Can you guys have a look at my Build Plan?

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#1
First off, let me say thank you to all of you guys. You all and this site and offroadtb have helped me tremendously. I am so grateful for this huge library of knowledge that goes back many, many years. Tons of experience, and page after page of learning. I've done so much learning about my truck in the last year or so, that I never would have figured out on my own or even knew that it was possible.

I've researched for hours and have pretty much determined where I want to go with it. I just want to run it by you guys to see if I missed anything, or if there's something I'm not including. Here's my current idea for lift and suspension. All feedback is extremely appreciated. You guys are like gurus on this stuff by now and the best people to go to for advice.

Edit: So at this point, 2.3.18, I think I pretty much it all sorted. So this edit will be what I'm going with the original ideas in parentheses.
-Alright, so I already have the BFG Mud-Terrains T/A KM LT255/75R17 mounted and balanced on new wheels. That part is solid and done.

Front:

- UCA (switched left to right and flipped)
- Supreme Suspensions 3" lift kit (2.5" lift kit)
- Moog 81114 springs
- Bilstein 24-103336 shocks
- Strut Mount Kit KYB SM5395
- 2" Wheel spacers

Rear:

- 2012 Tahoe springs Part # 25978750
- BILSTEIN 33-185552 5125 Series shocks with 20 - 7/16" washers to fill in each side of the bottom mount. (Skyjacker N8030)
- Supreme Suspensions 1" lift kit
- 2" Wheel spacers
- Sway bar delete
- Resonator delete
- Flowmaster 43041 40 Series Muffler
- Stainless steel black angle cut roll end exhaust tip 3" in 4" out 12" long

Couple of questions though. Are the Moog springs going to be just plug and play with the Bilsteins?
And are the Tahoe springs also going to be just plug and play? I mean my mechanic isn't going to look at me and say. "Well, these aren't made for your truck."
Will just the Tahoe springs in the rear be enough clearance for the BGFs? The BFGs are 32.1" and if the springs give an extra 1.5" lift and it's at 30.6" stock, then it would be exactly 32.1".
Or should I stick with the 3"/2" and be .5" higher in the rear?
 
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#2
Yes, those springs will go right on the front shocks, no problemo.

I think the Tahoe springs should go on OK. I've not used other springs than stock springs (with a spacer). Others will have to chime in but from what I understand they fit the perches fine.

Tires should fit fine with the 1.5" extra out back.
 
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#3
I've seen where someone used Koper-Kote on the plate before they put the wheel spacers on, and then more on the other side of the spacer before they put the wheel on. And someone used blue Locktite on the lug nuts to secure the spacers, are these steps recommended?
And I just want to double check on the torque specs. It's 103ftlb for the spacer lug nuts and 150ftlb for the wheel lug nuts, is that right? And with the shocks being aftermarket, could someone let me know what the torque specs should be for the rear and front shocks?
 
#4
I never used anything anti seize or loctite on mine, but it wouldn't hurt.

Torque spec is the same 103 ft lb for both the lugs holding the spacers, and the wheels to the spacers, which is the standard torque spec. At least, I don't recall anyone ever telling me that the wheel to spacer torque should be any higher than factory wheel lug nut torque, and my wheels never fell off.

Torque specs on the shocks will still be the same. Length of the shocks won't affect the fasteners.
 

djthumper

Administrator
#6
103 for both on the torque. A few people have put loctite because they found one loose but most do not. Also make sure you remove the retainer clips to make sure the spacers are flat against the facings.

Not very many people have used the KYB shocks up front when lifting. Most of us have stayed with Bilstein HD.
 
#7
He's using Bilstein shocks. The KYB parts are the upper mounts.
 

djthumper

Administrator
#8
Ah misread that. I also missed that he is wanting to use supreme suspensions lift...

If you go with the Lift Meister 3" lift you can get rid the most of the top end of the struts, it is built into the lift if I remember correctly.
 
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#9
is there anything else I'm missing, any little tricks like the 7/16 washers or any other details I'm missing? Are you sure that I won't need a little lift in the rear to keep the tire from rubbing? I don't want to go too high or extreme, I just want the tires to fit basically, that's the whole reason why I'm getting the lift.
 

djthumper

Administrator
#10
if you do a 3/2 lift, it should clear the 32s without many issues. The rear already has more clearance then the front.
 
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#12
UGH, now I'm stuck on BDS 55619 Shocks with the Tahoe springs. These are just plug and go right, I don't need to stack any washers? I already have the springs, I just can't decide on which of the 3 sets of shocks to go with. I want the guy that usually works on my truck to have an easy job and not have to explain to him about the washers. It's bad enough that I'm going to have to explain to him that I have to swap and flip the UCAs. LOL, and no I'm not gonna put on that spoiler, that was a bad joke. Sorry about that.
 
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#14
I'm gonna edit my build idea some. I'm going to follow fishsticks a little on his build, well, alot. But instead of the OEM stock springs for the front like he did, I'm still going with the Moog 81114. I'm also going with Rough Country 2" front and .75" rear leveling kit. The specs say the 15125889 springs are 5.50 in × 16.60 in × 5.50 in and the Moog 81114 are 11.12 x 20 x 5.12 in. That's a pretty considerable difference, but since it's being lifted 2" in the front, that makes the Moog shocks compatible right?
 

djthumper

Administrator
#15
The fronts don't matter, they are still the same shocks. With what you are talking you may end up with the rear end lower then the front.
 
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#16
There's rear is already higher than the front stock right? Like 1" or so? Then you add the .75" block and 1.5" from the Tahoe springs, that should give me a 3.25" lift in the rear, if the rear is 1" higher stock that is. I don't honestly know the truth there. And then a 2" block in the front, now that I write it out, sounds like I need to go with a 3" block in the front. I don't know, now I'm all confused.
 

djthumper

Administrator
#17
Z71 Tahoe springs only give about 1.25" If you go to the moog springs in the front and add 2", you have a potential for the rear to sit slightly lower than the front and give you the bull dog stance. The rear may sit about 1" taller than the front
 
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#18
OK, I think I follow what you're saying. The moog springs will also add some lift, just like the tahoe springs do to the rear. but how much lift?
 
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#20
at this moment, it's entirely stock. So I've been reading and asking questions about what would the best way to go. And so I'm just collecting parts until I have it all together, then I'll do the build. So far I have 2" wheel spacers, new front UCAs, Tahoe springs and a set of BFG M/T 255/75/17's. The only other thing I'm solid on is the front Bilstein 24-103336 shocks.

I keep changing my mind about suspension blocks. Do I want to go 2" or 3" in the front since I have the Tahoe springs in the rear? What springs do I need to go with the front shocks? What shocks do I need to go with the rear Tahoe springs? Just things like that boggle me. I appreciate all the help an patience though.
 

djthumper

Administrator
#21
Stock could be any number of springs or combination of springs. There is an article about it over on ORTB, you need to read that from the beginning. It may help you decide.
 

Matt

Silver Supporter
#22
Why are you changing the front and rear springs? Just get the Bilstein HD's for the front and the longer shocks for the rear with either the 2" or 3" lift. That way the lift will even out the rake of the truck and you can put in the rear shocks yourself, so if you have to stack washers you know what to do rather than telling someone you're not entirely sure about (which I wouldn't go to if I had to explain shit to them) what to do. :twocents:
 
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#23
OK, just to make this less confusing, I'm going to detail the plan with my questions. All I basically want to do is lift and level the truck 2.5" front and back. For the front I'm going to use Bilstein 24-103336, these are pretty much upgraded stock and won't need washers stacked and will work with a 2.5" lift. I just need to find a set of springs that will also work well with the new shocks and the 2.5" lift and won't add more lift. Flip and rotate the UCAs and the front will be done.

And then for the rear, install the Tahoe springs, giving it a 1.5" lift on top of the stock 1" lift, that would give me a 2.5" lift there. So at this point the truck should be lifted and leveled at 2.5" front and back. So I would need rear shocks that also work with the Tahoe springs and not add any extra lift.

I hope this makes sense. and can help me get some clear answers. Thanks guys.
 

Shaw520

Well-Known Member
#24
Not sure but if Im reading this correctly,...your adding 1.5" of lift plus 1" block,... so thats 2.5" total,... and 2.5" in the front,... then you will still have the 1" of rake that the truck started with.
Stock the truck sits 1" higher in the rear,...adding the 2.5" to both ends will result in a 2.5" higher truck with the original 1" rake.

Marks 3.5" kit comes with 3.5" front and 2.5" block for rear,...making the truck level.
 
#25
First off, the front never has any stacked washers or anything like that. You can reuse your factory springs, or just get the Moog replacements if you don't want to screw around with that. Those are good shocks by the way, I really liked them on mine. Depending on the front lift you use you'll probably need new upper strut mounts while you're at it (because your factory ones are probably worn). Another note - your front lift can't be a "block" style that goes on top of the strut because that will destroy your front CV shafts very quickly. You have to get an in-strut lift (basically a spring pre-load), like from MarkMC or Rough Country. Looks like RC replaces the entire top half of the mount, while MarkMC 2.5" lift simply goes in between the two halves of the mount. Either one is fine.

The rear doesn't really have 1" lift stock. The rear is simply just a bit taller than the front to give the vehicle some rake. If you lift the front 2.5" and the rear 1.5" then I think you'll be close to level, although, the front may be a tad higher (Mark's full kit raises the rear by 2" and my truck was pretty level). Whether that rear lift is done via Tahoe springs or stock springs with lower spring spacers doesn't really matter in that way (just Tahoe springs will ride stiffer). Shocks in the rear will never give you lift because that's not their job. You'll want longer than stock rear shocks because if you don't then when the suspension extends you'll top out the stock length shock and back the rear end "buck" a bit over bigger bumps. I ran into that sometimes because I was lifted but used stock length rear shocks. As far as I'm aware, there are no longer rear shocks specifically designed for this platform. This is where you use other longer shocks and use washers in the rear on the axle side as spacers to center the shock in the mounting area.

Not sure if this all makes sense or not...
 
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#28
Alright, so the Bilstein 24-103336s won't need washers and are a direct fit, that's what I was hoping to hear. And the Moog 81114 work well with the 24-103336s, that's also good news. I have an upper strut mount kit listed above in my todo list too so that's covered. So basically I can keep my current build list at the top, but swap out the Skyjacker N8030s for the Bilstein 33-185552s and still use the 20 - 7/16" washers to fill in each side of the bottom mount. And no lift at all in the rear except for the Tahoe springs, and I found these 2.5" lifts that I think are what you are talking about. They're not a block, but they have a hole in the center for the strut. All this will level it out 2.5" hopefully. Here's a link to the 2.5" lift I was looking at: 2.5" front lift
 
#30
Yeah that is exactly the lift type I was talking about to NOT get. It will destroy your CV joints, ball joints, etc.
 

Shaw520

Well-Known Member
#31
Too bad Mark never has made a 3.5 inch lift.
Oops,..I meant Marks 3" kit,..which is what I used on mine. Marks 3" comes with the upper strut mount,...something you would have to buy extra if you go with the 2.5",..this is why it makes TOTAL sense just to get the 3" from Marks. No other parts are needed except shocks.
 
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#32
I'm glad you guys saved me before I had a chance to order that lift. Thank you. Could you link me to one that you recommend?
 
#33
If you're certain you want tahoe springs and not stock rear springs then you'd have to contact him to get just the fronts. But I had the 2.5" kit from here and used my stock springs with the rear spacer pucks. If I was to do it again I'd do the 3" kit as then I wouldn't have to fuss with the factory style upper mount in the front.
http://theliftmeister.com/public_html/theliftmeister.com/page4/page4.html

Alternative is Rough Country. They use the bottom half of the factory upper mount, and replace the top half. It is not as much of a lift as MarkMC.

http://www.roughcountry.com/gm-leveling-lift-kit-289.html
 
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#34
Yeah, I already have the Tahoe springs sitting here in a box, may as well use them. How about this kit, It looks like a clone of the first link you posted, and it's just for the front. Thanks for the links too. 2.5" clone lift
 
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#35
Another build related question. what size adapter would I need to go from the stock cat to a Flowmaster 43041 40 series muffler? the in and out diameters mess me up a little, but I want to be sure that I'm right. I'm also doing the resonator delete while I'm at this. After the rear is lifted, is it recommended to remove the rear swaybar and links? I've seen that pretty common here. Thanks guys.
 
#36
The stock is 2.75 and you can adapt 2.5 or 3.

The rear swaybar does very little and even less once you lift with stiffer stuff, so you might as well toss it and have the added flex when you offroad it
 
#37
That clone front will do fine. Works the same way. Just don't forget your new front strut mounts.
 
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#38
Thank you guys. One more last question. Can I throw on a set of 32.1" tires with the stock suspension as it is now running 2" wheel spacers, or should I wait to get the leveling kit before I put the new tires and wheels on? I know I may have to trim a little of the fenders off, but I'm double checking to see if it's OK to put them on now. Thanks again guys.
 
#39
They might stuff under there (I know the rears would anyway, been there done that), but would hit and rub everything when turning or going over bumps, probably. I wouldn't try it.
 

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