1993 Silverado C3500 DUALLY Build: Suspension Upgrade and More

Getting Started on the 1993 Silverado C3500 DUALLY

If you missed Part 1 of this build, let us get you up to speed. We picked up a ’93 Crew Cab Dually to build a replica Indy 500 Pace Truck. We completely stripped the interior, Mirror Image Auto Body laid down fresh paint, and we installed all new glass from LMC Truck. We put the interior back together after installing new carpet, a new dash from LMC Truck, new gauges from Dakota Digital, and deep cleaning the original seats. Now that the interior is almost complete, we can move on to the exterior.

The first item on the list was to paint the chassis. It would have been a lot easier to do this before the body was repainted, but sometimes projects create their own timelines. Prior to painting, we had to degrease the chassis. While it was relatively clean, there were some spots with major grease build up. We picked up a degreaser from the auto parts store, soaked the problem area, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After scrubbing the areas with a nylon bristle brush, we grabbed our pressure washer and blasted off the rest.

Once everything dried, we wire brushed as much as we could, wiped it down with a pre-paint spray, and then covered the entire truck to try and prevent getting overspray on the fresh paint.

We used a paint-over rust paint formula with a syphon-fed spray gun. We were able to get into tighter areas with this style of spray gun since we were working under the truck. After laying down two coats of paint, it was time to start installing the Belltech lowering kit.
With these leaf springs being 30 years old, we decided to replace the bushings while they were out of the truck. These bushings are not supplied with the Belltech kit and will have to be ordered separately if you’re doing this job.


Next, we can start on the C-notch. This kit comes with a template to help locate where to cut. We really took our time with this step, making sure the cut line was directly over the axle. Belltech recommends to drill a half-inch hole at each order of the cut line to prevent stress cracks in the frame. Once the holes are drilled, it’s time to start cutting.

Next, we can start on the C-notch. This kit comes with a template to help locate where to cut. We really took our time with this step, making sure the cut line was directly over the axle. Belltech recommends to drill a half-inch hole at each order of the cut line to prevent stress cracks in the frame. Once the holes are drilled, it’s time to start cutting.

With the grinder out, we went ahead and cut the bump stop brace off the axle for added clearance.
We could now set the C-notch in place. The notch wraps around the top of the frame for added strength. With this added layer of steel between the bed support and frame, you will need to notch the bed support to clear. We tried to avoid this but found the bed floor had a high spot in the middle.

Before we notched the bed brace, we drilled and installed a couple of bolts in the C-notch to hold the frame in place. We then unbolted the bed from the frame and set a couple of 4x4s between the bed and the frame, which gave us plenty of room to cut the notches. Belltech also recommends to notch the center of the bed brace directly above the axle housing, but in our install there is no interference, so we did not notch the brace.

Next, we decided to test fit the rest of the rear kit before completing the C-notch install. We hung the leaf springs, installed the saddles and wedges, and then snugged the fasters up to make sure the axle was sitting in the right spot. We lowered the truck one last time to make sure everything was looking good.

Once we were happy with how everything fit together, we drilled out the remaining holes for the C-notch and installed all of the bolts.

Now we can torque the U-bolts, torque the leaf spring bolts, install the shock drop bracket, and install the rear shocks.
While the truck was still on jack stands, we installed the carrier bearing spacer. The rear drop was almost complete. We still needed to install the rear sway bar but needed to complete the rest of the lowering install so the truck is at the final ride height.
Moving on to the front, we decided to do some service work, which included installing new tie rod ends. Before lifted the truck off the ground, we installed the new tie rod ends, which will get the alignment close enough for the short drive to the alignment shop.

Now we can lift the truck in the air, remove the wheel, and get to work on the rest of the install. The suspension for a dually is very similar to a C1500 truck except the rotor is much bigger, but sequence of disassembly is the same. Remove the caliper by removing two Allen-head bolts and hang the caliper out of the way. The rotor slides off the spindle by removing the castle nut. With the lower control arm supported you can remove the upper and lower ball joint castle nuts to remove the spindle. Remove the sway bar bushing bolt (we had to cut ours off). Remove the shock then slowly lower the lower control arm to remove the spring.
If you were only installing the drop kit, at this point you would begin reassembly, but we opted to replace my upper and lower control arms.
We thought this was a good time to throw a quick coat of paint on our caliper since it’s in great working order.

To put the front suspension back together, you simply reverse the process of disassembly. Install the upper and lower control arms, install the new drop spring, lift the lower control arm with a jack, install the drop shock, install the new drop spindle, attach the tie rod end, install the rotor (I also replaced the wheel bearings at this point) and install the caliper. We recommend getting a shop manual for your truck to reference torque specifications.


The last piece of this Belltech lowering kit puzzle is to install the sway bars. The front already had a sway bar from the factory, so we simply installed the new Belltech swap bar where the old one was.

For the rear, we first supported the sway bar with straps and jacks. Then we installed the U-bolt mounts on the axle and made sure the sway bar was centered.
With the weight of the truck on the suspension, we swung the sway bar up to the estimated distance from the frame, marked the hole, and drilled through the frame. We then installed the bushing and the Belltech drop kit was complete!
The truck rides great, and it’s time to get an alignment, but we started having motor issues. The truck would fire and idle very rough and would not rev up, so after some testing, we discovered the fuel pump was going out. We was able to limp the truck to the alignment shop and back home but needed to drive 30 miles to get the transmission serviced.

We were able to quickly get a fuel pump from my local parts store. We decided to drop the tank to gain access to the pump assembly that was in the tank.

With a new fuel pump the truck fired right up and ran better than ever. We took Wyatt on a test drive, and the truck got his stamp of approval. We also did some basic maintenance to the original 454 by installing a new distributor cap and rotor, new throttle body, evap canister, fuel filter, air filter, and oil change.
After logging some miles on this rig, we think it’s safe to say it’s ready to go mechanically and that Belltech suspension makes this feel like a brand new truck! It handles exceptionally well in corners thanks to those sway bars and rides surprisingly smooth for a slammed truck.



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