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Old 01-14-2015, 12:49 PM   #1
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Location: Wilmot NH
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Lifting a dually opinions needed

Hi everyone, i have a 1986 gmc K3500 dually. I will be putting a flat bed on it, and wanted some opinions on lifting it.

1. What spring size do i have? I'm assuming 56"
2. I can't find any lift kits for one ton trucks, will 3/4 ton lift kits work?
3. How much should i lift it?
4. Should i do a kit with rear springs? Or just blocks? Right now the rear springs are stacks of at least 9, with overloads. Pretty rough
5. What brand?
6. What else do i have to look out for? T-Case drop? Brake lines?
7. Should i keep it dually, or take the outside tires off? Can i do That?
8. What size tires? there are 235-85-16 on it now and that won't look to good lifted. I don't think.

I'm pretty much a newbie at lifting to be honest, and need any opinions i can get.
Any pictures are helpful.
None of this will be taking place right now, because the truck is outside under snow and it's too cold up here in N.H. right now. Also low on funds.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Lifting a dually opinions needed

There are many options out there from a suspension lift, most all of the 3/4 ton and 1 ton are the same, but I'd say call whatever company you go through to make sure you let them know the engine your running, if you've got a winch, etc. so they can get and estimate on the weight of the vehicle and stiffen/loosen them up accordingly. Here's a brief list:

As far as tire size goes (and don't quote me on this one):
4" is typically good for 33" tires
6" is typically good for 35" tires
8" is typically used to cover up being less than 8"

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Old 02-14-2015, 10:13 PM   #3
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Re: Lifting a dually opinions needed

The first thing is to figure out what you really want to do with your truck. Do you still want to haul trailers and such or just build an offroad toy. Then decide what size tires you want to go with, after that you will know what size lift you want. If you are going to haul trailers and heavy loads, the stocks springs and no more than a 4" lift blocks in the back would be best I believe. New lift springs for the rear just aren't as heavy duty as the stocks will be. You can get 56" rear springs in 3/4 and 1ton lifts, the difference is the front part of the lift. The 3/4 ton is the same u-bolts and stuff as a half ton, a true 1 ton has a dana 60 in front which will have larger u-bolts and the right front spring , inside is not u-bolts it is 2 bolts or studs. So make sure you order for the right thing. As far as the dual wheels it is up to you, if you only run a single wheel in the rear then you will have too remove the front spacers so the tires will match, but if you run dual rear wheels then you will need to get a spacer to go between the wheels so the tires will not touch. National tire and wheel have pretty good prices on the lifts as far as the brand, they all are about the same until you get to an 8" lift then superlift is about the only option. When you look for a lift get one that has the shocks included, a lot of the brands are over rated. I have used most of them, the only lift that I would would consider paying more for is BDS Lifts and the only reason is they have a lifetime warranty on their stuff even if your in a wreck and break their stuff they will replace it. Anyway maybe this might help you a little, just don't get in a hurry a do a lot of research. I'm running a 8" suspension and 3" body lift with 47" tires (a lot of fender cutting) but is still legal by height laws in my state. Also running a 1 ton running gear.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:57 PM   #4
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Re: Lifting a dually opinions needed

Originally Posted by Axe View Post
The first thing is to figure out what you really want to do with your truck.
Exactly-figure out what you want to do with the truck first
i haul a camper & tow a quad trailer with my K30, so i kept stock rear leaves (new) & went with flips & a block. rides like hell, but hauls like it too.
if your looking for a nicer ride, go rear leafs, but they will eventually sag if you load them all the time....mind you, if you go over 6", unless your going coil-overs, pretty much kiss away any kind of nice ride anyways...
3/4 ton front springs are fine in a 1 ton. dont see a lot of weight variances up front.
up to 6", on a 1 ton you shouldn't have driveshaft troubles (i'm running almost stock shafts with a 8" lift). you will need longer brake lines (forget drop brackets) & have to address your e-brake mount, steering, 2 thoughts there, i will not suggest, people choose whats best for them, corrected drop gear or cross-over. be prepared to spend some money if you want it up there, then be prepared to spend a bunch more when it's time to buy new, bigger tires to fill that lift....
personally i love the look of a lifted dually, right around 6" is sweet...8" is even better....
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:10 PM   #5
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Re: Lifting a dually opinions needed

Check out Off Road Design they have a lot of good stuff on their web site. My friends and I ran 3/4 ton lifts on our 1 ton trucks but we all had single rear wheel trucks back in the 80's.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:59 AM   #6
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Re: Lifting a dually opinions needed

Yes Off Road Designs has a lot of great stuff, and I have ordered stuff from them, but the down side is you better have deep pockets. I'm just saying shop around the net look up places like rocky mountain suspensions, they carry a lot of brands and you can compare prices. myself, I don't like any place that want put a price on their stuff. You can save money if you just shop around, I like Super Lift for the 4 corner springs. I have had a few of their lifts and they have always been good quality, the 8" I have on my blazer has no sway bar in the front and it holds the road like a car. You can save money on lot of stuff I think extended brake lines thru any vendor is over $100. I go to my local hydraulic shop and they make anything length I want for about 1/3 the price. Just do a lot of research before you go shopping. If I'm not mistaken and correct me if I'm wrong 1/2 and 3/4 ton front springs are the same and 1 ton has 1 extra leaf in them. you can go to ( and look up most vehicles and it will tell you all the measurements of the stock springs. And dieseldawg 142 is right a dually lifted is just cool. Good luck
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