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stay on hard sand until you get it lifted a little with wider tires to disperse the weight a little. that is a heavy vehicle for soft sand and skinny tires. you dont want to get that thing stuck while in 4x4 unless you have a buddy vehicle of almost equal size.
 

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285/75/16 or very close to it is a good size to go with. No mud terrain tires, they dig in the sand too much and will get you stuck before helping you. My first truck was a blazer w/ 38" swampers and it did alright but would overheat because the tires would do too much digging in the soft sand. You want weight distribution. My last truck was a chevy z-71 w/35 x 14.5" tires and 6" lift and did great but was overkill for a beach. The truck I have now is an expedition w/ 3" lift and 33" bfg all terrains and is suited perfect for the beach. Your tires should be fine but they are a little skinny is all I was saying. You should be able to fit 285/75/16 all terrains on it which is equal to 31/10.5" tires.
 

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BTW if you dont have the autotrack system in the suburban the lifts are not that expensive for 3". In the $500 range. My 6" on the z was around $2000 including installation but that replaces the entire front end of the truck. The 3" just gives you longer control arms or a drop pitman arm which cuts the cost of the lift significantly. If you have the Autotrack you are SOL on cheap lifts though. Autotrack is like all time 4x4. I have a similar all time 4 on my expy which is great on slick roads and dirt roads for handling but is hell on MPG
 

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I think the gas situation has more to due with lack of power in an S-10, I used to have one and moving to the bigger tires is a B. My expy sees no difference when driving on the sand to the road. Going to the end of pins and back would take me a about 1/3 tank maybe a little more. That is what I would get out of it on the road too. My old z would use half a tank but it was a hog anyhow. I really never sweat the gas thing too much though. My boat takes $200 plus for a solid day of fishing so I try to keep in all in perspective.
 

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I have had a body lift and they are good for looks but fall apart after a couple of years. They put extra stress on the mounting location on the body and after lots of offroad use they will pull out and you will start dropping the poly spacers out. I used my truck with the body lift offroad alot and ended up loosing 3 spacers total. Never had any problem with any suspension. The body lift is harder in my opinion to put on than a 3" suspension. There is alot of cutting and bracket relocation for the body lift. With the 3" suspension you put blocks on the rear and the hardest thing would take a couple of hours for an inexperienced person which is putting on either the drop control arm or spindle. Much sterdier than the body lift. Every truck I have had has been lifted. 1 with body lift 3 with suspension. I learned from my mistake with the body lift on the first one. Again if it is going to be used on the road/for looks mainly then you should be alright with the body lift.
 

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*shrug* , 265's just didnt look that big to me when I had them on my Z to begin with. I am sure you are right, 285's look better and have a wider track, that is the size I would say to use.
 

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Big Dave, auto trac is not just push button 4x4 it is all time 4x4 that has a computer control telling it which wheel to send the power too when there is slippage including front wheels. I have a similar system on my ford and it is all time 4x4
 

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4x4 Systems

http://www.chevrolet.com/pop/blazer/4x4_systems.jspThe standard Insta-Trac 4x4 electric transfer case system (on 4x4 models only) lets you shift on the fly from 2WD to 4WD HI and back with the push of a button. An Autotrac 4x4 system is available on 4x4 models with an automatic transmission. Along with the ability to manually select 2 HI, 4 HI and 4 LO, when AUTO 4WD is engaged, Autotrac automatically transfers power between rear and front wheels whenever rear-wheel slippage is detected.
 

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Tell me then what happens when you push the button to engage the auto trac system? I seem to remember having a Tahoe z71 with this option that I drove a little while and once I pushed the autotrac it put it in an alltime 4x4 mode that controled which tire got what amount of power. This is what my expedition now has except I cant turn off the AWD feature on it like you can on the z71. (BTW-I know ford and gm are two different things)
 

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The only thing that I was saying about the chevy auto track is that once you push that Auto 4wd button (autotrac) it is in AWDand the front and rear wheels will be getting power at a computer/traction decided level and this is different from 4HI. Right or wrong? Because of this autotrac feature it adds alot of cost to the lift.
 
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