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Old July 25th, 2015, 10:12 PM   #1
Sherman203
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Default 97 k1500 SAS

So this is what i started with, a 97 k1500 ECSB. I had minor mods on this truck, i had a CAI, throttle body spacer i got for free from a buddy, true duals turned out in front of passenger rear tire, a home made body lift and vette servo. Truck was actually really good to me for a long time never had an issue with it, so when i got my duramax i decided to keep it. Then, last november i had an opportunity at matching d44 and 14bff axles from a 3/4 ton chevy for 300 bucks. So i picked them up and i was lucky enough to even have a d44 with factory flat top passenger knuckle. So i decided to put the old truck under the knife and beef up the suspension for some good fun.

I had some 2x2x1/4 square steel tube lying around so i decided to use that for the front hanger of the front axle. Picked up some beefy 3/8 spring hangers, shackle hangers and 5" shackles. As well as some 6" front 47" lift springs, beefy 3/8 spring plates, u bolts and 4 degree shims. Ran 1 piece of the square tube from frame rail to frame rail welded to botom of frame rails, and 2 pieces the width of the frame rails behind the long piece. From there i measured and squared and centered and measured all over again and welded the 3/8" spring hangers to the new front crossmember. Then i picked up some 2x4x1/4 steel for the rear cross member/shackle hanger. Cut that to length to fit inside the frame rails and welded it flush with the bottom of the frame. Then i once again measured squared and measured again and welded the flat mount jeep style shackle hangers on. Threw bushings and shackles on and mounted the springs and axle. I went this route in order to have 2 extra crossmembers for strengthening up the frame up front. After i had the d44 installed i cut off all of the ifs bracketry and moved on the the rear.

For the rear i found i had to cut the stock spring perches off from the 14bff so, i picked up some beefy 3/8 spring perches with 3 different locating pin wholes to be able to move rear axle forward or rearward, 3/8 spring plates, ubolts, 3/8 disk break brackets and a shackle flip. Then once again measure measure center and do it again and welded the new spring perches on, installed the shackle flip and hung the axle. Still have to get 6" springs for the rear. So i moved on to the steering.

For the steering i decided to run crossover with hi-steer. So i picked up steering arms for both sides, tre's, weld in 7/8-18 rod ends, two chunks of 1 1/2x1/4 DOM, superlift pitman arm and dual steering stabilizers. Drilled out the passenger knuckle and tapped it for 9/16- bolts and installed the steering arms. Threw in the pitman arm and back to measuring i went to build the tre and drag link. Finished those up and installed the dual steering stabilizers. First problem with the build. The drag link hits the leaf springs. So i picked up some steering arm soacers and clevis mounts while i was at it because, well i saw them and wanted them. So i installed the spacer and got all the clearence in the world between the draglink and springs. I also welded the clevis mounts to the new front crossmember.

Then i found a good deal on 4 15/38.5 16.5 ground hawgs with a 15/38.5 16.5 monster mudder all having about 3/4 tread for 400. So i picked thise up and bolted them on and ran into my secong problem. The rims dont have enough back spacing for the tires to clear the tres from my new hi-steer set up. So i picked up some 1.5" spacers for the front and 2" spacers for the rear untill i can find real deep dish rims.

Then i was lucky enough to find a np241 from a 90 k5 with the electronic vss. Picked that up along with a clocking ring and yet to install it. This is where i sit now. Still have alot of work to do and parts to buy but i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let me know what you think any suggestions or issues are very welcome thanks
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Old July 26th, 2015, 07:49 AM   #2
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Old July 26th, 2015, 01:49 PM   #3
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What i started with
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Old July 26th, 2015, 03:01 PM   #4
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Nice, I'm in the process of doing mine now. Just got it sitting on its own weight but the springs where softer than I thought and it settled on the front shackle. This is two weeks worth of progress and 38.5s

The taller picture is just before we lower it on its own weight. Springs are to soft though. Fronts are 52s 8 I nch soft rides. Dont judge on the cinder blocks lol its incredibly stable or else I would of never been under it. The other picture is how it sits right now after I added another leaf to the rear. I'll have to move my front hanger for the rear spring forward in order to center the axle and fix my shackle angle.

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Old July 26th, 2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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Yah i am using 47 inch 6" lift springs the easy ride tuff countrys. I actually move my font axle forward and rear backward for a little more wheel base. I have a ton to do still, i still need to instal t case and come up with a linkage to hook up the floor shifter i snagged from the junk yard. As well as shocks calipers and pads all the way around, an axle shaft for the d44 break lines all the way around woth a prop valve, undecided on ditching the steering stabilizers for a hydro assist set up. Then i will run it on the stock engine and trans till they go and i will build them. I want to stay fuel injection. I have actually been working on my truck since november. But like i said i am building it as strong and beefy as possible to avoid breaking stuff lol. And i can only work on when money permits. I also need 6" rear springs and driveshafts. Here it is next to my d-max

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Old July 26th, 2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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I am also going to need to notch the crossmember i made for the front shackles in order to be able to remove the tranny witout pulling the cab, and make clearance for the front driveshaft
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Old July 31st, 2015, 10:53 AM   #7
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Just ordered my 5.5" lift springs for the rear. I will install those as soon as they come in. Then i will be able to measure for shocks, driveshafts, break lines and anti wrap/traction bars for front and rear. My plan for the anti wrap bars are to get some axle end mounts for bothe the d44 and the 14bff with some bushed dom to basically solid mount at the axles. Pick up some dom and build up some slip and twist style bars. For the frame mounts im going to just use some basic link tabs welded to the crossmembers underneath woth bushed dom at that end as well. This way i can eliminate any wrap front or rear i may have and still be able to retain good axle movement and articulation.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 01:25 PM   #8
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Looks good!
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Old July 31st, 2015, 08:17 PM   #9
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Thank you
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Old August 1st, 2015, 09:45 PM   #10
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Nice sas, do yourself a favor and get rid of the stabilizers. I've only got about 200 into my hydro assist. With the tire size, you'll wear the stock steering box out quick. Mine is a bit sloppy after only 5000 miles and no wheeling due to non matching gear sets. Good luck!

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Old August 1st, 2015, 10:43 PM   #11
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Yah i hae ee tossig the hydro idea around
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 12:14 AM   #12
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Do you have to rewire the vss to change the 243 to the 241,or is it plug and play?
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 08:21 AM   #13
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Plug and play as far as i know. They just a standard gm 2 prong harness. They are actually the same vss if you look them up.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 08:22 AM   #14
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But i have yet o install it. I will do a small write up on that when get to it.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 08:25 AM   #15
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Hopefully i can get that in this up coming weekend along with the rear springs
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 08:57 AM   #16
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What about the tccm? Do you need to pin it so the trans will shift on 4 lo? I'm not sure the harness for the 243 is the same in that aspect.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 09:32 AM   #17
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Trans will still shift. Only plug on either t case is the vss or in the 243 case you have the electronic shift motor. And that is only to shift the tcase. The trans itself shifts from the readings of the vss
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 09:53 AM   #18
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My 243 had a 3 wire plug, and the 241 had 2. The sensors were different lengths so I could not swap them out. So low range is on a toggle switch. Otherwise the transmission will not shift correct at all. Might want to check that out.

Here is mine, stock 52's with a couple extra leafs shackle flip in the rear, 35's, cross over steering with hydro assist. D60,10.25 I have a build thread buried on here somewhere.
Good luck with your project.
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 10:40 AM   #19
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If i remember right my 243 has the 2 wire. Ill have to check it out when i get home. But i still dont understand what you are saying about ahifting in low range. The transmission should shift correctly if the vss in wired right. Or am i missing something? I thought basically all the tranny needed was the 40 pulse vss signal and maybe an rpm reading to shift?
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 10:41 AM   #20
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Red, this is not a BDMT. I like this one.
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