Suspension lift questions...

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
Ok i have been on here for awhile now and been reading different threads on here but not posting much..mostly researching now im at the point im getting ready to start saving up to do a lift on my TB.

So here are the following two set ups im considering:

Rough Country 2" lift with Z71 rear springs (basically the same as the BDS set up like this just with the lower priced kit...cant justify paying $320 for a pair of basic white body shocks thats all that the BDS has over the Rough Country lol would rather put the money into Blistiens)

Markmc 3" lift kit with Z71 springs.

Either way i go i will be running Blistien shocks and struts.

Now I just recently read that the CVs can handle up to 4" of lift without worries so thats not a concern.

My question is what should be changed other then the obvious parts related to the lift itself?

With the Rough country do i need to flip the upper control arms? Im assuming its a very good idea to do so with the Markmc kit

Also will i need to modify or extend the panhard rod in the rear with the Rough Country?

As said the Rough Country is basically almost a carbon copy of the BDS kit other then the lack of included shocks.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
Ok...did a bit more digging around on the forum and on offroadtb and i seem to have gotten most of the answers i was looking for..anyone reading this feel free to correct me if im wrong..


What should be changed other then the obvious parts related to the lift itself? Nothing on the RCX but Upper control arms should be flipped on Markmc lift

With the Rough country do i need to flip the upper control arms? Im assuming its a very good idea to do so with the Markmc kit No UCA flip needed with RCX, Recommended with Markmc lift

Also will i need to modify or extend the panhard rod in the rear with the Rough Country? No answer found yet on this one...

Now i have a new question...I plan on fabbing up a new front bumper that will be heavier then stock....should i consider running a Markmc 2.5" lift to make up for the extra weight with the assumption that the truck will settle at around the same height as a 2" lift due to the weight increase?
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
ANY lift is going to move the rear axle to the right, due to the location of the Panhard bar mounts. If the amount of the shift bothers you, get the adjustable Panhard bar. It's not strictly speaking mandatory, but your rear tires may look funny especially if you also get upsized tires that stick out more than stock. It's in the vicinity of 1/2-3/4" of shift. Measure the relationship of the tires to the fender sheet metal after the lift install to see.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
the roadie said:
ANY lift is going to move the rear axle to the right, due to the location of the Panhard bar mounts. If the amount of the shift bothers you, get the adjustable Panhard bar. It's not strictly speaking mandatory, but your rear tires may look funny especially if you also get upsized tires that stick out more than stock. It's in the vicinity of 1/2-3/4" of shift. Measure the relationship of the tires to the fender sheet metal after the lift install to see.
Thanks for the imput, Now I have a couple more questions

Since im planning on adding a winch bumper and winch (est added weight to vehicle 450-500 lbs max) should I opt for a mark mc 2.5" lift to make up for the increased weight in the front end, this is assuming that the added weight will cause me to loose some of the aditional height gained from the lift.

And how much lift do the "88" springs add by themselves?

Edit: got my answer from another search on ortb about the "88" springs 0.86-1.06" depending what my stock springs are.

One more question i'm looking at my rpo list and it mentions that I have 7NT and 6NT front springs. However the info on ortb does not have the NT code listed so im not sure how they compare against the "88" springs.
 

BoldAdventure

Well-Known Member
DO NOT GET THE ROUGH COUNTRY LIFT. If you're even considering it, then you did not do your research. Go read more on ORTB. The springs you have do not compare to the 88's, I have those goofy RPO's as well. That question was answered further in the thread on ORTB about factory springs. A few folks have random RPO codes for springs.

You're better off spending the money on Marks' 3inch suspension lift. Whose building your bumpers?
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
mikekey said:
DO NOT GET THE ROUGH COUNTRY LIFT. If you're even considering it, then you did not do your research. Go read more on ORTB. The springs you have do not compare to the 88's, I have those goofy RPO's as well. That question was answered further in the thread on ORTB about factory springs. A few folks have random RPO codes for springs.

You're better off spending the money on Marks' 3inch suspension lift. Whose building your bumpers?
It will just be a front bumper and my buddy is building it, he manages a fab shop here in town and quoted me about $600 for the design i want to do. The idea i had is to make a Trailblazer version of the NFab RSP front bumper, here is a pic of the bumper in question on a Nisan

View attachment 27180

The plan is to have a winch where the 4 large lights are on the bumper in this pic on the TB version.

I admit i only started looking into lifting it again recently. I have a few posts on ORTB but have only posted there a few times especially since i got an "use the search noob" style response at one point...roughly around the time i joined here...found a lot more info on here for things i was working on then i found over there. But im rereading the spring thread now to see if it tells me what the NT springs work out to be equal to on the chart so i can compare vs the 88 and 89 springs. But i suspect i may need to stay with the stock springs with something like the 3" lift. With the bumper in place how much height will i loose due to its weight and settling?
 

Attachments

BoldAdventure

Well-Known Member
Darkrider_LS said:
I admit i only started looking into lifting it again recently. I have a few posts on ORTB but have only posted there a few times especially since i got an "use the search noob" style response at one point...roughly around the time i joined here...found a lot more info on here for things i was working on then i found over there. But im rereading the spring thread now to see if it tells me what the NT springs work out to be equal to on the chart so i can compare vs the 88 and 89 springs. But i suspect i may need to stay with the stock springs with something like the 3" lift. With the bumper in place how much height will i loose due to its weight and settling?
That's because over there they prefer folks to try to learn things on their own before asking the same questions that have been asked over and over again. Especially the "what do you think of this" question.

If you're putting the springs on before your bumper you will top out and possibly damage the bushing. the 88's and 89's need the extra weight, and all they will do is push you back up. It's debatable about how much you'll loose but most say somewhere from .25 of an inch to a full inch. Some folks prefer their car level, some of us like the vehicle to have a little rack to it. To me, .25-.50 isn't much of a deal.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
mikekey said:
That's because over there they prefer folks to try to learn things on their own before asking the same questions that have been asked over and over again. Especially the "what do you think of this" question.

If you're putting the springs on before your bumper you will top out and possibly damage the bushing. the 88's and 89's need the extra weight, and all they will do is push you back up. It's debatable about how much you'll loose but most say somewhere from .25 of an inch to a full inch. Some folks prefer their car level, some of us like the vehicle to have a little rack to it. To me, .25-.50 isn't much of a deal.
So really i will be at 2.5" lift in front with the bumper on if i were to use the Markmc 3" lift kit and can always regain that .5 with a spacer if it bugged me at all...And with that size of lift i should be flipping the UCAs to regain close to stock ball joint angles correct? Would be safe to assume that if i combined all the above with some Markmc wheel spacers i could run a 31" tall tire without risk of rubbing anywhere?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Why z71s? I hated mine. Stiff and rough. If you carry a bunch of weight they might be good, but I really do not think most people need them.

Either of marks kits coupled with his spacers should allow for 31s to fit.

Flipping UCA will not fully put ball joints at stock angle, but better than not flipping them. I would do them with about any lift.

I run 88 springs and have the moog 81114 to try at some point. Really just want to see if they are similar since no one seems to have tried both.


Interested to see what you come with for your front bumper. The joke of a TB that was the first SAS...silver, totally different drivetrain, former flood truck...has one similar. I have a card from the guy that built it somewhere. It had a similar rear, but both of them had pretty shady mounting. That style does look good, but you do not seem to save much weight with round tube over flat plate.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
HARDTRAILZ said:
Why z71s? I hated mine. Stiff and rough. If you carry a bunch of weight they might be good, but I really do not think most people need them.

Either of marks kits coupled with his spacers should allow for 31s to fit.

Flipping UCA will not fully put ball joints at stock angle, but better than not flipping them. I would do them with about any lift.

I run 88 springs and have the moog 81114 to try at some point. Really just want to see if they are similar since no one seems to have tried both.


Interested to see what you come with for your front bumper. The joke of a TB that was the first SAS...silver, totally different drivetrain, former flood truck...has one similar. I have a card from the guy that built it somewhere. It had a similar rear, but both of them had pretty shady mounting. That style does look good, but you do not seem to save much weight with round tube over flat plate.
Thanks for the imput! The plan with the bumper is to create a large C channel similar to the stock bumper core and have it mount similar to stock possibly even using stock hardware. Where the large lights are the plan is to run a winch on top of the C channel and of course have the two vertical plates to connect the C to the tube areas. I may have the winch plate extend a lil beyond the C to provide protection from the winch cable for a pair of Hella off road lights mounted in front of the C. And have a pair of OE Fogs retrofitted with HIDs inside the tube sections behind mesh.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
mikekey said:
Why such small tires?
Well how big of a tire can i go up to with the 3" lift kit and wheel spacers? I dont plan on running a body lift. I know on the larger GMT400 pickups at the same lift level they usually run a 33" tire but i wasnt sure if the clearances were similar on a GMT360.
 

fletch09

Well-Known Member
i have Mark's 3" front & wheel spacers. i'm running 265/65/18 summer, and 265/70/17 winter on GM stock rims (31.5,31.6 diam)
no rubbing on fenders ( but it's close) and did not have to do any cutting. :twocents:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Wheel selection has a ton to do with what fits. Also 32/33/35/31 are all sizes that are variable even between exact same size tires, depending on brand/model/rimwidth/inflation. Ex...A 315 BFG is about 33.5 where a Nitto is 34.5 or so. I had rubbing issues with Mark's 2.5 inch lift and 265-70-17 on 17x8 rims and 1.3 inch spacers, but others have zero issues with that tire size and same lift.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
Awesome! Thanks for the info guys! Most likely I will be running oe wheels with 1.5" spacers with something like a 265/70R17 BFG All terrain or Mud Terrain.
 

v7guy

Well-Known Member
I think you're overestimating the weight of the bumper by 40 or 50 percent. My bumper is all 3/16" plate and even with the 100 lb winch bolted on it I can pick it up and carry it to the truck with some difficulty... I ain't a particularly strong guy.

I'm with the other guys, you're wasting your time with 31s. I would at least do 32s. Over 32s you should seriously look at regearing though.

just a heads up, stacking a half inch spacer on top of the 3" lift is extremely discouraged
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
v7guy said:
I think you're overestimating the weight of the bumper by 40 or 50 percent. My bumper is all 3/16" plate and even with the 100 lb winch bolted on it I can pick it up and carry it to the truck with some difficulty... I ain't a particularly strong guy.
Keep in mind the a tube like he will use is heavy, well could be. Flatten out the tube and you get a decent section of flat stock like we used. I know my tubes added quite bit to my bumper. Figure these plate bumpers weigh 80-100 lbs prolly. I bet he is right in that ball park at least.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
v7guy said:
I think you're overestimating the weight of the bumper by 40 or 50 percent. My bumper is all 3/16" plate and even with the 100 lb winch bolted on it I can pick it up and carry it to the truck with some difficulty... I ain't a particularly strong guy.

I'm with the other guys, you're wasting your time with 31s. I would at least do 32s. Over 32s you should seriously look at regearing though.

just a heads up, stacking a half inch spacer on top of the 3" lift is extremely discouraged
Thanks for the imput on the spacer! Since its looking like i may have 82 or 83 springs up front if it has slight rake after the bumper is on oh well...the fact that im going with that style of bumper to gain some front end clearance vs the stock set up will make up for what ever negligible effect the added weight will have on front end height.

Hmmm 32s it is then!
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
Ok..gonna bump this up with another question...I know that Tahoe and Avalanche shocks work in the back of our Tbs. My question is this do I order stock length shocks or do I order shocks intended for a Tahoe that has been lifted the same amount as I would be lifting the Tb?

For example say I lifted the Tb 2" do I order shocks for a Tahoe that has been lifted 2"?

Reason I ask is because using z71 rear springs lifts our trucks so logic would dictate stock Tahoe shocks are already close to 2" longer then our stock rear shocks.
 

smitty5150

Well-Known Member
How about order trailblazer shocks for lifted application? The stock Tahoe shocks will fit....if you shim the bottom bolts with about a dozen washers each. But they are made for a heavier vehicle and you ride will suffer further. Trust me, I tried it.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
smitty5150 said:
How about order trailblazer shocks for lifted application? The stock Tahoe shocks will fit....if you shim the bottom bolts with about a dozen washers each. But they are made for a heavier vehicle and you ride will suffer further. Trust me, I tried it.
Fair enough, now does anyone have any links for shocks for our trucks?
 

navigator

Well-Known Member
mikekey said:
DO NOT GET THE ROUGH COUNTRY LIFT. If you're even considering it, then you did not do your research.
Don't hate man!
A lot of guys have run the RC lift, I only recall one guy have a weld a break on an early model which they took care of and have since corrected the design flaw.
I don't know that anyone running it has had the bushing issues that the BDS lifts have.
Is Mark's lift better? I would say yes, especially if you want more lift. If someone doesn't need that much lift or is on a tight budget then you could get the RC lift and have enough left over to get some stiffer front springs or 1/2 way to a set of spacers.

It is all in how much lift you need.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
Ok got another question....I plan on fabbing a Receiver mounted dirt bike carrier to carry my Yamaha dual sport on the back of the Trailblazer. Bike weighs roughly about 300-450 lbs max. Most likely this bike will be carried on there frequently. Should I still consider running Z71 springs? Eventual goal is to build an off road trailer to haul this same bike as well as extra fuel and other supplies for the truck,bike and for camping.
 

navigator

Well-Known Member
the rear springs are so easy to swap out, I would try it with your stock springs and see how you like it. If you need more support then swap in some Z71s or some air bags.
 

tblazerdude

Well-Known Member
Darkrider_LS said:
Rough Country 2" lift with Z71 rear springs (basically the same as the BDS set up like this just with the lower priced kit...cant justify paying $320 for a pair of basic white body shocks thats all that the BDS has over the Rough Country lol would rather put the money into Blistiens)

Markmc 3" lift kit with Z71 springs.

Either way i go i will be running Blistien shocks and struts.
I hated the ride with my Bilstein HD's and Z71 springs. No rebound pressure. Then I bought the BDS5500's, and It's remarkably better to me. I feel (and have read) that the 5500's work much better than the Bilsteins with a rear lift.
 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
navigator said:
the rear springs are so easy to swap out, I would try it with your stock springs and see how you like it. If you need more support then swap in some Z71s or some air bags.
Fair enough, never even considered airbags!

tblazerdude said:
I hated the ride with my Bilstein HD's and Z71 springs. No rebound pressure. Then I bought the BDS5500's, and It's remarkably better to me. I feel (and have read) that the 5500's work much better than the Bilsteins with a rear lift.
Thanks for the imput. If i remember right the BDS5500s are the ones that come with the BDS lift. Anyone have any experience with the Fox shocks you can get for these trucks?
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
Darkrider_LS said:
Fair enough, never even considered airbags!
By airbags, we (usually) mean Airlift1000 bags that go inside the coils. Plenty of discussion on the three sites about Airlift1000. Advantage is adjustability so you only need to crank them up when you have a significant hitch weight or need more ground clearance. You can inflate them manually, or build in a compressor of your choice (Airlift also makes some). Here's where I built mine in, with the controls up front. Manual switch to inflate them - Schrader valve button on the right to deflate.



 
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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
the roadie said:
By airbags, we (usually) mean Airlift1000 bags that go inside the coils. Plenty of discussion on the three sites about Airlift1000. Advantage is adjustability so you only need to crank them up when you have a significant hitch weight or need more ground clearance. You can inflate them manually, or build in a compressor of your choice (Airlift also makes some). Here's where I built mine in, with the controls up front. Manual switch to inflate them - Schrader valve button on the right to deflate.



Very nice set up! Is there enough space behind the side panel to sink the compressor in enough to allow reusing the cover to that compartment? Also does that compressor put out enough air to be able to be used to inflate tires?
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
Darkrider_LS said:
Is there enough space behind the side panel to sink the compressor in enough to allow reusing the cover to that compartment?
Yes. In use, the cover is on the compartment. But I have something installed now that means I don't ever see the compartment anyway.



Also does that compressor put out enough air to be able to be used to inflate tires?
Sure, but the way I installed it, it just inflates the air bags. I'd have to put in valves and stuff to use it for tires. Offroaders often air down our larger (33-35") tires to 16-18 PSI, so we tend to need beefier compressors that won't overheat as quickly as small ones like this. The standard low-end ($50-70) unit is a model "MV-50" available from many outlets. It draws more current than a cigarette lighter receptacle has, so you clip it on your battery or hard-wire it in with a larger fuse like a subwoofer.

View attachment 27903
 

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Darkrider_LS

Darkrider_LS

Well-Known Member
the roadie said:
Yes. In use, the cover is on the compartment. But I have something installed now that means I don't ever see the compartment anyway.



Sure, but the way I installed it, it just inflates the air bags. I'd have to put in valves and stuff to use it for tires. Offroaders often air down our larger (33-35") tires to 16-18 PSI, so we tend to need beefier compressors that won't overheat as quickly as small ones like this. The standard low-end ($50-70) unit is a model "MV-50" available from many outlets. It draws more current than a cigarette lighter receptacle has, so you clip it on your battery or hard-wire it in with a larger fuse like a subwoofer.

View attachment 14247
Nice! Thanks for the info roadie! I have a nice compressor I use for tires now so that covers that...but it is def nice to be able to set up one of those airlift compressors to handle tires too.
 

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