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Bone-jarring Suburban ride...

Discussion in 'Car Forum' started by vart, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. vart

    vart

    11,542
    1,482
    Feb 17, 2000
    The Palouse
    I bought a `77 3/4-ton 4x4 Suburban this Fall and have been slowly fixing it up.

    I've discovered that a large number of the things wrong with it were caused by the rough ride (door hinge area on front doors cracking, multiple electrical issues, fuel tank sender issues, window tracks falling apart, etc.).

    I've owned many 4x4s and this one is the worst riding one I've ever owned. My driveway is 1.5 miles of gravel, broken asphalt, and dirt. I use the Suburban to get to my construction sites, which are also on wash-boarded roads. The ride is so stiff that I have to literally drive 5 mph or I get beat so bad my back hurts:shocked: .

    It has been lifted 4", with new springs up front and blocks in the back. Shocks are Rancho RS5000. I think the major culprit is the tires.

    They are 265/75/16s with 10-ply ratings and load range "E". They look small on my Suburban and are usually aired to 70 psi. To test my theory that the tires are simply too hard, I aired them down to 20 psi. The Suburban rode much, much better.

    How about the shocks? Do Rancho RS5000s provide a stiffer ride?

    I just ordered new tires and hope that will ease my pain. I stepped up to 315/75/16s in an 8-ply tire in load range "D"(Maxxis Bighorns). I'm hoping the bigger sidewall and lower load rating will help.

    If not, My next step will be to replace the shocks. If that doesn't work, then I'll go with new springs. Any other suggestions??

    How much do the body mounts affect ride? Mine are rotted out and look pretty bad.
     
  2. Diesel Scout

    Diesel Scout

    28
    0
    Sep 22, 2005
    Oregon City
    Tires would be what I would suggest, but it seems you've got that taken care of already. Maxxis are great tires, a little spendy for me, but great all the same. Shocks...the Rancho 5000's are a base line Rancho and really stiff. I had a set on the rear of my Scout when I bought it and it was awful. Since then I replaced them with a cheaper version from a local tire shop. Doesn't matter as I'll we reworking my suspension in the coming year, just a band aid for me. What may suit your need is stepping up to one of the adjustable shock set ups. That way, you can soften them up for everyday, but stiffen them up if you need more rigidity in the rear end, like for towing.

    When it comes to the lift, well it all depends on the brand. Some ride really tought but last through all sorts of abuse with minimal sagging. Other ride really nice, but sag within 3-4 years. You could step up to some really spendy leaf packs like a set of Deavers. Instead of having a few thick leaves, they have many thin leaves, gives you ride and reliability.

    If it were me, I'd see what the tires do for you. Remember if you aren't towing you don't need to run them at their nax. I run ProComp MT's on my Scout and they are reated at 50 PSI. I run them about 35-45 and they do just fine. When I off road, I lower them to 15, still no problems. You should probably look into fixing the body mounts as well. Mounts will absorb some jarring, but mostly will take out the small sharp movements and vibration.

    CLIFF NOTES!!

    I think you are the right track with your tires, then mounts, then shocks and lastly springs. When it comes to springs, spend some realy money and get a very good quality set. Sorry I can't recommend one, Subs aren't my thing!:thumbsup:
     


  3. vart

    vart

    11,542
    1,482
    Feb 17, 2000
    The Palouse
    Actually, the tires were a great deal; I got them off of Ebay for just over $600 for 4 brand new 35s. Taking into account shipping and handling, I paid about $120 each, which is a pretty good deal for a tire I couldn't find any negative comments about.

    I'll replace the shocks next; I'm slowly making my way around the Suburban, replacing or rebuilding the entire vehicle.
     
  4. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    Unless you have a lot of load weight, you should not need the tires past 50 psi. Tire pressure is the biggest culprit when vehicles have a stiff ride. Max pressure transfers the bumps to the chassis. A 3/4 ton has a stiff suspension so you feel those bumps.
     
  5. mc_racer

    mc_racer

    33
    0
    Aug 1, 2006
    Olathe, KS 66061
    Does it have the dual shock setup? If so, remove one on each wheel. For the tire size you have and what you are using the truck for, one shock per wheel is fine.
     
  6. lumberjack

    lumberjack One of Many

    516
    0
    May 3, 2004
    Mississippi

    How does that work?
     
  7. xj4play

    xj4play

    51
    0
    Oct 7, 2005
    So. PRK
    I would say its the rs5000's but it depends on the part number you are running. the 5010, 5012, 5014 are softer valved shocks and use the eb1 style mount on each end. When the lift was put on were teh springs and shackles torqued down when the vehicle was on the ground? I would loosen all spring mounting bolts then re torque them with a load on them. You do this so it doesnt preload the bushings. Oh yea you might want to find the correct pressure to run your tires at. find a clan smooth parking lot or driveway , use some chalk powder to mark a section of your treads. check the pattern it leaves and adjust pressure till pattern is acceptable.
     
  8. vart

    vart

    11,542
    1,482
    Feb 17, 2000
    The Palouse
    I just got my 315/75/16 Maxxis Big Horns mounted and balanced today. Made a huge difference in ride and drive quality! Still a little stiff, so the shocks are next.

    Ordering the tires was easy; just found them on eBay, used the "buy it now" option for $627 including free shipping, waited 3 days, and they were at my door. I took them to Discount Tire today and had them mounted. That was a big sticker shock; $117!!!!!!

    I had to trim my fenders to keep the fronts from rubbing, and that was difficult since cutting perfect, rust-free 30 yr. old fenders seems sacreligious:shocked: .
     
  9. Diesel Scout

    Diesel Scout

    28
    0
    Sep 22, 2005
    Oregon City
    It only hurts once!! Try cutting a 40 year old International fender that no one makes anymore, now that hurts!
     
  10. vart

    vart

    11,542
    1,482
    Feb 17, 2000
    The Palouse
    I've seen a grand total of 3 Scouts since I moved here about 8 months ago. 2 were for sale and were over $6k, one was being used by some old guy to explore the back country.

    Before I bought the Suburban, I searched for an early `60's Travelall to fix up. But, I just couldn't find any cheap enough, or in good enough shape.
     
  11. Diesel Scout

    Diesel Scout

    28
    0
    Sep 22, 2005
    Oregon City
    If you ever get the bug again, let me know. I have "sources" that can help you out!:thumbsup: