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My 02 Avalanche NFE

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
4WD the clearance issue is always the differential height which tires are the only way to raise that - so you're right - with a 35" tire I would see 1"-1.5" increased clearance from that perspective. A lift would also give me a bit more wiggle room for going through water (and it invading my cab) as well as the improved angles for going over things. We don't rock crawl by any means, but we have been on some trails that had some steps to them.

I am not sold by any means on doing a lift as I see the downsides as well as the upsides. I also know that a 35" tire is a lot more capable offroad than a 33" on a truck my size. A 33" tire on your Jeep would be the equivalent of a 37" tire on my truck with the angles due to the increased wheel base.

Anyway - all advice and input is appreciated as I am thinking this through - you raise a lot of good points and they are appreciated.
When I say clearance, I mean actual clearance, under axles. That's where the magic happens ha ha. going from a 285 to a 315 will net you apporx .5" of extra clearance. but a lot more headaches trying to achieve that .5. With independent front ends, you add full lifts there are these gawd awful truss systems and drop brackets hanging down. So, from the side, your truck looks huge, then look at it front on it looks like a tinkertoy set is under your truck. I say, keep er as is now. and wheel the crap out of it!>
 

Stryder106

Explorer
When I say clearance, I mean actual clearance, under axles. That's where the magic happens ha ha. going from a 285 to a 315 will net you apporx .5" of extra clearance. but a lot more headaches trying to achieve that .5. With independent front ends, you add full lifts there are these gawd awful truss systems and drop brackets hanging down. So, from the side, your truck looks huge, then look at it front on it looks like a tinkertoy set is under your truck. I say, keep er as is now. and wheel the crap out of it!>
I hear ya - I am in no way sold on lifting my rig. Just weighing the pros and cons of it.
 

Stryder106

Explorer
PLUS, she looks so GD awesome now!
Thanks. We do get into some rougher terrain, not rock crawling, but level 4-5 stuff (on the Back Country Adventures scale), and there have been times when I wish had some extra clearance under my frame rails and bigger tires. While I'm considering doing the lift thang, I am definitely removing the rear bumper and fabbing a tube one to match the front that drastically increases the rear height.

Here's a shot of my front end - I'm going to remove this bumper and refab the same exact thing but with thicker tubing (2").
IMG_3786.jpg
 

Stryder106

Explorer
Just realized I haven't updated this thread in awhile. Sorry for the repeat, ut I'm adding the snorkel mod info into this thread so it's all in one place (I don't know how to collapse and consolidate threads on here).


Safari Snorkel (SS81HF) mated to a fully enclosed S&B airbox that is attached to their CAI. The truck runs SO much better with the snorkel, it is getting a lot of air and none of it hot.

If you attempt this mod (I ended up caving and having a body shop cut through my fender), note that the Toyota template will not follow the fender line of an Avalanche. Also, to get the snorkel snug to the A pillar, the air tube to the box would have had to do twist in a non-ideal way. So, I opted for airflow and my snorkel is sitting slightly forward of the A-pillar in order to have a straight shot into the airbox. To attach the snorkel, had to fabricate a slightly longer bracket and use fender screws to mount it inside the rain rail on the A pillar. On the fabbed bracket, I opted for a thinner metal to make it a bit more forgiving should it get hung on something. The one that came with the kit was seriously stout.

Snorkel A Pillar1.jpg

Snorkel A Pillar2.jpg

The fender is also Triple layered in spots (Toyota is not) - they removed the coolant reservoir and my second battery and air box to cut notches in the fender from the backside in order to place the bolts and tighten them. Since the top of the airbox is screwed down, added a 1/8" thick silicone gasket to seal it up. Similar gasket was added to the CAI attachment side of the airbox.

Snorkel3.jpg

Finally, laid in a bead of black silicone to close any gaps between the snorkel and fender.

Snorkel4.jpg

The snorkel angle was also changed slightly by heating it (gently) and pulling to make it more closely follow my pillar line.

Snorkel1.jpg

Snorkel5.jpg

Overall, I'm very happy with not only how it came out visually, but my Av runs night and day better and at the same time I've added a bit more capability and survivability when it comes to water, silt, and dust. Something to note - the Safari Snorkel for the 60-Series Landcruiser looks like it may have a better line on the fender and pillar straight out of the box, but it is a really narrow tube that also comes down to almost flat - I feared I would not get enough air for the 5.3L. No such worries with the 80-Series snorkel - it has a really big tube. The engine temp has remained constant.

Snorkel2.jpg
 

Stryder106

Explorer
Once the snorkel was done, it was time to turn some attention back to the front bumper. When we fabbed it, we used 1.5" tubing and it just looked too thin for the rig and I wasn't completely sold on the look of the wrap-around on the sides. Huge fan of the general design though.

So, we cut the old one off and redid it with 1.75" tubing and deleted the wrap-around. Also angled out the bar over the light bar to give it a little more shape and strength.

New Front Bumper 3.jpg

New Front Bumper v2.jpg
 
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Stryder106

Explorer
The next mod that was recently completed was a fabbed dual swing out. Sourced 1000# pivots, latches, and spare tire kit from EMS Offroad and the Rotopax support from All Pro Offroad. My buddy took all of my input and went to work on it. Also moved my Hi Lift mount from my roof rack to the swing out to lower that weight. Also got the spare out from under my rig. My receiver hitch is now 8" high than it was on the stock bumper improving my departure angle substantially. Like the front, this is all 1.75" tubing. This is the only pic I have right now - I'll add some more detailed ones later.

View attachment 367584
 

Stryder106

Explorer
Hi Gang - the next round of mods is underway - focusing on the front end, tire size, ground clearance, gearing.

For the front end: I just ordered a set of Rare Parts 1.5" tie rods and Cognito Upper Control Arms. The tie rods will provide much needed strength while the Cognito UCAs provide several benefits. First, strength compared to stock. Second, 2" of additional down travel. Third, they will support a coil over setup. I currently have the stock torsion front end with CST keys and leveled along with my Eibach Pro Truck Sport shocks.

Tire size / Ground Clearance- I'm currently running 285/70-17 but am looking to go to a 35" tire. Given it's a full size truck, I would like to increase my ground clearance for my frame rails to enhance my breakover capability - but not so high that my CG is out of whack. The 35" tire will add about 1.5" to the differential clearance. With limited options for my rig, my only perceived option is a 6" lift. But, I don't want the monkey bars under my rig and I don't want to go that high. I also now have enough credible information that says if the lift isn't made by CST or ICON chances are it is for street driving not actual offroad use as everything other than those two are made of thin plate. So - we are now in experiment mode with my rig.............................more to follow.

Gearing - I have the 10 bolt so I'm not going to go crazy as I know it has some serious limitations. My rear-end is stock 4.10 gears with the G80 locker and my front diff is 4.10 gears open. If we can figure out the 35" tire gig, then I'll likely jump to a 4.88 gearing setup and put in some beefier axles. I've considered a locker for the front diff, but just not sure I would ever need it - I'm still researching that. The other thing I'm looking at it fabbing some bracing for the diffs - just to add a bit more strength to them. Nothing outlandish mind you.

If we can get the height right, I'll also likely fab up some sliders as they could double as a step to get in and out of the rig.
 

Arizona Native

New member
How is the S&B airbox sealed to the snorkel? I can't tell from the pic. I'm looking at the S&B filters but only see ones with a giant hole on the side. The only way to seal I'm guessing is to fabricate a cover?

EDIT:
I found your other post on the snorkel here, Looks liked you worked with S&B on getting a sealed box. I still would like to see how it is connected, I was contemplating using a big PVC pipe or something for my intake, but if I can find a more finished product, I'll jump on it.
 
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mccustomize

Explorer
A 35" tire is only going to net you about 3/4" more clearance under the diffs than your current 33" tall tire. Half of the gained height is under the hub, half is above that centerline. Is it still worth swapping, yes. As for the "other" lifts being made of thin plate I would find that completely false, I've installed several 4-6" diff drop kits on these trucks and all of them were 3/16 or 1/4" plate for the brackets and diff drops. Your current diff/axle should be fine for what you intend to do, I wheel my truck on 37s with a Dana 44 and factory 10 bolt. I would look into a Detroit or something similar for the rear locker to replace the G80, although I never had problems with mine, it's design is not the ideal for what we do with our vehicles.
 

Stryder106

Explorer
How is the S&B airbox sealed to the snorkel? I can't tell from the pic. I'm looking at the S&B filters but only see ones with a giant hole on the side. The only way to seal I'm guessing is to fabricate a cover?

EDIT:
I found your other post on the snorkel here, Looks liked you worked with S&B on getting a sealed box. I still would like to see how it is connected, I was contemplating using a big PVC pipe or something for my intake, but if I can find a more finished product, I'll jump on it.
The way the S&B CAI boxes come normally is: Bottom Open, Top Open (but has the clear plastic lid that screw down - no gasket), Facing Truck - Right Side open to attach CAI tube to (4 bolts), Left Side open - to draw air.

What I ended up getting from them for the snorkel was: Bottom Closed, Left Side Closed. The Top and Left were still open to access the filter and to attach the CAI.

On the Left Side - the Snorkel kit comes with a tube that attaches to the snorkel and the stock Toyota airbox. That comes through the fender and we used a hole saw to cut a slightly smaller hole where in ports into the S&B airbox (there his no fitting to attach to). Slip it into the opening then sealed it up with black RTV. When we were discussing how to do this area, this seemed like the best approach to make it functional and at the same time be ableto remove my airbox for maintenance and repairs - yet be ableto put it back together. It is pretty tight in there - I'll see if I can get a few pics and post them in here.

If you want the snorkel to lay closer to the A-Pillar - the supplied tube in the kit won't work - you will need something that is more of an S shape to it.

Here are a few pics - not sure if they show enough though - as mentioned - it is tight.
 
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Stryder106

Explorer
A 35" tire is only going to net you about 3/4" more clearance under the diffs than your current 33" tall tire. Half of the gained height is under the hub, half is above that centerline. Is it still worth swapping, yes. As for the "other" lifts being made of thin plate I would find that completely false, I've installed several 4-6" diff drop kits on these trucks and all of them were 3/16 or 1/4" plate for the brackets and diff drops. Your current diff/axle should be fine for what you intend to do, I wheel my truck on 37s with a Dana 44 and factory 10 bolt. I would look into a Detroit or something similar for the rear locker to replace the G80, although I never had problems with mine, it's design is not the ideal for what we do with our vehicles.
Thanks for the info. The "thin plate" comment was offered by some seriously credible guys in the industry - even more credible to me since they don't make anything for my rig and don't plan to - figured I could get an honest assessment that way. But yes, I have seen some of those others on some stout off-road rigs - so I have been scratching my head a bit.

As for the increased clearance at the differentials - I should net the difference between my current tires and the 35"s divided by 2 (for sidewall above and below the rim) - correct? So - 35" - 32.7" = 2.3"/2 = 1.15". My tires are actually closer to 32" - hence the 1.5" additional clearance.

I'll have to look into the Detroit locker - I hadn't actually thought of changing that one out.................Many thanks for the input.
 
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