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66Construction
05-07-2001, 11:24 PM
I have an 89 GMC 2500 6 lug 7200lb gvw. I just got it, the price fit but I'm looking for a truck to do more. It runs good but the bed is beat, I want to take it off and put a steak body on it or something similar but the payload is low only 1500lbs. I've been looking into ways to beef up the rear end, optional dual rear wheel kits, overload springs, swaping in a dual rear wheel axel off a one ton. What could I do to reinforce the fram because it looks weak in places especialy directly over the axel? Has anyone else done anything like this with a truck, it has a decent drivetrain, 350 4L60E 3.73 I have a daily driver the same truck only a 90 it does it's fare share of work and it's dependable. How much could this truck tow with a fifth wheel? just a though let me know what you think.
Casey

reallyrusty
05-08-2001, 01:19 PM
How much do you want it to carry?

75
05-08-2001, 09:28 PM
Hi Casey - I would be inclined to avoid making a lot of major modifications, keep in mind that no matter how much you beef up the back half of the truck, the front end is still going be 2500 series 6-lug components - including the brakes!

Dual-wheel conversion kits or swapping a 1-ton axle under the truck will probably be more aggravation than they are worth, IMO.

Question regarding the frame: Does it look weak because of design or rust? I have done "beef-up" work on older ('70's) Chevy truck frames, but they were 1-ton trucks to begin with. It's also a fairly involved job.

As for pulling a fifth wheel trailer, I would feel more comfortable dragging one of those around with at least a full 1-ton truck.

If a heavy duty truck is what you really need - especially for trailering - I would suggest looking to buy at least a 3500 series dually, as opposed to trying to build a 2500 6-lug (a light 3/4-ton) into one.

On the other hand, if the truck you have now is in decent shape mechanically and you build a good flatbed for it, get a decent set of load-rated tires and have a couple of leaves added to the rear springs, you can end up with a decent "medium duty" workhorse.

You know your needs best, consider what sort of work you want the truck to do and decide accordingly.

66Construction
05-09-2001, 12:42 PM
The rear frame just looks weak by design. This truck seems to be in good shape mechanicly. I dont want to carry 5 tons I'm just looking for the truck to do enough work to keep up, maybe get a pallet of concrete or shingles, around 2 tons without the springs breaking. It's a work truck we got it to beat it and sell for scrap in the end. I was just looking to make it half way safe while it's overloaded. I know it's not a dump truck, but 1500 pounds is real easy to put in a truck.
Casey

75
05-09-2001, 08:49 PM
I've been doing welding/fabbing at a local quarry for the past several weeks, and one of the pit trucks is a 2500 like the one you describe. (Not 100% sure, but I think it's either '89 or '90) If it wasn't for the "2500" badge & 6-lug wheels, I'd have sworn it was a 1/2-ton.

I took a look at it today, I know what you mean about the frame - looks a little small where it curves up over the rear axle. Still, with a properly built & installed deck, the frame should hold up alright - if you avoid drastic overloading.

To be honest with you, if 4,000+ pound payload and pulling a 5'th wheel trailer on a routine basis is your goal, I'd look for a heavier truck. Whether or not you can build up the 2500 to handle the weight, there is still the "friendly D.O.T." (weigh scale) factor to consider. I know NY uses portable scales as opposed to permanent weight stations like we have here in Ontario, but overweight fines are still no fun!

66Construction
05-10-2001, 03:53 PM
Over weight fines are not any fun. Yeah if the truck didn't say 2500 you would bet the farm it's a half ton, the half ton 4x4 comes with 6 lug axels.

I don't plan to pull the fifth wheel with this truck, it has a 20,000 puund rough terain forklift on it, that get's toted around via a 1 ton dualy which is still pushing the limit. Thanks for the help, I do plan to put the flat be on it, it's not going to see 4000 lbs every day but when the time comes that I have no other truck to send it's gotta do it. I've had 3200 in my daily driver which is a similar truck and it's in one piece still. Thanks again!
Casey

85w/350
05-10-2001, 04:19 PM
Yeah just take my advice I hauled 5tons of tractor equipment behind my half ton...now it looks like i will be replacing the tranny soon(getting out of city killed me)...the trailer was a 23ft flat bed, double axle, with electronic brakes so that hellped but pulling it 268miles round trip mostly interstate was not too good for it. It can do it but whether or not its safe is an opinionated subject :D I think every now and then will work

cheyenne c/k
05-18-2001, 12:41 AM
I just put on Air Lift brand, air helper springs on my 95 3/4 ton.
What a difference they make. The ride is so much smoother and as far as payload it really increases it. You can adjust the air levels to the load you are carrying. It says each spring holds up to 10,000 pounds( not that you can put that much in the back of a pickup) I bought the super duty ones they have two air chambers on each spring. Took about 4 hours to bolt on. Really a major improvment.

John DiMartino
05-18-2001, 12:55 AM
I have the same exact truck,I weighed mine and it weighed 4625,its a loaded GMC SLE 2500-I figure mine has 2575 lbs of payload-its GVWR is 7200.I run a 1 yd V-box in the winter and a Fisher plow on the front,and its OK,not ideal,but Ive had no trouble with it at all,Full of sand I weigh in at 9500-10000 easily.I plow with 3000+lbs of sand + the spreader.I put airlift bags on the back,and at 60 psi,it sits level with 3500 lbs in the back.I honestly think if you want to put 4000 in it,the tires will be over the limit too,as will the axle,rims, etc.The most I had in mine was 4800 lbs-in the bed-once-it was to much,truck was really squirmy on the road,the tires were just plain over loaded,oh yeah-it didnt want to stop good either,so i took it real easy.it sounds like you need a dually

66Construction
05-21-2001, 12:26 AM
I think I'm just going to go wih a set of overload springs or the air bags. It makes more sense then going through some huge conversion.

John....That truck must must move some serious snow with 3500 in the back, I never even thought of puting a v box in it, I was afraid with it overloaded in the back and a plow hanging out front I'd soon have two pieces.

Thanks for the replies, I'll try to keep the heavy loads that sway all over the road out of this truck. Wow this v box thing has the gears in my head turning!!
Casey

Alan
05-21-2001, 05:31 PM
As far as frames, I don't think there is any difference between light and heavy 2500 series.

And 85w350, I doubt that pulling made any difference in yoru truck failing. Other than axle ratios, there isn't any difference in transmossion and drivetrains as far as moving a load. Carrying a load would be different, of course.