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Off-road suspension overhaul

Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby cantstump [OP] » Jul 21 2021, 9:17pm

Hey all,

New to the forum because I'm planning a major suspension overhaul on my '00 1500.

For the front, I'm swapping out the torsion bars with this coilover kit from AtomicFab (keeping leveled height of maybe 2.5-3" of lift up front): https://atomicfabandperformance.com/pro ... ed-trucks/

In the rear, I plan to remove the stock life blocks and install 3" lifted leaf springs from Atlas Springs. (This should give the truck maybe 1" of lift over stock in the rear.) I also plan to install airbags and fox shocks. Here are the atlas leafs: https://www.mcssl.com/store/atlassuspen ... ar-springs
And the fox shocks: https://www.americantrucks.com/fox-2pt0 ... chevy.html

The goal is the smoothest off-road ride possible on rocky terrain. Nasty shale rock. I really only use the truck for hunting on logging and fire roads, that type of thing. Every once in a great while I'll tow something.

I'm hoping to get recommendations or advice from anyone who may have done this before or has found other ways to improve ride quality. I do plan to keep tire deflators and a compressor with me so I can air the tires down as needed as well. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby MacQ » Jul 21 2021, 9:49pm

"The goal is the smoothest off-road ride possible on rocky terrain."

If that is your goal, then the stock suspension fits the bill. In my opinion, the other things you mention will only stiffen the ride. I pretty much only use my truck for hunting and the occasional towing of the camper. My hunting also includes logging and fire roads, as well as roads in the badlands (sand and rock) out here in Wyoming. My '01 is all stock except for the tires (I use AT tires).
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Re: Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby cantstump [OP] » Jul 22 2021, 1:35am

I know the coilovers will give me a better ride than torsion bars...I've heard great things about them. But you might be right about the leaf springs. I've read that the deaver and atlas springs are supposed to be softer than stock, but it seems there's no definitive answer. Is there no way to soften the rear end? I get a lot of rattle back there.
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Re: Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby MacQ » Jul 22 2021, 4:59am

I've only heard mixed reviews on coilovers vs torsion bars (no personal experience). Are your rear shocks worn out? That could be causing you problems in the rear. You could consider removing a leaf (the shortest one) in the leaf springs, but then you would have to replace it for towing (seems like more of a pain than it's worth). Hopefully, my bumping this thread back to the top will get others to chime in. There are many on this site with much more knowledge than I have.
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Re: Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby cantstump [OP] » Jul 22 2021, 7:03am

Thanks for the input! I'm thinking the coilovers should be an improvement because the torsion bars are keyed up to level the front.

I did the rear shocks probably about 10k miles ago. They're nothing fancy though, just monroes.

The deaver J1 mini pack may be the way to go in the rear. After further digging someone on this forum said it made a big improvement off-road. Mainly trying to eliminate that feeling of the back end wanting to hop around...which it seems to do even with some weight in the bed and tires at 25.
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Re: Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby MacQ » Jul 22 2021, 10:02am

You know, even though the half-ton is like a soccer mom's pickup, it is still a pickup...designed to ride with a load. Years ago, I used to throw in about 400 lbs of sandbags into my old '69 IH pickup to keep it from hopping in the rear while hunting. It helped a bit. I find my current half-ton's rear end starts to feel "tight" with about 600+ lbs in the back.

Back in the 80's I had a Chevy 3/4 ton HD (great truck)...I got rid of it after two years as it would beat the hell out of me while hunting.

When you take a pickup off the highway, maybe it is the nature of the beast to be a bit rough riding, Trying to make it ride like a luxury car maybe defeats the purpose?
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Re: Off-road suspension overhaul

Postby ricka182 » Jul 22 2021, 1:30pm

I have those Atomic brackets on my 2006 1500, and I love the ride coilovers give me. I also installed an RCX 6" kit, but I run it at closer to 4", due to local laws on lifted trucks...

A Deaver J1 mini pack would go great as part of an overall upgrade set as well.
2006 Silverado 1500
Atomic Coilover Conversion - Viking Warrior/PAC Springs
RCX 6" lift
Cognito UCAs
American Outlaw Bandit wheels - 17x9/-10
BFG A/T KO2 - 285/70/17
Corsa DB Catback
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