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K5 Ride Improvements -- Need Help!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by mstencel, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. mstencel

    mstencel Registered Member

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    I use my 1989 K5 mostly for daily driving on city streets (gasp!) Does anyone out there have any suggestions for improving the ride? Driving on Houston streets is a ROUGH time to say the least. 4 wheel parts suggested a 2 inch "soft ride" lift, but due to various parking garage heights around town, I might not be able to go certain places with a lift. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Post reply here or email stencel99@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

    MS
     
  2. Nrose07

    Nrose07 1/2 ton status

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    Edelbrock IAS shocks! Love mine, friggin sports car and a caddy!
     
  3. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    RS 9000s.
     
  4. MudbogAD

    MudbogAD 1/2 ton status

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    I really don't think 2 inches will rub in parking garages but I may be wrong. I would say softer front springs, in which a 2 inch softride lift of some sort may work out the best.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I know the feeling height wise...some garages, although my truck will fit, still won't allow me. My solution is just not drive it downtown lol. Seriously though, theres a bridge that I don't feel like taking my truck under, now that the truck is back to stock ride height!

    My trucks ride was pretty harsh, and I never thought to inspect the bump stops. With the sag in the rear, the axle was ALWAYS hitting the bumpstops any time it moved, so speedbumps were terrible. The add-a-leaf cured that.

    Other than that being the problem, some good shocks can't hurt, but if you remove the shocks completely (IE really worn out shocks) your ride should get smoother, not harsher I'd think, as long as you didn't hit the bumpstops. An insane ride yes, but pretty soft lol.
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Rancho's are about the stiffest thing in the world. I know because my truck has a set of 2.5's on them. Find a old rear spring pack and throw a leaf in the front that's shorter the the current bottom leaf on the front pack and see how it does. Should be about 2 inches of lift. The front spring pack is inverted and a rear leaf will put some arch in it but still be reasonably soft. It doesn't take much to bottom out the front suspension. 2 Inch blocks for the rear. I run 86's springs and they are very soft so I don't see any problem in the rear.
    Set of shocks like Gabrials and monroes tend to have a more mild rate. RS5000's are rocks so stay away from them.
    Also replace your shackle frame bushings. When they wear out sometimes the spring will hit the frame. Look for any marks indicating that. Try a lower air pressure in the tires. Just because the tire is marked 35psi doesn't mean you should put 35psi in them. I run BFG's and the max pressure on the 31's and 32's is 50 psi. It will rattle your teeeth out. I run 36 front and 34 rear and the tires wear dead even accross the tread. 2 PSI can make a big difference in ride. A 31 inch tire marked 35psi on the side on a Empty K5 would probably be about 30psi.
    If that doesn't get it acceptable for you, might be time to get a car. These are TRUCKS and they are solid axle and they have suspension design from the 50's and 60's. There is not much more you can do that that. This is why GM went to the IFS front.
     
  7. mstencel

    mstencel Registered Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. Very helpful. I went back to 4 Wheel Parts today, who installed my Pro Comp shocks about 6 mos. ago, and SURPRISE, they put the wrong (too long - bottoming out) shocks on! Going back Tuesday to have the correct shox put on. I'm going to go with the suggestion of removing 2 of the front quad shox as well. Thanks to everyone for your responses. Great message board...MS
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well Since they blew it I would recomend you have the truck inspected for damage by somebody other than them. If the shocks bottom out it can crack the frame, rip or bend the mounts on tha axle and rip the mounts off the frame in the back. 4wp's strikes again!
    Yeah loose one set of the front shocks. That set up was for tow sets of soft rate shock. Well most shock you buy over the counter will be for a single set up so a stiffer rate and when you double them up weeell you can see where it's leading. Now that front end has limited up travel. a little lift with the correct springs does help the ride. It doesn't bottom out. It also gives the shocks a longer stroke so they can be valved a little softer. The problem is finding a soft aftermarket spring. The EZ rides seem to be the softest out there if you don't want to try and mix and match the spring leafs.
    Personnaly if my shocks were bottoming out on city streets I would park the truck till it was corrected. If 4wp doesn't have the parts in stock and is telling you to drive it I would take it to a frame shop have it checked and make 4wp rent you a car till they can correct the problem they created on your truck so you don't damage it.
     
  9. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    You could also try and get some greaseable shackle bolts from ORD. Those really help with ride no matter what kind of springs and/or shocks you have.
     
  10. tori89k5

    tori89k5 1/2 ton status

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    A big improvement i made in the ride of my '90 was the "Velvet Ride" rear leaf spring shackles. If your not familiar, they are a rubber mounted hinge design that soakes up about an inch of travel before transmitting the "jolt" to the leave spring itself. They cost about $150 but are worth it. I drive mine daily as well, and ride and handling are very important for me as well. Also, make sure your front sway bar is lubed, and moves freely. Disconnect it and take it for a drive, you will notice a nicer ride, and depending on the condition of your springs and shocks, the sway may not be to bad.
     

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