Updated: Jun 22, 2022
This is a build that was near to our hearts! It really brought us back to the roots of where we started our wheeling adventures. This was one of my favorite set ups that we ran on our own ‘71 GMC shop rig. It provides you with excellent off road capability along with a very simple suspension with very few things to go wrong out on the trail!
We started by gutting the Blazer of all it's axles and suspension!
For the front suspension we went with a set of 52” Chevy springs. These would be found under the rear of most 70s or 80s Chevy trucks and Blazers. Unfortunately I did not get a good picture of the springs from the side installed.
To start the front spring install, we cut off the stock front spring hanger mounts and installed our Front Spring Hanger, moving the location a few inches forward.
Then we located the rear shackle hanger under the frame with a set of 4” shackles.
What makes these springs ride so nice is that you are able to achieve the lift you want (usually 5-6" depending on the specific pack your source) without an over arched spring sacrificing ride quality. The 52” springs will ride with a slight arch giving you a nice cushy ride.
Out back we used a set of 56” Chevy springs along with our Shackle Flip Kit. The 56” springs are found under certain Chevy trucks from the 70s. They can be tough to find in the junk yard or used, so we usually just order them new to save the headache. You also get springs that have not been abused and have new bushings already installed!
Some will suggest that you remove the overload to get more flex. We advise against that. Though you may get "more flex" you will also put the life of your springs at risk. Without the overloads it is easy to over extend the springs and bend them or crack them. If you wanted to go a step further, flipping the overload leaf is a safe option.
These springs simply bolt into the stock front hanger location and then we installed our Shackle Flip Kit to capture the rear of the spring. Our kit accommodates for the longer back side of the spring and gives you a nice shackle angle to insure if correct geometry along with a nice ride.
As for the axles, they consisted of a Chevy Kingpin Dana 60 front and a 14 Bolt rear axle. Both were fully rebuilt and were stuffed with a set of 5.13 gears and lockers. The rear got a Detroit locker, which is a great option for an automatic locker for no fuss engagement. And the front received an ARB locker. The select-able locker up front is very nice for a rig that will see street use!
We also dress the front Dana 60 with a set of Reid Racing Kingpin Knuckles and WFO High Steer Arms. The high steer helps keep the steering up and out of the way of rocks looking to put a bend in your tie rod.
We also preformed a power brake upgrade and a power steering upgrade. This made the Blazers driving experience much nicer and kept your knuckles from turning colors when a quick stop was called for!
This was an awesome build to demonstrate that simple parts applied well, work amazing off road! This customer will have years of wheeling on this set up with very little maintenance or worry!
Stay tuned for more builds like this and more!