Help/Recommendation on Lowering/spring Under unknown Custom 78/79 GM Pickup - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:18 AM
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Help/Recommendation on Lowering/spring Under unknown Custom 78/79 GM Pickup

Hello, I have Bought a Truck that Has been put together and been assigned a State Vin number. in attempt to find things out, i have revealed the Cab Vin plate (since story was told state could not find and there for been assigned one) and the Truck is labeled as a 1978 Chevy C10 Utility Pickup. The Vin states the 1979 GMC K10 i believe (not alot of difference between i believe) and that the Cab may have or may not have been placed on the fame as the Cab and Bed match original goldish paint where as the fenders and tail gate do not and grill im not at all sure. I am still in progress of finding the stamped partial Vin on frame to try and match to cab, if this frame was stamped with the partial Vin. Also i have yet to locate and view the fame/chassis ID. So here is what i Know/Have and Trying to do. The Frame is a Chevy or GMC Short Bed 1/2 ton Pickup, Don't know the Year. 3/4 to 1 Ton Springs and Axles, front i believe is Dana 40 and rear is 14 Bolt FF (well i would think FF, Not 100% sure though). Has the 350 with TH400 tranny. Now this Truck sits way High with Only 2" Body lifts. The truck came with a Camper that barely squats the truck and Drives very Squirly with and a bit squirly without. Im sure this frame has been ramped and or beat to death due to i see stress cracks on frame that will be easily fixed with welding. That's not the Issue. The Issue would be Lowering the Truck to a Normal Height without removing the 3/4-1 Ton springs. and that includes front and back. Now i have looked at the the truck and came down to an axle flip, or spring under situation. For the Front i would drop the springs to the lower shackle hole (to drop springs away from frame) and remove the square stock that was placed between bumper and frame. shafts seem as they would clear tranny from transfer case. For the back there is plenty of room to just move axle. now the question is, would there be any other concerns of doing this? any extra parts i need or can the parts existing work? Please look at the pictures and verify that it is an option to do. As for taking the 2" body lift off, this would not be enough lowering. This is my wife's truck that i got her for our anniversary since this is the style of truck she wants (around 80's) and my anniversary gift was the 70 El Camino. Now i just have to make is so it drives straight and sound and not be squirly on her. Also the back Axle is not straight with frame wanting to push rear end to the right and make the driver steer to Right to counter straight, but frame ride cocked, though you can let steering go and truck does not vir to left or right. I believe this will be an easy fix of aligning the rear axle to frame. But again i have not tore into it yet and not exact what i have to deal with. I have alot of skill, i am not a pro but i know how, just looking for options and opinions. I was raised around a car/hotrod/hobbyist (father) so i do know my way around a car/Truck. Please Give me your feed back.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:21 AM
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:26 AM
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:20 PM
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Can't help with the suspension stuff, but,

The truck is a 79-80 going by the box, side mirrors, cab surround and front end trim.
The hood is pre-79 (the front of the hood is different on 79-80).

If the first character of the VIN you found is not a 'C' then it will be a GMC

The 6th character of the GM VIN is the model year.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:23 PM
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Yeah, The Vin i found on the cab is a K meaning GMC, and like i had mentioned, the cab and bed have the same origenal paint under the paint it has now. so i know they goto gether, but i am not sure that the frame goes with the cab. i have found out what was done to the suspention today. the front springs have been flipped to raise the front end and the rear rear shackels have been replaced with another set of rear front shackels. That is the reason the rear has been raised as well. Also i have been told by a Chevy Guy (seemed to know his stuff) that the leaf springs are still 1/2 ton springs. Thanks for you input Bryan, Still have know idea if fram is 78 or 79. But not a big deal. Thanks again.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:44 PM
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There were three different versions of rear springs for the Half Ton series pickups.

In the 2-wheel drive, the options were 4900GVW, 5600GVW, 6200GVW
In the 4x4 trucks the only option was the 6200GVW springs.

The base spring in a 3/4 ton was 6400GVW----could very well be the same spring as a half ton-----not certain. But, being as there is only 200 lbs difference in the 2 GVWs, I do not see an issue with using half ton springs in the rear.

I believe the front springs are different----3/4 having an extra leaf.

I just do not remember.
Had a 76 3/4 4x4 in 77 and later got a 78 4x4 half ton

I just cannot recall the differences

Still have the 79 C-10 I bought brand new when I was still 18 tho.
over 400,000, but parked it a few years ago.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:09 PM
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I see a few things going on with that susp.

first thing I would do is get a set of stock front spring shackles and new bushings (those homemade shackles will make it walk around)
and take out the bottom short leaf

on the rear it looks like they did a shackle flip (shackle should go from hanger up to the spring)
also take out the 2nd from bottom leaf, looks like an add a leaf in pics
(maybe more)

unless I was looking at it wrong, I think the rear drive line is in backwards
(slip yoke should be at transfer case)


how low are you trying to make it? what size tires are on it?
I like small body lifts (they make it a lot easier to work on stuff)
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:43 PM
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Hello matt, After i have looked at a few other truck i did figure out alot. i thought they did a shackle flip as well but they didnt. what they did was took another rear/front shackle and replaced the rear/rear shackle with it, in turn giving it lift, and then flipping the front spring in the front to level the pickup. there is a 2 in body lift that wouldnt be bad to leave on there. I am wanting to get it close to standard hight as i can without spending alot of money. Tires are 17 inch rimmed 35's. that will change since im not an off roader or climber or bogger like people make alot of this style of truck out of. Now that you have pointed out, you are correct that the drive shaft is backwards. Also, i have no garage to work on and live in wyoming where there is always bad weather it seems. So i will swap the shaft and as the weather gets better be doing a spring under in rear to lower since the shackle cant be flipped and then flip the front spring and see where that sits. i may have to run to a junk yard and see if i can find another set of origenal front and rear shackles. but like i said, i will see where the flip and spring under go. Thanks for the Input. If you see anything else, please point it out as it will be nice to know and fix as needed. Again thanks for Everything.
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