Back in the day, I knew I wanted to take the Trailblazer (referred to as TB herein) off road. However I wasn’t entirely oriented in the right direction immediately. I was planning on stopping after simply lifting it… now that’s a complete riot.
However, I began my modifications with some minor things. First to come were brush guards. These are not “essential” off road items, but the added front and rear protection off road and in the Baltimore traffic appealed to me. I went with the best name in brush guards, WAAG. They are much more expensive, but they are the only guards for the TrailBlazer that do not mount under the front bumper. Instead, they shared the tow hook mounting holes. This preserved the approach angle of the vehicle, yet still protected the lowest part of the plastic bumper from a run-in with the ground in a high approach-angle situation. The WAAG was also the only brush guard for the TB that has a four- point mounting system, thus making it ultra-sturdy when compared to the other guards. I had no problems pushing other vehicles, and there were no added vibrations in the guard, making it a great mount for auxiliary lights.
The rear guard was less sturdy than the front, but is still quite useful. The first being traffic protection. It also provided extra foot-area when reaching items on the roof. The guard mounted to the bumper attachment bolts on either frame rail. Even though these do sit below the bumper, it does not destroy the approach angle much. If anything, it actually provided some extra protection against rocks, which was helpful in a couple situations.
I would not advise using either brush guard as a recovery or lifting point, even though they are both frame mounted.
I have since replaced both of these items with steel bumpers… those details will be posted later… trying to do this in chronological order.