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Old 08-11-2020, 06:46 AM   #1
Thealien
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Looking for suspension suggestions

I have a 2 wheel drive 1972 Blazer with a tired and worn out suspension. In the coming months I am having body work done due to some rust issues. At that time I will be addressing the suspension and an LS swap. I plan on stock ride height, not lowered. Maybe just level.

I have been suggested to go with a 4 link over the factory trailing arm suspension. I had always heard the trailing arm suspension is pretty good and can be improved on. I will not be tracking my Blazer but will be doing spirited rides in the new Hampshire mountains, the Kangamangus highway etc.

I am looking for good ride quality and an increased handling. Pros and cons? Suggestions?

Thanks
Mark
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:25 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

id keep the trailing arms....they work pretty good
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:23 AM   #3
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

A mild drop with quality shocks will ride great.
I would NOT get rid of your trailing arms.
I’d spend money on a good coil over setup like Ridetech, QA1, or others sell, before I’d put a 4-link under it. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Add good sway bars and be done.
(Plus rebuild all the front suspension)

Also look at Ridetechs street grip kits for C10 trucks.

Stock ride height with new springs will make it sit like a 4x4 blazer.
Just my opinion.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Nascar uses truck arm suspension says something about the setup
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

No reason to change the T/A's out for a 4-link for something mild. The T/A's can & have done exactly what your 'want' list stated.

If you want increased handling it usually involves lowering the center of gravity. I don't know of too many vehicles that handle good & are tall. Like anything, lowering can get excessive but it's not the standard. A mild amount of drop gets the center of gravity in a favorable spot & is not a compromise on the streets/roadways.

Suggestions would include:
  • Large front sway bar.
  • High quality and/or adjustable shocks.
  • Updated steering.
  • Rebuilt front end using Moog replacement parts.
  • Updated (current) alignment specs.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:30 AM   #6
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc684x4 View Post
Nascar uses truck arm suspension says something about the setup
T/A's are good but that's not why NASCAR still uses them. Rules are why they still use them.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:21 AM   #7
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

and I saw where nascar is going to independent rear in 2021
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by mongocanfly View Post
and I saw where nascar is going to independent rear in 2021
Interesting.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Well, if you're not in a hurry, I would wait for Holley to finish their acquisition of ECE so you can get one of their suspension kits. Not sure how long that will be though. If you want it done sooner than later, just go with new shocks, springs, and a sway bar. Also, tighten your steering up with all new Moog parts and a column rebuild. New rag joint and trailing arm bushings as well too.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

A friend of mine has a 72 suburban with a 950hp compound turbo duramax in it. He uses it to drive cross country, race it, and or pull his 70 GMC duramax race truck around. He still uses truck arm type suspension. He did upgrade to tubular arms but other wise it is the same design as OEM. It is lowered with springs and he loves it.
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:57 AM   #11
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

I even looked into a Chassis as by the time I was done with the whole suspension, brakes, fuel tank and fuel and brake lines and chassis powder coated I am not sure I could get my stock frame even close for similar money.

I would be happy with stock front springs, tubular arms and a 2" drop spindle. I want the Blazer level so I could start with lowering blocks on factory or tubular trailing arms and the trailing arm mounts with adjustable mounting points and exhaust holes. To get it level I "might need rear lowering springs. I lean towards ride quality and handling over the lowered look.

Are coil overs worth the investment?

I want quality 4 wheel discs and must have an mechanical emergency brake to pass MA inspection.

Any suggestions? Not wanting a C notch and most the "kits" seem to have them.
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:43 PM   #12
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
I even looked into a Chassis as by the time I was done with the whole suspension, brakes, fuel tank and fuel and brake lines and chassis powder coated I am not sure I could get my stock frame even close for similar money.
Apples to oranges comparison. An aftermarket chassis will be way ahead of a 60's work truck chassis that was designed in the early 50's. But, they're expensive. That 60's work truck chassis can be updated to be a much better driving/touring vehicle vs how it came.

Quote:
I would be happy with stock front springs, tubular arms and a 2" drop spindle. I want the Blazer level so I could start with lowering blocks on factory or tubular trailing arms and the trailing arm mounts with adjustable mounting points and exhaust holes. To get it level I "might need rear lowering springs. I lean towards ride quality and handling over the lowered look.
Tubular arms aren't needed unless they have physical changes done that offer geometry improvements. The standard "they're stronger than stock & won't deflect like stamped arms" is a sales pitch unless you're putting your truck on a auto-cross course or race-track. The original pre-73 bushings don't deflect much & don't bind. Those are two good traits for a touring style of build. Drop spindles for C10's are a good choice as they allow drop w/o compromising the steering geometry. Factory rear truck arms are fine for a mild touring build. Certain tubular arms are worse than the stockers as far as ride quality & binding from articulation. If they need replacing from corrosion I get replacing them. Beyond that? They're only as good as their design.

Quote:
Are coil overs worth the investment?
They can be if set-up correctly & optimized. If they're just bolt-in swap parts that are designed to install where the original coils went, they're no better than upgraded separate coils & shocks. The main benefit of coil-overs is the ability to easily change the springs 'rate' for tuning on auto-cross & track vehicles. To the average Joe? They're only a benefit if you actually tune or adjust things. If you're a set-it & forget-it guy, there's not much gain if any.

Quote:
I want quality 4 wheel discs and must have an mechanical emergency brake to pass MA inspection.
There are aftermarket manufacturers (Baer Brakes; Wilwood) that sell compliant kits for classics. There are also aftermarket sources for 'updated' 4-wheel discs (CPP). I recommend reviewing their product lines & finding a vendor convenient for you for the purchase.

Quote:
Any suggestions? Not wanting a C notch and most the "kits" seem to have them.
You'll only need a c-notch beyond 5" of rear drop. You won't need them since your plan is to keep it mild.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....

Last edited by SCOTI; 08-14-2020 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:30 PM   #13
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

@SCOTI

Thank you very much. I will not be auto crossing but will be doing spirited driving in the mountains of NH and the Kangamangus highway.

I prefer made in USA. I am thinking Willwood or Baer for brakes. Any suggestions for excellent quality spindles and springs?
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:08 PM   #14
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thealien View Post
@SCOTI

Thank you very much. I will not be auto crossing but will be doing spirited driving in the mountains of NH and the Kangamangus highway.

I prefer made in USA. I am thinking Willwood or Baer for brakes. Any suggestions for excellent quality spindles and springs?
Lets spot-light your expectations..... What wheel & tire combination is getting used?
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Building a small, high rpm engine
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:15 PM   #15
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTI View Post
Lets spot-light your expectations..... What wheel & tire combination is getting used?
I am still in the planning stages Of everything including wheels and tires. I am thinking 18 or 20 inch or staggers 18 front and 20 rear. I am not a fan of the rubber band look so I would like some side wall. I'm not really informed on all the tire choices either But I don't plan on going cheap I prefer to get what works.

I understand That the size of the brakes may also be a deciding factor in the size of the wheels?
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:56 PM   #16
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thealien View Post
I am still in the planning stages Of everything including wheels and tires. I am thinking 18 or 20 inch or staggers 18 front and 20 rear. I am not a fan of the rubber band look so I would like some side wall. I'm not really informed on all the tire choices either But I don't plan on going cheap I prefer to get what works.

I understand That the size of the brakes may also be a deciding factor in the size of the wheels?
Correct. Larger diameter brake sizes sometimes (usually) dictate the required wheel diameter so the caliper doesn't interfere w/the wheel center. But, that's a generic statement. For the typical budget style big-brakes (13" rotors) 17's can clear depending on the caliper size & wheel choice. Some "budget" (off the shelf) wheels won't clear. Most budget 18" wheels will clear a 13" rotor/caliper combo.

Go larger & you run into a similar issue on budget wheels.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-20-2020, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

I have made some decisions and am looking for advice on where to get a few items. I prefer made in USA when available.

Stock height front springs.

2"- 2 1/2" Front drop spindles. I figure I would need new ball joints. Moog used to be the go to but even my trusted mechanic doesn't trust them anymore. What is a good greaseable brand?

I guess I am going to keep the stock front discs at this time but would upgrade to Braided lines.

front shocks.

Front sway bar.

Keeping the rear trailing arms. Whose rubber bushings should I use to rebuild them.

2" lowering blocks

Trailing arm mount with exhaust pass through. I could modify mine but by the time I pay someone to hole saw and weld in a couple of tubes I would probably be into it for similar money?

I will most likely need 2" lower rear springs to make the Blazer level. Source for quality USA springs? I reached out to Eibach and they said they didn't have anything? I guess if you dont want 4-6" of drop there isn't much available? Suggestions.

Rear shocks.

Shock relocation brackets due to 2-4" lowering in the rear. Are they needed?

rear sway bar.

I will probably keep my rear 12 bolt and upgrade to a tru trac carrier. I would like rear discs with emergency brake. I need the emergency brake for MA inspection and want discs in the rear mainly for looks as they will be seen through most wheel choices I will make.

I am disabled and will be paying someone to do all the work. One of the reasons I was considering a full chassis. I really appreciate any help you could give me sourcing these parts.
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:05 PM   #18
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thealien View Post
I have made some decisions and am looking for advice on where to get a few items. I prefer made in USA when available.
. I am disabled and will be paying someone to do all the work. One of the reasons I was considering a full chassis. I really appreciate any help you could give me sourcing these parts

Quote:
Stock height front springs.

2"- 2 1/2" Front drop spindles. I figure I would need new ball joints. Moog used to be the go to but even my trusted mechanic doesn't trust them anymore. What is a good greaseable brand?
Stick w/Moog brand. They make top tier & 'regular' stuff. The top of the line is the 'Problem-Solver' line. Spindles are tricky... Do you want to install now & then swap again later when you upgrade to larger brakes? If not, CPP makes the Modular spindle that only requires swapping their caliper bracket to go from stock brakes to aftermarket big-brakes. Def not made in the US though.
McGaughys seem to still be a USA made standard brake drop spindle. I don't know if that's cast/forged & final machined in the US or just the final machining.

Quote:
I guess I am going to keep the stock front discs at this time but would upgrade to Braided lines.
Stainless brake lines from Russell Performance & go w/some EBC pads that are more aggressive. Notable difference vs stock replacement pads/lines.

Quote:
Front sway bar.
Stock GM bars from a suburban or HD truck will swap over. If buying new, Ridetech, QA-1, or Hotchkis
Quote:
Keeping the rear trailing arms. Whose rubber bushings should I use to rebuild them.
Moog or try Hotchkis (they were making a spherical bearing style replacement @ one point.... not sure if it's still offered).
[I]
Quote:
2" lowering blocks
Boris @ Streetmachinery (way2lo2 on this site) or CPP.
Quote:
Trailing arm mount with exhaust pass through. I could modify mine but by the time I pay someone to hole saw and weld in a couple of tubes I would probably be into it for similar money?
Dead End Garage exhaust cut-outs through Travis @ Pro Performance
.
Quote:
I will most likely need 2" lower rear springs to make the Blazer level. Source for quality USA springs? I reached out to Eibach and they said they didn't have anything? I guess if you dont want 4-6" of drop there isn't much available? Suggestions.
Belltech rear springs are available in 2, 3-4, & 5" drop lengths. Travis @ Pro Performance is a dealer.
Quote:
Front/Rear shocks.
Bilsteins or Ridetech . Ridetechs also make adjustable (tuneable) shocks,

Quote:
Shock relocation brackets due to 2-4" lowering in the rear. Are they needed?
Aftermarket shock mounts from NoLimit Engineering relocate the placement so the shocks work better.
Quote:
rear sway bar.
QA-1 or Hotchkis

Quote:
I will probably keep my rear 12 bolt and upgrade to a tru trac carrier. I would like rear discs with emergency brake. I need the emergency brake for MA inspection and want discs in the rear mainly for looks as they will be seen through most wheel choices I will make.
Rear disc kits are available through Travis @ Pro Performance w/an E-brake set-up.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:26 PM   #19
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

I’ll add this company for quality American made parts.
Plus they keep adding to their product line.
Excellent quality tubular trailing arms, trans. crossmembers, trailing arm crossmembers, etc.
Check out Tinworks Fabrication.
https://www.tinworksfabrication.com/63-72-c10.html
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Old 08-20-2020, 03:19 PM   #20
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTI View Post
Stick w/Moog brand. They make top tier & 'regular' stuff. The top of the line is the 'Problem-Solver' line. Spindles are tricky... Do you want to install now & then swap again later when you upgrade to larger brakes? If not, CPP makes the Modular spindle that only requires swapping their caliper bracket to go from stock brakes to aftermarket big-brakes. Def not made in the US though.
McGaughys seem to still be a USA made standard brake drop spindle. I don't know if that's cast/forged & final machined in the US or just the final machining.
I was hoping you would make some suggestions. I was unaware that I would need to change spindles if I upgrade to a 13" Willwood or Baer brake package.

I had an interesting interaction with Travis @ Pro Performance. It had kind of turned me off even though they seemed like the one stop shop for suspension. We have since reconnected and just chock it up to a misunderstanding?
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Old 08-20-2020, 03:30 PM   #21
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thealien View Post
I was hoping you would make some suggestions. I was unaware that I would need to change spindles if I upgrade to a 13" Willwood or Baer brake package.

I had an interesting interaction with Travis @ Pro Performance. It had kind of turned me off even though they seemed like the one stop shop for suspension. We have since reconnected and just chock it up to a misunderstanding?
You don't have to change spindles. You do have to modify the spindles which requires removing them & doing the permanent modifications if using typical drop or stock spindle castings.

That's the attractive thing about the CPP modular units. You buy/use one bracket for original calipers. When you're ready to upgrade to bigger brakes, you get a big-brake adapter bracket, remove the original set-up, install the big-brake brackets, & install your brakes. Beyond that? I would opt for made in USA myself if possible. That seems to be getting harder & harder to confirm these days. Given your circumstances, using the CPP Modular spindles would mean paying less labor when you decide to upgrade.

I've had a similar experience w/Travis so you're not alone nor is he. We're all human. He could of been having a bad day or we could have interpreted things wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolife99 View Post
I’ll add this company for quality American made parts.
Plus they keep adding to their product line.
Excellent quality tubular trailing arms, trans. crossmembers, trailing arm crossmembers, etc.
Check out Tinworks Fabrication.
https://www.tinworksfabrication.com/63-72-c10.html
I was going to add his info but felt the OP was looking to minimize the sources for parts acquisition. Tin Works is def making some nice parts.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:41 PM   #22
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Quote:
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I was going to add his info but felt the OP was looking to minimize the sources for parts acquisition. Tin Works is def making some nice parts.
No matter what I doubt I'll find everything in 1 place so I am open to options.

Since I am paying for labor I am trying to avoid buying parts from 2 different places and having fitment issues and the two manufacturers or suppliers blaming each other. Been there done that.

This project started out that I was going to drive for a year and then get painted. When it arrived I was so disappointed in the amount of rust in the rockers, kick panels, and floor that all went out the window. My $25,000 Blazer and $10-15,000 paint job has turned into the point of no return. I am 59 years old and plan to keep this until the day I die so I want to do it right once. I even considered a Roadster shop Chassis (and a few others, nobody does or wants to do a chassis with only a 2-3" drop). By the time all the parts and labor are considered its not a whole lot more if I compare adding all the same parts to my old chassis. What finally turned me off of that idea is on top of the cost of the Chassis I would have to pay $2000 engineering fee since they have not done a stock height 2 wheel drive Blazer before. If I wanted a slammed Chassis they have done those and I would not have to pay the engineering fee but would have to alter my floor, wheel wells, and hood hinges at the bare minimum. I asked if we could lower the stock height chassis 2" and they said no? So much for that engineering fee?

Thanks for everyone's help. Open to other options and advise. I want to avoid making mistakes and throwing money away. You know kind of like buying this Blazer LOL.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:39 AM   #23
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

Sounds like you want a mild touring suspension- good ride quality, good stability and drivability, nothing extreme, and not slammed on the ground. Your stock setup isn't far away from that with a few tweaks, and it's not expensive to get there either.

A mild drop with spindles and rear drop springs will work to lower the center of gravity and help handling. Up front, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks are great at controlling body motion while keeping good ride quality. Add an OEM C30 sway bar, or an aftermarket bar if you're not into junkyard scrounging.

For the rear you'll want oem style soft rubber trailing arm bushings so the T/A's can pivot as designed. Stiffer bushings bind easier and will not allow the suspension to pivot freely, which is bad for ride quality and handling. Use 3" drop springs to match the front spindles. The biggest improvement you can make in the rear is to relocate the rear shocks to the outside of the frame and standing straight up and down, closer to the tire so that they can control the body motion more effectively. This can be done using your existing lower shock mounts for the cost of new shocks as shown here starting at post number 11-

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...05&post4730005


A rear sway bar from an 80's F150 or Bronco is a near bolt on fit with only the brake lines needing to be slightly bent to clear the mounting brackets. These can be found pretty inexpensively at junk yards.

More modern alignment specs will help with stability and handling as well. Use the caster mod described here on the forum for more caster adjustment range, and shoot for at least 5-6 degrees. -.5 camber and 1/16" toe in will work very well.

A CPP 500 series quicker ratio power steering box will make a big difference in how it drives- spend money here instead of on an aftermarket shock relocation kit.

Your stock control arms have superior bushings to the later 73-87 rubber bushings, so keep and rebuild them if needed.

Stock discs/drums will be all that's needed unless you're racing or pushing it hard in the mountains on tires that are sticky enough to overheat the brakes. Most street tires aren't going to be soft enough to take advantage of upgraded brakes that clamp harder- they'll just lock up the tire easier. Ultimately the tire you choose will determine how well the truck stops, and your driving style will determine if you need brakes with better fade resistance.
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Old 08-21-2020, 01:43 PM   #24
gmc684x4
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

You can add hydro brake booster and upgrade the back brakes to 11x 2 3/4 brakes like on many 73 up truck 73 87 square body trucks are a good donor for these

I am planing on 2.5 drop spindle 3 inch seems to much a 3 or 4 inch rear drop spring
Using new rotors and larger rear brakes from a G20 that i picked up which also has the same hd brakes as a 79 C10 and using a hyro boost from a express van
I have a front C20 sway bar I do have a couple of rear sway bars from camaro and a tahoe not sure if i will use them
as for bigger brakes I know the van stops better then my C10 did originally So i will leave it there I can change that latter

Some big brake packages you can re use your spindles by removing the caliper brackets off them
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Old 08-21-2020, 02:33 PM   #25
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Re: Looking for suspension suggestions

While junk yard parts acquisition & OE tweaks to fit upgraded/heavier-duty GM parts would work to improve things, it doesn't seem (from what I read) in the initial request for 'suggestions' post that he's interested in that path since he'll be farming out the labor.

New, bolt-in parts would seem the best for the path/option of having a shop R&R suspension items.

Here's another watch-out as well.....

I recommend using parts that the/your installer is comfortable installing & familiar with so there is some 'buy-in' on the work vs. a "We installed what you bought.... Take it up w/the manufacturer if you're not happy w/the install". That possible friction comes when a shop installs something they don't have faith in & its' typically not a good outcome.
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