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  • 3/4 ton conversion?

    I have a 1989 1/2 ton, normally i'm hauling car haulers around a couple times a week, the 350 has no problems with it and the 700r4 does ok if you keep in in D, my problem is the suspension, it gets sacked out quite easily with even a small car on the back, i was thinking of adding a leaf, or even just bolting in leafs from a 3/4 ton.. can this be done? any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

    I'm towing a Jayco 32 BHDS (36'5" long) with my '99 1500 ECSB 4x4. I swapped the rear springs for a set off a 2500HD. It helped, but by no means did it (or did I expect it to make) the truck a 3/4 ton. It helped some with the sway, that being said, as soon as money allows, I will be upgrading to a 3500 SRW. As far as the swap, it was a fairly easy swap. Just had to cut the front left bolt off because of the way GM put it in had they put it in the other way, it would have come out w/o cutting. Then I had to have longer u-bolts made by a local spring company. I wouldn't think a OBS would be any different.

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    • #3
      Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

      Thanks for the quick reply, looks like ill have to take a trip to the wrecker

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      • #4
        Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

        I will completely agree with what he said.
        Nothing you can do to that truck will make it a 3/4 ton. You can put 3/4 ton springs in it, but you really need a 3/4 ton truck.


        03 Silverado ECSB, Dmax, Allison, 3.73 G80
        96 Silverado ECSB, 350, 4L60E, 3.73's Powertrax Locker
        05 Cavalier
        74 Corvette Stingray, 350, 4 speed
        49 F-1, flathead 6, 4 speed, 2wd, unknown rear end. Old rust bucket.

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        • #5
          Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

          Air bags and/or 3/4 springs will bring the rear ride height up during hauling or towing, however the safest (read:smartest) thing to follow that up with is a 3/4 or 1 ton braking system.
          2012 GMC Sierra SLT
          2010 GMC Yukon Denali
          1991 Silverado 'K-15/25/3500' D60, 14FF, 38's - [Build Thread] [SOLD 12/2/2011]

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          • #6
            Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

            Trying to upgrade a 1/2ton to a 3/4 is not safe or smart period.
            Upgrading a 1/2 ton to carry an acceptable weight is.
            Upgrading springs, brakes, sway bars, engine power, trans cooling, trans strength will make it seem like it can handle the same as a 3/4 ton.
            However it will still be a 1/2 ton with 1/2 ton axles (yes you can swap in a 14 sf or ff) but even then you still have a 1/2 ton frame.
            No matter what you do you cannot safely or smartly upgrade to a heavier truck without buying that heavier truck. Period.
            Having said that I will restate that you can upgrade your current truck to make it pull/handle/stop better. This is a great thing for the weights a 1/2 ton should have, same deal for 3/4 and 1 ton.


            03 Silverado ECSB, Dmax, Allison, 3.73 G80
            96 Silverado ECSB, 350, 4L60E, 3.73's Powertrax Locker
            05 Cavalier
            74 Corvette Stingray, 350, 4 speed
            49 F-1, flathead 6, 4 speed, 2wd, unknown rear end. Old rust bucket.

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            • #7
              Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

              gm makes what they call a "heavy half", look it up. its a half ton obs truck with 3/4 ton 14 bolt sf rear axle and springs with six lug rotors for the front. its is perfectly safe and can be considered a OEM swap, at least its a factory option.

              to say you can not upgrade, shows what you know...

              keep an eye on my signature as i will be upgrading my work truck soon.
              Last edited by nine5yukon; 06-09-2011, 04:53 PM.
              Junkyard Dog Project - Daily Driver<--Click Here

              Garage Sale Forum

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              • #8
                Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                People call it that but it's just a 1500 with heavy duty suspension; the front brakes which are the majority of your stopping power are the EXACT SAME SIZE as 1500 brakes just 6 lug instead of 5 lug. The rear brakes are larger due to running the 14 bolt rear end but that's it. A 1500 with HD suspension, or a 2500LD, are just barely more capable than a 1500...not to be confused with a regular 2500 truck. The difference is so minimal there's no reason to go through the work/expense of "upgrading" - if you think it's a significant improvement other than the strength of the 14 bolt compared to 10 bolt, you're kidding yourself.

                FYI my daily is a 2500LD.

                Richard

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                • #9
                  Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                  Originally posted by someotherguy View Post
                  People call it that but it's just a 1500 with heavy duty suspension; the front brakes which are the majority of your stopping power are the EXACT SAME SIZE as 1500 brakes just 6 lug instead of 5 lug. The rear brakes are larger due to running the 14 bolt rear end but that's it. A 1500 with HD suspension, or a 2500LD, are just barely more capable than a 1500...not to be confused with a regular 2500 truck. The difference is so minimal there's no reason to go through the work/expense of "upgrading" - if you think it's a significant improvement other than the strength of the 14 bolt compared to 10 bolt, you're kidding yourself.

                  FYI my daily is a 2500LD.

                  Richard
                  ^what he said. No point in me being a parrot.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                    nine5yukon
                    I never said you cannot upgrade, matter of fact if you actually read my post I stated it can be a good idea. But trying to upgrade a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 ton cannot be done and is completely unsafe.
                    The only "upgraded" 1/2 ton I would actually use is a 3/4 ton with a 1/2 ton body.
                    Other then that 14bt sf or ff you still have a 1/2 ton frame.
                    So no you still cannot upgrade to a 3/4 ton without buying a 3/4 ton.


                    03 Silverado ECSB, Dmax, Allison, 3.73 G80
                    96 Silverado ECSB, 350, 4L60E, 3.73's Powertrax Locker
                    05 Cavalier
                    74 Corvette Stingray, 350, 4 speed
                    49 F-1, flathead 6, 4 speed, 2wd, unknown rear end. Old rust bucket.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                      it seems a common misconception that ALL hd chassis 1500 had 14bolt and 6lugs which is not the case. my 2wd 89 had the hd chassis and had a 10 bolt , 5lug wheels, hd springs, wider rotors, bigger spindles and bearings. it would be a guess but maybe the difference is earlier vs later obs or 4wd but i dont know that i just know what i had.

                      to the op if you can find rear springs for a truck like i had, it hauled 6000 camper just fine with a 350 and 5spd
                      Last edited by ToyHauler; 06-12-2011, 12:48 PM.
                      04 Avalanche Z71
                      87 Firebird, 07 Monte Carlo lt, 08 lucerne cxl
                      some previous; 99 GMC Yukon SLE, 89 350/5spd, 04 550 cclwb, 03 2500hd ccsb, 06 2500hd eclb, 03 sclb 2500hd

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                      • #12
                        Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                        Originally posted by 89red View Post
                        I have a 1989 1/2 ton, normally i'm hauling car haulers around a couple times a week, the 350 has no problems with it and the 700r4 does ok if you keep in in D, my problem is the suspension, it gets sacked out quite easily with even a small car on the back, i was thinking of adding a leaf, or even just bolting in leafs from a 3/4 ton.. can this be done? any suggestions?
                        What kind of weight are we talking?

                        Are we within the limits of the 1/2 ton truck's capacity, just that you want it to sag less? In that case, throw in some air bags, an add-a-leaf, or a new spring pack.

                        Are you towing too much with it and trying to beef the truck up to handle it? Time to buy a new truck....


                        Like kcb37 has been saying, you can't really upgrade from a 1/2 ton to a 3/4 ton with just component swaps. Frame, brakes, rear axle, bearings, transmission, often oil cooler & radiator, etc etc is all beefier on the heavier trucks. My 92 C2500 weighs more than my 92 K1500 work truck did, despite one being 4wd.....(both regular cab long beds, tow package, etc)
                        sigpic
                        92 K1500 WT - Gone
                        92 C2500 - Current. Scottsdale, 350tbi, 4L80E, 14 bolt sf

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                        • #13
                          Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                          Originally posted by ToyHauler View Post
                          it seems a common misconception that ALL hd chassis 1500 had 14bolt and 6lugs which is not the case. my 2wd 89 had the hd chassis and had a 10 bolt , 5lug wheels, hd springs, wider rotors, bigger spindles and bearings. it would be a guess but maybe the difference is earlier vs later obs or 4wd but i dont know that i just know what i had.
                          No misconception, just no point in describing every possible variation when the real point is, he's not going to make a real 3/4 ton out of a 1/2 ton.

                          It is correct that a 2WD 1500, 1500 w/HD package, or a 2500LD would be 5 lug...and would be 6 lug if it's 4WD. Then again the 4WD would be 6 lug whether it were a plain 1500, 1500 with HD package, or 2500LD anyway.

                          Richard

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                          • #14
                            Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                            Last 2500LD I saw in the JY was 6 lug, not a 5. On an OBS, if you're willing to do the 8 lug swap, hydroboost, 4L80E, fluid coolers, etc there's no reason why it can't be a 3/4 ton. It's not like NBS and newer where the HD's have a completely different frame. The only frame difference that I'm aware of on the OBS's are that the UCR mounting ears are taller on HD's and the front diff mounts are different. People say they're thicker, but they're not. I've seen a zillion 3500's in the JY whose frames were the exact same thickness as my half ton. A lot on here will disagree, but if you're not exceeding the weight limit any of bearings, brakes, springs, and your truck aptly handles its load, I see no danger. *dons flame suit*
                            Last edited by speedracer326; 06-16-2011, 12:24 PM.
                            Originally posted by Quyonmob
                            Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
                            '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 3/4 ton conversion?

                              Originally posted by speedracer326 View Post
                              Last 2500HD I saw in the JY was 6 lug. On an OBS, if you're willing to do the 8 lug swap, hydroboost, 4L80E, fluid coolers, etc there's no reason why it can't be a 3/4 ton. It's not like NBS and newer where the HD's have a completely different frame. The only frame difference that I'm aware of on the OBS's are that the UCR mounting ears are taller on HD's and the front diff mounts are different. People say they're thicker, but they're not. I've seen a zillion 3500's in the JY whose frames were the exact same thickness as my half ton. A lot on here will disagree, but if you're not exceeding the weight limit any of bearings, brakes, springs, and your truck aptly handles its load, I see no danger. *dons flame suit*
                              If you saw what you think was a "2500HD" and it was 6 lug, I'd have to ask what year it was, and what you consider "HD" - if you mean GMT400, aka "OBS", then there are two flavors of 2500 - 2500 "light duty" which is 7200lb GVWR, 6 lug and essentially a 1500 with a better rear axle and a little extra spring, and there's the 2500 "heavy duty" which is 8 lug, and 8600lb GVWR. They are very different suspension and brake-wise.

                              There are extra supports, gussets, etc. in the suspension mounting between the two 2500's. Pretend it's "converted" all you want, you would have to change/add so many things you would be money and work ahead just buying the truck you need instead of hacking it together and still coming out with less.

                              Richard

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