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2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So for over a year, I've noticed front sagging. Too chicken to measure it because all it was going to do was cost me money to fix, and I was really, really hoping for the long-wished-for Icon Dynamics coilovers. We might still get those, but I was currently desperate. Hitting things I used to drive over with impunity.

So given that the Roadiemobile runs with an EXT rear axle now, I just guessed that EXT front springs would give it a boost. My springs were well abused by the heavier custom bumper and winch, and I assumed they were taking a permanent set like my pre-Z71 Tahoe springs.

So I found a pair of EXT struts, but the junkyard couldn't give me any part numbers, so I could assure it was in the high end of the range. The donor vehicle ended up being a 2WD Envoy XL, so they're not the stiffest, but they worked like a charm!

While I was in there, I also added markmc's 1/2" shim spacers, and I believe this is the first install of those on a BDS spacer-equipped strut. Mark, you can sell those separately now, perhaps with a notch to support the BDS third bolt.

Final tally - started with 33 1/2" :sadcry: ground to wheelwell opening distance - ended up with 36 1/2". :excited: :woohoo:

EXT springs, plus Mark's spacers, plus BDS, combine the tallest strut with the least amount of sag possible for SWB trucks. The stiffest possible EXT springs would be the best, other than custom springs, but it's very difficult to guarantee you're getting the stiffest possible ones from junkyards. Getting the exact part number for buying new ones is a current project elsewhere.

The project:

Getting the junkyard springs off their struts



Tried the $40 Harbor Freight tool. Worked OK at first.



Ended up starting to BEND! Abandoned it with horror and went back to my previous compression tool.



Drilled out the upper mount holes to make it easier to put them in. I should have done this two upgrades ago.



Mark's 1/2" spacer on top of the BDS assembly. Note where you have to notch if you want to use the BDS third bolt. I don't, so I left it alone.



After assembly, the BDS threaded studs JUST make it with full engagement. This is the only real worry I had about adding Mark's spacers. Now this question is answered - everybody go out and buy them - and get another 3/4" lift!



The EXT spring is slightly larger diameter, and combined with the longer strut after Mark's spacer, the spring now touches the steering knuckle at full extension. Not a worry, since at normal ride height, there's a space. It might make noise offroading at full extension. Like I care? :no:



Top of the BDS spacer showing Mark's shim in the third bolt hole, lined up with the top mounting hole. Mark's shim can't be made any larger diameter, though, because it will then hit the inside of the upper mount and not sit flat. It's at the right diameter now.



My OEM springs that sagged and I removed: part no. 15125883



While I was in there I slapped in some brake pads. Almost 80K miles on the OEMs.



My favorite screw tool to push back the pistons. I opened the bleed valve while doing this so I didn't force dirty fluid back upstream past the ABS valves and seals.

 

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Banned
2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure, but it's nothing special. Just back to the height it USED to be with BDS and the tires I put on 20K miles ago.



Grill is out so I can put in a tranny cooler before getting back into trailer-towing season.

 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
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371 Posts
Good stuff!

I noticed today that we/I left the bump stomps on my oem shocks way back when we upgraded my front suspension. Do you still have your bump stops on your shocks?
 

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2006 gmc envoy_sle
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1,614 Posts
Sure, but it's nothing special. Just back to the height it USED to be with BDS and the tires I put on 20K miles ago.



Grill is out so I can put in a tranny cooler before getting back into trailer-towing season.

Thats one tough lookin' Envoy!
 

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2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still there. I can't imagine running without them. Not safe. Blow out the shock internals.

Now you have to buy Mark's 1/2" shims and get another 3/4" lift. (Since I know you have BDS. :yes:) At least we don't have to compress the springs to do that.
 

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Banned
2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
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371 Posts
Still there. I can't imagine running without them. Not safe. Blow out the shock internals.
Yea, I did a double take today when I noticed them - argh :(

the roadie said:
Now you have to buy Mark's 1/2" shims and get another 3/4" lift. (Since I know you have BDS. :yes:) At least we don't have to compress the springs to do that.
I have my fingers crossed for some other goodies down the road. Maybe some fancy bump stops too. :cool:
 

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2004 gmc
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26,181 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mark's 1/2" is outside the strut. No spring compressor needed. He's been selling it with his inside the strut kit, and I just confirmed it will also fit with the BDS inside the strut spacer.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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2,636 Posts
I'm amazed how much those harbor freight spring compressors deformed! AGH!...

I think you're missing a number off your springs Bill. 1512588X. Is it a grey background on the tag? If so, I'm guessing a 3. Is that your stock spring? No tags on the new ones?

What was the free height difference between the sagged springs and the new ones? And side by side pics to show the deformation?

We had an issue with that on a design project I worked on a while back. It was a spring-only actuated intake valve (no cam) on a 2 stroke. The spring, however, was not spec'd out right and after the engine ran for about 5 minutes, the engine would always backfire up the intake. We couldn't figure out what the issue was until we compared the free length of the springs.

Looking good! :thumbsup:
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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330 Posts
Just for your reference, my trailblazer ext's stock spring is right up against the steering knuckle (within a fraction on an inch). Didn't know if it matters to you but I figured it might make you feel a lil better. After adding the liftmeister lift it was moved a little bit closer due to the diameter of the spring in that area changing to the lower position.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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1,401 Posts
Nicely done Roadie, as always. I haven't been doing any upgrades recently, but I'm working on some new thoughts for the TB.. still lifted of course, just adding some more to it. while I'm thinking about it.. what year did we get the avalanche springs from? I should know this. :coffee I'm thinking of adding some new shocks in the rear. Don't want to get ones that are too short for the full articulation.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
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6,568 Posts
well there is my answer and urs mark... guess i have nothing to worry bout... get mine on sooner since i dont have to worry bout it not fitting... not only if the temp would drop some... damn humidity...
 
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