1979 K5 Blazer more travel?

Ben_grund

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Good Evening, Off Road Community! I have a couple questions that I hope y’all can help me with. I just turned 17 a week ago and have a 79 k5 that I’m wanting to make a play toy. I am looking to increase the travel on my k5 and I’m sure someone has done something like this. I know all the mechanics of it just I don’t know the best way to do it as it is now everything is stock on the suspension. I’m aiming to get about 12-20 inches... I just finished rebuilding the 350 in it after it had rod knock and rounded the cam and it was a whole clusterfuck. Any help would be Appreciated!
 

Ben_grund

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michael.gonzalez

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The first decision is whether you want to keep the front leaf springs or move to links/coils.

After that, you'll want to take the springs off and put the axle at "Full bump" and see what clearancing is needed for tires, etc.
 

Ben_grund

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The first decision is whether you want to keep the front leaf springs or move to links/coils.

After that, you'll want to take the springs off and put the axle at "Full bump" and see what clearancing is needed for tires, etc.
Thanks for the reply Michael! I Plan on getting Autofab 5” bulges soon to be able to tuck 37-39s. I am thinking about links being that it will be smoother but then I have to re fab the steering don’t I? What would handle better un in whoops? Are beams a possibility?
 

michael.gonzalez

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Linked front axle would undoubtedly handle better than leaf springs. You won't have to "redo" the steering but you will have to design a track bar that works alongside the existing drag link.

Beams are a possibility but will be a TON more work. ESPECIALLY if you want to keep 4x4.

If you are okay with 2wd, beams may be doable.
If you plan on keeping 4wd, I'd link the solid axle front.
 

Ben_grund

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Ok cool! What do you think it’ll end up costing and you have to have coilovers and shocks for links right?
 

michael.gonzalez

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2.5 coilover shock would be about 1k each with 2 springs included. So 2k in shocks.
Link material and suspension joint's should be around 1-2k.
You'll need limit straps, poly bump stops, and extended brake lines likely.


Can get it all done around 3-5k assuming your labor is free.
 

LorettaTheK5

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Hi Ben, I also have a 79 k5 that I've been doing something similar. I ended up going with a BDS 4" kit just to get me a bit more travel (about 12" front and rear), but I plan on linking the front end. ORD (off road designs) has a 5 link kit that comes with 2.5" coilovers for the front end that costs around 3k that I know a few people that run and are pretty happy with. In regards to steering, it would be better to go to a 2wd steering box and do crossover steering if you are going to link the truck, but I believe you would also be able to keep the factory steering, it just wouldn't be as optimal. Hope that helps. Stoked to see your progress.
 

RCTJake

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Yeah dude your definitely going to want to do coilovers. I've built a lot of squarebodies using the Fortify Offroad radius arm kit. The problem is once you factor in the proper crossover steering setup, custom springs like deavers, decent shocks and mounts and bunpstops and the work to install it all, your not far off from a linked setup that will handle 10 times better and last a lot longer than a leaf spring setup
 

Stephen

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It sounds like you're at the very beginning of this process, just plan on learning a lot! We cover just about every base from where you are to about all you can do with a K5 on solid axles. Summary could be:
Custom leaves: pretty much a bolt on system, very driveway friendly install. 10-ish" front travel, 12-14 rear. Good ride for a leaf truck. Steering precision isn't great. Great bang for the buck when you consider the cheap install.
Linking front or both ends. Much more expensive on the install, moderately more expensive on the parts. But ride and drive are head and shoulders better when terrain gets big. And if you add a bypass shock and the rest of the appropriate stuff to the truck, you can run a surprising pace in the rough. Idea of a parts bill is a guy that picked up his parts today. Steering, link kits front and rear, 2.5 coilovers front and rear and it was about $9K in parts.
 

orbot

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A few things you have to consider
1-Do crossover steering
2-Do coilover and link convertion, i was set on a Y style arms where the upper arms tie on to the lower arms instead of a crossmember, heims on one end only and bushings on the opposite
3-Re enforce the frame where the steering gear bolts in
4-Re enforce the engine crossmember, the rivets tend to loosen a bit with the extra stress
 
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