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#1 earlyvws

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:02 AM

Quick introduction. I have been building early aircooled vws for many years. This is the first non-vw I have ever attempted. In fact I know nothing about these. I was looking for a small truck to haul around parts to and from powder-coat buying metal etc to keep working on my vws. Well a buddy of mine got this truck and gave it to me for free.

 

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So I started taking apart.

 

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So after messing with this one I bought this one for a good price to get more parts and this one has a L20B and 5 speed.

 

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Fabbed up some pieces to finish off the bed.

 

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Blasted and had all the body powder coated primer

 

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Bought some BBS rims on craigslist.. They were painted a gross black so started stripping them

 

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So I got all the front control arms and misc pieces from a D21 from pick an pull. I was planning on shortening them to get the stock width on the frontr end, but since I got these rims with a offset that will not be good, I am now thinking of trying to use them as is no mods. I think I may need the extra 1" the D21 will provide. I got a 89 toyota front hub as well and machining down the snout to fit in the rim.

 

 

So I basically turned this into a big project, but I hope to finish it rather fast. At this point I am going to have a lot of questions because this is all new to me.

 

Joe

 

 



#2 DanielC

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:12 AM

Looks like you are making great progress.  Nice job on salvaging the fenders.

Was the first truck engine less?  It may have had a J-13 pushrod engine, clues for that would be the ignition coil mounted on the cowl.  L-16 engine 521 trucks put the ignition coil on the left inner fender, above the horns.

 

Wished I lived somewhere a little warmer where I could paint this time of year, but the days are getting longer.

My project, in progress, but driving.

http://community.rat...sun-datsun-521/

 

I too messed around with air cooled VW's, had a Chenoweth short back frame with type 1 engine, stroked, and a close ratio 3, 4 transmission, and used the 1300 ring and pinion in that, to get lower gears. 



#3 jrock4224

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

thats funny i have pics of 521s on a fork lift floor jack ... just like that ... i alos have pics of us powdercoating a full 521 very similarly to this


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#4 earlyvws

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:52 AM

The black truck is a 69 and had a J13 originally.

The blue truck is a 70 and has a L16. I think the blue truck is an original 56K mile truck. I can only guess, but the reason I think it is because it has never had anything tuched and still has bias ply tires on it. The engine looks perfect on the inside from what I can see.

 

I am building out the 69 because it has a known running engine and is currently registered. I am already having big ideas for the second truck!



#5 DanielC

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:10 AM

There should be rubber pads on the clutch, and brake pedals.  They will give you an ides of truck mileage too.  

Check the kingpins.  These trucks have them, just like mid 1960's  VW"s

 

My first Datsun truck was a 1967 520, with the J-13.  This truck had a 4.88 rear axle ratio from the factory.

The L-16 521 trucks have a 4.375 rear axle ratio, and the L-16 engine, even the detuned version we got in the states likes to rev. 
The stock L-16 has a torque peak around 3600 rpm.  Yellow zone on the L-16 engine is around 6500, red line is 7000.



#6 wayno

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:31 AM

Welcome :)

 

Looks like you have the bug, my condolences. :lol:

Nice job on the bed skirts, should have been done that way from the factory.


 

 


#7 earlyvws

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:46 AM

Yes I use the forklift a lot for this kind of stuff. Makes everything much easier. So I didn't get a lot done tonight. I don't have very many SAE taps to fix threads. Everything I have is metric. I even had to go out and by sockets and wrenchs cuz I never needed SAE before.

 

So I fit the hood and the fenders. Looks pretty good. Only minor work to get good gaps and alignment.

 

IMG_0259.jpg

IMG_0260.jpg

 

So I have a few questions. Did a lot of searching on here, but I havn't found out the best solution ( or I don't really know what terms to use to search for what I'm looking for).

 

First, the 70 truck has a 2 piece drive line and the 69 has a single long one from a 620 connected to the 5 speed. My question is I like the 2 piece drive line, it looks like there is better clearance when I lower the truck. Can I shorten the one behind the tranny, or is the single long one the better route. If so I am going to have to have that one redone cuz the welds don't look to good, and I am not sure it is correct length anyways.

 

Second, I will have the stock D21 disc brakes up front and will fab up some disc brakes for the rear. I understand the 280z Master cylinder is good upgrade, but as far as I can tell it is recommended when there is still drums in the rear. Is this the best M/C for 4 wheel disc? I would like the best option, not afraid of fab work or cost.

 

Third, lowering. In the front I plan to get D21 drop spindles, can I also re-index the torsions? or is lossening the bolts at the rear of the torsion the only way. In the rear I would like to not use blocks. It looks like if I cut into the frame rail and raise the leaf spring mounts I can bring up the rear close to 3" and then find the elusive 4X4 620 leafs for another 1" to get 4". Also I would redo the perches for the correct angle. Has anyone done it this way? Is there anything I should be concerned about doing it like this?

 

Thanks for all the kind comments. And your help is appreciated.



#8 DanielC

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:52 AM

For the drive line, you can shorten the front half only, but it will need to be rebalanced.  The problem is it is hard to find a new rubber to support the center driveshaft bearing.

 

This is how I lower my 521.

BedofPellets_zpsb4a2127e.jpg

more

CabPellets_zps8a7e7883.jpg

from the side, the truck looks like this

LowRider_zps209209e8.jpg



#9 mrbigtanker

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:06 AM

Yes I use the forklift a lot for this kind of stuff. Makes everything much easier. So I didn't get a lot done tonight. I don't have very many SAE taps to fix threads. Everything I have is metric. I even had to go out and by sockets and wrenchs cuz I never needed SAE before.

 

So I fit the hood and the fenders. Looks pretty good. Only minor work to get good gaps and alignment.

 

IMG_0259.jpg

IMG_0260.jpg

 

So I have a few questions. Did a lot of searching on here, but I havn't found out the best solution ( or I don't really know what terms to use to search for what I'm looking for).

 

First, the 70 truck has a 2 piece drive line and the 69 has a single long one from a 620 connected to the 5 speed. My question is I like the 2 piece drive line, it looks like there is better clearance when I lower the truck. Can I shorten the one behind the tranny, or is the single long one the better route. If so I am going to have to have that one redone cuz the welds don't look to good, and I am not sure it is correct length anyways.

 

Second, I will have the stock D21 disc brakes up front and will fab up some disc brakes for the rear. I understand the 280z Master cylinder is good upgrade, but as far as I can tell it is recommended when there is still drums in the rear. Is this the best M/C for 4 wheel disc? I would like the best option, not afraid of fab work or cost.

 

Third, lowering. In the front I plan to get D21 drop spindles, can I also re-index the torsions? or is lossening the bolts at the rear of the torsion the only way. In the rear I would like to not use blocks. It looks like if I cut into the frame rail and raise the leaf spring mounts I can bring up the rear close to 3" and then find the elusive 4X4 620 leafs for another 1" to get 4". Also I would redo the perches for the correct angle. Has anyone done it this way? Is there anything I should be concerned about doing it like this?

 

Thanks for all the kind comments. And your help is appreciated.

All this has been done,check out Jrocks truck.Drop spindles? for king pin or did I miss something.Are you lowering it or slamming it.That would make the difference with your shaft issue,if just lowering it 4-5" 1 piece in my book if your slamming it you would want to stay 2 piece for cab clearence issues.280Z dual is a great choice for MC,and as for disc brakes just buy the brackets guys make them already,hell i will have a set for sale soon for the fronts.And are you body working this truck,i did not know they powder coated primer seems like a lot of work for something to be sanded down any way,just asking i like to learn the benefits of that.

 

Like were this is going though,please keep it up and dont stop,we are all here to help in any way. :thumbup:



#10 earlyvws

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:01 AM

So to answer some of the questions above:

 

I am doing a ball joint front end from a D21 also a 5x114 lug conversion. This is why I cannot buy the kits already made.

 

In terms of where this is going. This will be a daily driver.  I am looking to lower it about 4" just to close the gaps. The rim choice I made has changed some of the things I was going to do, but I like where it is going. I will be doing a full paint job body work not extreme just make it straightish. In terms of project this looks to be rather easy compared to what I am used to. I have been building my vws from scratch.

 

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Disk brakes, I have done before, but I had to make brakets and hubs:

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And why powder coat primer, cuz on the blue car I didn't and there are places you can never really get paint. This is the back of the dash of the blue car. I don't even know how many coats of primer/ seal/ paint there has been shot. I think I had a total of 14 coats between all of it and still never really got any real coverage here.

IMG_0263.jpg

 

This is the same model of car that I had powder primered. It gets everywhere. This car will heve the greatest chance of surviving forever. Also, it is a lot fasster for me. Saves me hours of prep and application when it gets back from blasting. And it can stay outside and not start rusting.

IMG_0264.jpg



#11 mrbigtanker

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:08 AM

photo1_zpsc4913545.jpg

 

My old notch,i miss it.



#12 mrbigtanker

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

I like to learn,and that is some nice VW's you got there.i love the vw scene.Being born in hawaii,we grew up with them.



#13 DanielC

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:34 AM

Just noticed, no doors on the cab.   I am not saying it is the only way, but I was taught to fit the doors first, because they have to fit the cab, and seal.  Then fit the hood, because it has to clear the cowl, and finally, the fenders.

 

Fit the doors by removing the catch, on the rear door post, and adjust until a dollar bill has a light drag all the way around the weatherstrip, on the top, bottom, front and back of the door.  Match the back of the door with the style line on the cab, and when that is good, put the door catch back on, and adjust it so it holds the door snug against the weather strip, without too much pressure.  Too much pressure, and it is hard for the lever on the door handle to actuate the latch mechanism, and release it, and the door handle breaks.

 

Then install the hood.  Match the gap at the back of the hood, and then put the hood catch on.  The 521 front hood catch can adjust the height of the hood a little.  But note, there are four rubber bumpers the 521 hood.  The two rear ones center the hood between the fenders.  The two front ones support the hood height, and center the hood too.  These bumpers are mounted in the fenders.

 

Now the fenders.  Check the trapped nut on the front lower corner of the fender, on the tab that slides just behind the parking lights, and takes a bolt going forward, from under the fender, throught the core support.   Usually chasing the nut witha 1/4-28 tap will make it easy to put this bolt in.

Put the fenders on.  Fit it to the cowl, then go down the back of the fender, matching the style line in the door for height, and adjusting the fender in and out so the door front edge does not hit the fender.  Then go down the top of the fender, checking that the hood gap stays OK.  You may have to leave the bolt on top closest to the front loose.   Start the bolt on the bottom front of the fender, the one by the parking light.  Start the two bolts in the headlight bucket.   With the door gap OK, and the hood gap OK, you can move the front bottom of the fender around to match the lower core suport rail, and finally tighten the bolts on the front of the fender.

Then you can install the front apron.

 

I have found it is handy just to go and buy a box of 1/4-28 bolts.   Buy 1/2 inch, and 3/4 inch, and a few 1" ones. 

The body on your 521 uses all SAE bolts.

Get the following taps.  8-32, 10-32. 1/4-28, 5/16-24.  Those are the common sizes on the body of a 521.

 

The brake lines on a 521 are 3/16, with 3/8-24 flare nuts.  Most other Datsun brake cylinders use a M10-1.0 flare nut.

 

Again, I am not saying you are doing it wrong.  You have some really nice work on the VW's. you obviusly undertstand fitting body parts.  Just trying to help other people who see this thread, and maybe give you a few Datsun specific items you nay not be aware of yet.

 

Go to this page, scroll down to the Datsun 521 section, and down load the factory service manuals.  They really are pretty good.

http://www.davidcmur...dat/620tech.htm



#14 wayno

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

 

 

 

 

 

So I have a few questions. Did a lot of searching on here, but I havn't found out the best solution ( or I don't really know what terms to use to search for what I'm looking for).

 

First, the 70 truck has a 2 piece drive line and the 69 has a single long one from a 620 connected to the 5 speed. My question is I like the 2 piece drive line, it looks like there is better clearance when I lower the truck. Can I shorten the one behind the tranny, or is the single long one the better route. If so I am going to have to have that one redone cuz the welds don't look to good, and I am not sure it is correct length anyways.

 

Second, I will have the stock D21 disc brakes up front and will fab up some disc brakes for the rear. I understand the 280z Master cylinder is good upgrade, but as far as I can tell it is recommended when there is still drums in the rear. Is this the best M/C for 4 wheel disc? I would like the best option, not afraid of fab work or cost.

 

Third, lowering. In the front I plan to get D21 drop spindles, can I also re-index the torsions? or is lossening the bolts at the rear of the torsion the only way. In the rear I would like to not use blocks. It looks like if I cut into the frame rail and raise the leaf spring mounts I can bring up the rear close to 3" and then find the elusive 4X4 620 leafs for another 1" to get 4". Also I would redo the perches for the correct angle. Has anyone done it this way? Is there anything I should be concerned about doing it like this?

 

Thanks for all the kind comments. And your help is appreciated.

 

So your going to be using the 521 frame, but your going to transfer the D21 hardware(at least the lower arms) to the 521 frame, first thing I would suggest is to drill out the upper control arm(UCA) mount bolt holes to the 720 bolt size, I would never do it without doing that again, and it's possible to do when the engine is out of the frame.

You do realize that if this was an easy conversion, there would not be brackets out there to convert to disc brakes, but it sounds like you know how to fabricate things, so I will give you the out line of what I did to my 521, first of all, re-thread them damned mount holes(you will know why the first time them 521 bolts break while you are driving down the road), next it would be best if you removed the 521 lower control arm bushings and replaced them with 620 disc brake bushings I believe(measure them for correct size), otherwise you will have to use washers to remove slop, next you will have to get 2 sets of 720 UCAs and between the two sets, make one set that is about 3/4 of an inch longer than the stock 720 arm, if you do all this, you will be able to bolt the assemblies in and be able to align it now, and the 521 tierods will connect, take note here, when you put the UCAs on your 521 frame, you put them on so they are offset towards the back, this gets the balljoints back far enough to not have castor issues, now if you lower it with drop spindles, you will have to come up with adjustable tierods, they are out there, good luck finding a set anymore, you will likely have to make a set out of other vehicles, I did have that info on what to use, but I cannot find it now.

Another note, if you are indeed going low, turn the extended upper control arms upside down from stock, and again, put them on so they are offset towards the back, another note would be if you actually go low enough, you don't need to extend the upper control arms, it's all a learn as you go thing doing this stuff.

I have made a lot of modifications on my 520 build, it is sitting on a 720 frame, but a lot doesn't matter, it's transferable to any frame, most of the info you would want to read is after I started lowering it.

http://community.rat...__fromsearch__1


 

 


#15 jrock4224

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:54 AM

Yes I use the forklift a lot for this kind of stuff. Makes everything much easier. So I didn't get a lot done tonight. I don't have very many SAE taps to fix threads. Everything I have is metric. I even had to go out and by sockets and wrenchs cuz I never needed SAE before.

 

So I fit the hood and the fenders. Looks pretty good. Only minor work to get good gaps and alignment.

 

IMG_0259.jpg

IMG_0260.jpg

 

So I have a few questions. Did a lot of searching on here, but I havn't found out the best solution ( or I don't really know what terms to use to search for what I'm looking for).

 

First, the 70 truck has a 2 piece drive line and the 69 has a single long one from a 620 connected to the 5 speed. My question is I like the 2 piece drive line, it looks like there is better clearance when I lower the truck. Can I shorten the one behind the tranny, or is the single long one the better route. If so I am going to have to have that one redone cuz the welds don't look to good, and I am not sure it is correct length anyways.

 

Second, I will have the stock D21 disc brakes up front and will fab up some disc brakes for the rear. I understand the 280z Master cylinder is good upgrade, but as far as I can tell it is recommended when there is still drums in the rear. Is this the best M/C for 4 wheel disc? I would like the best option, not afraid of fab work or cost.

 

Third, lowering. In the front I plan to get D21 drop spindles, can I also re-index the torsions? or is lossening the bolts at the rear of the torsion the only way. In the rear I would like to not use blocks. It looks like if I cut into the frame rail and raise the leaf spring mounts I can bring up the rear close to 3" and then find the elusive 4X4 620 leafs for another 1" to get 4". Also I would redo the perches for the correct angle. Has anyone done it this way? Is there anything I should be concerned about doing it like this?

 

Thanks for all the kind comments. And your help is appreciated.

look at my thread for driveline and lows ... i run a one piece and ut rubs my cab right now and i have clearanced the shit out of it .... but he carrier bearing at my ride height was screaming for mercy ..... i liek the one piece better but my cab needs a little more space inthe tunnel ..... my air shocks pick it up when its loaded but i like the lows to much sometimes ... doors before fenders too .... nice double cab ... my brother has a dumped single cab .... pretty cool shit but pretty slow ... my buddys building a double cab but converting to mustang 2 front end parts ..... again for the lows.....i will see if i have  apic of my brothers single ...

 

IMG_20130719_091203_zps08ac005f.jpg


It's very rare to find a ...
1/Datsun nut. ( they actually know and appreciate the work and expense that went into the build) and who also...
2/Can afford to buy it.


#16 earlyvws

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

I was going to put the doors on, but I don't have the tap for the threads. I only have metric taps and for some reason had a 1/4"x28 tap. So I was able to put the fenders and hood on. I am going to buy SAE taps today, and have to re-fit everything this weekend.

 

For the a control arms I think I will be experimenting a lot. I have an idea of boxing the front of the outside of the upper control arm towers and bolting the upper control arm to the outside like it was on the D21. The reason for this is because I think right now I want the extra track width of the D21 front end. I watched the blue hands guy video about the conversion. He started out by cutting an inch out of the lower. I was going to do the same, I even started prepping the lower to do this. But after I got the rims the backspace may need the extra 1" that leaving everything alone may be better. Right now I am trying to get the body painted first before it starts raining here. I have to paint outside, so I need to get this done ASAP. After the body is painted I will start tackleing the frame and suspension. The I probably will have a million questions.



#17 wayno

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:17 PM

I was going to put the doors on, but I don't have the tap for the threads. I only have metric taps and for some reason had a 1/4"x28 tap. So I was able to put the fenders and hood on. I am going to buy SAE taps today, and have to re-fit everything this weekend.

 

For the a control arms I think I will be experimenting a lot. I have an idea of boxing the front of the outside of the upper control arm towers and bolting the upper control arm to the outside like it was on the D21. The reason for this is because I think right now I want the extra track width of the D21 front end. I watched the blue hands guy video about the conversion. He started out by cutting an inch out of the lower. I was going to do the same, I even started prepping the lower to do this. But after I got the rims the backspace may need the extra 1" that leaving everything alone may be better. Right now I am trying to get the body painted first before it starts raining here. I have to paint outside, so I need to get this done ASAP. After the body is painted I will start tackleing the frame and suspension. The I probably will have a million questions.

 

This will be interesting, the reason he(Mike) was taking out the inch or so is to keep the stock 521 track width, I just used 620 LCAs on my 521 and made longer upper control arms(5/8ths of an inch longer), but on my 520, I went so low, and made a set of shortened drop arms with 1 1/2 inches of width taken out of them on each side, that I had to go back to stock length 720 UCAs, and I was thinking about raising the upper mounts higher, but have since decided it drives just fine.

I have yet to decide what to do about the shims between the upper control arm and the mount surface, I might be making a shortened upper control arm before all is said and done.


 

 


#18 earlyvws

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:10 PM

Well I don't know if it will work what I suggested about the control arms. I didn't measure anything, just going off the blue hands video. Where after he shortened the lower the unaltered upper seemed to fit. So I was thinking if that works then if I leave the lower the full length then the upper will be to short if bolted in the stock 521 location.

How do I find jrock build thread. Maybe trying on my computer as opposed to my phone, but I went to his profile and brought up topics, posts etc. but it only brings up a few. And with 7000+ posts may be crazy to shift through.

#19 mrbigtanker

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:35 PM

http://community.rat...21-snack-shack/



#20 mrbigtanker

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:48 PM

So you can go with 720 4x4 leaf springs and like 2" blocks and i am pretty sure that would be a 4" drop.Any body want to confirm this.

 

 

Also the front just re-index the torsion bars and you got a 4" drop.