05. A Bilstein 2.0 bumpstop with four inches of travel fit in perfectly. There was five inches of suspension travel before engagement, and the 2.0 body would be enough to slow down the 2,500-pound rear end. And with standard 2.0 bump cans, I can swap parts for testing purposes (which is something we occasionally do around here).
06. The finished rear end that SMP came up with is exactly what I wanted. Notice that the coilovers link directly to the axle and not to trailing arms. I could have used trailing arms and gotten more travel, but there were three good reasons why we didn’t do that: First, trailing arms hang a lot lower and would be a lot heavier than the lower links I used—they would get caught up in rocks and wouldn’t be great for multi-purpose off-road use. Secondly, I don’t think the rear 1350 U-joint driveshaft would handle much more travel. Lastly, I don’t really need more suspension than the 20 usable inches of travel the rear of this Blazer has right now.
07. To make sure the rear does not overextend, possibly flipping the sway bar link the wrong way and pulling apart the coilover shocks, SMP used 28-inch-long Crow Enterprizes limiting straps. The Crow ones work the same as any other limiting strap, but I like the fact that there are no big labels on the plain black Crow straps.
08. I’m a huge fan of the Toyo Open Country M/T. It’s an excellent tire that works well on the road and in the dirt, but I personally only use it on fullsize trucks because I feel the sidewall is too thick for a lighter vehicle that won’t get proper tire flex out of it.
But to use a 40-inch Toyo, I have to go with a minimum of a 20-inch wheel size. This did present me with the perfect opportunity to try out TrailReady’s new 20-inch HD Series wheels. Alex Kreidl and I wrestled with these for a while, trying to get the wheels into the tires. Soap and water help a lot to install the wheels.
09. The HD Series is a purpose-built cast aluminum wheel that starts life as a beadlock. That means there is no lip cut off the wheel, nor any new lip welded to it. We went with the standard slim ring in polished aluminum on a black powdercoated wheel.
10. The 28-bolt beadlock rings were carefully set as straight as possible on the tires before trying to pull them in with bolts. This is important so that all the bolts go in smoothly and don’t crossthread. Once all the bolts were loosely in, we started snugging them down, one bolt on one side, then the next bolt 180 degrees opposite.
11. With the fuel injection still not working correctly and a few other things to do, the Blazer is still not ready but it was okay to tow out on a Carson trailer for a little shakedown run to make sure everything in the rear suspension worked.
12. The difference in the rear end is huge. The lack of sway keeps the truck upright and much more drivable, thanks to the Speedway sway bar. And I can barely feel the rear bumpstops actuating and slowing down the suspension, even though there is evidence of them touching.
Now it’s time to finish the rest of the truck….
14102 Stowe Drive
12410 Foothill Boulevard
12410 Beverly Park Road