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4" lift on '86 k30

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Seabee15, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Seabee15

    Seabee15 Member
    Messages: 45

    So I have a 86 Chevy 1TON (CUCV/M1008) w/ western 7.5 UNImount

    The suspension is pretty tiered so I'm looking to do some up grading.

    I was looking at getting just a 4" suspension lift for it. New leafs up front and AAL in the Rear.

    I have 285/75R16 BFG A/T on it now, and it does fine, but I'd like it a little higher.

    Would this lift hinder my plowing? I do mostly small driveways and small parking lots.


    (and yes, the 6.2 Diesel is slow, but it gets the job done!)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  2. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    check out my sig line below. 79k30 4" lift and 35" tires or 235/85/16 i have plowed with on it.

    the add a leaf will do basicly nothing on the rear of that tank. those springs wont like it at all. and it will ride even worse. just do a block kit in the rear for stupid simple install.

    and with 4" or more lift on a true 1 ton like you and i have you need to cut the shock mount off the rear right side axle tube and clock it up about 15* and reweld it or the shock body will hit the axle tube. easy mod to do.

    front you can go 4" eazy ride springs but plow will drop it a bit . or 4" hd springs made for 4" lift and heavy front ends such as plow/hd bumper/winch.

    tuff country springs are best bang for the best ride on these trucks . NOT ruff country thay are stupid stiff rattle your teeth out.

    http://www.offroaddesign.com/catalog.htm has lots of good parts for the 73-87 chevy solid axle trucks. and a vendor for tuff country.

    spring page http://www.offroaddesign.com/catalog/TuffCountry.htm

    call them for fastest info on questions and pricing. this week and weekend thay are at a huge offroad race king of the hammers. limited staff on hand.

    also you dont need 4" lift thay have a 2" and 3" spring lift for these. and if more than 2" lift get a drop pitman arm for the steering box to correct for the lift. dont do the block for the axle arm thay suck.

    if you dont want to spend extra money remove the sway bar. with the stiffer positive arched lift springs for these trucks thay dont realy need the sway bar . 75-85% of the guys remove them for offroad and use the truck on road still and no problems.

    and get a set of there hd shackles for the front with the new frame side bushings. yours will be shot .

    and super site for info on these trucks is www.ck5.com great guys no p!ss!n matches over there. and same screen name for me there if you wana talk other than here.

    any more just ask.

    were you at upstate ny ? i am horseheads 14845
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  3. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I've done it. Had a 79 K10 with 4" springs, a body lift and 36" Buckshot Mudders. Western 7'6" blade, Meyers E47 pump, modified plow frame to accomodate the lift kit and the bastardized plow setup. 454 under the hood, 4.10 geared 14 bolt full floater and a Dana 44 up front and that thing moved snow like there was no tomorrow.

    I prefer to plow with something mildy lifted to handle the extra weight of the plow, to allow somewhat larger tires, and to help me get through the deeper snow.

    I'm also on ck5.com, same username as here.

    What part of NY? I'm in Spencerport, 14559.
  4. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    hay to locals wow. we need to do a meet n greet.

    he is webster ny area by rochester.

    i recall you on ck5 buddy :waving:
  5. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I remember you from ck5 as well. :drinkup:

    Webster is 20 minutes from me.

    Meet & greet would be cool.
  6. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Fwiw, I much prefer plowing in a lifted truck. You can see so much better, looking down at what your doing, seeing over snowbanks, especially when entering a road from a driveway. Added beef over stock springs, and I like the little more aggressive angle you get on the plow, it cuts better I think. I had two 73-87 GM plowtrucks with 4 inch suspension lifts. In the winter I'd throw some little tires on stock steelies. Initially I used to take the body lift out, but that got old fast and I left it in. 4 inch lift and stock tires isnt picking your plow up enough to change much, you wont need to make drop brackets or anything. I also think it's better for getting un-stuck. If you push the blade over and past a snowbank or curb, the higher you can lift it up the better chance you have of backing out without the blade hanging you up. Probably cant hurt for stacking height either, now that I think about it.
    Putting a 4 inch in my 82 1 ton right now, and it's getting an old Fisher conventional. Still have people telling me lifted trucks arent good for plowing, but they havent tried it and dont know what they're talking about. Same kind of people who tell me you cant plow with a dually.
  7. Seabee15

    Seabee15 Member
    Messages: 45

    All good info!! Thank you very much. I think the front springs are very tiered anyways holding up that 6.2.

    At meet and greet would be awesome. I'm up for it whenever, as long as its not snowing.
  8. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    ya i love the 4" lift in my k30 just right for play and work. and that fisher scrapes better with the lift.

    doin 255/85/16 cooper st tires this next season.
  9. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    hey SweetK30, need some more of your expertise. I tried putting the 4 inch lift kit in, like an idiot I did the rear first (not my idea, actually), got to the front and realized the lift springs are considerably narrower than the stock ones. So I'm assuming they are for a 1/2 ton truck and I should get some for a 1 ton. Can't seem to find any on any of the usual parts vendor sites that specify for a dana 60. What do you know about this, am I supposed to use the narrow springs or can I find lifted wide ones somewhere? I'm about ready to go to the big spring shop and get some made, but that might cost me a lot more.
  10. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    stock thay are 3" wide at the ends and taper to 2-3/4" in the middle.

    all aftermarket lift springs are 2.5" wide all the way .

    and 73-87-91 solid axle 1/2 - 3/4 - 1ton use the same front leafs for lift kits or stock its just 2 or 3 leaf diffrence.

    the aftermarket bushings in the lift kit springs are wider to make up for the width diffrence.

    dont forget the dana 60 will need 2 longer bolts for the pass side the diffrence of the stock leaf pack to aftermarket thickness .

    anything else sir ? :mechanic:

    kind of pic it out 4" hd lift springs in mine here with fisher speedcaster frame for 8ft-up blade. also swaybar long gone .

    speedcaster hd 002.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  11. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    No freaking kidding!? Wow that is good news, I had convinced myself I needed different springs. When we were looking it over they looked so totally different, being narrower and different length. But, I thought the length was just because they are off the truck with no weight on them I've put lift springs in before and had to set the truck down onto them to bend them flatter to make them fit. I'm going to try to get them in this weekend then, and maybe take the swaybar off. They always say you have to drop the swaybar, but I never had a problem making it fit. On yours it doesnt look like you could keep the swaybar and have the plowframe. Which is a little odd because I know I had swaybars in the stock location and speedcasts on both my 79 and 81 trucks.
    Thank you for your help
  12. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    sway bar off for 4x4 fun not plow frame problem. more flex off road . and sway bar on lift springs tends to make them ride stiffer on these trucks.

    and if removed reinstall 2 of the 4 bolts on the frame were the piviot bushing clamps were. keep the crossmember/frame togeher.

    only major diffrence in rear springs is 52" rear or 56" rear. and the longer is +4" out the back side only.

    you can just see i run the drop pitman arm on my steering box for the 4" lift correction. dont do the block on the dana 60 stuff. thay dont stay tight.

    here is a pic of the drag link right were it needs to be for slight drop to the back with the drop pitman arm.

    1ton drag link setup 003.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  13. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    wish I'd know, I already did the steering arm lift block. I'll have to keep an eye on it. What is the pivot bushing your talking about?
  14. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    were the sway bar is clamped to the front crossmember/frame area. when you pull the 4 bolts you will see 1 per side that pinches the crossmember and frame together. just put the bolts back in those holes and tighten.

    the steering blocks like to loosen up and walk around some. you will get funny steering if thay come loose. like the wheel not coming back to center or same spot everytime.
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I've got the block and dropped pitman arm in my 79 Blazer. I only put the block in because those stupid dropped tie rod setups that Stupidlift makes don't hold up worth a crap.

    Next step is crossover steering from ORD.
  16. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    if you can find one a stock dodge dana 60 steering arm is a part to use. but requires little machine work. need to have the taper welded shut for the hole that the draglink goes in. then redrill and tapper from the top side like a chevy.

    dodge used drag link under. and gm used drag link over.

    this will get you basicly 4-5" correction.

    pic i posted is of a dodge arm before rework to use on gm.

    dodge 60 arm.jpg
  17. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,029

    SweetK30 what kind of lift springs are you running on your plow truck and how have they held up with the plow?

    When I had my 85 K10 I installed a Superlift 2.5" kit on it. Well after about three hours of plowing with the truck I noticed that the springs on the right side of the truck were sagging almost 2" while the left side stayed the same. The plow that was on the truck was a Fisher 7'6 speedcast. When I built my 85 K20 I used the Superlift 3.5" HD springs that are for the K30's. These springs are beefier than the 2.5" springs I had. I have yet to plow with the K20, I just hope I don't have the same issue as before.
  18. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    i got 50 buck used ? brand leafs. :laughing:

    5 or 6 leaf and thick .

    been holdin fine with my 8ft and 9 ft blades.
  19. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    SweetK30, nother question for you. Did get my 4 inch front springs in, IDK if they are weak (they dont look old at all) or just too light duty for a big block truck, but I don't feel like I got much lift out of it. Combine that with having too many leaves in the back of this former wrecker, and the truck has an ugly rake to it. Plus, the front springs don't look right, the main leaf has some slight bends to it just past the second leaf. So, I'm wondering if I should just go with 6 inch front springs. What do you think? I wonder if I can use the same shocks. I also considered pulling a leaf or ten out of the rear, to make it a little less stiff and lower it a hair. Do you think I should pull out the bottom overload, the thick one I mean?
    I do want the truck taller, and may even add a bodylift someday if I can score some taller tires. I found some used 6 inch front springs, but the guy wants too much for them and I can't afford to buy yet another set of shocks.
    As always. I appreciate your input.
  20. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,029

    Maybe you need a set of HD front springs to take the weight of that big block and 9' blade. I had Superlift soft ride springs that didn't take a liking to the plow so that's why I purchased there 3.5" HD's. Truck sits nice with 315/75/16 tires.


    These springs handle the weight of the Fisher 8'6"HDmm2 well but are a stiffer spring. They do cost more money though, I purchased just the front springs alone with bushings for around $330 CDN. Going from a 4" to 6" spring I do believe you would need longer shocks.

    One cheap way to get a little more lift in the front end would be the zero rate add a leafs from Off Road Design. I'd also look into there steering box brace as well, I have the bolt on one on my truck. Better safe than sorry.

    http://www.offroaddesign.com/catalog/Zero Rates.htm