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Old 11-23-2009, 04:37 AM   #1
Sydwayz
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I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I bought my 1997 2wd 2door a few weeks ago. I knew it was too low, and wanted to bring it back up just a bit.

I don't know all of the components on the truck, but I did know that it was all BellTech stuff. I figured I had 2" drop springs and 2" spindles.

Well, I went and bought stock springs and BellTech shocks, and had them installed, and now the nose of my truck is 4" higher! It looks terrible. All I wanted to come up was 2" in the front so all would be even and I could buy some new wheels (Boss 338s).

Can anyone venture a guess as to what I am up against here? I'll snag a pic of where the front end ended up at. I've raised the rear with the air-springs temporarily, and I know that evening up the rear with where the front currently is is too high. I plan to visit an exclusive spring shop in Richmond tomorrow to see what they can tell me.

I don't like the staggered look of the big 255s in the back and the 215s up front. I bought a set of rims/tires off of CL that at least are the same on all for corners so I can get the axles set at least at the same height for the time being.

Any and all help is appreciated. Here is a pic of it when I started.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Have you considered just buying a complete kit for the ride height that you want?

Are the rear springs on top or under your axle?

Bell Tech, for the most part has several levels of drop. The first being a dropped spindle in the front, that is good for 2" of lowering. That can be enhanced with a set of drop springs for more drop.

The rear is different. You either change the spring mounts or move the axle from under the springs and set it on top of them. The blazer models have a different mounting than a lot of the pickups do.

On a truck a 4" drop is longer shackles on the rear of the springs and new spring perches on the front of the springs. A 2" drop is just the rear shackles installed ONLY. A 6" drop is the factory front and rear hangers, but the axle is moved to the top side of the springs.

So you need to make your choice.

UNLESS someone had the springs heated and the arch take out of them.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:18 AM   #3
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I think the pic you posted looks GREAT!
Look at the distance from the wheelwell opening to the to the edge of the rim. Looks the same "front and rear", to me.
I can see raising the front 2" or 4" wouldn't look good. (my opinion)

Can you take some pics of the suspension, both front and rear?
I'd love to have your Tahoe.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Here is my main problem right now:

I don't know what stock looks like on MY truck to know how to then measure and assess where I want it to sit.

I am fairly certain I have de-arched springs in the rear which does not allow me to just buy a set kit with shackles or similar to place the rear at a finite point.

My rear axle is on top of the rear springs. It's flipped. No notch and I really don't want to notch it. The truck does not ride too bad in the rear, however I'd like to add 1-1.5" more travel in the rear. I do have air-springs in the rear which I can set to avoid bump stop hits.

The front rides great right now, albeit it feels like I am always going uphill due to the reverse rake. I do feel confident that I can get a nice ride on the front and still have it 2" lower than where it is.

I love the way it looked when I bought it, but:
It's too low for MY daily driving.
The crossover pipe drags all the time.
The front tires are only 215/x/15s. The truck has LSD and all it wants to to is understeer the whole time.
I don't like the staggered tires look. I want "square" 18s (all 4 same size). POSSIBLY 20s. I bought a black truck to put black wheels on it with a polished/chrome lip. I am not going to keep the steelies on the truck.

I already bought 1 Boss 338 Black 18x8 wheel for fitment purposes. That's the wheel I am looking to work onto the truck, but I really don't think I want 20s. I want the 18s with lots of "meat" for daily driving.

I searched for over 2 years for this truck. It's perfect with only 63,000 miles on it. I just have to get it set "right" for me.

Here are more details:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=370023

Last edited by Sydwayz; 11-23-2009 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Sydwayz, this is my 2dr with a belltech 4-6. You must have a 5-7 or 6-8!

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Old 11-23-2009, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billet Jason View Post
Sydwayz, this is my 2dr with a belltech 4-6. You must have a 5-7 or 6-8!
Looks perfect! What size wheels and tires?

I assume you have 2" drop spindles and 2" drop springs up front right?

Last edited by Sydwayz; 11-23-2009 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Yes, 2in spindle and 2in spring. The tires are 225/60-17 fronts and 255/60-17 rear. If you were closer I would just trade you suspension! I'm probably gonna bag mine next summer.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Jason, if you could get me the measurements of bottom of fender lip to axle centers, front and rear; that would be a big help.

I think 18x8 wheels with 245/50or55 series rubber could be an option.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

No C-notch has been installed? My understanding (limited as it is) is that a 6-inch drop via a flip kit made a notch virtually mandatory.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I was mistaken & feel like such a rookie.

I just crawled up under it and looked. My frame IS C-notched. I was told by the previous owner that it was not notched, and I took his word for it. When I pulled a rear tire the other day, I didn't really pay attention.

Here's a pic of how it looks right now with the stock springs on the front. This is with 26.5" tall tires in the front and 27.5" tall tires in the rear. (terrible)
235/70/15 front
255/70/15 rear
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:24 PM   #11
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I've got it in my head that I want the Boss 338 18x8 wheels with Prada Spec-X Yokohama tires in 245/60/18 which makes them about 29.5" tall and 9.8" wide; but they have a couple different tire sizes if I have to adjust a little.

Last edited by Sydwayz; 11-23-2009 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:12 PM   #12
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Sydwayz, my measurements are 15.5 front and 16.0 rear with a 27.5 tire in the front and a 28.5 tire in the rear.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:25 PM   #13
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Thank you Jason. Are you running the BellTech Spindles or the JDM Spindles?

I have read that the BT push the front wheels out a bit.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:26 PM   #14
Billet Jason
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

This pic is with 28.5 tire all the way around. Backspacing on the front wheels made it rub a lot so we went with a smaller tire on the front. It would have worked well if the front wheels were tucked in more.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:04 PM   #15
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

man sidewayz,I think that truck looked tough when you got it. The stance and the rally wheels make it look like a muscle car. Just needs some red-lined coker tires. Nice Ride, Good luck.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:25 PM   #16
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Thanks for the help and comments guys. I'm figuring that the truck is(was) 6/8, and not the 4/6 that I suspected; which is where I am going to aim to take it.

It was just too low when I bought it, and the wheel/tire setup was not ideal. It understeered REALLY bad and the front tires were worn on the inner and outer edge.

The setup was growing on me, but I could not even get down my own driveway without scraping and plinking rocks.. I had to lay out boards to pull into my pole barn, and build up the gravel just to back into the garage you see pictured; as the crossover pipe drags on EVERYTHING. It will back in better glory soon, I hope.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:52 PM   #17
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I'm not sure you can run a 18x8 all the way around with the same backspacing front and rear.
Like BilletJason said,... they need to tuck.
I would do some serious measuring before you spend your money on new wheels.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #18
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I visited a spring shop in Richmond today. It didn't get me very far.

Front questions:
I am fairly certain I have BellTech 2" drop spindles on the front, and now back to stock springs and isolators.

Do they make a DJM 3" drop spindle? I can only find a 2" DJM drop spindle.

Do the DJM spindles NOT push out the front wheels? I understand the BellTech spindles DO push them out a bit. If so, how far?

Back questions:
What typically makes up an 8" lowering in the back?
C-Notch (I have)
How much does just a flip drop the rear?
Is the rest of an 8" drop (including flip) done with shackles?
Or, does one have to get into de-arching the springs?
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:40 AM   #19
Billet Jason
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

My bet is your front springs were cut to get the additional drop in the front and it probably has 2in shackles on the rear in conjunction with the flip kit. Can you get pics of the rear shackles?
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:45 AM   #20
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

I would also love some pics of your hidden hitch! I've been wanting to put a hitch on mine but there just doesn't seem to be room!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:48 PM   #21
Sydwayz
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billet Jason View Post
I would also love some pics of your hidden hitch! I've been wanting to put a hitch on mine but there just doesn't seem to be room!
Two pics of the hitch attached. Its REALLY tight in there. If I had to guess, the previous owner cut down a hitch and welded it between the frame rails. The tank was removed, sanded, and finish painted, so I know it's had some extensive work done back there.

I talked with a couple folks at Bell Tech. They were quite helpful. I was advised that the Bell Tech leaf springs are 3 main springs and two overload springs, which is not what I have. I have 4 staggered springs and 1 overload spring which appears to be the stock setup.

I am ordering Bell Tech 2" drop springs and a 1" spacer if I want to go back up 1". That's going to make the truck either 3" or 4" lowered up front, total, including the drop spindles.

I am undecided if I should go to Mcgaughy's or DJM spindles to NOT push out the front wheels the way the Bell Tech 2" spindles do. Per BT, they push out the front wheels about .5". I know that Mcgaughy's do not push out.

Can anyone confirm if DJM spindles push the front wheels out? If so, how much?

It looks as though the shackle in the back is 4" long bolt center to bolt center. That's probably creating a 2" drop itself correct? Eliminating the shackle will raise the rear end by 2" as I am figuring. If anyone can confirm that's how the shackle works, that would be great.


So, basically coming down 2" in the front, and coming up 2" in the rear ought to get a solid & square stance.

Thanks for the help everyone. I have not played with lowering components in many years. There is not much I can't tell you about an offshore powerboat or a PowerStroke Ford Dually, but this GM lowering stuff is a bit new.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:42 AM   #22
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

As far as the shackle goes, you cannot remove it, Doing so will result in zero suspension travel, ride like rocks. You can replace them. A pretty close rule is 2:1 on shackles. If you shorten or lengthen them by 2inches you lower or raise by 1 inch. To raise yours 2 inches you need to shorten your shackle by about 4 inches. keep in mind though, the shorter the shackle the rougher the ride.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:20 AM   #23
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

BP79, I don't think I follow. If I remove the shackle and bolt the leaf back to the original mount, that is going to move the axle (flipped) 2" away from the frame/C-notch. That's going to give me more suspension travel.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:50 AM   #24
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydwayz View Post
BP79, I don't think I follow. If I remove the shackle and bolt the leaf back to the original mount, that is going to move the axle (flipped) 2" away from the frame/C-notch. That's going to give me more suspension travel.
I believe even the factory set up used a shackle. It allows the suspension to move correctly.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:46 PM   #25
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Re: I need some help. My suspension is a mess.

Sydewayz, that looks like the factory shackle to me. Is the front hanger factory (riveted on) or has it been changed?
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