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Need lift info so I can decide...

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Hoss, Jan 27, 2002.

  1. Hoss

    Hoss Registered Member

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    On and off over the last couple months, I've been pondering how high to lift my truck as well as how to go about it. I've been looking at posts and I have a pretty good idea (I think) of what I want to do. But, I seem to find conflicting info quite a bit so I thought I would post what I want to do and see if I can narrow down my options enough for me to finally make a descion.

    I have an 82 4x4 3/4 ton suburban. Right now its all stock. I really would like to get 40 inch tires on it, maybe be ok with 38. It would be mostly used for trails and mudding and driving to and from the places to do so (not a daily driver).

    I've been looking at 12 inch lift kits. I've read a lot about larger lifts like this, but some say you have to do this and some say you have to do that. I know I will need to get my rear driveline extended and longer brake lines. But I get conflicting information about steering (needing crossover or not), dropping the tranny, pinion angle, front drive line, needing rear CV, etc.

    What all do I really need to do with a 12 inch lift? What is nessesary and what would just be nice to do if I had the money? Does anything require welding for a 12 inch lift? Will I need to cut fenders for 40 inch tires?

    Would getting an 8 inch lift (with 3 inch body lift) be easier and/or better?

    Another area of concern that I've read conflicting info about is the axels and size of tires. I have a 10 bolt up front and a 14 SF in the rear. I'm sure the 14 SF will do for now, if I break it it will just give me a good reason to move to a FF. But at least I would feel safe with the SF on the freeway. As for the 10 bolt, this is were I get confused. I know it won't last long with 40 inch tires and some serious off road, but what about street driving? I've seen some pretty muddy trucks with 38 to 40 inch with a 10 bolt front, but sometimes people talk about 10 bolts with a 40 inch wheel would fall off while pulling out of your drive way. Would a 10 bolt with 40 inch be safe enough for the road? After lifting my truck and getting such large tires, I'm not gonna have money for a dana for awhile and would at least like to drive it around on weekends (and maybe a little mud??) until I get a dana.

    ok, all done. :) Thanks in advanced for any replies!

    -C
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.theonespot.com/myrides/suburban>1982 K20 Silverado Suburban</a>
     
  2. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    &gt;I have an 82 4x4 3/4 ton suburban. Right now its all stock. I
    &gt;really would like to get 40 inch tires on it

    &gt;I've been looking at 12 inch lift kits. I've read a lot about
    &gt;larger lifts like this

    personally, i think that is WAY to much lift...you'll be just waiting to tip over with your center of grav that high up. Why not do a 6-8 lift and trim the fenders a little? Its your rig...so you can do what you want, but if I was you, I'd put 6" spring up front, ORD 4" shackle flip + 2.5" springs in the rear...and then just do as much fender trimming as you need to. The more spring lift you use (like 12"!!) the less flex you are likely to have. Not a big deal onroad or in mud really...but for trail driving flex is good.

    &gt;I know I will need to get my rear driveline extended and
    &gt;longer brake lines.

    yep.

    &gt; But I get conflicting information about steering (needing
    &gt;crossover or not)

    I would get crossover if I was you. Big tires + big lift almost make it a requiement. Could you do it without xover? sure...but I wouldn't.

    &gt; dropping the tranny

    dropping the t-case a little helps sometimes, i dunno about the tranny. What tcase do u have again?

    &gt; pinion angle, front drive line, needing rear CV

    yeah, all problems and only really solve-able by getting new front/rear driveshafts. One piece of advice...figure out what xcase you want to run first...then when everything is set, get your new drive shafts. $pending md ca$h on drive shafts only to find out later that you want to change things would be more than annoying.

    &gt;What all do I really need to do with a 12 inch lift?

    i am not a pro, but my list would include:
    1)front/rear 12" springs
    2)xover setup (2wd steering box or sector shaft swap, in addition to a new draglink, tie rod, steering arm etc, check out ord's site for more info)

    3) longer brake lines,
    4) new ebrake cables
    5) new gears and, if needed, traction device

    i know I am forgetting stuff..but those r the things that come to mind.

    &gt;What is nessesary and what would just be nice to do if I
    &gt;had the money?

    if you want to accomplish the same thing and spend less money, DEFINITELY go with a shorter lift...like I was saying before. Fender trimming will allow big tires. The guy in four wheeler had just 4" of lift and ran 39.5s on his blazer. Get 6-8" and you won't have to trim as much, or have as many $pendy upgrades to make.

    &gt; Does anything require welding for a 12 inch lift?

    not that I can think of....

    &gt; Will I need to cut fenders for 40 inch tires?

    only if you are smart. LOL

    &gt;Would getting an 8 inch lift (with 3 inch body lift) be easier
    &gt;and/or better?

    8" with no body lift...or a 1" ORD body lift would be better. Big body lifts cause all kinds of issues.

    &gt;Another area of concern that I've read conflicting info about
    &gt;is the axels and size of tires. I have a 10 bolt up front and a
    &gt;14 SF in the rear. I'm sure the 14 SF will do for now, if I
    &gt;break it it will just give me a good reason to move to a FF.

    agreed.

    &gt; As for the 10 bolt, this is were I get confused

    not much to be confused about really...save your pennies and get a d60 up front. I have spent lots of $$$$ beefing my 10 bolt...and *believe me*, I wish I had it all back so I could just go ahead and buy the D60.

    &gt; what about street driving?

    some street queens run 44s with 10 bolts...you CAN do that...just dont be surprised if it goes POP, SPROING, one day.

    &gt;Would a 10 bolt with 40 inch be safe enough for the road?

    safe, probably...dependable, long lasting or tough enuff for offroad? prolly not.

    &gt; After lifting my truck and getting such large tires, I'm not
    &gt; gonna have money for a dana for awhile and would at
    &gt; least like to drive it around on weekends (and maybe a little
    &gt; mud??) until I get a dana.

    do the D60 conversion first....then mess with the lift and stuff later. I know I wish I had done it that way...saving the D60 for last is a great way to end up stuck somewhere with broken parts, little $$ and a very strong sense that you SHOULD have got the 60. =p

    &gt;ok, all done. :) Thanks in advanced for any replies!

    i try. ;) My strongest pieces of advice, over all, are....

    1) get the D60 asap
    2) go with x-over
    3) lift your suspension 6-8"...and if necessary maybe a little body lift.
    4) wait to get your cool new drive shafts until AFTER everything else is pretty much final (what xcase u will use, and what axels u will use)

    thats about all the advice I have right now...post some pics on webshots as u go along! =p

    J


    See the on-going build up of my '85 Jimmy! <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/jekbrown>http://community.webshots.com/user/jekbrown</a>
     
  3. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Well I think that post nailed it pretty well. I'd say that with 8 or more inches of spring lift you are gonna end up needing to cut and trun the tubes up front if you plan to travel on the freway to get to trails and such. Otherwise you will probably be wandering quite a bit. Another thought is if you are gonna drive to trails and pits, you better find out your local lift laws. Some states have bumper laws which are easy to work around, but other have a frame height law or headlight law which is generally harder to work around. All in all... remember lift ISN't gonna help you wheel better, Bigger tires and ground clearence WILL! I would personally run a 6" lift w/ a 2" body lift and hack the rest away to fit your choice of wheels. Shaving yopur axles and working for more ground clearence is overlooked way too much IMO.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Do 6 or 8" and 3" body and be done with it. 12" suspension lifts suck.

    If you keep your frontend open and don't have a huge powerful engine, you won't break your frontend. If you do mostlly street driving it'll be fine.

    Make sure you have low enough gears.

    Get a 14 FF immediately. Don't wait. I wouldn't run tires that big on a semi floating axle. All front axles are full floating.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  5. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Not true. Bury a truck to the bumpers and more lift will seem like it might have helped then. :)

    Just depends what kind of off-roading you do.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  6. Hoss

    Hoss Registered Member

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    Thanks! A few more Q's.

    I think I'm leaning towards an 8 inch lift and a body lift. From what I've gathered about 3 inch body lifts, they can be a bit of a pain to install due to steering shaft and maybe needing to extend wires and hoses. But I didn't think about 1 or 2 inch lifts kits. Can either of these be installed without modifications to most wires and maybe just some adjustment to the steering shaft?

    I've been told that I have an NP208. You can see it at:
    1982 K20 Silverado Suburban
     
  7. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    You will be fine doing the 3" body. All you're going to have to do is weld in an additional piece for your auto trans linkage and possibly play with your transfer case linkage a bit. It'll all work.

    2wd steering boxes have a, "clockable" pitman arm. You can install it so it'll go side to side or forward and back. Obviously, with the crossover drag link, you're going to need it to go side to side. The 4wd pitman arm will only go on one way...and only move forward and back. So, with crossover, a 2wd steering box is a must.

    With an 8" lift, if you can do the crossover, by all means, do it. If you do the 6", the 2" pitman arm and 4" steering arm will probably work out fine. Anything more than that and I'd do the crossover. I have thought about it a few times but the modifications to the engine crossmember keep me from doing it every time. That's just not an area I want to chop up on a frame. Everyone here says that it'll steer better with it.

    If it's an option, I wouldn't use blocks at all. I'd use the 4" flip and a 4" spring if an 8" lift is what you want. Keep in mind that a 6" will be less hassle (most likely you can keep your driveshafts, especially the rear one) and you can still fit your 38s or 40s.

    When you take your drivelines to be extended, they're going to know how long you want them from the center of the yokes from one end to the other. They're going to cut the yokes off your current shaft, throw the tube away and get a longer piece, then make sure that the yokes are exactly straight with each other, weld them on, and balance the shaft. Basically you can't lengthen a shaft, but you can use the yokes from the old shaft to make a new one. My friend payed I think $3 or $4 an inch to have this done. All I know is his rear shaft ended up costing about $200 and he didn't have them touch the front shaft.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  8. Greenblazer-AZ

    Greenblazer-AZ 1/2 ton status

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    It might help to keep this in mind. Mud rigs that are used for mud bogging only need lots of lift to clear deep mud holes, but if you want to wheel your truck on hills, rocks, and trails you will probably want a lower center of gravity. A man with a lot of knowledge in this subject once told me that you want as little lift as you can get away with for the size of tires that you want to run. For a versitile rig I wouldn't go much higher than 6" suspension and 1" body. Then trim your fenders as needed. I also agree that the D60 first is a very good Idea. Gear changes are absolutely a must when going to tires that big, and better to get the right gears in the D60 instead of paying for gears for the 10 bolt and then replacing it(the 10B) later. Don't wast the money messing with the ten bolt, and don't be confused by the sky scraper pavement pounders that you see crusing around those things are only good for mud and pavement pounding. BTW all you mud guys can chill I live in Arizona where mud is a rare thing but ROCKS are everywhere. I've been to Seattle and I'm sure there are both rocks and mud, but one thing I know there are mountains and plenty of hills. Top heavy mud rigs aren't going to keep the rubber side bown in the kind of terrain they have in that neck of the woods.

    If you knew the truth, you too would be against marijuana prohibition!
    Blue '74 K5 Blazer Topless W/ 35 BFG Muds (See profile for pics)
     

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