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Old 09-27-2018, 02:00 PM   #1
Ben_Yeaton
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4x4

Looking for some help with the suspension on my boss' truck. I've only owned 2wd C10's so this is a bit out of my league.

Truck is a '66 Long bed sitting on a later 4x4 chassis. 350, th400, geared very well for the 33x12.5's it sits on. Not positive on the frame details but I gather it's mid 80's? Looks like a 3/4 ton chassis as there are 8 leafs in rear?
Maybe pics will tell the story.

Truck obviously rides very rigid and it's only used as a daily locally on the street, never abused or worked hard. The most it will ever tow is a jet ski trailer. He is looking for much more comfort in the ride. I have mentioned just buying a stock 2wd truck to enjoy but this truck has been in the family and has sentiment.

What are the options at this point? Are there aftermarket leaf packs to swap in that ride very soft? Should I begin removing leafs? All suggestions / real world experience welcome (other than swap to a 2wd chassis lol).

Truck:


Front leaf packs:




Rear leaf packs:




Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:33 PM   #2
jeffahart
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Re: 4x4

What's the seat like. A springy seat can help a lot. Some cargo trucks are so bad the seat has it's own suspension. Just wanted to throw the seat thing out there before the suspension options start popping up.


Good luck,


j
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:03 PM   #3
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: 4x4

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Originally Posted by jeffahart View Post
What's the seat like. A springy seat can help a lot. Some cargo trucks are so bad the seat has it's own suspension. Just wanted to throw the seat thing out there before the suspension options start popping up.


Good luck,


j
Seat is stock spring seat for the 66. Nice and bouncy for sure. Almost too bouncy, but that's definitely not the issue on the table at the moment. Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:23 PM   #4
Zoomad75
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Re: 4x4

Looks like a squarbody K chassis under it. Stock front springs have a negative arch which is normal. Problem is the negative arch puts the axle closer to the bump stop, which in your case gives you what looks like maybe an inch or two of up-travel before it hits. That's going to give you a harsh ride hitting the bump stops on the street.

A mild lift is going to give you more up travel and if you go with ones with a soft spring rate the ride quality will improve. Tough Country EZ-rides are soft, Skyjacker softride springs have a low spring rate and ORD sells custom springs to your specs that will ride better than most because of the springs use more leafs that are much thinner.

But to go along with what springs you use, a quality shock is a must. I'm sold on my Bilstiens I got for mine. Night and day difference.

On the rear it's looking like a K20 frame by the longer and thicker leafs and the 14b full floater axle. Best solution to help there is a shackle flip from ORD. That will match the lift without blocks and retain stock spring rate but flex a lot better.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:49 AM   #5
mike16
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Re: 4x4

grease between the leaves in each spring
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:07 AM   #6
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Re: 4x4

The original leafs on my '72 were so negative I had less than an inch of travel to the bump stops and I swear they never hit. Shocks were shot, too. That thing rode like a moosh bucket, tipped and dipped all around. Could be wrong travel on shocks. Could be he isn't used to how a solid beam/leaf front axle rides. But I guess you've driven it. Try taking the shocks off and driving it, or unbolt one end to measure/observe travel. I see there are two full length leafs under the main leaf. Kinda foggy on this, is that factory or is it normally just one? I think the rear of my '72 K2500 had 5 leafs.

Yes there is a way to gain a softer ride. Swap to 52" (rear) springs
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:27 PM   #7
Ben_Yeaton
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Re: 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomad75 View Post
Looks like a squarbody K chassis under it. Stock front springs have a negative arch which is normal. Problem is the negative arch puts the axle closer to the bump stop, which in your case gives you what looks like maybe an inch or two of up-travel before it hits. That's going to give you a harsh ride hitting the bump stops on the street.

A mild lift is going to give you more up travel and if you go with ones with a soft spring rate the ride quality will improve. Tough Country EZ-rides are soft, Skyjacker softride springs have a low spring rate and ORD sells custom springs to your specs that will ride better than most because of the springs use more leafs that are much thinner.

But to go along with what springs you use, a quality shock is a must. I'm sold on my Bilstiens I got for mine. Night and day difference.

On the rear it's looking like a K20 frame by the longer and thicker leafs and the 14b full floater axle. Best solution to help there is a shackle flip from ORD. That will match the lift without blocks and retain stock spring rate but flex a lot better.
Good advice on the shackle flip, thank you. Also, I'll be sure to do nice shocks as well. And regarding the bump stop, should I try to remove them and see if it rides better without contacting them? Is it possible to move the bracket up to raise them or does that result in any other issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike16 View Post
grease between the leaves in each spring
Noted, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by special-K View Post
The original leafs on my '72 were so negative I had less than an inch of travel to the bump stops and I swear they never hit. Shocks were shot, too. That thing rode like a moosh bucket, tipped and dipped all around. Could be wrong travel on shocks. Could be he isn't used to how a solid beam/leaf front axle rides. But I guess you've driven it. Try taking the shocks off and driving it, or unbolt one end to measure/observe travel. I see there are two full length leafs under the main leaf. Kinda foggy on this, is that factory or is it normally just one? I think the rear of my '72 K2500 had 5 leafs.

Yes there is a way to gain a softer ride. Swap to 52" (rear) springs
I agree there definitely is a way the straight axle trucks ride, but for this application we're looking to make it streetable and sacrifice lots of off road capability. I'll give driving without the shocks a try. Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:08 PM   #8
jeffahart
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Re: 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Yeaton View Post
I agree there definitely is a way the straight axle trucks ride, but for this application we're looking to make it streetable and sacrifice lots of off road capability. I'll give driving without the shocks a try. Thanks.
I didn't feel like my skyjacker softrides were more streetable. I have called them crapjackers and other vile names on this forum.

But, since I added the 120 pound winch to the tip of the frame horns. The weight has preloaded them a bit and has made the ride a bit more stable.

The front end was too mushy for me. Some like them though.

I am certain I have offended many a crapjacker softride owner here.

It is actually riding pretty good right now with the stock 3/4 ton springs from the eaton hooked to a 4" ORD shackle flip and the loaded down 4" skyjackers in the front.

So I've calmed my skyjacker softride bashing, but I do plane to replace them.


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Old 09-30-2018, 12:25 PM   #9
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Re: 4x4

I wouldn't remove the bumps. Any more up travel and things that shouldn't touch may if you hit something hard enough.

The ride quality noted is pretty consistent with a stock K20. Even if off road driving isn't in the plans for this truck the path for better ride quality is going to be the same.

Besides the obvious springs and shocks that need to be changed, one thing to look at post lift is the sway bar. It's often overlooked. You want to keep it for decent road manners but when reinstalling after putting taller springs on the bar will fit back in but a new problem comes in. The issue is the angle of the ends of the bar where it attaches to the axle is really steep. Stock those same ends are nearly flat or parallel to the ground. Quickest and easiest way to fix that is a the ORD sway bar disconnect kit. While you probably won't want to disconnect the bar after installing the kit, it does raise the mount point for the ends of the bar just about 4". It levels the bar out nicely.

Why do you want the bar level? When the bar is angled it is effectively shorter and therefore stiffer acting. It makes the whole front end more rigid.

Real world experience on my own stuff it makes a difference to me. My 75 ran the bar without the ORD disconnect kit and it was very firm. I swapped the lift springs (rough country) from the 75 to the 91, but added the ORD kit. It felt more compliant on the street. The springs were still stiff, but the edge was lessened. Once I put the Bilsteins on it was so much better. Most of that was the shocks but the front still felt more smooth than on the old truck.

Bottom line, from stock you need to change springs and shocks minimum to get a better ride. It's still a leaf sprung solid axle truck so it's not going to ride like a C10. But they can ride really good with the right combo of parts.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:58 PM   #10
Mike C
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Re: 4x4

Truck is lightly loaded, doesn't pull heavy, and only sees local trips. With that knowledge, start with the easy stuff. Tire pressure. Most likely the tires are aired up to whatever the max load # is on the sidewall which is standard protocol for most people. Don't do that.

I run 20 psi in the 33 12.5 15 BFG MT's on my '79 CJ-5 on the road. 10 off. In my Jimmy I run the 35 12.5 16.5 BFG AT's at 26 psi. Which is probably a little high. I ran the old 35 14.5 Mickey Thompson's at 24 psi.

You can tune the ride based on psi and load. You can put chalk powder across the ire face and push it back and forth and see how much of the tread pattern is on the road. Adjust pressure so it scrubs evenly across the surface.

Link is for jeeps, but same idea applies:

https://txtire.com/blog/view/jeep-ti...versized-tires
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