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Suspension Upgrades For Your C10 Pickup Truck: A Buyer

The C10 pickup has surged in popularity over the past decade. Now a common sight at major car shows and race events, these endlessly customizable trucks cater to nearly any type of driving, from simple road trips to hardcore racing. As you begin considering upgrades for your truck, the 50+ year old suspension is at the top of the list for improvement. In this guide we will help you decide between two popular C10 suspension upgrades: bolt-in coilovers for your stock chassis, or a brand-new tubular chassis replacement.

Preparing to Upgrade: Setting Your Goals

Before diving into suspension solutions for your C10 truck, it's essential to step back and set some goals to ensure you make the right choice:

Type of Build: Are you aiming for a budget-friendly updates, performance-oriented project, a top-tier show truck or a competitive race truck?

Overall Condition: Assess your truck's condition, including the frame, suspension components, and drivetrain, to address any existing issues. Is the chassis condition appropriate for upgrades or do you have structural issues needing major repair. If the frame has collision damage a new chassis may be the only choice.

Performance Expectations: What are you planning to use the truck for? Consider factors like handling, ride comfort, and adjustability to align with your driving preferences. Horsepower and torque expectations can also be a factor.

Budget: Lastly, your project budget cannot be ignored. Bolt-on solutions will be the most cost-effective solution supporting budgets starting around $5K, whereas a chassis will typically start in the neighborhood of $15K depending on options.

By considering these factors, you'll make an informed decision that best suits your needs, guiding you on the benefit if you choose to modify your existing chassis, or stepping into a brand-new modern chassis all together.

Aiming for a Balanced Upgrade: Better Stance and Enhanced Drivability

If you're seeking a practical upgrade with improved stance, handling, and cruising comfort, a bolt-in solution like QA1's front and rear coilover Conversion System offers an ideal balance. It integrates seamlessly with the stock crossmember, providing easy installation without extensive modifications. For the rear, trucks from 1963 to 1972 can run a truly unique adjustable truck arm setup, while the 1973 to 1987 Square Body trucks feature a torque arm suspension, both designed to convert your truck to coilovers. With these options, you can dial in your perfect stance and performance at all four corners.

Easy Installation: Designed to seamlessly integrate with the stock crossmember, the QA1 system ensures a hassle-free installation process without the need for extensive modifications.

Dial-in your stance: Adjustable coil-overs provide easy ride height adjustment at all four corners.

Experience a smoother ride: Enjoy improved comfort and handling thanks to adjustable valving on your QA1 shocks.

Compatible With Aftermarket Gas Tanks: Rear suspension has been carefully designed to work with popular rear mounted gas tanks.

Cruise with confidence: Built for durability and reliability, the QA1 system ensures a worry-free driving experience.


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Striving for Performance Without Compromising Streetability

This is a common scenario – Performance needs are top of mind, but you're not building a dedicated race truck. You likely spend most of your time cruising twisty back roads on the street, with the occasional autocross event thrown in for good measure. Achieving an even lower stance, improved steering, while maintaining excellent handling and ride quality are top priority.  

This can all be done with the stock frame, and QA1’s Tubular Crossmember is the answer to that solution. Achieve a lower stance, improved steering, and enhanced ground clearance while maintaining excellent handling and ride quality. Designed to complement the Coilover Rear Suspension, this solution offers an ideal upgrade to maximize the potential of your truck.

Stance and Adjustability: Achieve up to 8 inches of ride height drop while maintaining excellent handling and ride quality. Fine-tune your stance for that perfect look.

Quicker Steering: Experience quicker turn-in & tighter feel for better handling with the R&P upgrade.

Maintains Ground Clearance Even at Lowered Stance: The crossmember design was raised up 2-inches over the factory crossmember, improving ground clearance and allowing for increased suspension travel, ensuring a smooth ride even at low ride heights.

Tunable Performance, Without Sacrificing Comfort: Achieve the perfect balance of adjustability, comfort, and performance with your pick of QA1 shock valving.

Compatible With Aftermarket Gas Tanks: Rear suspension has been carefully designed to work with popular rear mounted gas tanks.

Engine Fitment Options: Choose from modular engine mounts for popular engine configurations (small block Chevy, big block Chevy, LS).

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Taking Things to the Next Level: Building a Top-Tier Show Truck

For high-end show trucks aiming for perfection, a completely new chassis like Speedtech Performance's Extreme Street Chassis is the ultimate choice. This chassis has a clean-sheet design, featuring no-compromise race inspired geometry. It elevates both the aesthetics and performance of your project, lending legitimacy to your build in a way a stock chassis simply cannot. Engineered for high horsepower and demanding applications, it streamlines the build process while ensuring optimal performance right from the first drive.

Clean Sheet Chassis Design: Clean sheet chassis designs allow for modern performance geometry and inherent strength, built from the ground up. Completely boxed frame design and resulting stiffness can handle high HP levels.

Big Tires Front and Rear: Another key benefit of a new chassis is the frame rails can be narrower allowing for wider wheels and tires both front and rear.

Race Inspired Geometry with Great Street Manners: Sharing many key geometry characteristics of the Extreme Performance chassis, you benefit from the built-in performance while riding comfortable on the street.

Ultimate Choice for Top-tier Builds: Elevate both the aesthetics and the legitimacy of your project. Clean lines, beautiful welds and thoughtful design elements make a new chassis the ultimate choice for high end builds.

Engineered for High Performance: Accommodates high horsepower and demanding performance requirements from the street to the track.

Complete Solution Approach: This complete solution approach includes all essential components, like the rear end housing, streamlining the build process and ensuring optimal performance from the very first drive.

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I Came to Win: No Compromises to Performance...Period.

For uncompromising performance, a complete chassis solution like Speedtech Performance's ExtReme Performance Chassis is unmatched. Its no-compromise front suspension design, racing-style rack and pinion with power to handle ultra-wide tires, exceptional chassis stiffness from internal gussets, and optimized shock performance make it perfect for serious race trucks. Precision steering and wide wheel and tire compatibility ensure maximum track performance with an ultra-low center of gravity.

Uncompromising Strength: Ditch the limitations of the stock frame. Clean sheet chassis design, featuring additional internal gussets, delivers cutting-edge performance geometry, inherent strength, and weight savings – perfect for serious race trucks. Industry leading chassis stiffness handles the higher power levels and provides a stable platform for the suspension… resulting in the best handling on the track.

Brake Options: Big stopping power is needed for trucks of this caliber, and Speedtech can spec out brake packages that match your performance goals.

Peak Shock Performance: Available with QA1's MOD Series coilovers, these ExtReme Chassis are built for ultimate tunability, for both road courses and autocross events.

Precision Steering: ExtReme Chassis come equipped with a dual power rack and pinion steering system, ensuring exceptional handling for even the widest wheel and tire combinations.

Wide Wheels & Tires: Forget limitations. This chassis accommodates monstrous 335-section front tires and 355-section rear tires for unparalleled grip on the track.

Ultra-Low Center of Gravity: These chassis allow for extreme ride height drops, lowering your center of gravity for razor-sharp handling and maximum performance.

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In Conclusion

When it comes to upgrading your C10's suspension, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether you prioritize balanced upgrades, performance, top-tier show truck, or uncompromising performance, there's an option tailored to your needs. Consider your goals, other project elements and your budget. Choose the appropriate solution to enhance your driving experience and achieve your desired goals.