1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cheap Substitue for 4 inch lift shocks ???

Discussion in 'Lifted & Off-Road Systems' started by HotRodPC, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

    Posts:
    45,729
    Likes Received:
    6,040
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    First Name:
    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    So for my K10/20 project... I have what I believe is 4 inch lift springs that I acquired for FREE. I will have to buy lift shocks. I'll use Pro Comp for the example since they show specs on the extended, collapsed and amount of travel. They are $162 + shipping and that doesn't include the boots yet. Other brands are even higher. The OE Ford shocks are enclosed and don't need boots at all.

    So this bird tells me, for a 4in lift kit on a square, just use 99-04 Ford F250 OE shocks and they are cheaper.

    So I go to Rock Auto and found some closeout Gabriel shocks for 99-2004 Ford F250 4x4 with a diesel engine. It'll be less than $60 for a set of 4 saving over $100 + the cost of boots.

    I'm curious has anyone else heard this and have they done it?

    Specs on what the Pro Comp 2.5 inch to 4 inch lift shocks for the Front 85 K20.
    Part Number 921502
    Extended Length 21.610"
    Compressed Length 13.220"
    Travel 8.390"
    Top Mount EYELET
    Bottom Mount EYELET

    Ford OE F250 4x4 Gabriel - Front
    Part Number 61655
    Extended Length 23.01"
    Compressed Length 14.07"
    Travel 8.94"
    Top Mount EYELET
    Bottom Mount EYELET

    The specs are close. I'm thinking it should work being I am using the 4 inch lift instead of the 2.5 inch and the difference on the compressed length is only 3/4 inch or so more. I'd actully have a bit more travel and almost 1.5 inch more extended length so it should work right??? I have not found a diameter on the mounting eyelets, but if this guy says they work, and the specs are this close, I see no reason to doubt him and can only assume the eyelet holes are probably the same or easily made to work.

    Specs on the Rear Pro Comps for 2.5 - 4inch lift shocks 85 K20.
    Part Number 926500
    Extended Length 27.070"
    Compressed Length 16.940"
    Travel 11.130"
    Top Mount EYELET
    Bottom Mount EYELET

    Ford OE F250 4x4 Gabriel - Rear
    Part Number 61656
    Extended Length 31,51"
    Compressed Length 18.48"
    Travel 13.03"
    Top Mount EYELET
    Bottom Mount EYELET

    Again, only 1.5 inch taller compressed length and being I'm going with the 4 inch lift instead of 2.5 that shouldn't be a problem and again, I'd have almost 4 inches more extended length and 2 more inches of travel. Anyone see any reason why they shouldn't work???

    ProCompShocks.jpg

    Gabrial Shock

    gab-61655_ml.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  2. Vbb199

    Vbb199 B-rate Hillbilly Customs Supporting Member

    Age:
    26
    Posts:
    4,682
    Likes Received:
    6,202
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Location:
    Salisbury NC
    First Name:
    Vince
    Truck Year:
    91, 89, 87
    Truck Model:
    91 Blazer V1500- "K5ton", 87 K10 Suburban, 89 Suburban R1500
    Engine Size:
    502, 350, 350
    I have heard something to that effect with the Ford shocks before on leaf sprung suspensions.

    Seems like I recall alot of people take the shocks off a junkyard truck as a cheap means of getting them.

    Kinda how jeep guys will take the coils off the 05 and up ford's for a cheap lift? :p
    I personally have not done this, but since I now know about 60$ shocks..... That's cheap ehough to fit up on the s10
     
    Rusty Nail and HotRodPC like this.
  3. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

    Posts:
    45,729
    Likes Received:
    6,040
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    First Name:
    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    I won't cheap out that bad and go to pull a part to pull used shocks but was curious if anyone else had used the OE Ford shocks. I went ahead and ordered those Gabrials. The front 2 were $9.XX each and the rear 2 were $19.XX each. With our 5% off, sales tax and $9.99 Ground Shipping, grand total was $68.XX. I can live with that. Alot better than $162 + tax and shipping.
     
    Catbox likes this.
  4. skysurfer

    skysurfer Full Access Member

    Posts:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    889
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    west coast
    First Name:
    John
    Truck Year:
    1989 Suburban
    Truck Model:
    V2500
    Engine Size:
    5.7/TH400/NP241C
    Here's the specs for the shocks I have that are specifically made for a squarebody with a 4" lift.

    Front: Gabriel G63437
    23.33" extended
    14.05" collapsed
    9.28" stroke

    Rear: Gabriel G63438
    29.33" extended
    17.30" collapsed
    12.30" stroke
     
    Rusty Nail and HotRodPC like this.
  5. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

    Posts:
    453
    Likes Received:
    303
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2017
    Location:
    kansas
    First Name:
    Richard
    Truck Year:
    1975
    Truck Model:
    c20
    Engine Size:
    350
    I'm going to throw my 2 cents in. Never done this on a square but have in other applications. I would at least explore the possibility of relocating the shock mount 4inches, making a new shock mount,or extending the mount on the shock 4 inches which I've done with a piece of tubing.You get a piece of tubing that fits snug on the bottom of the shock and drill it for a bolt to go through the lower shock eye then drill another hole as your new lower eye. Or you can use square tubing as a mount spacer, tubing where shock goes shock mounted to tubing.Anyway compression, rebound, valving and everything will still be right for your truck, and almost free.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
    HotRodPC likes this.
  6. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

    Posts:
    45,729
    Likes Received:
    6,040
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    First Name:
    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    Part NumberPart TypePrice EACore EAQuantityTotal2004 FORD F-250 SUPER DUTY 6.0L V8 DIESEL TurbochargedGABRIEL61655Shock Absorber
    Wholesaler Closeout -- 30 Day Warranty$ 9.06$ 0.002$ 18.12GABRIEL61656Shock Absorber
    Wholesaler Closeout -- 30 Day Warranty$ 19.12$ 0.002$ 38.24Discount $ -2.82ShippingGround$ 9.99Tax $ 4.61Order Total $ 68.14Visa -$ 68.14Balance Due $ 0.00
     
  7. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

    Posts:
    45,729
    Likes Received:
    6,040
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    First Name:
    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10

    Sooooo close to the same. I ordered these Ford closeout shocks so I sure hope it works and I think it will. It'll be a while before I know for sure. Just figured the more parts I order for the K10/20 the more motivated I'll be to get it done sooner than later. It's always been I had money and no time, or time and no money. So if I collect a few parts, then when I do have time and no money, the parts will be there waiting on me. It's disgusting that this project hasn't been done already.
     
    Catbox likes this.
  8. Vbb199

    Vbb199 B-rate Hillbilly Customs Supporting Member

    Age:
    26
    Posts:
    4,682
    Likes Received:
    6,202
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Location:
    Salisbury NC
    First Name:
    Vince
    Truck Year:
    91, 89, 87
    Truck Model:
    91 Blazer V1500- "K5ton", 87 K10 Suburban, 89 Suburban R1500
    Engine Size:
    502, 350, 350


    As the signature at the bottom on My profile states

    "Sometimes money isn't an issue, sometimes it is. Sometimes time isnt an issue, sometimes it is. Never at the same time do they align where they both aren't an issue"
     
  9. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

    Posts:
    700
    Likes Received:
    724
    Joined:
    May 18, 2020
    Location:
    Washington
    First Name:
    Todd
    Truck Year:
    1986
    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    454
    HRPC, thank you for this information!
    I've been contemplating the same thing, trying to keep the build of our '86 a "budget" build.
    Interested to hear if the bolt diameter and length of the shock mount are the same.

    To your question, and this is not scientific, the slightly longer compressed length of the Ford shocks would only come into play if the suspension is fully compressed and who knows if that compressed length on the 4" lift shocks is with stock bump stops or extended bump stops.
    Either way, save for loading 2 tons on the truck bed or playing Dukes of Hazzard with the truck, the suspension on our truck will never even get close to bottoming out. I now know what direction to go for shocks on our truck.
    And if either of those does happen, it's only a $10-20 mistake worst case.
    Thanks again for the intel.
     
    HotRodPC likes this.
  10. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

    Posts:
    45,729
    Likes Received:
    6,040
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    First Name:
    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    I figure we're OK compressed since we're talking an inch to inch and a half and the specs are for 2.5 to 4 inch. There's a difference of 1.5 right there between 2.5 and 4 inch so I feel confident we'd be OK for certain with 4 inch lift that the shocks shouldn't hit max compression. As far as extended, a bit more surely couldn't hurt. More should be better right? Not likely going to need to need more but never know. Might just get into some hairy articulation and we'll take it.

    I'm in the same boat as far as budget. More so for the challenge just to say I did and don't have much in it but then of course there's the fact of not being rich. I'm pretty sure I can easily say that my squares are FREE trucks. I didn't over pay for any of them, have sourced cheap cores, many of them FREE for just my labor to pull them. Then the parts I've bought and sold for more is what I use to buy things like shocks, transmission rebuild kits and upgrade parts. I don't think mine will start costing me money until I get into doing the interior and tires are going to be an expense I dig into my wallet to purchase.
     
  11. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

    Posts:
    700
    Likes Received:
    724
    Joined:
    May 18, 2020
    Location:
    Washington
    First Name:
    Todd
    Truck Year:
    1986
    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    454
    Makes sense, since it accommodates 2.5" lift minimum as well.
    Interesting, didn't measure them, but took a peek at the front shocks on the 86 last night, 4" lift, and the shock body is about 18" long and only has about 4" of stroke left, in a static condition. Almost looks like they're 6" lift shocks on it. (Not that I could bottom it out with anything short of jumping the truck...)

    I have a similar goal as you, not that our truck was anywhere near free, but have been offered a couple thousand more than I paid, as it sits now, essentially the same as I bought it save for a few minor repairs.
    I paid what I feel was a premium (although apparently a decent deal still) for straight body, no rust, minimal "repairs" needed. Partly because I want something that is daily drivable reliable with semi modern features and partly because I will be very challenged for time to just repaint it and replace some interior components. I bought the truck that only needs 100 things done to it rather than 1000 things!
    My goal is just to not have more $ into it than it's worth when I'm done. Which even if I go nuts on wheels and tires (20" Detroit steelies) should work out.
     
  12. BKING33

    BKING33 Full Access Member

    Posts:
    59
    Likes Received:
    121
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Location:
    York Springs
    First Name:
    Brian
    Truck Year:
    1987, 1989
    Truck Model:
    K30, Suburban
    Engine Size:
    6.2, 6.2 turbo
    Just make sure your brake hoses are long enough when suspension is unloaded.
     
    HotRodPC likes this.
  13. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

    Posts:
    45,729
    Likes Received:
    6,040
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    OKC, OK
    First Name:
    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    Yep, I've already started looking around. I think I'm going to have our local hose shop makes me some. We'll see. Many times hose places won't take liability on making brake hoses due the safety and DOT requirements and such. Nonetheless, I've not forgotten.
     

Share This Page