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Talk to me about Z71


Drew Dowdell

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Other than suspension, it is $100 decals. It has oil pan protection and front and rear skid plates with higher capacity air filter for mud brawling.

Here are the complete details:

Z71 Appearance Off-Road Package
This available option includes the following features:
  • 46mm high-pressure gas-charged shocks
  • A 36mm front stabilizer bar
  • Off-road jounce bumpers to absorb large suspension inputs
  • Under body transfer case shield
  • High-capacity air cleaner
  • Z71 badge and decals
  • Unique gauge cluster, lower bumper appearance, interior trim plates and grill design
  • Brushed metal Z71 door sill plate
  • Hill descent control
  • Recovery hooks (2WD models)
  • Trailering Package, locking differential and 17” Bright Machined wheels on LT
  • 18” Bright Machined wheels on LTZ
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Other than suspension, it is $100 decals. It has oil pan protection and front and rear skid plates with higher capacity air filter for mud brawling.

Here are the complete details:

Z71 Appearance Off-Road Package
This available option includes the following features:
  • 46mm high-pressure gas-charged shocks
  • A 36mm front stabilizer bar
  • Off-road jounce bumpers to absorb large suspension inputs
  • Under body transfer case shield
  • High-capacity air cleaner
  • Z71 badge and decals
  • Unique gauge cluster, lower bumper appearance, interior trim plates and grill design
  • Brushed metal Z71 door sill plate
  • Hill descent control
  • Recovery hooks (2WD models)
  • Trailering Package, locking differential and 17” Bright Machined wheels on LT
  • 18” Bright Machined wheels on LTZ

There's the magic word I was looking for.

But I'm still a little confused... should the highway ride be firmer than standard or softer than standard on these?

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  • 4 months later...

It should be firmer in all years.

That said, the option sort of morphed over the years into a trim level package.

When I was considering an Avalanche, Z71 was a required package to get some basic HD options I wanted and it required a sunroof!

The crappy package bundles are why I vetoed the Av.

So, the short answer about Z71 is that it depends on the year.

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  • 3 months later...

I just spent the weekend with a brand new Z71 truck.

 

I can report the 2015 version is a well tamed model and not as harsh as past models. The suspension is firmer but they also are now using things like Rancho Mono tube shocks to better control the suspension and not try to rely  only on the springs.

 

GM has learned a lot in suspension work in the last 10 years as they no longer take the easy way out with just beefed up springs on a Handling or Off road package. Now are doing it with the better combination of bushing, springs and much better shocks.

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We just got rid of a 2009 Silverado LT2 2WD with tow package. The new truck rides much better empty right from the start even with the Z71. The interior is light years better. Drivetrain about the same. Too new to say much on MPG.

 

GM is doing much more with shocks and struts than they often indicate.

The FE5 suspension on my HHR goes with redone aluminum control arms with urethane bushings, lower springs but not so stiff that it makes it difficult to control on an uneven surface. The Shocks and struts are higher level Sachs struts and shocks that are used to dampen but not provide a jarring effect.

GM has learned the fine art of less is sometimes more.

We also see this on the restraint of 20 inch tires on many Cadillac's as the bigger wheels are great for styling but the unsprung weight is a headache for engineers. Also for MPG.

 

Also they fixed the stake pockets so they no longer feed into the bed and leak in water unless you use covers to plug the holes. The new cover is water tight and no need for added stake covers.

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So it sounds like Z-71 isn't really something I need to look for in a used Avalanche ... it's fine if I find one that has it, but no deal breaker if I find one that doesn't. 

 

I would like that G80 though... and it seems to be hard to find on non-Z71 Avalanches (or at least not shown in the listing)

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If you are not planning to do any major off roading than no you don't need it.

Now if you can find one priced right it is a plus.

 

If anything look for the locking rear diff that comes with tow package and you will be fine. I would never buy a truck without the locking rear diff. If you live in any snow it make a world of difference. I have always had locking or limited slip diffs and never really needed 4x4  in the snow unless I was plowing.

A little weight in the bed good tire and it would go anywhere.  Note I have used space age technology for winter driving. I use  a 190 pound tire from the Space Shuttle for weight in the bed. Not only is it the right weight but I have won a lot of bets with it. People do not want to believe what you have till you show them the side wall and it says good for 6 landings. {Note they never used them more than one though}

Edited by hyperv6
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If you are not planning to do any major off roading than no you don't need it.

Now if you can find one priced right it is a plus.

 

If anything look for the locking rear diff that comes with tow package and you will be fine. I would never buy a truck without the locking rear diff. If you live in any snow it make a world of difference. I have always had locking or limited slip diffs and never really needed 4x4  in the snow unless I was plowing.

A little weight in the bed good tire and it would go anywhere.  Note I have used space age technology for winter driving. I use  a 190 pound tire from the Space Shuttle for weight in the bed. Not only is it the right weight but I have won a lot of bets with it. People do not want to believe what you have till you show them the side wall and it says good for 6 landings. {Note they never used them more than one though}

 

HAH where did you get that!?

 

Yeah, I live in the snow belt and have a very steep driveway to climb out of.  My old Avalanche was a Z71 but I still needed 4x4 to get out if there was anything more than a dusting of snow. 

 

I don't do any off-roading today, the CR-V, Enclave, and Toronado just aren't into that sort of thing, but I do enjoy some very mild off-roading when I have the right truck for the job.  It was actually the reason I didn't mind the tupperware that came on my 2003 Avalanche... less paint to worry about scratching. 

 

No, the primary duties for whatever vehicle I get will be some heavy home improvement type stuff and then some long haul trips 350 miles across the state twice a month. 

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We did display work for BFG and had a few left over that were going to get tossed out.

 

I also live in the snow belt and can see up to 8-10 of snow easily from the time I go to work to getting home. Where I used to live the city never plowed the street but 4 times a years. The end also got plowed in often. A good set of tires and limited slip never let me down in my S10 or Sonoma. Note the street was up hill going in and off camber. That was the real issue as on ice it always slid to the east side.

 

Even in my HHR I used a good set of all season tires and would push the snow with the intercooler and air dam.

 

I did have to change the tires on the Terrain as it is FWD and the Handkooks were crap but the new Triple Treads have transformed the vehicle into not having any issues.

 

The only snow I have had issues with is really wet heavy snow and even my neighbors in their 4x4 have issues with that.

 

I understand you on the driveway as I have seen some bad ones. But I am not one of these folks who feel I have to have it just to get out. My drive is not that bad and the roads for the most part are pretty well cleared. Just securing the issue with limited slip and good tires can make things much easier.

 

I am not anti 4x4 as I see it more as an advantage than a must have. There are some folks out there that just see it as a must and they only get 20" of snow a year. We can get that in a day or so alone.

 

It is mare a matter of needs and perspectives.

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  • 1 month later...

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