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1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension #1323294 Sat Aug 24 2019 05:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 437
6
62Stick Offline OP
Shop Shark
I have a 1962 C10 1/2T. It has the torsion bar front suspension, and coil springs in the back.

Aside from the obvious axle differences (6 vs 8 lugs), what are the differences in the actual suspension components?
I know the coils would be an easy swap in the rear. What about the front? Is it a new set of torsion bars? Did they do something different?

I am wondering how difficult it would be to upgrade the suspension on the 1/2T to 3/4T standards. Not trying to make a 3/4T out of it, just beef it up a little.

Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323378 Sun Aug 25 2019 11:21 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,312
Hambone Offline
Shop Shark
My manual suggests front torsion ratings of 1250lbs for both 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton. There was an optional 1500lb front torsion spring for both. Rear coil ratings of 1250lb for 1/2 ton and 2000lb for 3/4 ton.
The GM heritage manual details additional spec ratings, but does clearly suggest fronts are the same and rears are different.


HB

1966 Chevrolet K-10
Flappy Fenders
In the Stovebolt Gallery
More pictures on Photobucket

1962 Chevrolet C10
Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323381 Sun Aug 25 2019 12:18 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,134
G
Grigg Offline
.
Before trying to make a 3/4 ton out of a 1/2 ton also consider frame and other suspension components, are they the same? If different then adding stiffer springs might lead to early failure of other parts?


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals
1948 Chevrolet 6400 - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup
---All pictures---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323432 Sun Aug 25 2019 05:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,025
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Is there a compelling reason for putting 7 1/2 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack? Very few antique "1/2 ton" pickups see much more load in the bed than a Yeti cooler iced down with a max load of Bud Light on tailgate day!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323435 Sun Aug 25 2019 05:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 437
6
62Stick Offline OP
Shop Shark
Compelling reason is putting 800 - 1000 pound motorcycles in the back when they need to be "rescued". I have done this several times recently. The old truck really squats when I load it up. I know I am still within capacity, but was looking to beef it up a bit. Not trying to make a 3/4T out of it, just give it a bit more gusto.

It's not something I would do on a regular basis, but nice to know it can.

Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323452 Sun Aug 25 2019 07:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,025
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
It would be a lot simpler to fit a set of air bags inside the rear coil springs, and air 'em up when a little more capacity is needed. Otherwise, buy a good kidney belt and be prepared for a rough ride all the time. The same thing could be accomplished with air shocks, but they have a bad habit of overstressing the upper and lower shock mounts, and they require much higher air pressure to carry the same amount of extra load.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323543 Mon Aug 26 2019 04:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 437
6
62Stick Offline OP
Shop Shark
I think I remember seeing "helper" leaf springs that were basically half a leaf spring that bolted to the frame behind the rear axle, but didn't normally interact with the rear suspension.

When the load exceeded a certain level, the frame lowered enough that the spring contacted the trailing arm and provided additional support.

Does anyone else remember these?

Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323557 Mon Aug 26 2019 12:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 156
W
whateverpratt Offline
Shop Shark
Trailing arms thickness and lengths are the same for short and long bed 1/2 and 3/4 ton to my knowledge.

I recently upgraded to 3/4ton springs in my '63. I'm so happy with the result. I didn't notice that much change in the ride (probably because the front springs are so broken in). I use my truck to load up 600-1000lbs of firewood regularly sometimes getting pretty close to the bumpstops (worn out rear springs too, I'm sure). Now my truck doesn't squat nearly as bad as before.

I would recommend ordering a new pair of rear 3/4ton springs through rockauto and installing them. They aren't that expensive, and installation isn't that difficult if you take your time and have some jackstands. If the ride is too rough, you can just put the old 1/2 ton springs back in.


'66 c10 rust bucket, 350 nv4500 stock bellhousing, '85 c30 front suspension, h072 rear axle with 3/4 ton rear coil springs
'67 cj5 225 oddfire motor, time for disc brake conversion, offset rear dana 44, intermediate pedals and steering upgrade
'48 3804 frame and bed + '52 6400 cab and front clip + 4bt, need to put them together
Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323575 Mon Aug 26 2019 02:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 6,592
W
WE b OLD Offline
Master Gabster
What Pratt said or on the new springs remove a spring or two.


Ron, The Computer Greek
I love therefore I am.

1960 MGA Roadster Sold 7/18/2017
1954 3100 Chevy truck in the Gallery
2017 Buick Encore
Pix on Photobucket
Re: 1/2T vs 3/4T Suspension [Re: 62Stick] #1323577 Mon Aug 26 2019 02:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,025
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
"Remove a spring or two"- - - - -I'd like to hide and watch you do that on a coil spring. I've got a 72 Chevy 1/2 ton with rear trailing arms, coils, and helper springs. They are quarter-elliptical leaf springs bolted to the frame that contact the rear axle housing as the suspension travel approaches the bump stops. Chevy used to sell a "Camper Special" option with extra weight capacity, but I believe that one was a 3/4 ton.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
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