Tech This Out! QA1 Coilover Conversion for 88-98 Chevy OBS C/K Trucks | We Install!

Modern Performance for Classic Trucks!

Add modern performance to a pickup that was designed for utility. With QA1’s bolt-on front and rear systems, not only can you lower your C1500, but you’ll also have ride height adjustability on all four corners, giving you that perfect level stance. Adjustability options let you tailor the system to create the performance desired, so your truck can handle those corners and curves like a sports car.

1988-1998 C1500 Coil-Over Conversion Systems

QA1 Suspension engineered a unique design offering an adjustable 4- to 7-inch drop that also maximizes performance without the inherent binding issues of other four-link systems. With superior control over suspension movement, you can easily dial in the stance for a smooth ride and great handling characteristics for both street and track. The systems come with a Panhard bar, torque arm, trailing arms, bracket mounts and shocks that are all adjustable. They are truly independent of each other, so you don’t have to worry about one adjustment affecting another. Everything needed is included, all the way down to the hardware. You can fully bolt in this system with no welding required.

Now you can bolt on big suspension performance with ride height adjustability and better geometry with the front conversion system, which integrates control arms with the coilover shocks to lower the truck and allow room for wider wheels and tires. These systems offer control arm weight savings of 25 pounds per side over the stock arms, plus up to 7 degrees of caster and a range of plus-2 to minus-3 camber. The extended upper ball joint also significantly improves camber gain during cornering.

So, the goal is to take a very well maintained, daily driven ’94 Chevy C1500 and give it a new attitude and lower stance. We wanted something that we could drive on reliably every day and not worry about heavy maintenance. Also, we didn’t want to cut into a pristine truck for a step notch or wheel tubs. The decision to swap the factory leaf spring suspension with this QA1 coilover conversion was a no brainer. It was a lot of work and attention to detail is important, but if you have some good mechanical know-how and access to all the tools you will need, we know this is a project you can knock out after a few days of elbow grease and bloody knuckles. Let’s follow along with our buddy Joe as we swap the suspension and carve up some corners.! Sources
QA1 Suspension

Atturo Tire

REV Wheels

This particular OBS has a very common past, a story that I’m sure many of you have heard—but this is a special one that has to be told. The original owner of this truck bought it new off the lot and drove it daily ever since. He also happens to be a master automotive detailer, so the paint is factory and flawless, and the maintenance is like clockwork. At 300,000 miles he finally decided to part with it and Joe snatched it fast. It’s so clean!
We have access to a lot of tools for this project, which is great for us, but with the right amount of space and plenty of jack stands, your garage will be all you need to get it done.
First off is the brake calipers, hub and spindle. These will all be reused, so don’t set them too far away.
Next Joe removed the upper and lower control arms followed by the factory sway bar.
The factory wheelwells need to come out temporarily just to give the room you need to work.
These coilover shocks give us ride height adjustability and better geometry, and they integrate with the control arms to lower the truck and allow room for wider wheels and tires.
With everything removed and unboxed, Joe can bolt in the new control arms and coilover shocks. These control arms give us a weight savings of 25 pounds per side over stock, plus up to 7 degrees of caster and a range of plus-2 to minus-3 camber. The extended upper ball joint significantly improves camber gain during cornering as well. QA1’s Level 2 system is great for street performance; the Level 3 is designed for OBS owners who wish to compete while still being able to cruise to the track in comfort.
Now the factory spindle can be reinstalled on the new control arms.
Joe installs the new front sway bars that will make a huge difference in the corners.
With the front complete, we can bolt on our new staggered width 20-inch REV 110 wheels and Atturo AZ850 tires. The height hasn’t been dialed in yet, but it looks great so far!
Now we can focus on the back of the truck. QA1 promotes the kit as one that can be installed without removing the bed. But we wanted to take it off anyway to more easily clean and prep the frame.
With the frame clean of dirt and grime, it’s time to strip it of unnecessary metal and suspension pieces. The leaf springs and the rear hangers were removed.
Next we trace out the C-notch location and use a cut-off wheel to remove the metal.
The first rear bracket to go on is always the easiest. But by paying attention to the instructions we were able to get everything in the right place.
Next is the link bar brackets and hangers. The Panhard bar, torque arm, trailing arms, bracket mounts and shocks are all adjustable, and they are truly independent of each other.
As you can see, the coilover shock sits on the outside of the frame rail with plenty of clearance for wide wheels and thick tires.
The rear differential cover is designed to be part of the suspension with the Panhard bar brackets pre welded on.
Here is a clean look at the suspension before we add the Panhard and torque arm.
The final pieces assemble just as the instructions suggest. We are excited to see how this unique design performs on the road.
With the last bolt installed we can step back and truly appreciate the engineering behind this system. It’s very impressive and beefy.
With a 275-50-20 Atturo AZ850 tire on the back of this truck, you can see that we still have plenty of room. No rubbing issues here!
One final look at this craftsmanship before it’s covered up by the factory sheetmetal.
With the suspension complete, it’s time to put the bed back on and see the final product. Such an exciting time with any project!
BOOM! How clean is that! We love the stance, the REV wheels look killer, and it has plenty of tire underneath it. What do you think?

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