Monday, December 24, 2012

Sport Truck Suspension Upgrades With Belltech

Nearly 25 years ago, General Motors introduced the C/K generation of pickup trucks and the sport truck craze was born. The sleeker styling and comfort features were geared less toward the work crowd and more to the enthusiast. Of course, it still handled like most trucks do; so companies like Belltech started offering lowering kits and parts to get these and other trucks closer to the ground, giving the trucks better looks and tighter handling.

In the decades since, technology has been developed and improved. More and more muscle car traits have crossed over into the truck world, providing better handling than ever. The bonus of a truck being used as a fun performance carver is that it still has plenty of function, and with some help from Belltech, can maintain and improve its load-carrying capabilities as well!

Providing the best of both worlds and rehabbing this mid-‘90s C/K are a variety of parts from Belltech, including Street Performance shocks, anti-sway bars and rear helper ‘bags to complement the lowering springs and notch already in place. Shocks are a suspension necessity, but purpose-built shocks designed for performance on lowered trucks are essential, taking the lowered stance and different amount of travel into account. Beefier anti-sway bars in the front and rear help with body roll, allowing drivers to take corners smoother and faster thanks to a more stable ride. Keeping in mind that this is still a truck that will get loaded with parts and toys, Belltech also offers a helper spring airbag kit for the rear suspension, which allows adjustments depending on load weight.

Get the best of both worlds—performance and style—with a splash of utility thrown in. With the C/K nearing classic truck status, modern upgrades are plentiful to bring these trucks into the current century.

Text by Jason Mulligan
Photos by Travis Noack


Hill’s Hot Rods

122 SE Loop 289
Lubbock, TX 79404

Here are the new performance suspension parts from Belltech, including Street Performance shocks, anti-sway bars and a helper ‘bag kit.

This C/K is worn from years of riding on an older lowering suspension. The tires have rubbed the fender lips and hit the air intake bolts a few times. In the spirit of rehabbing the suspension, this will be handled during the upgrade process.
The bolts are replaced with lower profile button-head bolts.

The old shocks are tossed aside and the new Street Performance shocks from Belltech are installed. The shocks are built for a lowered C/K application.

The polyurethane bushing mount for the beefier anti-sway bars is hit with grease to prevent binding and squeaking.

The new anti-sway bar is mounted in the factory location.

The new end links are tightened up with polyurethane bushings on each contact point.

For better clearance without tire damage, the fender lips are rolled using a Fender Roller from Eastwood. The tool bolts to the hub and is adjusted to the fender and rotated, creasing the lip without damaging the paint.
Out back, a C-notch is already in place and the Belltech helper ‘bag upper bracket bolts right in. The lower ‘bag brackets are seated temporarily on the leaf springs under the axle.

The rear anti-sway bar is bolted to the rearend and into a bracket in the frame using U-bolts.

The rear Street Performance shocks are bolted in place.

A carrier bearing spacer is installed for a corrected driveshaft angle. A notch in the cross member is made to accommodate the raised driveshaft.

Here are the completed Belltech upgrades to the rear suspension.

The helper airbags are mounted in place and the PTC fittings are installed. Then the supplied 1/4-inch DOT air line is connected to a T-fitting and run through the flip-up license plate for easy fill access.


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