Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Suspension Enhancement

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by sturner, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. sturner

    sturner Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    I've seen quite a few threads that discuss suspension upgrades that include lifting the blazer 2", 4" and even 6". I was actually looking to upgrade my suspension without any lift (stock ride height). The following are some of the things I would like my new suspension to improve:

    overall ride - not as stiff as it is now
    handling
    elimination of sag in the rear-end
    off-road capability

    Basically I'd like my 72 to ride like a late model truck/tahoe. Is this possible? Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!

    My current suspension is just the leaf springs with monroe shocks, not sure what kind, on 31"X10.5" tires.
     
  2. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Posts:
    858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Your going to have a very hard time getting your '72 to ride like a late model IFS truck. The technology & knowledge just wasn't around when they designed the first gen Blazers. Have you considered taking a tub and putting it on a late model frame or taking the suspension off a late model frame and putting it on your truck? It would be a lot of work, a lot of custom fabrication and a lot of people will disagree with what you are doing.
     
  3. sturner

    sturner Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    i think i'd pass on putting the body on a late model frame. i would be in favor of maintaining the Blazer's original integrity. i thought maybe there were better aftermarket springs, shocks, sway bars, etc. that would improve the overall ride and performance...
     
  4. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2001
    Posts:
    718
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK
    Swaybars are do-able. A few people here have put them on. PM Steve_Chin, he has a write up on his website. I would be surprised if you couldn't find or fabricate an aftermarket rear swaybar.

    With the right investment $$$ what you want surely is do-able. You can get custom thin-leaf springs made with whatever spring rate you desire and you can dampen it appropriately with the right shocks. It would take a lot of research into spring rates and ride quality as well as really knowing your truck well. Things such as actual weight at the corners with whatever driveline (small/big block) and accessories (winch bumper, tire carrier, hardtop, etc.) you'll have on it in its final form. Teflon spring inserts, greasable shackles and spring bushings are all available. You can do a search for a tape some guys are using between leafs to allow them to slide (flex) better.

    Will it ride like a brand new Escalade? probably not, but you can certainly get a better ride out of it if that's what you really want from your truck. You may want to think about everything you're going to use it for as well as some of the modifications may give you a better on road ride, but be detrimental off the pavement.

    These are just ideas off the top of my head and you should probably get in touch with someone that knows more than I do.
     
  5. Big Sean E

    Big Sean E Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Posts:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boston, Massapoopits
    You might check into some of the airbag suspensions. From what I've read in some 4X4 mags, some can actually change ride height, increase payload capacity, and even improve ride. They even have a system for rock crawlers that can level the ride at extreme angles. Hope that gives a bit of inspiration.
     
  6. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2001
    Posts:
    15,683
    Likes Received:
    1,392
    Location:
    642 Days to BB2018
    [ QUOTE ]
    I would like my new suspension to improve:

    overall ride - not as stiff as it is now
    handling
    elimination of sag in the rear-end
    off-road capability



    [/ QUOTE ]


    Well unless you have gone through EVERYTHING in your suspension already, and replaced the 30-year old bushings, tie rod ends, etc. there's probably quite a bit to be gained right away.

    As anyone who has done a suspension swap will tell you, the factory bushings are almost ALWAYS rusted solid to the springs and are typically dry-rotted too.

    If it were me, here's what I'd do:

    Replace ALL body mounts using factory rubber (NO poly mounts!)
    Replace all of the spring bushings with the ORD greasable ones (with the zerk fittings for grease gun)
    Completely disassemble stock springpacks, and sandblast or beadblast them. Powdercoat or epoxy paint and re-assemble
    Possibly retrofit those teflon sliders on the springs.
    Replace all other front end components (ball joints, tie rods, ragjoint, etc)
    Add a zero-rate for the saggy rear


    ...and finally:


    Forget about "offroad capability"....

    If your rebuilding the stock suspension and keeping small-ish tires, it's not going to be a particulary good "wheeler". Street manners and Off Road capability are on opposite ends of the spectrum from each other, so unless you want to spend MUCHO $$$, you can't typically get both.
     
  7. mosesburb

    mosesburb For Rent Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Posts:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I purchased a lift kit for my '72 Suburban from Tuff Country. They were the only manufacturer that had a soft ride front spring that was less than the 700lbs/in that every other one I found had. All the major lift manufacturers run around 700lbs/in for the 67-72 but go to a 73-91 and the soft ride is around 500 lbs/in. I could not figure out why this is, as there is not that much weight difference between the two styles--maybe the lack of a sway bar--not sure. Anyways I installed the Tuff Country springs (high 400 lbs/in)(I think, but I have slept since then so I may be off a bit) with Rancho RS9000 shocks and just driving it into the backyard (40 feet--maybe) I could already tell a great difference. With the adjustable RS9000's I don't think I am going to install a sway bar now. I have ridden in a few Blazers with other lift kits in them and I did not like the stiffness of them. Short of getting the custom thin leaf packs made I think this is a reasonable alternative. It doesn't have a late model ride, but I would definitely call it acceptable. Just my $.02. Take it for what it is worth. Good Luck, Nick
     

Share This Page