View Full Version : Truck/ Trailing Arms in my 97 C1500?

10-17-2014, 04:26 AM
Well, I've been on hiatus from the whole truck project for most of the summer but its about time to dive back in. I bought a Wrangler with a motor that dropped no.4 as a project to fix and fund the C1500 project. I've had lots of time to think about suspension an what I've got in mind for the next level of performance is RideTech strong arms up front and a custom coil over set up, Maybe a shock tower for more travel. The big question in my mind was what to do out back. I want to get away from the leaf springs. There lots of custom options and a couple of bolt in, but I'm thinking Truck arms with Ride Tech coilovers and of course a track bar set up. This requires moving the fuel tank to the rear of the truck. Not a bad deal, Blazer tanks cheap and its other wise bolt in for the most part. Now, as for truck arms there is a fella selling used NASCAR truck arms on Ebay, I think this could be a start. Any advise past that point on Geometry or is this just a crazy idea??? Any help or advise will be greatly appreciated.

10-17-2014, 01:28 PM
Hey man Ive been watching your threads for a while, and have some very similar interests and I live right down the street and around the corner ( Im in greenville too) truck arms sound awesome i have a 85 c10 i just bout and plan on going the same route. Got a link for the arms on ebay, does he have multiple sets?

10-17-2014, 02:54 PM
Yea man I've done a lot of thinking and researching and this is what I've kinda settled on.
Do a search on ebay for nascar trailing arms. He has a few sets on there in different lengths.
I'm right over on black jack Simpson rd. If you ever want to get together and kick some ideas around.

10-18-2014, 05:55 AM
Only thing I would watch for is the length of the arms, normally the left side is shorter from the nascar stuff to give the car a bit of "yaw" for side force

10-18-2014, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the insight. Makes sense though. I'll have to pose that question to the seller. Although I'm guessing that could be easily solved at the cross member as it needs to be custom fabricated any how.

10-18-2014, 11:18 AM
Scratch that last thought. Haven't had lunch yet today and my brain must not have been turned on. The length of the arms changes the radius upon wich the axle moves. Doesn't matter where it's mounted. I'll have to get the guy to measure and then reassess.

10-18-2014, 12:43 PM
There was a company called hot rods to hell that did truck arm stuff. Maybe you could retro a 60's-72 c10 crossmember in. They were truck arms.

10-18-2014, 04:20 PM
I stumbled upon their website in doing some research. I just can't see paying a bunch of money for parts I'll have to modify to work when I can fabricate the cross member and track bar. All that said I could also fabricate the trailing arms but feel like I want to start with some part in hand to start with, in this case the arms.

10-18-2014, 05:58 PM
Double post. Figure no body wanted to read the last post twice.

10-19-2014, 03:23 AM
Check with Roush Yates Performance Parts in Mooresville NC. They have a huge selection of used Nascar race parts and everything is priced right. If you are ever in NC, they are worth stopping by for a visit.

10-20-2014, 04:57 PM
I'll have to do that when I get out that way. I'm in eastern NC. I want to make it over to good guys this weekend for a bit, I'll have to play it by ear though. I never know when I'm gonna get off work on Saturdays.

10-20-2014, 06:54 PM
I wanted to go to the good guys show too but new job :( oh well got make money to buy truck parts

10-21-2014, 06:06 AM
Some of the outcome may depend on the desired ride height. We spent a lot of development time a few years ago on trailing arms for F-100s and 55-59 chevys, and then scrapped the idea. For the T.A. to deliver performance, the front mount, (which sets the I.C. and the Anti-Squat) needs to be above the axle center line. (we don't get slicks and big aero down force like the Cup cars) As the truck gets lower, the front mounts gets pretty high on the crossmember (see Hotchkiss C10 mounts), then, with the mounts wide on the axle, and the narrow 34" frame, the T.A. starts to hit the bottom of the frame. You can use blocks, or bend the T.A. but these reduce the effectiveness of the suspension. You can also modify the shape of the rail to clear, as done on the 63-72 C10's. 47-54 chevy trucks are well suited for T.A. suspension, as the frame gets wider as it goes back, and has a higher kick. Wes D.'s 59 chevy was originally built with an aftermarket T.A. suspension, and it proved to be to restrictive. He has since removed the T.A. in favor of a 3-link, and is having much better results. - If the truck isn't going to be that low, then frame contact may not be an issue. Stay away from tubular arms and urethane bushings. Both restrict axle rotation. O.E. style H beams with bearings or rubber work best, or fabbed tubular arms with pivoting adjusters. Hope this is of some help.

10-21-2014, 02:12 PM
For ride and handling, I'd go Corvette C4 IRS. It almost installs itself on our trucks.


10-21-2014, 04:17 PM
Hey Rob thanks for chiming in. Love your work. In fact I was on your site checking out a few of your products. Currently my truck has some rake to it and I would like to level it out, so I would have to drop the rear some. I'm not tempted to go any lower in the front though as my chin spoiler already hits curbs every now and then. I have belltech c notches installed and I'm sitting what seams to be mules from the bump stops at current ride height. I'm gonna do some initial measuring this week and see how I think things will shake out. The other idea I had in mind was to build control arms that would mount in the spring pockets and attach to the rear end and run a cross member for a 3 link set up. Of course with a track bar. I've just got to do some measuring. I tried to make a bad lowering leaf that was already installed when I bought the truck ride better but I'm tired of bouncing down the road and want to try and do this only once more and hope like heck it performs.

10-21-2014, 04:23 PM
For ride and handling, I'd go Corvette C4 IRS. It almost installs itself on our trucks.

Funny you should say that!

10-21-2014, 04:29 PM
I've been following this thread with interest. As a 67-72 owner, I have the trailing arm suspension you are considering and will NOT move forward with that design in the next version of my truck.

Given the massive amount of work, and total lack of space for exhaust - why not put in a 4-link or even a 3-link? loads of adjustment, tough, proven, cost effective.

Am I missing something?

10-22-2014, 03:38 PM
You may be very right! That's why I put it up for discussion. There are many options but nearly all are gonna require some fabrication with the exception of the Airbar and chassis works bolt in 4 link. I'm thinking about a 3 link set Up. It may allow me to run my factory fuel tank, but I'm seriously thinking moving the tank to the rear (blazer tank) would give me the best balance and better handling any how. A quick look today and I think I could follow some the bolt in 4 link kits out there for cars that are on the market and use the factory spring pockets and run my arms back from there. At the ride height I'm looking for it should have the lowers nearly level. I'll know more when I pull the bed back off.

10-23-2014, 09:19 AM
I bought a '69 c10 rear end and TA setup so that I could put it under a 2wd S10 blazer. I am cleaning the TA's up and going to weld rod into the center valley the lentgh of the arms to stiffen them. If a 3400lb 900 hp cup car can run at Watkins Glen and Sonoma I don't see a 2700lb 450 hp blazer couldn't make good use of TA's with jack bolts.

10-24-2014, 06:33 AM
Ease of setup for TA is the most appealing thing for me. In my case the truck will rarely see track time just lots of play on country back roads. Got any pictures showing exhaust complications?

10-24-2014, 11:16 AM
I think the biggest exhaust head ache would be from the fact you need to run it through the cross member. Then you have a trailing arm running at an angle back to the rear end from the center of the truck. Like Rob said it all depends on how low you want to set the ride height. Currently I have belltech mini notches in the frame and my axle has never even any where near the bump stops even loaded. That being said I would like to drop the rear about 3 inches. I still don't think I would have an issue with frame or exhaust contact. I'll know more when the bed comes back of real soon. I know my anti sway bar has minimum clearance as it sits but it may just need to be swapped out all together or relocated to the bottom of the rear end when the leaf springs go away. At this point I'm not throwing out any ideas other than working with the leaf springs. I was a click away from ordering slider boxes but I'm just not happy with the springs that are in the truck now. If the axle had been flipped on stock springs I might would have a different opinion on that set up, but I really think the lowering leafs that were in the truck when I bought just kinda suck. My wrangler is gonna be done and ready to sale by next week and I hope I do well with it because all the proceeds go to the truck!!!

10-24-2014, 01:17 PM
I just bought a welder so I will be welding some perches on the bottom of my axle soon to flip my rear and lower it some. In the long run though I want a link rear. So I have some research to do

02-14-2015, 07:56 AM
OP did you ever come to a decision on this? I was thinking about using this design to get rid of the leafs on my Ranger. I was thinking about using the stock front spring hangers though. But, I'm not sure if the parallel design would work for the TA. All I have seen mount close together at the center of the chassis.

I would make bars that connect to the stock front leaf hangers and then add a Panhard, plus keep my stock swaybar. I'm between that and a parralel outside the frame 4 link. The TA setup seems so easy and very little fab.

04-30-2015, 08:29 PM
I'm doing this on my 94 c1500. I made a crossmember for the trailing arms and I'm using a watts link to center the axle. It seems like it's gong to work it's just not driving yet!