2005 Envoy XL Going up?

So here is the deal. A couple months back I picked up an 05 GMC Envoy XL SLT, 4x4, 5.3L. First time in ages I haven't had a truck, BUT I saved $500 a month selling my truck and buying this with the leftover cash. (needed that 3rd row for kiddos on occasion).

Got a few mechanical issues fixed and behind me, and next step is suspension.. First and foremost I am far from a mechanic... I do as much of my own work as I can, but been setting behind a desk to many years now.

1st) Pretty sure I need new shocks/struts. Rides smooth, BUT has quite a bit of bounce in the front end. My plan is the use the MarkMC 2.5 lift. With the bounce already there, and 105,xxx on the vehicle, safe to say go ahead and replace shocks and struts?? Anything major I should look for or additional stuff I will need?

2nd) Has the air shocks in the back. I have researched and looked and saw so many different options on swapping this out. So I ask here what are my best options, keeping in mind this is under a budget. Will the kit work with the air shocks or?

So, to break it down, I would like to get the MARKMC 2.5, or possibly 3" kit. Possibly need new shocks and struts due to wear and tear. I currently have the stock air shock rear, and I am assuming it has to be replaced for the lift kit? Not looking for a parts list perse, more experience and issues an amateur will run into....

WHY I am doing this. I live in the country, on a hill/mountain. My few acres dips and turns and has creek beds running through it. This will not be a "mudder" but I will need a little more ground clearance when I drive the property in places. I will be swapping out the wheel and tires, but haven't decided for what. I do know I will be going to a larger/wider tire and probably using a 1.5" spacer or adapter depending on what wheels I find.
Not sure how the lift works with air springs in the rear, so you may be better off just getting a set of rear coils. I'm pretty sure they just go in place of the air springs as a direct swap. You would need the rear springs and upper spring isolators (could grab a used set from any Trailblazer from a pick-n-pull for pretty cheap probably).

Longer rear shocks would be a good idea. There isn't a platform-specific longer rear shock that I'm aware of, but people have used rear shocks for a Tahoe or similar (I think) and then just used washers to space it properly. Someone will probably chime in with the ones they've used.

Bilstein HD are generally the go-to ones for this sort of thing. Monroes work but are a little softer, I personally prefer the bit stiffer, more controlled feel of Bilstein shocks. Monroes are just too mushy for me (I've had them both on this platform).
You might have a built in lift kit with that air suspension. Just adjust the sensors higher. However, you will still have the issue with the shock length.

Another caveat is that the air suspension is failure prone, either the bags leak or the compressor fails. A switch to springs would make the lift easier.
Juts a follow up. I have ordered and received the 3" kit from Mark. Also ordered Bilstein for the front, Skyjacker for the rear along with replacement coil springs.

Will be putting on a set of 17" GMC Sierra wheels, have the hubcentric adapter as well. Wrapping them in 265/70/17 Falken Wildpeak A/T3Ws. Hopefully pick up the tires this weekend, then next weekend pull it in the garage and get everything done! Have to redo the back brakes while I'm in there and rip out the stock air suspension system. Should make for a fun weekend and will post up pics when its done.
Just a follow up with a couple of changes.

My skyjacker order was messed up, so I am going with a new set of stock HD springs I had already. Since its a DD and not a weekend mudder, it will do for now until I can change them out. with longer ones.

Will also be flipping the UCAs. Did my research and decided it was well worth it.

Picked up my new tires yesterday. I was slow and missed a hell of a deal on the Falken WIldpeaks. But kind of worked in my favor. Picked up 4 new Hankook Dynapro AT/M. 265/70/17. Mounted them on the wheels yesterday and they look NICE! So considering I was able to get them for $104 a tire (mounting included) I couldn't pass it up.

My biggest problem is I look like I got punched by Mike Tyson so hopefully my vision clears up before Thursday afternoon when I plan to start this build. Was cleaning out the garage and spray painting so projects and apparently got something in my eye. steroid shot and antibiotic drops are the drs orders so hopefully it clears up!

So the new build is as follows:
Lift Meister 3" kit
Bilstein shocks up front
Flip UCAs
Air to coil conversion with new rear springs and struts
265/70/17 Hankook Dynapro AT/M on black police Tahoe wheels.


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Thats exactly the build I did, slightly different tires (265/75r/16).... You will be happy with it!

I dont think Tahoe wheels will work without the 6x6 to 6x6.5 adaptor...... I have Marks 1.5" wheel spacers with stock wheels. 05tb1.jpg 05tb2.jpg
I like it! Here is mine stock. Only thing I have done so far is remove the side trim. It was starting to peel away and came right off. Might replace it eventually. but like the look of it off as well.

And the Tahoe is the set of wheels I am putting on it.



Well-Known Member
Actually, here is how the THING (my wifes name for it) sets as of this morning. lovely plasti-dip on the wheels as there was paint or something all over the chrome.

I have the adapters. 1.5 hubcentric 6.5-6.5.5 adapters.



Well-Known Member
Looks like you painted the Envoy wheels black.
Looks like you painted the Envoy wheels black.
See previous post. Was plasti-dip. There was some kind of hardened blobs all over the chrome. I tried everything I could to get it off, finally just put a coat of plasit-dip over the wheels to cover them. Had it already so figured why not. Knew I wasn't keeping the stock wheels long so no harm no foul.
Well my install got pushed back a week. My eye took a turn for the worse. Turned out to be a chemical burn. still on steroid drops and vision is still a long way from being back to 20/20 in that eye. Hopefully will be better by this weekend or next. Fingers crossed.
Here she is folks. Wont lie. She kicked my ass royally. But its done. For now. Still think I need to replace the front springs. so that might happen sooner than later. Not looking forward to tearing it apart again though!

Oh and had to do a ton of trimming on the fenderwell and corner of front bumper. Cant tell from the curb though so no complaints. Was hitting both back and front of fenderwell.

I did have some major issues when it came to my prep work and freaking TOOLS! First I brought out my dremel, which hadn't been touched in a few years at least. It was a nogo. battery had apparently shorted and melted on it. GO figure. So I bust out the Dewalt Sawzaw. NOPE! Installing a blade, I somehow broke the piece that locks in the blade.

So, refusing to give up. I bust out the old "Buffalo Tools" Grinder. keep in mind this thing is older than most high schoolers and probably cheaper to buy than a 12 pack of beer (which I did consume over Friday and Saturday as I did this job)... So my old el cheapo grinder, (a gift by the way), took to that fenderwell like a champ and made the UCA flip the easiest part of the job.

I will admit that during the front installation, I was a little tired and wired and broke down and emailed Mark from Lift Meister. That guy is the real deal. On a Friday night he is emailing me back and forth till his phone died. Stand up guy.

But so far I am loving it. I had an alignment apt on Saturday, I get there (local regional shop) and I have to appreciate their honesty. The kid (stress that word as I have clothes older than him) readily admitted he was newish and had never done an alignment on a lifted vehicle. So I begged off my apt till I can get someone in who knows what they are doing.


Well, thought would follow up. Got the alignment done. Had to cut out the plastic in the fenderwell. Wound up doing a lot more trimming to the front bumper than I thought I was going to have to. But loving it. I wanted to test the flex so I took it down to the creek. Did pretty well. Forgot it had been raining for a few days so had to put it in 4x4 to pull out. (Wife wouldn't be to happy for rutting up the front yard)


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