Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here we go. 04 trailblazer, 63,000 miles, 373 rear. I6 4wd, swb with external trans cooler. I bought this vehicle to tow my TT. TT is 18ft 3,600lbs dry, 350 tounge wieght, I have wieght dist hitch with sway bars and elec. brake contrl. Now my question is... the ass end hangs low under full weight of a trip when packed. I am at 4 links on the wgt dit/ sway hitch, when the book says 5 links.(never has been a prob) to help with the prob I think i could use new shocks. Quest 1) sears has a deal for free install on monroe sensatrack. Will that help to keep ass higher under tounge weight? and will it help ride at normal load? For free install is it worth it? Quest 2) Whatt else would you do to keep as a tow vehicle : Trans fluid cleaning? Rear diff seals? Front end suspennsion???? Trailblazer is used 20-30 times to trailer per year. From shores to mountains, in jersey and pa mostly. I have towed my tt for a year already and other than HORRIBLE gas mileage it works well. I belive I am towing on the higher end of its range but has been a great vehicle.
 

·
Banned
2003 gmc envoy_slt
Joined
·
7,190 Posts
:tiphat Welcome :tiphat Shocks will not help the sagging. Shock only stop the bouncing. If you don't have the auto-leveling system, you could try air-shocks.
 

·
Banned
2004 gmc
Joined
·
26,181 Posts
Shocks control bounce. Not height. Springs control height. Only think about shocks if you have bounce. (At that mileage I would think you're overdue.)

Many of us have upgraded to Tahoe/Avalanche Z71 springs to get some ride height and stiffness for very cheap (under $100 off Ebay). An alternative for adding pressure only when you tow is the Airlift1000 bags that go inside your OEM coil springs. Again, under $100 and they're adjustable better than air shocks.

Search for Z71 or Airlift and do some reading. Welcome!
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It does have a bit of bounce when trav which is why I feel I need shocks. Would I be better raising the height of the wgt sidt hitch?
 

·
Registered
2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
434 Posts
Bags would probably be your best bet, only because when you are not towing, the rake with the Avalanche shocks would probably look silly. Towing that much I would recommend a synthetic transmission fluid and differential fluid to help survive the heat from towing. The hitch won't help with the leveling, but Bilstein Hd's(bounce) and bags will.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
24 Posts
As for the Shocks are bilstien hd that much better? I am not a mechanic so what is a should install cost and parts cost altogether. Unfortunatly a few local mechanics are highway robbers. What ball park would you say cost should be?

are there shocks on the front? The local guy says trailblazers have no shocks up front?

I checked out shock ware house looks like a good deal BUT... for FREE install at sears is it worth getting the Monroe Sensatracs?? I could have all 4 installed at the same cost for Bilstein HD and No install ?Are these worth the $$ ?:weird:
 

·
Banned
2004 gmc
Joined
·
26,181 Posts
As for the Shocks are bilstien hd that much better?
I think so. I don't know of anybody who has done a valid comparison, because once you get a set of new shocks, you would never take them off and put on another brand, unless you really hated one set.
I am not a mechanic so what is a should install cost and parts cost altogether.
You can check the shockwarehouse price. Then call around. Nobody here is in your neighborhood (probably) so we don't know your local cost conditions.
Unfortunatly a few local mechanics are highway robbers.
Easy to avoid, then if you know that for sure. Where do your friends go to get work done?
are there shocks on the front? The local guy says trailblazers have no shocks up front?
That guy is a goof. We have what's called COILOVER shocks. The coil spring goes around the shock. It's not a MacPherson strut design, which looks similar, but all suspensions have shocks somethere.
I checked out shock ware house looks like a good deal BUT... for FREE install at sears is it worth getting the Monroe Sensatracs?? I could have all 4 installed at the same cost for Bilstein HD and No install ?Are these worth the $$ ?:weird:
There's a clue. Since Sears is paying their mechanics SOMETHING to install the shocks, there's less money going for the shocks. You typically get what you pay for. Call around to get an install price for Bilsteins. The rears take about ten minutes each, and the fronts should be an hour or hour and a half by a competent shop with a wall-mounted spring compressor. Let's say two hours labor. Depending on their labor rate per hour, that could be $150-200. Just a guess, YMMV.

Oh, and please use edit on your posts instead of multiple postings. It's just our local trailvoy tradition.
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
967 Posts
What book says 5 links? I've never heard of that when it comes to setting up a W/D hitch. It really goes according to what's proper for the vehicle and trailer. That can vary. Ideally you measure the height of the front end and back end w/o the trailer hooked up. Make sure the trailer is loaded to how it would be if you are towing, including full propane tanks, then hook up the trailer on a flat surface.

You want the trailer level, even a little down in the front is desirable, but no more than an inch lower than level. The front end of the truck should be an inch or less higher than what you measured. The rear of the truck will be lower than non-towing height, but should never be lower than the front end. Ideally the entire truck will be very level or elevated a bit in the back. Again, not having it the rear at "stock height" is OK, in fact its normal when towing. There is a post on RV.net that goes into great detail about how to set up a W/D hitch, that might be very helpful. Just search on weight distribution setup.

I've had the AirLift air bags and I can't say enough good about them. Way better than air shocks. Not only will they keep you level, they'll improve the ride. Air shocks will keep you level, but give you a stiff ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
adjusting vehicle to level

:iagree:I agree fully with previous post. Adjust the hitch so that trailer tongue weight is positioned equally on to all four tow vehicle wheels, Use a ruler to return to normal static level of vehicle as hitch torion bar links are adusted. At this point if the hitch ball hight is at the correct height the trailer will be level. If not the hitch height has to be adjusted.

:) I have a question for those with the rear air bag auto level control, I have this for the first time and lke the way it works. I am interested in knowing how probem free this system is and is it high maintenance equipment. I would appreciate hearing what experience others have had.
Charles
:thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I looking at a 05 EXT V8. What concerns me is towing a 4500 lb trailer. A previous post talked about riding low with 3500. Would air bags work on an EXT or are beefy springs a better choice? And will it make it too stiff when not towing?
 

·
Banned
2004 gmc
Joined
·
26,181 Posts
With a 4500 lb trailer you'll be using a WD hitch. Airlift1000 bags will work just fine in an EXT, and are adjustable from 5-35 PSI so you can take out the extra air when you don't have the trailer. Some members, especially offroaders, put in 2007+ Tahoe/Avalanche Z71 springs which are stiffer and end up giving you around 2" of lift in the rear. And that doesn't go away when the trailer does, so it's not an optimum solution for trailering.

EVERYBODY asks if certain mods (springs, shocks, sway bars, tires) will make the ride "too stiff." That's fundamentally IMPOSSIBLE to answer and I wish folks would figure that out and stop asking. It's a totally personal thing that can't be quantified. I LIKE stiffness, because with it usually comes predictability and good tracking. Others HATE it, because they have sensitive passengers or bad backs or carry goldfish around or something.

Airbags that you can dial out when not towing seem to be the best compromise out there, with many happy users. I'm one.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
50 Posts
the only shocks that will help you with rear end sag when towing or loaded up in the rear are by monroe. i just found them at rockauto.com and i've been looking for them myself for awhile. They are monroe part# 58644 on the website. They are a shock with a coil spring built around it for helping with payload and whatnot. I know quite a few people who tow large travel trailers and got them to help out with sag when loaded up. They have also claimed that they don't affect the daily ride of the truck. Either way, for 96.89 for the pair, its a good price and it will probably only take about an hour to do the whole job with some very very basic tools.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
50 Posts
another thought passed my mind after i wrote the last reply....i would recommend these shocks over airsprings as helpers because these are strictly mechanical and there is much less to go wrong with these. to purchase the airsprings youre looking at over 100.00 just for the springs, then to add a compress and wiring is, i believe, another 300.00 or so. never really looked into them too much so i could be wrong. if you were to use just the airsprings you would have to stop and air them up before you leave with the travel trailer loaded up. its just one more thing to do before you leave on vacation and then you know theyre going to leak air slowly when youre on vacation so youre going to stop and fill them up again somewhere down the line. doesn't sound like a lot, but i know once ive got my camper hooked up the last thing i want to do is try and find a gas station where i can get in and out of without a lot of hassle. for somebody like yourself who doesn't seem to sure about even installing a set of shocks by yourself, i would definitely steer away from the airsprings. even if you can't find these shocks locally, you could order them and take them to a shop to have installed. and as far as a shop doing the work...with a lift and air tools, it should not take more than 45 minutes to an hour to do both sides. if you have them do it, just stay there hang out and keep an eye on what theyre doing. not a big task on these trucks at all.
 

·
Registered
2004 buick rainier
Joined
·
109 Posts
I disagree with the last two posts. Helper shocks with springs or air shocks are typically really poor at their main job which is being a good quaity shock.

Its been mentioned many times on the forums that Airlift1000 air bags are the best bet for temporarly lifting the rear. They fit INSIDE your factory coils, so even if they bleed out over time your truck is still supported by the factory springs. They can be filled just like airing up a tire, you can mount the schrader valve where ever you desire, and if you were gonna tow a decent load you would check your bag pressure just like a good owner would also check their tire pressure befire hitching up.

Or you can buy their onboard compressor kit, which isn't really a necessity for 90% of us. I have had very good experience with the two sets of these bags I've owned, one set had lasted over 10 years before I got rid of the car. They hold air just like a tire, the air valve is the same as a tire valve, hence its serviceable and leaks out just about the same as a tire. Best of all they are under $100. If you tow alot the best setup is some rear Bilstein HD shocks and Airlift 1000 bags. Thats about $220 total.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top