Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

New Member, interested in beach driving

New members: please introduce yourself here.

by Gdavid » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:25 pm

Hello all, I am hoping to learn from others about how these things do offroad and in particular on the sand, and what modest mods can improve performance.

I have owned a 03 Ext for about 9 years now. It has been a great value and is now a spare vehicle. It was my wife's daily driver, my boat's tow vehicle and our trip vehicle. Aside from minor electrical glitches, the electronically controlled mechanical fan and the stress it puts on the water pump it has been very reliable and it doesn't owe me a thing. I got it cheap at 111k miles and it is right around 200k now, I could probably still sell it for at least 50% what I paid so it has been a great value.

It is still our biggest vehicle and I do prefer it for long trips. Most recently we headed to the outer banks of NC for a week and I got the bug to take it on the sand. It has always done very well in the snow, despite a low ground clearance so I choose a non-intimidating section of beach (ramp 44) and went for it with wife, 3 kids and my dog along for the adventure. I aired the tires down to 20 psi would have liked to do lower but the front end clearance was really getting bad.

It did ok running through established tracks but the ruts were a little deep for my rig and I was bottoming out the frame frequently. Momentum and luck kept me going and I reached a nice clear area to stop and site see . We got back out without any trouble. It was nerve racking but fun and I would like to try again but do a little more prep before hand. It does have the G80 locker which probably helped alot.

I will be installing a cheap set of 3" strut extensions up front and am considering taking the running boards off. Larger tires would be nice but I don't think I can go large enough to get much effect without spacers and I hate the idea of unevenly loading my wheel bearings and screwing with geometry. Perhaps a dedicated set of low-offset wheels for occasional use would make me feel better about this.

I don't see myself doing this often so I'd like to keep mods modest but at this point the truck owes me nothing and I'm not afraid for it to see a bit of salt exposure and off road abuse.
Gdavid
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:38 pm
Name: George David
Vehicle Year: 2003
Vehicle: Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80

by Gdavid » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:37 pm

Looking like the Griswalds at the beach
Attachments
20201109_141059_crop_17.jpg
Outgunned
20201109_141059_crop_17.jpg (24.22 KiB) Viewed 365 times
Gdavid
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:38 pm
Name: George David
Vehicle Year: 2003
Vehicle: Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80


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