2009 Avalanche soon to be mid travel

Discussion in 'Introduction' started by Fzr1483, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Hi all,

    Long time lurker on this forum. Finally decided to register. First of all thanks to all the members and the wealth of info on here. I've definitely used the forum plenty for maintenance tips in the past.

    I have a 2009 Avy 1500 LTZ 4wd. It was new to me at 114k mi. Currently all stock. I work in the oilfield and drive a lot. About 30k a year with a lot of the driving on dirt roads, in mud, no so much snow anymore now that I'm based in TX.

    Truck currently has 176k mi and needs tires, 1 rim (cracked it during some sideways shenanigans on a dirt road. A rock stopped said shenanigans, fail!), 4 tires, at least 1 wheel hub, both upper BJs, all 4 AutoRide shocks ($$$$$$$$ I can't put enough dollar signs in).

    So I figure it's time for some upgrades. It will be a mid travel expedition vehicle build.

    The idea started when I got a quote for the AutoRide replacement. 4 shocks, 2 sensors, and compressor was $1800 in parts. That's enough for a set of Fox, King, Icon 2.5s. Hmmm... the gears started turning.

    I pretty much use my truck like an expedition vehicle. Drive hundreds of miles (on pavement) to a remote location and finish with anywhere from 5 to 50 miles on class 1 to 2 roads. Improved on a good day, deeply rutted dirt road on a bad day. That said I want stock power train reliability, better than stock durability on suspension, and close to stock mpg.

    Here is the list of things I plan to do to the truck/SUV/SUT thing.

    LIFT:
    2 to 2.5in max, just enough to fit 33s. Would rather trim fenders than push to above 3in.
    -ball joint UCA: Cognito or Icon with Delta Joint ($$$$ ouch)
    -Extended travel shocks: Haven't decided between Bily 5100, Fox 2.0 or Icon 2.5 (basically $$ vs $$$ vs $$$$)
    -Rear: Bily 5100, Fox 2.0 or Icon 2.0 same dilemma as above
    -Rear spring: Working on it. My LTZ is pretty level in stock form. I refuse to use spacers. May look into custom lift coils. Longer lower rate springs should achieve lift and extended down travel.
    -rear links: depends on the geometry after the lift. May throw some Spohn links on there if I need.
    -Diff: may throw in a diff spacer depending on the CV angles.

    ROLLERS:
    -Wheels: 17x8.5 to 9. I like Method NV, but the Roost is so much lighter. With the Roost I can put 33s on and only be about 2lbs heavier than the stock 20 with 275/55R20.
    -Tires: 285/75R17 pizza cutters hell yeah! This should require the least amount of lift to clear. They are lighter, so less wear and tear on suspension and can use less spring rate and damping for a better ride. The fuel economy shouldn't hurt as much with less contact patch and again lighter weight. And they float on sand when aired down for the family beach drives on the TX gulf coast. I know the BFG TA KO2s are good. But I'll probably go with Cooper Disco AT3 for the weight and reduced road noise. (Again hundreds of highway miles before getting to my destination).

    I'll try to post pictures as this progresses.
     
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  2. LongGoneSilver

    LongGoneSilver GMFS Member

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    Wow youre really gonna toughen that thing up! I used to be a frac mechanic in prudhoe bay, alaska. Not nearly the same climate as texas, but Im sure the work conditions the trucks face are similar. I really admire you using your personal truck for that kind of work. We used company trucks for all our travel and they would get absolutely beat. If you dont mind me asking, why dont you use a company vehicle (or is that not an option)? Or are you the company and technically your personal truck is the work truck?
     
  3. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Well, I used to not worry about beating up my own vehicle when I worked for Schlumberger. But then, well 2015 happened. So now I work for a small engineering consulting group and in short like you figured, my truck is the work truck.
     
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  4. LongGoneSilver

    LongGoneSilver GMFS Member

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    Wow small world, I used to work for the big blue Schlumberger too, basically we were Dowell with new blue logos. Slb is a great company. In alaska they really started cooling down and laying off late 2013 to 2014. Cool to hear youre still in the field.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  5. Shaggy

    Shaggy Your Fearless Leader Staff Member Admin

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    Welcome to the site! Take pics of the process and create a build thread here and show it all off.
     
  6. Phildirt

    Phildirt n. fil-dert.

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    I wouldn’t run uniball uca’s on a daily driver.

    Will you be taking this thing off road at high speeds much or just mostly driving around town?
     
  7. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Phildirt, I definitely won't be running uniballs. I guess I forgot to specify that I will be using Cognito BJ UCAs. It looks like the Cognitos drop the BJ mounting point closer to stock when lifted. And I believe it corrects castor. My head is swimming with specs from 5 aftermarket UCAs so I may be wrong.

    I've heard the Cognitos come with Moog BJs. I was actually super surprised to see so equally positive and negative reviews with all the negatives about BJ failure. I'm hoping many premature failures were due to bad angles. But I want to stay at about 2" so I should be ok.

    As far as driving, I won't be doing any high-speed desert runs or jumps. Mileage is mostly highway, but I do clock 100 to 200 off-road miles a month. And the build is really to survive those off-road miles. Speed is 40 mph avg and 60mph on the high end on improved gravel, often washboarded. Ok maybe there is some moderate speed off road. I would say the washboard roads would be what pushes me to go 2.0 or 2.5 CO over Bily 5100s.

    The CO is nice for a future 2.0 build which would include a winch bumper (not for rock crawling, but self recovery in deep mud) Being able to respring would be nice. But in true expedition form, dual bily shocks would probably require less maintenance and provide backup when a shock does fail. But I haven't seen any control arm dual shock kits for nnbs, and I haven't committed to a lot of cutting and custom fab yet. Trying to keep as many parts off the shelf as possible.
     
  8. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Thanks Shaggy, I definitely will start a build tread.
     
  9. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    It sure is, REALLY small. I was a frac engineer. When I first started up (well down to you) in Williston ND, you could see orange paint underneath any chipped blue paint on the older pumps.
     
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  10. 2011denali

    2011denali GMFS Member

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    I admire your passion to build this but are you not concerned with the avalanche being a full one piece body, meaning the bed is attached to the cab, that you will have much more body roll and swaying than a regular cab/bed pick up
     
  11. Phildirt

    Phildirt n. fil-dert.

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    or less frame twist if you look at it from that angle...
     
  12. Tiki

    Tiki meow

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    Interesting, hadn't heard of the delta joint. TBH I've seen enough negative feedback regarding icon to stay away personally but I'm not sure there is a massive difference between most of the aftermarket companies until you go high end.

    I'm running Kings resis and Cognito UCA on my Tahoe. So far I'm happy with them. My one concern is rebuild mileage; I was just dumb and assumed they were lifelong units because they were premium products. So we'll see how long they last but at least they are rebuildable. I went King over the others based on a few weeks of reading but I would have considered FOX as well (but they are quite a bit more anyway and second on my list). Never ran Bilsteins (which would have been sufficient for my needs) but it does ride nice and firm. I see quite a few folks with the Fox 2.0s doing upgrades to 2.5s (I would either go Bilstein or 2.5" CO of choice).

    I'd like to upgrade my truck now and trying to decide if I want to go King resi or Fox 2.5 non resi. I don't believe FOX makes a 2.5 non resi rear shock for our application in the Factory series (although I'm sure a good shock shop could line up some).

    Worth noting that FOX are easier to adjust (up and down) once they are installed. I ended up having to yank my Kings out to adjust them on the bench due to the way they resi is mounted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  13. 2011denali

    2011denali GMFS Member

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    I guess you can disregard my comment... if he was looking into long travel it might be something to consider. But mid travel should be fine
     
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  14. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. In terms of the frame vs unibody, there wasn't much of a choice. The Avy is the vehicle I have and it's paid off.

    As far as bodyroll and sway, the stock setup is definitely boaty. On the flip side, the coil sprung rear is much more settled than leafs when driving with no load in the back. This is a DD build, so with the type of driving it's going to see, the body roll and sway will be controllable with a good suspension setup.
     
  15. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Tiki awesome to hear from someone running the type of setup I'm considering. So what kind of mileage are we talking about? And you are referring to rebuilding the shock right?

    And speaking of Icon, what kind of issues have you heard of? I've owned 2 Tacos previously and the yota community loves them. I know I've seen something circulating about broken top hats on the shock, but I thought that got addressed. For me I'm still considering them because 1) like you said fox doesn't have a non res 2.5 for our trucks 2) they have digressive valving out of the box. I want more damping initially, ie in street driving applications which is 90% of my mileage.

    Why not King? Not ruling them out. I've run Fox on dirt bikes, street bikes, one of my tacos. So I researched their options first. Between fox and king it probably boil down to the best deal I can get.

    That's assuming I even go that spendy. Bily 5100 will need no more maintenance than stock.
     
  16. Tiki

    Tiki meow

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    I've seen more Icon leaks/issues than other brands. Again, only internet web combining so take it with a grain of salt.

    I would also go King over Fox, due to the same "internet research". Shops like FilthyMotorsports will make adjustments to even the OEM line as they are all custom orders from King (or so I've been told).

    I've boiled it down to King if I want to spend the money, and Bilstein if I want to save some money. Bilstein did just release the 6112 as well (allegedly) so might be worth a few weeks over the 5100s.

    What service provider do you work for? I'd thought based on the market everyone would be more or less back to normal (company vehicles).
     
  17. Fzr1483

    Fzr1483 New Member

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    Now I remember why I didn't mention King. They don't have a 2.5 non res for our application. And I wasn't looking at any RR shocks because I really don't think I need them. Yeah that's why I only mentioned Fox and Icon because they do have non res 2.5.

    As for the company vehicle thing, you're right that all the service companies use company vehicles. I work for a 15 man start up. They just never bothered with company vehicles.
     
  18. Tiki

    Tiki meow

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    The resis are overkill for my application, but if I'm gunna spend a grand I'm going to spend a bit more for the ones I wanted. Nothing worse than being disappointed after dropping lots of cash on them lol.
     

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