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Does a Chevy front solid axle have to be a rough ride?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by asnowsquall, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. asnowsquall

    asnowsquall Junior Member
    from VT
    Messages: 23

    Good morning,
    I currently own a beautiful 1976 K10 which originally came from AZ and my wife complains because it rides rough, :redbounce :cry: :nod: which it does with the extra springs to handle the weight of the plow. We have a 4 year old daughter and are expecting twins in March so I'm selling my baby right now on Ebay which will most likely really hurt. I'm shopping for a Suburban and really like a 95 1/2 ton I drove a few days ago and I'm also looking at a 91 1/2 ton with the solid axle. How can I get the 91 to ride nice in the front? Can I use a light weight plow? Instead of putting extra springs on the front, can I put those air bag things like they use in the backend for extra weight. Air in for plowing, out for regular driving. I use the plow for 3-4 75' driveways here in Vermont.
    The 95 burb is $5,500 with 118K and has been taken care of. The 91 looks real nice, don't know a lot about it, 97K for $3,100. Any help would be great. I hope I'm as happy with a newer Suburban as I am with the K10. The ride is real nice in the 95 for sure.
  2. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    The best you can do is get good shocks and lower your tire pressure a bit to soften the ride. I'd think your going to have to modify the springs of both of those 1/2 tons burbs to carry a plow.
  3. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    It is the nature of the beast. You cannot have smooth ride and good snowplow carrying capacity on those old trucks. Also sometimes reducing tire pressure can make it worse by making it more "bouncy" yet.
  4. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    your best bet might be to slap on some airbags. firm it up for plowing and soften it for family duty. with some good shocks you should be alright.
  5. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    If he has those old HD 3 leaf front springs in the front of that truck, you will not have a very nice ride as long as they are on there. The airbag idea with a 2 leaf setup has some merit though.
  6. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Teflon strips for leaf springs

    The street rod guys solved this problem years ago. You can buy teflon or polyethelyne strips that go between the leaves on your leaf springs. This reduces the friction between the spring leaves and softens the ride. Check out Street Rodder magazine for sources. Posies is one company that sells the strips. They sell plastic strips with raised edges so the strips stay in place between the leaves. I'm planning to use these on the 86 Chevy 1 ton that I'm currently building as a farm/plow truck.

    Having said that, I replaced my 1985 Chevy crewcab dually 4x4 (solid axle) with a 1999 crewcab dually 4x4 and the IFS does make a big difference in ride quality. Of course, my 85 didn't have the teflon strips in the leaf springs.
  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    The strips can help but it you have the factory HD 3 leaf unit with full length leaves, nothing it going to help it much.
  8. welded wrenches

    welded wrenches Senior Member
    Messages: 177

    Softer ride 'grease'

    hi ya.try this.Jack truck up on the frame and let the axle hang freely on the springs,only raise tires off floor 2-3 inches.And get some industrial marine grease in grease gun cartridge.Attach a needle fitting on grease gun on hose end of grease gun.Pump grease between all the leaf springs.The grease creates less friction and a softer ride.It worked for me,alot softer ride on my k-20. p.S. keep the ol'k-10
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2004
  9. dzd9fy

    dzd9fy Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Only other suggestion would be to go to a GOOD spring shop and have them swap out the taper leaf with parabolic spring.
  10. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I have a 1976 K20 with 3 leaf front springs and Airlift air bags front and rear.The air springs will make it ride very well and still carry a plow nicely. I have a Blizzard 810 on mine. I run 35 psi in front bags during summer and up to 90psi in winter for the plow.