Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Completed: Silver Lake Sand Dunes MI

Trips/trails in the central part of the U.S. (loosely follows the Central Time Zone)
Forum rules
Please label new threads with the following to indicate the type of thread:

COMPLETED: a completed trip
IN PROGRESS: a trip currently in progress
PLANNING: researching or recruiting

Please feel free to utilize the trail rating article.

by HawkTown28 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:50 pm

When my friends told me they were going to Silver Lake Dunes, I told them I wanted to go. The response I got from them all was, "you want to take your trailblazer there, are you crazy?" Their trucks included a 6 in lifted sierra on 35's, a 6 in lifted silverado on 33's, a 2012 6 in lifted f150 5.0, and a jeep xj lifted on 33's. Now I knew I was not going to go as hard as them simply because of my lack of ground clearance and "soft suspension", but I also knew that my trailblazer would be able to handle the sand no problem. My friends seem to think that you have to have a huge lifted truck to go offroad. They were telling me that i would be getting stuck all over, and also things like the "fact" that my front bumper was going to get ripped off. I knew better than them though. I have had much experience offroad in trailblazers, and knew i would be fine. Now my trailblazer is completely stock suspension. The only upgrade I have for offroad are 265/70/16 Toyo Open Country AT2's. When we got there I aired my tires down to 15 pounds and got ready to prove everyone wrong. Immediately when I got on the entrance hill, I was very impressed. I had an incredible amount of traction and great control. I was worried about having to keep up momentum and not stopping, but I was able to stop anywhere on the dunes, and take off no problem. the sand there is like a very fine sugar sand but I was able to pull through even the softest sections with no sweat. We all drove in like a convoy a lot, and I was able to keep up with the lifted trucks no problem, even when they were moving slow, I was able to slowly creep up hills behind them. I did everything they did, without having to beat on my TB at all. There is a sand drag section, and With the TB in 4x4, I was keeping up with a couple raptors (I was very impressed), and even beat my friends on sport quads. If anyone gets a chance to go here, I highly suggest you take it, the only downfall is that I'm still finding sand in my interior. Basically I proved my friends wrong, but they still don't like to give my TB respect. :finger:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I towed my friends two sport quads there. The TB towed great, although on the slightest incline it wouldn't hold overdrive(3.42 gears). And we had the quads loaded very far forward of the axle, and while this made the trailer very stable on the freeway, It caused my TB to sag quite a bit.
Image
Last edited by HawkTown28 on Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies.
User avatar
HawkTown28
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: MI, Livonia
Name: Michael
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD

by ErikSS » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:54 pm

You went to Silver Lake and didn't invite me??? :poke:
It's not how fast you go. It's how quick you get there. Lifted TBSS Build
User avatar
ErikSS
Lifer
 
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:23 pm
Location: IL, Flossmoor
Name: Erik
Vehicle Year: 2008
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Limited Slip
Rank: Offroad Rated

by HARDTRAILZ » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:55 pm

Nice!
I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone...but
they've always worked for me.
User avatar
HARDTRAILZ
Lifer
 
Posts: 6305
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:49 am
Location: IN, Batesville
Name: Kyle
Vehicle Year: 2006
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Aftermarket Locker
Rank: Extreme Offroader

by HawkTown28 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:09 am

You went to Silver Lake and didn't invite me???


Haha sorry, it would have been awesome to have two trailblazers there cruising the dunes... Although yours would out perform mine by far. I do have plans to increase my offroad performance a bit soon, I just can't go to far with it because most of my time and money is spent at college. I'd love to go again though.
Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies.
User avatar
HawkTown28
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: MI, Livonia
Name: Michael
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD

by ErikSS » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:33 am

HawkTown28 wrote:
You went to Silver Lake and didn't invite me???


Haha sorry, it would have been awesome to have two trailblazers there cruising the dunes... Although yours would out perform mine by far. I do have plans to increase my offroad performance a bit soon, I just can't go to far with it because most of my time and money is spent at college. I'd love to go again though.


Mine does ok up there. I don't have the low end power people would expect though. (tall 1st gear with my 4L80E) But I did do pretty well. They are closed for the season now aren't they? I need to actually save a little money to finish my build before my next trip, but I'd like to do some trips next year! My parents have a house about an your south. I swear there yard is a campground.
It's not how fast you go. It's how quick you get there. Lifted TBSS Build
User avatar
ErikSS
Lifer
 
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:23 pm
Location: IL, Flossmoor
Name: Erik
Vehicle Year: 2008
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Limited Slip
Rank: Offroad Rated

by HawkTown28 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:31 am

ErikSS wrote:
HawkTown28 wrote:
You went to Silver Lake and didn't invite me???


Haha sorry, it would have been awesome to have two trailblazers there cruising the dunes... Although yours would out perform mine by far. I do have plans to increase my offroad performance a bit soon, I just can't go to far with it because most of my time and money is spent at college. I'd love to go again though.


Mine does ok up there. I don't have the low end power people would expect though. (tall 1st gear with my 4L80E) But I did do pretty well. They are closed for the season now aren't they? I need to actually save a little money to finish my build before my next trip, but I'd like to do some trips next year! My parents have a house about an your south. I swear there yard is a campground.


Yeah they're closed now, I think this was the last week. But I agree I will have to make another trip next year. I want to take my polaris sportsman but it's sorta up north 240 miles away... although it would give me an excuse to go up north and go to silver lake. How does your truck perform in the sand with your limited slip diff. Ive been looking into getting one but I don't know if I can justify it because although I do go through trails and hills up north that would benefit from a locker or LSD, I have never found a situation that I couldn't make it without one(I'm in no way a hard core off roader with my trailblazer, I save my thrill for major 4 wheeling for my Polaris).
Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies.
User avatar
HawkTown28
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: MI, Livonia
Name: Michael
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD

by ErikSS » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:45 am

In sand, there isn't enough pressure to make my diff clutches slip. I might as well have a locker in sand. I was very happy. I had to turn off Stabilink to get around though. 2wd play was my favorite. It made things a challenge.

Have you put a location on your profile?
It's not how fast you go. It's how quick you get there. Lifted TBSS Build
User avatar
ErikSS
Lifer
 
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:23 pm
Location: IL, Flossmoor
Name: Erik
Vehicle Year: 2008
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Limited Slip
Rank: Offroad Rated

by HawkTown28 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:06 am

Makes sense that your clutches wouldn't slip in sand. I bet it was fun in 2wd. I tried 2wd some but wasn't great because I pretty much did one wheel peels and it made it hard to get the rear end to slide out. that is one thing I do like about my trailblazer is that I don't have any electronic systems to keep me from doing what I want. driving off-road in my dad's 2011 grand Cherokee can be annoying because it shuts your power way down. and even if you turn traction control off, it can't help but still interfere. sometimes you just need/want wheel spin. I'M considering the eaton true Trac. I know many people will put it down because it's not a true locker, but it's between that and a g80, which I've seen a first hand account of a g80 failing.
location updated.
Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies.
User avatar
HawkTown28
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: MI, Livonia
Name: Michael
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD

by ErikSS » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:25 am

Since your truck has stock front springs and no lift, you're radiator is in a vulnerable position. If I may suggest, MDB Fabrication makes an incredible Radiator Skid Plate. It doesnt matter if you have traction to get there, if you've cracked your radiator and can't get home. haha I have that skid plate. I've tested that skid plate HARD. It passed with barley scratches.
It's not how fast you go. It's how quick you get there. Lifted TBSS Build
User avatar
ErikSS
Lifer
 
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:23 pm
Location: IL, Flossmoor
Name: Erik
Vehicle Year: 2008
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Limited Slip
Rank: Offroad Rated

by HawkTown28 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:09 pm

thank you for the suggestion, you make a good point. and believe me I am very careful with what I'm driving over because of the radiator.I have the factory skid for it, but it's definitely not rated for rocks, maybe snow. I can just see driving down a two track and not seeing a stump in the middle of it... I am looking into that aluminum oil pan skid also that think bartonmd makes or used to make, not sure if he still does
Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies.
User avatar
HawkTown28
Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: MI, Livonia
Name: Michael
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD

by ErikSS » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:15 pm

Can you, or a friend/family weld? His kits are great. I didn't bought all kits. Radiator, oil skids... Front bumper with 2" reciever kit, stinger bar, and 5" light kit. I'm 100% satisfied with each and every product I've bought from him. His kits are useless if nobody welds though. (it wouldn't shock me to find someone hiring a welder to assemble MDB kits)
It's not how fast you go. It's how quick you get there. Lifted TBSS Build
User avatar
ErikSS
Lifer
 
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:23 pm
Location: IL, Flossmoor
Name: Erik
Vehicle Year: 2008
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Limited Slip
Rank: Offroad Rated

by RyansTBLS » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:24 pm

MDB radiator skid, oil pan skid, and your offroad tires. Will definitely get you out there more, and then you start figuring out everything you want to do. How much lift you'll want, and armor and yea... :coffee2:
The problem with the Trailblazer is, people think you know what you're doing.
User avatar
RyansTBLS
Addict
 
Posts: 622
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:00 pm
Location: OR, La Grande
Name: Ryan
Vehicle Year: 2006
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD
Rank: Trail Ready


Return to Central U.S.