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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have been looking into some Bilstein HD shocks for my TB and was wondering if I can replace these myself with minimal tools/space (parking lot) or if I would need a bay or special tools to do this with besides the spring compressors. Was also looking for spacers to level the vehicle, what is everyone here using? AFAIK the shocks have never been replaced so I think it's time for new ones anyways :yes:

There's not much of an off road scene here in Corvallis, but getting to a brush fire is pretty annoying when you are going clunkity-clunk in a grass field.

If so, anyone know of a how to?
 

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its possiable to do it in a parking lot, you will need your basic chevy size sockets, 10mm,12mm,14mm,18mm, if your handy and have a full day to do it then do it your self but if your not that handy with tools take it to a shop, if you find your self second guessing yourself while your taking it apart , stop there and take it to a shop, i havent gotten to that point yet as mine is still in the box iun my garage wiating for other parts
 

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Rear shocks are quick and easy. I've never done the fronts though. Was told to take them to a shop when the need changing.
 

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I can't imagine doing the struts with a spring compressor and not having a bench with a vise to hold it. And too much risk of something being corroded on and having to escalate it to a shop. Not a parking lot job with a minimal set of tools.

Surely you can find out who we use for spacer lifts, newb. :nono:

Seriously - James Downing has the site to read.
 

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Im cheap and have rented spring/strut compressors from autozone about 4 times. They suck if you dont have an air ratchet as it takes awhile to ratchet them down each time, but thats the biggest downfall.

Very safe everytime ive done it and no issues here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Surely you can find out who we use for spacer lifts, newb. :nono:
Aww, I was expecting much more of a reaction from ewe roadie. You disappoint.


And I've drooled over that site and his little napkin sketch of what he wants his TB to look like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info everyone. I think I'll wait for summer on this one, but if summer doesn't take me home (possible AF training deployment) I might have it done for me.
 

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The rears are easy, a DIY. Cant say for the price and performance I would go with the stock bilsteins though. Chevy dealers charge 1.0 hour labor for the fronts, that was $75 when I had it done a year or 2 ago, a good deal considering the amount of work involved and that dealers usually rape you for everything else.
I went with these Monroe sensatracs-

http://www.monroe.com/products/sensatrac_truck.asp

the price was half of Bilstiens, and considering that I blew 2 stock struts out before the warranty was up and the rest were shot by 40k, I was unimpressed with the stockers, (although i have the offroad series on my lifted duramax and am very happy with them)
I have 50k now on the monroes and they are still pretty damn good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
definitely not going with stock shocks. was thinking of the HD bilstein's but I am still looking at this point.
 

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If you looking to save a little bit of cash, but don't want to chance the strut compression, take the struts out and take them to a shop. Save the cash for removing them, and just have them swap the shocks.....
 

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I did my fronts in my driveway with a handheld spring compressor... I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!

I swapped out the shocks while installing the BDS spacers... such a pain in the a$$!

My future garage will have a wall mounted compressor!
 

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I did my fronts in the garage with just a spring compressor and Im with gordinho80, not doing that again. Ill just take it to like Les Schwab and pay them to compress the struts and install what I need, worth the $$ for peace of mind (and Im 19 and a big DIY'er). I was scared a few times as it looked like one of the compressors slipped a little and with that much force...:eek:
 

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I've personally taken the front suspnsion apart four times on three different Trailvoys. The only difficult part was centering the pitman arm puller so both hooks set correctly:hissy:. Could have used a pickle fork I guess, but I didn't go that route. Also, once you get the strut assembly out, splitting the strut seat to get the strut out can be a pain:hissy:. As far as the coils/springs, use an electric impact and a spring compressor....it literally takes seconds. You don't need to compress the spring to the point that it is loose on the assembly, just enough to take pressure off. Another tip is, if you have a rusted nut on the top of your strut, spray some PB Blaster, smoke a cigarette, then come back and use a vice grip on the strut shaft to keep it from turning instead of an allen wrench and hit it with the impact.:thumbsup:
 

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Go with the HD bilstiens you wont be disappointed. much better than stock.
I'd like to offer another point of view. The more shock you add, the harsher the ride. If you liked the ride of your truck overall before the shocks wore out, then I don't think you will be happy with a lot more shock.

In that case my recommendation would be to go with the TBSS shocks. You will pay more for them, but you may be much happier with the ride. This recommendation to use TBSS shocks has been made on this site many times by others.

You can put the Bilsteins on, (and you should definitely get them from Shockwarehouse which is where I bought mine), and that will be your cheapest option. But, in my experience (on my 03 Envoy) the front ended up much stiffer than was comfortable in casual driving with the Bilstein HD shocks. In zesty driving, they were great but in normal driving around town, they were just too harsh.

The harshness wasn't so noticeable on the highway, but they were still a little bit harsh. Tar strips and small bumps definitely became annoying after a while, not only in my personal opinion, but also in the wife's.

I ended up regretting my decision, but that may have been because I also installed the Avalanche shocks on the rear at about the same time as I installed the fronts, and added 4psi to all four tires on top of that.

Your tolereance levels may be different than mine, so just consider this another opinion to factor into your decision. As indicated in this thread, others believe that the Bilstein HDs on the front are ok

Code is Trailvoy10 for the Shockwarehouse discount.

You will have to search the threads or do some research for the TBSS part number. I seem to remember finding it at Rockauto.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now there's an interesting point. That was never really brought up before, I guess I'll have to do a little more digging now. Thanks Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey thanks Karsten

Anyways I think I'm gonna have it done for me. I don't want to chance anything in a parking lot and I'm now 5th on the list for training....

Thanks everyone
 
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