Avalanche help!

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:27 pm

Shaved the body side moldings today:

Image Image

There was some discoloration on the drivers side molding. That was the excuse that I needed. I am not a fan of those anyway. Some day I may liner the bodyline down and flares.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:10 am

Looks good! Never was a fan of the molding. What was it attached with? 3M?

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:56 am

Yes, 3M foam adhesive strips. I understand the function to help prevent door dings, but you are right. I am not a fan either. These strips were body color matched

Image

They didn't stand out too bad. I was worried about the grime behind them and what they were doing to the paint. I wasn't too sure about pulling them as it had been long enough I was concerned about the paint fading. They cleaned off pretty good though and only a couple rub spots visible. Waxed up they disappeared pretty good.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:42 am

HenryJ wrote:I pulled a fair size trailer back in a headwind and it dropped to 13.6 mpg. Maintained 55-75 mph , right at speed limits both ways.

I am pretty happy with that.
After looking at difference (as opposed to Silverado/Sierra) in overall length, wheelbase, and mostly turning circle, the barches are slowly but surely being won over to the Avalanche as our next tow vehicle. Please don't hesitate to share your trailering observations.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:50 pm

It does a good job towing. The wheelbase is the same as the Suburban. It turns a pretty good circle. Just the width of the rig is what I had to get used to. Power to pull is just fine. We have a hill called "Three Mile" just outside town. 6% grade for three miles. I pulled the trailer up it at 65 mph in 90 degree heat. It was warm at the top, but not overheating. Pulled it just fine.
My worst mileage has been around 11 mpg with offroad miles pulling the trailer to altitude. About a 3000' climb. I am geared with the 4.10 ratio and tires are nearly 33" tall. Pulls great. I would probably get much better mileage with a little taller gears , or slowing down to 60 mph. Dropping the rack and spare off the top would help for sure. On the average I get between 13-15 mpg for what I do on a daily basis. I am not easy on the skinny like I should be. That is about 1-2 mpg less that the S-10 crewcab was doing for me. I think that is a fair assessment of the mileage and what it will do for you on a similar Avalanche. About 1-2 mpg less. The comfort and convenience level is a HUGE difference. Lots of room for everyone. Power to spare. Smooth comfortable ride. Heated seats, leather, Bose audio system, sunroof, auto climate control, etc.

I will say I love going to the lumber yard , pop the rear window out and lay a 12' board on the back. Run it all the way to the windshield and nothing sticking out behind. 8' lumber is easy. Short wheel base and long bed when you need it. I have a 2004 crew cab Silverado at work. Turning circle is about the same or slightly wider. Not enough to be noticeable. The cabin space is comparable and maybe even a little better on the Avalanche. The bed space is a huge difference though. I can haul longer stuff in the Avalanche. It might be easier to haul two motorcycles in the Silverado, but that does not make up for the length option. Lockable storage, side tool boxes. Bike racks on the covers, it all adds up to a better choice for our family.

2013 is the last year. I have been half tempted to invest, but I have this one to its happy place, almost :)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:15 am

Thanks for the details. Very helpful info there.

Edmunds claims over four feet difference in turning circle. 2012 Avalanche LT = 43.0 ft. 2012 Silverado Crew Cab LT = 47.2 ft. (2004 = 46.6 ft.) Not that I'd ever measure it but I suspect that every inch will make a noticeable difference when backing a travel trailer into a tight spot.

The comfort and convenience level is a HUGE difference. Lots of room for everyone. Power to spare. Smooth comfortable ride. Heated seats, leather, Bose audio system, sunroof, auto climate control, etc.
That's exactly why we're leaning toward the Avalanche. The price tag is a bit intimidating at first glance but when comparing to a comparably equipped Silverado/Sierra Crew Cab there's very little difference (and might actually be a little cheaper).

Also very encouraging seeing so many for sale with +/- 200,000 miles. Now to find the one that's just right for us.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:35 pm

barch97 wrote:Edmunds claims over four feet difference in turning circle. 2012 Avalanche LT = 43.0 ft. 2012 Silverado Crew Cab LT = 47.2 ft. (2004 = 46.6 ft.) Not that I'd ever measure it but I suspect that every inch will make a noticeable difference when backing a travel trailer into a tight spot.
Wow. I had no idea there was such a difference. That probably explains my difficulty cutting into a tight parking lots now and then? Maybe it is the strut front suspension on the newer models? That could be where the difference lies. The NNBS Avalanche went to struts where the NBS had a-arms like the Silverado. Maybe not. I just checked and the 2005 Avalanche is listed as having a 43.3 turning circle.

barch97 wrote:...The price tag is a bit intimidating at first glance but when comparing to a comparably equipped Silverado/Sierra Crew Cab there's very little difference (and might actually be a little cheaper).

Also very encouraging seeing so many for sale with +/- 200,000 miles. Now to find the one that's just right for us.
The avalanche has tool boxes and a cover that would have to be added with aftermarket parts. You are right that you could add them, but the integrated stuff sure is nice. Durability better too I believe.
I am very confident in the drivetrain. Like anything else they can have their normal wear items and even a few problems, but all in all still very good. I am in no hurry to replace the company rig that I drive even though it is nearly 205k miles. That makes me feel very good about 94k miles on my 2005 Avalanche.

I would do it again. We have had ours two years now and I don't see anything I would like better.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:11 pm

Thinking about this a little more...if you don't really need the open bed of a truck, a Tahoe or Suburban might work? Heck, the Trailblazer is a nice rig too. A Tahoe or Trailblazer would likely get better mileage. In terms of towing I suspect the Trailblazer would be the smallest rating, then Tahoe and finally the Avalanche and Suburban.
I have not looked , but I suspect turning circle would be in the same order from smallest to largest. A Tahoe with the big brakes might be a good choice for towing, as an SUV?

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:47 am

Yeah, I definitely need the bed and could not get by with a square inch less than the Sonoma CC's. I have no immediate plans but suspect an Avalanche would also eliminate the possibility of upgrading to a fifth wheel.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:16 am

I find the bed space better I think you will be pleased. It is tall , so over the side stuff requires stepping up on to the tire and reaching over the side boxes.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:26 pm

Ordered new o2 sensors today. I am at the 100k mark. Something to think about for those who have never changed them.
Rockauto.com got my order.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:02 am

Rockauto.com was FAST. I had them in hand two days later. Ignore the catalog and order all four with the long leads. Put them all in Friday. None looked terrible. It may just be me but the idle seemed a little lower and engine quieter after the change? Wishful thinking probably.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:52 pm

Still on a quest to get this truck where I had the last...I am not quite sure how the topic arose or why I poked my head under the front of my truck to check out the sway bar? Doing so I realized that the stock swaybar bushings were looking "used".

The addition of the Energy Suspension Polyurethane sway bar bushings did improve on road handling on my S-10 crew cab. With tall sidewalls and narrow tires the improvement was a correction that brought the cornering abilities back closer to stock performance on smaller tires. Replacing the stock rubber bushings with the polyurethane bushings reduced the body roll 15%.

How did I determine this you ask?
Here is what I did.
I used a ramp. I pulled my left front tire up on the ramp and took measurements at all four fenders. This was done stock. Then with the sway bar disconnected and with polyurethane bushings installed. The difference from side to side was subtracted, then the difference was added to the rear. The percentages were calculated from there. The percentages did closely mirror the front alone. I wanted to add the rear measurements to allow for some frame twist. It didn't amount to much since the front alone was virtually the same percentages.

If we call disconnected our baseline the stock bushings decreased body roll by 6%. Poly bushings decreased body roll by 23%.

What does this mean? Well, having the sway bar disconnected and running the stock bushings , the body is tipped 6% less than with the bar attached. Once I added the poly bushings this percentage really increases and the body will tip with the frontend 23% more than it would with the bar disconnected. The bar being disconnected then makes a big difference.


Flash forward to the new truck...The Polyurethane sway bar bushings may offer an advantage.
This truck is heaver and even though the tires have less sidewall, that weight does make things pretty soft in the corners. Do I worry about articulation? Yes! Is this going to hurt it? A little, but as with any mod you must weight the pros and cons. In my case this is a daily driven rig and sees lots of loaded street duty. Some roll reduction would be to my advantage.

I ordered the front sway bar bushing and link kit from Summitracing.com - ENS-3-5214G FRONT SWAY BAR KIT
It came to $42 delivered.

Image Image

Installed today.

Image

Not enough miles on it to give a fair opinion of the value yet...stay tuned.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:24 pm

Any consideration to a quick disconnect mod like we did on the CCs?
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:06 pm

It will have to be the center disconnect we talked about in the swaybar thread. The endlinks ride between the upper a-arm and the tie-rod. There is no where for the bar to go if you disconnect the links.

That will be a long, long term goal , if I deem it a priority. If I find a spare bar, I may do some playing? ;)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:29 pm

HenryJ wrote:......................... If I find a spare bar, I may do some playing? ;)
This stuff isn't getting any simpler, Brule. :shrug:
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby killian96ss » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:28 pm

Or modify one of those cool Power Wagon sway bars to fit an Avalanche! Probably more time and money than it's worth, but it would be cool to have a push button disconnect sway bar!

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:05 pm

Oh I do think the Power wagon disconnect would be cool. Pretty pricey though. I am hearing $1400 for it.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:24 pm

A little "mad money" dealt with-

Image

Bilstein 5100 series shocks. Part #24-187237 and #24-186643 46mm Monotube Shock Absorbers $83.32 ea. Purchased from shockwarehouse.com

The rear shocks are listed for vehicles with 1" of lift. They are exactly the same length as the stock Bilstein shocks.

Image

The front shocks are listed for vehicles with up to 2.5" lift.

Image

They are about 1.5" longer than the stock Bilstien shocks. This is just slightly longer than the mounting points at full drop resting against the upper a-arm. The front shocks will no longer be the limiting factor for the front suspension.

Image Image

The stock shocks were , as I suspected , in very good condition. Even with over 100k miles on them. I could feel no real difference between old and new playing with compressing them before installation. I had been very happy with the stock shocks, but just could not resist the pretty new shiny shocks. Gosh , I sure do like Bilstein shocks. The are a real piece of art. Each is nicely crafted. Bravo.

Zero ride time on them. I'll update after some miles on them.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:41 pm

Very nice.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:49 pm

I think we may have found a deal on an '04 Avalanche. I'm a little nervous though about the lack of KNP transmission cooler RPO. Can anyone tell me about the "Z82 - TRAILER PROVISIONS SPECIAL EQUIPMENT, H.D" ? Does this include trans cooler?

as far as I can tell Z82 is a class IV receiver hitch and trailer wiring
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:43 pm


"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:16 am

HenryJ wrote:That said, mine does pretty good with the stock internal cooler. :) I have been watching trans temps and don't see a need yet.
Sounds good, thanks. I wonder how difficult it would be to add an aftermarket cooler in the future if needed.

I'm also a little concerned about edmunds reliability review:
Occasional problems on this vehicle are failures of the Front Axle Seals and Transfer Case Encoder Motor. Failure of the Front Axle Seals and Transfer Case Encoder Motor apply to (Four Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles) only.
Could that be as easy to prevent as our CC transfer case vacuum switch fix?

Getting a little nervous as it's an '04 I'm looking at and I'm not as familiar with known issues in these. I suspect it won't be hard to tell if it's got dexcool related trouble but beyond that I'm in the dark.

Link to dealer ad
Pic of RPOs they sent me:
Image

GT4 - 3.73:1 rear axle gear ratio
G80 - Limited slip differential
K68 - 105 amp alternator
NZZ - Offroad skip plates
VR4- Trailer hitch weight distribution platform
Z71 - Offroad package
Z82 - Trailer Provisions Special Equipment, H.D.

I think, with a few upgrades (brake controller, tow mirrors, air-lift coil helper, etc), this'll do a fine job towing our travel trailer. May need to upgrade the gears as well but, we'll see how it goes. I don't want to sacrifice mpg when not towing without giving it a chance first. I'm going to take a closer look soon.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:40 am

barch97 wrote:...I'm also a little concerned about edmunds reliability review:
Occasional problems on this vehicle are failures of the Front Axle Seals and Transfer Case Encoder Motor. Failure of the Front Axle Seals and Transfer Case Encoder Motor apply to (Four Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles) only.
Could that be as easy to prevent as our CC transfer case vacuum switch fix?
It is, although more expensive. The axle seals are pretty easy to change and cheap. No big deal there. You will get lots of warning and have lots of time. The encoder is an easier swap. You do have to pull the front driveshaft, but then three bolts and no leakage later you're done.

Getting a little nervous as it's an '04 I'm looking at and I'm not as familiar with known issues in these. I suspect it won't be hard to tell if it's got dexcool related trouble but beyond that I'm in the dark.
Dexcool problems disappeared with the engine and cooling system redesign on this engine. No worries about that now.
GT4 - 3.73:1 rear axle gear ratio
G80 - Limited slip differential
K68 - 105 amp alternator
NZZ - Offroad skip plates
VR4- Trailer hitch weight distribution platform
Z71 - Offroad package
Z82 - Trailer Provisions Special Equipment, H.D.

I think, with a few upgrades (brake controller, tow mirrors, air-lift coil helper, etc), this'll do a fine job towing our travel trailer. May need to upgrade the gears as well but, we'll see how it goes. I don't want to sacrifice mpg when not towing without giving it a chance first. I'm going to take a closer look soon.

I think the gears will be an excellent choice. Mine are a little too deep. Towing and offroad are great , but my highway mileage suffers. 3.73 might be better?
Go with the bigger GM900 front brakes as soon as you can afford it. HUGE difference in getting this behemoth stopped. Put that upgrade at the top of your list. Next is to go to the 145 amp DR44G alternator. the 105amp has plastic bushings supporting the bearing. A problem that will surface.

I am very pleased with the aftermarket tow mirrors that I installed. I used an inexpensive brake controller. It works fine. The rearview camera should be on your wish list. These have a horrible blind spot out back. I rely upon that camera lots. Fantastic for trailering. I can see the ball and hook up by myself :)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:28 pm

Thanks again for the help. Sorry though it seems to have been for no gain. The Avalanche turned out to be in worse condition that the ad showed. Scary uneven wear on the tires, alignment issue I suspect. Faded plastic and paint. Questionable grill, headlight, bumper, fender body work, suspect more mechanical damage beneath.

We did however find a deal on an '06 Silverado LT3 Crew Cab at a neighboring dealership. This one does have KNP trans cooler, GT4 3.73 gears, Z71 suspension, Z82 Trailering package among its many features. Maybe a little larger turning circle but better equipped for towing as well as better suited to my non towing truck needs.

Surely I'll have plenty of questions about this one as well.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:33 pm

They are much the same. The Avalanche (Suburban, Tahoe) ride a little smoother with the rear coil suspension. Airbags are easier to install too.
2004-2006 had some instrument cluster recalls for the stepper motor failures. Also a problem with brittle wiring in the engine harness leading to reduced engine power limp mode operation.
Make darn sure it has the G80 diff. The open diff had soft side gears and was a real problem.
No deal breakers though.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:26 am

HenryJ wrote:They are much the same. The Avalanche (Suburban, Tahoe) ride a little smoother with the rear coil suspension. Airbags are easier to install too.
I'm hoping the leaf springs will eliminate the need for airbags. Maybe helper springs instead if I get too much sag with the trailer attached.
HenryJ wrote:2004-2006 had some instrument cluster recalls for the stepper motor failures. Also a problem with brittle wiring in the engine harness leading to reduced engine power limp mode operation.
Is there an easy way for owners to check which recalls have been performed?
HenryJ wrote:Make darn sure it has the G80 diff. The open diff had soft side gears and was a real problem.
Yup, got that too.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:17 am

Personally, I prefer the in coil airbags. Very simple and adjustable. Helper springs and leaf springs seem to weaken with time and you end up with "saggy butt syndrome". The airbag kit should not be too bad for the leaf sprung truck. I would probably go with that. You will retain the street manners and still have adjust-ability for towing.

The dealer can run the VIN for recalls performed. That may not give you the TSB performed, or "Special Policy" repairs. I would go with the ..."don't fix it if it ain't broke" and "don't worry-be happy" approaches :)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:53 am

HenryJ wrote:Next is to go to the 145 amp DR44G alternator. the 105amp has plastic bushings supporting the bearing. A problem that will surface
I was just looking under the hood for the trailer relay and noticed "DR44G" alternator although the RPO says 105 amp. Maybe that plastic bushing already failed and someone saved me the trouble of upgrading.

In any case, I've got a red "B+" in "stud 1", Is that just a dummy to fill the opening or has this already been done for me as well? I'm hoping that since it's got all the RPOs for trailering and towing that previous owner plugged in the factory relay. If only he had left his brake controller, I'd be ready for camping.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:22 am

barch97 wrote:...I was just looking under the hood for the trailer relay and noticed "DR44G" alternator although the RPO says 105 amp. Maybe that plastic bushing already failed and someone saved me the trouble of upgrading.
Sounds like the good one :)
In any case, I've got a red "B+" in "stud 1", Is that just a dummy to fill the opening or has this already been done for me as well? I'm hoping that since it's got all the RPOs for trailering and towing that previous owner plugged in the factory relay. If only he had left his brake controller, I'd be ready for camping.
Sounds like the dummy. Probably need to replace it with a Maxi-fuse. That is all you need to provide the trailer house batteries with power.
The brake controller should be plug-n-play to the electrical center under the dash on the firewall near your left foot. There may be a fuse for it in the dash side fuse box?
All this stuff is a little fuzzy , as it was done a very long time ago. I can run out and look if you think I am wrong. or need further clarification :)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:56 pm

HenryJ wrote:All this stuff is a little fuzzy , as it was done a very long time ago. I can run out and look if you think I am wrong. or need further clarification :)
I appreciate the offer but it's just as easy for me to back the truck up to the trailer and see if there's power. I'm pretty sure you're right. After seeing some pics online, the red one is likely the dummy place holder. I need the green 40amp B+.

We got a flat on the trailer last summer on our way through Shenadoah. Wound up arriving at our reserved campsite after closing and couldn't get anyone to open the gate for us. We wound up spending the night in a hotel with camper parked outside. I'll never hit the road without a self contained power source again.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:39 pm

barch97 wrote:... I'll never hit the road without a self contained power source again.
Good plan. Ours is 100% LED house lighting now. I have done what I can to reduce our power consumption.

BLT Offroad Evolution E1
The solar suitcase has been enough to keep us going very well , but we added a 12V freezer fridge this year. I picked up another 13W solar panel to compensate.

I am pretty sure we will be due for a pair of new 6V deep cycle batteries this year. That may help too.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby barch97 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:05 am

That's a pretty sweet setup. I really wish we had a rig that would allow us to wander off without a reservation. Mrs barch however, refuses to go so primitive. I've been able to convince her that we don't "need" cable tv (although I have caught her shopping for satellite dishes) but she's got her heels dug in on electric and fresh water hookups. On the rare occasion that we find ourselves locked out over night, we can run the fridge on propane. I installed the biggest 12V deep cycle I could fit in the compartment but the lights don't last very long on battery power. Every time the heater cycles on it loses even more charge. Maybe it's time to expand that compartment and add a second battery. That's been pushed down the list though as I've got a bunch of accessories to add to our new tow vehicle.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:55 am

Switching to a pair of 6v golf cart batteries will greatly improve your reserves. That would be top of my list :) ...well right behind being able to tow it properly ;)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:06 pm

A couple new changes to the Avalanche today:

ImageImage

Moved the Safari rack down to the back for the winter. Less wind resistance for the trip "Over the hill and through the snow..."

And then...
Image Image Image
Battle Tag! The world is now our laser tag arena! Muhahah!
Seriously, it is SO much fun!

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:44 pm

Exceptionally cold weather weather this year. I made up a grille insert to help restrict some air flow.

Image Image

Snaps on to the grille.

Worked out well enough I finished up the top half today.


Image Image

I now have a full set of winterfront / Winter front / cold weather front grille inserts.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:44 am

Replaced the 37w fog lamp bulbs with Phillips 9011 65w today. $40 best offer on Ebay for the pair. Too soon to say what improvement will be seen.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:33 pm

Whew, always thinking, always thinking....lol
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:31 am

Looks like the BFG TAKO will make it just under four years for me. They are still servicable and the lightest tread is under half. Not terrible, but on the short side for offroad adventures. Came across a little mad money and new shoes have been on the radar.
I am geared low at 4.10 I need the tallest tire that I can fit and find. I thought I was limited to a 70 series tire, but this time I found a 75. That extra inch in height is what pushed me to the new tire.
I bit the bullet and bought four Nitto Terra Grappler 285/75-17. 34" tall 11.3" wide
I am not sure the 10 ply rating is going to be an advantage for ride or mileage. They are heavy.
Ordered online from Amazon. $229 each delivered. That is $300-$400 less than a set of the BFG TAKO. Reviews have been pretty good. A friend had the Nitto Mud Grapplers and had very good luck with them. That was also a deciding factor.
They should be here in about a week.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby blaz » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:25 pm

WoW! I never thought you would try a different tire. So many new options out these days and lesser price doesn't always mean lesser quality. I look forward to the pics and reviews.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:09 am

blaz wrote:WoW! I never thought you would try a different tire. So many new options out these days and lesser price doesn't always mean lesser quality. I look forward to the pics and reviews.
I am right there with ya. A little shocked to be trying something else. It has bee a while since I have tried a different tire on my personal rig. Way back to the Yokohama AT and MT days.
Most of my testing was done on the fleet vehicles. That was a great opportunity and testbed. The last of that is now done since I have moved to a new position and no longer stay in close touch with the fleet vehicles. They are still running the Firestone Destination MT for the most part.
0% problems with the BFG TAKO. Last three sets purchased for my rigs. If they made one in a 285/75-17 it would be a very tough call. That interlocking peanut tread design is hard to beat for this country and the terrain that I frequent. These have a straighter sharp design. Much like the Revo and Mastercraft. Those are not good performers in the clay and tended to chip in the rock. Still, they do have lots of followers.

We will see. These Nittos should give me a little better ground clearance and hopefully a better final gear ratio. Right now I get awesome mileage when driving 55mph. Faster than that and it drops too quickly. 3% reduction in rpm doesn't seem like much but it has to help.
Going from a D rated tire @ 40psi to an E rated tire @ 80 psi max. will be a change too. I may REALLY have to air these down to get them to perform offroad. The lighter BFG D rated tire was my preference. Easier to deform, or at least one would think so. Less mass for easier acceleration.
Maybe less rolling resistance at a higher pressure with the new tires? That might be a reach since I really don't know the optimal pressure until I get them mounted and chalk tested.

I will say the weight worries me a little. Getting that unsprung weight moving is going to take some effort. I will have to remember to weigh the tires. I thought I read some where that the Nitto was 55lb? That is a chunk. I hope that does not kill any gains I might see elsewhere.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:05 pm

New shoes arrived a couple days ahead of schedule. Bravo Amazon.com
Image

They are on and smooth as glass. All balanced perfectly with 7 ounces of dynabeads.

Pictures installed tomorrow. I always seem to finish up a project after dark...

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:38 pm

Image Image

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:47 pm

Those are looking good and a hellaluva good price. Pretty good rep with the crawling group but, as you already know, they're heavy. Believe it or not, 16" tires are becoming scarce and the prices show it.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:36 pm

I never would have thought the 16" tire would become difficult to find, but I do see it happening. Crazy when 18" is not the orphan child these days. I think it is all coming from the bigger brakes. My 17" barely clear the oversize brakes.
I will say that I am very happy to see some taller sidewalls now available. Tomorrow I will play with tire pressures to see where my tread flattens to the road. I am currently running 60psi. That is 20psi higher than I ran the BFG. Maybe less rolling resistance?

Spent the better part of the day dialing in the speedometer. Long story, but the Bullydog needed an update and that presented all sorts of issues. Ended up starting from scratch and pulling eight fuses everytime I had to make a change. LONG DAY...
It is close enough now.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby 14x4 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:12 pm

HenryJ wrote:Spent the better part of the day dialing in the speedometer. Long story, but the Bullydog needed an update and that presented all sorts of issues. Ended up starting from scratch and pulling eight fuses everytime I had to make a change. LONG DAY...
It is close enough now.


Yikes. Tuning scares me after the incident with my HPPIII.

The Avalanche is looking good, HJ.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:29 am

During...

Image

After...?

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:05 pm

After...

Image

Ranch Hand Bumper

Image

Last spring I was parking our trailer and I drove into a small stump. The crunching sound turned out not to be wood. Half a roll of duct tape to get me home. That started the thinking. Later a couple friends planted the seed again. Researching bumpers I found not much choice when it comes to a half ton rig. Fusion Bumpers are local for me, but a comparable bumper was $1600. Some features I liked, some not so much. They did not have one yet and said they would prototype one in a couple weeks. Nothing happened. In the mean time I found this one. Made in Texas 100% USA. Long track record. Two weeks delivered to my door for just over $900. Fit was pretty good. I did need to "adjust" the holes a little to get it on straight. Hard to tell if that was bumper or my truck.
I gained a little height on the receiver and lots in front of the tires.
Still have the "rose colored glasses on"...but I think I like it :)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby _STUCKY » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:11 pm

Dang! Looks beefy. :thumb:
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:23 pm

Lights:

Image

Plugged into the stock Fog light wiring using some added universal connectors. Truly plug-n-play. Work with low beams and come on automatically with the highs using a diode. 42 watt 30 degree spot. Fit nicely. I did drill a new hole in the mounting tab to move them forward and maximize the space behind them. Just enough room to remove the grille if I need to.

Image

More light than the HIR bulbs in the stock fogs. They look pretty good at night, but time will tell.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby _STUCKY » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:32 am

Have any pics of them on at night? Were they very expensive?

My dad bought 2 led light bars, one for his jeep, the other to be moved from different tractors through out the year. A couple nights ago, I had the pleasure of using the tractor that currently has it on the front, and I'll be honest.... Wasn't that impressed with it for the money. I do not know the brand of the light, and I think part of it was how he mounted it (kinda high, pointed down). On the flip side, at flat nasty earlier this year, I saw some buggies and side by sides that their LEDs turned night into day.

I've been waiting for the prices to drop on LEDs. Recent talk on pirate suggested prices should start falling drastically within a year or so.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:31 pm

They are not long range like HID. Cost was $63 for the pair Amazon Kawell LED lights. Not expensive :)
I would say they are better than the pair of HIR lights that were my fogs. The light is pretty darn good. It lights up the sides very nicely.

Image

Camera compensates for the additional light, so take this for what it is worth. Left is lows, right lows and LED.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:22 pm

Lights video: All-on-high with LED spot (fogs) , wig-wag'd drl-turn and scanner light.

Night shots:


Lights Video(Google)

HIR Low beam - HIR Low Beam + LED spots - High Beam + HIR Low Beam + LED spots

Image

LED projector back up lights with bumper mounted LED floods

Image Image

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby _STUCKY » Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:39 am

That looks good. I like the reverse lights. I've noticed lately I can't see squat out the back of the s10 at night in reverse in the rain with the topper on it.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:41 am

The projector LEd bulbs in the back up lights were a good improvement. Took a couple tries to buy the good ones. I burned up two sets of cheap bulbs. Those little LED floods are good too. I used those in my puddle lights and in the lower corners of my rear bumper. If I were going to do rock lights I would probably use those. They have held up very well.

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:40 am

I really need to read through this thread from the beginning. I followed it for awhile but, I've had allot of distractions and other projects.

Great looking bumper and I'm really enjoying the advancements in your lighting mods. :thumb:
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby _STUCKY » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:20 am

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/lighting ... ights.html

Rock lights ^

I intend to someday buy a bunch of those.
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:42 am

Check out http://www.oznium.com/ I really like their little floods. That is what I used for puddle lights and bumper corners.

Today I installed a new driver's side seat bottom upholstery. Nice new leather.

Image

I was starting to lose the stock one and wanted to get it fixed before it deteriorated the foam. Richmond Upholstery does awesome work. Better than OEM quality. Great communication. $195 purchased from Amazon.com

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:51 pm

New front bumper mod:

Image Image

Now I never leave home without it :)

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:09 pm

What do you drink that isn't "screw off"? Holding out on me??
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:13 pm

F9K9 wrote:What do you drink that isn't "screw off"? Holding out on me??
Perhaps a little ;) Angry Orchard

Image

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby F9K9 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:18 pm

Now, that is class!

Image
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:59 am

A little "mad money" came my way so I thought I'd try out HID projector headlamps - Image

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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:14 pm

Image

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
- ThunderII KE7CSK
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HenryJ
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Postby _STUCKY » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:56 am

I want to go. Pick me up next time :thumb:
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:57 pm

New decals

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And shiny hub caps too :)

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
- ThunderII KE7CSK
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HenryJ
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Posts: 12691
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2002 9:14 pm
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Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:56 pm


"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
- ThunderII KE7CSK
User avatar
HenryJ
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Posts: 12691
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Location: Ontario, Oregon

Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:09 pm

Quick trip to the gulch :)

Image Image

"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
- ThunderII KE7CSK
User avatar
HenryJ
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Posts: 12691
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2002 9:14 pm
Location: Ontario, Oregon

Re: Avalanche help!

Postby HenryJ » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:04 pm


"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
- ThunderII KE7CSK
User avatar
HenryJ
Admin K Elite
Admin K Elite
 
Posts: 12691
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2002 9:14 pm
Location: Ontario, Oregon

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