Mild To Wild C10 Truck Suspension Upgrades

The Chevrolet C10 truck has surged in popularity over the past decade, making it a common sight at major car shows and race events. Designed for complete utilitarian purposes, these endlessly customizable trucks now cater to nearly any type of driving, from simple road trips to hardcore racing. The classic body lines are timeless, but as you can imagine, the 50-plus-year-old C10 truck suspension is at the top of the list for improvement.

There is a wide spectrum of products available for improving your C10’s ride and performance. Which one is best for you depends on your expectations and the current condition of your truck’s chassis. 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.

Know Your Goals

Before diving into suspension solutions for your C10 truck, it’s essential to step back and set some goals. This will ensure you make the right choice and will be pleased with the performance, handling, and ride quality of your C10 truck. Honestly assessing the truck’s current condition and your end goal for the project will go a long way in choosing the right suspension. Here are a couple of questions to answer before plunking down your hard-earned cash:

  • Type Of Build: Are you aiming for a budget-friendly update, a 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. Be sure to consider 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 reasonable choice.
  • Performance Expectations: What are you planning to do with the truck? 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-in solutions will be the most cost-effective option. The budget for a full, bolt-in suspension starts around $5,000, whereas a complete chassis and frame upgrade will typically start in the neighborhood of $15,000, depending on options.

By considering these factors, you’ll make an informed decision that best suits your needs. You’ll receive the most benefit for your application, whether you choose to modify your existing chassis or step into a brand-new, modern chassis altogether.

Give Your Truck A Better Stance And Enhanced Drivability

If you’re seeking a practical upgrade with improved stance, handling, and cruising comfort for your C10 truck, 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, C10 trucks from 1963 to 1972 can run a truly unique, adjustable trailing arm setup, while the 1973 to 1987 square-body trucks feature a torque-arm suspension. Both are designed to convert your C10 truck to fully adjustable coilovers so you can dial in your perfect stance and make performance adjustments at all four corners. Some additional benefits of a bolt-in suspension include:

  • 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.
  • Adjust Your C10’s Stance: Adjustable coilovers provide easy ride-height adjustment at all four corners.
  • Smoother Ride: Enjoy improved comfort and handling thanks to single- or double-adjustable valving on your QA1 shocks.
  • Compatible With Aftermarket Gas Tanks: QA1’s bolt-in rear suspension for C10 trucks 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.

C10 Truck Performance Without Compromise

If performance needs are important, but you’re not building a race-dedicated C10 truck, you’ll likely want to increase the performance of your C10 truck to the next level without compromising street driving comfort. This QA1 tubular front crossmember package is designed to spend most of its time street cruising on twisty back roads with the occasional autocross event thrown in for good measure. Achieving an even lower stance and improved steering is key for better performance, but maintaining excellent handling and ride quality is still a top priority. This modification can still be done with the stock frame.

With its bolt-in front crossmember and rack-and-pinion steering, this upgrade provides a lower stance, improved steering, and enhanced ground clearance, while maintaining excellent handling and ride quality for C10s. Designed to complement QA1’s coilover rear suspension for C10 trucks, this solution offers an ideal upgrade to maximize the potential of your truck. Benefits of a tubular front crossmember include:

  • Additional Stance And Adjustability: Allows 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 and tighter feel with the rack-and-pinion upgrade.
  • Maintains Ground Clearance: The crossmember design was raised 2 inches over the factory crossmember, improving ground clearance and increasing suspension travel, even at low ride heights.
  • Tunable Performance And Comfort: Provides the perfect balance of adjustability, comfort, and performance with a selection 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 including small-block Chevy, big-block Chevy, and LS engines.

Taking A C10 To The Extreme

For high-end, street-driven 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, this complete chassis upgrade streamlines the build process while ensuring optimal performance.

Speedtech C10 truck Extreme chassis

Benefits of utilizing a completely new Extreme Street chassis include:

  • Clean-Sheet Creation: Creating a clean-sheet chassis design allows the integration of modern performance geometry and strength. A completely boxed-frame design provides a foundation for your C10 truck’s chassis that can handle today’s high horsepower levels.
  • Bigger Tires: Another key benefit of an entirely new chassis is the frame rails can be designed narrower, allowing for wider wheels and tires both front and rear.
  • Race-Inspired And Street Manners: Sharing many key geometry characteristics of the Extreme Performance chassis, you benefit from the built-in performance while riding comfortably 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: Designed to accommodate high horsepower and demanding performance requirements from the street to the track.
  • A Complete Solution: This complete solution approach includes all essential components, streamlining the build process and ensuring optimal performance from the very first drive.

Uncompromising Performance For Your C10 Truck

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: The design features additional internal gussets, cutting-edge performance geometry, inherent strength, and weight savings — perfect for serious, best-handling C10 race trucks.
  • Brake Options: Big stopping power is needed for trucks of this caliber, and Speedtech offers brake packages to match your performance.
  • Peak Shock Performance: Available with QA1’s MOD-Series coilovers, these Extreme chassis are built for ultimate tunability for road courses and autocross.
  • Precision Steering: The Extreme chassis comes equipped with a dual-power rack-and-pinion steering system, ensuring exceptional handling for even the widest wheel and tire combinations.
  • Wide Wheels And Tires: This chassis accommodates monstrous 335-section-width front tires and 355-sized 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.

Among other options, Speedtech also offers the Extreme Performance Chassis with either an independent or torque-arm-equipped rear suspension.

The Perfect C10 Suspension

When it comes to finding the perfect C10 truck suspension, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Thankfully, there’s an option tailored to your needs, whether you prioritize balanced upgrades, improved street performance, top-tier show truck looks, or uncompromising performance for competition. When you take an honest look and consider your goals, project elements, and budget for your C10 truck project, you’ll be able to choose the perfect chassis solution to enhance your driving experience and achieve your desired goals.

As always, if you have any questions, you can contact QA1 or Speedtech Performance directly or visit their websites for information about these chassis options for C10 trucks as well as many other applications.

Article Sources

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
Read My Articles