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Help determine lift for towing

Discussion in 'Lifted & Off-Road Systems' started by Bellaire35, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Bellaire35

    Bellaire35 Junior Member

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    I am wanting to order a 2" lift for my 87 GMC SWB 4x4. I will ne towing a trailer/single car hauler. I was looking at rough country and read a lot of positive reviews about tough country.

    Question, many here advise that tough country is a softer ride. If so, maybe the springs are not ideal for towing?

    Any suggestions? Prefer to do full suspension (new springs in front and rear)

    Or...how about add a leaf? Could do this as well and get the 2" height wanted while increasing payload I assume.

    s-l1600 (12).jpg
     
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  2. Bellaire35

    Bellaire35 Junior Member

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    Or maybe I throw on some 3/4 ton springs?
     
  3. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Were you planning on lift springs at all four corners?

    With 56" rear springs from a 3/4 ton truck, you can improve towing capacity while keeping the ride quality the same as stock. However, you will have to move the rear shackle hangers back on the frame. Or you could use stock 56" springs with a set of 2.5" shackle flip brackets and those will use the same holes in the frame as the stock shackle hangers.

    Trailer towing doesn't effect the front spring choice much at all. But things like a dump bed or a slide-in camper will. So with just towing in mind, you can focus more on ride quality up front.
     
  4. Customblue

    Customblue Full Access Member

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    There are 3/4 ton springs available in 52", they just ride like a hay wagon, trust me.
     
  5. Shorty81

    Shorty81 Full Access Member

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    Nice looking truck!! It has a nice stance now.
     
  6. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Full Access Member

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    I have the 52" HD 3/4 ton springs in my K25, and they do ride rough when there is no load. However, on the other hand the truck bed barely squats down when loaded to its max of about 2700 lbs (or more).

    Towing a loaded car trailer (long) with a SWB pickup (short) could be challenging, but I don't think the standard springs will be a problem. Invest in a load equalizing hitch with anti-sway to avoid having the tail wag the dog. You also want to ensure you have the trailer loaded so that there is enough tonque weight to keep it stable, and that you have good trailer brakes.

    Bruce
     
  7. 4WDKC

    4WDKC Full Access Member

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    The one thing I dis liked about my truck was how ruff the ride was. It had a 4 inch lift and 3/4 ton springs and would beat the hell out of you but, it hauled the spare 454 and 4l80 home without squatting at all. It rode nice with a 14 bolt and 2 front dana 44 axles in the bed. I actually wanted to remove the lift from the truck because it made it such a bitch use the bed with the lift and 33s then 35s.
     
  8. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    I've had Tuff Country in my last 2 trucks. I had the EZ ride 4" front springs in my short box '79 K15 and a 4" block with stock 1/2 ton (6 leaf) springs. I rode great. I had an '87 K20 that I put an add a leaf into the rear. Huge mistake!! Rode like crap.

    If you were looking at rear springs, I would buy a stock or even less spring rate, but then add something similar to a Firestone air bag overload. I did this on my '01 GMC Sierra 2500HD for when I towed my 30' travel trailer. It leveled the truck out for towing or heavy loads, then I could air it down when not needed and had a stock ride.
     
  9. varmit86

    varmit86 Full Access Member

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    X2 and also add a good rear sway bar on the truck, if you are set on going up I would not go more than the 2" you mentioned.
     
  10. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    Last thing I forgot to mention that most people don't think of. On my 2500HD I usually ran only 30 LBS of rear tire pressure when I was unloaded. When I towed or carried a heavy load, I aired them back up to max. One time I forgot and I couldn't believe how much sidewall sway I got out of my rear tires.
     
  11. skysurfer

    skysurfer Full Access Member

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    That's the route I went, 4" EZ Ride springs up front and Ride Rite Bags on stock springs in the back with blocks. I know some folks around here don't like blocks but the Ride Rites won't work with a shackle flip unless you get very creative and fab up something unique for the install. I also added a rear bar to tame the lean going around corners, I carry up to 300 pounds in the roof rack and the burb handled like a fat girl on a waterbed without the Helwig sway bar.

    I don't tow a lot of weight, just a pontoon boat a little over 3000 lbs., but pontoons ride high on tall trailers and are as aerodynamic as barn doors. The front fence is 8.5' wide and six feet above ground level so there's a lot of drag going down the highway. Having a lift and taller tires punches a nice big hole in the air for the boat to follow along in.
     
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  12. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    Air bag air bag air bag...
    If your rear springs are in nice shape and you like the ride, shackle flip the buggers. They will ride even better.
    The air bags will handle the extra tongue weight and away you run.
    If you're thinking of hauling, oh lets say a full size square body, your truck really isn't big enough imo. You want some thing like Big Blue in my avatar
    for hauling real trucks.
     
  13. Customblue

    Customblue Full Access Member

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    Shiftpro, Why do you say a standard truck like ours cannot handle 5k -6k as long as it's on a(10k) trailer with good brakes?
     
  14. 4WDKC

    4WDKC Full Access Member

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    The more weight and length of a trailer can make the trailer wag going down the road. The short wheel base and similar or lighter truck will be pushed all over the road as the trailler moves around.. watch below

     
  15. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it's true that longer tow vehicles tend to work better compared to a shorter one, but that's not to say you can't tow with a shorter vehicle. Crew cab trucks are often used to pull a trailer that's far longer than the truck itself and it works fine when it's all properly loaded. The same applies to a shorter truck and a shorter trailer.
     

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