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Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Buyer's Remorse perhaps

Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby cdmmoore [OP] » Sep 05 2015, 7:11pm

I have a sales rep I have worked with on my last three new Chevy purchases and just bought a new ’15 Silverado 2500 4x4 LTZ Duramax Diesel Crew Cab Z71. Whoop.

I have a bit of buyer’s remorse in that it is a much stiffer or rougher ride than my previous Chevys and the bed sits about 10” higher than the last. My first Chevy was ’97 1500 and then moved into a 2004 2500 Diesel 4x4 Duramax Diesel Crew Cab. I'm really more interested in a Cowboy Cadillac and although I might take it hunting, I really do very little off-road driving.

I worried my addition of the Z71 package affected my ride a lot, but my sales rep says that it would only play a marginal difference if any. I feel like a stud in the higher ride, but it just seems throwing my tool bags and such another 10” higher every time for this increasingly older pot-bellied boy will get old quick. I’m ready to add an aluminum canopy and lumber rack which some suggest will help, but have been dragging my feet while I stew over these two points of concern. Any thoughts on whether I have anything to gain by any other version of the 2500 4x4 LTZ Duramax Diesel? Would current non Z71s sit any lower - my Rep suggests it would not. I love everything else. Thanks for any words of wisdom.
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby Onlyina_Chevy » Sep 05 2015, 7:59pm

Your "Rep" is telling you the truth on all accounts. Honestly, I think you are not taking into consideration that your last truck was 11 years old and well worn; shocks, springs, etc. and that is why there seems to be such a drastic change although you are pretty much driving the same model.

There isn't a package that I am aware of that makes the truck set any higher than a base model of the same series (2500 w/t ~ 2500 LTZ) regardless of 2WD/4WD. However, I don't buy 2500s so I am not an expert on them by any stretch of the imagination, just going on what I see when passing by a dealership; all trucks of similar weights seem to sit at the same height.
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby TJEli » Sep 05 2015, 8:03pm

When I was test driving new HDs there was no discernible difference in ride between a Z71 and a non Z71. They are also the same height. I have a '15 non Z71 2500 for a shop truck and a '15 Z71 2500 as my personal truck. They ride the same.

Current Z71 package gets you:

Rancho Shocks
Thicker front swaybar
Skid Plates
black grill
interior trim
decals
hill decent control

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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby BlackZ71Silverado » Sep 05 2015, 9:52pm

You have to realize when you buy an "HD" pickup, you are going to have an HD ride no matter which suspension package you go with. The spring rate on the HD is much higher than any standard 1500 series pickup, that will make the ride more harsh. You are not going to get a smooth car like ride out of an HD pickup, unless you replace the suspension with light duty parts.

The 2500HD with Z71 shocks sits no higher or lower than one with Z60, Z85, or any other suspension package shocks, they are the same.
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby Copperhead » Sep 05 2015, 10:05pm

The height was a little much for ma also, and the ride was little too firm. Several things to note here... the 2500/3500 have so much rake that it is probably too much. I lowered the back end 2" with a set of McGaughy's shackles, that helped considerably. Also, the recommended tire pressures are for if you have the pickup loaded to maximum gross. I dropped the tire pressures on mine to around 55 when empty. I only air up if I am going to be really putting the weight on the pickup. That helped ride considerably.
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby hedleylamar » Sep 05 2015, 10:22pm

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the newer GM hd trucks have a factory body lift/spacers to fit the Allison transmissions (regardless of whether you got the duramax or vortec engine) and I'm not sure if your 2004 had the same lift for that generation of truck/transmission. Seems to me like a catch 22: taller truck, but superior HD trsnamission
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby CJM8515 » Sep 06 2015, 4:13pm

At least up until 2013 I can confirm (we have several 2500HD at work):

1. The suspension, even 2wd is a lot more stiff than the 1500 and even older 2500HD trucks (07 classic and earlier)

2. Without any weight in the bed it sits like a cat in heat. Add some weight and it drops 2-3 inches no problem

3. They sit higher period, even the 2wd trucks-than the older 07 and earlier trucks. They sit a lot higher than a 1500 will.

4. Depending on the tires they will rattle your fillings out. We have a 13 x-cab 4wd, it did have firestone 17s on it-we got some really nice chrome wheels with michelins 18s. THat sucker rides so stiff its not even funny, and its loaded with 1500lbs if not more and the tires are 65psi all around. The firestones were much less harsh period.

5. Compared to the old trucks the leaf springs are STIFF and you have 4-5 including overload

Its a HD truck..aint gonna ride like the old ones no matter what.If anything, I dislike how mushy my 12 1500 feels even with bilstein shocks all around and I aired the tires up to 40psi (max is 45). I prefer how the HD trucks ride as they handle better (less body roll/lean) and they are more rigid. But that comes at the price of stiffness.

Overall they remind me of the old Fords. Unloaded they rode terrible, throw a bit of weight in the back and it rode like a caddy.
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby cdmmoore [OP] » Sep 06 2015, 9:01pm

I much appreciate the 6 or 7 of you that gave me feedback. It doesn't sound like I have anything to gain by trying to make a vehicle change given I otherwise love the pickup. I don't need the HD abilities all that often, but they are nice when I do. I'll add my lumber rack and canopy and maybe that will help some. And maybe this ride will adjust my lard a$$ and I'll get use to it and be like CJM8515 and appreciate the non-mushy ride before too long. Thanks for the input. Carl.
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Re: Z71 Off-road Suspension vs. Not

Postby Copperhead » Sep 06 2015, 10:17pm

Yeah, it is a mixed bag. I hardly tow, but I do haul more in the pickup than would be practical with a 1500. In some respects, I prefer the lumber wagon ride of the 2500. Reminds me of a '79 F**d Bronco I had that I really liked. But still, taking some of the air out of the tires when empty was called for in my 2500. That seems to be the ideal solution for my taste. And I have no documented proof of it, but I am convinced that taking some of the air out of the tires when empty improved handling and fuel economy. I have become convinced that, at recommend inflation, the rear wheel hop was bad enough that the anti slip feature was micro braking frequently enough to affect mpg. And the hop around at recommended pressures when empty was terrible on gravel roads. Led to excessive fishtailing around on those roads. But I did pick up a little better mpg by reducing the tire pressures.
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