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suspension lifts

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by JJ85K5, Jan 3, 2002.

  1. JJ85K5

    JJ85K5 Registered Member

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    hi all. new to this here forum and i'm a new k5 owner. i was wondering what would be a great lift for my 85 k5. the k5 is bone stock w/ the exception of a rebuilt 350 and 700r4. i'd like to start out by adding a lift and somewhere between a 35 inch and 27 inch tire. i was thinking of an ord four inch shackle flip and bds two inch springs out back and bds six inch springs up front. is that a good start or should i stick to a four inch lift? any suggestions? i'm not too worried about street performance, however, i know most suspensions do well any way's on the streer. i just wan't it to be tough, have a lot of flex and have good all around off road performance. i know i will need many other things in the future, but i just was thinking about a lift first.

    sorry about the length of this message but i'm new to this stuff. thanks in advance for any advice.

    JJ85K5
     
  2. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    For six inch lift I would go with the 4 in. shackle flip in rear plus 2 inch (might be 2.5") tuff country springs. FOr the front get 6" tuff country EZ ride springs! And you mean 37" tires right? Not 27" I hope [​IMG]

    <font color=green>[​IMG]1977 K5 GETTIN IT AWN[​IMG]</font color=green>
    BUILT NOT BOUGHT
    <font color=red>MERRY CHRISTMAS</font color=red>
     
  3. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    jj,

    I have an 85 myself (pics in my webshots albums, see link below). Like you, when I started building my Jimmy, I wanted a good amount of flex. I am going to do more trail driving and rocks then I will mud, so a nice flexy suspension is a good thing. Anyway, you apear to be in the same boat.

    As far as recommendations go, I like the idea of using factory springs with the ORD 4" flip. Couple that with perhaps a set of ORD zero-rate-add-a-leafs and you are at 5" and it ought to flex better than it would with the 2" springs. I am installing the shack flip now, and have some pics on how I rebuilt my factory springs on webshots.

    I run 35x12.5 ProComp MTs, and have experienced some fender rubbing in the front fenders with just a 4" lift and 1" ORD body lift. I am going to be adding a set of zero rates to the front as well as ORD HD shackles for the front, I suspect that will cure the rubbing problem. Even if it doesn't, I am going to do some major fender trimming anyway, so its all good. ;)

    At any rate, I guess it depends on what size tires you plan on running (remember, that once people lift a rig, they almost ALWAYS wanna get bigger tires before long!) and whether or not you are afraid to fender trim. I dunno if you read Four Wheeler, but there was a guy with a Blazer in there that ran a 4" lift..no body lift, and fit 39.5s thanks to lots of fender trimming. His rig actually looked good to, not like he just yanked all the fenders off or anything. Considering this, if you can cut the fenders, I recommend a "short lift" (4-6") and trimming to fit whatever tires you want.

    Unless you had specific questions, thats about all the advice I have...the smartest thing I have done since I got my Jimmy was to follow the CK5 forums *religously*. More good info here than you can shake a stick at, and lots of people here have photo albums to look at, get ideas from, etc etc.

    have fun!

    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>
     
  4. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    For a 4" lift you will need a raised steering arm and extended break lines. You will also need to drop your transfer case, but you can use the factory spacers for that.

    However, go with a 6" lift and all bets are off. You will probably need longer driveshafts front and rear as well as the stuff mentioned above. You may also begin to have problems with your e-brake cable.

    With 4" lift and fender trimming, you can easily and comfortably fit 35s under your rig. If you don't mind hacking the fenders pretty good (but cleanly), you can go with 37s with only 4" lift. I have a friend running 38.5s with only 4". He rubs, but you can do it.

    I know I plan to go with 39.5s on my trail rig, but only plan to have 6" of suspension lift and maybe 1" of body lift with lots of trimming.

    The less lift you can get away with the better.

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  5. JJ85K5

    JJ85K5 Registered Member

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    just wanted to say thanks for the info so far.

    does anyone know a good offroad place in southern california? i'm in the pasadena area. i'm interested in getting a lift very soon and i don't have the time or place to do it myself.

    thanks again.

    JJ85K5
     
  6. JJ85K5

    JJ85K5 Registered Member

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    i was also wondering if i will be able to upgrade the 10 bolts to something bigger without changing the suspension? i think i'll be getting a tc or a bds six inch spring with hd shackles for the front and four inch shackle flips w/ stock springs in the rear.

    thanks

    JJ85K5
     
  7. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    What exactly do you mean by upgrade axles without touching the suspension? All there is to the suspension is the springs. They will bolt to any axle you want to put under them provided you have the right sized u-bolts.

    If you want to upgrade, I would go with the 14-bolt full floater (14BFF) rear axle. It is a 1-ton model (although found on the 3/4 ton K5s) and is practically indestructable with a 10.5" (?) ring gear size. For front, I would recommend going with at least a Dana 44 (D44) and, if you can afford it, a Dana 60. The D44 is the 3/4 ton model front axle. It is a little stronger than a 10-bolt, but you can readily find them with 8-lugs (like the 14BFF has). Or you can try and upgrade your 10-bolt front to 8-lugs. If you have the money and want an indestructable (for the most part) front axle, go with the D60. I believe a complete one will run you around $1000, but I don't know for sure. The D60 is the 1-ton front axle.

    All of these essentially bolt right in. There may be some mods necessary to break lines depending on which size you go with as well as steering components when going to the 1-ton D60, but at least that gives you a little info.

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  8. rocko

    rocko 1/2 ton status

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    for a 4 inch lift.. Rough Country front/rear spring lift.. you can't beat it for the price..

    I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work. www.rocko.rockcrawler.com
     
  9. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    I would go with BDS 4" front springs and a flip in the rear with an ORD 1" zero rate spring. Also when you do the lift get ORD's greaseable bushing kits for the front and back with Heavy duty shackels. As far as axles goes you can go all 1 ton with a Dana 60 and a 14ff and the only thins that will have to be done for the axles to bolt in is on the 14ff you will need to move the spring perchs and shock mounts. The Dana 60 is a bolt in. Also you can get a 14ff out of a 3/4 ton and that would be a bolt in on a K5 unlike a 1 ton but with the 3/4 ton axle you might run into an e brake cable problem. Trim the fenders and run 35's or 37's with no problem.

    See <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Waynes-Toy>Project Mighty Mouse</a> here.
    <font color=blue>Wayne<font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>Happy Trails<font color=blue>
     
  10. JJ85K5

    JJ85K5 Registered Member

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    thanks again for the info. the question about the axle upgrade was more directed to the shackle flips. i read in ord's add that you need to specify if you have 1/2 ton or 1 ton running gear before you order them. guess i won't have to worry about that for a while because i don't have enough money yet.

    JJ85K5
     

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