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Does leveling kit stress front end? 06 GMC 2500 needs leveling

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by CK82, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    Im looking to add a leveling kit to my 06 gmc 2500. As we all know the front ends sit low to begin with. I added helper springs to the back so it sits even lower in the front. I currently run timbrens and have my t bars cranked. No abnormal tire wear after 40k miles! I was hoping to add a leveling kit and back off my t bars some. Would this do the trick and possibly release some stress on the front end from having the t bars cranked??

    I'm going to be buying a Chevy/Gmc 1500 soon as well and want to add a leveling kit as well in order to hang a Western Midweight 7'.

    Any recommendations or knowledge would be great!

    Thanks, Chris
     
  2. 87chevy

    87chevy Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    It would take stress off the T bars, and you'd have a smoother ride when you turned them back down.
     
  3. H&HPropertyMait

    H&HPropertyMait Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    A leveling kit will crank the tbars just like you have now. i had a leveling kit on my f150 and it cranked the **** out of them, i was not a fan and wish i would of saved my money.
     
  4. 87chevy

    87chevy Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    Could get a 2 inch lift too. Pretty much the same thing. That's whats on my buddies 2500 HD and it sits level
     
  5. NICHOLS LANDSCA

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,310

    All a leveling kit/keys does is reindex the t-bars so you don't run out of bolt. You will get the same results by giving the bars a few turns, anymore than about 5 turns and you better invest in a kidney belt
     
  6. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    No it wouldn't, and no you wouldn't.
     
  7. x.system

    x.system Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    I've got an 02 gmc 1500 with leveling kit, uni 7.5 pro with wings and 7' back blade. Sits level with both blades on with no crank on the bolts, rides fine without the plows as well. No problems so far going on third season with this truck. I would do the leveling kit before I did timbrens.
     
  8. dlstelma

    dlstelma Member
    from GR, MI
    Messages: 78

    Leveling a truck does not mean there's less stress on the front end. The stress is similar no matter what height you carry the load....well, within the few inches we're talking about, anyways. Adding timbrens does not necessarily increase the load capacity of the front axle. Instead of the load transferred through the torsion bars to the axle, timbrens relocate part of the load/ force (a force that's similar to a point load) on the frame where a carrying load was not originally designed. In other words, timbrens remove part of the load from the torsion bars and relocates it elsewhere on the frame and axle. I would crank the torsion bars to a height you like. If the ride is too stiff, or the suspension is maxed out, then look into changing the suspension components....similar to the 2011 models.
     
  9. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    So if I added the leveling keys and obtained the height out of the front end I was looking for, thus avoiding driving around with a serious nose dive. I possibly could ease off the torsion bolts and eliminate some stress on the front end? Or do the keys just raise the bottoming out point? Leveling out the truck some (similar to adding balast) should transfer weight off the front end, elsewhere on the suspension or frame?

    I guess from my understanding the more the torsion bars are cranked the more stress there is on components. I'm just looking for a little more height and a few lbs. of carrying capacity.

    I did crank the t bars near bottoming out and the truck is holding my Western Wideout without a problem (Except for the additional wear on the unseen front end components I'm sure ;)
     
  10. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    I put in leveling keys and blocks in the rear.. I have it set up a bit high in the front to carry the plow. It does a good job and looks great, but I probably could have got what I needed by cranking my stock keys. I had to replace pitman and idler arms recently, but not sure if that's from the keys, the bigger tires, the plow or all three. Or just because it had 80k. At any rate, be sure to get an alignment after making any significant adjustments. And bottom line, would I put the leveling keys in again? Probably not
     
  11. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    Also, the keys just crank the bars farther to begin with. Picture if you had more bolt to work with and you could crank your stock keys farther. So getting the keys and backing off the bolts takes zero stress off the bars- if that answers your question. I know one of the other guys above said it well (NICHOLS)
     
  12. jgsxr750

    jgsxr750 Member
    Messages: 84

    Leveling Kit

    I had a chevy 1500 crew cab with a 7'-6" pro plow on it. truck had additional leaf springs added to either side since the original ones failed, with the addition leafs it raised the back up a little more so i cranked the torsion bars to level the ride height. i added the timbrens in the front to help with the sag/ nose dive when the plow was on truck. also added ballast to the rear of the truck. truck sat and road fine but i did notice that the ride became stiffer when i cranked the torsion bars and added the timbrems.
    i would just crank the t-bars a little more and just add more ballast to the back of the truck behind the wheels. my freind has the same truck as urs and he just added more ballast to the back of the truck to level it out with the plow on. He was running same plow as i had.
     
  13. dlstelma

    dlstelma Member
    from GR, MI
    Messages: 78

    No
    Yes
    Adding ballast would transfer a portion of the plow weight from the front axle to the rear axle, but it also transfers the weight to the frame, between the two axles. The potential to buckle increases when you have weight located at the far ends of the supporting frame.
    Yes, by raising the plow, you add more potential energy and it requires more opposing force to support it.
    If you want to reduce the stress on the front components, you need to add ballast or replace the suspension components that can handle the load. You can not reduce the stress or load. The load can only be distributed.
     
  14. vegaman04

    vegaman04 Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  15. dlstelma

    dlstelma Member
    from GR, MI
    Messages: 78

    If you want a leveled look, or the illusion that the truck is not being over stressed, add the timbrens and/ or crank on the torsion bars, and/or add ballast. The downside is the rougher ride for the first two options. Just be aware that having the timbrens installed adds a force on the frame that wasn't originally designed and adding ballast is not the "proper" way of loading the bed. To tell you the truth, most Chevy's and GMC's, prior to 2011, have all exceeded the rated load capacity of the front axle. They weren't designed to carry 700lbs (which seems to be the typical weight for a 7'-6" straight blade), hanging 4ft in front of the axle.
     
  16. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    Thanks guys! I will stop beating a dead horse. I appreciate the information greatly.

    -Chris
     
  17. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    I was just wondering if trucks with timbrens end up with cracked frames? Trucks without them end up with cracked frames? Or is it just pot luck? This question is of course not including gusseted frames.
     
  18. dlstelma

    dlstelma Member
    from GR, MI
    Messages: 78

    I personally do not know what causes the cracked frames, but I'd put my money that the cracked frames are the result from a heavy salt spreader or ballast was installed, and while plowing/ blade is down, something (curb, obstruction during stacking, something in the road, etc) was impacted abruptly. The timbrens only take affect when the plow is raised, so timbrens could only be blamed when plow is in transit or when stacking. There are thousands of these trucks on the road with monster plows and without issues. That tells you that the safety factor used when designing the truck is covering the load beyond the stated load capacities and people are being careful and not reckless when working the truck.