Cadillac Ride on a 3/4 Ton Truck?

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S33k3r

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So I finally got my truck to a suspension shop. They had been recommended to me, and I needed someone who knew more about the topic than me to take a look. One of my goals is as smooth of a ride as can be had out of a 3/4 ton truck. I figure it's been 18+ years since my truck was new, technology should have moved on a little bit, if even only in the after market.

The shop indicated I needed about $1600 worth of work done (this was not a surprise; it may even be a little lower than I was expecting), but that includes all Moog parts and no shocks. They were originally going to have me run Bilstein 5100s, but I have the ZX3 set up with remote dampening control. Those shocks are still available, but like $500 PER shock... Anyway, neither of those really promised a smooth ride; definitely smoother than I have right now, but not modern smoothe. I also asked about lift; apparently I have a 1" lift, via keys. I'm running 33s (33.2; and they barely scrape at lock; I do not like scraping, and my wife gives me crap every time they scrape) and I want to add a 2" body lift to accommodate the Duramax/Allison combo I intend to add in the next year. The shop indicated I needed a 4" lift to tuck the 33" wheels without scraping, or an additional 3" above what I currently have. That still doesn't make sense to me. And they don't do body lifts any more, nor they know of anyone that does.

So I am here to ask y'all your opinions, based on these design goals
1) Fit 33s
2) Accomodate a 2" body lift
3) Cadillac smooth ride (or as close as is possible to get there, without losing capabilities/much capabilities)
4) Accomodate my 5 foot tall wife; I'm probably going to add power steps soon, since I have to have the 2" body lift to clear the Allison (without some sort of major surgery).

I'm not really someone who enjoys *lifted* trucks. But I love my truck, so I am willing to do a little lift to keep it running and driving smoothly. I haven't gotten a second opinion from a shop, but a friend recommended a shop, so I'll talk to them for sure. But can you please give me the benefit of your experience?

Thanks!
 

MassHoe04

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Go with the smallest rims you can find. Not sure what that would be for a 2500 series 8 lug... But smaller rim allows taller sidewalls on the tires (example: side wall of 33x12 tire on 17 inch rim is much taller than a 33x12 on a 20 inch rim). Taller side wall gives more "cushion" between you and the road.

I had 33x12 R15 on my Jeep and it was like floating on a cloud. At least as much as a Jeep can feel like floating on a cloud could possibly be... LOL! The trade-off is that floatiness does amplify body roll a bit.

Just match wheel/tire size to the appropriate use and what you will do with your vehicle (towing, trails.rock climbing, strictly highway...). If heavy trail /rock climbing, look at smallest rims with tallest tires for that max. side wall. If towing, I guess you would focus on stiffer tires with higher load capacity and then some suspension mods (air bags, load level, etc.).
 
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S33k3r

S33k3r

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Currently I'm targeting 275/70R17s on 8 lug H2 rims (32.2). I want to stick with 33s, with 17s for winter and 18s (My current wheels/tires: 275/70R18; 33.2") for summer. Added current tire size and identified desired tire size.

Thanks for the advice!
 
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Alex_M

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My recommendation would be to wait until after you do the diesel swap. That engine/trans combo is a lot heavier than the 6.0/4.80 you have right now.

That will both lower your ride, and act to soften your ride due to the added weight. The lowered ride is easily remedied by adjusting your torsion keys. Measure center of hub to wheel arch on each side before so you have measurements to match to after, and will avoid you needing to get a front end alignment (unless it needs one anyway) due to the added weight.

If your shocks have adjustable dampers then I would try softening them up. Shocks have the biggest impact on ride quality of any suspension part as long as everything is in working order. This will make your ride a bit more "floaty", but that is generally the trade off for softer suspension.
 

1badjimmy

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I am not sure if you have looked around the Duramax diesel forums but there was a member that offered some UHMW pucks in a reverse taper. The piece that went in between the core support and body mount was 2 inches. Each body mount afterwards was shorter and shorter until the last at the lift gate/ barn doors which didn’t have one at all.

My 2005 Suburban 2500 with the electric shocks that weren’t working properly rode a lot smoother than my 2005 3500 Dually. I replaced those shocks with some Bilstein 5100s and the guys at Discount Tire talked me into some 20’s and that Suburban still rode better than my Dually.

Before you think “well duh one was a truck dummy” my dad has a 2006 3500 Dually that rode better than the 05 and what we all compared the Suburban ride against. Maybe it was because the Suburban had the 8.1L/4L80E combo; I don’t know.
 
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S33k3r

S33k3r

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Before you think “well duh one was a truck dummy” my dad has a 2006 3500 Dually that rode better than the 05 and what we all compared the Suburban ride against. Maybe it was because the Suburban had the 8.1L/4L80E combo; I don’t know.
This is *exactly* my predicament. I want my 2004 Silverado 2500 to ride smoothly, without giving up its truck abilities. So that's why I'm on the hunt.
 

Mudsport96

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This is *exactly* my predicament. I want my 2004 Silverado 2500 to ride smoothly, without giving up its truck abilities. So that's why I'm on the hunt.
Best thing you can hope to do is throw some half ton springs in the back and use airbags to get back the hauling capacity. Because a 3/4 ton in never going to ride smoothly as you are seeming to want it too.
 

1badjimmy

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This is *exactly* my predicament. I want my 2004 Silverado 2500 to ride smoothly, without giving up its truck abilities. So that's why I'm on the hunt.
There is lower spring rate torsion bars. I’m not sure if the half ton torsion bars will fit a 3/4 ton chassis but they would probably be a lower spring rate.

The Z71 bump stops for the front, GM Part no: 15835667, are said to be better than the non Z71 ones. The bump stops are also supposed to be just touching or a few hairs above the control arm.

I don’t know if half ton leaf springs will be long enough. I’ve never measured. I’ve always wanted to try those Sulastic branded shackles but have been too cheap to try them.

Oh and also the 4600 series Bilsteins were supposedly a more street type shock whereas the 5100 were for those that did some off-roading.
 

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