2001 Chevy S-10 Pickup ZR2 Lift Kit - Upping The AntePosted in How To: Suspension Brakes on March 1, 2005
If you own an Chevy S-10 Blazer or pickup with the ZR2 package or a GMC Highrider, you have a pretty cool, off-road-capable rig right out of the box. ZR2 package content varies by year, but has historically featured some stout mods. Take the '04 Blazer ZR2, for instance. Its list of ZR2-specific goodies includes a special rear axle with 8.5-inch ring gear, limited-slip differential, larger wheel bearings, longer and larger axleshafts; strengthened front differential gears and drive axles; a rear-axle track bar; revised multileaf rear springs; 46mm Bilstein shocks; 31x10.50-15 on-/off-road tires; and skidplate package.
When you add a suspension lift to the equation, the full-framed ZR2's off-highway capabilities improve by leaps and bounds. There aren't many kits available in the aftermarket for the ZR2, but BDS Suspension manufactures a 5-inch kit that allows fitment of 32x12.50 tires. We hung out with the guys at Attitude Performance in Arlington Heights, Illinois, while they installed the aforementioned kit on a customer's '01 S-10 ZR2 pickup. BDS recommends that a professional technician install this kit due to its labor-intensive nature as well as the requirement that some stock frame components be removed from the vehicle. Total install time for this kit, not including front end alignment, is in the 10- to 12-hour range.
The information that follows will give you an overview of some of the major components of this 5-inch-lift kit. The photos show some of the new parts in place on the vehicle after the stock components have been removed per the instructions.
So was the kit worth it? We'll let the numbers speak for themselves.
Before we installed the BDS Suspension 5-inch kit, the stock ZR2 traveled 48 inches up a 20-degree RTI ramp, earning a score of 391. After the BDS Suspension install, the ZR2 crawled 59 inches up the ramp, which improved its score to 480. Ground clearance, which as we all know is one of the key ingredients of a good off-road vehicle, also improved as expected. In stock form, 18.5 inches separated the front lower valance from the ground. After the BDS Suspension install, that number jumped to 24.5 inches. In the rear, we gained 6.5 inches over stock, culminating with a measurement of 28.5 inches. These numbers reflect the fact that the owner of this specific ZR2 chose to install 33x12.50 tires (on American Racing 15x8 chrome Slider wheels), which are an inch larger in diameter than what BDS Suspension recommends. To counter the resulting clearance issues, the owner is going to install a body lift.
On the road, the truck handled and tracked amazingly well. We expected a stiffer ride, which we experienced (probably due to the larger shocks and beefier tires), but it was nowhere near uncomfortable. All in all, we think the owner of this ZR2 will be quite pleased with this ZR2's new on- and off-road performance.