Options for additional lift with existing 2" BDS

eman

Original poster
Member
Jul 16, 2012
13
I've been reading threads and searching on this site for the last few days on the options for increasing my truck's lift with an existing BDS 2' lift and have a few questions that I'm hoping someone could chime it with their past experiences. First my set current set up is the BDS lift with HD Beilstine in the front and BDS gas 5500 in the back and running 265/75/17's (without spacers but ground the ball joint down a little). My end links are shot (again ) so I was planning on replacing with the SMaxx which is getting me thinking about other things I can do while I'm down there. In retrospect I should have done this while I was installed new front hubs, and rotors and pads all around last month... :redface:

1. It looks like most people with the BDS lift are running additional spacers, so who is making these and what additional height would it give?
2. For the rear it looks like most people are gaining addition lift with z71 springs. How much additional lift is gained from these as I don't want to add too much rake to the back. Also it looks like the ride is pretty firm from what others are saying if your constantly riding without weight in the back or towing. This isn't my daily driver so I don't mind a little more stiffness but I don't really want it extremely stiff either. Any opinions on using z71 springs and is there any other complications caused by this?
3. Does the flipping of the Upper Control Arms add any additional height or is it done for another purpose (ie tire clearance from ball joint)?
4. Would the SMaxx end links work with any additional lift more that 2' (I thought that I saw somewhere that they worked up to 2' lift but not more than) and are people still liking them after a year or so?
5. Do tire spacers add much stress to other wheel components? I like the idea of increasing the stance a little bit.
6. Tire size - My tires are getting close to needing to be replaced so this could be another option. Probably would do it next year though

My goal is to get a good set up that would be decent for a little off roading, nothing major though, but it's is primarily used as a recreational vehicle in the mountains and at the beach (snowboard, surf, mountain biking and camping).
Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions and knowledge of what my options would be to make this happen...
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
I'm running the Rough Country lift with MarkMc's top spacer and Z71 springs in the rear. I like the firmness of the Z71's for normal driving and really like them when towing.
If you can change the mounting bolts in the BDS lift you should be able to run a top spacer. I replaced the bolts in my RC lift and was able to run a top spacer from MarkMC. It gives about 1/2 inch additional lift. You have to be careful with how much lift though to make sure you don't have any binding of the CV axle at full droop.
I would go ahead and get wheel spacers when you can because you might get the next set of tires and they not fit.
Wheel spacers and larger tires likely cause your hubs to not last quite as long but so what :smile:

flipping the UCA keeps the upper ball joint from being at such a severe angle and should allow you to get your alignment more in spec.

Any end link should be fine with 2.5 inches front lift.

The move from a 265(31) to a 285(33) is a big step in the amount of lift/cutting required, wider rims and the gearing required. If you aren't an aggressive offroader the 265 should be sufficient.
 

eman

Original poster
Member
Jul 16, 2012
13
Thanks for the great info Navigator,
I have a couple more questions.
What type of bolts do you use to add the additional spacer (size and grade)?
How much more height did you get from the z71 springs in the rear (it looks like from other posts they don't let as much sag)?
About what point to the UCA's bushings start wearing out? I'm at 145,000 miles so I'm almost thinking if I do the flip it may be worth it to replace the bushings while there already off and accessible.

Thanks for your help!
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
I don't remember what sized bolts they were. I almost think they are 2 inch grade 8, 3/8 but I could be wrong.
I think the Z71 springs give about 1.5 inch of lift.
I didn't replace my bushings, I only have about 98k now and I don't recall any issues when I flipped them.
Make sure to read up on flipping the UCA, if you don't have a body lift there is some cutting/beating of the inner fenderwell to get to the bolts.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
1. MarkMC. 1/2 inch or so in height increase

2. 1.5 inches about from the z71. I hated mine on my daily drive in the city. Rough as shit. If they are not too stiff then you can remove the block and run just them to stay level. I do think there are different sized rear blocks available to level or get the rake you desire. Likely need longer shocks if you do the z71 and a spacer.

3. No height, just puts ball joint at a better angle. You will need a new alignment when/if you flip.

4. No idea. I actually am running no rear sway bar and my rear links on my front.

5. Yes, but so does the lift and oversized tires. Any offroading does as well. Extra weight does the same. I love my adaptors and it is one of the best things i did since it opened up a world of wheel posibilities.

6. 265-75-17 is a weird size. Read through some build threads and look at the pics to see what size you like. I personally like the benefits of wide tires and stance.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
eman said:
About what point to the UCA's bushings start wearing out? I'm at 145,000 miles so I'm almost thinking if I do the flip it may be worth it to replace the bushings while there already off and accessible.

Thanks for your help!

I have about 150K miles including a decent amount of tough offroad mileage and my bushings are ok. No issues have presented themselves.
 

eman

Original poster
Member
Jul 16, 2012
13
Thanks for your suggestions and feedback.
My tires are actually 265-70-17 so my previous post was a misprint.
Both of your trucks look sick!! :thumbsup:

Time to order some parts for my truck to make it happen...
thanks again...
 

BoldAdventure

Member
Jun 28, 2012
1,634
Pretty much all of the above. I'm running the BDS kit with Z71's in the rear which brings the rear.

I was actually considering doing a body lift next. 2inch zone kit. I may or may not opt for MarkMC's spacers.
 

Darkrider_LS

Member
Jan 25, 2013
9,332
Ok quick question. How do these trucks sit with a BDS or RCX 2" lift in the front and the Z71 springs in the rear? Close to level or slight rear rake?
 

BoldAdventure

Member
Jun 28, 2012
1,634
View attachment 26069

This is how my Trailblazer sits right after the lift install, BDS 2 inch all around, and Z71 in the rear with the BDS shocks and Blisten HD's up front.

After 5000 miles and loaded:

View attachment 26070

The rake is so little it's barely noticeable.
 

Darkrider_LS

Member
Jan 25, 2013
9,332
mikekey said:
View attachment 11987

This is how my Trailblazer sits right after the lift install, BDS 2 inch all around, and Z71 in the rear with the BDS shocks and Blisten HD's up front.

After 5000 miles and loaded:

View attachment 11988

The rake is so little it's barely noticeable.

Just to make sure I understand correctly you have the full bds kit (front and rear spacers and shocks) with z71 springs correct? I like the stance thus why im asking.
 

BoldAdventure

Member
Jun 28, 2012
1,634
Darkrider_LS said:
Just to make sure I understand correctly you have the full bds kit (front and rear spacers and shocks) with z71 springs correct? I like the stance thus why im asking.

Yes. I bought their full kit, front and rear, and then ebayed a set of Z71 springs.
 

Darkrider_LS

Member
Jan 25, 2013
9,332
mikekey said:
Yes. I bought their full kit, front and rear, and then ebayed a set of Z71 springs.

Nice! Looks like I have some ordering to do! What size of tires are you using?
 

BoldAdventure

Member
Jun 28, 2012
1,634
Darkrider_LS said:
What size of tires are you using?


245/ 70 /R17 (30.5") - General Grabber AT/2

I went with a safe size, because I bought my tires prior to landing a new job, wasn't expecting to be able to do a lift and go out west for 15 days. The up tick is my gas milage is still around 18MPG. I'm probably going up to 32's around June prior to my next big road trip.
 

Darkrider_LS

Member
Jan 25, 2013
9,332
mikekey said:
245/ 70 /R17 (30.5") - General Grabber AT/2

I went with a safe size, because I bought my tires prior to landing a new job, wasn't expecting to be able to do a lift and go out west for 15 days. The up tick is my gas milage is still around 18MPG. I'm probably going up to 32's around June prior to my next big road trip.

Were you able to clear them without wheel spacers?
 

BoldAdventure

Member
Jun 28, 2012
1,634
Yes, that's the max safe size before spacers. I have no issues with rubbing at all. So the answer to your question is, no I did not need spacers. My wheels are the stock LTZ rims, just painted black.
 

Darkrider_LS

Member
Jan 25, 2013
9,332
mikekey said:
Yes, that's the max safe size before spacers. I have no issues with rubbing at all. So the answer to your question is, no I did not need spacers. My wheels are the stock LTZ rims, just painted black.

Nice I will def see if I can locate that model tire around here..i do have a set of half worn Goodyears I might be able to use. Most likely will keep running my current firestones till they are worn out though.
 

Short Bus

Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
mikekey said:
245/ 70 /R17 (30.5") - General Grabber AT/2......

mikekey said:
Yes, that's the max safe size before spacers. I have no issues with rubbing at all. So the answer to your question is, no I did not need spacers. My wheels are the stock LTZ rims, just painted black.

or 265/65/17 if you want a wider tire. I ran 265/65s before my lift and spacers.
 

Darkrider_LS

Member
Jan 25, 2013
9,332

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