avalache build anyone


Expedition Leader
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.

Installed today.

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


you know, the Dude abides
Killer killer stuff man! I watched your work on CAFCNA but didn't know you were posting over here. I am moving slow since I rebuilt my Jeep last winter, so far only have the CB, head unit, and leveling kit done to my Avy. Other than maintenance and replacing things. With the popup camper that looks like such a great way to travel! Keep posting!


Expedition Leader
Thanks! Looks like I have been around here for over half a dozen years now. Maybe half that time on CAFCNA.
I'd like to be able to say that I am done and everything is as I want it, but there always seems to be little things I end up doing. The suspension tuning continues...
I came across a little "mad money" , so a set of Bilstein 5100 shocks are arriving soon. I am very happy with the stock Z71 Bilstein shocks, but slightly more control and a little longer shocks offer some advantages. I have 100k miles on the stock shocks, so a new set is not totally ridiculous.


Expedition Leader
A little "mad money" dealt with-

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.

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

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.

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.

jimi breeze

jimi breeze
new in 2004

I bought an Avalanche back in 2004 and did a lot of exploring with it. I mainly used it for car camping at trail heads. The only mods I did were; custom built front receiver hitch, rooftop basket, rear deck load bars (for basket and gear). That think got two of us, layaks, bikes and gear all over Maine on a two week trek. Used a tent on that trip.
I since moved on to the camp rig I have now.


I'm considering one instead of the elusive 4x4 cargo van I really want but cant find. I considered the centurion at one time as well.


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

Snaps on to the grille.

The lower insert worked out well enough that I fixed up the top half today.

I now have a full set of winterfront / Winter front / cold weather front grille inserts. Total investment $3.16 (had to buy a few more clips :)

At highway speeds and with temperatures in the teens, this should help. I can always pull one or the other if I need to. I think that cold air drawn in from the bumpers and gaps around the grill should suffice. It will be interesting to see just how it performs. I have about 15 hours of highway driving lined up as soon as this storm clears. That should tell the tale.
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Expedition Leader
Wow, almost a year since the last post.

Upgraded my front bumper and new shoes since then.
The Tires are Nitto Terra Grappler 285/75-17. Love'm. Better mileage from the taller tire helping my low gear ratio.
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. Ranch Hand Bumper. 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 :)


Expedition Leader
Thanks! Added some lights to replace the stock fog assemblies that went away with the stock bumper.

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.

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

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