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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I finally decided to join the forum because I have been coming here for several months. I wanted to show off my truck from B.C. It's lowered 2 inches all the way around which improved handling and overall looks. I know what you're saying "lowered 4x4?" I don't do any 4x4ing. I like the added traction for the snowy winters here. The running boards (AARGH) are tucked up and in as far as they could go. The only reason I put them on was to protect the rocker panels from rock chips during winter driving. I would have rather found something a little more attractive but my options were limited.

I don't have a whole lot of mods.

So far I have added a K&N air intake,
Lowered it 2 inches all around
Tonneau cover
Rollpan (which I painted and installed myself)
Pioneer DEH-P730 head unit for tunes
Pioneer 12 disc changer
MB Quart PSC 216 speakers up front and
dual JL 10" woofs for the rear with a
PHoenix Gold XS 4300 to power it all.
Painted the calipers Chevy Engine block blue
Moved exhaust pipe

I wanted something different for the 5 speed manual stick so I found a billet shift knob which took a little modifying to put on. I also polished the stick shift itself making it look like it has been chromed.

Thanks for your patience and the long post.
 

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that looks good ,and lowered 4x4s are cool:thumbup:
 

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That does look really nice considering I usually don't agree with lowering a 4x4, but great job.:thumbup:


Just think, when all these other lowered 2wd s-10's are stuck or have to weight the back of their truck, you can just push a button and go on your way.:D


Personal Disclaimer: If this was a ZR2 I definitely would not agree with this:p :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the positive comments guys.

And yes BmannZR2, I agree if it would have been a ZR2 I would have never considered lowering it. The ZR2 has a slightly different setup for the rear leafs and after crawling under a couple of ZR2s at dealerships it looks like the torsion bar ends are mounted higher on the cross member so it would be problematic to get it lower in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
No, no rubbing. I was a little cautious going over speed bumps and things like that at first but I haven't come close to scraping. The lowest thing under the body is the transfer case but I still have close to 5 inches of clearance there. I shaved about 3/4 inch off the bump stops on the front because I was hitting them when I would go through dips or bumps on the highway. A sawzall with a fine toothed blade worked great for that. There's about 3 inches of space between the rear bump stops and leafs so I left them alone. A rear anti-sway bar is next on my list of mods once I get some money put aside for that. I wanted to go lower because I still had plenty of ground clearance but after talking to a few mechanics, and one mechanic at the dealership where I bought the truck, I was told that it would put too much stress on the CV joints on the front end. As it is the CV joints are perpendicular to the ground now but if I had gone any lower they would be on an upward angle plus I would have ended up with no bumpstops.

The wheels are American Racing 15 x 7 AR-157s with 225/70/R15 tires. I really wanted to go with 17 inch wheels but finding 17 " wheels that would fit with proper backspacing was incredibly difficult. I didn't want them to stick out on the front. As it was I found out that S10 4x4s have a wider stance on the front end than 2 wheel drives. I had some centerline wheels on order but when I found out they would probably stick out on the front I cancelled on them (pic below).
 

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Yes that is my fear because I do have 17" and I want to lower my truck so bad. Do yours stick out at all? They should right because it's a 4x4 and even the stock ones stick out a little. I am running weld racing 17" with custom offset but they still stick out slightly. I want to lower it like 2/3 but worried I will have to go with a thinner tire or risk hitting the fenders. How did you lower yours exactly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
To lower it was very easy. For the front end all I did was turn the torsion bar adjustment bolts out almost all the way. I could reach the bolts without even climbing under the truck. The bolts themselves had a thread lock compound on them but once I got them going it was easier to turn them. Once I had a socket on I started loosening and could see the front end coming down. With the bolts out almost all the way, I got exactly 2" lower. When measuring the height I hooked a tape measure on the lip of the center cap of the wheel to the edge of the fender. I found by measuring from the ground could give you different measurements because tire pressure may not be exact in the tires.

I went for a quick drive around to see if there were any ill effects. I knew of a few bumpy roads to give it a good check. I had read somewhere that after making adjustments to torsion bars that you should drive over some bumpy roads to settle the torsion bars. Everything felt fine, about the same in the front end but no weird banging or thumping noises. I expected it to ride softer in the front but to me it felt pretty much the same. When I got back to my shop I did some more measuring and found the passenger side was 1/4" lower so now I had to tighten the bolt up on that side. To do that I had to jack the truck up to take the tension off the torsion bar. After a couple of tries I got it the same as the driver's side. Luckily I have a trolley jack so jacking it up and down was quick and easy. Off for another test drive and when I got back, both sides were at the same height. It looked funny now with the back end sitting so much higher.

For the rear I had some 2" lowering blocks pre painted and ready to be installed. Doing the rear end was no picnic. The factory U-bolts had rusted pretty bad after almost 3 years. I soaked them with WD-40 but it was still tough as hell to get them undone. While I was working on one side I kept spraying the U-bolts on the other side hoping that would help when it came to doing that side. Getting the blocks in was pretty easy once the U-bolts were off. The pins lined up perfectly. I used my trusty trolley jack to raise the rear end just enough to slide them into position. The next side was much easier getting the factory U-bolts undone because the WD-40 had done it's job. The only problem I had was tightening up the new U-bolts. It almost seems they use the same U-bolts for every kit so they were extremely long. My 3/4 deep socket wasn't deep enough to tighten them all the way so I had to use a wrench for that last 1/2" or so. After getting it all tightened up I went down to a muffler shop where a friend works and he cut the bolts off with about 3/4" remaining. While I was at the muffler shop I got him to change my exhaust pipe to a turn down pipe just inside the rear quarter panel. After I got home again I gave the U-bolts a good tightening. Now off to the tire shop for a wheel alignment. It turned out that the alignment was only off by a couple degrees. I got the guys at the tire shop to put their torque wrench on the U-bolts for a check at the same time just to put my mind at ease.

In all it took me about 6 hours to do the lowering. If it wouldn't have been so darn hard to get the U-bolts off the rear end the time would have been cut in half.

Oops had to come back and edit.

Yes the front tires do stick out slightly. The stock tires were 205/75R15s and didn't stick out at all. They were pretty much flush with the fender lips. By going with 225/70R15s they stick out maybe 1/4". I was going to go with 235/70s but decided they would stick out way more than I would like. On the rear I could easily go with 255/60s and they still wouldn't stick out. I have yet to rub the tires on the fenders. I do allot of highway driving and have gone through some pretty bad frost heaves and dips but no rubbing.
 

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Bro thank you so much you sound like an expert and wish you could help me do it. First off you didn't have to jack up the front when lowering and how do you know when to stop turning so the torsion bar bolt doesn't fall out? And if you turn it out to it almost the last thread dont u have to worry about it potentially loosening on its own? Did you put some sort of locktight on it? When you did the rear did you jack it up on the axle or by the frame? I think I might need 3" blocks because my truck is already racked forward. I am still scared about my tires rubbing or hitting the fenders because they stick out like a 1/2". I wanted to get new tires because I hate the ones I have now but I didn't want to have to go lower profile because here in NY the potholes are nutz. Thanks again bro!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello again,
You don't really have to worry about the bolts falling out. If your Blazer has the same cross member as my S10 there is a pin going through the cross member that stops the torsion bar keys from turning all the way down. The pin actually has the threads for the bolts. I'll try to get a picture up so you can see if you have the same cross member setup. If you were to turn the bolts all the way out it's no big deal. You don't have to jack the truck up when loosening the bolts because you are letting the tension off of the torsion bar. If for some reason you go too far, or in my case one side ended up lower than the other, you will have to jack up the truck to take the tension off the bar to tighten the bolt or raise the height. When you are loosening the bolts keep an eye on the bump stops on the lower control arms. You have to have some room there otherwise your truck will ride like and old wooden wagon. Basically you have to leave some suspension travel. I had to cut my bump stops down about 3/4 inch because I was bottoming out on them whenever I went over a bump or dip at highway speeds. I didn't notice any bottoming out around town but when I went for my first cruise down the highway and hit the first dip in the road I knew right then I didn't have enough suspension travel. Some guys get new smaller bumpstops. I chose the cheap way...cut them off a bit.

For the rear end I had the truck blocked up by the frame with the wheels off so I could have more room to work. Once I had the old U-bolts off I used the jack to raise the axle housing just enough to get the blocks between the springs and axle housing. There are pins on the axle and springs to help line things up.

You may have to do your's with a little trial and error till you get it the right height for your tires. You could also get some stiffer shocks.

I'll try to get a picture of the cross member. I can't promise anything though because my digital camera doesn't do well in low light conditions as you can see by the stick shift picture I took. I blew off about 20 pictures and that's the best I got. The interior lights even came out as a weird color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here's the pictures I promised of the torsion bar adjustment bolt and pin holding the torsion bar key in place. As you can see by the cleaner part of the thread on the bolt I didn't have to turn mine out very far before it was out all the way. For about every 1/4" of bolt you get about 1" of lowering. The torsion bar key is resting on the pin and there is no way that it can come out. The pin is grooved on each end to lock onto the cross member.

By the way, I was surprised to see these pictures turn out as well as they did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here's a side shot of the pin going through the cross member. You can see that the pin has fairly deep grooves to hold it in position. You can also see the end of the torsion bar key resting on the pin. This is the driver's side torsion bar. The passenger side had to be screwed back in a few turns to get the same height on both sides of the truck.

I hope this helps you out.
 

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