Snailblaze One for the Nation

Snailblazin'

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#1
I recently acquired a 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer LT and I was thinking that this would be an ideal place to keep track of the what and when in terms of mods or repairs that should befall it throughout its lifetime. I wish I would have done this with my other one...oh well. I'll post pics of it in stock form for a reference, more for myself than anything, when I have some more time with it.

It will be my wife's and primarily handling the daily driving, grocery grabbing, kid transporting duties that used to fall to mine, so that's awesome: no more stickers on the back windows, no more funky ass smell when I get in it in the morning, like, "OK, is that vomit, spilled milk baked in the sun?? WTF?!! This is why we can't have nice things!!!" No more towing, or I should correct that to: no more expectation of being able to tow things. No more back-handed comments from my wife regarding its lack of roof rack and how its proximity to the ground makes it somehow less manly than other SUVs. No more eye-rolls when I comment on how a bird always seems to empty it's bowels onto my freshly washed paint. I digress...

I took it to a shop to have an out-of-province inspection completed so I can have it insured and whatnot and it failed with worn out lower ball joints, a humming RF wheel bearing, borked brakes on all four corners, 4x4 wouldn't engage (Jesus Christ), and a leaking power steering line (unsure which at this juncture). After I laughed that off, I phoned my dad and asked him just what he HAD done to the truck since new...response: oil changes, a Ming rust-proofing ($1500 - and it sounds like orc mischief) and a new tranny under warranty in 09. So, I ordered in parts and they're all here minus the ball joint press, that should be on my steps Monday/Tuesday. Now all I need is a day and half with no kids/wife/dog/work/rain and some adult beverages and I'll be in my glory.

Parts list:
Brakemotive zinc plated drilled/slotted rotors & ceramic pads (x4)
Moog lower ball joints
AC Delco wheel bearing
AC Delco 41-113 spark plugs
K&N drop in filter

Still Need:
Fluids and filter for trans/transfer case/diffs - unsure if this has ever been done (except when new in the tranny's case)
Throttle body cleanout - also probably never been done and I must admit that it makes me more than a little excited to see how much shit I can clean out of there.
After the transfer case fluid has been changed I'm going to start to chase down the engagement issue...from very preliminary research it seems like it might be a steering wheel angle sensor...more research and info required.

Wish List:
Mark's 3" lift
New Bilstein's on all 4 corners
Suspensionmaxx end links when they're due
275/60R18 semi-aggressive tires.

Feel free to chime in with comments I'm sure I'll need some help along the way.

-Scott
 
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The_Roadie

Founding Member
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#2
Sounds like that's a poster child for why you can't ignore the regular maintenance. I don't see how the steering sensor can do anything but light up the Stabilitrak warning light. Depending on HOW many transfer case change intervals he ignored, you may eed to replace it, not just add fluid. Or it could be the front axle splined disconnect.
 

blazinlow89

Well-Known Member
#5
You could look into Barton's DIY endlinks, when I go to replace the DEEZA ones I may look into doing that. Good luck with the rest of the maintenance, and :thumbsup: on the Brakemotive kit.


HARDTRAILZ said:
Sounds like you got some work ahead of you. Good luck with the LBJ...mine dang near defeated me.
Biggest PITA that I have had to deal with on my truck so far. I think Satan designed them.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#6
Jesus...like anything I've endeavoured thus far on mine I'd expect nothing less than a complete son-of-a-bitch when pressing them out. The press is not that comprehensive so we'll see how far it goes before I smash either a fender or my knuckles.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#7
The day this truck arrived, nay, within the first hour, I had the front wheel off my 02 and promptly broke off the lower strut mount bolt resulting in a lower control arm r&r. Longest front strut swap ever btw. I finally installed the djm UCAs tonight and with some forethought and the clever application of penetrating lubricant it went smoothly. As soon as we had another daily driver my 02 got dropped some more. Belltech drop struts @ -1.75" with -1.3" drop springs and now the front is sitting at 29.75". DJM upper control arms, Prothane sway bar bushings, new upper ball joints....GAWD it rides tight! Still have to change out the rear sway bar bushings.
 

Mark20

Well-Known Member
#8
Always fun!

BTW I think it should be 41-103 spark plugs.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#9
+1 on the 41-103s. Typo!
Loaded up both kids, the wife, the dog and the canoe and headed for the hills this afternoon and it was a blast! Being that this is my only functional roof rack I have no other reference point so I'll throw it to y'all: when I strapped down the canoe (front, back & middle) the cross pieces sagged and bent a lot more than made me comfortable and has me thinking about finding a kayak-type rack or something that might offer more in the stability department. Next time I have it up there I'll snap a pic and maybe the more outdoorsy individuals can offer some advice. Eventually the truck/canoe combo will make it to the Rockies so I'd like to not have it fly off on the highway or come loose and just utterly befoul one side of the truck's paint!
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#10
Pulling the trigger on a Lift Meister 3" lift and wheel spacers and some Bilstein's. Trading in the 245/60R18 Goodyear Tripletreads on a set of 275/70R18 somethings....to be determined. Tire works out to be a 33.62" OD by 11.1". The truck has 4.10s and a G80 to boot.

Anybody live north of the 49th parallel care to chime in on an MT or very aggressive AT that will not absolutely shit the bed on hard pack snow and glare ice? Could be a unicorn. I like the Nitto Mud Grapplers, Mickey Baja MTZ or ATZ. Any other skins with decent ratings on ice?
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#12
Update: Cleaned out the throttle body and it was super gunked! Used almost an entire can of cleaner on it. Guaranteed that's never been done before. Changed the transfer case fluid, front brakes and R/F wheel bearing. Lower ball joints are a C U Next Tuesday! Chiselled the factory lip, applied copious amounts of heat and they don"t budge. The eBay ball joint press I picked up might work for some vehicles but not mine. To the shop it goes!
4x4 engages without issue but parking with the wheels turned will illuminate the Service Stabilitrak light.

Photos to follow after I figure out how to post them... :bonk:
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#14
Brakes complete. A shot of where it all takes place and my protection against the impending thunderstorm. Can someone lend me their garage? Throttle body after completion...not sure why I didn't get a before shot, seems like that one would be crucial. I blame the alcohol.

brakes.jpg
photo3-edit.jpg
photo4-edit.jpg
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#16
Rear brakes are complete, noticed the passenger side outer axle seal had a sweat on it. Added to the ever growing list of shit I need to do.
I'm soliciting feedback on what the best bang-for-the-buck would be for a new front strut/rear shock and/or spring to complement the lift would be, I'd like to have a new strut/spring to put the spacer onto and then install it on the truck when I get the tires, which I'm leaning towards BFG ATs in a 275/65 simply because of how little wheeling it'll be doing contrasted against how much ice accumulates on the roads round here. Creeping ORTB looking for info on spring rates and lift from springs and 87s, 88s, Z71s, Radflo's, digressive shock valving...it's overwhelming when you're just starting out. I'd like to simply not regret a purchase, I'm not that hard to please!
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#17
Found an ancient snap of both rides in their original glory circa September 2007.
 

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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

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#18
My lift kit was waiting for me on the front porch when i got home yesterday, super pumped to get that installed! Also, the first official mod has been completed: my dad installed, or had installed more likely, a bull bar and some big ass driving lights, one of the bulbs had burned out and the Manitoba winters had not been kind to the light housings hardware and rendered it completely inaccessible...so I picked up a pair of Rigid Industries led spotlights and replaced them. I tested them out in my alley well after midnight and it was like turning on daylight. Pretty cool, should come in handy. I also added two more roof rack cross pieces to the factory rack to help weight distribution when I strap down our canoe.
 

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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#19
Just looked up Barton's diy quick disconnect sway bar end links and I may have to attempt those in the near future, thanks for the tip blazinlow89. Also while lurking ORTB I was looking through the factory spring part #'s thread trying to understand what I have first of all and what I'd like to get, from my understanding of how to interpret the RPO codes in reference to the chart I have 6WN & 7WN but neither of them are listed, I'll post a pic of my RPO sticker so maybe someone more versed can fill me in...

The lift kit will be going in on my next set of days off and I'm going to pick up a set of rear shocks, probably the Fox 2.0. Front will have to remain stock until such a time as I'm not in the doghouse for all the time and money I've spent on our vehicles in the last 6 weeks.
 

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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

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#21
Yeah, the shocks are simple but I was thinking about the stockers topping out with the lift versus my worn out fronts just being worn out for the time being...definitely the time to do it though, although I do know my way around a spring compressor!
 
#22
I won't own anything Fox, so I am curious as to why them over the N8030 Skyjacker or the 5100 Bilstien like Natton has had good luck with.

For the DIY sway bar links you could simplify and just make them bolt on if you don't need the quick disco ability.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#23
Honestly it was just to try something different, it seems that they've been well received on ORTB, minus the lack of hardware in the box and everybody and their cat runs Bilsteins. I've got nothing against them in any way; if everybody has them there's probably a reason right? I haven't sourced a part # yet for a longer Bilstein but it's an option. I've never dealt with either manufacturer before so my basis for comparo is nil. What kind of experience did you have with Fox that would lead you to dissuade me? Bilsteins would be cheaper.
Tire update: swapped my 245/60r18 Goodyear triple treads with 7 & 10/32 for a set of 275/65r18 Goodyear MTs with 8/32 across the board. Will be picking them up tomorrow. I wonder if I should email markmc with an update as to where my spacers are...

Edit: I found the correct part number for the longer Bilsteins

Also, if the truck is only getting a 3" lift do I need to think about a longer sway bar end link? Something I could do if I make them but not if I get the smaxx version.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#25
Cool, good to know the stockers will hold up for now. We'll see what kind of a mess I can get this thing into in two weeks when we head to the Rockies.
No comment on the shox? From the threads and posts I've read of yours you seem to be a very discerning customer so I'd take your advice as learned although not without some sort of back up.
 
#26
Fox seems to be pay for name brand. Prolly decent but still pay a lil more for name. Not my thing.

My skyjackers work but are rusting. For budget go rough country. They honor their lifetime warranty unlike BDS.

Bang for buck performance... bilstein is what I would do if I had money now. Unless...I was loaded n could swing the radflo shocks to match coilovers.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#27
Are the Radflo's honestly worth the steep price tag? How much are their rear shocks are why would they be that much better than any of the previous manufacturers? I've read a little about your experience with them but unless you got in on the presale that's a lot of bread! $500 per side just up front, I replaced struts/shocks and the front UCAs/LCAs on my 02 for under a grand!!! Although, it seems that if anybody would use the shit out of 'em and get their money's worth it'd be you.

Seems Belltech/KW have a bunch of new offerings in a coilover for the lowered guys and they're priced up there too...price tag for the Radflo's seem mildly less astounding.

It's been raining so hard in my end of the world that flood watches have been issued and we're expecting another 50mm of rain in the next 24 hours so I most likely won't be installing anything but a worn out wiper blade until Monday/Tuesday next week. Womp womp.
 
#28
If you abuse the truck...the radflos likely worth. No more capable but maybe a lil nicer ride in the rough. Rear shock from them is 2 bills a piece maybe iirc.

I slipped out to the garage after my last post and threw these sway bar links together but need shorter bolts to f I don't make them quick discos.

uploadfromtaptalk1403056632631.jpg

1/2x20 rod. Couple heims. A handful of nuts and washers.
uploadfromtaptalk1403056688122.jpg

Non quick disco version of Barton's is what these will be. I have built the quick disco and they work but a lot of work to build and since I don't run links much, I figure a couple wrenchs is easy enough removal.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#29
Feck those look beefy versus stock! I might be able to source some of that stuff at work, I'll need to find the all-thread and heims...do they have zerks? How much flex can you get out of your rig with them disconnected versus not?

This is super-preliminary but an MDB front bumper kit is how much now and I'll have to weld it up? Probably a year away from that happening but if I start teaching myself how to stick weld (I assume that's how it'll go together) soon I might not complete disappoint myself! Bonus: I'll swap on the 06+ LT bumper and ditch my beat 02s. Worst part of that thing appearance wise for sure.
 
#30
They are greasable. McMasterCarr is where they from.

Flex is a funny thing with these lifted... Neither connected or disco is great, so its a 50/50 shot if I bother removing them offroad. I have had none for 6 months I think but ran stockers for 6 months before that cause they suck to take off.

I only built these cause you were asking, i am dtagging an enclosed trailer several hundred miles next week, and pictures help you see the concept.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#31
That's how I learn best, in fact. Thanks for that! How does it tow being up there? I've got a little (13 ft 1600 lb) hard wall camper that will get dragged up through the mountains and I'm curious/anxious.
 
#32
I only towed the hardwall trailer once and it was fine til 55. I tow the open trailers more and the 14 footer with the zero turn the most. It pulls just fine with the lift. It is stiffer than stock so that helps in some aspects. I have no rear swaybar at all these days and the front is ?able if its hooked and any setup seems pretty good. I have no issue with using a big lifted truck to tow. I been doing it for near 2 decades.

I did a lot of trial and error with swaybars on this platform. I tried none, both, only front and only rear. All are acceptable is you are not a nascar driver. The rear seemed to do minimal, but running the front only vs the both hooked was pretty close. if you only run one...run the front. Plus our rear suspension flexes way better than front.
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

Well-Known Member
#33
Picked up a set of skins on the cheap today: 275/65R18 Goodyear Wranglers in a 10 ply, which I'm not jazzed about but the price/size was right. I've never heard of these particular Wranglers but that doesn't say much, I've never been a Goodyear guy. Just waiting on the spacers to show up and to install the lift kit which should happen sometime during the next week...hopefully, right now the truck is riding around on my winter tires. UCA flip/swap will also transpire upon install.
 

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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

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#34
I've finally installed half of the lift...nigh on impossible to find a spring compressor in this town so I removed the struts and took them to a shop to have them compress the springs for me and they were unable to remove the upper strut mount. In this situation is the entire strut now worthless? Is there a way to destroy the old mount and replace them with new ones without having to replace the strut?
 
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Snailblazin'

Snailblazin'

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#36
Couple choice snaps from the last week including the mandatory nose-to-nose shot. Did some fairly tame off-roading in the Waterton Lakes National Park over the weekend and I'm initially impressed with the improved capability as I had difficulty in the same spot in stock form.

Towing in the mountains was fun, and by fun of course I mean expensive! Holy F is the fuel consumption noticeably worse with the lift + towing. Still have to crunch my numbers to figure out actual mileage. Average daily temps were ~30 degrees Celsius and we traveled ~700 km round trip in third gear with the A/C on so factor that in.
 

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#38
Snailblazin' said:
Well, the weather has turned and I'm itching to do something to my ride. Enter: front end swap.
:undecided: Front end swap to what? LS or SS look?
 

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