Author Topic: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10  (Read 2548 times)

Offline jurstin86

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71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« on: April 13, 2012, 02:45:28 PM »
I got a 81 swb, has a 468 pushin 650 to the ground. Tryin to keep money spent to a minimum. How hard would it be to swap the rear suspension over? Would it be worth it?
Also has a 4:10 posi.

Offline Jason S

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 03:42:34 PM »
Do you want to swap the coil spring rear suspension, rear end and everything?  What are you trying to gain from the swap?
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Offline bake74

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 08:21:59 PM »
     If I remember right, they are not the same dimensions, this will not be a simple bolt in kind of swap.  As Jason S asked, what is your main objective, are you wanting to get rid of the leaf springs in the rear ?
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Offline jurstin86

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 09:01:12 PM »
Well they come with kinda 4 link, my brother has a 71 with a 396 and that thing hooks and goes, it will pull the wheels.....I jus want a cheap set up so I can get hooked up. Jus needin some advice. Dun spent all tha money in the motor and tranny...lmao

Offline bake74

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2012, 06:52:44 PM »
     The great thing about 4 links is they all need to be set up for each vehicle, if swapping from one vehicle to another of the same style no problem.  When switching to a different style they have to be re-adjusted for that vehicle. 
     So I say if you have the suspension and can weld and do geometry go for it, your right it will "hook" up way better then leaf springs will.  Take pics and ask questions along the way if you have them, though you will need to spend some money depending on how you set it up and what you use for the joint pieces.
#1: The easiest and most obvious solution to any problem is 99% of the time correct.
#2: There is no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer.
  74 k10, 77k10    Tom

Offline HAULIN IT

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 11:07:05 PM »
It's not "like/kinda" a 4-link...there are only Two bars. In a 4-link system, the axle stays nearly at the same angle through the suspension travel. The old truck arm set-up is more like very long ladderbars... in which the axle rotates in an arch around the front pivot point.
 On to your question. The height & width of the frame is the same as the newer trucks in the area where the crossmember goes that mounts the link arms, so that will go in with just some drilling of holes. The older frames narrow behind the axle centerline which will create a little bit of work. The upper shock mounts will need to be made/transferred since they are in a different location. The panhard bar (or bracket) will be too short because of the narrowed frame, however it is really too short from the get go. It should be as long as possible (like on the Third gen Camaro & Firebirds for example) so if I was bothering to do the swap...I'd make a new, MUCH longer one anyway.
A swaybar is a near must on that style of set-up if your planing to do street driving...they will "roll-over" big time in a bend!
your right it will "hook" up way better then leaf springs will.
Sorry, I don't agree with that. I've seen a couple trucks run well with that set-up, however there is nothing wrong with leaves & some Cal-tracs or Max-tracks, ect. Guys are going quicker than 1.20 60 foots on leaves & Cal-tracs on tires WAY smaller then you can put under our trucks.
My Two Cents...Stick with what you got. Do a flip on the axle, buy/build some traction device (Cal-trac) & some decent shocks & some real tires...you should be all set.
The wife's been 1.55 60 foot with just some stuff I made on 325 Et Street Radials. It can be done rather easy. Lorne
 
 














   

Offline 1980c10

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 07:55:50 PM »
I removed some leafs out of my spring pack and it is amazing how well it just squats down and hooks. I am running 4 at this point and it rides great. I get about a foot of rubber when taking off with 265/70/15 tires. (393hp/432tq/5speed)I've seen it down a few times before I did mine and it really helps. Anyway just a thought; close to free as it gets. If you do this inspect the remaining springs closely and use new center bolts etc. I originially removed the leaves for a better ride quality and planned on addressing the traction issue later but this made it hook nicely, kind of a bonus.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 08:17:38 PM »
I don't understand what suspension you are talking about? you said 71 rear suspension but 71 what?
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Offline HAULIN IT

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 10:25:03 PM »
I don't understand what suspension you are talking about? you said 71 rear suspension but 71 what?
I ASSUMED he was talking truck...maybe I shouldn't have done that. Chevelle, yea that "kinda" has a 4-link  ;)

Offline Captkaos

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Re: 71 rear suspension on a 81 c10
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 11:34:56 AM »
Cal Tracs help tremendously on a leaf truck.  So well in fact that I sell them.

http://store.73-87chevytrucks.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=7&Category_Code=SUSP

 


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