Lift Help Please

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BigBrisket, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. BigBrisket

    BigBrisket Newbie Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Jamestown, NC
    I have an '88 K5 I bought about a month ago. The shocks need to be replaced, the leaf springs are worn out, and I want to put some 33's on it. My first thought was to put a 2" suspension lift. Why 2"? I didn't want to get to far from the factory specs and have to worry about all the extensions that come with a bigger lift. I don't off-road so clearance isn't an issue. I talked with 2 different mechanics and numerous people that all have an opinion. Several have said I should go with a 2-3" body lift as it will get me the same results. What I don't like is you need to buy additional bracket to reposition the bumpers if you can find them. If I go with the suspension lift I'll have new shocks and leafs, but it will affect the ride (or at least that's what I've been told).

    I'm sure there are advantages to both, but I'm looking for a little insight into the two styles of kits and which way should I go!
     
  2. JoshHefnerX

    JoshHefnerX 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Posts:
    4,386
    Likes Received:
    3,019
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    Build(s):
    1
    If you get the correct lift springs for what you're trying to achieve it will not affect the ride at all. Most of the ones out there have a really high spring rate which will pretty much suck for ride quality. But there are a few out there that are soft.

    If your current springs are trashed and your shocks are worn, you'd be replacing them anyhow.
     
  3. eclipse85k10

    eclipse85k10 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Posts:
    826
    Likes Received:
    97
    Location:
    Washington State
    Build(s):
    1
    Lots of options for springs. Cheap springs are going to ride rougher, get what you pay for.

    ORD custom springs are available in many different lift heights
    https://www.offroaddesign.com/ord-lift-custom-front-springs.html

    Tuff Country ez rides always had a decent reputation for ride.

    2-3in spring lift will easy clear 33s with no other modification to the truck. Good shocks will go a long way in the ride.

    It's gonna cost more but sounds like your rig needs a suspension overall and in the long run you will be much happier.

    body lifts are old school cheap short cuts! Good for a mud truck that needs extra clearance on top of big lift springs. I had one on my old mud truck. They don't look good. Leave gaps on the bumpers and fender wells. Only positive was more room on the back of the engine from the fire wall :rotfl:
     
  4. 6872xtc

    6872xtc make mine modified Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Posts:
    6,714
    Likes Received:
    6,423
    Location:
    Palisade,Colorado
    Build(s):
    1
    I personally don't like "kit" springs. I have experienced the improvement in ride quality going from kit springs to ORD custom springs. I won't ever buy ones from a big lift kit company ever again.
    @eclipse85k10 is correct about getting what you pay for. I don't shy away from driving either of my trucks which have ORD springs anymore.

    I will also tell you that I was able to fit 33s under my '90 without a lift. I only had to trim the front inside of the front fenders, but it was less than an inch at the very bottom inside.

    One possibility is to get stock replacement springs and then add a zero-rate lift block from ORD to each corner. If your springs are worn, then this will probably add 2" to the ride height.
    Here is what mine looked like with 33" tires and old springs.

    IMG951759.jpg

    IMG950180.jpg
     
    eclipse85k10 likes this.
  5. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    2,767
    Location:
    Grand Rapids area
    Build(s):
    2
    Please do search here, as these topics have been discussed many times and you will get way more responses and info out of all the existing threads than people are likely to rehash here.

    That said, a couple other things to mention: Keeping the lift low like you proposed (2") helps prevent the snowball effect of taller lifts, like new driveshafts, converting to C/V, wanting to go crossover steering, etc. That small amount of lift gets you further from the bump stops so you actually have some suspension travel. Even the softest spring feels harsh when you hit the bump stops on all the railroad tracks. You might also look into how much your springs have sagged, as putting in cheap stock replacements might end up lifting the truck an inch or more. Plus, going 4" or more on 33" tires looks goofy, IMO. Trucks have come with tires in the 32-33" range for 20+ years now, so stepping up from the small tires that came on square bodies stock is a good way to improve the proportions while keeping the classic look.

    Before you proceed, make sure you have a complete plan. For example, what gears are in the axles now and will they be reasonable with 33's? Many of the 80's trucks came with gears too tall for the stock tires, so upsizing just makes it an even more gutless transmission fryer.
     
    frankin5 and Recon 78 like this.

Share This Page