Bags or leafs?

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Jeepman76, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Jeepman76

    Jeepman76 Newbie

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    Hi I currently own a 1995 k3500 double cab srw with 8' box. It has the 5.7L and 4l80E with corp. 14 bolt with 4:10 ratio. When I put about 5-600lbs in the bed and hooked up our camper with 750-800lbs of tongue weight my truck squatted pretty good. About as mush as my 1/2 ton Suburban did pulling the same camper.

    Thing is the rear leafs look really good as in all friction pads are there, no rust and the rear rake without load is perfect as far as I am concerned.

    1. Do I need replace the rear leafs that are 25 years old?

    2. Would I be better off to add airlift/ firestone helper bags to maintain good ride and load capability?

    3. Towing the 7800gvw camper it struggled getting up some hills. My 5.3l Suburban pulled easier but felt the chassis and brakes were not adequate for this trailer. What can I do to the 5.7l with 185k milesto get some more get up and go?
     
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  2. andy396

    andy396 GMT400 Enthusiast

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    If you don’t like the squat loaded but like the height unloaded, you’ll probably be happiest just adding airbags.

    How much you looking to spend on the motor?
     
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  3. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    I put a 5000# camper in the bed of my dually and hook up a near 9000# enclosed car hauler on a 4 foot hitch extension. You are asking alot of a stock 350. My dually has done it without the blower, but worked its ass off climbing hills. I personally have bags, but wish to add a cab and chassis leaf pack to the mix. They have 3 upper overloads to my 1. Being a 3500 you should have an upper overload too so that's another option.
     
  4. andy396

    andy396 GMT400 Enthusiast

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    No upper overloads on the 9,200GVW SRW trucks.
     
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  5. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    No? I thought that was part of what made it 9,200 and not 8,600? If not then OP will see a marked improvement just by nabbing a leaf pack with a single upper overload.
     
  6. andy396

    andy396 GMT400 Enthusiast

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    8,600’s were K2500 trucks
     
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  7. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    Correct. And without an upper overload he would only have a 2500 leaf pack on a 3500. 8600 was also the rating for early SRW 3500 GMT400s.
     
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  8. stutaeng

    stutaeng I'm Awesome

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    Yeah, my '00 K3500 CCLB just has the 6 leaf packs, no overloads. I made a post about the similar question, but I'm hauling about 2,000 lbs on mine. My question was swapping DRW leafs with factory overloads and the consensus was that YES, they are a direct swap.

    I think Andy also pointed out Rockauto sells new replacement leaf springs that are like 8 packs.

    700 lbs would not even "level" my K3500 (GVWR 9,200,) however. And no way it would sag as much as the soft coil springs suburban! I mean a 6 leaf pack sagging more than coil springs? That's hard to believe. You do have factory leafs? And Your suburban is a 1500 because you mentioned a 5.3, right?

    I do believe the 5.7 to be slower than the 5.3 because of much heavier truck. Are you running stock tires?

    A lot of folks put on huge aftermarket tires and then complain their truck are gutless, LOL. Maybe re-gearing?

    Short of that a BBC swap?

    Edit: I just saw you had 5.7 TBI
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  9. Jeepman76

    Jeepman76 Newbie

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    Suburban was an 06 1500 with 5.3.

    Current leaf pack is 6 leafs.

    Thinking air assisting bags would be the best choice.

    It was not bottomed out but the rear bumper did drop 6-7".

    Is a gmt 800 6.0l an easy swap? Does it bolt the the 4l80E in my truck?
     
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  10. Jeepman76

    Jeepman76 Newbie

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    As far as motor upgrades to the 350 I have no set price point honestly. Under $2000 would be ideal. I would rather have bolt on add ons than a motor swap.
     

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