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1997 Tahoe Shocks/Leveling

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by PlowJimmy, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. PlowJimmy

    PlowJimmy Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    1997 4DR Tahoe with 3 inch body lift (bought it that way). I installed a used 7.5 ft. Western Unimount plow. I cranked the torsion bars 6 turns, had Timbrens installed and added 350 lbs. ballast. I run LT235/85/16 tires. With plow lifted, the front end still sags more than I like. After the last snow, I disconnected plow and the front end now bounces a bit when I go over bumps. :redbounce I think I need new shocks. Any suggestions? I would like the front to raise a bit more than it was before the shocks croaked.
    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 179

    Solution = Air Shocks

    I have a 7-6" Meyer plow on a Jeep Cherokee. Not the lightweight plow. That's about the same weight plow as yours on a lighter-duty vehicle. A lot of guys plow with them. I bought it with this set-up on it. The front coil springs were both broken when I bought it because the previous owner didn't take precautions. I installed new springs, then Monroe air shocks on the front. When I need to plow in the winter I just add some air (don't really need that much, maybe 20 lbs), which distrutes the weight, and it levels it right out. Takes the stress off the springs. I added slightly heavier-duty springs too, but only a notch heavier. Plus it has the added benefit of riding beautifully going down the road (like on a cusion of, well, ...AIR". When I unhook the plow, I just let a little air out until it levels off where I want it, and it still rides nice.

    If you go to the Monroe website, look up the shock application for your vehicle. Note the measurements and stroke, mouting arangement. Then go to the air shock application guide (by measurement) and find one that best matches what you need. Then, go order them from NAPA or you can usually find them on Ebay (probably cheaper). Mine were $99/pr, which is not that much more than a regular shock, really. You can also use air bags instead of shocks, but to me, the shocks work nice. Good luck.

    MLG
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  3. PlowJimmy

    PlowJimmy Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for your input MLG. My Tahoe has torsion bars, not springs, like your Jeep so I can't make that modification, but air shocks are a possibility, I guess. Do any of you guys who drive Tahoe/Yukons have solutions to this problem without changing torsion bar keys? I've seen a lot of threads about Bilstein 5100 Series and shimming the Timbrens (which I plan on doing). Are there other shocks (brands) that might be better, such as the ones with coil springs?
    Thanks.
     
  4. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 179

    See what others have to say, but air shocks should be all you need, you shouldn't need the coil-overs. If you do that, it's going to be rougher riding all the time when you remove the plow. Air shocks have the capability to hold a lot of weight. I know because I've got them on a car for load leveling for trunk loads. It's a Cadillac and they came that way. You can put a lot of weight in the trunk and it'll level it off. If you go to the Jeep side of this forum you will find that a lot of guys run air shocks on the front of their Cherokees or Wranglers and it's a great solution, so no reason to think they won't work well for your rig. To me, that would be the easieast and least expensive way to go. There are also air bag systems that can be adapted.

    Another consideration would be to see if your torsion bars can be retrofitted with those off of a 3/4 T truck. But there again, you might expect a rougher ride when the plow is not attached. Good luck.

    MLG
     
  5. watatrp

    watatrp Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    Does anyone have any suppliers for front air shocks? I've got a 96 Tahoe and didn't see any available from Monroe. I'm sure it's the same story for a 97.
     
  6. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 179

    Did you try going to the Monroe website, get the measurements on the shock that is spec'd for your truck, then go to the Monroe air shock page (online) and see if there is an air shock that has the same mounts and is close or similar to your truck's shocks? They've got so many air shocks, I'd be suprised if they didn't have something that would work. You might find one that could be off 3/8" or something like that in a certain measure ment like travel or compression, but should still work. Shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes.. Gabriel also has air shocks if I recall. Good luck

    MLG
     
  7. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 179

    Plow Jimmy,

    I stand corrected: I went out and raised my plow on my Cherokee and with the plow raised, the air pressure in the front shocks was about 65-70 psi. It stays nice and level though. I did install slightly heavier front springs though, but there are guys on the Jeep forum side of this site that use regular springs (or Cherokee V8 springs) and works well for them. Just wanted to correct myself.

    MLG
     
  8. watatrp

    watatrp Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    MLG- I figured out what you were talking about after thinking about it for a while. I can look up what my stock compressed and extended length is. Then it's just a matter of going to the air shock tables and finding something similar. They don't have anything that matches exactly. Wondering if I should go with a slightly longer travel or shorter? I would think slightly shorter so I could add air to raise it up. I saw a set for $122. Not bad.
     
  9. forrest.treutel

    forrest.treutel Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    i have a 95 tahoe with a plow also, iv just found this website so i hope you guys are still out there but i was wondering how you calculate/find your compressed and extended lengths?
     
  10. badazzbulldog

    badazzbulldog Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    here are the part numbers for Gabriel Hijackers air shocks either style will fit in the 88 to 99 classic body style #49369 and #49345 those are thru autozone
     
  11. forrest.treutel

    forrest.treutel Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    thanx!!!!!!!!!!!1