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Old 04-26-2017, 02:19 PM   #1
rideair
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What is Level? 1987 Suburban

I know it sounds like a crazy question, and maybe I'm just a little to anal, "but" (pardon the pun), what is consider "level" when dealing with a 1987 Suburban?

Thought my 1987 looked like it had a little of the rear squat. When measuring the height on the wheel well lips, the rear was lower than front by about 1". Front 36" 3/4, Rear 35" 3/4 inches.

So I thought the fix would be:

Purchased the ORD Zero-rate 1' spring kit, it was installed, great product, but now, the Suburban looks high in the rear, not level even though the wheel well lips are 100% the same! Front 36" 3/4, Rear 36" 3/4 inches.

Now, if you measure along the bottom of the rocker panels under the doors, front area of the front door is 17" 3/4 inches, rear area of the rear door is 19" 1/4 inches.

Even the body break line that runs down the side, 42" front, 43 1/4 rear.

So, what is considered a "Level" Suburban? Wheel Wells, Body Line, Bottom of Rockers, Bumpers, etc....

In the words of the guy in Dirty Harry, "I got's to know"

Enjoy,
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:38 PM   #2
RDrancher
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

The front fenderwells are higher from the factory than the rear. I'd use the rocker height between them to get it level.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

Stance looks good to me, it's what I'm shooting for with my 91. What size tires you have on that?
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:22 PM   #4
rideair
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

Kwmech,

Running 265/75-15, Mastercraft, Courser A/T 2

RDrancher,

So, based on your information, I did not have rear squat in the first place since I was measuring off the fender wells.

But, this is starting to sound like I'm looking at Kim K's backside. Depending on how I looked at, it appeared it was either level or had some droop in the rear!

So, take the zero-rate out, and that should put the Suburban back level per factory specs. or did they come new with a little rake?

Getting ready to replace all the spring bushings in both the front and rear springs which could change it a little either way.

Just really like it when you see an old Suburban with what I call a nice "stance", not jacked up real high in the rear or sagging, but nice and level.

I'm known for trying to make things to perfect, then screwing it up!

Guess the question would also be then, did Suburbans come level? A little rake? Or squat in the rear?

Update:

I think, I found my answer
https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/doc...t-Suburban.pdf


Enjoy,

Last edited by rideair; 04-26-2017 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:35 PM   #5
RDrancher
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

I never saw a stock Suburban "jacked" up in the rear like the trucks were and that includes my Dad's brand new '74 2wd 3/4 ton with a towing package. They came pretty level or just a touch higher in the rear from the factory.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

The bottom of the frame rails are parallel to the ground when level.

I know it sounds funny but I knew the guy that was the suspension engineer on these trucks: we liked the back end down a little bit on the 4wd versions.

K
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:56 AM   #7
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

I think at stock position, the rear sheet metal wheel well lip is lower than the front. The front has a larger opening.

So it appears visually to have the rear end look just a touch squatted at factory height.

If you have old rear springs, they tend to sag throughout the years adding to the sag look.

I prefer to have a little higher rear so I also added a 1" lift in the rear of my old 91' suburban. Just looks better to me. I prefer the 3/4 ton suburban stance compared to the 1/2 ton....hence the slight lift in rear.

I'd keep the zero rate.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:08 AM   #8
kwmech
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

[QUOTE=rideair;7926730]Kwmech,

Running 265/75-15, Mastercraft, Courser A/T 2

RDrancher,



The same size tire I am going to use only with a 16'' rim. Looks good to me
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:21 PM   #9
eighteenninetytwo
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

That looks good. as it settles and you load stuff into it you have a winner!
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:28 PM   #10
hewittca
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

This is one thing about these trucks and the earlier generation that always bugs me once you start messing with suspension. Anything other than stock and you really start noticing visually that the rear wheel well opening is slightly lower than the front. Some like to level the truck (as in, the rocker is true level) and some like to match ground to fender distance front and back (which gives it a slight rake). I prefer the matched look since level makes it appear to squat even though it isn't, especially on really low trucks. In the end, though, its just a matter of personal preference. I have even seen a few trucks where the wheel wells were modified so they were the same height front/rear when the truck was level.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:58 PM   #11
rideair
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

hewittca,

You are correct, never noticed until ;-) would be nice to have had the 3/4 Ton model that appeared not to have this problem as much, but this was a one owner, local old guy with 73K, etc.. that sold it to me a year before his passing. He only put 2 miles on the OD his last year and that was to have it state inspected.

eighteenninetytwo, may have the best idea, let it settle and I fill it with stuff, it should be a winner.

Still need to replace all the spring bushings, which could bring up the front just a bit (or rear), get all the sound proofing installed, interior, etc... which should add some weight to help bring down the rear including spare tire, bla, bla...

Plus, there's a good chance it will be used to pull a 1966 or 1970 Airstream trailer at times, which would be nice to have it a little higher for the 450lbs of tongue weight, even though I do use leveling bars.

Worst comes to worst, I could always make a 1/2"-3/4" zero-rate spring for the front to bring it up just a bit.

Or, could I use a slighter longer shackle in the rear of the front spring? Not sure how that effects things?

Would not use a 1" zero-rate which would just delete what I did in the rear in regards to looks. but, it would be nice to have the front just a bit higher after seeing the rear up, but just a bit, ;-)

Had never thought to cut the rear fenders, but it's to late now with all new paint which was wet sanded, buffed.

If it's ever decided to do a Blazer, we'll know the solution!
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:07 AM   #12
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

I have been trying to figure this out as well. I have a 87 3/4 ton 2wd Suburban that seems the rear sags a little too.
I always figured the previous owner used it for a lot of towing and over time the rear springs have sagged a little.
I was always wondering, if I replaced the springs with one ton springs or a spring with a higher weight limit would is raise the rear a little to get rid of the sag? Or if I went with stock springs would it lift the rear a little?
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:43 PM   #13
RDrancher
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

New stock springs would lift it a little, but I'd use zero rate springs with new u-bolts. BTW - Very nice Suburban!
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:54 PM   #14
rideair
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Re: What is Level? 1987 Suburban

As from someone thats gone through the process, I would agree on the zero-rate as a start. For the money and the amount of time it takes to put them on, I think they are a winner.

During the install, just used a zaw-zaw saw, doing one side at a time, cut the old ubolts off, bolt up the new ones with the zero-rate in place and you're done.

Enjoy,
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