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When does flexy become too flexy?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Paxx, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    Ok here's whats up. I have been building my rig as a trail machine. All the 1 ton beef, low lift, etc. It is coming to the point where suspension will be addressed soon.

    How flexy is too flexy?

    I want to be able to crawl through rocks like no ones business but I also need to be able to climb the big rutted sand hills and drive the off-camber stretches as well as conquer the odd mud hole. (I hate cleaning mud though so not too often /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif)

    I would like to run the 52's up front with either 56's or 63's in the back. Now I know this set-up can crawl but how would it handle the rest of the things I mentioned above? I realize that anti-wrap bars would be required at some point but other than that should I be worried about it?

    Basically would all that flex make the other activities overly dangerous. I'm not an idiot when it comes to off-roading and safety always comes first, but I do love to stomp the gas and power up those hills that have people sh!tting themselves. I will be making full use of the extra 6" of wheelbase available through the set-up so it will help with the stability while climbing hills.

    What do you guys think. Will it work or would I be better off with some 4" tc easy-rides?

    Thnx
    ~Max
     
  2. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    I'd say since most people do these things with stock 52's int he back, having them in the front there shouldn't be many problems there. Then the 56's in rear, if you used the overload and some sort of an axle wrap bar, there's shouldn't be much problems there.

    Other than axle wrap in the rear and pinion angles along with driveshaft angles your basically upgrading the springs /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  3. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    make sure your brake lines can handle that flex, and to get long travel shocks so you dont brake them if you stomp on it in a rough situation.
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Flexy becomes too flexy when it comprimises stability in a heavy weight vehicle like our trucks. I can only ramp 550 on a 30* so I have not yet experienced this. I have experienced more instability from lack of flex than from too much flex.

    My personal opinion is to have the front somewhat stiffer than the rear. As of right now I have significantly more rear flex than front, and I hope to increase flex both in front and rear, running a similar setup to what you have planned.

    As to predict how stable your setup will be, there are too many factors that'd go into such a prediction so I will not say. I will say don't get caught up in having a ramp champ, because if you go overkill you will end up on your lid eventually. It's a double edged sword though....because with a lack of flex your rig may feel unstable where others with more flex are far less "tipsy" feeling.
     
  5. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    be ready to trim the $hit out of you fenders, when you go with the 52's up front you will have to go crossover since you will have alot of flex, I would also recomend ford shock towers with pro comp 15" travel shocks, that is what I am doing at this point.
     
  6. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    yeah, like blazin said, you will have to trim your fendders ALOT to accept all the flex you will get out of those springs. look at micahs k5, it has the same set-up, and flexes like mad!
     
  7. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    with my 52'' front and 57'' rear w/shackle flip I have reached the point where there is absolutely no need for more flex (for me anyway), but there are some catches to that....

    with a total lack of swaybars my passengers swear that my mirrors throw sparks off the asphalt when I take a corner, on a good sidehill the body will lean 10 degrees or worse different than the axles (that is when you really start appreciating your safety equipment) and I have gotten axle wrap bad enough to break u-bolts, rip perches off the axle, twist a 1350 yoke off the pinion while still spining but no longer under load, etc. etc.

    so in summary I would say that flex is not the name of the game, control is. don't be afraid to ADD swaybars to your suspension to help balance things out. when using leafs some sort of anti-wrap device is a must. and in my opinion the most important part of the suspension is the dampening. you don't have to run $800 a piece shocks (unless your cool like me ) to gain control, but you may be surprised at how much better your vehicle will perform at both high and low speeds onroad or off when using a properly valved (rebuildable) shock.

    that is all for now.
     
  8. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    I am quite aware of everything needed to complete this swap, ie. longer travel shocks, crossover, anti-wrap etc. Also if you have seen my rig before you will know that the fenders are no virgins when it comes to heavy hacking. I am mostly just concerned on how it will affect the rest of my offroading. Extra control is exactly why I am going to a flexier set-up. If you can't keep your tires on the ground how can you be in control, right?

    I found when I removed my swaybar I performed better on the rutted hills etc, because my tires didn't lose contact with the ground as often. Now I see how this could get better with an even flexier spring added to the mix as long as it doesn't over do it and end up at the point where I start bouncing and loosing control because of too much movement in the suspension. And I have no desire to be the ramp champ, I just want to conquer trails that leave people scratching their heads wondering how I did it /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif

    I can definitly agree with blazinaire about the shocks being key when it comes to controling such a limber set-up, so is this my primary concern?

    I've seen quite a few of the guys running all kinds of shocks with this set-up but I am not sure what kind of wheeling they do other than crawling. If anyone has any first hand experience with this kind of set-up please post up. I am interested in what kind of shocks and why you picked them as well as what kind of traction control you are using.

    Thnx
    ~Max
     
  9. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    One other thing I'm curious about is will inboarding the rear shocks cause me to lose that extra stability that I am looking for while off-road. Like I said I am moslty concerned with the hill-climbs, mud and other things which require you to get awn it! to make it through. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif I know the inboarding helps create more flex but that is the whole question, "how much is too much" for the type of wheeling I described.

    Remember the rocks are what I wish to conquer most but the other stuff is a definite requirement just to get to the rocks around here.
     
  10. juanblzer

    juanblzer 1/2 ton status

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    Personally,
    I've seen rigs flex "too much" and not even be able to get traction. As one of my rockcrawling friends once said, "I'd rather lift a tire and keep moving than flex to the moon and not be able to go anywhere." I also, at one point, had revolver shackles on my blazer. It caused so much axle wrap and binding that I shattered the "h" portion of the cv rearshaft, and broke the yoke on the t-case side. Now I'm linked, I get great travel, but I don't flex too much that I'm going to break parts (I'll break them other ways now!)
     
  11. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    There is such a thing as to much flex. I have seen it and it is hard to really describe. IMO it is also somewhat vehicle specific.
    For instance: The ORD blazer is running 16" travel coilovers front and rear. We have limited the front to use around 15" of travel and the rear to around 15.5" to the full 16". Stephen wanted a swaybar on it and noticed a big change in stability when he put it on.
    My buggy has 14" travel coilovers in front and 16" travel coilovers in the rear. I use every inch of travel front and rear. I have no swaybars and don't feel that I need them.
    Whats different: My buggy is lighter, lower to the ground and has a much lower Center of Gravity.
    So my point is that you can estimate what your rig will be like but it will also depend on passengers and the weight of whatever gear you are carrying.
    If you inboard your shocks they will only help increase articulation travel. By increasing travel in this manor you will also increase body roll.
    Increased body roll makes a rig feel more unstable, is it really more unstable, yes and no.

    My personal preferance is to keep the shocks as close to vertical and as far out towards the wheel as they can go with out getting in the way of the tires. The shocks should travel about a half inch to 1 inch more than the springs so you never bottom them out. If this gives more travel than you want bumpstop and limit strap travel out of it.
    Also I belive that a "Flexy" suspension that is well setup and controled will be more stable in all condidtions. This control might mean swaybar/bars, expensive shocks, traction bars, and springs with the proper spring rate and design.

    Book done /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif
     
  12. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Something that has only been briefly mentioned here--drivelines.

    Flexy becomes too flexy when you kill your driveshafts from binding. I destroyed Jesse's 1 ton CV because I flexed it into binding on the hill climb at RTC. Let your suspension droop and ensure that you can not have driveshaft bind at any point BEFORE you find out the hard way like I did.
     
  13. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    uh, Tim, you didnt break anything on the hill climb except the water pump. you broke the driveshaft in the mud.
     
  14. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    For what it's worth, Micah mentioned that 63's don't really flex all that much better than 56's. Here is a quote in his reply to someone thinking of running 63's in back:

    [ QUOTE ]
    Honestly... Jeremy has the 63's and I think he would agree, they don't seem to flex any better than the 56's. The individual leafs are thicker for one thing. Also you will have alot more spring behind the center pin to deal with in your departure angle. I'd say go with the 56's. I can assure you they work very well.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Anyway, it's something to think about. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    uh, Tim, you didnt break anything on the hill climb except the water pump. you broke the driveshaft in the mud.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My theory is that the center pin of that CV was destroyed in the hill climb. Once that pin is stressed/bent, the CV operates in an ellipse and failure occurs later (next event, mud pit).

    There wasn't any flex in the mud pit so I highly doubt I broke it there. It's possible though.
     
  16. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    could happen i guess, and puts a much bigger probability. maybe trying to get unstuck in the mud was the last straw. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  17. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    It doesn't help that you run the shortest drivetrain combo Chevy made. If you had a doubler or a longer combo you might not have had that problem. It is dependent on the combo.

    You also need to be sure the driveshaft can handle the amount of slip that it needs. Alot of flexy suspensions need longslip slipjoints as well as CV's that will handle the angle.

    Harley
     
  18. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I had a 12" long slip spline.

    The new Jesse-modded 42* CV will solve my problems. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif And a limiting strap of course!!!
     

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