Helper springs ??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by jms, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

    Jan 24, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Here's the situation: '85 Jimmy, 3"TC/ORD HD shackles, ORD disco's in front, ORD 2.5" flip, reconditioned stock springs and ORD 1" zero rate in back, 10-bolt front, D60FF rear, ProComp MX6 adjustable shocks, 315/75x16 MTRs.

    I'm very happy with the way my truck works on the trail, some of you may have seen it at FallCrawl and at BB'03. The truck sits level in 'regular' trim: full tank, one full-size spare in the rear, no back seat, two passengers, tools, some spare parts and fluids, and a few gallons of drinking water.

    But I'm now planning to get the truck in 'expedition' trim for a few long-distance desert trips: that means two full-size spares, three 5gal jerrycans of gas, two extra 6gal water canisters, camping gear, extra drinking water, food and clothing. I'm also planning to get a Powertank or similar CO2 setup. Lighter stuff will go on my roof rack, but all the heavy stuff will be in the back (I did the 'gas-on-the-roof' thing once; it's not good).

    So, I'll be schlepping a lot of extra weight around; I'm also planning to upgrade to a better rear bumper to mount the second spare. I think it's likely the truck will sag in the back. I don't want to change rear springs since I like the flex on trails, and the majority of my trips will be in 'regular' trim anyway. Therefore, I was thinking about getting some helper air springs that I could inflate when the truck is fully loaded to help carry the extra weight, and deflate or even disconnect when I run in 'regular' mode. I've seen some in the JCWhitney catalog, they run between ~$180 - $250. Question is, would they interfere with suspension motion in 'regular' trim? Anybody done this before?

    Any ideas, thoughts, or experiences with airbags would be greatly appreciated, thanks, michael

    P.S. I tried to convince Claudia that we would need a chase truck (i.e. a second K5) for trips like that, but have been spectacularly unsuccessful along this avenue so far...

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