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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start off by saying that this is my first truck I put a suspension lift on, and the first time I will be running anything bigger than a 33" tire. Even so, this truck was a very capable vehicle in my hands. My family and I like to take long trail rides any day of the week, and my front suspension was under going more stress than it could take. Balljoints were bad, both sides, uppers and lowers. Every moving part in the front end needed to be replaced, so I talked my wife into believing I could pull off an sas for the same cost as replacing everything in the front end with high quality moog parts. Boy was I wrong, and she knows it lol! I don't care though, in my area this truck will be an absolute one of a kind. Most people around me are into mudding, I'm not so much. Mud is hard on your shit, it gets everywhere and prematurely wears out parts. We like trail riding.

This is where I began. Picked up this truck with a 3" bl and some wore out 33" tires. Had a bunch of fun in this truck, only paid $2500 8 years ago. the price was right, and was more useful than the tohoe's I was looking at purchasing. This is not my first truck though, I've had other stock trucks as well, but this one is by far my favorite. It had 230k on it, and a couple years after the initial purchase I found a rolled over 01' GMC with only 40k for $1600. Swapped out the motor, transmission and t-case immediately. Also changed out the entire interior that was in mint condition as well. After selling stuff and scrapping the rest, I had only $300 into the motor tranny tcase interior rear locker and a few other small items.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Move forward to 2012, I found this site (the devil, if you don't know that yet). I was contemplating building it into a pre runner. That idea fell out as soon as I saw a couple sfa nbs trucks. I fell in love with the look and reliability of a Dana 60.

So, I bought this for $375 at a salvage yard. After this original purchase, I began collecting parts, and changing my mind and collecting different things.
 

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Discussion Starter #4


Got some brackets and other parts soon after.



These were exciting to have in my hands for the first time. I showed everyone who came into my garage. Nobody could believe what I was about to do! They now know I'm totally crazy lol...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds good so far! Where are you in Michigan?
Sterling about a half hour north of bay city. Funny you're in Marquette because right now I'm in Ludington in a hotel room typing this out. I'm working nights at the Wal-Mart doing a remodel...uhhhh, I hate nights:mad3:
 

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What size tire are you looking to run?

Good move going with a link setup 1st time around, you going to run coils or coilovers?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, I was naïve, and thought I was going to fit a 4-link under this bitch without going over a 5" lift...dumbass, I already bought the 8 links required for that. Oh yeah, they are Rusty's 2 5/8" forged rod ends. very beefy, and seem pretty quality.



So this is my 4 link mock up. Waste of time unless you want about 12" of lift. My buddy works for a major metal supplier as the manager of one of the distribution hubs, which means I got laser cut brackets and cheap materials:smokin:



Also found a rear Dana 60 for dirt cheap with matching gears for the front 4:10
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
What size tire are you looking to run?

Good move going with a link setup 1st time around, you going to run coils or coilovers?
Actually, I'm almost done with it at this point, just showing the evolution of the build, but I've got co's on it. I thought the link setup was the best move as well. I thought about going leaf, but was turned away from that by a guy who works in a body shop. He said the front of these frames are junk, the 99 and 00 had crumple zones built in and were prone to failure. Found out later on in the build that I had negated the crumple zone by plating the front of the frame. You'll see all of this as the build moves on. Thinking of the interco q-78 for tires. Thanks for looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)


miscellaneous parts, brakes newer leafs for the rear. Too much there to mention...



And the point which I knew this shit was going to be awesome. 12" travel 2.5" Radflo emulsion coilovers. Bought them off here for $400 for the pair, in new condition. From a user named "sickford". Good deal imo!
 

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Coils, of course, I went with someone else's recommendation and got the wrong weight:mad3: I'm over it now though. Had to buy new ones, because the original seller did not want to do the exchange they claim you can when you purchase them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11


Point of no return...



Passenger side



Junk



More Junk
 

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Discussion Starter #12


Got over the 4-link idea real quick and mocked up my newly designed 3-link.



Bumped out lol! Why raise the axle when you can lower the truck onto it?
I liked what I saw and got my locations for links all worked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13


Grinding dust is not something you should inhale, I strongly suggest you wear a mask of some sort...



Custom built frame plates out of 3/16. Never got any pics of them, but I used Artec axle lower link brackets, and link brackets for the frame. I used Artec upper link mounts as well. My axle end upper link was supposed to be an Artec product as well, but I custom made my own because Artec's was going to make my up travel limited, and I wanted to keep it as low as possible.



You know, nobody ever tells you how many times you will be taking your axle out from under your truck and putting it back in there. I'll guess that I had ot have done this process at least 20 times. makes for one sore back. To mock up I used sprinkler pipe. The links were 1 1/2 schedule 40, and the tie rod, drag link, and panhard were all 1" sch 40. These would change to 2" x 1/4 wall dom for links and 1 1/2" x1/4 wall dom for the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter #14


Checking geometry for steering before I commit to a panhard location.

 

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Discussion Starter #16


Up and down a million times to check for bind and clearances. A pain staking process, but a necessary one none the less.

 

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Discussion Starter #18


First time with weight on it, what a great feeling.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
That was the point I realized the springs were too stiff. it just didn't settle out like I wanted it to. I was hoping for around 4" of shock shaft showing, There's about 6 1/2" there. Very disappointed. Got over all of that annoyance, started working on my shock hoop brace, and the bump stops. Before I burned in my shock hoops, I found that my vacuum booster was in the way, tore that junk out and went and found a hydro boost unit with the lines and the ps pump to go with for about $125 at a salvage yard. Had to remove the electronic valve off the back of the ps pump, easily replaced that with the outlet from the back of my stock ps pump. Working on this truck is so much easier without all of the ifs bull shit hanging off the bottom of the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #20


A little motivation, it seems that as we build them, we all do this at one point or another lol! At this point I was painting everything and not taking many pics.
 
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