Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

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Dumping ground for offroad Trailblazer or Envoy general discussion.

by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:16 am

I was talking with my Dad the other day about off roading. He started talking about a K5 Blazer that he owned and how he'd leave the passenger side hub locked, so that way if he needed 4wd, he could throw the lever and worse case scenario, crawl out onto the hood and lock in the driver's side without getting muddy.

We spoke about how the current set-up operates and how I need to get a disconnect solenoid wired up so my light will stop flashing in any other selection than 2hi and it'll get rid of the "service AWD" light on the dash.

Then I had an idea. If I convert over to an actual disconnect and wire in the solenoid, I could use it as a means of disconnecting the front tires from each other with a welded diff.

Since I HAVE a spare front diff, and no A/C this would be easier to test and change should it not work. I believe it will though, and here's why.

The welded front diff would lock my pinion, driver's side wheel, and intermediate shaft to where they spin with each other, permanently. With my current AWD sleeve, this would lock my passenger side wheel in as well causing too much bind when turning, breaking things. This is bad, BUT, with any of the front tires disconnected and the vehicle in 2hi, there shouldn't be any issues right?

I honestly wish I could find a lock-rite and just do it that way but that seems impossible. What do y'all think?
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by ErikSS » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:54 am

I think you will find only a few applications where true lock as your describing would be helpful. Rock climbing and mud are probably it. Trying to turn in and out of mud pits and anything at speed will bind the driveline and put you in a "push" condition because the outside tire cant spin faster than the inside tire. I dont reccomend it. That said, it would be cool to know exactly what it does!
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by TBYODA » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:07 pm

You could try these guys to see if they have the powertrax lock-right locker in stock.
http://www.desertrat.com/products/?id=6317
or the only other option I know of is this 7.2" LSD.
http://www.v8s10.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=37798
from
http://www.engineered.net/eplsd.htm
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by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:00 pm

I'll give desert rat a call, I'm not very optimistic though, because everyone else that showed them in stock informed me otherwise when I called, but hey, I'll try. Thanks!

I've seen the LSD and it would probably serve my purposes well, but my area of concern was that reluctor wheel and if it would clear our case.
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by TBYODA » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:35 pm

I contacted Engineering performance back July and he stated that he has sold quite a few to TB owners, just as not so vocal. IIRC doing a little searching on TBSS forum I did find few posts on the subject.
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by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:53 pm

My search-fu must be weak, all of the posts I found about it over there were suggestive that it MIGHT work. If you've seen that it DOES work, then that's good enough for me. I may still do this in the interim though just to see what if.

If only I could control the disconnect manually...
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by DirtyBacon04 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:01 pm

that is actually kind of brilliant! I'd never considered going back to a disconnect that disconnects...
you is a smart kookie!
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by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:08 pm

I figured that's the way it was originally designed, but then some bean-counter probably stepped in and made them go with an open front diff. I dunno.
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by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:15 pm

ErikSS wrote:I think you will find only a few applications where true lock as your describing would be helpful. Rock climbing and mud are probably it. Trying to turn in and out of mud pits and anything at speed will bind the driveline and put you in a "push" condition because the outside tire cant spin faster than the inside tire. I dont reccomend it. That said, it would be cool to know exactly what it does!



My primary use is in mud, we don't have winding trails up mountainsides 'round here. My only concern is the sporadic occasions that I DO get to the mountains in it (we normally take the Taurus due to its 30mpg) but even then I'd be moving slowly in the ice or up the trails so slippage would be somewhat controlled.


I know that HardTrails is running a front locker and he seems to be very happy with it, IIRC, it works almost exactly this way.
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by bartonmd » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:27 pm

Pretty sure Kyle (Hardtrailz) is not running a front locker, because I don't remember putting it in when we replaced his front diff. The only ones I know of are donny and one other guy out west that's not on the forum a lot.

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by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:43 pm

I could've swore that I read that before. Maybe I'm confused.
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by bartonmd » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:46 pm

He's got a lock-right, but it's in the rear 14b.

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by KingBird » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:55 pm

I think I'm thinking of someone else with a similar looking TB.
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by navigator » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:34 pm

I'm running one but may never really put it to the test. I had the extra money at the time and only wanted to pull the front diff once. I expect a winch is likely money better spent unless you often get in off camber situations. I thought it might be nice to have for the beach, for that extra insurance so I wouldn't need a winch and a pull-pal. When I bought mine October 2013, I called several places and only one had any left and he only had 5.

Is Jon A the other guy running one?
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by ErikSS » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:03 pm

Matt, moots, has a front locker. I'm not sure he feels he has really tested his either.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Only ones to test it was Donnie and Jon A, but he never bothered to report much and then disappeared. The other couple installed have not been used that i know of.

I am curious about the LS for the front. Never heard of there being that option before.
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by KingBird » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:31 pm

Winch is a done deal.

I won't be stuck again.

I am very interested in the LSD, but I don't know I'm $600 interested... That may have to wait a while.

I think I'm going to try this out just to be a guinea pig. Who knows, it may work out. :viking:
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by ErikSS » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:39 pm

If you decide to weld, be aware that your front driveshaft and differential will always spin. Im curious about the driveability. Your reasoning makes sense. I dont do enough straight line wheeling to make it work.
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by KingBird » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:47 pm

It's highly likely that it spins now since I have and AWD sleeve, but yeah I'm curious as well. The TC was $200 with encoder motor and I have a spare. I figure if I burn up the TC, another C-note and a half hour at the junkyard will get me another.
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by navigator » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:54 pm

If I remember right my lock right ended up being around $450 for the front. I think Rocky-Road listed them for close to $350 but were out so I ended up getting it from Randy's Ring and Pinion for like $100 more.
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