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Snow wheeling. Now I want to re-configure...

Discussion in 'Off-Roading' started by 77 K20, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    This turned into a longer post than I had thought... a lot of me wondering what build is best for my truck.

    [​IMG][/IMG][​IMG][​IMG][/IMG]

    My truck once upon a time was just a work truck and I used it to haul my 5th wheel. Now I have my Silverado for towing and don't haul that much heavy things for the house anymore (but sometimes). I liked to take it off road so built it to do both.

    Last weekend spent the full day with 2 different offroad clubs making a 22 mile (straight line trek) between 2 different highways wandering thru the mountains and past a reservoir. This was a record breaking snow year and the last week things started to melt. So hit mud, slush, then knee to hip deep snow with crust on top with snow below that was best described as a "dry grainy sugar".

    Most people had Jeeps, and there was one Toyota 4 Runner. So everyone weighed less than I did. I aired my BFG AT tires down to 11 psi and they didn't balloon out much. Often broke thru the snow and sunk. Then my truck liked to "bounce" at a rate of maybe once a second? Very annoying. I would have to back off the throttle and it would grab and pull itself back up and out. But when climbing a hill then I'd lose all forward momentum.

    After an all day run like that I'm very sore. 10 hours of bouncing around sawing the wheel back and forth did me in.

    I'm planning on making more trips (year round) with this group. My plan is to find a 315/75R16 tire (probably wait for the new BFG KM3 MTs) and I'd need a bit more lift to fit this at full stuff.

    Right now I have no front sway bar, 3" lift (Tuff Country HD front springs, 3" block on the rear). Detroit rear locker, Eaton Truetrac front, Bilstein 5125 shocks

    I'm thinking either the 4" EZ ride Tuff Country front springs or ORDs custom made springs. They are expensive but a "coil spring" type ride would be nice. But would this make my truck ride weird? Soft flexible springs in the front and stock springs in the rear? Would soft springs make it hop/bounce more than the heavier springs?

    For the rear I've heard that the shackle flip rides nicer than aftermarket springs and I can still haul weight if needed. The 4" flip then moves the tire forwards in the wheel well. This would annoy me. So a zero rate block to move it back. Now I have 5" of lift and my pinion is probably pointed too high up? So then shim it down? OR: a 2.5" shackle flip with a zero rate block (not sure if I can have it centered or if I'd need to shift the axle back anyway) then have my rear springs rebuilt and re-arched. Probably be 4" of lift and the pinion angle might be ok?

    Or: (sorry last option) Just do probably the 2.5" shackle flip on the rear with a 1" zero rate block and use a 1" zero rate block up front to push my front axle forward a bit for the larger tires. My fenders are sadly rusting away so it would be easy to trim them a bit. But wouldn't want to trim the fender liner near the cab. Then get rancho 9000 shocks to try and adjust the "bounce" out of it?

    Would it ride nicer with a larger D rated tire in the first place?

    Sorry- so many questions but want to think this thru and not make mistakes on my V2.0 build.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  2. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see here with my 285/75R16 tires there isn't much room up front when flexing. That was why I thought about shifting the front axle forward.
    What drawbacks to that? I do have a longer front driveshaft already, so that should be ok. What about steering? Would that make the drag link too short?

    I do get some pretty decent articulation with the HD springs already.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  3. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    Hmmm, so did these Jeeps and 4 runner perform alot better than your truck I take it? I sounds as if they did, now you're on a mission to make your truck perform as well as they did??? :shrug: Is that what you're looking for?
     
  4. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    (quick answer: yes)

    The 4 Runner had some issues- but his mainly were tire related. He was running almost like an all-season highway tire. Really mild tread. And I'd say our rigs were equal.

    All the Jeeps did better- even ones with open diffs.

    Mainly I was dissapointed 2 ways:
    -very harsh ride. I'm beat up after this- back, neck is just sore
    -had to focus SO hard the whole time to analyze where to drive and with how much throttle. Jeep guys just went wherever with out a thought. So I want to improve on it.

    And perhaps I'm asking too much. A lot of the guys had never met me or seen my rig. At first they thought to themselves I was "hopeless" and gonna to drag them down all day. I kept up but it took its toll on me. (and later they guys were very nice- and said they were wrong about my truck). Maybe a full size truck just isn't truly capable to doing what I want (unless I spent thousands of dollars customizing everything).
     
  5. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    Sounds to me like you're on the right track. Also you're correct in moving the front axle forward, this is the best choice and don't be afraid to try and slide the cab as far back on the mounts as you can. Sometimes that 1/2" can make a difference.
    As far as your concern about tipping the driveshaft pinion upwards, best solution anyway is a CV joint coming off the tc and drive shaft with long travel slip joint. If your tc currently has the tailshaft with slipjoint I would venture to guess you're lucky the drive shaft didn't come out while you were 'bouncing' your way up the trial. Maybe stepping up to a much better shock really is the correct answer for that. IMO shocks are one of the most ignored parts in a functional 'trail rig'. And long travel for sure with Ford shock mounts up front, or build your own. Consider visiting www.shocksandsuspension.com for a look at Doetsch shocks. I'm not affiliated but can't recommend them enough. The shocks I recommend are the mono tube rebuildable. It's easy to do and you can change the damping if you wish. Actually when you order these shocks at whatever length they will build them spec for your truck and use. And the front shocks will always be valved different than rear.
    If you're not hauling anything heavy consider losing a few leafs from the rear pack, and building an anti-axle wrap bar. You seem familiar with ORD so no need to say any more on that detail.
     
  6. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. I suppose I ought to pay attention here. I'm buidling my K10 into a K20 and I too will NOT want to be out done by a wussy ass Jeep. I've already got a Detroit Locker for my 4.10 Full Float rear axle and an ARB Air Locker for the front 4.10 10 bolt. Doesn't sound like that'll be enough.
     
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  7. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    I had a custom driveshaft made by Tom Woods for the rear. It mounts to the transfer case on a flange and has a CV joint there.

    I do have the F*rd shock mounts up front already and have front shocks with 10" of travel.

    Oddly enough I didn't have any rear axle hop- it was the whole entire truck (front and rear axles) hopping and it was like once a second (maybe slightly quicker). I have experienced rear axle hop in other trucks and it is a much quicker more violent event.
     
  8. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    In the summertime I've been quite happy with how it performs but
    This was a pullout off of the highway where we were waiting for the second group to meet us. All of these guys did better than I did. Even that little pretty much stock Cherokee XJ had no issues... :wtf:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Does it hop like a pull truck at the end of a sled pull? If so, I'd point fingers at rear springs that could stand to be a little softer.
     
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  10. Derrick

    Derrick Full Access Member

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    @77 K20 (read the whole thing and don't just say I derailed your post.)
    I don't have any advice really as my truck is running on the highway/all-terrain tires at the moment and has probably the worst ride out of any 2003 Chevy 1500 with the added leaf and helper spring. But first, your truck looks amazing I like the little bit of rust makes is look great. Second, the only time i have trouble off-road when I put my real mud terrain/all-terrain tires on is in snow the snow just seems to make them into slicks and it is only snow that does it mud gets flung right off. third, you cant let them jeep guys get the satisfaction kick some jeep ass for me on the trails. lol (i have trouble with high centering but I don't do that extreme of stuff)





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  11. 78C10BigTen

    78C10BigTen Full Access Member

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    Yea but your blue beast has more style and class than all those cookie cutter jeeps. Im a wee jealous because my 78 is only 2wd and i miss muddin and off roadin.
     
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  12. Derrick

    Derrick Full Access Member

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    I just had this conversation with my friend. she says jeeps are better and I say Chevy is better. I brought up the whole every jeep looks the same. in the end, we both agreed we are glad we don't drive Fords.
     
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  13. 78C10BigTen

    78C10BigTen Full Access Member

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    That is true also but i come from a family of jeeps and i know what theyre capable of but to me theyre like assholes.... everybody has one, squares they do not. Also dont get me wrong i do like the right jeeps... 40s flat fender willys, 70s CJs, wranglers till about mid 90s and i love the scrambler and J series pickups!
     
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  14. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Yes, exactly. This was a good way to describe it.

    Some say a rear shackle lift make their truck ride better. Maybe this and ditching my old rubber bushings would allow it to move more freely?
    And flip the overload leaf?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  15. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never run a shackle flip, but I've never understood how it could possibly improve ride quality. If you have the usual 7 or 8 leaf pack, you could take a leaf or two out just to see how it does.

    Also, was this recent trail ride with or without weight in the bed?
     

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