Product Installs / Tech

Squared Away: Bringing Modern Handling to a 1973-87 GM “Square Body” Truck with a RideTech StreetGrip Suspension

 

In the classic truck world, it doesn’t get much more popular than GM’s 1967-72 C/K-series pickups. These second-generation “Action Line” trucks have gone up in value and are becoming increasingly hard to score.

For that reason, the folks at RideTech see a potential rise in popularity for the third-generation GM pickups (1973-87). The trucks are plentiful and still affordable for the average enthusiast. The trick is getting a truck referred to as a “Square Body” to deliver the ride and handling we’ve become accustomed to in the 21st century.

Fortunately, this is what RideTech does.

The RideTech team has figured out a way to bring modern handling to classic vehicles with its StreetGrip suspension system. The kit is now available for 1973-87 Chevy C10 pickups and includes:

  • Composite leaf springs to optimize ride handling while reducing unsprung weight
  • New shackles and hangers with Delrin bushings to eliminate unwanted movement
  • Front coil springs with a spring rate tuned for optimal ride quality and crisp handling
  • Delrin bushings
  • 1 ¼-inch sway bars to reduce body roll
  • Adjustable shocks
  • Drop spindles that provide a 2 ½-inch drop and come with caliper brackets

RideTech also claims the systems install easily with no welding required. They went so far as to show us the installation process on a 1987 C10.

See some of the highlights below!

Photos courtesy of RideTech

The StreetGrip system includes these trick brackets and hangers, along with lightweight, high-rate composite leaf springs. All brackets are powder-coated and hardware is included.

 

Before you can install the new RideTech parts, you will need to cut or drill out the stock rivets and remove the crusty stock hangers. There is zero welding involved, but it’s a good idea to have access to a die grinder and a drill.

 


Once the old hangers have been removed, drill holes for the new brackets. The process is easy if you follow the instructions.

 


The lower shock mounting point is relocated outwards with the help of these included brackets. They are powder-coated, of course. Also visible in the photo are new leaf spring to axle mounts. Look closely; you should be able to see the special spacer that fits between the axle and the clamp.

 


Here’s another view of the special spacers described above. They make your life easier by fitting between the factory axle pads and the new composite leaf springs.

 


You can see how the rear shocks mount to the axle and frame. These RideTech HQ Series monotube shocks are vastly superior to any twin tube design. They will completely transform the ride and handling of your pickup.

 

Like the rear suspension, you will need to completely disassemble the front of your truck to make room for all new parts with the exception of the control arms. Here we are using a C-Clamp to press in a Delrin bushing.

 


Forget noisy, bind-prone urethane or stock rubber bushings. RideTech supplies self-lubricating, long-lasting Delrin bushings throughout.

 


Shown here semi-installed (prior to tightening), Delrin bushings install the same way as other materials and do not require greasing. New “cages” are included. If you prefer, you can have any machine shop to replace the tired old bushings in your A-arms with our new Delrin bushings.

 


New dropped spindles completely change the attitude of your truck while maintaining full suspension travel.

 


Your StreetGrip system includes new coil springs with adapters. Spring rates are custom engineered for this series of truck, as developed on our own test track.
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