CDA's 96 K1500 build

CDA

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Jan 31, 2012
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#21
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

Got My RealLift torsion bar relocators in the other day.

The RCSB frames are SHORT and there was barley enough room to move the crossmember back and not have it hit the gas tank and/or go significantly up the ramp where the frame goes up in the back. Got the spacing of the torsion bar crossmember figured out, Ended up shifting the entire crossmember back one set of holes and drilling a new hole for the back bolt. Then, thinking I was out of dodge by getting the crossmember back that far I tried to install the torsion bars and found out that with the 2012 Rough Country 6" kit the torsion bars hit the transmission crossmember the cross member was about 1/8" too high for the torsion bars to be installed. This was solved by attaching the crossmember directly to the bottom of the frame rather than the top, this drops the entire assembly about 1/2 inch down solving the clearence issues by quite a bit. The drop of the trans crossmember also helps deal with my driveline angles by dropping the t-case down a bit in the rear and taking some of the angle out of my front and rear driveshafts. Got everything installed and ready to go, dialed in my torsion bars and we'll see how much better it rides after the torsion bar relocators do their magic. Unfortunately I'm waiting on a friend to bring me a new transfercase after mine turned into a grenade on the highway. But here are the pictures of the torsion bar relocator install process and some details about the trans crossmember.



^Dropped the torsion bars^


^And the other side^


^Relocators installed^


^How the Keys fit in the bars ^


^The Dropped Trans Crossmember^


^Finished^
 

CDA

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#23
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

Yea, the truck looks very different with the relocators. More importantly and my ground clearance for my breakover height went from 16 inches to 21 inches.
 

CDA

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#26
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

So now that my truck is getting closer to where I wanted it to be from the beginning, I have been driving it almost everyday and wheeling it on the weekends. Plus, I'm in money saving mode until I move to a new house at the end of the month, so no upgrades this month for me! Here's some highlights from the past two months adventures.


Started driving over and up stuff at work trying to see how much the ifs sucked. Note the rear tire off the ground and the front tire not even close to the top of the wheel well. Found out quick that it was pretty miserable as the picture above points out . Ended up going wheeling with the guys from outfitter design got some recommendations for the ifs, and the recommendation from everyone I talked to was to lower the center of gravity and soften up the suspension to allow better up and down travel. This is a far better setup for me because I tend to wheel more of this New England woods rocks, and hills rather than tearing up a big mud pit, not to say I havn't done my fair share of that as well. Needless to say when I got home and started changing my Torsion bar settings and finding things to test the results on.


How the truck sits with the front suspension softened up




This is where the suspension ended up being the happiest, Now that the torsion bars are set at the sweet spot, the torsion bar relocators are showing their potential. I can get almost all the suspension travel out of my front ifs now, which isn't too shabby. With the suspension where it is now, I can comfortable crawl over things without the jarring and unruly characteristics of the Stiffer front suspension. This translates to a huge amount of stability. Before, the IFS was attempting to push back up with all its strength all the time, this would make the truck feel like it was going to roll easier as you got closer to the limit because of the load against the springs. With the springs softer, the suspension is more free to move with less force against it on the way up. This beans that I can hang a wheel in the air and it doesn't get all tippy and bouncy but rather smooth and predictable.






In a field at my father in laws house we have a small rock garden that I have always stared at and tried to figure out how I was going to drive up it as I was never able to do so before, With the suspension dialed in, that 34" tall rock is no match for my now much flexier truck. I've been quite impressed with how much smoother the truck wheels, and how much more stable it is with the lower center of gravity and softer front suspension.



I also took some time to play with adding some side angles into the bag, Testing my carb to see how it would respond to angles and being shutoff and turned back on after sitting for a while Im happy to report that It wasn't even a little grumpy about being parked like that for 20 min.

Planning on plenty of wheeling this weekend, the first wheeling with the suspension changes. I'm sure another update will follow!
 

CDA

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#29
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

x2
Loving the truck.
How does that nv4500 do wheeling?

Nv4500 absolutely Kills it wheeling! It's the early one so its got the granny low for first. Really made a difference in 4lo. My total crawl ratio is around 64:1 which keeps me competitive with my wheeling partners and retains my 3.73 gearing for saving gas. haha.
 

CDA

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#30
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

That's awesome flex for a rig with IFS
The guys from Outfitter Design that I've been working with dropped some serious recommendations on how to make the IFS very capable. Some of the recommendations involved a dope slap on account of the super tall mud truck look. And after seeing the H1 and a well setup wrangler wheel, I found a new respect for low center of gravity and flexy suspension. Not to mention the guys over there are a wealth of knowledge about GM IFS, everything from upgraded tie rods to crazy steering setup advice. I would have to say that much of my rigs capabilities are direct products of their advice.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Illinois
#31
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

so you just basically lowered the torsion keys back down instead of cranking them up like most people do?

and you still fit the same size tire?
 

CDA

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#32
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

so you just basically lowered the torsion keys back down instead of cranking them up like most people do?

and you still fit the same size tire?
I ended up backing the torsion bar keys down to just slightly cranked, concentrating on as little pre load as possible while still retaining the slightly control arms down stance, that combined with the reallift keys which add to both the ride quality and flex. We are also now working together to develop a control arm bushing kit for the OBS that would remove a lot of the friction from between the rubber and metal which would help the truck keep its alignment better after wheeling, as well as gain flex through the lower friction between the control arm and the frame / bracket during articulation. Also, I am finding that Steering upgrades need to start coming into play very soon so we have some plans for custom tie rods as mine like to bend under load, as well as running a very upgraded idle-arm mount to keep the passenger side tire from wandering all around under load.

To answer your last question, yes, my 35x12.5 BFG KM2's fits perfectly with my current setup, I actually couldn't ask for better fitment both while driving and under full articulation, absolutely no rubbing! With no trimming!
 

Chriscon7

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Jun 7, 2011
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Colorado
#34
Nv4500 absolutely Kills it wheeling! It's the early one so its got the granny low for first. Really made a difference in 4lo. My total crawl ratio is around 64:1 which keeps me competitive with my wheeling partners and retains my 3.73 gearing for saving gas. haha.
Good to hear man! Sounds like a real beast then haha. Id like to see some wheelin videos if you got any
 

CDA

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#39
Re: CDA's 96 K1500 build

So We headed out last weekend as promised. We did some exploring of some trails a friend had told us about.

Despite the rain that eventually turned to hail and then snow, we had a great time! Got to take my truck out and explore all sorts of rock faces and soupy stuff.

Highlights!









This place was, AWESOME, there was so much more trail than the pictures could ever show, We are going to re-group collect more vehicles and head out again next weekend too!

Over all I would say that the truck did very well, got bogged down in some soupy stuff once but that was certainly my own fault. Everything else was smooth sailing!