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Thread: How to drop front w/Leafs - 79 4x4

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    Pull my Member basplyr's Avatar
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    How to drop front w/Leafs - 79 4x4

    Howdy all. This is my first post, and I'm essentially starting from scratch so I'm looking for guidance and I'm open to all suggestions (except for starting with a different truck). I have a 79 Blazer that I originally lifted, and now I want to drop it down. If I had to classify how I will use it, it will be a daily driver, BUT I won't be driving it that often. "Weekend driver" is probably a better way to say it... Essentially I want to use it to carry my music gear from gig to gig, and it will probalby sit during the week.

    Presently it has a 4" suspension lift and it was sitting on 33s, but I didn't consider the 33s to be in good enough shape for long-distance driving so I bought some cheap wagon wheels and stock tires to move around on while I whip the engine back into shape (350 w/4-bolt, TH350, 203 New Process).

    Dropping the rear won't be a problem, but I have not come across any methods for dropping a front that has leaf springs.

    So the big question(s) is... Do y'all have any information on how low I CAN go in the FRONT with leafs, or is it best to convert to some kind of SLA setup? AND, can I maintain the 4-wheel drive or should I scrap it and just go with rear-wheel drive?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Mash
    You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing...

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    Draggin body packofqtips's Avatar
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    i think you can have the leafs de arched at a spring shop and the 4x4 should still work im not sure on that though
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    Fully Erect Member LowKat's Avatar
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    Sell the postive arch springs for $100. Buy a set of stock flat worn out 4X4 1/2 ton springs at the junkyard for $25 and pay somebody $75 to do the work while you sit back and sip a cold one. You can't go much lower than stock. There's only about 2" of up-travel.

    You can convert to it 2 wheel drive. Buy the engine cradle with the suspension attached for about $125-$150 at the wrecking yard. Requires drilling about 8 holes in the frame to bolt it up after you get rid of the 4X4 stuff.

    Here's a pic of my old '72 Jimmy that was a 4X4 when I bought it.
    I've also done it to an '81 Blazer
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Originally posted by Blazin Low:
    In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Tony Low
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    Fully Erect Member LowKat's Avatar
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    Oh, by the way basplyr.......




    Welc:Dme to BlazinLow
    Last edited by LowKat; 03-28-2003 at 04:20 PM.
    Originally posted by Blazin Low:
    In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Tony Low
    :D

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    Pull my Member basplyr's Avatar
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    Lowkat, do you feel retaining the 4x4 is even an option?
    You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing...

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    Registered User Boomin Boy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by packofqtips
    i think you can have the leafs de arched at a spring shop and the 4x4 should still work im not sure on that though
    how much of a drop would dearching the leafs produce??

  7. #7
    Fully Erect Member LowKat's Avatar
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    Originally posted by basplyr
    Lowkat, do you feel retaining the 4x4 is even an option?
    Probably not if you want to be much lower than stock height.
    Originally posted by Blazin Low:
    In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Tony Low
    :D

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    Pull my Member basplyr's Avatar
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    I suppose it wouldn't hurt to see how low "stock" heigth will be if I put the old springs back in the front to see how low it will go, BUT I think I have convinced myself that pulling out the front wheel drive system is the best way to go for this setup.

    So, should I be looking into any front axle in particular, or something "custom" or what? Is there room in there to install some A-arms and coil springs, or would I be looking at chopping off the front end and welding a different front end on? Am I correct that staying with any kind of a solid-axle or differential axle front end is going to cause clearance issues with both the frame and the motor?
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  9. #9
    Fully Erect Member LowKat's Avatar
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    You don't need to cut or alter your frame. Look for a 73-79 Chevy 2 wheel drive 1/2 ton pickup. The entire front suspension unbolts from the frame. If it's not bolted it might be rivited. Undo the bolts or torch the rivits and it'll drop right out.

    After you have this suspension piece it will fit right into your frame after you remove the crossmember under your engine. You'll have to drill the holes in your frame, then bolt it in.

    Also get the transmission crossmember from the 2 wheeler.
    Make sure you get the steering box too because 2WD and 4WD are different.

    You'll need to get rid of your transfer case and switch your transmission to a 2 wheel drive which is shorter than what you have now. This will reguire a longer driveshaft than your current one. You should be able to get $200-500 for your old tranny/transfer case setup.
    Originally posted by Blazin Low:
    In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Tony Low
    :D

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    Pull my Member basplyr's Avatar
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    Kewl, that's the answer I was looking for (the hunt for a doner begins).

    HOWEVER, do I HAVE to get rid of my existing TH350? Can't I just take off the transfer case and bolt up a longer drive shaft? Of course, I wouldn't be against getting a TH400 to take it's place, but I may only be putting out enough torque that a TH350 would be just fine (albeit my TH350 DOES need a slight rebuild)... What's your thoughts?
    You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing...

  11. #11
    Fully Erect Member LowKat's Avatar
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    The mainshaft in a 4WD tranny is about 2" shorter than any 2WD tranny so there's no tailshaft housing that would work.
    Originally posted by Blazin Low:
    In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Tony Low
    :D

  12. #12
    Fully Erect Member LowKat's Avatar
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    You could also add the longer mainshaft to your tranny when you rebuild it, then add a tailshft housing.
    Originally posted by Blazin Low:
    In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Tony Low
    :D

  13. #13
    Pull my Member basplyr's Avatar
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    Ah ok, so while I'm out hunting, I should grab a full-length drive-shaft, and have the longer mainshaft added to the tranny when I rebuild it, right?
    You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing...

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    Blazin no More Blazed's Avatar
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    Kinda off topic, but what the hell happened to that pussy? Did you shave it and the razor died? Thats gotta be like the meanest thing I've SEEN done to a cat. 've heard worse stories, but thats the worst I've seen. Poor poor pussy

  15. #15
    Pull my Member basplyr's Avatar
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    I don't know who did that to that cat. I received that picture in an email, but I about laughed myself to death when I first saw it, AND I (and my girlfriend) HAVE 5 CATS. I don't care how drunk we might get - I could never do that to a cat. Look how pissed off it is... Still, damn funny...
    You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing...

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