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trucknewbie

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  1. Hi all, I am a relatively new member to the forums and a first time truck owner. I've had my truck for about 2 years now and finally decided it was time to upgrade my baby. After months of researching, I decided to start off with a leveling kit, wheels, tires and rode on that for about 8000 miles before I saved up enough to do a lift. As it stands, I decided to go with the 4 inch BDS lift kit with the fox shocks upgrade. I narrowed my choices to Fabtech and BDS after tons of reading on this forum and the conclusion I came to for the price points, BDS made more sense and appears to be more spot on with the suspension geometry. Given that I am no expert, I could be wrong on that, so definitely don't quote me. The shop that did my install is an authorized BDS retailer and as a result, they prefer installing BDS kits on their trucks. One thing I noticed is that most people try to jump up to the coilovers right out of the gates in the name of preserving ride quality and Im here to say that you don't need to do that. Even the guy at the shop told me that it wasn't necessary to do and it doesn't guarantee that you will enjoy that ride quality. I was in that same boat until I decided to go ahead and try out what BDS has to offer before I spend more money on the kit itself. Ride Quality My experience of driving my truck pre-level and post-level - I felt no difference in the drive itself except some amount of additional harshness going over speed bumps. At that point, I expected that amount of harshness, in fact I expected worse based on reading what people had to say about how leveling kits ride. My experience of driving my truck after going from the leveling kit to the 4" lift - the ride is absolutely beautiful. Having driven a friends Yukon Denali, I can say that the ride of the truck is slightly floaty on the road similar to how the denalis ride, yet still very connected (not sure if that makes sense to anyone else but me). I absolutely love the way the truck rides and I feel that it's on par with stock, if not a little more insulated with the added suspension travel that absorbs some of the bumps and imperfections of the road. As it stands, I have driven with the kit for about 450 miles thus far and I have zero intentions of adding the coilovers to the setup. (500 mile suspension re-torquing coming up soon) Another added point of comfort for me is if my ride quality does deteriorate for some reason and the coilovers become a necessity, getting rid of the front shocks is not like throwing away an expensive pair of shocks. I also potentially have the option of adding kings in the event I ever need to go down that route... I hope that for someone out there, this helps make a decision on the kits with the plethora of information available and I'm happy to answer questions about this lift. Daily Drivability With this being my first lifted truck and first truck to begin with, I was really concerned about how drivable the vehicle would be compared to stock. The only difference I notice regarding drivability is making a turn when the wheel is at full lock in either direction feels like there is more turning radius involved, but hasn't been an issue. The bed and the bed steps are still very reachable / usable - I'm 5'8". The sidesteps are a little bit taller to get up to than before but it's not a pain in the ass or to the point where I hate the truck or my decision - I'm going to be keeping an eye out for a good deal on articulating running boards from AMP or RBP eventually. For anyone who enjoys driving fast - I haven't felt powerloss in the vehicle, especially being that mine is a 6.2L. I did definitely notice that there are a few moments where shifts take longer, but Im sad to say I need to address an issue that involves the torque converter and creates a shudder when accelerating as though you're driving across rumble strips but that's a different topic for a different time. It drives fast, feels stable, and is fun as hell. Fuel Economy Impact I honestly haven't had any impact on my fuel consumption since I began upgrading items on the vehicle. This might change over time, but as it stands I get about 20-22 MPG highway and a range of 13-16 MPG City based on traffic levels. Other Notes - 2017 GMC Sierra SLT Premium Plus Package with Z71 Package | 6.2L V8 - Denali Cluster Retrofit - 33" Nitto Ridge Grapplers - SCA Performance 20x9 Black Widow Wheels | 0 mm offset - Blacked out emblems - Rough Country Tri Fold Bed Cover - GM Borla Exhaust with Dual Outlets (There's actually a tilt downward in the exhaust because the dealer failed to correctly install them with the appropriate hangers to the frame - going to be corrected soon) - Black Chrome Exhaust Tips - Rear Wheel Spacers soon to come (BDS lifts push the front track width out, I want to even out the stance) - AMP Research power steps soon to come - Cold Air Intake soon to come Pictures
  2. Denali Cluster Retrofit - A Review. As I'm sure many other readers of this forum have done, I found myself going through some of the posts and checking out some cool things people here have done to their trucks. I happened to stumble on the Denali Cluster retrofit and from the moment I saw it, I had not stopped thinking about doing it. Being someone who opted for a non Denali truck but still paid a pretty penny, there was always a small itch in the back of my mind at the lack of a couple features that these trucks have compared to other lower priced vehicles with less prowess - the instrument cluster being so plain is one of them. After eventually deciding to scratch that itch, I got in touch with Chris from White Auto Media (WAMS | http://www.whiteautoandmedia.com) about the Denali Cluster retrofit. Now, there are several posts with a wealth of information about this (main one attached below) and if you are interested in doing this modification, I highly recommend you start there and understand everything there is about selecting the right cluster for your vehicles model year. After exchanging a few emails with Chris, he noted that I was able to have him source the cluster for me and take care of the programming. At the time, I was unable to locate the correct fitment of cluster for my vehicle and the sellers on eBay just seemed to be too sketchy, some had cracked plastic lens covers, and others just didn't provide enough information for the amount of money they were asking for. As a result, I went ahead and submitted my details to Chris via his website and ordered the cluster. It did take two weeks plus a handful of days for sourcing the cluster, programming it, and shipping it to my doorstep. Not only did Chris make it incredibly easy to do this modification, his kindness in sharing information about the entire process to ensure that I had the right fitment, right cluster, right programming, made this experience all the better. Once I got my hands on it, I was able to get it installed in my vehicle in about 10 minutes given the right driver to take out some 7mm bolts and a little bit of prying with my fingers. In the end, I have a fully functioning, slick looking, Denali Cluster. Install video: Phil Gamboa did a fantastic job documenting the install and how easy it was. My only deviation from the video instructions was not taking off the bottom panel where the hood release latch is located and I was safely able to install the cluster without breaking or scratching any components in the process. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLq-VVcEL8I I attached a photo of my working dash to the post! I'm glad to have went this route and hopefully, I will find a way to give Chris my business again in the future! @GTPprix IMG_2532.HEIC
  3. Hi all, I'm new to the forums as well as new to trucks. Just about a year ago I got a 2017 GMC Sierra SLT and I'm interesting in some upgrades. I need some help determining the pros and cons of various things as well as if there's anyone with experience who wants to weigh in with things they recommend, dos and don'ts, or even things they would have done differently. I've seen a lot of the forums and I hope im not replicating other posts, but I can't seem to find any feedback on items related to the build I want to do in addition to the fact that being a first time truck owner, I don't really have much to compare various things to. Top priorities for me: ride quality and comfort (lots of highway driving), looks, and function. I've broken up what I want to do into 3 "steps" (based on finances and affordability timeframe). Money is important, but if I have to wait a little longer to have strong, durable, good quality components, I would rather have it that way. Step 1 (next 3-4 months): Level the truck - leaning towards fox 2.0 coil-overs to keep ride quality. I've seen a lot about how spacers diminish ride quality (please correct me if im wrong) 305/55/r20 Nitto Ridge Grapplers - I want do some mild off-roading and trail riding, nothing too crazy, but at the end of the day this is a daily driver and I want a quiet ride. (I have no clue how much louder the tire would be compared to stock, although most say that it is pretty quiet) 20x9 Fuel Maverick rims or SCA performance rims (https://www.scaperformance.com/gmc-products/sca-performance-20-inch-wheel-gloss-black-with-milled-spoke-accents) Step 2 (maybe within the next 8-12 months): GM installed 6.2 Cat back (I'm a GM employee and the part discount is a plus for me) AMP Research Steps Step 3 (maybe within the next 1-2 years): 4 inch BDS lift with the upgraded fox coil-overs with the reservoirs (non-dsc) Fender flares - haven't decided between bushwhacker, rough country (more lower profile), or the brawny SCA performance ones (https://www.scaperformance.com/gmc-products/2016-sca-gmc-1500-pocket-style-fender-flares) Any advice or thoughts on a build out like this would be appreciated! Ride quality and comfort is a huge one for me because I don't want to have buyers remorse since I've not been in many lifted or upgrade trucks, so my only metric of comparison is to a stock vehicle. Thanks in advance!
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