High Or Low?
I'm in the planning stages of a restoration. I'm planning on restoring my dad's '87 C10 4x4 with an 8-foot bed to serve as a rolling memorial to him. He died suddenly earlier this year. I've always wanted to build a custom truck and can't think of a better reason to start building.

I'm looking to do some custom work at the same time I'm restoring the truck. I'm ordering the replacement panels and mapping out the paint scheme. It looks like I can get all the needed parts for under $1,000. I plan on doing the work myself.

There is one aspect that I haven't been able to figure out: the suspension. I want to drop it, but I don't want to drag the frame or bag it. I'm thinking a 4-inch drop would give it the look I'm after. I also want to maintain the cargo capacity and still use the truck as a truck when needed. I carry 1,500 to 2,000 pounds at least twice a year.

I want to keep the truck four-wheel-drive. All the suspension mods I've seen point to either two-wheel-drive drops or dropping trucks sporting IFS. Are axle flips easy? Aside from needing shorter shocks, what else would I need?

I don't want the truck to drive like a car, but I also don't want a bone-jarring ride. If it rides the same way it rides now, I'd be perfectly happy. Can you help me?
Jim Lowe
Watertown, Connecticut

From the sound of your letter and the parameters you've established, it seems like your interest in lowering the truck 4 inches is mostly cosmetic. It also sounds like you're interested in keeping costs as reasonable as possible.

You state that the truck is a C10 4x4, but C-series trucks are two-wheel-drive. Four-wheel-drive Chevys are designated K-series. If your truck were a 2WD C10, lowering it 4 inches would be a snap. If it's a K10, it's not so easy or even desirable given your parameters.

An axle flip is easy on 2WD trucks. Problems you might encounter include potential bed-to-axle clearance issues when carrying 2,000 pounds and adjusting all of the front steering, suspension, and driveshaft components if you flipped the front axle. Most K10 owners want to raise their trucks instead of lower them.

There are shops that custom-build leaf springs. They might be able to make some leaf springs with less arch. You could probably drop an inch or two this way. There could be some ride compromises since you still want to be able to haul heavy loads. The lower springs would be stiffer.

If it wasn't for the obvious sentimental value, we'd suggest selling the 4x4 Chevy and finding a nice 2WD model.

Our suggestion for lowering the truck is to do it with wheels and tires. Your truck probably has 15-inch 78-series tires. Get some custom wheels and lower-profile tires. Depending on the tire's aspect ratio, you could drop an inch or two. Then have your original-size (or larger) wheels and tires available for when you want to do heavy chores.

Where's My Calendar, Yo?
Being a subscriber, I was wondering why my mag that came in the mail does not have a calendar yet the store version does? Is this a ploy to get the subscriber to buy two issues?
Deluxe Dave
via e-mail

How can I put this gently? It's definitely a ploy to get people to buy the magazine off the newsstand, although it's not necessarily a ploy to get you to buy two copies, Dave. Sorry man, but I don't control these things. -Mike

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