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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 12:10 AM
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Body Lift

I own a stock '96 S-10 4x4 extended cab pickup. It has the 4.3 V-6, 5-speed manual, manual transfer case. The truck is bone stock. The truck currently has 30x9.5R15LT BF Goodrich All Terrain TA radials, which have given me nearly 50,000 miles of excellent service. Before I replace these tires, I'm considering a 2" Rancho Suspension body lift kit so that I can put a bit more tire under there for an inch or so more frame clearance. I don't do any extreme off roading, but would like a touch more clearance mainly for peace of mind. My question is, does the body lift have any side effects? What measures are taken for the extension of shift mechanisms of the floor mounted shifters and the steering shaft (or is there enough "slop" in these components built in)? Could the body squirm on the lifts and go out of alignment if the chassis gets flexed when on extreamly uneven ground?

Great Basin
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 01:57 AM
 
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Re: Body Lift

Finally some good questions about body lifts! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

body lifts in general will displace your center of gravity a little more. While a suspension lift will do the same, the effects are dampened by the adjusted height of the front axle. This is just something to be aware of.

I have also heard of cases where a normal body lift will break or bend stock body mounts. You might want to see if you can reinforce those mounts before you get the lift installed. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

As far as the shifters are concerned, you have a manual tranny, which basically has a hole in the floor and a rubber boot separating you from the ground. The rubber boot may not hold (as it didn't on my '98), or it might. I just put a rubber band to keep the boot from sliding up any further and that did the trick for now. As far as the T-case shifter, I don't know; I have a push-button! If it is just the shifter and has a boot you will be ok, aside from aforementioned issues above...

Body lifts are only extensions of the current set up. The alignment should be pretty good on the body as long as the lift is installed correctly. The mounts were basically designed not to shift. The only thing that would happen, as has happened on older trucks, is the rubber mounts would crack and settle a little bit. If you get some good rubber or poly mounts, you should be fine.

Hope that helps.

J.R. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 10:05 AM
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Re: Body Lift

Thank you J.R. By the way, the body lift I'm considering is from Rough Country, not Rancho. I just want to add a bit of body clearance for an inch larger tire, thus a bit more ground clearance. I considered suspension lifts, but don't want the expence nor the possible suspension side effects. When it comes time to replace the truck, I will definitely get the Z package Chevy offers for the S-10. I like to explore the desert/mountain country I live in, plus I'm an author and researcher of regional history, so I often find myself in some interesting off-roading situations. I cringe everytime I find myself having to traverse some nasty terrain, for there is an awful lot of alumninum under the truck. To Chevy's credit, everything is well tucked up between the frame rails. I don't have skid plates (another procrastinatated purchase), and often worry when traversing such terrain, waiting for a loud crunch with oily results. I've smacked bottom a number of times, but so far have been lucky and the frame rails have taken the brunt of the hits, along with a couple of dings in the rocker panels.

Great Basin
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 10:23 AM
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Re: Body Lift

Great Basin, check your private messages.
If I were you I would cover up that transfer case in a hurry! It seems like everytime I drag bottom it is right on the tcase skid plate. I hit the front diff all the time too (skid plate on things to do list). The tranny seems pretty well protected though.


JR,
Can you expalin this to me? I don't get it, are you saying the center of gravity is higher with a body lift opposed to a suspension lift?

"body lifts in general will displace your center of gravity a little more. While a suspension lift will do the same, the effects are dampened by the adjusted height of the front axle. This is just something to be aware of."





post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 11:50 AM
 
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Re: Body Lift

Sure,

Basically your truck is going to be more top heavy. The "center" of the truck is now higher up in relation to the frame.

On a suspension lift, the center is moved WITH the frame. So there is basically just a little less stability than stock compared to a body lift...

Did I explain that right?

Basin,

I know all about bleeding all over the place. I hit a rock in a mud puddle going REAL slow and it severed the remote oil line on my truck, straight through the useless plastic splash guard. I am going to get me a good 1/4" thick steel plate as soon as I can afford it!

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 12:06 PM
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Re: Body Lift

Both of you guys. I have a 94 and I have taken the aluminum skids off if any one wants them. New, $120 bucks plus shipping and all 3 pc. are yours. Front skid, t-case(NP233) push button and trans (4L60E). Had to take them off because of the suspention lift.
I have both suspention and body and HD torsion bars on my truck. The most inexpencive and best way to go is the HD bars and a 2" body and good shocks. You should fit 31x10.5's really well. Some minor triming to the last inch of the rear part of the front fender depending on wheel offset. Parts about $340 and about 8 hrs labor. Another $180 for some quality shocks. Like I said, these bars are made to be adjusted, the stock ones are prone to brake when cranked down and flexed hard. Have any questions about them just ask....

-Troy 'WeaZle' McCarty

post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 02:18 PM
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Re: Body Lift

Oh, now I see what you are saying. I'm not sure that I agree with you. I never really thought of the center of gravity in relation to the frame. I don't think that is correct. The frame leans too going around a bend or on a slope.
I always thought of it in relation to the ground. This isn't correct either because I'm not taking the suspension into account, it should be in relation to the axles. (I'm eliminating the tires as a variable, the axle should remain parallel to the surface you are on)
It's easier to visualize if the vehicle had solid front and rear axles. Basically, any sprung weight plays a role in this.
Does this make sense to anyone else?

Treating the frame (engine, trans, etc.) and body as two separate masses, we can look at the forces acting on your suspension.

All you Engineers and math guys don't make fun of me for this, but I wanted a simple example it illustrate what I am trying to say. Correct me if I am totally off base.

For Example: Let's pick some nice round numbers here. The frame is: 2000# and its center is 1 foot from the axles. The body weighs 1000# and its center is 3 ft from the axles.

Moments of inertia around axles:
Frame: 2000# x 1' = 2000 #'
Body: 1000# x 3' = 3000 #'
Total moment stock = 5000#'

If just the body was raised 3":
Frame = 2000#
Body = 1000# x 3.25' = 3250#'
total moment w/ body lift = 5250#'

With 3" suspension lift:
Frame = 2000# x 1.25' = 2500#'
Body = 1000# x 3.25' = 3250#'
Total = 5750#'


post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 07:22 PM
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Re: Body Lift

Center of gravity continued...

I think the body lift is better than the suspension lift in terms of cg (i.e. the center is lower with a body lift). Why? Because a suspension lift raises the frame. The frame has mass (weight). Along with raising the frame, the body gets lifted too. When you lift only the body, the frame stays where it always was and contributes to a lower center because it wasn't lifted. The body gets lifted either way, so the difference is where the air is--between the frame and body or under the frame.

I see what JR was getting at, but I think the "lowering" of the front diff and suspension is just the side-effect of raising the frame. In other words, after you lift with suspension, the diff is still the same distance from the ground. The only thing that changes the impact the diff and a-arms and so on have on the cg is tire height. We all want bigger tires, anyway ;-)

My two pennies....

post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 08:07 PM
 
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Re: Body Lift

Let me try to put it this way...

When you put a body lift on the truck, you will make it taller from the frame to the top of the cab. You are putting more weight higher up in relation to the rest of the truck. Remember "weeble wobbles"? They were so bottom heavy that you couldn't knock them over and keep them down. If you took a straight piece of something and put a weight on the top, it tends to sway more in motion, sort of like a pendulum effect, no? In this case, the pendulum doesn't return, because it has the whole side of the truck to fall on! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img] Move that weight to the center and it is much easier to keep in a straight line.

Granted, any lifting, suspension or body, is going to change your center of gravity. I just believe that a body lift is going to affect it more so...

At least that's my train of thought. It's been a long day; could have been derailed!!!




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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2000, 10:27 PM
 
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Re: Body Lift

I would have to sort of disagree with that a bit, in that I think suspension lifts raise the center of gravity more than the body lifts... Here's how I base my reasoning... The heavy part of the truck (the frame, engine/tranny/t-case, gas tank, etc...) stays at the same height with a body lift, thus the heavy part of the truck stays relatively low in comparison to the total height of the truck... When you lift the suspension, everything goes higher, thus your center of gravity is raised more... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

Tim
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[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] '79 Suburban 4x4 454, 6" lift, 35x12.5s & '85 GMC S15 4x4
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