Suspension Lift Options

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Dantheman-2003

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I just got a new Hoe, 2003 LT. has the autoride airbags, which is a nice feature for towing, but kind of annoying. This rig is low miles, good overall condition. Now looking to lift it. I personally like a little squat in the rear, so thinking a RC 6” lift with some 35’s. I’ve read BDS is an overall better quality kit, but twice the price. I live in the hills, so occasionally we have snow and a few fire trails is about all I do. No extreme off-roading. Again, there are probably 1,000 opinions out there. Just wondering what experiences y’all have had. Any lessons learned etc. would be appreciated!
 
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Dantheman-2003

Dantheman-2003

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I just got a new Hoe, 2003 LT. has the autoride airbags, which is a nice feature for towing, but kind of annoying. This rig is low miles, good overall condition. Now looking to lift it. I personally like a little squat in the rear, so thinking a RC 6” lift with some 35’s. I’ve read BDS is an overall better quality kit, but twice the price. I live in the hills, so occasionally we have snow and a few fire trails is about all I do. No extreme off-roading. Again, there are probably 1,000 opinions out there. Just wondering what experiences y’all have had. Any lessons learned etc. would be appreciated!
 

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Alex_M

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The BDS does look like a nicer kit, but they both look like they would work one about as well as the other. The big difference I see between the two, and truthfully where a lot of the cost difference comes from, is in the shocks. The BDS kit comes with Fox shocks... very nice. The Rough Country comes with cheap front shocks they've put their sticker on, and just shock extensions for the rear. For fire trails, those fox shocks will be a lot nicer and they will certainly last longer, but that is a personal judgement call that only you can make.
 
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If you put 35's you will need (should) regear, that will be in addition to the cost of lift, tires, and rims. But if you were already planning for it then go ahead. I went with a RC 6" lift on mine, with 33" tires. Additionally, I added 2008 Tahoe CV axles to front to give me additional droop protection. Added 2" spacers to rear for aesthetics.

I started with a Supreme 3.5" key lift but after buying new upper control arms and struggling with alignment issues it was just better to go with the suspension lift.

Mine had 200K miles on it so I replaced inner and outer tie rods, steering gear, and pitman arm. There's absolutely no play in the steering now and the alignment is tip top.

OH!!! And a tune after adding the 35's certainly helps. I took my truck to http://www.carolinaautomasters.com/gmtuning.php in NC. I love the results!!! The slight change to the diameter of tires throws off stock transmission points just so.

Make the truck yours but if you go with 35's without a regear and without a tune it may be pretty sluggish in the mud (no torque), but great on fuel economy on highway once you get up to speed.
 
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Alex_M

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I would say that regearing after 35s is nice, but far from necessary (depending on your factory gear ratio). My Tahoe has factory 3.73s and it is just fine on 35s. A tune though, I completely agree. I highly recommend a tune for anyone whether their truck has large tires or not. Firming/speeding up those shift points and fine tuning when the trans shifts does wonders for the lifespan of a 4l60e.

Also, not nitpicking but just so there is no confusion for future readers, lift keys and rear blocks is still a suspension lift. It's just not as in depth as the taller suspension lifts that come with control arms, drop brackets, etc, which it doesn't need to be under 3-3.5" (every vehicle is different).
 
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Dantheman-2003

Dantheman-2003

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I would say that regearing after 35s is nice, but far from necessary (depending on your factory gear ratio). My Tahoe has factory 3.73s and it is just fine on 35s. A tune though, I completely agree. I highly recommend a tune for anyone whether their truck has large tires or not. Firming/speeding up those shift points and fine tuning when the trans shifts does wonders for the lifespan of a 4l60e.

Also, not nitpicking but just so there is no confusion for future readers, lift keys and rear blocks is still a suspension lift. It's just not as in depth as the taller suspension lifts that come with control arms, drop brackets, etc, which it doesn't need to be under 3-3.5" (every vehicle is different).
Great perspectives and thank you!
 
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This is the ratio table for gearing that you can find all over this site and internet. You can choose if you want to save gas on highway or have lots of low end torque on the trails/mud. Not regearing with 3.73s will save you gas with 35s on the highway but it will come at the cost of low end torque on trails. Not saying the truck will not perform on trails...saying the truck will has less low end torque with 35s and 3.73s. But truly if your rig will spend most of it's time on the highway, then you can keep the 3.73s.

Review chart to draw your own conclusions:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...AMV9MICOD3mhlnMQhyeIcej2U/edit#gid=1905211263
 

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