on another vehicle, 3" doesnt even max em out. A 4+2 is about right for a 35" tire IMHO, if you dont want to cut the fenders.
     
  3. merc359

    merc359 1/2 ton status

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    Examples

    Could you give me some things to look for that "max out" that I can look for. I am not new to cars, but new to 4x4s...

    Thanks
     
  4. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Personally I'd go 4" springs up front, 4" Shackle flip in the rear, and Zero rates too relocate the axles. Then just trim the fenders as needed.
     
  5. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    I have heard of some peoples steering column slip shaft(think thats the term) maxing out on a 3" body, t-case shifter may need help, or if its an auto, the column shifter rod will have to be lengthened(mine had to be lengthened with a 2", but the piece of rod comes with the kit. The fan shroud will have to be trimmed, or a new one fabricated depending on the height of the kit chosen. I had to cut the bottom off of mine(1 piece shroud), if yours is a 2 pc, you may be able to put spacers in where the fan shroud pieces together.

    Fuel tank filler necks may need to be lengthened, misc ground straps, just a buncha little stuff.
     
  6. flatline

    flatline 1/2 ton status

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    I got a 6" suspension lift on an 84' and I have 0 problems with rubbing, I am going to trim the front fender a little to prevent a freak accident just in case, but when I order my Boggers I am going to step up to 37" so it will need done anyway.


    I would personally stay away from body lifts on the older vehicles as the supports for the body tend to rust away to nothing and then your up Shiaaat Creek.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Hey, someone else from Surrey!! :cool1:

    I ran 35's with a 4" lift for many years, just nicked the back corners off the fenders and never had a problem. A lot depends on how stiff or soft the springs you're getting are. The rim width and backspace also can help or hurt you. Narrower rims with more backspace are more sheetmetal friendly.

    I run 39.5's with a sagged 4" lift and a 1" body lift, but I did trim the crap out of my fenders.

    Check your private messages...

    Rene
     
  8. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

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    I'd say if you go with a 4" lift and 35" tires and don't do any crazy wheelin, you'll be fine with factory fender openings. Any rubbing will be minor and fixable with either zero rates to move the axle or minor fender massaging.
     
  9. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    I 2nd the "stay away from body lift" comments. If you have an older truck with any rust under it, trying to get the body mount bolts out can become a total nightmare!! But look the mounts over well. Once you start, and something breaks. It can be a real hassle to fix. Unless you need to do body mounts anyways. I had to on the wifes 89.

    I'm put a 1" body lift and 2" suspension on the 89. I have 35's for it, but am using 8" rims to keep the tires under the truck more. With 33's on 8's and no suspesion lift, the tires cleared fine. even with some mild off roading. If i have to, i will trim the inside edges of the front fenders. You really can't see that part anyways.
     
  10. merc359

    merc359 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the input

    Wow, that gives me a lot to go on. I was worried I was gonna get jacked by little things...gas-tank filler hoses...fan shrouds...etc... As to the old body mounts. Well, I took the body off, sand-blasted the frame, powder coated it, reinforced the steering box with bolt-in AND weld-in frame supports. I am totally rebuilding this truck from the ground up - motor and tranny come back from machinist and rebuilder tomorrow morning. Getting kind of excited.

    I'm not worried about the body mounts as I am welding in new supports around the entire truck. I want this thing to last for 20 years.....or until I get crazy and do the typical chevy rebuild....start with a rad cap and end up doing the whole truck....again.....

    So this begs the question then, what lift kit do you guys recommend? I'm sure its been asked 50,000 times on this site, but there it is again.

    I know I can go with 4" trail master or 4" Rancho kits or something over-the-counter. The next step up is stupidly expensive from what I can tell. If I want a 6" suspension lift, and leave the body alone, who makes that?
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    There are a lot of different ways to get a 4" lift. IMO most lift kits are not going to impress you with how well they ride, or flex. Most come with crappy shocks that are too short too.

    The rear is pretty simple, rebuild the stock springs packs, coat the individual leafs with epoxy paint, add new slip pads to the tips and use a shackle flip. 4" of lift and a nice ride.

    The front, I'd probably look into BDS. Tuff Country springs are supposed to have a decent ride and flex good, but I have heard they can sag pretty quick if used hard.

    The next step up would be custom built springs from Alcan or Deaver. This might be worth it for you in the long run, and I don't think the initial cost is that far from reasonable. You'll get springs built for the weight of your truck and the lift height you want and they'll be built right. Most lift kit springs are 4 or 4 leafs thick and each leaf itself is pretty thick. Not conducive to a good ride or good flexibilty. The Deavers and Alcans are 10 and 11 leafs thick, but each leaf is very thin...

    I would not buy 'kit' shocks at all. I'd get the lift springs under the truck, then measure up the amount of travel you have and buy some mono tube shocks in the correct length.

    rene
     
  12. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    5" of lift (spring front, ORD Flip/Zero rate rear) and 35's have worked well for me. i get a little (very little) rub on the rear of the front fenders at full articulation, but it hasn't been a problem.
     

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