Convert Z-71 to 2WD or AWD

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by cowboy93, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. cowboy93

    cowboy93 New Member

    Yes I know, sounds strange. I'm 18 years old and this is my first truck I have paid for on my own and I'd like to keep it. I have an 04 ext cab Z-71 that I am looking to convert to a 2wd. My reason for doing so is partly getting into too much trouble with 4WD, partly I want to build a street/strip killer. I've been around cars and trucks my whole life so don't hold back on info or think I'm getting in over my head. Money is not an issue at this point. If anyone could help me out on what all needs to be done and replaced I would greatly appreciate it. Also, I'm not fully set on a 2WD set up, if it would be easier to go AWD that would be fine too. I wouldn't mind building a SS clone.
     
  2. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    First off, welcome to the club.

    Now then, I fully understand that it's hard to resist the trails. Other than destroying your hated neighbor's yard in 4wd or hopping the curb and driving down the sidewalk to avoid traffic I'm not sure what other trouble it could help you get into. But that's besides the point. :)

    I would say at this time some of the best strip trucks are 4x4 turbo diesels. So if money is really no issue then your best bet would be to source a nice diesel and it's accompanying drivetrain. No need to ditch the 4x4 since you'll need that for traction when your truck is eating viper's for lunch.
     
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy ↑↑↑ Has no life Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Just pull the front driveshaft. Simple, free, and non-permanent. You don't be able to get into 4wd, and if you really need to, you can easily throw the front driveshaft in and go.
     
  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    As crawdaddy says you could just pull the front driveshaft.
    If your plans are to lower the truck some this may be a little harder due to the way the front suspension was designed.
    Conversion to AWD would require a new T-case, which wont be cheap along with a few other parts that will be equally expensive.
    At this point I'd recommend leaving the truck like it is and learning how to curb your behavior, a little more time spent making better decisions will save you a lot of money.
    As far as a street runner theres far to many idiots out there that think they drive much better than the average driver, evne if they do the under average drivers are still out there and far to often this is the recipe for two vehicles to occupy the same time and space which we all know doesnt ever come out well.
    A strip killer, with a beefier front axle you could pull a lot better times due to the added traction, since most strips have gone to 1/8 mile and not the old 1/4 mile 4wd doesnt affect the top end as bad as it used to, and as pointed out some of the fastes machines on the dragstrips now a days are the Diesel tow rigs which are 4wd and or Duallys, Google Diesel drags sometime and look what these guys are doing with 4wd tow rigs.
     
  5. cowboy93

    cowboy93 New Member

    I actually pulled the front drive shaft 2 days ago due to what I thought was a bad u joint tapping. In the process of pulling it, I turned it slightly and heard the tapping yet again. I then realized the tapping is in my T case so a new one is in my near future anyway. Also since a Dmax was brought up, how much of a difference is there in my frame and a true Dmax frame? would my frame be able to handle that much power? A buddy of mine has an 03 4 door Dmax with a total of 14 inches of lift pushing 1000HP to the wheels. If I do a Dmax swap would my frame hold around 900HP with the outrageous torque of the Dmax? Thank all of you for your help!
     
  6. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    You will need really good motor mounts. But the frame will more than withstand the power. Todays frames are way stronger than older frames. And as mentioned i would keep 4wd. since the biggest draw back in either the 1/4 mile (which i am a fan) and the 1/8th mile is getting all that power to move the truck off the line. A 2wd will spin the rear tires even with the traction aid they put on the track. I have experience with this and the last truck i took was a 2006 silverado with the 5.3L competely stock and it wouldnt get off the line for anything that was spinning or not. Anyhow long story short a 4wd is the best way to get a truck down the strip the fastest and thanks to the reduced rotational mass, along with easier moving parts you really dont have a problem with 4wd effecting your trap speeds.
     
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Possibly time for a new T-case but you need to check this one out and find the cause of the tapping first. A good start would be to change the oil and look for particles then go from there.
    Is your truck a 1500 or 2500? D-Max is offered in 2500 and up they have a thicker frame thats designed a little different than the 1500's.
    Yes the 1500 frame could handle the D-Max depending on the amount of abuse you plan on giving it and the amount of horsepower you plan on getting out of the engine. At some point you would need to start strengthening the frame, this might cost a little $$, I'd start a plan on paper with your goals before putting to much money out at this time. Then you can determine if you need to go to a larger truck or can use the one you have to accomplish your goals.
    You've probably seen many mega horsepower trucks but the questions you need to think of are:
    Is the truck safe to drive, i.e. does it start, stop, and run correctly, if I had a wife and child would I be o.k. with them driving this truck and know that theyd be safe.
    Is it a realistic daily commuter, or does it eat me out of home with fuel cost, do I have to tweak it and play with things to get it to take me places, or can I jump in and drive carefree across country.
    Will it be legal, or do I have to hassle to get it licensed and inspected every year, am I in fear of being harrased by the local authorities everytime I go somewhere.
    Would the cost of converting this truck be feasable or would I save money in the long run by selling this one and purchasing a truck that already has some of the options I'm looking for from the factory.
    Not to offend but at your age I'm guessing the biggest factor to this whole plan will be money, and in your eyes doing the work to this truck would be the most cost effective, and it might be at first, but as you get into the project there will be other factors that'll come up that make the first choice not such a good choice.
    So again put your plan to paper, make a good parts list, then get accurate pricing for all the parts. After that I believe your plan will change some.
    I've been down this road with many project trucks of my own and even after my finance got to a good place I still had issues with the cost of some projects, hardly anything ever ends up costing what you plan, most times it cost's lots more.
     

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