Project Copperhead vs. '72 C20 Suburban...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Greg72, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

    Mar 5, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Austin, TX
    Hey guys,

    My new DVR has been recording the "Project Copperhead" series for me, so now I have finally been able to watch the buildup on that C10 pickup. I only have a few episodes recorded but I noticed that the suspension look a LOT like what's underneath my own C20 'Burb....coilspring front and rear and those LONG rear trailing arms... It was nice to see that Early Classic Enterprises sells the obscure bushings and stuff to rebuild the worn suspension parts...the Burb drives pretty nicely, but wanders a little (worn idler arm maybe, and I'm getting some ball joint "clunks" from time to time) so I'll take a cue from the show and order up some new stuff soon.

    Here's where I get conflicted:

    Their buildup used basically 1/2-Ton parts (5-Lug spindles, brakes, etc) and a D60 rear end from DTS. I know that a 3/4-Ton Burb like mine (with 8-Lug wheels) doesn't have as many options for wheels and the custom stuff seems to cater to the 1/2-Ton truck crowd. I'm having a hard time thinking about potentially swapping out 3/4-Ton rated parts for 1/2-Ton as an "upgrade".... :dunno:

    I guess for the front suspension it's not as big of a concern, since my truck weighs the same as the pickups and the main difference between 1/2-Ton and 3/4-Ton rated should really be in the brake size, right? The episode showed some nice 4-piston disc brake options, so I don't think I'll be losing any braking power over "stock"...

    Where I get more uncomfortable is out back. The rear axle in my Burb now is an Eaton 3/4-Ton (full floater, right?) and the axle in the show was a 35-spline Dana 60 with disc brakes. Since the Burb HAS to be able to tow...I am a little uncomfortable with a semi-floating axle out back. Admittedly, the disc brakes calipers would hold a broken axleshaft from falling out completely. Maybe I'm overthinking this....would a 35-spline D60 be stronger than my existing Eaton from the get-go? Could the extra "margin" still allow me to tow a 7500lb trailer without fear of death?? I have to admit, after watching the "Copperhead Payoff" episode where Stacy just wails on the truck and does burnout after burnout and donut after donut with 620HP going into that rear axle.... maybe I shouldn't be worried about swapping in a 5-Lug D60 for the Eaton???

    I liked the hidden hitch, and the custom tank (yikes! like $700 though!) and the GV overdrive was cool to see installed....looked pretty simple except for that massive-looking wiring harness on the table! :yikes: I liked the longer rear trackbar too (though that one is probably simple enough to make myself and wouldn't take much time either)

    Just wondering if I'm heading in the wrong direction by considering a 5-lug axle/spindle setup for what is basically my "tow rig"....or if the strength of this stuff is at least as good as what I've already got????

  2. 85burbanator

    85burbanator 1/2 ton status

    Feb 10, 2003
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    lake orion, mi
    not sure on an answer for ya but that copperhead truck was the coolest thing theyve built on that show. i love that truck.
  3. joez

    joez 1/2 ton status

    Oct 21, 2003
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    New Lenox, Illinois
    A 35 spline 60 would be fine out back. Your not towing a gooseneck with a 4K pound pin weight, its just a tag trailer. I wouldnt worry about it one bit.
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

    Jul 24, 2003
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    got parts...

    I have a 62 GMC frame 3/4 ton 2wd converted into a trailer,I put the flatbed/crane setup from my 74 K20 on it to use as a also has the coil spring rear end with a eaton FF axle with 4.56 gears...I need to add more steel to the control arms,they are somewhat rotted and had been patched before with angle iron--I'm wondering if those arms are still available,and if so,how much do the rape you for them??--I know they were a hot item at swap meets and used to bring high prices IF you could find them!--I'm probably just going to reinforce whats left of them though...or maybe you should buy it and upgrade to a FF Eaton axle?? :confused:

    I have no fear of the Eaton axles,I've seen them survive som pretty hard abuse and overloads!--we had a 66 chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 at the junkyard we used as a wrecker,we put a holmes 440 wrecker boom off a C60 on it,and used to drag 50's packards around the yard that weighed 6000+ pounds,and we beat the tar out of that thing,we never had any more trouble than a flat tire a few times with it!--the wrecker alone was more than the truck should have carried alone,nevermind the added weight of the cars we dragged around with it...I think a 1/2 ton axle would be a downgrade,---a Dana 60 5 lug is pretty strong too though...seen lots of fords with them carrying 3 cords of firewood with no failures... :crazy:

    I have the side rear windows from a 71 suburban if you need them!--also some misc.interior parts like the glove box door,ashtray,defroster outlets,sun visors,shift boot, dash cluster,floor tunnel for a 4x4,etc...if you need anything just ask,its all going away soon!.. :crazy:

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