2005 Envoy XL Going up?

#1
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.
 
#2
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).
 
#3
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.
 
#4
You can turn the adjusters on the bags, but they run about maxed out to match the front
 
#5
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.