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Old 03-17-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
danielw
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Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Hi I am currently looking at buying a 1984 chev. 305 engine. Its got 4x4 with front warn locking hubs and the body and engine are in mint condition. anyways my questions is what would I all need to do a proper lift thats 6" or bigger. I'm talking a suspension lift. These are some questions I need answers or help with:
-Do I need a body lift as well to go with it?
-how do i legthen the steering column
-do i need longer drive shafts
- longer brake lines?
- how much back spacing
-what tires sizes would look best or should i be looking for
-rim size. whats easy or most common and low cost
-along with the four add a leafs for the suspension lift do I need any other suspension additives, say new shocks or what (I always see a shcok attached to the axle or something to help steering, steering stablizer maybe?)
-anything need to be done to the axles?

sorry my stupidity or lack of knowledge but i'n new at this adn don't have very much experince or money for that matter. by the way i've got a small budget so try to keep part ideas on the less expensive side.

thanks, dan

Last edited by danielw; 03-17-2010 at 10:32 PM. Reason: lack of some deails
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

I'm not an expert on lifting so dont take just my word on this, but if your wanting to go 6" just suspention you are going to need to replace alot and if your on a small budget you might want to go in a differant direction..........what I have learned over the years is dont go the cheapest way........may be go with 3" suspention and 3" body and do one at a time
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

lift springs all the way around (or a block and add a leaf in the rear) shocks meant for the size of lift. A raised steering arm. Longer brake lines... And you will need your drive shafts lengthened probably...
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:00 PM   #4
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

heres a few
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EXP-K1013/
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SJA-C160AKS/
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:46 AM   #5
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

ok, so i defeinitely need bigger shocks. but i'm a bit confused on the spring. the 84 has leaf springs all the way around so i should be able to use add-a- leafs all the way around right? after that then i would need to put in longer, probably beefier shocks, then lengthen the steering column and drive shafts and brake lines
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #6
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

how do you lengthen a drive shaft and the steering colum? get longer drive shafts, cut em to size and get them rebalanced? steering colum just add longer plates at the bootom or what?
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:07 AM   #7
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Ok, here goes.

If you want to go all suspension lift I would buy a kit from someone like www.roughcountry.com (or any other reputable suspension manufacturer).

If you go with a 4 inch lift you can get away without having to lengthen your driveshafts, and drop brackets (included in the kit) will allow you to run the stock brake lines. Your options are to run the factory rear springs with a lift block or spend a little more to get new rear lift springs. My experience has been this: If you are concerned about ride quality go with the factory rear spring and lift blocks. If you are going to beat on the truck offroad then pop for the new rear springs. The lift blocks give the axle a LOT of leverage against the springs and will cause axle wrap if you beat on it. The kit will come with a new steering arm for correction. The 4 inch lift will easily clear 33 inch tires, and will clear 35's with some very minor fender trimming on the bottom corners.

If you are set on 6 inches of lift I would buy a complete lift kit like I mentioned before. Just KNOW that you will have to lengthen driveshafts and buy new brake lines. A 6 inch lift will clear 35's easy, and 37's with minor trimming.

You also have the option of going with a 4 inch suspension lift and 2 inch body lift. I personally don't like body lifts. There are a lot of things you have to address with body lifts. I.E. Fan hitting fan shroud; transmission linkage, transfer case linkage, bumpers not lining up, fuel filler hoses, etc. As far as you steering column question, there is enough "slip" in the factory coulmn to accomodate up to 3 inch body lift.

There are TONS of opinions out there on how you should do it and whose parts you should buy. Don't believe everything you read, and don't discredit everything you read. Just try to become educated before you decide.

www.coloradoK5.com has a good forums area with lots of helpful people who can help with any questions you might have.

My personal preference is 4 inches and 35's.

Don't forget that you will feel a loss of power with the bigger tires and might want to consider regearing.

Mike

Last edited by Mr.Chevy4x4; 03-18-2010 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #8
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Mr. Chevy said it all. Study different company's websites. My truck is lifted 6" inches clearing 37" Toyo MT's now. Long steel braided brake lines is a must. My truck has all springs. Also with 4.10 gears. Doing a 4" lift is more budget friendly.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

if your on a budget, just get a 4" lift, it will come w/all you need, shocks and all, and you wont need longer brake lines or need to spend money on a custom built drive shaft

here's one of my old trucks, 4" suspension lift w/35's (no rubbing at all)




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Old 03-18-2010, 01:03 PM   #10
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

big that trucks looked great
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:30 PM   #11
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Mine has 6" lief only lift. I had to get longer shocks all around, front brake lines only, for the rear brake line, I just made a spacer to go between the diff and the brake line "T" moving the T up about 4". I also got a spacer for the pitman arm, but would like to go with crossover steering to get rid of the bump steer. I didn't have to lengthen my drive shafts.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

The longer trucks(crew cab long bed) end up with less driveline angle, and normally don't require the driveshaft to be lengthened until you go over 8 inches.

A few things I thought about that I didn't mention earlier are:

1. Dropping the transfer case about an inch will help with driveline angles without causing other problems. The factory spacers that were place above the frame work great when placed between the frame and crossmember.

2. If you go more than 4 inches you will need to fabricate or buy drop brackets for your front sway bar.

3. If your truck still has the factory Y-pipe coming down from the exhaust manifolds, it will cause interferance with the front drive shaft. Sometimes with as little as 4 inches but definitely with 6.

Mike

Last edited by Mr.Chevy4x4; 03-18-2010 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #13
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Here are a couple of pictures. The first is my '91 K5 with a 4 inch rough country lift (springs all the way around) with 3/4 ton axles and 34 inch tires. It has a new set of 35 inch MTZ's on it now.

The second is my rock crawler. It has 6 inches of suspension, 2 inches of body lift, and LOTS of fender trimming. It is on one ton axles and 44 inch TSL's.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:25 PM   #14
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Heres my 84 1/2 ron 4x4. It has a 6'' rough country lift. Its got a block out back with springs, up front are all spring, got extended brake lines, the steering got a something with the kit which made it rite.lol. Sorry i dont know what its called rite now. My driveline did not have to get changed, its still the stock one. I clear 35's In the pics she's got 15''x10'' wheels and in one of the pics she's sporting some18''x10'' wheels with toyo open countrys which i like more. Good luck with your truck.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #15
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

ok thanks guys. I have yet another question which was has come to mind. if I suspension lift 4" I can keep my drivetrain and not woory about drop brackets and such. I would probably do new leafs all the way around. but I am think I could get a higher body so I add a 2" body lift on. The extra 2" body lift will let me put on the bigger tires as if I were doing a 6" suspension lift. Am I right? If not then I will probably just do a 4" suspension lift with leafs and put on 35" tires with bit of fender trimming if need. the extra two inches would allow for 37" with minor trimming. Also what are all the problems that would arise from doing a 2" body lift? list all or any you can think of.

thanks everybody for the help
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:20 PM   #16
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigarmzz View Post
if your on a budget, just get a 4" lift, it will come w/all you need, shocks and all, and you wont need longer brake lines or need to spend money on a custom built drive shaft

here's one of my old trucks, 4" suspension lift w/35's (no rubbing at all)



This is exactly what I want to do everyone. I have that exact truck in matte black and minus the lift kit and tires. 4" suspension lift it is. Oh and for the 35" tires did you have to fender trim at all? Anyone have any recomendations for tres that are good yet cheap? same goes for rims anyone?

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Old 03-18-2010, 10:35 PM   #17
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

As far as decent tires for a reasonable price I have always like the BFG All Terrains. But I don't really do any serious off roading or mudding. My truck is mostly a weekend toy and driven on the street. The most I see is some dirt trails and maybe an occasional creek crossing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:49 AM   #18
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Talking Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigarmzz View Post
if your on a budget, just get a 4" lift, it will come w/all you need, shocks and all, and you wont need longer brake lines or need to spend money on a custom built drive shaft

here's one of my old trucks, 4" suspension lift w/35's (no rubbing at all)





That is a BEAUTIFUL TRUCK!!!!
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:03 AM   #19
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

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Originally Posted by danielw View Post
The extra 2" body lift will let me put on the bigger tires as if I were doing a 6" suspension lift. Am I right? the extra two inches would allow for 37" with minor trimming. Also what are all the problems that would arise from doing a 2" body lift? list all or any you can think of.
Yes, the extra 2" gives "tire clearence" exactly the same as suspension lift would. "Ground clearence" at the frame/transfer case is not the same though.
If it is mostly street driven, this won't matter much though. Body lifting is fairly easy, especially compared to suspension lifting. The directions are very complete and easy to follow, the only thing that may cause a snag is that not everyone has a welder.... You will need to cut and weld in a spacer in your transmission linkage, either shifter or clutch, depending upon which you have.

The biggest problem you are going to have, especially if you go the extra lift and 37" tires....is gearing. An '84 model truck with a 305 is most likely a 700r4 and way too high of a gear ratio already. Many had 2.73s, and I have seen as high as 2.56. This is a complete dud with bigger tires, a nearly un-drivable slug.
Gear changing is not a budget minded thing and of course it's worse with a 4x4 because you have 2 axles to deal with. Re-gearing can cost more than the tires and lift together.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #20
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

ok so I'm looking at doing the 4" to save some money pretty much. like said earlier and previous post above me a 305 isn't going to work well with stock gearing. what gearing works well for a combination of offroad and street use? how much would I be looking at to redo the gearing. i can do the work all my self with my dad becuase he roughly 30 years in the auto mechanic business along with one of his frinds who does drags and does all the gearing for his car himself.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:15 PM   #21
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

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Originally Posted by danielw View Post
Oh and for the 35" tires did you have to fender trim at all? Anyone have any recomendations for tres that are good yet cheap? same goes for rims anyone?
i didnt need to trim a thing man....no problems at all

i agree with several about the tires, you cant go wrong with BFG's...the mud terrains look killer....also, you might think about pro comp's....they look almost just like bfg's and are a wee bit cheaper

here's a complete kit which i've used in the past"
http://www.4wheelparts.com/Lift-Kits...7&t_pn=SUPK428

....or you could save some $ and go with a rough country..i honestly think they all ride about the same on the straight axle trucks

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Old 03-19-2010, 02:36 PM   #22
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Rough country lift with shocks, 35" bfg's with 15" rims, steel 15x8, regear to 3.73's if you have a TH350 and 4.10's if you have a 700R4 transmission. You'll probably be about $2000-$3000 if you do all the work yourself. Going bigger will be expensive. If you're actually going to wheel it you won't want to push the 10 bolt axles any way.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:16 AM   #23
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

Here's my 83 with a 91 grill has a 4" lift and 35's very very little fender trimming you would not even notice it unless i pointed it out to you
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:49 AM   #24
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Re: Lifting an 84 Chev 4x4

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i didnt need to trim a thing man....no problems at all

i agree with several about the tires, you cant go wrong with BFG's...the mud terrains look killer....also, you might think about pro comp's....they look almost just like bfg's and are a wee bit cheaper


I agree with you I have the BFG mud terrains in 33's on a 4 inch lift and i like it


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