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My 83 K5 with 1 Ton Springs

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Batmanjr, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Batmanjr

    Batmanjr 1/2 ton status

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    What do I have to do to put K30 springs under my 83 K5? How much lift will it give me and how much stiffer a ride? Anyone done this? The K30 had a 454 and my K5 has a 6.2L, don't think the weight is much different, so ride height should match, but would like as much info as possible. Going to tow a gooseneck with the K5 and the K30 has something like 10 leaves in the rear!!! Sure would be nice to have that kind of support!
    Thanks~
    The Bat
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    The first step is to measure the length of the K30 rear springs. I think they are likely to be 56" long whereas the K5 is designed to use 52" springs in the rear. You could move the rear spring hanger back 3 or 4" to compensate.

    As for ride I'd guess it would ride a lot like a K30 /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif
    The weight of the K5 is going to be similar to the K30 both front and rear...especially with the 6.2. If the K5 still has the 1/2 ton diffs it might be a little choppier though.

    Rene
     
  3. Batmanjr

    Batmanjr 1/2 ton status

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    I'm putting 3/4 ton axles under it w/ 4:10 gears. If I move the rear hanger back, where deos that put my rear axle? 3" back? Fenders? Don't want to trim, just strengthen! What about the frame? will I need to add extra support to handle the Gooseneck! THe front springs look identicle to the ones on the K5, are they? Sorry for all the questions, just looking for a good premesis before I Dig Into It!
    Thanks
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Front springs should be a direct bolt in, 47" long same as the K5 springs. I'd measure the center pin location on the 56" springs to find where the axle would be. Then maybe re-drill the center pin holes if necessary.

    I'm curious how big, long and heavy the gooseneck trailer is? K5's aren't the ideal tow rig due to the short wheelbase. I'd have to give the nod to a long bed pick-up for that type of thing. Aside from that it should work very similar to a long bed for the hitch attachment in the bed area. There are a few RV guys on this site that would be able to go into more detail...try pm'ing Arveetech. I prolly mispelled his user name, but I see him post in the deisel forum quite a bit.

    Lastly if you plan on towing this gooseneck, what size tires and lift were you thinking of? I'd keep it as low as possible and the tire size to 33" max. Anything that increases sway or top heaviness can't be good.

    Rene
     
  5. Batmanjr

    Batmanjr 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks!
    My setaments exactly on the tires! It's a 35' Highback goose, not sure of the weight though yet... Shouldn't be a problem though. Are one ton frames the same thickness and design as a 1/2 ton frame?
     
  6. morphed86k10

    morphed86k10 1/2 ton status

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    the springs are 4 inches longer, so the rear hangers will have to be relocated, I'm not sure how easy that is to do, but I'm pretty sure the difference is in the rear so the front hanger is in the right spot for the 56 inch leaves. Ride height should be identical, the thicker leaf pack has less arch than the half ton stuff. And as for ride, you will feel everything you drive over that's more substantial than a wad of gum. Ask me how I know /forums/images/icons/smile.gif.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    The one ton frame is thicker. I'm not sure by how much though. A bunch of us mic'd our 1/2 ton frames for comaprison and found them to average .151" thick. I don't recall seeing a thickness on the one ton frame but I have been told it is heavier and thicker.

    35 foot is pretty long for a K5...actually it's pretty long for damn near anything/forums/images/icons/smile.gif Sparky87K5 tow's a 29 foot trailer with his K5 though. BBC, NV4500, one ton diffs and 33's and it's not a gooseneck trailer. I'm unsure of his trailer weight though. I'd imagine it's well over 6000 lbs though.

    Rene
     
  8. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    With the 56" rear springs the rear hanger needs moved back. The pin is in the same location from the front spring eye as a K5 so the axle will be in the same location. All the extra length is behind the pin going to the back of the truck.
     
  9. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Yep, the axle will be in the same place with both packs. 52 and 56" springs all have the pin 26" from the front eye. Relocating the rear hanger is not difficult, but it's time consuming. You'll have to cut out all the rivets and replace with 3/8" grade 5 (or better) bolts. I used nylock nuts AND lock washers on mine which have been moved around several times for various springs and wheel base adjustments.

    As for the results, just guessing but, the static ride height in the rear will probably be a bit higher, but not much, maybe an inch or so. You'll probably want to remove a few leaves to make things a bit softer when unloaded. Seems like 3/4 ton rated would be sufficient for your needs.

    FWIW, I also think your K5 is too short to be pulling that trailer. On a tow rig (other than a yard tractor), longer wheel base is generally a very good thing...
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I still can't believe someone would be crazy enough to both put a gooseneck hitch in a K5, and tow a 35' trailer with that short of wheelbase.

    I honestly think you must have a death wish.
     
  11. Batmanjr

    Batmanjr 1/2 ton status

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    What is the major concern with the short wheelbase? I have plenty of weight up front and my turning radius is much smaller... Technically, I don't see how a short base or a long base truck makes any difference to towing ability when you mount the ball in the bed! What is the major fear here? As far as stiffness, I want structure and towing capacity, not comfort! When I mean goosneck, I mean center ball! Oh and for the K5, gooseneck comment, I have a hard half cab that utilizes the rear seat bolts and seals the cab like a pickup when I tow... Then I take it off when I don't tow and I've got my K5 Back!
    Thanks for the many helpful hints on the springs! I will now venture into the swap!!! Any more info on this matter would be very appreciated! Thanks!:)
     
  12. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I believe stability has the most effect to do with your question.

    Think about how stable a crew cab long bed is when towing anything as long as you wish to do.

    And then think about the stability of a short wheel base truck, such as a Blazer, and the amount of forces that will throw the stability off track.

    Plus the weight of the Blazer is nothing compared to a crew cab long bed.
     
  13. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    The shorter wheel base gives the load more leverage when trying to jack-knife a rig. More distance between the axles means less chance of jack-knife, less fish tail, and more stable on bumps (especially on curves). Goose-neck is better than on the bumper but, you still got problems. I would not want to be in or around your rig with that goose-neck trailer when it rains or snows. I (and others) are not talking out of our ass here. I've towed the same (trailer) or similar loads with rigs from LWB full size, SWB full size, CJ7, and a flat bed car hauler. There is no question, longer wheel base is better, and shorter is more dangerous, period...

    As an example, I had a car hauler trailer that I routinely towed behind my LWB GM full size LWB. No real problems to notice. However, my truck was down and I used my fathers SWB to haul the SAME trailer and load along the SAME route I had traveled many times near my house. At roughly the same speed (actually a bit slower due to the shorter rig), dry road, no differences other than wheel base. There was a slight curve at the exact top of a hill. I nearly lost that load there as it fishtailed back and forth over both lanes (thank god no on in the oncoming lane). Grim recently had a similar experience.
     

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