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rear lift springs and towing

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mini_mull, May 10, 2005.

  1. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    OK, I posted this in the towing forum , but it's completely dead in there, and I have only gotten one response since Friday (thanks Bob). I also searched though tons of posts, but got sick of reading Timmay's IMO gospel every other post :D (the guy knew stuff, but as ya know could be a LITTLE stubborn). Oh, and I emailed TC for spring capacities, but still no response. So I'm posting here to get more traffic and hopefully some well informed fact-based opinions.

    Anyways, I wanna lift my '91 3/4ton Burb 4in, which I dunno may only equal 2" since it's already 2" higher than my stock 1/2 ton. I don't want to keep the rear springs because they have 9-10 leaves and ride like crap, but I plan on towing up to 10K at some point down the road, so will 4" TC rear lift springs kill my towing ability? If so, could I correct the problem sufficiently with Air Helper Springs? Or am I stuck forever at stock height and crappy ride to preserve my towing ability?
     
  2. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have towed several trailers (none 10,000 lbs) with mine - stock springs and an 4" ORD shackle flip and a zero rate. some members will tell you that it is a bad idea, but it has worked fine for me. I've towed several boats, a tractor and a trailer load of flagstone. Sagged the rear end a little with the stone, but towed fine at moderate speeds.
     
  3. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    I like the shackle flip. But I was hoping to get rid of the stiff stock springs if possible. Did you adjust your pinion angle after installing the flip? Also, did it improve the ride even though you still used the stock springs?
     
  4. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    If I remember correctly, there is a air-bag set up for when you need a little stiffer rear for towing. So that with a softer spring in the rear would probley work good.
     
  5. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I've heard flips are no good for towing. Have you looked on www.towrig.com?
    You dropped that sprog yet? It was you about to a 'happy event ' wasn't it? :)
     
  6. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Not yet, hopefully soon (tomorrow would be nice :D , if not I'll be running around the block, up and down the stairs, and doing jumping jacks until it's time or I pass out, j/k ;) ). Thanks for asking.

    I've read through tons of shackle flip towing threads in the past, but I wanted to do rear springs not shackle flip anyways to get rid of the stock ones so I don't really want to hash that out again. I joined and searched on towrig.com last week, but didn't find much info on air helpers.

    I'm just trying to figure out how 4" TC rear lift springs will change my towing capacity, if at all. And if they do lower the capacity, can I use air helper springs, specifically these: Air Lift Super Duty Air Spring Kit to help bring my rear suspension back up to original towing capacity?
     
  7. chevy_addict

    chevy_addict 1/2 ton status

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    I have TC 4" springs front and back on my K10 suburban with 3/4 ton axles and it rides pretty well (EZ rides up front), I haven't towed with it so I can't comment on the load capacity, although I plan on using a WD hitch.

    You can check it out if you want after you "drop the sprog" :grin:

    Dave
     
  8. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If money isn't an issue (the baby won't need an iPod for a few months yet!) I'd say get the air assist set up anyway. I'd rather have piece of mind when towing rather than looking at the truck quizickally every time you stop for gas and thinking "is that sitting at a funny angle???"
    I fitted a set to a coil sprung Range Rover once and it really helped get rid of body roll and 'light steering' when pulling a load.
     
  9. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

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    Most likely the reason your stock springs ride so poorly is that they have sagged to the point that either they ride on the overloads or they are so close that every time you hit a bump they hit the overloads. Since the overload springs have so little give, it sort of "bottoms out" giving you such a rough ride. I'm using 4" pro comp springs on my M1008 and I'll be towing my 7,000 lb K10 plus whatever the trailer weighs. I haven't done it yet so this will be partly opinion. In the past I haven't done much towing, but replacement springs OR factory springs with a long add-a-leaf have been much smoother riding on my vehicles. I'd go with a HD rated rear spring if it were my decision.
     
  10. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I won't say that the ride improved, but its no worse. The ORD lit corrects the angle as I understand it, but I didn't change it otherwise.
     
  11. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks guys, good info from all.
    Dave, I might just take you up on that offer to see your sub once everything settles down a bit. I'm curious, do you know how much lift you actually got, maybe a measurement from the hub to the fender (if uncut) or the axle tube to the frame front and back? Anywhere really I'm just trying to guesstimate how much real world lift a 4"TC would give me. My 3/4ton already sits 2" higher than my old 1/2ton burb, so I'm guessing I'd only get 2-3" out of 4" lift springs on all fours. Plus then I could guesstimate how saggy if at all the rear will be with the lift. Oh and did you use the 52" or 56" rears? If you don't have time to take the measurements soon, don't worry about it, it's not like I'm going to be installing a lift tomorrow. :D I've just been obsessively planning and researching to get my fix, since I can't even fit under the truck to change the oil anymore (which I did about 3 weeks ago, I think the neighbors thought I was completely bonkers :rotfl: )

    79Beast, as soon as you get around to towing pm me or post up how it goes, I'd love to know. Also are those the procomp springs that are supposedly HD for better towing? I've heard of those, but didn't see anything on their website referencing a HD rear spring. Also thanks for commenting on the ride quality, I'm still "helping my husband learn" why I would need the 2-3" I think I'd get out of a 4" lift, since the sub already has 33's that fit fine (on pavement anyways, only bought it 2 weeks ago, so no offroad yet) and tire fitment was my excuse as to why I wanted to raise our last sub, this time I'm going for the "smoother than stock ride quality" argument. My four year old thinks the bumpy ride is like a ride at Disneyland, but I think I'll "need" a smoother ride for an infant. ;)

    cbbr, thanks for the flip info. If my rear springs were in better shape, and I had the patience to experiment with front vs rear height, I'd really like to try it, but I don't so I probably won't. BTW, love your sub.

    southernspeed, I think I will go with the airbags unless someone gives me a life changing reason not to. maybe not right away, since money is always somewhat of an issue, but before I tow anything substancial. I also think I'll get their cheapest compressor system, just so it'll extend the warranty from 2 years to lifetime. What did you use to air up the rover?

    Hope no one minds a novel, since I tend to be longwinded. Thanks again for all the input, it's appreciated, and if anyone has anything else to add, that will be appreciated, too.
     
  12. chevy_addict

    chevy_addict 1/2 ton status

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    I'll take measurements this weekend. It had a four inch lift on it when I bought but I thought it had 6" because it sat about 2" higher than my son's blazer with a 4" lift. It had cheesy 2" blocks in the back and a bad rear spring so I replaced all the springs and actually wound up with about 3/4" more lift right after replacing the springs. I haven't measured it since but I assume the springs have settled some (3 months). I used 52" rear springs since that was what was on the truck when purchased.

    Dave
     
  13. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    if you want a smoother ride without compromised towing capacity, the best way i can see is w/ non HD lift springs and airbags. i've got a simple compressor i bought from (i think) JC whitney. comes with all the lines and fittings, has one gauge with an activation button you hold down to pump up the bags, and a pressure release valve. i think it was under 100$

    even if the 4" lift only gets you 2-3" above current height, i wouldnt worry about it. any more than 4" lift can make for an unstable tow rig.also 6" springs usually ride stiffer. what size tires are you gonna run?
     
  14. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry if I sounded disappointed, actually I'm happy with the 4" only adding 2-3" above current height. Anymore than that would be too much for me with a family DD. Only challenge that presents is convincing my husband we need to spend all the money for a 4 spring lift that might only raise the truck 2", but I think I almost have him sold on the ride quality argument (which actually is important to me).

    Thanks for the input, I think that is exactly what I'll do. I can't wait to get rid of these old stiff springs, I just hope the TC springs will live up to my expectations.

    BTW, thanks Dave that would be great. I hate not having concrete plans even if I'm not doing the work right away.
     
  15. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    Always remember, it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. :wink1: :grin:
     
  16. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Good point. :D
    But if you can get permission you don't have to worry about revenge. :wink1:
     
  17. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The guy already had an on board air system. Not sure what make but it could well have been an ARB unit that they use for their locking diffs.

    Good luck...with everything! :)
     
  18. Bob87Burb

    Bob87Burb 1/2 ton status

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    Another selling point of the 4", they're almost always cheaper than the 2" lifts. I'm guessing it's because they're more popular. After some of the research I've done, It seems like the Tuff Country, or ProComp springs are the way to go. Whatever you do, don't get the Rough Country stuff like mine. Turns out, the rear springs are garbage after about 10k miles. I spoke with them, and because they're out of warranty the only thing they can do is sell me another set for cost, $100 for the pair. Not a bad deal, but garbage is garbage. I can't see another set lasting any longer. Plans are to either beef up the current springs, or throw a set of 7 leaf 3/4 ton springs on it. Airbags will come eventually, but finances don't allow it right now.

    It's good though, that you're doing all your research now. People (and when I say people, I mean me :) ) should do that more often, before buying stuff. :crazy:
     
  19. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Do you know, do all 3/4tons come stock with 7 leaves? Or do HD models have more leaves? Mine have 10 leaves :confused:

    Don't feel bad, I bought a Rough Country Lift for my K10 5 years ago. I just bought it based on price, I really had no idea about any of the qualities of the springs. I thought it rode decent, but I didn't know any better, also I just had blocks in the back, so no issues like yours with rear springs. No CK5 to ask for advice back then, ORD was around, I even put some of their HD greasable shackles on whe I lifted, but I didn't ask them for advice on the lift. :crazy: Ahhh, I still miss that truck. :frown1:
     
  20. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    7 leaf packs are pretty much the standard for stock 3/4ton rear springs, your 10 leaf packs are of the HD variety that was prolly part of the factory tow package.



    You notice that a burb is a big rolling chunk of steel. I am running damn near the roughest springs ever made ( RANCHO ) and you'd be surprised that my burb actually runs pretty smooth down the road and over bumps. The weight of a big burb dends to take the stiffness out of springs.
     

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