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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally got a chance to post the pics of my progress on the 02 EXT. As far a components go, I will be using the following: 2- Air Zenith compressors, 2-5 gallon tanks, 8-1/2 inch ODE valves, 2-13 Inch extreme lift Universal Air bags for the rear, and 2-2600 lbs contitech bags for the front. Ill be using 1/2 inch line for all air lines. Inside the cab Ill be using an AVS 9 switch box, and a dakota digital display for tanks and 4 corners.

When I got the truck into the shop I realized that it had recently been in an accident and they changed the rear axle and did a sloppy job. They had left out the clips that hold the emergency cables in place, and had routed them in the wrong places and caused them to rub on the tires and suspension components. After sorting these few things out I got started. I started with the rear first and had to cut off the factory bump stop brackets. These let the frame rest on the axle. With this drop, the tires start to rub the plastic ducts that are routed inside the quarter panel. The customer doesnt want me to cut anything inside the truck so this is how low the rear is going to stay. The tire just starts to tuck into the quarter. In order to get the rear any lower, the panhard rod bracket would have to be cut off the axle and relocated, the frame would have to be notched and the lower control arms for the axle would have to be modified or the brackets relocated as well. I started to cut off the factory spring mounts and welded the new bag brackts to the frame and axle. I had to cut and lower the attachment points for the rear shocks 1 inch lower so that the shocks dont keep the truck from dropping all the way down. Once the rear bag brackets and axle components had been taken care of I started to build my tank brackets and compressor cage. I mounted all the valves and the water seperator as well. The front valves are mounted to the sides of the frame under the passenger and driver front footwell, and the rear valves are mounted on the tank framework. I have most of the wiring done and will get started on the front end this week.
 

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Does the rear wheels hit the wheel well fenders? or does it tuck precisely inside the wheel well without hitting the plastics? We're shortening up the back end on our Escalade to make it lay out like the front does. Everything is set up as far as cutting so far. However, the tires hit the plastics which cause them to pop out of place. Aslong as that is as far as it drops on your new project, you shouldn't have that problem with the popping on that EXT... correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The EXT is actually metal around the wheel wells in the Front and Rear. I move the attachment for the panhard rod over to keep the rear prefectly centered when the truck is dropped and I trim any metal that is interfering with the tire so it clears the quarter panel. It seems like the 24's have a different offset than the 26's that I had on the last EXT. I dont remember having to cut as much of the lip on the quarter on the 05 compared to the 02. Get some pics of what you guys had to do to the rear to get it to sit lower. Id love to see your approach.
 

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Well, the wheel wells have already been chopped up to tuck a 26" rim like the front does, without bowing in like the front does. Soon we will be basically narrowing the rear so it clears the fenders. Right now, when you attempt to drop the rear... it can tuck, but it will pop off the fenders (which has never happened). So narrowing the back end will simply make it so the wheels sit more inside the wells. Tried to make it so everybody understands... :annoyed:
 

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customizer said:
The EXT is actually metal around the wheel wells in the Front and Rear.
Did you leave the metal wheel wells? Removing them will help tuck the wheels deeper. However, it will prevent all the dirt and sh*t that flys off the tires to shoot everywhere under the hood. But I guess thats just a choice the customer has to make... deep & dirty or tuckin & clean. With my front end dropped as deep as possible, you can clearly see the tire when looking under the hood (sits real tight and precise in there).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was actually referring to any modifications to the rear axle such as relocation of the panhard bracket and the lower control arms. When dropped the axle will touch the frame and not go any lower. At that point the lower control arms also come close enough to contact the frame as well. In order to notch the frame you most likely have to cut out the floor to build a bridge and make your upper mounts. Ive already cut the rear quarter panel pinch weld enough to tuck as much of the tire that is going to go in, but I didnt bother cutting anything inside the quarter as far as plastic ducting and pinch welds etc. In the front ive left the metal fender liner. My customers drive these trucks everyday, so I hate removing stuff like that unless they really want to. Besides if the rear wasnt going any lower I didnt see a need to take more out up front. If you have any pics of the rear as far as suspension/frame mods Im curious to see that. In all the previous pics I saw of your truck the rear never tucked. The pic you posted here shows the rear rim tucking much more. You have any more pics showing what you did?
 

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The actual frame was chopped and c notched. This allows it to tuck deeper before hitting the frame. At this point now, the only modifications that need to be done to allow it to lay out like the front is narrowing the rear axle and I believe the lower control arms which I think hit now. Ill try to get more close up pictures.
 

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Customizer, it seems that you have same great knowledge on air bag systems. I was wondering if you think its possible to bag a 2005 EXT on 28s?And what do you recommend to be the top of the line products to use on a set up like this for example comperssors,valves etc..?thanks in advance
 

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I am in the same boat as Synergetic with the AWD full back. I would love to bag this baby sittin on these 24" thangs, but may change MoneyGreen over to 26'z and put these rims on the wifey truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
AS of right now the components I have listed I feel to be the best out there. The only problem I would see with the 28's would be the tire hitting the lower control arm front bolt. The 26's hit it slightly when laid out, so it would require either lenghtening the upper and lower control arms to clear, space the tire out from the arm or modify the bracket. Synergetic do have a custom 4-link? or the factory control arms. I wonder when you narrow the rear axle if you will run into any clearance issues with the tire hitting the bolt that I mentioned. Ill have some more pics of the progress tomorrow. Today I cut off the front shock mounts and cleaned the frame for the installation of the upper bracket and control arms. Ill have some pics up tomorrow.
 

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customizer said:
AS of right now the components I have listed I feel to be the best out there. The only problem I would see with the 28's would be the tire hitting the lower control arm front bolt. The 26's hit it slightly when laid out, so it would require either lenghtening the upper and lower control arms to clear, space the tire out from the arm or modify the bracket. Synergetic do have a custom 4-link? or the factory control arms. I wonder when you narrow the rear axle if you will run into any clearance issues with the tire hitting the bolt that I mentioned. Ill have some more pics of the progress tomorrow. Today I cut off the front shock mounts and cleaned the frame for the installation of the upper bracket and control arms. Ill have some pics up tomorrow.
They're custom. I know what bolt you're talking about. Its near the back of the rear tires. That bolt rubs on the tire when we drop it all the way it can go right now. I'm thinking about shaving it down but haven't had much time lately to put some hard thought it the pros and cons of doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So you have custom control arms? If you do, they should be longer so that the tire doesnt rub on the bolt. The bracket is flared at the edge and you can cut that off, but if the bolt head is rubbing i really dont think you should cut it off. I mean theoretically you can cut the head off and weld the bolt to the bracket, but that would be a real hack. I was looking at the truck today and know if I notched the frame I could get it to drop lower and not have to narrow the rear. If your rubbing on the bolt right now, there is no way your gonna be able to narrow the rear. Im wondering what you have gotten done there. You have to get pics of your set-up. I know of a few mods that I could do to the stock arms that will get alot more drop out of the set-up, but Im not sure what theyve done to yours already. Do you still have the original floor? or did they cut it already for the notch.
 

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Its still the original floor. I'll have some more pics when we tear her up again to get that rear lay out like the front. I know what you're saying about rubbing the bolt if we narrow it down. I would have to talk with the guys at BC again to see what the solution. Its been a while if you know what I mean... busy, busy busy!!
 

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customizer: its nice to have someone on this board that has knowledge. I am going to bag my ride some time in the future. Do you have any pics for how your going to set-up the front? Extensive Metal works told me I need to build new control arms. Have you done this in the past? Mine is 2wd so its easyer. The rear is pretty straight forward, I do have an axle recolation brackes from my current drop. So i think it would help it ride better lower. How much would you charge me to make brackets for the rear bags & the front?


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Im working on the front set-up right now. I have the upper arms done and im waiting for parts for my upper frame mount. If you have a 2wd, your good to go. You dont have to change your upper arm. You can modify your lower or go with a DJM lower arm and weld a plate to it. You will have to weld an upper bracket onto the frame regardless. If you have the rear axle relocation kit, that is basically to correct pinion angle and low ride heights. Ive used the ones from DJM, but I consider it a waste of time for my customers b/c they have to drive the trucks at factory ride heights to deal with the horrible roads in NY. I cant really make any brackets for you b/c I do all my work on the car itself. Nothing that will bolt on will be worth using due to the design of the frame. Everything has to be built on the truck and welded on to get the most drop out of it. I have pics of a suburban I did that was 2wd, you would do the same things I did to that truck on your 2wd escalade. Check the air ride technologies post in the forum to see pics of that set-up. I think I posted it there.
 

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customizer - could your please pm me you contact info...I would like to discuss a little project I want to do for my truck. Where in NY are you?
 

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Why do you use the double bags in the rear? Just for more lift or do they give a better ride? Dose DJM just sell the lower arms? Or do I have to buy the whole kit? How hard is it to make new control arms to match the factory ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I use Double convoluted bags in the rear due to the fact that they take up less space when collapsed. If you are using them in an application where you can run them behind the axle, then you can get away with the height of a sleeve type bag. In the esclade, when you cut away all the bumpstops, there is 5 inches between the factory spring perch and the top of the axle. That will give you about 2 inches for brackets with a 3 inch bag. I dont get into making control arms. I just try to use whats available and modify as necessary to suit my needs. Djm sells both upper and lower arms.
 
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