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How much lift is practical, what's the threshold?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Cricket, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Looking at the lift & tire combo thread I noticed 1Ton brought up a good question.

    Just how much lift is advisable. I've heard so many people say the longbed trucks & subs need more lift than the Blazer's do. At least a 6" minimum for long wheelbase while K5's need a minimum 4" lift for moderate trails.

    Longbeds & Subs vs Blazers. When are you crossing the threshold from practical to impractical in terms of COG and trail running. What are some safe lift numbers and rim tire combos?

    I'd like to hear from some of the experienced people if you have a minute. Don't suppose we could suck Marv into this one?
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    IMHO anything up to an 8" lift would be ok but beyond that it is just useless. I understand your thinking also about the longer wheelbase needing the extra lift. Most people that are SERIOUS offroaders like to keep the lift as short as possible but cut the body and use large tires to get the clearance needed which is an ideal situation. Just my $.02
     
  3. big_black_blazer

    big_black_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    4x4high, could you post a larger pic of your rig? looks alot like the one i'm about to get, only it's sittin stock (right now...) :D
     
  4. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Not quite sure how to do that. I think there are still pics in my gallery though.

    Shoot me a PM and i can e-mail you a pic. The way it sits in that pic is with 6" lift. 6" front springs and 4" rear springs with a 3" block. Now it has 4" rear springs and a 4" shackle flip and also now has the D60 up front.
     
  5. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    i like 8-9" lift. if you do shackle flip with 56's and 52s up front you can still have an extremely capable rig. since this truck is the first one ive ever done, i did the retard/thoughtless way 8" springs front and rear. eventually either on this truck or the next im going to go to the setup i described above. the 8" springs still offer a decemt flex for i need for now, just wanna keep my options open for when i go off to college next year.
     
  6. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Well, since you asked...

    I really like short lifts, large tires, and fender trimming. I really like the blazer that my family rode in at Blazer Bash after our rig broke. He had no lift, 37" tires, and clocked transfer case with a flat skid plate crossmember.

    If I had your truck, here's what I would do:
    • Lift: 4" Tuff Country all 4 corners. If you really feel that's not enough, add 1" zero rates and/or 1" body lift later. Which you probably will after my following suggestions.
    • Tranny/Tcase: I think you have a 350/203 now. Save the 203 for an eventual dual tcase setup later. Since the TH350 is about ready to go, look for a 400/208 setup to swap in. What I'm leading up to is clock the tcase. Make a customer cross member and/or possible flat belly skid. When you eventually end up with the dual tcase, you can clock that too.
    • Tires: 39.5" Super Swampers of either the TSL or Irok variety and get to trimming those fenders. I think with your driving style, beef up plans for your D44, and 14bFF for the rear, you'll be okay with that tire size.
    • Lockers: We already know what you are doing there.
    • Misc: Make a custom flatbed with the tailend bobbed.

    :D
     
  7. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    6" is about pushing it.
     
  8. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I've seen many different lift and tire combos, having a low COG is always a bonus, less likely to get tipsy no matter what. In my opinion 6" is about as much as you would want for anything other than street and mud bogging. I'm happy with the 4" lift i have now looking at a 6" just to clear 37's
     
  9. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    Why?

    i think up to 8 on a blazer is just fine. up to 10 on anything longer.

    its just not practical for much else but mod when you start getting that high. the spring rate makes it harder to keep the truck upright and the ride can suck.

    dont get me wrong im a HUGE fan of little lift big tires as you may have seen with my blazer. but i think 8 inches on a blazer is not a bad thing. i also think that as you go up you should go out. meaning i think that you should widen the track width about 4/3 or so of an inch for every inch you go up past 6 inches. it just helsp stabalize the ride a big off camber. also makes it a pain in tight areas.... :mad:
    grant
     
  10. BizeeB65

    BizeeB65 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, You guys seem to be missing some important (IMO) things when lifting. First of all, anything past 6" and you are looking at custom driveshaft setups, and changing pinion angles on the rear axle (cutting and rewelding spring perches, not so much fun). I recently replaced the stock rear springs and lift blocks with 6" skyjacker springs, changed the rear pinion angle, and noticed that anything higher than that will overextend the slip yoke on the rear driveshaft. But I tell you what, running 33"s with that lift looks a little puny, but I can go anywhere a Heep can go (as i did this weekend on some tight trails in Indiana).

    So my reccomendation is to decide what you are looking to mostly do - rocks, hills, mud, trailriding... Then you can pick a good tire/lift combo from that. Hope that helps!
     
  11. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    Who me...?!

    I'd guess that it all boils down to personal opinion.... I never ran a full bodied rig w/ more than 4" lift. But I've always been on the "small side" of the average tire size. Depending on what you use it for, and how stable you prefer it to be - you gotta choose.

    The facts are:
    Lower Cg will make it more stable on angles
    Lower belly will get you hung up more
    Bigger tires will generally help you offroad - but will require more clearance and fender cuttin'.

    I don't think there is any "hard and fast" rule....

    Marv
     
  12. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    got any pics?
    thanks,
    James
     
  13. RingMaster4x4

    RingMaster4x4 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Don't get me wrong I love my truck. If I got to do some real off-roading more often and I had not bought a 72 K/5 (I can't hack a classic) I would have stayed around 10". :wink1:
     
  14. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    Depends on how attached you are to all the pretty sheet metal James! I'm running Tuff Country 3inch front springs, 4inch rear. I can fit 35's with VERY minor trimming. Depends on how nutty you plan on getting. Wanna trim fenders?
     
  15. B_to_C

    B_to_C 1/2 ton status Author

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    Yea, I think that's the ultimate question here.

    Jiminy, so do you want to take a sawzall to those straight, clean, shiny fenders? :confused: :D
     
  16. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    How attached am I to all my pretty sheet metal? :rolleyes: Let's just say I wouldn't trust John, Nick, & Scott anywhere near my truck with a cutting tool. In fact if I see you standing near it I will have to Taze you 3 times and when you quit squirming 3 more for safety's sake. :rotfl: I won't tell you about the rocker panel squish I got the first time out with you looneys. :p: I wish I had found this crazy place long before I restored the body, could have saved myself a bunch of money and underwear. I'm going to change my sig, you just gave me an idear.

    Mike had suggested pulling the nice,shiny & straight fenders then replacing them with fiberglass. That way I could trim to my hearts content without fainting everytime the blade touched something. Could also shape a more finished wheel well with glass. Not to mention weight drop.

    I have a bunch of ideas floating around my head. Just thought the lift vs safety issue was important enough to bring up on the board. Thanks for all the responses, I know it gets repetetive but it also helps people a great deal.

    Hey Marv thanks for chiming in, I know how you hate the lounge. :D I have a lot of respect for the Arizona guys, you use practical, tried, and proven methods.
     
  17. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    On this forum, you'll get everything from "No lift, just :hack: :grind: :hack: " to "The sky's the limit - jack that thing way up there!" It's all about how YOU are going to use the rig and what kind of trails you're going to run. If you're gonna be doing some extreme off camber crawling, go low & hack the fenders. If you're doing flat mud bogs, get that b*tch up in the air.

    I run moderate trails (simply because there's no extreme stuff out here). I chose flexibility & lower COG w/ the 52/56 combo netting me about 4.5" of suspension lift, and the 3" body lift was already on when I bought the truck, so I'm running total of 7-8". It's never once made me feel unnerved about COG or wanting to tip over, even on tough sections of 4+ trails. Minor fendor trimming cleared 38.5x14.5's without any rubbing at full flex.

    When I bought my truck, It has a 12" superlift w/ the 3" body, and that thing was SCARY! It felt like a light breeze would tip it over, and the springs were so stiff it had no suspension travel (thus no flex) at all. I took 1 trail ride with it so high and I had it on 2 wheels a couple of time. (So says my wife who was watching from the outside refused to ride in it after the first time almost tipping)

    So, "Practical" is defined by how you use it. 19" of lift is practical for a deep-bog mudder but not a trail rig. 4" of lift w/ hacked fenders & 42's is much better for a trail rig, but wouldn't do as good in the deep muck.

    Mike
     
  18. ramses

    ramses 1/2 ton status

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    I always considered 6 inch lifts to be pushing it for stock driveshafts and for cog. But after installing my 8 inch lift I have a new opinion. Since I did a shackle flip in the rear it angled the rear end almost perfectly and my stock rear driveshaft is actually plenty long enough with transfer case drop I had for the 6 inch lift I used to run. The frotn shaft is about a half inch short but the angle isnt terrible. In the end, the limits are going to be different for every truck since drivetrains and wheelbases are going to be different. But most importantly, the way you use it is the biggest limit. Some people use thier rig for rock crawling, some use it for mud, some use it for a daily driver. Limits on a rock crawler for lift are going to be way different for limits on a mud runner. I use my truck on wooded trails and a little bit of mud, but I also use it for working and its my daily driver, which is acutally very tough to find a good setup for because there are a lot of factors to think about like legallity and being safe on the highway. It just comes down to what you need to use it for.
     
  19. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    depends on the terrain... guys who pretty much only do super deep mud bogs aren't going to be happy with a small amount of lift because the body will slow them down when they hit the deep stuff. Rock guys want super low COG so they don't roll when they get off camber... which is pretty much a constant threat. Trail guys are sort of in the middle.... they need some lift to be able to clear logs, ledges, mud holes etc.... but not so much that they get tippy and roll on the nasty obstacles. Personally, on a trail rig, I think 4-6" would be best, but 8" is certainly doable also. More than that prolly isn't necessary or advantageous.

    j
     
  20. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Blazer Bash O5 It's in several pics through that link. It's the only yellow blazer.

    [​IMG]
     

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