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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 GMC Sonoma 4.3l Automatic trans, regular cab, 6ft bed. I've had it since January and I'm not super happy with the ride. It's very stiff and bouncy and backbreaking. Occasionally on a really big bump I hit the bump stops on the rear end. It's not lowered or lifted. I'm happy with the stock ride height as it is, I just want it to be a bit of a softer ride. The rear end seems like the main problem

When I bought it:
  • it was on 205/65/R15s on 15x7 wheels (quite stretched)
  • Adjustable air pressure AC Delco air shocks with zero psi in them in the rear
  • Original to the truck, front shocks (Compressed them with my hands and they never pushed back out)
  • Assumedly original front coil springs and rear leaf springs
The ride was bone-shakingly rough to the point where the ABS would prevent me from braking when going over the bumpy sections around my town

Things I've done since then:
  • Replaced the front shocks with KYB Gas-A-Just monotube shocks
  • Did the blazer front brake swap (Not relevant to suspension I wouldn't think)
  • Tried a whole range of pressures in the rear shocks (not much difference)
  • Put 235/70/R15 tires on and make sure they're all 30psi (some difference but not much)
The ride is slightly better but still quite rough over the roads in my town. Things I'm thinking of trying as a possible solution:
  • I was thinking of trying new leaf springs. Rock Auto has a few different choices listed. I was thinking about the ones listed as 995lbs a spring but I don't want to go too soft and lower the rear accidentally. Also there's a 1200lb option that sounds like it might be a good middle ground
  • I figure the air shocks in the rear are the only real mod. Maybe I need to swap those out to stock shocks for a softer ride? I don't plan on towing or hauling anything so I don't need anything heavy duty
  • Maybe new coil springs in the front would help as well?
Any info or suggestions would be appreciated. I just don't want to waste money on things I don't need or won't be helpful. Also everyone that I've talked to in person just says "throw a few hundred pounds in the bed and it'll ride perfect." I realize that it's a truck and it won't ride as smooth as a crown victoria but I really want to keep all my teeth intact over bumps please and thank you
 

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B4U Task Force Admin
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I'm having a little trouble sorting this out. Stiff and bouncy, but no change with different air pressures. Putting 500lbs in the bed isn't going to help the bump stop crashes. The choice of shocks is yours, but I'd start by ditching the air shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm having a little trouble sorting this out. Stiff and bouncy, but no change with different air pressures. Putting 500lbs in the bed isn't going to help the bump stop crashes. The choice of shocks is yours, but I'd start by ditching the air shocks.
Sorry maybe bouncy isn't the right way to describe it. It's more like smashy or crashy. when I say bouncy I'm refering to the fact that the rear end bounces off the ground when I drive over transitions in the highway
 

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B4U Task Force Admin
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Sorry maybe bouncy isn't the right way to describe it. It's more like smashy or crashy. when I say bouncy I'm refering to the fact that the rear end bounces off the ground when I drive over transitions in the highway
The rear will bounce if there's no effective damping from the shocks.
 

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2003 S10 4.3 2WD
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Others here can help with the suspension stuff, but you do know this is a Chevy S10 and not a Lexus LS? older trucks like this aren't going to be perfectly smooth especially on worn out old roads.

Just don't expect the truck to be something it is not.
 
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