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Old 06-02-2019, 05:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Blazer design tips/experience

So I’ve done a lot of searching and i seem to be in the same boat I was with another project a few years ago. I picked up a 1990 blazer for $800 that I’d like to put an LS/4l80e combo in. I plan on picking up an engine/trans/tcase package locally out of whatever comes up for a good price. Probably a 6 liter truck or maybe a Tahoe or something. I understand it will put me in a driver side drop scenario in which case I’ll need a ford or later dodge Dana 60 up front. I want to stay with leaf springs on this build partially due to budget and partially because I’m taking this thing in places I don’t want to worry about bending links, so I’ll be doing the 52/63 swap and maybe order a custom pack from ORD. I’m going to go with the least amount of lift I can then cut away any sheet metal that’s in the way. I figure 4” or so of lift should get me clearance from the frame to run 44s, but I’d be open to advice from someone who has done it with 2” or even no lift. I was also thinking a little lift in the spring would give a little more arch for the spring to flex through.

If anyone has any tips on doing a driver side swap I’d love to hear them, or sees any pitfalls in the plan. I’ll start a build thread once I actually get this thing going. I am going to do the extreme shave on my 14 bolt and try using my mill with a rotary table to shave down the ring gear. I’ll let you know how that goes so others can try with a decent drill press and rotary table...
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Use the case thats in it.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Use the case thats in it.
Is it the 241? That seems to be a desirable swap case.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes it's the NP241C that came stock. I just rebuilt it so it's a good case and I'm liking the 2.71 reduction because I'm not really up for the double yet and don't really need it. I've been reading a lot about the benefits of going driver side drop, most notably the front driveline clearance issues and exhaust routing issues being cleaned up by going driver side drop. Also I can pick up later model superduty front axles here much easier than older chev/dodge and it'll also give me the high pinion for more clearance/strength.

Also, I hate to ask a "do these tires fit" question, but if anyone has experience with a stock ride height and big tires (@ least 40") I'd like to hear from you. I'm planning on buying another set of rear inner fenders for it and stretching the wheelbase as well as ditching the front sheet metal and rebuilding it to match the tires/suspension flex. It doesn't look like I'll have any frame issues doing 0-2" of lift but I hate surprises after I order a bunch of parts.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Also, I hate to ask a "do these tires fit" question, but if anyone has experience with a stock ride height and big tires (@ least 40") I'd like to hear from you. I'm planning on buying another set of rear inner fenders for it and stretching the wheelbase as well as ditching the front sheet metal and rebuilding it to match the tires/suspension flex. It doesn't look like I'll have any frame issues doing 0-2" of lift but I hate surprises after I order a bunch of parts.
I would recommend a 4" lift. This will give you some uptravel with leafs. Stock leafs pretty much ride on the bumpstops since they sit in a negative arch. 40" tires will fit with ALOT of cutting.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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4" of lift over stock height with 40" will pretty much be removing body panels not just trimming.

I ran 4" lift wagoneer leaf springs with front axle moved 2" forward if i remember right from where axle centerline was on the IFS and had awesome flex both up and down but would get the tires into the firewall and the front bumper. Rear axle was in stock location and took some trimming to be able to even get those 36" tires to go into the fender opening. Mine is a zr2 alzo fyi
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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4" of lift over stock height with 40" will pretty much be removing body panels not just trimming.

I ran 4" lift wagoneer leaf springs with front axle moved 2" forward if i remember right from where axle centerline was on the IFS

Mine is a zr2 alzo fyi
OP is talking about a FS 1990 Blazer....unless I missed something......
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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OP is talking about a FS 1990 Blazer....unless I missed something......
Oops missed that.

Still 4" lift and 40"s is a big stretch. I ran a 4" lift on a 77 k10 and 37s and had to do plenty of trimming.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My 87 K/5 currently has 2.5" springs up front with axle pushed 1" forward and ORD 2.5" shackle flip with stock springs in the rear. It fits the current 35"s with zero trouble, nothing rubs at all. I am looking to swap in my 60/70 combo and end up on 40"ish tires with suspension as-is. It looks pretty easily doable to me, especially if you don't have any worry about cutting/welding sheetmetal. I'm confident I could run 37"s on my current set-up with only minor rubbing to address.

You sound like the front is going to be completely custom so you're good there. I was thinking about moving my rear axle back a couple of inches so the tire will clear the forward part of the wheel opening and then stretch the back part to clear.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What fits vs what hits is greatly effected by wheel width and offset.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input. I know the sheet metal is going to take some serious work with the TIG and the break. Anyone have any experience with converting to a driver side drop? I'm thinking of picking up an LS 6.0 with trans and t case. Also, it's easier for me to get Ford 60's for the front where I'm at. The GM or early dodge ones are elusive or expensive.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Also, it's easier for me to get Ford 60's for the front where I'm at. The GM or early dodge ones are elusive or expensive.
Weird.....The opposite for me.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There is only 1 very expensive and mildly rare d60 that will fit conviently, 77.5-79 ford kp.

All others are 36.5" spring spacing which mean full fabbing spring hangers.

Yould be money and effort ahead to get a gm d60, put a 32s input into your existing 241. Exhaust is moot because you ls swap isnt goint to fit your existing piping anyhow.

There is/was a thread in the chevy section specificaly about low lift/big tire. But pretty much what was said above. Even with a full push b52 and 1.5" zero rate, +40" means little to no fender and no inner fender well.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yeah it seems axle availability differs depending on which part of the country you're in.

I'm not afraid to do some welding on the axles. I'd probably need to adjust the caster anyway moving spring eye mounts around on the frame and such when I go to stretch everything out. I'm going to try and get the rear spring eye to hang at the aft most part of the frame and get that front one way up there into my bumper mounts.

I've read 6-7" on the shackle is about as long as you're going to want to go before you start to get diminishing returns.

I did search for the low lift big tires and a driver side swap thread, but I didn't come up with much...
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Welding to the axle isnt going to do much unless you plan on putting the spring plate on the top of the diff housing.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I did search for the low lift big tires but I didn't come up with much...
Maybe this was it?.....

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/chev...-48-tires.html
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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40" tires on a 4" lift isn't that much of an issue. Don't have any pictures available right off hand but ran 39.5x15 Swampers for years on my '90 K5 with only 4" lift springs and no axle relocation. Very minor rubbing at full flex which could of been cured with slightly lowering the bump stops. Main trimming was on the rear wheel well of the inner and outer fender, and only minor trimming on the front. To be honest I didn't think the fender trimming looked too extreme and you could definitely tell it was a Chevy fender. After that I ran 42x15 Swampers on it with no change to the suspension....never really ran it on hard off-road stuff but tried flexing it around the house and couldn't get it to rub in the ditches that I had available.....to be clear, I'm sure they would rub hard in extreme conditions since the 39.5's rubbed lightly at full flex, but you could get probably 75% flex in the suspension without rubbing.


Last edited by grayblazer; 06-10-2019 at 09:49 AM.
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