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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I decided to do some recon out in the area of the GWNF (George Washington National Forest) that will be playing host to TECORE in April. I hit up a trail I had not gone on before, so naturally, it was quite an adventure.

I took a circuit that included an area called Flag Pole Knob and Meadow Knob which are both located along the Dundore and Richland Mountain Ridges. The highest elevation I reached was about 4,400 ft at Flagpole Knob. By the map below, I came into the forest on FR 225, and left via FR 227.



I posted up my GPS data on google maps. For some reason it put it in reverse order, so page 7 is the first leg of the trail. I think you can also view it all only in google earth, instead of in sections (seems to be a limitation of google maps).

So, here come the pictures...

This is near the entrance, where I decided to air down (I went down to 25 psi, which seems safe, yet greatly helps subdue the bumps):


The first major (at that point) hill climb. Plus it was the first snow I'd seen yet this year:


Where I pulled over to enjoy the view and have lunch:


On the north sides of the ridges, the snow lingered in greater amounts:


After this shot is where it got rougher. I had run across a little red Jeep JK (I think it was). He said he had not gone past this point (below) and that he thought it got really rough. I was determined to make it to Flag Pole Knob, so I pushed on.


Some of the rough areas I ran into. I think something may be wrong with my locker, because I was having a hard time getting it to engage when I needed it. Examples of when I needed it:




This is Meadow Knob. Quite a sight to see after trudging through the trail.


This is the trail from where I came:


Quite a steep hill climb. The snow made it especially fun, but low range had no trouble.


Flagpole Knob! The view was amazing. Almost a 360 degree view of spectacular mountains and valleys:


A panorama of the view:


I ran into one other truck up there. A Jeep Commander who had come up FR 227 to enjoy lunch on the Knob. He also had a 2" BDS spacer lift. We chatted a bunch about our trucks while going down the mountain (on the CB).


Ended up hitting a little bit of another trail with the same guy:


We ended the day with a nice frozen mud hole:


By this time it was about 5:30 and the sun was no longer on the horizon. So we decided to call it a day before we had only our headlights to guide us.

I aired back up and headed back home. Sorry, no video this time. I knew I was working with limited daylight, so I tried to keep up the pace. All in all, ~22 miles off the pavement... averaged ~8 mpg. (then hit about 17 mpg on the drive home). :cool:

Can't wait to bring some of you all along in April to show you all what your trucks are capable of!
 

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Banned
2004 gmc
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Great stuff !!!!! :thumbsup:

That mud sure looked like partially melted chocolate ice cream. :drool

As I remember when 4 Wheeler magazine built up a Commander, the best they could do with the BDS lift was 31's. :yes: But at least their spacer goes on TOP of the strut outside the spring so they don't lose articulation.

What I'm finding is on a lot of trails, 18 PSI gives me enough traction (if both rear tires are touching the ground) so the G80 never fires. But it's definitely worth checking out more. Do you recall it working for you before and how you modulated the throttle to reduce the impact forces?
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #5
Great stuff !!!!! :thumbsup:

That mud sure looked like partially melted chocolate ice cream. :drool
Haha, it was pretty soupy and nasty. I went through a river crossing later and that cleaned me off pretty well.

As I remember when 4 Wheeler magazine built up a Commander, the best they could do with the BDS lift was 31's. :yes: But at least their spacer goes on TOP of the strut outside the spring so they don't lose articulation.
Yeah, their wheel wells are much tighter than ours. He said some guys had fit a 32" but it required excessive amounts of trimming.

What I'm finding is on a lot of trails, 18 PSI gives me enough traction (if both rear tires are touching the ground) so the G80 never fires. But it's definitely worth checking out more. Do you recall it working for you before and how you modulated the throttle to reduce the impact forces?
I know it's worked before. It seemed to click in with only a little throttle. On two occasions today I got somewhat stuck. Gave it gas, and I neither heard the click, nor had luck getting traction. I tried two methods, low speed wheel turnage, and high speed burn rubber turnage... neither seemed to work. I may need to look into it a little more. They're kinda finicky it seems.
 

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Yeah, their wheel wells are much tighter than ours. He said some guys had fit a 32" but it required excessive amounts of trimming.
HAH! We're more modifiable than an XK! :raspberry :raspberry :raspberry
...Gave it gas, and I neither heard the click, nor had luck getting traction..
Just to confirm, only one tire was spinning? If they're both spinning, of course - no way for the G80 to engage or assist. But you know that, so I shouldn't even ask.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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As I remember when 4 Wheeler magazine built up a Commander, the best they could do with the BDS lift was 31's. :yes: But at least their spacer goes on TOP of the strut outside the spring so they don't lose articulation.QUOTE]

so do they have more articulation becas they dont have to compress the spring to put spacers in. all they have to do is put it on the top of the strut like the smaxx top spacer with the 2.5 lift kit. so if we can put that little spacer on top of our struts wy cant we make a kit that adds 2.5 inces on top of the strut. i do not know how the bds kit works but from what i understand it replaces the top peace on the strut with a spacer. or am i wrong. just trying to understant it a little more.. thanks.. oh and sory for :hijacked a little..

sweet pics and wish i could drive down in april for the trip. but it would be somthing like 600 miles one way.. oh well
 

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2004 gmc
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The SuspensionMAXX 2.5" kit has two pieces. One (1.4" thick) that preloads the spring and gives 1.75" of effective lift, but which doesn't lengthen the strut. And the other is 1/2" thick that goes on top of the strut and lengthens it and gives 3/4" of effective lift.

We can't make our strut any longer than 1/2" more than stock because of the way the upper ball joint angle is designed into the upper control arm. Makes it easier to lower the vehicles but harder to lift. Plus the inner CV joint starts to bind up at full strut extension.

The XK is designed differently, and is more like other vehicles, and you can add 2.5" or 3" spacer on top of the strut and things don't break.

The Canadian Ebay goofball who was selling that kind of mis-engineered death lift for trailblazers is off of Ebay now. He never replied to my emails, but at least I don't see his kit anymore.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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The SuspensionMAXX 2.5" kit has two pieces. One (1.4" thick) that preloads the spring and gives 1.75" of effective lift, but which doesn't lengthen the strut. And the other is 1/2" thick that goes on top of the strut and lengthens it and gives 3/4" of effective lift.

We can't make our strut any longer than 1/2" more than stock because of the way the upper ball joint angle is designed into the upper control arm. Makes it easier to lower the vehicles but harder to lift. Plus the inner CV joint starts to bind up at full strut extension.

The XK is designed differently, and is more like other vehicles, and you can add 2.5" or 3" spacer on top of the strut and things don't break.

The Canadian Ebay goofball who was selling that kind of mis-engineered death lift for trailblazers is off of Ebay now. He never replied to my emails, but at least I don't see his kit anymore.

i know whats thw smaxx kit is made up of. i was one of the first to have it on a tb on this site.. but i didnt even think of the ball joint problem.. darn gm.. now all we need is a company to rethink the upper control arms. oh well.. thanks for the clear up on the subject roadie. i think with time we will one day have the parts and companys backing us to reach higher levels. but that is all just wishing on a star for now.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
...
The XK is designed differently, and is more like other vehicles, and you can add 2.5" or 3" spacer on top of the strut and things don't break.
...
Actually, they have the same issues as we do. We were discussing some of it. Their upper ball joint is better than ours in some ways, yet worse in others. Theirs is not as bad looking with a 2" lift. But he said someone on their forum had snapped an upper joint and their tire subsequently folded under the truck. (at least we haven't seen that yet) Their ball joint is not easily swapped out, and each joint is ~$300 according to him.

...Just to confirm, only one tire was spinning? If they're both spinning, of course - no way for the G80 to engage or assist. But you know that, so I shouldn't even ask.
It's also possible that both tires were spinning in the rear, I had no way to actually check that, as I had to push the petal.


Aaand for a review as to how the spacer works (for you new guys), I'll pull out my handy graphic:

Max extension is essentially the same, however you sit higher when the strut is loaded. Thus why we have less travel with a lift installed. :tiphat
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well done brother. Looked like a fun trip. I can't wait to get down there and play in some stuff like that in April!!!
You had better remove those running boards... at the very least! :raspberry They'd be more like hang-up boards.
 

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Basic Vendor- Skid Plates
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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3,700 Posts
Yeah, I'm definately taking mine off before I go down there, as well...

Mike
 

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Northeast Chapter
2004
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1,502 Posts
Oh, have no worries. Already got steel for my rock sliders, and plan on getting the Smax front spacer, and Z71 rear set up prior to this event. PLENTY of time!!!:yes:

Oh, and some good tires....
 
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