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97 5Lug Build

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Old 12-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
crazywin [OP] crazywin is offline
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97 5Lug Build

Hey guys, so here is my 2wd 5 lug build. The background, this was my FIRST car, my dad bought it for me back in 1997, I had it for 6 months when he gave it to my sister. Until June of 2011, it has been driven very little and garage kept by my sister and dad, and after building up a chevy long travel for the past 10 yrs, I thought it would be nice to have a smaller, less aggressive truck to get around town in. Some of the complaints we had with this truck was, with the V6 motor, and 215/70/14 tires, it would spin out on wet or dry pavement, and around every corner. So the project plan was so give it some lift, to clear some tires big enough to keep this thing from sliding around in bad weather, and stop getting compliments like, "cute truck".

I mainly took progress photos to answer a lot of the common questions I found people asking about lifting a 5 lug, so I hope this helps.

here's me when I was 17 and the truck was brand new.


Skip the build, this is the project currently:


Current build includes:
3" Fabtech Spindles
Fabtech Add-a-Leaf
Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks
Glassworx fenders
2" body lift from 4crawler
31x10.5 Falken on 15x7 wheels w/3.75 backspacing


My first set of tires were a used set of 30x9.5 General Grabbers that I found on Craigslist already mounted to 15x7 rims. Here is the spindle lift with the 30's compared to the stock spindle with 215/70/14


Here's how much wider the spindle + 3.5" backspacing is.


I started with a rear shackle lift, here is the finished spindle + shackles + 30x9.5. Rear shackles was straight forward, the tailpipe did not get in the way like some other threads posted, but this seems to vary. Clearance was ok, tires would not rub at full turn, but hitting a bump and turning did rub. I did trim the plastic off the bumper. I think the rubbing came from the mud flap on the front fenders. I could have taken them off and done the pinch weld mod, but then there'd be no excuse to keep lifting!



So to get a little more wheel travel without rubbing, and I liked the look of a slightly exposed frame, I put a 2" body lift on it. Here's a progress shot to see the diff from the front to rear, and finished. With the body lift the 30x9.5's cleared with no problem, even with the mud flaps and no pinch weld mods. I think because of the backspacing, I needed more room, with a stock backspacing, this would have not been an issue with just the spindle lift. The negative offset of the wheels makes the tire move slightly more forward and backward when at full steer.




At this point I thought I was done, but then I came across a pair of fiberworx fenders for my year model on craigslist. I have seen zero fiberglass fenders driving around town, and the odds of one for sale that fit my body is rare, so I jumped on the occasion, and the price was cheaper than a set of fender flares. Here's how much the fenders cover up the track width.


I also been mocking up a tube bumper, but that is not finished


With the fiberglass in, I realized I could go a little bigger on tires. 31's fit great no rubbing, 32's might have been running it close again with the hard bump at full steer, so I decided on the 31's and help my mpgs. I ended up spraying undercoating where the stock fenders and plastic liners covered up the inner fenders and pulling all the mud flaps off. Also, for the bumper to fit the new fender width, I pulled the bumper out to fit the flare by notching the inside corner a bit.



In the end I swapped out the shackles for an add-a-leaf, the rear was too soft, with 2 dog crates and 2 labs, it looked like I was hauling bricks. I installed the AAL with the shackle still on, and my shock was too short, so I took out the shackle for now. It looks like a perfectly level ride. With the shackle + AAL, it was sitting a tad tall in the rear. If the springs sag, I'll add it back in and do something about longer shocks.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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uscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the sheduscg2008 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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i never thought that i would say it but that truck looks pretty good with the help of a body lift....... wow i cant believe i just said that haaha well any ways nice job man.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
crazywin [OP] crazywin is offline
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Thanks coby, yea I was very against body lifts on my last truck, and never thought I'd install one, but after looking at the prerunner and 4wd's passing by on the road, it just looked like those sat higher on the frame than this 5 lug. They key to a body lift is just don't cheap out, and do it right, and only lift as much as you need. A 3" body lift would have been way too much. I chopped the rear bumper bracket and rewelded it with a 2" riser, the only thing hanging low is the hitch, but I have plans to repurpose it into a new rear bumper build, so I'll cut and raise it too.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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Taylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shedTaylor is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Wow, I love this! I want to lift my 96 and this has given me so much insight on what to do.

Thank you so much!
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
crazywin [OP] crazywin is offline
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Big improvement made this weekend, I removed the 3.15 third member out, and swapped it with a 3.58 third member from the same era 4wd tacoma. Speedo is back to stock, mpg's are back to stock. Still pulling ~22mpg! And now I can finally go the speed limit again on the tollroads! 85mph!!

Seems like there are no downsides to the lift for me, so if you are on the fence with a lift, and have the money, I would do it!
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