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Hello all.

I have a 94 K1500 with the Z71 package. I have had it awhile now and love it. Its the first full size I have owned. I am new to chevy trucks so please excuse me if I ask anything that would be obvious.

I have been using it to haul materials for different home improvement projects at my house and it usually does very well for me. However, the load capacity of the truck is not what I expected it would be for a truck of this size. 1 yard of fill almost killed the suspension on it. It was slammed to the ground almost. And The truck can barely hold 20 bags of concrete without taking a huge dip in the rear.

I want to beef up the suspension in the rear so that it can handle heavier loads including towing. What are some of my options?

I was contemplating weather 2500 springs from the same era would work with my 1500 frame. I have not gotten the chance to track down a 2500 so I can compare. A friend who is a chevy truck guy told me that the 1500 and 2500 leaf springs are interchangeable but the 3500 is not.

Thanks for any info guys!
 

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Your best option would be a set of airbags. Cheaper than new springs and much much easier to install. Especially on a Mass truck almost 20 years old.
 

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Do they make an air spring kit? Or are you talking about something like High-Jackers? I didnt realize that air springs could hold such weight. It may be something I look into. Thanks
 

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Do they make an air spring kit? Or are you talking about something like High-Jackers? I didnt realize that air springs could hold such weight. It may be something I look into. Thanks
Going with Air Bags as Mentioned above is the way to go......Below is a set of Air Lift Air Bags for a 94" Chevy Truck,


Home » CHEVROLET » C1500 PICKUP » 1994 » Base » RIDE CONTROL KIT



I have this Air Bag set-up on my Truck.....Its a Great Set-up, I won't Tow every again without Rear Air Bags!!
 

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i have the same truck as you, almost identical infact. same color and everything. z71.... on mine in the rear when i was removing the shocks i couldnt help but notice the leaf spring holders had enough room for one more. you could do add a leaf which would be really cheap. thats always an option. or i bet getting stiffer shocks would aid in it. does yours have the blistein gas pressure shocks?
 

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i have the same truck as you, almost identical infact. same color and everything. z71.... on mine in the rear when i was removing the shocks i couldnt help but notice the leaf spring holders had enough room for one more. you could do add a leaf which would be really cheap. thats always an option. or i bet getting stiffer shocks would aid in it. does yours have the blistein gas pressure shocks?
Shock absorbers do not support the weight of the truck.

Products like the Hi-Jackers or coil spring assist shocks can carry a small amount of weight, but they are not a good idea. The shock mounts are not designed to carry heavy weight.
 

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Go with the airbags. They work. I had a pair on my SnapOn tool truck and they worked very well. Took the sway out and leveled the truck.
 

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I'm going to say the springs from a 3/4 or 1 ton SHOULD fit. Chevy mainly uses 2 lengths of leaf springs on trucks, 52" and 56". The width of the springs should be the same and the main difference is in the number of leafs in the pack. So long as the length is the same, it should work. If you do it, make sure to put new bushings in since you have the springs out anyway. You could probably get a pair of leaf springs out of a junkyard for under $100.

Air bags are also an attractive option. They're going to cost somewhere in the $300-500 range. The nice thing is you can "turn on" the extra load leveling ability when you need it, and turn it off when you're not loaded down. This means you can still keep your smoother ride when empty. I plan to put a pair of bags on my suburban for when I'm towing my camper. Firestone should be the only brand you look to for air bags. They have kits and brackets for most applications.
 

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AirLift is also a good brand of spring, and cheaper. Should be able to get a set for well under $300.
 

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Keep in mind if you go with the heavier springs you sacrafice ride quality, with airbags you keep the ride quality you have.
As an avid off-roader I can tell you I know many truck owners that regret giving up the ride they have for stiffer springs on a truck they really only work out once every few months, the rest of the time their commuting in a truck that beats their teeth out of their gums.
I've done trucks both ways and even though it cost's a little more money I prefer airbags. Yea I'll admit I'm getting older and more of a wimp but I dont think you can show me anyone thats getting younger.
 

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Shock absorbers do not support the weight of the truck.

Products like the Hi-Jackers or coil spring assist shocks can carry a small amount of weight, but they are not a good idea. The shock mounts are not designed to carry heavy weight.
it may sound funny but shocks accually do. if you get some extremely stiff pressure shocks it will lift up the rear and the pressure will keep it up. i took mine off my silverado in the rear and it almost immediatly slammed to the ground. i was jumping in the bed seeing how bouncy it would be and it barely supported my weight before it hit the bump stop. but with the shocks on it raised back up and i could put concrete in it all day before it would droop too low
 

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Discussion Starter #12
does yours have the blistein gas pressure shocks?
I am not sure if I do, I am pretty sure they were replaced at some point (the truck chassis has 225,000 miles on it!) The ones that are on there are yellow in color. Thats all I know right now till i get more into this.

The nice thing is you can "turn on" the extra load leveling ability when you need it, and turn it off when you're not loaded down. This means you can still keep your smoother ride when empty.
By "turning on" do you mean that the factory leaf springs remain in place and the air springs are installed as a supplemental load carrier? Will the kit mentioned earlier in this post do that for me?


Thanks for all the replies! I am really considering air springs now. You've all been a great help.
 

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I am not sure if I do, I am pretty sure they were replaced at some point (the truck chassis has 225,000 miles on it!) The ones that are on there are yellow in color. Thats all I know right now till i get more into this.



By "turning on" do you mean that the factory leaf springs remain in place and the air springs are installed as a supplemental load carrier? Will the kit mentioned earlier in this post do that for me?


Thanks for all the replies! I am really considering air springs now. You've all been a great help.

if they are yellow with blue shock boots they are blistein shocks, thats what im running. and holy crap. thats alot of miles. mine only has 144,447, and i thought that was alot! Lol!:gasp:
 
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