Duramax Diesels Forum Truck of the Week
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:55 PM
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Default Front-end upgrades

Hey guys! The future hubby finally finished the upgrade on Athena's front end today. The stipulation for me getting a Duramax was that he gets to SAS it at some point in the somewhat-distant future, but we upgraded the old ball joints and tie rods to Kryptonite and 99% of the bushings (minus the sway-bar) to Energy for the time being. He called after he left the alignment shop and informed me that he'd rather SAS her sooner than later because I "don't have enough travel."

Some previous owner, did a torsion key level, BUT Ryan's not happy about the suspension being "maxxed out." The passenger side upper control arm stop is broken (will attach photos in a minute).

I REALLY like Kryptonite's warranty, so my question to y'all is: should I convince him to go full Kryptonite on it to fix the issue, or do I let him do the SAS which will have no warranty? Thoughts? Opinions?
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6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:57 PM
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Athena: White 2008 LMM CCSB 4x4 Loaded
6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:05 PM
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SAS is alot of work....what's wrong with a simple tuff country lift?
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:23 PM
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My fiancé's problem is that he seems to believe every truck is a project truck. When he blew the transmission in his 91 Cummins, it became a major build. When he totaled his 06 Cummins, it became a major build. Both are sitting in the shop in Lubbock currently, and neither of us are living anywhere less than 11 hours to Lubbock. Nothing that he builds can ever be simple, which is why I told him he wasn't going to be allowed to touch my trucks without me having the final say.
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Athena: White 2008 LMM CCSB 4x4 Loaded
6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:50 PM
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I am of the mindset that a solid axle is of no benefit over independent suspension. They may look more "complicated" or "contain more parts", "weaker", etc but in reality they can be just as capable or even more so then a solid axle.

Just look at the vehicles that do desert racing, almost always dominated by independent suspension. The Hummee: independent suspension, the list goes on.

Independent can also get you more ground clearance up front by not having the diff hanging down. And as already mentioned, it is not an easy task to convert to solid axles. There is no easy bolt on solution. And getting the transfer case and electronics to all work together can be a pain unless you forgo things like 4lo.

Sure you may see solid axles in the rock crawling rigs but is that what you want your truck for?

I would build up your existing front end with whatever brand you feel comfortable with, kryptonite, Cognito, etc and enjoy your truck. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004LB7 View Post
I am of the mindset that a solid axle is of no benefit over independent suspension. They may look more "complicated" or "contain more parts", "weaker", etc but in reality they can be just as capable or even more so then a solid axle.

Just look at the vehicles that do desert racing, almost always dominated by independent suspension. The Hummee: independent suspension, the list goes on.

Independent can also get you more ground clearance up front by not having the diff hanging down. And as already mentioned, it is not an easy task to convert to solid axles. There is no easy bolt on solution. And getting the transfer case and electronics to all work together can be a pain unless you forgo things like 4lo.

Sure you may see solid axles in the rock crawling rigs but is that what you want your truck for?

I would build up your existing front end with whatever brand you feel comfortable with, kryptonite, Cognito, etc and enjoy your truck. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be
Thank you!

This is my DD/tow rig/future Mom-mobile. If I'm going somewhere I need more clearance, he's driving and we'll be in one of his trucks. Or the possibility exists that I took a road too far and shouldn't be there anyway.

I'm maxxed out on my GN tongue height currently. Can't go up any higher. I'd rather spend the money on a saddle or something else I really need.
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Athena: White 2008 LMM CCSB 4x4 Loaded
6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:57 PM
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De-crank the front end where you have 1” or more clearance between the upper control arm bump stop and the arm.

The flatter the cv axles/steering arms and control arms, the longer that front end will last.

Lack of travel my ass, setup right the front end on torsions will pull 10+ inches of travel. Sas is only going to pull the same or less because he’s not going to put 14”+ travel shocks under it and lift it to the moon. He will probably try to keep it as low as possible which means an 8” stroke shock and since the shock will be at the axle, for every inch the axle moves, so does the shock, giving you 8” of travel.

Imho, rebuild the front end top to bottom and drive it for another 100k+ without issue. That means

Steering box (what you did)
Idler arm support
Idler arm
Pitman arm (PISK would be good for idler/pitman arm)
Tie rods
Uca and lca
Cv axles if the boots are shot
Wheel bearings

De-crank the front end to as stated above, don’t run a ton of off sets on the wheels and enjoy it
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Old 03-06-2020, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy1925 View Post
De-crank the front end where you have 1” or more clearance between the upper control arm bump stop and the arm.

The flatter the cv axles/steering arms and control arms, the longer that front end will last.

Lack of travel my ass, setup right the front end on torsions will pull 10+ inches of travel. Sas is only going to pull the same or less because he’s not going to put 14”+ travel shocks under it and lift it to the moon. He will probably try to keep it as low as possible which means an 8” stroke shock and since the shock will be at the axle, for every inch the axle moves, so does the shock, giving you 8” of travel.

Imho, rebuild the front end top to bottom and drive it for another 100k+ without issue. That means

Steering box (what you did)
Idler arm support
Idler arm
Pitman arm (PISK would be good for idler/pitman arm)
Tie rods
Uca and lca
Cv axles if the boots are shot
Wheel bearings

De-crank the front end to as stated above, don’t run a ton of off sets on the wheels and enjoy it
Ok, so will I need to realign it if I decrank the bars? Is that going to cause problems with the current wheels (20x9 -18 offset)?
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Athena: White 2008 LMM CCSB 4x4 Loaded
6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-06-2020, 04:27 PM
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Yes, will need re-aligned. Should be getting aligned after all that work anyhow.

Wheel won’t be the issue, tire height will
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James

2002 LB7, LLY, LBZ, LMM, LML, L5P 2500HD CC/LB dmax/6sp alli "The Limo"

2020 L5P 2500HD CC/LB dmax/10sp alli "The New Limo" staying stock........ish

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Old 03-06-2020, 04:28 PM
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Most any changes to suspension should involve at least checking the alignment. Torsion bar adjustment is one of them if it doesn't move much you probably won't have any issues. If anything changes it will likely be the caster which you can check yourself if you want afterwards before taking it back to the shop
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Last edited by 2004LB7; 03-06-2020 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004LB7 View Post
Most any changes to suspension should involve at least checking the alignment. Torsion bar adjustment is one of them if it doesn't move much you probably won't have any issues. If anything changes it will likely be the caster which you can check yourself if you want afterwards before taking it back to the shop


Toe will change was well. It doesn’t take much to throw that off. The 11-up have better geometry and don’t have as much bump steer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshH View Post
Mike L is my role model. I want to be like him when I grow up.
James

2002 LB7, LLY, LBZ, LMM, LML, L5P 2500HD CC/LB dmax/6sp alli "The Limo"

2020 L5P 2500HD CC/LB dmax/10sp alli "The New Limo" staying stock........ish

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Old 03-06-2020, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy1925 View Post
Yes, will need re-aligned. Should be getting aligned after all that work anyhow.

Wheel won’t be the issue, tire height will


I asked because he got it aligned this morning after what we’ve done for now, and wasn’t sure if we just decranked a bit for more, if it would affect it.


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Athena: White 2008 LMM CCSB 4x4 Loaded
6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:13 PM
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For now* not more. Stupid autocorrect.


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Athena: White 2008 LMM CCSB 4x4 Loaded
6Spd Allison, Transgo Jr, EFI Live DSP5 (unknown tunes), S&B filter, DEF delete, 4" exhaust, FASS 150, Caterpillar fuel filter, Kyrptonite tie rods & ball joints, leveled with 33" tires on 20" rims
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:34 PM
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Looks like the lower bump stops are hosed. get new ones of those too.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:35 AM
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I would definitely replace the lower bump stops like said above as they look to have seen better days.


I also agree with James, completely rebuild the front end, bring it back down where there is ample space between the upper bump stop and the arm, then drive it another 100k without complaints AND superior ride quality to SAS. Keeping the wheels as close to 0 offset as possible will ease the load on the front end (less leverage on steering components and wheel bearings) but lets be honest, they look better with some offset.
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