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Well I was wrong. I got the second RAS installed last night and tightened them both down. I had a vibration in the lower speeds that either got a little worse as the day went on or my patience for it got worse. When I got home from dinner tonight I took them off. I have thought about it and the top plate which was mounted on the bottom was pushed forward it because that plate only has one hole in the middle of the plate. The plate on the bottom though is supposed to be offset from the leaf spring bolt and not centered. If I can get a hole drilled in the plate in the right location I should be able to fix the vibration problem. Another option I am considering is using the original stock block that came between the axle and the leaf springs. The block has a hole on one side of the block that could fit on the bottom of the leaf spring and has its own nub on the opposite side of the block. As I noted in my original the bottom plate in its correct location did not leave room for the RAS arm to get under the leaf spring. With the block on the bottom of the leaf spring the correct bottom plate could be installed on the bottom of that which would allow enough space to install the RAS arm as it is supposed to. The reason I didn't try that is because that block has ridges in the side with the nub that would keep the plate from sitting flat. To use the block would require getting those ridges cut off. Either option likely needs a machine shop because I don't have the tools. The other issue is that with the RAS tightened down it lifted the rear end 1 inch which I am not cool with at all. Before the install I have a leaf spring connected to the 2" drop shackle at the second hole (the one closest to the reverse hanger which is the 1.5" setting) of the two holes. There are no other holes that could be used to offset the extra inch with those shackles. I have my stock shackles but those would really drop the rear and have it lower than the front. Based on comparison of the drop shackle to the stock shackle there is like a 3" difference in length between hole locations so I am not sure how the drop shackles are only considered 2" drop shackles with a 3" difference. Not sure if the sell a 1" drop shackle or not. Anyone with ideas to help with this issue is appreciated. To me this may be the tougher issue to address.
I have noticed a slight reduction in sway while cornering and do feel like it was gripping better on starts. I have towed or hauled anything which is one of the primary areas you are supposed to see a benefit. That said I am probably going to take them off though. I have my truck lowered and I had to figure out a way to mount since the standard mounting method wouldn't work. Doing what I did has introduced a vibration at lower speeds that cancels out any benefit. That plus the extra inch it added in height to my rear which re-introduced a rake I don't want mean I will be taking them off. I think I can make them work in the future without the vibration by making some modifications to my flip kit for the vibration problem and finding a shorter drop shackle to help with the height issue. I need to find a machine shop for the flip kit issue. I think if I can just have an additional hole drilled on one part I can fix the vibration issue. Finding a shorter drop shackle actually looks like the tougher issue to address at this point.
Got the other half of the RAS installed and everything cranked down tight. The back end sits almost an inch higher than before the install and so instead of being level it now has a rake to it.
I haven't noticed any vibration. I hadn't thought about your question but in thinking about it with the way the plates were situated with the top plate on the bottom centered on the leaf spring bolt it sits a little forward of the bottom plate on top so the u-bolts are angled from bottom front to top rear which pushes the bottom plate on top forward which would tilt the axle forward a small amount.
I had driven around with the bottom plate on top and no plate on the bottom for over a year with the only concern being that the rear wheels looked like they were moving back in the wheel well. Part of that I attribute to the lack of a plate on the bottom that would hold the u-bolts in place. With this set up the top plate (which is on the bottom) is held in place by the leaf spring bolt and this holds the u-bolts in place. The purpose of the plates and the u-bolts is to hold the axle and leaf spring together in the right spot. With the bolt on the bottom and another in the top holding the plates in the right spot it shouldn't matter which plate is where. Belltech shouldn't answer the question because of liability concerns, so no I didn't bother to ask them.
The bottom plate is wider than the arms on RAS so the bolt holes don't get below the leaf spring. I had the bottom plate on the bottom while trying to install the RAS and the arms just sit on top of the bottom plate because the bottom plate is wider than the arms. Therefore the bolt holes sty even with the leaf spring instead of below.
Yesterday I put on half of a Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) kit. My truck is lowered by 2 inches in front and 4 inches in the rear with a flip on the rear. It took some figuring but I finally found a way to install with the flip kit. Got the driver side installed but the passenger side got held up by a shackle bolt that I could not get off with hand tools. The original installer must have used an impact wrench and the damn thing is on so tight that I almost stripped the head trying to get it off before I wisely stopped and put that side back as it was without the RAS. Tonight I installed:
Last time I checked in on this thread it was pointed out my axle flip kit was put on improperly by the shop I had install it. The bottom plate was on top and the top plates were missing. I took about 4 weeks but finally got new top plates from Belltech. Instead of taking it back to the shop I finally bit the bullet and ordered a jack and jack stands. Got a great deal on a 3 ton jack on Amazon - most have been an error on the listing because I paid $35 including free freight delivery for a jack that was listed a day later for $235. Once everything was in hand I got under the rear end and fixed the flip kit so that the bottom plate was on the bottom and added the top plate on the top. That was about 2-3 weeks ago. Before fast forwarding to yesterday I will note that last Christmas I got a Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS) kit. The RAS fits on the rear leaf springs but it is designed to fit on a non-lowered vehicle. The front is secured by a bolt that sits in front of axle, which it can't with a flip kit. Also with the rear shackles that I have there is no room for the rear hook clamp to fit around the end of the leaf spring as designed. I found new shackles that leave enough room for the the rear hook clamp to hook onto the leaf springs. That left trying to figure out how to secure the RAS in front of the axle/leaf spring. So yesterday I decided to get underneath and find a way to get the RAS installed. I got the truck up on the jack stands and went to work. First I changed out the shackle on the driver side which was pain in the butt. The new shackle was a little wider than the old shackle at the top where it bolts to the reverse hanger. Part of the issue was that it looks like the original installer may have bent the outside of the reverse hanger. I had to trim some of the bushing's edges to get it started and then use a mallet to get it into the right spot. Only used some of my four letter word vocabulary during this step. On the front part after trying several different ways to do it I finally ended up - drum roll please - putting the top plate on the bottom and the bottom plate on the top. The bottom plate didn't allow the arms of the RAS to drop below the leaf springs because the plate is wider than the springs to hold the U-bolts. The top plate is only as wide as the leaf springs so the RAS bolt can sit in front of that plate to secure the front end of the RAS. My concern with the original wrong set up is that there was no plate on the bottom to hold the axle in place. So at least this time with the top plate on the bottom it can sit on the leaf spring bolt and help hold the axle in place. When I moved over to the passenger side I know what to do and things started out moving right along at a much quicker pace until I got to removing the shackle to be replaced. When the installer put the shackle on the reverse hanger they used an impact wrench and over tightened the top bolt on the shackle to the point that I could not get the bolt to loosen at all with hand tools. After using all of my four letter word vocabulary and coming close to stripping the bolt head I stopped. I don't have an impact wrench so I need to find someone who can loosen that damn thing. So the passenger side does not have the RAS installed. The joy of DIY. First picture is the top view. The RAS is the black spring thing. Second picture shows the new shackle and the hook clamp of the RAS wrapped around the end of the leaf spring. Third picture is the front bolt of the RAS sitting in front of the top plate (which is now the bottom plate).
That is part of the reason I love my black stripes. That said though since the rear bumper is more trim than it would be red, I think it would be too little red to be worth it. Thanks. The chrome is fine with certain truck colors but red and black definitely look better to me with color matched bumpers (or in my case just non-chrome). When you find the time and get those bumpers wrapped you will be happy you did.
Was not happy with the chrome rear bumper. I had previously plastidipped and painted my front bumper but did not change the rear because it wasn't that bad to my eye. As time has worn on it has grated on me more and more. This may sound unusual but I wasn't sure what color I wanted to go with for the rear bumper. The typical answer would be to color match the truck using victory red but I have a black grill so I am also considering going with black. To try to get a feel I pulled out the plastidip again to painted it up matte black yesterday to see how I feel about it. The matte black seems to blend well with the grey/black trim. What do you think? Matte black, gloss black or red?
Putco made simple flares for Silverados similar to the Sierra. They have glossy ones like the picture under the name Black Platinum Fender Trim (https://www.putco.com/black-platinum-fender-trim). They also have chrome ones as well. Not sure if they still make them or not.
In looking more into the issue, the top plates are not to be found. Since they installed the bottom plate on top they didn't install the top plates anywhere and did not return them to me with the other parts. I have tried searching online to see if I can just find the 2 top plates but haven't had much luck. I plan to try to call the different kit makers to see if any of them can help but figured it made sense to see if perhaps anyone in this group might have extras or a better suggestion for tracking the plates down. Thanks in advance.
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