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Discussion Starter #1
My 2006, which hasn't done a lot of work in it's life, always seems to sit nose high. This is compounded when I hook on our 6000lb travel trailer.

Although I didn't check the truck at level, I know the front is a bit higher than the back. When I add the trailer, it is 2" higher in the front than the back. It looks like the back is squatting a lot more than it should, but the front is and has always been high.

Note that the truck is using weight distribution.

I could just adjust down the t-bars on the front, but I want some feedback from others. Is lowering the front a good idea? Or should I be looking at adding air bags to the back? I'm not a fan of lifted trucks, as it just makes them a pain to use. I'd prefer the truck be level when towing, and can be raked down when not.

This truck only has 220,000km, and really only tows this trailer. I don't often drive it empty. My dad has owned it since 2008, and it has never been modified outside of those aftermarket wheels and new tires.
 

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Are the tortions turned up now? Maybe add timbrens to the rear and turn the front down a bit. Is the front ride harsh?
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Harsh is a hard thing to say. With the 16" tires it is beyond harsh. Main battle tank comes to mind. However the summer 20's feel okay. However neither is anywhere close to my autoride Avalanche.

I can't see why anyone would have turned up the front ever but it's possible.

Heres some unloaded pics.

IMG_7518.jpg





Note that these pics have the rear tires over inflated for towing. So the rake is actually worse with the proper inflation.

I need to take measurements again.

Is it possible/safe to take 2" out of the front?
 

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I wouldn鈥檛 suggest cranking the front down, don鈥檛 screw with that, leave it alone and add airbags on the rear.

Air bags on the rear which will help getting the rear back up, closer to level.
Every truck I鈥檝e owned I had to add air bags to level it out a little when towing.
Mine squats about 3鈥 when I hook up my 5th wheel before I air up my bags and tires.
I鈥檓 usually running 70-80 psi in my airbags when towing, then 5psi when empty.

IMO that is pretty much all you can do to retain a decent ride when empty other suspension add on鈥檚 which will stiffen up the ride when empty.
Or drive around with the nose up watching the birds fly around.
 

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looks like rear leaf spring fatigue. I put 3500 srw takeoff springs on my 2010 2500 after only 60,000 miles. Later added air bags.

:surprise:70 to 80 psi in bags...I usually run into sway issue with bumper pull campers in the wind if im over 30 psi.
 

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I would leave the front alone if you don鈥檛 have any issues with suspension travel and add equipment to the rear like airbags.
 

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You are nose high even without a load on the truck according to your level. Either you have torsen bars that are cranked to the max or your rear leaf springs are shot.

You can either crank the front back down a little, or add a 1鈥 lift block to the rear along with airbags to help when towing.

You say it rides worse with the 16鈥 rims? The only way I see that possible is if you have 80psi in all four tires and lower pressure in the tires when running the 20鈥 combo.
 
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looks like rear leaf spring fatigue. I put 3500 srw takeoff springs on my 2010 2500 after only 60,000 miles. Later added air bags.

:surprise:70 to 80 psi in bags...I usually run into sway issue with bumper pull campers in the wind if im over 30 psi.
2800-3,000 lb pin weight depending if my toy is inside, 5th wheel toy hauler no sway.
Slight difference with bumper pull vs 5th wheel.
70-80 brings my truck a little closer to level when loaded.
Empty the front is about 1/2鈥 lower than the rear, when hooked up the rear is about 3/4鈥-1鈥 lower than the front.

When I did my 4鈥 lift it was front only, rear stock height was about 4 1/2鈥 higher than the front, out of the factory.

FYI JOHN, if and when you add airbags they will raise the rear about 1/2鈥 when empty.
Always try to keep at least 5psi in the bags when empty.
The moisture in the air helps from the airbags cracking inside out.
I have the Airlift load controller II with my Firestone airbags.
It has a 5psi low pressure switch so you never have to wonder if air is in them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the feedback. To answer some questions:

Yes, the front sits high all the time. I didn't measure it exactly, but it is somewhere between 1/2" and 1". I took it to my mechanic and his gut reaction was that someone did crank them up once upon a time. He also concurs that there is sag in the rear which magnifies it.

The 16" Wrangler Territory tires ride terrible. That is with 60/45 psi. The 20" Wrangler SRAs ride nicer with 50/35. That is about what they need to be properly inflated. Perhaps the wider tire makes a difference, but we are only talking 20mm. When I run the trailer, the rears go up 20 psi respectively.

I have no desire to start altering leaf springs in this truck. It only pulls this trailer in the summer time and otherwise will do next to nothing the rest of the year. I'll take a look at airbags too. I think a lowering of the front will occur just to help it out when unloaded. If anyone has brands to recommend for airbags, I'll take a peek. As for weight, the tongue weight on this thing never exceeds 800lbs, and that is with a weight distribution.

My LTZ Avalanche had the auto-leveling air bag system and I fell in love with it. I could load 2000lb of brick in that thing and it would still ride level. I know Dodge caught on to this, but I wish it would come to the rest of the Chevy lineup.
 

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I would replace the rear leaf springs, shackles, and Ubolts. It may actually be the spring hangers/pivot points that are bad, in which case you should definitely replace because it's a safety issue. I have a '50 Chevy pickup I'm in the process of restoring... one of the front leaf spring shackles had a clogged zerk and the innards never got greased. The spring eye was almost completely worn through and the axle was flopping around like crazy causing bump steer and shudders. New spring leaves and hangers fixed the problem right up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would replace the rear leaf springs, shackles, and Ubolts. It may actually be the spring hangers/pivot points that are bad, in which case you should definitely replace because it's a safety issue. I have a '50 Chevy pickup I'm in the process of restoring... one of the front leaf spring shackles had a clogged zerk and the innards never got greased. The spring eye was almost completely worn through and the axle was flopping around like crazy causing bump steer and shudders. New spring leaves and hangers fixed the problem right up.
How can you tell if the leaf springs are bad? What do I look for?

The leafs look fairly flat, which isn't right. But I don't see any issue on the ends. I can possibly get a picture with the wheel off, but it might take a few days.

The rear of this truck bounces around a lot. I'm not sure if that is normal for this era Duramax, or if there is something wrong back there. When unloaded, the back of the truck literally hops when going over the smallest of bumps. Note that the truck has brand new Bilstein 5100s all around.
 

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The front is turned up too high. NOne of thee trucks came from the factory front end up all ways rear up. The quickest way is to look and see if the stock front jounce are on the arm where they are supposed to be in stock form. If they are not then someone cranked up the front. Also, it is hard to tell where you are at when you have a trailer attached to the truck, which is going to prop the nose up. We have Asshats running around town with brand new trucks that they have stanced way out and cracked the fronts up. Must be a stupid thing IMHO. Depending on the weight of the hitch a Load leveling hitch will fix that issue, and a good one like an equalizer hitch will do wonders. I personally would do the above turn the torsion down a hair and add a good hitch. My guess would be someone turned it up to give tire clearance for turning lock to lock.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Here is a pic of the right front with the trailer connected.



There is about space for a fat finger between the upper control arm and that chunk of frame. That seems like too little clearance.



And here are the leaf ends on the right.





The more I learn I think that the front is definately too high and the rear is likely too low. It may be a two fold fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
...on the weight of the hitch a Load leveling hitch will fix that issue, and a good one like an equalizer hitch will do wonders.

What is an equalizer hitch? I have a decent weight distribution hitch already.
 

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Two things:

1st: Your front end is cranked a good deal and part of the reason the truck rides like crap. With the bars cranked up and factory upper control arms, you have almost no down travel in the front suspension. You can kinda fix this with aftermarket control arms "cognito is what I have", but is does not fix you bad angles on your CV shafts. Or you can just jack the front of the truck up and back the adjuster bolt off a full 3-4 turns. If I remember correctly, every turn is about a 1/4" of up or down change in height. You will probably need to get it aligned afterwards.

2nd: If that is an image of the rear springs with nothing attached, your rear springs are completely shot. Empty I have a solid 1-1/4" between my overload spring and the one above it.
 
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Two things:

1st: Your front end is cranked a good deal and part of the reason the truck rides like crap. With the bars cranked up and factory upper control arms, you have almost no down travel in the front suspension. You can kinda fix this with aftermarket control arms "cognito is what I have", but is does not fix you bad angles on your CV shafts. Or you can just jack the front of the truck up and back the adjuster bolt off a full 3-4 turns. If I remember correctly, every turn is about a 1/4" of up or down change in height. You will probably need to get it aligned afterwards.

2nd: If that is an image of the rear springs with nothing attached, your rear springs are completely shot. Empty I have a solid 1-1/4" between my overload spring and the one above it.
I concur... The rubber Jounce bumps should be sitting on the lower control arm even if you had a load on the rear. REMOVE THE trailer from the equation put it on level ground measure front and rear. 1) lower the front T key bolts a couple turns at a time and drive the truck a few miles and recheck turn up if nesc if you went too far. Once the truck is level the have an alignment done. Then you will be level and the truck should ride better and then connect the Trailer. If it sags the rear, options adjust the weight distribution hitch to bring the rear up or add bags to the rear.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Two things:

2nd: If that is an image of the rear springs with nothing attached, your rear springs are completely shot. Empty I have a solid 1-1/4" between my overload spring and the one above it.
That photo has the trailer attached without WD. So that is the worst case scenario.

I will crank down the front, get an alignment, and try it out for a bit. Once that is done, I'll see what I need to do with the rears. I'll keep this thread updated as I proceed.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here are more photos with the truck UNLOADED.

IMG_7544.jpg

IMG_7545.jpg

IMG_7547.jpg

IMG_7548.jpg

Methinks those rear springs are shot.
 

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YEp, your T keys are turned up. The jounce usually sits down in the little crevis of the Arm. My rear leafs are about how yours look but it has had 5th wheel attached its entire life from the PO. I just put bags in the rear last weekend.
 
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