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Very rough/rocky desert trail cruising

Discussion in 'Off-Roading' started by diesel_lv, Nov 21, 2020 at 11:31 AM.

  1. diesel_lv

    diesel_lv Member

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    1987 K5 Blazer, 3.73 gears, 700r4 transmission. Curious if anyone has done suspension mods that allow to cruise rough/rocky desert trails at speeds comparable to modern side by side. I paid 3k for this Blazer which has a straight body, full emissions, a/c, fresh rebuilt transmission and runs great. I can't wrap my head around buying a 20k+ side by side. I'd like to be able to go on trail runs w friends but don't want to get beaten to death.any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Frankenchevy

    Frankenchevy Lying Dog-Faced Pony Soldier Supporting Member

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    You can do ORD coils or custom springs and nice remote reservoir shocks, but you’ll never touch what a Turbo S RZR can do at speed off-road for less than the $27,000 price tag of said unit.
     
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  3. diesel_lv

    diesel_lv Member

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    Thanks. Kinda what I was afraid of
     
  4. Frankenchevy

    Frankenchevy Lying Dog-Faced Pony Soldier Supporting Member

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    That’s not to say you can’t have fun. A square would need to be turned into a trophy truck to keep up with something that has way more than 1:10 hp:lb ratio and purpose built independent suspension.
     
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  5. diesel_lv

    diesel_lv Member

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    Definitely not trying to compete w the hp to weight ratio. Just wanna be able to cruise about 30-40ish on those trails without being beat to death. When I bought it, it had a 4 inch lift, even a speed bump hurts.
     
  6. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    I agree with Frankenchevy- the ORD springs are quite amazing. You get up to 14 inches of travel out of them (you will need custom shock mounts to have a shock this long).

    I too was getting tired of getting "beat up" after long days on the trail. I've bashed my head against the steel roof of the cab for the last time! So I upgraded to ORD springs (*front only for now)

    However with that much travel/movement I found I quickly overheated my Bilstein 5100 shocks. I bought some Bilstein remote reservoir shocks and they stay much cooler. Of course I live in Montana and don't deal with the Arizona temps.

    Technically I think they way I should go is to get some Fox or King remote shocks with internal bypass. That way the spring is dampened better if I hit something really hard. Right now I'm just relying on a 4.5" bump stop. Or... they do make hydraulic bumpstops (basically another shock absorber). I haven't done much research on those yet.

    That being said with my setup right now I've seen bumps come up suddenly when I'm doing 30-40 and have cringed bad... as in this is going to hurt! And the truck just goes right over it and I didn't get bounced off of the cab roof. It is SO much better than it was before.

    It still isn't a side by side with 20+ inches of suspension, but it is close enough, plus I can still use mine as a truck to haul stuff. (I did ORD shackle flip in the rear with longer stock springs. This rides better than stock, but not as good as the custom ORD front springs).

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dvdswan

    dvdswan Full Access Member

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    Agree, longer travel both up and down and quality shocks are what you are looking for. I know its apples and oranges from leaves to coilovers, but after swapping out my IFS to a 3-link front, that was a huge ride quality improvement.

    Adding longer leaves allows more spring to absorb bumps, longer travel allows for larger bumps/holes to be taken. The quality of the shock allows for better dampening and release. It will be a package deal so to speak.
     
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  8. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Oh- I also forgot... if you are going to spend the whole day at speeds of 35 mph or so don't forget to air your tires down.

    Some guys run tires at max pressure all the time. Now it depends on your tire size and what width wheel but even dropping to lets say 20-23 psi will allow the tire to flex, absorb some impacts, and also this helps prevent tire damage from being too "rigid".

    There is a lot of info out there on this subject. If you go too low a pressure then drive too fast for too long that will heat up the tire and cause damage. Some guys when experimenting take an IR gun with them and monitor tire temps.

    And after you air down then you will need a compressor to air back up.
     

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