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Old 09-09-2017, 01:48 PM   #1
chillman88
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Choosing a suspension (73-87)

Hey all,

I'm going to be redoing everything on my truck as part of a semi-restoration and I'm trying to decide which way to go. The truck needs all new springs either way.

1. For a better ride, would 2" lift leaves be better up front? I've heard that a spring with more arch would ride better since ours are pretty flat.

2. 56" springs or 64" springs? It's almost the same amount of work at this point. The frame I'm using has the 52" springs. I'm thinking a 6-7 leaf pack since I plan on using this truck as a truck. Which leads me to 3

3. Heavier leaves vs air bags? I never had a problem with the ride on the 88+ 2500 trucks, but how much would running say 3 leaf packs for a half ton help the unloaded ride? How well do airbags hold up? I'm in the rust belt, road salt is NOT friendly.

4 I've considered a 4" lift but I want to run 255/85/16s on it. Would that look silly? My main reason for the lift being I can get a spring lift WITH SHOCKS for the same price as a full set of springs.

I'm really not sure which way to go with this. I'm mainly looking for ideas and experience at this point.

Thanks!
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1997 ECSB K1500: 350; NV4500; 3.42's; 14 Bolt SF; 0411 ECM; 3/4-ton Calipers; Hydroboost; 3500HD Door Handles; 32x11.50x15 Cooper STT's on OOBS Rallys
Plans: 4.10s, 33's, 4" Lift, Urethane Bushing Kit

1986 RCLB C20: 350; SM465; 3.42s; 14 Bolt SF; Quadrajet
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:36 PM   #2
sweetk30
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

2" lift or 3" lift gives a good ride with min arch they have over stock . so ride will be good .

swapping in 64" rear springs will = custom gas tank location as the front spring hanger will be in to the gas tank basicly .

i like bags for smooth empty ride or fill till happy for load and still ride good .

never had 1 person unhappy with air bags in the rear .

255/85/16 would look good with 2" range of lift i think over the 4" .

and i sent you a pm also on some stuff.
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:51 PM   #3
chillman88
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetk30 View Post
swapping in 64" rear springs will = custom gas tank location as the front spring hanger will be in to the gas tank basicly .

255/85/16 would look good with 2" range of lift i think over the 4" .

and i sent you a pm also on some stuff.
Yeah I know about the tank issue. Both of my tanks are SHOT so I was thinking probably a Blazer tank. I thought I read that you can use a smaller factory tank though? Like 15gal instead of 20?

That's kinda what I was thinking about the tires.


I PM'd you back. Thanks!
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1997 ECSB K1500: 350; NV4500; 3.42's; 14 Bolt SF; 0411 ECM; 3/4-ton Calipers; Hydroboost; 3500HD Door Handles; 32x11.50x15 Cooper STT's on OOBS Rallys
Plans: 4.10s, 33's, 4" Lift, Urethane Bushing Kit

1986 RCLB C20: 350; SM465; 3.42s; 14 Bolt SF; Quadrajet
Plans: Build Thread
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:20 AM   #4
andrewmp6
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

Air bags will last a long time unless you install them wrong and they rub one something or drive on them fully flat.Every semi you see on the road has air bags in the rear and they handle the weather fine,Most do run air line anti freeze in the air system in the winter time.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:53 AM   #5
chillman88
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
Every semi you see on the road has air bags in the rear and they handle the weather fine,Most do run air line anti freeze in the air system in the winter time.
I'm aware of this, sadly I'm also aware that most items built for commercial or industrial use are built to a much higher quality standard than most consumer grade items. That was my primary reason for asking.

Now I'm going to have to research air dryer systems lol! I knew I was forgetting something!
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1997 ECSB K1500: 350; NV4500; 3.42's; 14 Bolt SF; 0411 ECM; 3/4-ton Calipers; Hydroboost; 3500HD Door Handles; 32x11.50x15 Cooper STT's on OOBS Rallys
Plans: 4.10s, 33's, 4" Lift, Urethane Bushing Kit

1986 RCLB C20: 350; SM465; 3.42s; 14 Bolt SF; Quadrajet
Plans: Build Thread
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:25 AM   #6
sweetk30
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

go with the firestone bag kit . there mini versions of the big boy bags .

air line dryer is not needed for these systems unless lots of air is moved threw them all the time.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:11 PM   #7
chillman88
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetk30 View Post
go with the firestone bag kit . there mini versions of the big boy bags .

air line dryer is not needed for these systems unless lots of air is moved threw them all the time.
Yes but if I get it set up the way I want I'll be able to run air tools off of it and have auto levelers in the rear. I might not be in a hurry to get this truck done, but I want it right when I do!
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1997 ECSB K1500: 350; NV4500; 3.42's; 14 Bolt SF; 0411 ECM; 3/4-ton Calipers; Hydroboost; 3500HD Door Handles; 32x11.50x15 Cooper STT's on OOBS Rallys
Plans: 4.10s, 33's, 4" Lift, Urethane Bushing Kit

1986 RCLB C20: 350; SM465; 3.42s; 14 Bolt SF; Quadrajet
Plans: Build Thread
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:32 PM   #8
andrewmp6
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Re: Choosing a suspension (73-87)

Firestone makes the semi bags and makes bags for cars/trucks.Most here i know use a standard air compressor dryer between the compressor and tank,And once a month drain the tank in case any water got past it.
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