3 inch spindles for 4x2 only!?

Discussion in 'Lifted Supension - Z71 & 4x4' started by IZZY_BRITTON, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. IZZY_BRITTON

    IZZY_BRITTON Member

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    Forgive me if this question has been asked before but I am unable to locate such a subject using my phone.

    Looking for a small lift for one of my Tahoes. I found a set of 3 inch lift spindles which will in my opinion help with the ride quality while still utilizing most of the stock components up front. But then I see in the fine print that these will ONLY fit 2wd Tahoe/Silverado...

    What is the story with this? Is this true? Anybody have any actual experience with this subject?

    The set I found was $180 ish and there is a better known brand with nearly identical pictures for about $360 ish but they both have the same fine print... For two wheel drive only... What the heck? Really?

    Any insight on this would be awesome. Thanks in advance.

    Izzy
     
  2. iamdub

    iamdub Hold on... Lemme overthink this for a bit...

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    The way spindles lift is by relocating the mounting point of the hub downward 3". If it were 4WD, the front axle (CV shaft), which passes through the hub, would hit the ball joint in the lower control arm. There is no axle on a 2WD so there is no clearance issues with anything behind the hub. Inversely, this is why lowering spindles, which relocate the spindle upward 2", are limited to 2" and can work with 2WD and 4WD. There's enough room to have the CV axle 2" higher once you cut off the extra, unused length of the upper ball joint's stud.

    Look underneath a 4WD truck and note where the CV axle meets the back of the hub on the spindle. You'll see that there is no room for that point to be 3" lower cuz the joint in the axle shaft is only about 1.5" (rough estimate) above the lower ball joint.
     
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  3. IZZY_BRITTON

    IZZY_BRITTON Member

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    That is a great explanation. I never thought about ball joints bring in the way.

    I own and have owned dozens of these trucks and tahoes and not a single one has had modified suspension. Just never needed it before. This Tahoe is being built for a friend in snow country and I thought a little extra clearance and some more aggressive tires would be nice for them. However, they are on a pretty tight budget and I didn't want to spend a ton of $$ to get this thing up a little higher, nor incur further maintenance costs further the road by wearing out CV's prematurely.

    I have seen, now that I was able to access this forum at home on my PC, that some people have added 3 inch spindles to their trucks. How are they doing this? All of the threads I found were old and people asked questions but the OP never responded.

    Do you know of any 3 inch lift spindles that will fit 4x4? Or should I just look for 2 inch spindles and crack the keys a bit? My friends have 4 kids and I really don't want to sacrifice ride quality, at the same time I want it safe for the family, and safer for them in snow country.

    Open to suggestions that do NOT include full blown lift kits like a 6 inch lift... I just need a little more room to clear some more aggressive AT tires and a little more ground clearance... Thinking 33's would be a nice fit, 35's might be too much.

    Thoughts?
     
  4. iamdub

    iamdub Hold on... Lemme overthink this for a bit...

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    I've never seen 2" lift spindles for these things, 2- or 4WD. If someone lifted their 4WD with a 3" spindle, they must have removed the CV axles to do it, thus rendering it a 2WD. Some people don't know what a spindle is and they may have actually gotten keys for their 3" lift, or they got less than 3" of suspension lift but fit larger tires and are accounting for that. Who knows...

    For what it sounds like you/your friends are going for, I'd crank the stock bars a little. With the torsion bar suspension, you don't have many options for small lifts. It's either crank the bars or go big with special arms, bracketry, etc.

    I picked up the front of my brother's '05 Sierra (same front suspension setup as the SUVs) about 1.5", maybe even a full 2" with cranking. I bought a set of lift keys off Amazon for ~$40 just in case the stock ones maxed out before we got it sitting where we wanted it. They're probably just stock Ford F150 keys (or modeled after them), but due to logistics and time, we got the keys as insurance to finish the job. All done, I'd say he could easily fit 33" tires since the stock ones are 32". I did add 1.5" spacers to give it a little wider stance to match the mild lift, and had to trim the very bottom inside edges of the bumper cover and air dam so the shoulders of the tires wouldn't catch it. No one would ever notice.
     
  5. IZZY_BRITTON

    IZZY_BRITTON Member

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    Good info. Thank you.

    Got pics of your brothers truck?
     
  6. iamdub

    iamdub Hold on... Lemme overthink this for a bit...

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    Unfortunately (and oddly enough for me), I didn't take before and after pics. I photo document everything but didn't bother with this particular project. However, I did take measurements of all four corners to track the starting point and how much a turn of the key adjusters affected the height. It's a 4WD, but had the typical nose-dive stance of a higher-mileage GMT800 truck. Now, with the rear lifted 1" (replaced factory 2" blocks with aftermarket 3" to net 1" lift) and the front cranked, it sits very level and with the modestly wider stance, actually looks like a capable 4WD. BTW, all of this was done along with a major suspension overhaul and he got longer Bilstein 5100 shocks to account for the small lift. I wouldn't go over more than about 1.5" of lift on one of these. You lose more of the already limited downward travel in the suspension.

    I'll see if he can send me some pics of it's current state.
     
  7. iamdub

    iamdub Hold on... Lemme overthink this for a bit...

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    He's training this weekend so it took him a while to respond, but here they are:

    IMG_4171.JPG

    IMG_4172.JPG

    IMG_4173.JPG


    The first one shows it best. It was an inch lower in the rear and close to 2" lower in the front. It had a prominent rake. Now it looks like it runs- strong and healthy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  8. IZZY_BRITTON

    IZZY_BRITTON Member

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    nice looking truck. ultimately i will end up going this route. I am slowly getting in the mood to get some work done on this basket case. I will start a build thread for it soon...
     
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