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level kit, timbrens or both?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by jerseydrew, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    just got my plow mounted today and i need just a little more clearance. it sags down just a hair too much to clear the angle at the bottom of the driveway. i know i didn't have any ballast in the bed but not sure how that helps. what would you guys suggest?
     
  2. buddymanzpop

    buddymanzpop Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    Crank the torsion bars up a little to raise your front end, if that isn't enough go for the timbrens, I have a GMC 3500 DRW and a Chevy 2500, I crank the torsion bars and put the timbrens in both around November , December and crank them down and pull the timbrens out and put the stock rubber bumpers back in the spring, very easy to do, I only do this because I like the ride and feel of the stock settings.
     
  3. wkahler

    wkahler Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Install Firestone airbags, you won't regret it!! I had them on my 2001 F-250 and putting them on my new 2010 GMC.
     
  4. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    i have gmt900 so no torsion bars for me i have independent suspension up front. i think i am going to do both. lift for clearance and timbrens for support.
     
  5. Mr. Horsepower

    Mr. Horsepower Member
    Messages: 39

    What plow did you put on? I just installed the Western HTS on My Tahoe and it seems OK, now snow yet so I cant really tell. I am going to put some ballast in the back for traction
     
  6. Tahoeplower

    Tahoeplower Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    I realize this is an older thread, but thought I'd stick in a little advice for anyone happening across this with the same problem: Try 500 lbs of ballast in the rear BEHIND the axle, closest to the cargo doors as you can. Think of your axles as a sea-saw. Add weight to the front (Plow), it drops it down. Add weight to the rear, and it cantilevers the weight distribution more evenly, bringing your front end back up a bit. Might get you by for the time being if you're crunched for budget, time, what-have-you. Don't know if it will work enough to clear you or not, but it's worth a shot. Not to mention, the added weight of the plow lightens the weight to the rear tires (remember the sea-saw) reducing your traction significantly. I have a '96 Tahoe. Without weight in the rear, she even FELT light in the rear going down the road! So you then lose that much more weight to grip the rear tires, putting most of the strain on the front axle, which have the weakest parts to break. I ended up putting 1200 lbs of concrete pavers in the rear of mine, and it leveled it about PERFECT (granted, tire clearance wasn't an issue, since I have a 6" lift in it). I'll be taking about 1/2 of that out, though, she loses alot of power in hi gear going down the road! But, I'll tell you what- I burried myself in a ditch while plowing a bank from a driveway too far over. Couldn't open the door even, snow was about a foot below my window (keep in mind, that's with a 6" lift, 33" tires). Had to crawl out the window to get out! Choked the chain on the plow to lift it off the snow, back and forth a few times, and it crawled right out! I couldn't believe it! Had to be that extra weight in the back. However, I'm thinking 23 paver blocks, at 50 lbs ea. is a little excessive! Anyways, it's worth a shot, if you are on a tight budget, or like me, the wife keeps nagging that I'm spending too much!
     
  7. Maleko

    Maleko Senior Member
    from Ct
    Messages: 779

    Here, Here, I second that....
    have them on my truck for the first time this year. dont know what i ever did without them
     
  8. Mr. Horsepower

    Mr. Horsepower Member
    Messages: 39

    I've got 350lbs of ballast behind the axle in my 07 GMT900 Tahoe with a Western HTS plow. I am having an issue where a steep downhill driveway meets the road. The bottom of the receiver brackets are scraping pretty hard. I'm going to need to put in the front end leveling kit.
     
  9. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    i did a level kit and fixed everything. no issues.....
     
  10. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    How do you secure the pavers? I'd be a little worried about heavy objects inside that could become projectiles, damaging things like seatbacks, windows, my skull.... Actually I'd worry about them in a pickup bed too.
     
  11. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    Sounds good, thats what I did and about 500 pounds of sand bags in the back.
     
  12. Mr. Horsepower

    Mr. Horsepower Member
    Messages: 39

    What brand and height leveling kits did you guys use?
     
  13. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Senior Member
    from jersey
    Messages: 232

    i used a rough country 2 inch on my 1500...
     
  14. Tahoeplower

    Tahoeplower Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Actually, I haven't secured them down. Slammed into a few banks, and the top paver on each stack slid forward a little bit, but never projectiled. Each stack is just about level or below the back seat and back window, but it is a real possibility if I were in a front end collision, for one to skip the back seat and nail someone in the head. I'll be taking them out tonight to put the 3rd row seat back in, then only putting 1/2 of them back in. I'll double strap them down behind the seat, with the tie-down rings in the back. Excellent point, thanks for bringing it up. Didn't even think about the possiblilty of one of them flying forward in an accident.
     
  15. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    Summit Racing Kit.

    I think I paid between $200-$300 for it, 2 inch was perfect.
     
  16. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I sometimes wish I could get more height out my frontend. I have my torsion bars turned up about 1.5 inches and airbags in the back. I have been reading about and considering new keys for about ten years now, but I've talked myself out of it every time. I just dont see how re-indexed keys can get any more out of it than cranking the stock ones. I get that its starting from a different place, and maybe it would be a little better for it at the same height, but where my keys are set now it rides good and isnt too stiff. New keys usually advertise about two inches, well I'm pretty sure 1.5 of those inches is the same 1.5 inch I've already got. Right?
    I'd do an actual suspension lift kit, but they are (still) prohibitively expensive for my era IFS trucks, and most all I've seen say they are for 6 lug trucks only. Oh well, be working on the 82 soon, putting in my inexpensive and simple 4 inch suspension lift.
     
  17. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    Dan, On out era trucks the new keys do nothing. You can already crank the bars enough so that you can't get the truck to align up on a rack, camber adjustment.
    I think GM redesigned the keys on the newer trucks so you couldn't over crank the front causing warranty work for them..
     
  18. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    thats what I thought, every time I read where it will give me two inches, then I go back and find that it really won't. I'd really like a 3-4 inch lift in the front, but I've had good luck with all my frontend components so far (well except for wheelbearings) so I really don't want to twist it up and wreck the balljoints. If I didn't love my IFS so much I'd probably think about doing the SAS. Maybe if my so-called "weak" IFS ever fails, I'll start looking for a Ford D60. So far I've got 180k on my front axle with a lot of hard use and only thing I've done is replaced CVs once. Really the only reason I would consider changing to SFA would be for lift.
     
  19. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    That is horrible advice! If you "crank" your torsion bars or use a leveling kit the Timbrens will not do a thing. Timbrens dont give you any lift at all, they prevent sag...essentially a big bump stop that sits on the lower control arm. If you raise the truck by leveling or "cranking" the T-bars you dont have the contact with the lower control arm rendering them useless.
    Thats my experience anyways. The Timbrens dont do anything on my 99 after I gave the t-bars a couple turns.
     
  20. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Actually no they didn't on the 01-07 classics. Haven't had one yet that needed keys to level or closely it out depending on the owners wishes. They run out of comfortable travel before they run out of adjustment so buying aftermarket keys for those trucks is a waste of time and money. However by the new body some do not have enough adjustment to get it close but that depends on which keys it's factory equipped with.

    This is why you shim the Timbrens down so they become effective sooner when starting at a higher ride height, therefore it's working just as if it was still near stock ride height. Been shimming them on 'adjusted' trucks for years and it works well.