05 Silverado suspension improvements

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by anven, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. anven

    anven Member

    Hey guys,

    I need some ideas on the mods I can do to improve the ride of the truck. I am replacing shocks this weekend for Bilstein HDs, and putting on new tires next month. Are there any other mods one can do to "soften" the ride? As of now, any little pothole feels like i hit a brick wall with truck swaying and bouncing all over the place.
    As much as I hope its the shocks, it almost feels like the springs are way too stiff. Is that possible? Only rationale behind that is a thought that an old shock absorber will make a ride too bouncy/soft as opposed to stiffer, but i'm not an expert.

    so anyway, looking for ideas... do they make softer aftermarket springs, torsion bars, leaf springs, etc...? All I can find is discussion on lowering/raising, but nothing regarding improving ride quality.

  2. paracutin

    paracutin Rockstar 100 Posts

    You seriously want to soften your trucks ride? IMHO GM trucks have the best ride in the business.
    Softening the ride will come at a price. Load carrying, towing and handling will suffer.
    I'm not even sure there are aftermarket parts to do that without lowering it. I can guarantee you that the Bilstein HD shocks will stiffen the ride.
    Tires will also change ride quality. A taller sidewall with a little less air will soften the ride where short sidewall tires are stiffer.
    If you want a softer ride you might want to consider ditching the Silverado and picking up an Escalade EXT.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  3. anven

    anven Member

    HA - thanks (but no thanks :lol:) for your advice, but I think I have an actual issue with my ride because A) it was not always this rough and B) other silverados i've driven are MUCH softer than what I have. I guess I should've asked for possible reasons or repairs I can do, as opposed to "mods". And for anyone with real advice - Its an 05 ext cab 4WD.
  4. paracutin

    paracutin Rockstar 100 Posts

    Additional information helps a lot. You went from making mods to fixing a broken suspension. HUGE difference. BTW - my initial advice was "real" advice. You want a softer suspension, get the Caddy.
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Paracutin did actually offer a good suggestion, check your tires and pressures.
    If the truck was riding good before and is to stiff now theres only a few reasons for that.
    Tires would be one reason, possibly a higher load rated tire than you previously had or your running more pressure now.
    Another thing could be if your springs are worn and hitting the bumpstops, check the bumpstops for marks to see if your bouncing off them.
    Also do you carry more of a load in the truck on a day to day basis than you used to?
  6. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Trucks with torsion bars always had a somewhat stiff feeling when you hit bumps. Find out what shocks Caddy's use and use them.

    ALSO check all of your suspension components, ball joints, tie rods and whatever else moves. My lower balls joints were so bad that they squeaked on a crack in the driveway and didn't have a boot and I could almost pull the stud out by hand; once I had those replaced the ride seemed to get better. My uppers and tie rod ends are the next to be replaced under there though.

    A buddy of mine "dropped" his Z71 to a 2wd stance with drop keys and drop shackles in the back and it rides like a Caddy.
  7. anven

    anven Member

    Thanks for good tips. Tim, I have original tires (standard load goodyears) at 35psi, use the truck with no load 90% of the time. Also note I'm at 100k miles.

    So this morning I did a little more poking around per your advice - few observations:
    1) torsion adjustment bolts are basically half way with torsion bars a little rusty at the keys.
    2) measuring from the top of the tire well to ground - fronts are at 35.5 inches, while rear is at 38 inches. (I don't know what it should be at), but see observation 3
    3) lower control arms appear to sit right up on the rubber bump stop with empty truck sitting flat is garage (see picture). This seems not right. unless the rubber bumper is meant to do some shock absorption, I feel like the suspension would have no up travel at all, which would explain hard pothole response. but once again - I am not sure what its supposed to be.

    I would appreciate if you can comment of whether the front's height seems appropriate, and if not, what can be causing it.

  8. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I don't think bump stops are supposed to be touching all the time. I think they were put there to limit how far the suspension can travel after hitting a hard bump or dip.

    I'd say crank them to where there is a gap between the 2 and see if that helps any. Once you get newer shocks it'll raise it up some but not for long
  9. bazar01

    bazar01 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I went rhough the same problem with my 2001 Suburban. The ride was getting rough and it seemed like the front was riding on bump stop and sure it was. I replaced the bump stops and I raised the front by 1 inch and the ride has improved a lot. You will see my post in the Suburban forums.
    I was even tempted to get rid of the bump stops totally so I did not have to raise the front but I did not.

  10. anven

    anven Member

    Bazar, did you just raise it by cranking the torsion adjustment bolts? did it hold up for a while after you did that or did you need new torsion bars?

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