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Suspension Upgrades for washboard roads??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by DzrtRat67, May 29, 2001.

  1. DzrtRat67

    DzrtRat67 Registered Member

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    Hey there folks,
    btw...Thanks for the input on AGR steering systems (posted 5/27) If you have any more opinions on AGR, please continue that thread.
    Now, I'm also looking for suggestions on upgrading my suspension (and body bushings???) to improve the ride for 99% of the wheeling I do, which is exploring back roads down here in AZ. Anyone who's been down here knows what I'm talking about, long stretches of washboard roads periodically interrupted by river rock dry creek beds. What all can you suggest in add-ons that will help reduce the feeling of my truck rattling itself apart? My rear end is sagging a bit, so before I re-arch or replace rear springs, I wanted to get your input on spring brands, shackles, shocks (dual???) that will help soften the ride of my '77 K5 4wd 350/350/203.
    will dual shocks up front help? how about these "velvet ride" shackles? I never really do any rock crawling or hill climbing, except for occesional burts of testosterone mixed with firendly dares and..ok...occasionally a beer or two. ;-)
    Most of the time, the truck is nearly empty save for the cooler, other times, I've got some camping gear. This truck is a mostly stock daily driver/weekend warrior that i plan on keeping long term, and as parts wear out, replace with upgraded from OEM wherever possible. No lift kit on it as far as i can tell, although it seems to sit a little high for 33's/12.50's.
    Thanks!
     
  2. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    One thing i do know is that duel shocks are made to "stiffen" up your ride . . .

    Never Give Up Never Surrender
     
  3. MTPockets

    MTPockets 1/2 ton status

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    i hate washboard roads! only thing i know that works for sure,
    deflate the tires...maybe 20psi.
    MTPockets



    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml>http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml</A>
     
  4. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Read the following post that was replied to me from another board:
    Shocks are the key with leaf springs. Straight axle front ends can be Really good and extreemly reliable. You should contat Jeff Crosby at DEAVER SPRING (714) 542-3703. Let him know what you want to do and he can set you up with a nice set of springs. Shocks will be the key to the ride. So meny people are hung up on wheel travel... More is better?? This is not always the case... Dont think MORE... Think perfect... Perfect spring Rate.. Perfect shock Valving... Most of the little 7s trucks racing right now have under 12" of wheel travel yet they can still take a 3ft whoop at a good clip of speed. SHOCKS Are the key... Get a good set of shocks Like Sway-a-ways.. By-pass is better. If you get 12" of travel out of the front and 18" or so out of the rear with a good set of shocks you will have a great runner there... If you Plan on Launching the thing I would suggest Beefing up the front axle as well. Good luck... If you need anything else give us a call..(714) 632-3033 We have done a bunch of Straight axle racing :) Good Luck



    "Liberals ain't mean, they just don't have any common sense!"
     
  5. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    My cousin went with a 6" Black Diamond Spring Over kit for
    his Heep - that fixed it (for $5000.00!)

    Take the roads at about 45-65mph and you will not feel a thing. JK.
     
  6. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    I was RAISED driving washboard roads, and I wouldn't really listen to this cuz it can be dangerous. I'm gonna mention it anyway.

    You have to go fast enough to 'fly' over the washboards. The problem is gauging this correctly because if you go too fast your gonna loose control, or of the road conditions all of a sudden change.

    I was raised learning how to addapt to this garbage and I've never had a problem, or even come close to having a problem. I have, however, seen LOTS of bad results from people who have tried this; it's not pretty.

    I've driven them like this all my life in all sorts of vehicles. You might want to try this VERY carefully on a road you are familiar with and don't get any suprises.

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  7. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Shocks is the way to go. Good ones (ie. Bilstine, Edelbrock, etc...) have digressive dampning that makes them softer the faster the shock is compressed or rebounded. Bad ones (ie. Rancho and all the ones the make under different name) get stiffer with faster shock piston speed. The velvet ride shackels work well form what I hear but will make the rear sag a few inches (made for trucks that are lighter than a blazer). The 96- (I think) trucks have teflon spring pads that make them softer.

    '71 Blazer CST with alot of rust
     
  8. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Solo,
    Same here. On the long dusty stretches one of us will take 'point' and give the on-coming vehicle warning over the CB - this allows a little bit of freedom for going faster but there is still more risk.... Dirt tracking is fun!
    Dave
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Biggest improvement that's free is drop the tire pressure. Unbelivable difference between 35 psi and 20. It lets the tires soak up some of the shock. After that I would say you need to get into a combinations of springs and shocks. Most aftermarket spring have a high spring rate. the EZrides have the lowest. what your trying to do is let the suspension do the work and not transmit the jaring to the frame. I would look into some late 80's Blazer springs. They have a softer rate than the 70's springs. They also have teflon pads between the leafs. I would go with the shackle flip so your able to use those stock springs. Correct the hight issue by building a tall spring purch out of 2.25 inch box and use the old overload upside down and the overload on the new pack in sotck configuration and that should get you level.
    Dual shocks are out. They will make wash board worse. If you were jumping the truck yeah duals would do the trick. Now wash board cycles the shock a lot and shocks can and will build lots of heat as well as airate the fluid. This is where a remote resivior shock comes into play if you really want to get into it. Otherwise you might want to get the 9000's and play with the settings to see what works best for you. Most of the time soft is the way to go.
    If your going to do a lot of this type of stuff at high speed you might want to beef the shock mounts on the axles as well as the frame. The rears are notorious for busting free and wobling out the holes on the frame end. Relocating them to a cross bar like Depdog has done (see Boss's post Before and after he has pics of this set up).
    The front you may want to stiffen up the frame by a cross bar across the top of the engine and mount the upper shock mounts off it. This will stiffen up the frame and it's rotational tendancy's and force the suspensoin to do the work. Full cage tied into the frame with bushings will again stiffen up the frame and put the work onto the suspension lessening some of the rotational and end to end bouncing.
    On the body you might be better off with stock rubber. Poly tends to transmit more when used on the body mounts.
    There are lots of things you can do it's just how far you get into it. Look at some of the stuff done on the race trucks that have to run the stock frame. They deal with this type of roads and have put a lot of enginering into it.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  10. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Out here in Colorado, I've noticed that my rig tracks better and doesn't tend to get nearly as squirrely in the rear if I keep it in 4Hi on the washboard roads. If you like to do 4-wheel-drifts, it's also a blast to come out of long sweepers at full throttle, with the rear end kicked out and the front end pulling you through the turn. Of course, this should only be performed by professional drivers on a closed course. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  11. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    oh yea, and you can't believe how many roads I've driven like this. I was raised on a ranch, and my mother was born on a saw mill in the high uintas! nuff said? [​IMG]

    it can be quite a bit of fun to 'dirt track'! I take my kids and wife out doing this a LOT, and my kids <font color=red>LOVE</font color=red> it! [​IMG]

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  12. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    So this is why I am trying to find a way to keep my swaybar.
    I will lose the stock swaybar with the D60and x-over steering.
    Do you still have the swaybar on yours?
    When the Blazer is back on the road, I will post about whta others have done for swaybar replacements with disconnects.
    Dave
     

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