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Lighter-than-you
TrailblazerSS
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
102723

So, I'm getting around to ditching my steel flipped/drilled front crossmember for something lighter and better.. Options are limited.. I already know how renowned the Left Coast crossmember is but it's not the only option. A little while ago I stumbled upon an aluminum, well-crafted crossmember made by Bolt-on Speed. There is zero mention of this crossmember on this site and not a single review to be found anywhere on the web. Looks well engineered for the anticipated stress there but not crazy overkill either, lighter is brighter as long as it's still strong enough. I know there has to be some people on this site that have tried this piece out. Does it make the frame feel just as rigid as stock? or even more so? Tell me how you like it

Hate having to add this but I am: Please keep all responses respectful to both manufacturers and leave out the reviews on the Left Coast product. I am only asking about the Bolt-On Speed product. Thanks in advance!
 

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I ordered the LC32 kit last week over the B-oS unit. However, I poured over both to see which one would be better for my application.
The end result? They're both the same and would work equally well.

I think many folks went BoS as certain vendors may push this when doing a C6 pan conversion. And naturally they are a reseller of it.

I chose the LC32 kit for two reasons.
1. It's smaller to improve the areas under the car where I may work on. That means easier maintenance to me.
2. I also purchased the chassis brace from simple engineering, and those two products were meant to work together. I couldn't verify the BoS unit would work together.

But I also struggled with an aluminum plate that was simply stamped and cut at that price point. Just seemed overpriced to me.
 

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Lighter-than-you
TrailblazerSS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I ordered the LC32 kit last week over the B-oS unit. However, I poured over both to see which one would be better for my application.
The end result? They're both the same and would work equally well.

I think many folks went BoS as certain vendors may push this when doing a C6 pan conversion. And naturally they are a reseller of it.

I chose the LC32 kit for two reasons.
1. It's smaller to improve the areas under the car where I may work on. That means easier maintenance to me.
2. I also purchased the chassis brace from simple engineering, and those two products were meant to work together. I couldn't verify the BoS unit would work together.

But I also struggled with an aluminum plate that was simply stamped and cut at that price point. Just seemed overpriced to me.
Thanks for the good response Mitch! I agree that it looks like you have more clearance for some potential replacement parts access. If I was getting this crossmember for a lifted trailblazer then I wouldn't even be on the fence, I would get the LC 'member and let chromoly handle the extra stress of that particular application. I think BoS just uses a CAD driven plasma-cut table to put the holes in and then use a press brake for the bends. And yeah they do seem expensive! But doesn't everything for these anymore. LOL Every part seems to cost $300 and up.. its the clandestined starting number for almost all TBSS modsI I make all my one-off parts for the SS's but many times I like to spare myself the R&D and fabrication part if the quality is there for the price. Without mass producing them myself, either option is cheaper than what I could build a comparable part for. I ease my fiscal conscience by reminding myself how many times I saved money by making my own bits.
 

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Forgot to mention, there is an additional option and its a better value.
From facebook, Oscar O Ogaz Boludo makes these crossmembers with brace for the same price as the BoS unit. Meant for the c6 conversion

102744
 

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Lighter-than-you
TrailblazerSS
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for adding that in here Mitch. Wow, we do actually have options! So this is a different spin on it that includes a similar "stiffener plate" like simple engineering makes to add on to LC32 crossmember. Myself I cant see how either stiffener plate adds any more rigidity or structural integrity to the lower cradle. Now at 11.5lbs even with the stiffy plate it's lighter than LC32 x-member (12lbs). Stock x-member is 15lbs and 3lbs for the lower engine guard. To those that just want a stock style lower engine guard, I recommend just using a 1/16" alum sheet.. don't need 1/8" alum for a lower engine guard "stiffener plate". The BoS piece comes in at 7lbs,2ozs. My main critique with this dfw member is where the dfw is carved out too big in the center on the main piece of angle.. feel like just too much material removed there leaving a weak point. My opinion is leaning to recommending the BoS member for a race truck, and the LC32 member for a lifted/offroading trailblazer (or doing huge wheelies and coming down hard). Still can't go wrong with the LC piece in racetruck either as its still shaving 3 lbs off stock piece. I think I'm going with BoS and I'll share my short-term reviews after I give it a good flogging; shaving another 8lbs off weight of stock x-member is too much to resist.
 
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Lighter-than-you
TrailblazerSS
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have your x-member installed yet? I know this is one part that's not coming from China lol. Hey that brings up a good point.. One thing that all 3 of these x-member options have going for them (as far as I know) is that they are all Made in AMERICA! One less Chinese part going on our machines.
 
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Hasnt shipped yet... i wish I had an update for it. Simple engineering’s website where i ordered seemed to have a grasp on inventory as i would see that change over time as i was kicking the tires on those parts. We shall see...
 

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Quick question... Why? From the weight pic I see about 6lbs less, but on a GMT360 platform that's nothing... I don't see any reason to do this.. I've had that crossmember out a few times when I've dropped the rack, changed lines, etc.... And it's really not difficult to do for service reasons.

Is rather throw 300+ into something useful..... This is appear to be?
 

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Quick question... Why? From the weight pic I see about 6lbs less, but on a GMT360 platform that's nothing... I don't see any reason to do this.. I've had that crossmember out a few times when I've dropped the rack, changed lines, etc.... And it's really not difficult to do for service reasons.

Is rather throw 300+ into something useful..... This is appear to be?
If one is doing it for weight reduction, its the wrong thing. You're right!

However if you’re wanting to do the c6 pan, or similar, looking for extra clearance where one doesnt need to remove the crossmember, these are the ticket. Or simply want bragging rights for a long mod and niche list, this will do
 

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If you're considering a stiffening plate, I don't think anything is as beefy as the Simple Engineering unit. It pairs perfectly with the LC32 crossmember. It makes a significant difference in chassis stiffness. Take a close look at where it mounts and how it mounts- directly to the frame at 8x spots, 4x front and 4x rear. It includes additional steel blocks that go inside the frame just to allow 2x of these front mounting locations.
 

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Lighter-than-you
TrailblazerSS
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quick question... Why? From the weight pic I see about 6lbs less, but on a GMT360 platform that's nothing... I don't see any reason to do this.. I've had that crossmember out a few times when I've dropped the rack, changed lines, etc.... And it's really not difficult to do for service reasons.

Is rather throw 300+ into something useful..... This is appear to be?
Dude, I've put in lots of time making my trailblazers as light and evenly distributed front/rear as they are while still having 4 seats. Featherweight, naturally aspirated, balance and handling.. That's just my game! I like the best bang for your buck mods too, but if everyone on here did only those mods, then all that would be on here is RWD TBSS's with a maggie, 4l80 w/4000stall and more fueling. That's been done before.

Quick question to you.. Why do you feel the need to get on my thread and question the validity of a modification that I'm interested in?? I didn't ask for an opinion on whether you or anyone else on here thinks this is a worthwhile mod. I asked for reviews on a part that apparently you have no first-hand knowledge of. If you want to stay on topic and provide something useful then by all means, do so! If you want to veer off topic then butt out.

Now we can get back to what I was originally inquiring about... ready, go!
 

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Lighter-than-you
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you're considering a stiffening plate, I don't think anything is as beefy as the Simple Engineering unit. It pairs perfectly with the LC32 crossmember. It makes a significant difference in chassis stiffness. Take a close look at where it mounts and how it mounts- directly to the frame at 8x spots, 4x front and 4x rear. It includes additional steel blocks that go inside the frame just to allow 2x of these front mounting locations.
I definitely agree with you that the simple engineering stiffener plate is the most robust design out of all the options.. Even after looking at that pic again I just can't see what its stiffening... i mean yes it is tying the lower 4 corners of the cradle together but it's full welded at all 4 corners already.. I mean it's not going to stretch the steel under hard cornering, so what is it keeping from flexing or bending or twisting? This chassis is most susceptible to the flex that occurs side to side because of limited room for more crossbracing between the rails. And I can't see where the plate helps minimize that any.. That's just my opinion. I know that many of our improvements are only based on seat of the pants feel, but being that most add this plate on with the improved crossmember, I'm inclined to believe that any degree of increased chassis rigidity is due more in part to the x-member itself.
 

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Most of the front crossmembers provide very little additional stiffness. The primary benefits of the LC32 one are easier access and lighter weight.
The benefit of the stiffening plate is huge. Seat of the pants reviews are inherently flawed, but when jacking up the car, the extra stiffness is obvious. If I was putting one on again, I would likely try to take measurements of chassis deflection while raising and lowering only one side. It's a big enough difference that it's easily visible (inches less deflection).
 
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