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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks! Love this page so I'm going to go over the details of a build I want to do, to see what you think. I've posted around other pages gathering info and answers to little questions, but again this is my preferred page.

2004 Suburban 2500, 8.1L, 4wd. I have 5 kids and this is my way of getting everyone out wheeling and having fun. I mostly like hauling ass appropriately with what I've got.

Build wants/ideas:
-New front upper A-arms from kryptonite or camburg for example (these seem to add about 2" of travel)
-Considering upgrading CV shafts
-Hoping for something like 8" travel up front and 10-12 rear?
-Deaver J1 mini pack added to rear leaf packs. Confirmed although rear leafs are shorter than pickup, the J1 mini pack (made for 64" pickup leaf packs) will fit my suburban leafs
-Torsion bar crank and J1 mini pack will give me 2" lift front and rear
-Would like 2.5 fox's or kings tuned by Accutune front and rear.
-35" tires, will cut fenders as needed
-Sumo spring bump stops front and rear
-Upgrade steering as needed (tie rods, hear they're weak, plenty aftermarket options)
-Re-gear (haven't done the math on what ratio I want yet)

Correct me if I am wrong. I think with the right shocks, and 35's aired down I should be able to coerce a decent ride out of this rig.

I have a long term project 1987 J20 that only seats 2 and I'd like to include everyone.
 

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our 100 series is put together for a similar purpose. I wish it had the power of the 8.1.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
our 100 series is put together for a similar purpose. I wish it had the power of the 8.1.
I don't dislike the 8.1L, but this was originally bought for the wife and kids with the possibility of towing my J20. If I had to start over I'd buy the 6.0L because the sky is the limit with anything LS based. The 8.1L is a weird bastard engine
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In for pics and updates. Have a similar plan for mine.
Thanks.
How similar? I'm about 6 months out from starting this. I was wanting to bounce my ideas off the people on this site and see what everyone thinks. To further help me in the planning stage
 

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You are plenty ahead of me, so I'm not sure I would be too much help. I would be glad to contribute what I can.

I DD mine, so it will take some time before I can start in. I have really only done some simple mods to date. Shocks, Trans cooler, new oil and trans lines, simple stuff.

It is a 2002 Chevy 8.1 4L85E

There was another good thread in the tow rig section for 8.1L burbs...

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-rigs-trailers/2663444-01-suburban-k2500-8-1-a.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm looking into upgraded torsion bars from Sway-A-Way. I have confirmed with them that PN 1763 will fit my Suburban and are 15% stiffer.

I generally only like enough spring rate to support the vehicle at ride height, and use the shocks to do the rest of the work on both compression and rebound. But they are probably higher quality torsion bars, and won't sag especially after cranking them for my front 2" lift.
 

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I'm looking into upgraded torsion bars from Sway-A-Way. I have confirmed with them that PN 1763 will fit my Suburban and are 15% stiffer.

I generally only like enough spring rate to support the vehicle at ride height, and use the shocks to do the rest of the work on both compression and rebound. But they are probably higher quality torsion bars, and won't sag especially after cranking them for my front 2" lift.
Higher rate torsion bars are a good idea. You are going to be running heavier with the family and all their traveling gear than just running to the store.

When I built my mid-travel tundra and our cruiser I wanted them to ride nice running fast on all the fire roads and dirt roads but still handle and ride well on the road.

The hard part is that if you just have it full of people it is great. But you put all our gear, 10 gallons of water, arb fridge, kayaks on the roof and the ride height is dropped so you lose up travel. The shocks aren’t valved for that extra 1000 pounds so it is a bit soft.

Or you make it so stiff it rides like a 1970s 1 ton truck when lightly loaded but is great when loaded heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Higher rate torsion bars are a good idea. You are going to be running heavier with the family and all their traveling gear than just running to the store.

When I built my mid-travel tundra and our cruiser I wanted them to ride nice running fast on all the fire roads and dirt roads but still handle and ride well on the road.

The hard part is that if you just have it full of people it is great. But you put all our gear, 10 gallons of water, arb fridge, kayaks on the roof and the ride height is dropped so you lose up travel. The shocks aren’t valved for that extra 1000 pounds so it is a bit soft.

Or you make it so stiff it rides like a 1970s 1 ton truck when lightly loaded but is great when loaded heavy.
I am familiar with such compromises like on my 97 XJ I built for speed. I only ran 2.0 fox shocks and had them tuned by Accutune. Being limited to such a basic shock there was no real middle ground. It was harsh at slow speeds but great at higher speeds.
 

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I have a 1500HD Silverado with the Icon front upper uniball arms and Fox 2.0s all around. 285/70/17s all at stock height.

I think with a torsion crank you could fit 35s, but interested in what all you come up with.

I recently took my truck on some dirt fire roads and was impressed at how well it rode, but it is my tow rig and I'm not sure how much more cash I want to throw at it vs making my off road rig better.

I'd be curious if you can get 8" of travel out of the front without binding the steering.
 
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