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Old 08-31-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
robnolimit
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Make it handle

If you guys (and gals) want, i'll try to keep responding to your handling questions.

Making these trucks handle is easy at first, but the more you want to get out of it, the more work it becomes. The are several things to consider. Tires, Wheels, Weight, Suspension, Brakes, Gears, ....... Set your goals before you start, as some of the parts change the deeper you go. Also, decide how streetable you want it to stay. The more you want to pull one 'G', the stiffer it's going to get. Drop spindles are better, in general, than short springs, this helps to keep the suspension in the sweet spot. In the rear, (trailing arm) blocks are better than short springs for the first 2 inches. Then go to springs. For leaf trucks, use de-arch springs or a flip kit, no blocks. Go BIG on the sway bars. And, spend $$$ on shocks. Doetsch, KYB, or Bilstien, this is where it happens.

Give me some questions, and I'll be more specific on the details.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: Make it handle

Air Suspension! :-) ride quality and 1 g capabilities
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: Make it handle

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Air Suspension! :-) ride quality and 1 g capabilities
On the cheap?
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Make it handle

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Air Suspension! :-) ride quality and 1 g capabilities

I have this ^^^ and a front sway bar alos M/T's 31/16.5x15 in the rear with a long panard bar
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Make it handle

Sorry guys. Im kinda new to this stuff. What are you refering to with "g" ?

Last edited by c10seconds; 08-31-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Make it handle

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Sorry guys. Im kinda new to this stuff. What are you refering to with "g" ?

Ummm its the sweet spot....ok all BS aside I just couldn't refuse a freebie!!

G's as in G force....the stuff that pins you to the seat or door panel when you go into a corner...its measured in G FORCE.... the more it pins you the higher the G's...a poor handling vech will slide out in a tight corner while a corvette will stick longer..( higher G) the more it sticks the High the G force the tighter it turns....

watch those guys on motorcycles you see in the balls of steel G force is what holds them up just like a pail with water in it ...if you spin the pail over your head the water will stay if you go fast enough..to slow and you take a bath
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: Make it handle

G = gravitational force

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Old 08-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: Make it handle

Thats what I was thinking, but I wasnt sure so I had to ask. Thanks for clarifying!
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: Make it handle

Hey Rob glad to see you back again. With the growing trend toward going fast in turns over just going fast, I think this is a great topic.

I am in the process of updating my 77 to see what improvements I can gain for "spirited" street driving. I doubt that it will ever see a road course, but there are some nice winding country roads near by that I plan to take advantage of.

I have a Ride Tech Muscle bar in front now, and just added a set of their billet S/A shocks. I plan to add the same shocks in the rear, just not sure what to do about a sway bar. I have to see what will work with the Air Bar system. Any ideas?

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: Make it handle

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Hey Rob glad to see you back again. With the growing trend toward going fast in turns over just going fast, I think this is a great topic.

I am in the process of updating my 77 to see what improvements I can gain for "spirited" street driving. I doubt that it will ever see a road course, but there are some nice winding country roads near by that I plan to take advantage of.

I have a Ride Tech Muscle bar in front now, and just added a set of their billet S/A shocks. I plan to add the same shocks in the rear, just not sure what to do about a sway bar. I have to see what will work with the Air Bar system. Any ideas?

Ken, see how well things work 1st. Since trucks have a lighter rear end w/their weight distribution, a rear sway bar may only compound the natural tendency for the rear to break loose in corners.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:49 PM   #11
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Re: Make it handle

WOW, great response. I just got home from ADAMS cart track. Tuesday night is time-attack night. Like autocross, we run two laps on the clock, then pit. Its a great place for chassis tuning, and drivers ed. Tonight I ran a personal best 48.46 sec. lap, and now beat about half of the 'Miata challenge' cars, they are the fastest, tonights best lap 46.92. So, yes, these old pick-ups can earn some respect.

I think we need to start with some vocabulary, so we all stay on the same page. I'll do my best to explain things, but i'm not to good at graphics, so if you can help, please do. I'm trying to give this some thought, so it all makes sense, and right now i'm kinda pumped after racing, so this is it for now, I hear a cold one calling
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:51 PM   #12
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Re: Make it handle

I'm in for any info.

I have heard switching the upper A-arms side to side helps, but it also moves the wheel back in the wheelwell. Any better ideas? Do tube uppers help correct factory geometry? What about swapping lower arms side to side?

Lets get super technical! ... but remember I dig holes for a living, so pictures help.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:08 AM   #13
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Re: Make it handle

The whole goal of A arm swapping, and I don't know if this really works, is to increase positive 'Caster'. Stock C-10's spec out 1 or 2 degrees, but your truck will respond well to 6 to 7 deg, and more for the wide tire guys, bigger than 8". To my knowledge, nobody makes a set of arms to gain caster, may someone should. The trick is to move the lower ball joint forward about a 1/2", and the upper ball joint back about 7/8", this will keep the wheel centered and net about 8 deg. + caster.

First vocabulary word : PUSH. or Understeer, or to be TIGHT. this is when you turn the wheel, and you can feel the truck 'push' forward, not wanting to turn. It is very common for these trucks to push, especially with wider tires do to the factory geometry, - remember, they were work trucks, tractors with windows.
#2: LOOSE, or Oversteer, is when the truck turns MORE than you want. Usually the back is comin around. Trucks are light in the rear, so they get 'loose' easily.
So, we have two problems right from the start, a push going into the turn, and getting loose through and out of the turn. An increase in caster helps to eliminate the push. I am in favor of more caster, much more than I would like to add negative camber to solve the push. Much more than -1deg camber wears tires, feels twitchy, and increases rolling resistance.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:26 AM   #14
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Re: Make it handle

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So, we have two problems right from the start, a push going into the turn, and getting loose through and out of the turn. An increase in caster helps to eliminate the push. I am in favor of more caster, much more than I would like to add negative camber to solve the push. Much more than -1deg camber wears tires, feels twitchy, and increases rolling resistance.
Agreed. I think -1 camber is about max for street vehicles w/as much caster as possible.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:47 AM   #15
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Re: Make it handle

Hey great thread!

I have been thinking about making a custom rear swaybar. Solid chromo rod with splined or squared ends running through the frame (using , clamp type tabs with a ball and socket end link to the axle (allow it to cam over so I can still lay the frame).

Now you got me thinking on this with the comment about the rear breaking loose. I'm running a triangulated 4 link with the lower links mounted close to the tires. Perhaps playing with the air pressure could pay off more than a bar?
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:17 AM   #16
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Re: Make it handle

Love the thread. I'm about to do a frame for my c10 on bags and would love for it to handle decent so I'm looking for a bit more fun out of the truck. Any ideas on where I should start with measurements? I'll be sure to follow the camber/caster setups you recommended, any suggestions for the rear? Any input is much appreciated and I'll be sure to follow this thread as it goes along.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:30 AM   #17
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Re: Make it handle

Heres my take on it. You can have the best suspension in the world but if youre running a stock frame it wont make a **** bit of difference. You have to tie all four ends of the vehicle together which means a boxed frame at the least. Im gonna try to post a pic of my rear sway bar set-up.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:39 AM   #18
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Re: Make it handle

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Heres my take on it. You can have the best suspension in the world but if youre running a stock frame it wont make a **** bit of difference. You have to tie all four ends of the vehicle together which means a boxed frame at the least. Im gonna try to post a pic of my rear sway bar set-up.
You may be correct for an all out track truck, but it certainly doesn't hurt to improve what the factory started with.

Tell us more about your rear sway bar. Is that a "Welder Series" bar, or what? http://www.welderseries.com

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Old 09-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #19
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Re: Make it handle

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Ken, see how well things work 1st. Since trucks have a lighter rear end w/their weight distribution, a rear sway bar may only compound the natural tendency for the rear to break loose in corners.
Scot- I agree with your thoughts. Since I plan to build a fresh 12 bolt this Winter, I want to do the research now.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #20
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Re: Make it handle

Ok, lots of choices, and matches. Or, mis-matches. A panhard rod does on thing better than other locators, and that is that it actively locates the rear roll center. In the front, a high roll center, and a low center of gravity is a good aproach. But in the back, the center of gravity is not very low, and unless you start moving things down and back, thats just the way it is. Having a low roll center will produce a good 'bite' in and out of a corner, but it produces more body roll. So, a combo of a low panhard rod and a light sway bar will give you great results. Triangulated 4-bars, while user friendly are not my favorate. They will need a sway bar to cut body roll, but you can't really induce any bite. Check out "speedway enginering" for sway bar parts and rates. Also, "race junk. com" you can find splined bars an arms from the circle and sprint crowd. If you are on stock style trailing arms, first switch to long, adjustable style panhard rod. We have them, as do others.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:53 PM   #21
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Re: Make it handle

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Ok, lots of choices, and matches. Or, mis-matches. A panhard rod does on thing better than other locators, and that is that it actively locates the rear roll center. In the front, a high roll center, and a low center of gravity is a good aproach. But in the back, the center of gravity is not very low, and unless you start moving things down and back, thats just the way it is. Having a low roll center will produce a good 'bite' in and out of a corner, but it produces more body roll. So, a combo of a low panhard rod and a light sway bar will give you great results. Triangulated 4-bars, while user friendly are not my favorate. They will need a sway bar to cut body roll, but you can't really induce any bite. Check out "speedway enginering" for sway bar parts and rates. Also, "race junk. com" you can find splined bars an arms from the circle and sprint crowd. If you are on stock style trailing arms, first switch to long, adjustable style panhard rod. We have them, as do others.

That's some good info. So would you suggest going with a parallel 4 link or what would you see as the ideal rear setup? I completely understand not going with a triangulated 4 link, I have one, but am looking to redo and go with a parallel or something else because of the pinion change and its affects on traction from what I understand. Any thoughts on that? Sorry I'm coming from having an IRS setup in a bmw e30 and moving towards something to build. I understand making the truck lower and what's needed, but pinion angles and ideals for traction I'm still learning.

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #22
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Re: Make it handle

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That's some good info. So would you suggest going with a parallel 4 link or what would you see as the ideal rear setup? I completely understand not going with a triangulated 4 link, I have one, but am looking to redo and go with a parallel or something else because of the pinion change and its affects on traction from what I understand. Any thoughts on that? Sorry I'm coming from having an IRS setup in a bmw e30 and moving towards something to build. I understand making the truck lower and what's needed, but pinion angles and ideals for traction I'm still learning.
3-link would be best.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:37 PM   #23
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Re: Make it handle

Hey, oldspowered67C10, I really like the placement of your swaybar, been wondering about something like that. Please let us know how it works when you get done. How about your exhaust routing? I'd like to end up there, just can't find a happy way to get there.

And to the rest of you guys, thanks for sharing. Good stuff!
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:15 PM   #24
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Re: Make it handle

I snagged a rear sway bar from a mid '90's Suburban at the local Pick A Part for $12 with all the brackets and bolts to attach to frame. I have a front sway bar that I just installed from a '72 Suburban and I hope that the combination cuts down on body-roll.

I need to fabricate some perches to mount on the underside of the rear end to bolt the rear sway bar up. I like cheap so I hope that it works out well. I have yet to pull the bar under the truck and see how the frame attachments will line up as they may also require some fabrication. I hope to test fit this weekend.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:28 PM   #25
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Re: Make it handle

This stuff is great. There are more ways than one to skin a cat. Everyone will have there favorites. As we all know, Trucks are plagued with a weight issue. Too much, too high, and too far forward. Moving weight can do wonders, even the things that don't seem obvious. And, it's cheap. Tank, and battery are easy ones, but Nascar teams would kill to move the motor down and back an inch. How about small cap distributers, and/or firewall setbacks, these will pay off in the long run. When it comes to rear suspension setups, I prefere 4 bars, or trailing arms. One thing is for sure, 'short' bar set ups - SUCK! To get a truck to stick at all, you have to transfer the weight slow and smooth, that means longer bars. 25 to 30 % of the wheelbase will help. Too long and the bars will flex. WIDE mounting of the links, springs and shocks is desired. If your building, and you mount inboard of the rails, you already lost.

OK, two guys drinkin on barstools. One barstool has thin legs that go straight down to the floor from under the seat, about 10' apart. The other barstool has thicker legs that angle out to a wider base on the floor, about 18". Now, as guys do, they start to agrue about important stuff, like big block vs small block, and soon the push each other. Who is heading into the sawdust and peanut shells? (thats the kind of place I like to hang out in) - on the wide stance barstool.
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