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2008 GMC Envoy Denali


Lucky To Be Here
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Appalachian Mountains


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Kalamazoo, MI
I have been really hating the ride quality of the Envoy since lowering it and installing the Belltech rear shocks. You can buy Belltech/KW adjustable shocks for Trailblazer SSs, but they’re $700, and that seems ridiculous to me. While researching shock options for better ride quality I stumbled on a TBSS owner talking about using Viking double adjustable shocks. More research showed that they were started by some ex-QA1 people that wanted to focus exclusively on double adjustable shocks. By making just those, they would have fewer variations and be able to charge less for them while still maintaining high quality - sounded good to me. They didn’t have an application for a TBSS or Envoy listed in their catalog so I called them with my specifications. They wanted to know length of the shock at ride height, bolt shank diameter and length of the sleeves in the ends of the shock. With that info they said I wanted their D220 Warrior shocks. They were $380 a set. Still not cheap, but at this point I was ready to pay that to get something I could tune to improve the ride. Today I installed them. They’re REALLY nice looking pieces.
I bought a bunch of stainless steel 1/2” washers to use as spacers for now - I’ll get some stainless steel tube to make spacers later.
The instructions come with recommended settings based on how you’re using the shocks.
Since I’m going for more ride quality I chose 1 click for compression and 3 clicks for rebound. So far I’ve only driven it a couple miles around the block, but it’s already riding significantly better. That makes me so happy! It sucks sinking a bumch of time and money into a vehicle and not being happy with the result.....every time I was bouncing over a bump it ticked me off, now I should be much happier during drives. These will be much appreciated on our upcoming road trip this coming week. As I use them more I may start playing with settings even more. I also want to call them and ask them their thoughts on shock boots since I daily drive mine on our winter roads. They’re based in Minnesota so they should be familiar with that.


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Kalamazoo, MI
Well I’ve been home for a few weeks now and just realized I didn’t report back on my Michigan road trip. We covered 1124 miles during our 5 day trip, with 2 of those days being non-driving days because we were on Mackinac Island. The Envoy averaged 15 mpg on the trip.....not great, however I enjoyed driving it and was happy to be in it. The new shocks made the trip more enjoyable (since the trip I clicked them a couple clicks higher on compression and rebound and it feels like it rides even better....though certainly still not a luxury ride). Also it was cool pulling through parking lots and watching people follow me with their heads as they tried to figure out what they were seeing/hearing. It also came in handy during some passing situations on back roads. Unfortunately, I’m still using oil. I’m embarrassed to say that I went through 2.25 quarts of oil on the trip....yes 2.25 quarts in 1100 miles!!! And yet the thing doesn’t smoke like a pig and it doesn’t leak. So it’s somehow losing oil and not burning it. I think it’s an exhaust valve seal. My theory is that it’s blowing raw oil out the exhaust, not burning it. Plus, every once in a while it will give a puff of smoke on start up, and that kind of confirms my theory - if that particular valve is hanging open when the engine is shut down, then it could drip into the cylinder, otherwise it just gets blown out at start up. So I’ll pull the valve covers soon and try swapping some seals and see if that solves it.

Here are a few pics from the trip:

About 1/3 of the way over the 5 mile long Mackinac bridge.


View of the bridge from Mackinac Island


Nice shot of the road by the Grand Hotel on the island.


Lower Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


The 50' high Upper Tahquamenon Falls.


The colors in the UP were more vibrant than this picture shows.


One of the roads we were on in the UP. When we turned on it, the sign said "pavement ends in 23 miles". No big deal, we drive on dirt roads near us when going on trips just to take a different path. These were something else though....a lot rougher than what we're used to. Every 1/2 mile or so you would have to slow down to avoid large holes and puddles...…that was until we finally got to a spot where water was totally over the road. So I put it in 4 hi and proceeded slowly...…luckily, no problem. We drove like that for probably 15 miles. In hindsight, it was pretty fun.


This was a stop along that road. The road is on the left and on the right is a turn off to look out on Lake Superior. Note the lifted Jeep in the background.....and here I am in a lowered Envoy. I was amused.


This is the Big Spring in Manistique, also known as Kitch-Iti-Kipi. It's so cool! You go out on a raft that has an observation hole in the middle. That water is 45' deep and you can easily see the bottom. It's really cool watching the sand bubble up where the springs are feeding it. That's one of the springs near the bottom of the picture.


Another nice shot from the drive, this one is in the Lower Peninsula, up by Petoskey I would say.

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135' diagonal 16:9HD, 25KW sound!
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Lincoln, NE
Did a drive similar to that back in June of '93 with my dad. We had his 84 Suburban (350 4bbl gasser with TH350) towing a car hauler flatbed with his restored '51 Studebaker pickup on it all the way from Lincoln, NE. We were taking the Studebaker to Port Dolomite on the shores of Lake Huron, to deliver it to some guy who had bought it through an ad my dad had placed in Turning Wheels, a Studebaker affecionado magazine. The drive over the Mackinac Straight on that bridge was pretty spectacular. For some reason, crossing each way, Gordon Lightfoot's song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, kept running through my head!