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Old 12-19-2017, 06:20 AM   #1
72 Burb 3dr
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Lowering a 4x4?

Stupid question maybe, but is it possible to lower a 4x4? I'm not talking a pavement scraper but considerably lower than stock stance.

I know some of you are shaking your heads and questioning why would anyone do this. I live in the northwest and deal with a considerable amount of snow so a 4x4 would be nice. However the reason I need a lowered truck is not for looks but the ability to get in and out of it. I am a paraplegic and am in a wheelchair. My DD before my accident was a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4. I can get in it, but it's about a 10 minute ordeal dragging myself up into it.

I've always wanted a 67-72 C10 or C20 and decided now is the time. I'm not looking specifically for a 4x4, but have found a couple that were decently priced and in decent shape.

So is it doable? Or just look for a 2x4?
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:23 AM   #2
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Anything is possible, but it will cost a fair amount of money. You're looking at new springs up front, probably some new steering linkage, and maybe even shortened driveshafts. At that point you will probably still be a bit higher than a 2WD.

I would think it would be a better bang for your buck to buy a 2WD, lower it, and add a rear locking diff. You'll find a locking diff will get you most places a 4X4 would, but without the added cost of lowering and a lowered 2WD will be much easier for you to get into.

If that locking diff doesn't work well enough in the snow, invest in a spare set of rims with a set of modern snow tires mounted. I put a set on one of our cars (rear wheel drive only) and they truly are amazing.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:26 AM   #3
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

These sit about as low as they can from factory. My '72 K2500 had front springs so settled there was barely an inch to the bump stops. I think I would either get a low enough 2wd 67-72 or an '88-up 4wd with independent front suspension. Those sit pretty low and can be lowered some more. Look at Cyclones and Typhoons, those are low road handling all wheel drives. Nothing wrong with building your own fullsize version.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:34 AM   #4
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Just curious, does a 72 k10--1/2 ton? - have negative bend front leaf springs at rest on floor with curb weight?

I have a brochure of a 67 stepside long bed 4wd I could not get mine that low. I run negative front arch on my 67 pu. I got a little lower by just running 2 leafs. I have coil over shocks on front to help out. I think the 67's ran 2 leaf fronts and the 72 runs 3 but am not sure.

Removing leaves will help lower body -both front and back. The engine cross member and front diff pumpkin clearance needs to be considered.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

They did have negative arch front springs. IMO, removing a factory leaf a mistake on the standard 2 leaf spring on the optional HD 3 leaf spring. They are designed to support the weight of the stock GVWR and the second leaf helps with redundancy/safety.

Good points by others above that changes to ride height affect other components and it just canít go much lower than stock. If you really need it in the weeds, get a 2x4. I have both and love both.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Thanks guys. That's kind of what I thought, but figured I would ask anyways. I had a 2wd years ago and while it didn't handle as well as a 4x4, with the right amount of weight in the back it did pretty good. (I just shoveled snow into the bed vs buying sandbags. It worked great).

I'll just stick with looking for a 2wd. Put a small static drop in it vs airbags and I should be fine. I don't need (or want) to put in a c-notch and airbags. Now if I can just find one with factory rear coils that isn't halfway across the US I'll have a head start.
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Old 12-19-2017, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

BAM

http://www.dragzine.com/news/set-to-...aw-10-5-truck/
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennislbrooks View Post
Just curious, does a 72 k10--1/2 ton? - have negative bend front leaf springs at rest on floor with curb weight?
I've had two 72 K10 models and one had negative arch springs, although I think it was because they were extremely worn out. That truck was pretty hammered when I first bought it. My current K10 was much more gently used, is stock height, with what I believe to be original springs, and they are flat, no negative arch.

I am under the strong impression after my experience - and after looking at a good number of K10's - that the stock front leaf springs, when new, were flat, or very close to it.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:51 PM   #9
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Lowering the rear is the easy part. However, you are limited to how much you can lower the front of a solid axle 4x4 truck by the distance between the front differential and oil pan/cross member.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Quote:
Now if I can just find one with factory rear coils that isn't halfway across the US I'll have a head start.
All the good ones are on your side of the country anyway.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:36 PM   #11
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

THAT is a true statement - seems everything I look at is in WA or OR...
Or Sacramento, for some reason..
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:29 AM   #12
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

My 67 with just a slight negative arch at rest with the 2 long leaves in front with a BBC is 37.5 inches to top center of opening front and back. As I said earlier before my ripping I also run coil over shocks on the front mainly for the extra BBC weight. I run a 1.25" sway bar on the front. This truck is a driver.

The back has 6 leaves and an overload with a 2" spacer block -- still 37.5". I run 31" tires. It is 21.5 inches to the top of the rocker panels. 29 inch tire would drop it another inch. Probably still to high.

This is about as low as I want to go staying level. I am about 5' 11" and can slide up on the seat with steering wheel assistance -- no step. This is just the way I built my truck. My wife and I are 65 and she can get in it unassisted. I do like 2wd's also and if you make it to Cincy I know where a nice stock suspension 67 short stepside that is an excellent driver.

My stock 2006 4wd W/T --front raised to level to stock rear is 20.5 inches to the top of the rockers ---- 31.5 inch tires. I know this truck could be lowered a couple inches.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:08 PM   #13
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Did the 67-72 ever had a spring under axel setup? I had a 74 blazer with spring under. It sat a bit lower.
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:56 AM   #14
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Dude you need a simple awd car to get round town
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:31 PM   #15
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrriiaann1973 View Post
Dude you need a simple awd car to get round town
He may want some style. Something different than all the aerodynamic turds out there.
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:46 PM   #16
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrriiaann1973 View Post
Dude you need a simple awd car to get round town
If I wanted an ugly little awd car, if probably be on an awd forum instead of here...
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsoaked View Post
he may want some style. Something different than all the aerodynamic turds out there.
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:36 PM   #18
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

get a 2wd and put some studded snow tires on it. I lived in Idaho for a dozen yrs and all my vehicles got them. I kept them for my jeep and my burb and my 77 Scottsdale, which all were 4wd. just put them up in spring and install in the fall. Almost forgot my 70 GMC C15 it was 2wd.

You got Les Schwab Tires up there don't you?
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:16 PM   #19
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

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Originally Posted by 70K10Hunter View Post
get a 2wd and put some studded snow tires on it. I lived in Idaho for a dozen yrs and all my vehicles got them. I kept them for my jeep and my burb and my 77 Scottsdale, which all were 4wd. just put them up in spring and install in the fall. Almost forgot my 70 GMC C15 it was 2wd.

You got Les Schwab Tires up there don't you?
Yes ,we have a Les Schwab. I usually go somewhere else for my tire mounting needs. They quoted me one price on the phone and then charged me more when I came in. They refused to honor the quoted labor price for mounting and balancing tires I carried in. Even though I specifically asked for the cost to mount carry ins. 😕 As far as purchasing tires there, I find them to be extremely overpriced. A lot of people like them for their financing options. I prefer to buy them online with free shipping for a much better price and pay for them outright.

30+ years of driving and I have never purchased studs or snow tires. 😀 I've owned 2wd trucks in the past. All I had to do was shovel snow into the bed. Free weight that works just as well as sandbags or whatever else people actually pay for.

It was mostly a curiosity question as I didn't know if it was possible, and I've seen a couple ads for decently priced 4x4s. Stock height though just won't work for me. I think I've tracked down the right 2wd. Just made a deal thru email, now hopefully he follows thru and it all works out.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:06 AM   #20
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Re: Lowering a 4x4?

I'm glad you found a 67-72 to enjoy. Don't mind the people who don't read through the first post before posting (or just prefer making annoying comments). This thread got me to thinking. I wonder if someone could build some sort of reverse portal axles. You'd be decreasing "axle" clearance, so wouldn't want to go much lower for any practical use. So I guess it wouldn't be practical to build these unless it was just a matter of a couple or so inches needed
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'72 K2500 Wideside Sierra Custom Camper: 350/TH350/4.10 Power-Lok...'The 72'
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