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

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

  1. theblindchicken

    theblindchicken Full Access Member

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    I dont know much about sled pulling, but sounds like your tires are digging a little hole then pulling themselves out when they find something a little more compact. I've always heard that you want narrower tires for snow and mud so it digs into the solid stuff below instead of riding on the loose stuff up top.



    Sounds kind of like you're headed in my trucks direction. Shackle flip and a nice set of shocks. I can say that my truck rides a ton nicer with the shackle flip compared to before. Jumping on the bumper made little flex in the rear before. Now you can easily move it a couple inches or so. Much much smoother in the rear.


    Coilovers and leaf springs are pretty similar to each other when comparing same spring rates. The advantage for coilovers is the ease of adjusting the ride height as well as well as being able two have two or even three different spring rates based upon the travel position.
     
  2. Derrick

    Derrick Full Access Member

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    weight can really help with the ride, it may just be me but i keep my road toolbox, my spare,3- ton jack in the back and it rides a hell of a lot better than when i have nothing in the back. Also if you don't have that stuff to throw in the back I also have in the past throw 50lb bags of sand in the back also helps in winter in general. (make sure you put it over the axle or it seems less effective.)
     
  3. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    There is a very heavy farmer-welded rear bumper. The hitch plate is a full 1" thick. Then I had 4 heavy chains (about 100lbs) then 2 spare tires (about 200 lbs) and then tools, logging chains, recovery gear, misc crap (probably another 150 lbs). So kinda heavy. Way heavier than a Jeep.

    EDIT- and multiple times when it started hopping or I'd hit a bad bump EVERYTHING in the bed would come flying up and make all kinds of noise when it landed. One bump was bad enough my phone flew out of my chest pocket on my shirt and hit myself in the face. And I was only doing around 15 mph.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  4. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    For winter driving on the street I like my 285/75R16 (33x11.50ish). It does well- a more narrow tire would do even better. But where I went I had to float as in some places there was probably almost 4' of snow. Narrow will cut down but there is no "bottom" to find traction in. My frame is something like 25" off the ground only.

    I'd like to hear more about your shackle lift setup. Did you use zero rate block to re-center? Did you have to shim the rear end? Do you have a long bed? Ever get any axle wrap? Any pics from the side? When you did the flip did you also replace all the stock rubber bushings at the same time? I've heard simply letting the spring pack move with new bushings can help vs old rubber ones that have bonded to the metal and the spring bolt is rusted firmly in place. (sorry, a lot of questions but am venturing into something new)
     
  5. theblindchicken

    theblindchicken Full Access Member

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    Didnt realize you were in that deep of snow. Was thinking more like 12-18" so that a narrow tire would help you get down into the dirt a bit more.


    I went with ORD's 4" shackle flip with their stock length HD shackles and all new greaseable poly bushings and bolts in the entire rear end. I removed a leaf or two (7+1 or 8+1 down to a 6+1 pack) from the rear 52" spring pack as well as a 3/4" block and flipped the overloads.

    I haven't recentered or shimmed the rear end yet. But looking at a couple new photos, the pinion is up a little over the driveshaft. So looks like a small shim would correct that, just need to measure the angle difference and get it adjusted.

    Yes, truck is a long bed and I did get a bit of axle wrap when turning a hard right and romping on the throttle. Made me start looking into traction bars or a 3/4-link setup. Currently figuring out a way I can remove the spare tire and install a cantilever rear end that should flex roughly 20"-22" of travel without modifying the frame and being limited by the u-joint angles.


    I believe that the bushings and greasable bolts were probably the biggest contributing factor (besides removing the leafs) since the old rubber bushings were all cracked up and the bushing couldn't rotate at all. I also saw that the factory spring bushings and shackle bushings had a bit of teeth on them to grab the shackle and shackle mount that restricted movement. My guess is that GM designed them that way to possibly increase the weight capacity or to help limit the movement of a load during small motions in the suspension.

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  6. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Thank you so much for your detailed information. Between what you just posted and talking to Chis at ORD the shackle flip should be great.

    Your exhaust is the same as mine- (just an observation)

    And I think Chris talked me into their custom front springs. I will need to save up for that. Should ride nice and smooth afterward.
     
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  7. theblindchicken

    theblindchicken Full Access Member

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    Just to correct any confusion, I haven't tested the full flex numbers of the shackle flip yet. The 20-22" travel numbers was for the cantilever I'm trying to come up with.

    I try to make the posts as detailed as possible so that others can have a better understanding to compare or get the help they're looking for in the future. Never know when your post from 5 years back is gonna help someone out with that little piece of information they were missing.


    I thought of going with ORD's custom springs, but still haven't been able to swing it yet. Gonna work on the rear end, hopefully get a 4-link and cantilever suspension all planned out and then figure out a plan for the front.

    For custom springs as well, there's also Alcan and Deavers that are well known for great spring packs.
     
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  8. Derrick

    Derrick Full Access Member

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    @theblindchicken ok thanks, I think I am getting ideas now for when I get a square again. I like the detailed reports you make keep them coming
     
  9. hirschdalechevy

    hirschdalechevy Full Access Member

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    My 2 cents,
    I do a ton of snow wheeling , (deep stuff) , and my buddies that have jeeps do very well because they are so light and us square body freaks are not. With that being said I went for big wide rubber on wide wheels and that did the trick. As far as tires go I run the 38x15.50 dick cepeck fun country kevlar's, (that are not made anymore) on 12 wide wheels and guess what , I stay on top and can roll with my jeep buddies now. So in my opinion its all about big rubber for the old deep stuff . The only tire I see that might do well that is still sold today is the mickey thompson mtz (lt375/65r-16) , 35.8 tall , 15.2 wide , those on a 12 wide wheel would be my choice to buy today for the deep snow. The only down fall is they are a mild mud tire and a/t's will want to stay on top a bit better, (like the old cepeck's). If anyone today made a 15 wide a/t , that would be the way to go, (you need to stay on top like the jeeps) and you want the snow to stay in the tread, (ever tried to rub two snow balls together), they stick.

    My son and I are doing the 52" spring in front and 56" spring with shackle flip in rear on his blazer as we speak. We moved his front forward 1 inch or so with adjustable front hanger's to clear 40's but we are doing cross over steering , so I am not sure how you would do that with stock steering set up , (maybe longer draglink)

    As far as axle hop goes , I had a bit of that when I moved my perches up on my blazer. All you have to do is mess with shims to bring the pinion down and find the perfect spot , (no vibrations and no wheel hop). When you do a shackle flip it will roll the pinion up so you may have to play with it a bit with shims to get it where you want it, (never had to use traction bar's,pinion angle has always worked for me).

    My blazer has soft springs and hydro shocks all around , so it rides great and flexes good as well, but its a bit bouncy off road, its not jarring or harsh , just moves around a lot, (softly). My son just put king 2.5 shocks on his 2017 high country, (custom valving) and his ride improved greatly. So I talked to the king dealer in our area, (shop build's desert race truck's) and he said that leaf spring trucks, (with soft springs) are very hard on shock's , not on compression so much but when they off load most all mono tube shocks cant handle it off road at any speed. He said that any brand shock with a reservoir would be better than a than a non reservoir shock,(no air bubbles in oil), but he said kings are the best,(he is a dealer though). They are big dollar but it may be worth it , not sure at this point for my blazer but they made a world of difference on my sons high country.

    Here is a pic of the cepeck's that I love for the snow and me snowblowing our driveway , it's a old pic before I re did everything, hope this help's you out to beat up the jeeps in the snow.

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  10. 4WDKC

    4WDKC Full Access Member

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    In for info on shackle flip, any one done this on 3/4 ton that tows 5-7k lbs?
     
  11. 87scotty

    87scotty Full Access Member

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    Buried mine this evening deep stuff axles amd frame held me back lol took a skid to get to me I was on a gravel road as well

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  12. Jrgunn5150

    Jrgunn5150 Questionable methods

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    I had a shackle flip on my K20 along with 52" springs up front, handled and rode well. That truck never saw 80 mph though, generally stayed around 65.
     

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