Z71 Shocks Upgrade

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by 747, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. 747

    747 New Member

    I have been trying to find information on the Z71 shocks in the NBS trucks. The Z71 package says the shocks are upgraded to 46mm shocks, but what shocks come on the non-Z71 trucks? Are the shocks in the Z71 decent quality?

    My mom also has a NBS Silverado, but its not Z71. I can tell a big difference in the shocks, the ride in her truck is bouncy, it does not soak up bumps like mine.
  2. audible

    audible New Member

    I second this question.
  3. pmf608

    pmf608 New Member

    I'm not sure if this is still the case on the 2011's, but the Z71 package has historically used Bilstein schocks. If you look at them, they are usually blue and/or yellow. Overall, the Bilsteins seem to have a very good reputation and in my opinion are generally a very good shock. I'm not sure what the standard shocks are... probably just GM/AC Delco shocks.
  4. davedyno

    davedyno New Member

    Z71 Shocks

    My 2011 Silverado Z71 Ext 4X4 5.3 came with 18" Wheels and Rancho Shocks. I pull a 6,500 lb. camper and the ride, handling are great. I also had the truck on the beach when surfishing and the Z71 suspension did well.
    I'm very pleased with my new Chevy.

    Dave
  5. audible

    audible New Member

    Was your 2011 truck new from dealer, or new/used? I ask because my 2011 Z71 shocks are black or blue. I'll have to crawl under there and see if there is a name on them.

  6. davedyno

    davedyno New Member

    My 2011 Silverado Z71 was new from dealer July04,2011. Shocks are white and red in color, Rancho on them. I also still have the window sticker that say's truck has ALL STAR EDITION, that includes a whole bunch of stuff, plus the extra Z71 appearance package that say's 18" Wheels, Off road tires,RANCHO Shocks,Z71 Instrument Panel, Chrome Tow Hooks,Trailer Brake Controller, still a lot more other things. I don't know what the factory used on my 2002 Silverado without the Z71,but factory shocks,brakes were junk.
    The over all Quality on everything, the ride on and off road, fit and finish,brakes,performance and even the gas mileage to me it is just great. I have had many cars and trucks over the years, but nothing this good.
    Dave
  7. audible

    audible New Member

    Okay, just looked under the truck and the rear shocks do look large, but no name on the and they are a blue/grey in color. I have my build sheet printout from service and under the listed option codes it says: Z71- Off Road Suspension Package-Skid Plate-High capacity air cleaner. On the same line.

    So, I'm confused! Does Z71 just mean bigger shocks and the Rancho or Bilsteen shocks are an additional option or package? Or did they foget to add it to mine?

    Do any of you know for certain?

    **Also noticed coolant leak while I was under there............. :grrrrrr:

    Thanks
  8. pmf608

    pmf608 New Member

    I just did a bit more research on this and it looks like gm doesn't really have one specific shock supplier anymore. Since 1999, it looks like they have been using shocks made by Tenneco (owned by Monroe). The rancho shocks apparently only come with the Z71 appearance package - the Z71 without the appearance package has Tenneco shocks (gas instead of hydraulic). It seems that the Z71 SUVs such as my avalanche have stuck with Bilstein shocks though
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  9. audible

    audible New Member

    Okay, just talked with Chevy CS. I have the Z71 suspension and HD trailering pkg. I do not have the Z71 Appearance Package that adds the brandname shocks color coded grille, bumper, etc. So my questions were resolved. Now I need to call my dealer about the coolant dripping off the engine!! :grrrrrr:
  10. 747

    747 New Member

    My shocks are blackish color, they look just like the ones on the non-Z71 trucks. So we have the same shocks. The Rancho shocks (white and red) are an upgrade from the standard Z71 shocks.
  11. pmf608

    pmf608 New Member

    Right. That's what I narrowed it down to. The Z71 comes with Gas shocks (black) that look the same as the standard shocks. The standard shocks are oil-filled. The Z71 Appearance Package (chrome tow hooks, Z71 gauge faces, special grille, etc.) gets the upgraded rancho shocks.
  12. Red Z71 Max

    Red Z71 Max New Member

    I have a Z71 without the appearance package, but it does have a towing package and it has the all black shocks.
  13. kburb

    kburb New Member

    back in the day, the Z71 package included Bilstiens but not sure any more, if Chevy is getting there shocks from Monroe they could be Rancho's. I thought the Rancho's were made by Monroe.

    look to see if there is any numbers on the shocks that you could google.
  14. 747

    747 New Member

    Heres the next question, the Z71 comes with a 36mm swaybar, dont all the new 1500 trucks have this feature?
  15. 99'HEARTBEAT

    99'HEARTBEAT Moderator Staff Member

    Next to the Z71 Off-Road Suspension Package, there is the Z71 Appearance Package, the Z83 and Z85 Suspension Packages and last the Z82 Trailering Package they come with the Following features,

    ***Z82.....
    Trailering Equipment HD includes Trailer Hitch Platform. 7 wire harness, K47 high Capacity Air Cleaner, (KNP) Cooling External Transmission Cooler,

    ***Z83....Delivers a Solid, Smooth Ride with 35mm-piston, Twin-Tube Shocks and a 32mm Front Stabilizer Bar

    ***Z85....Designed for Enhanced Handling and Trailer Towing, with 35mm-Piston, Mono-Tube Shocks and a 36mm Front Stabilizer Bar

    ***Z71....Delivers Enhanced Off-Road Capability; features 46mm Shocks, Off-Road Jounce Bumpers and a 36mm Front Stabilizer Bar; the Package also includes a Skid Plate, Heavy-Duty Air Cleaner and Z71 Decals on the Rear Fenders

    ***Z71.....Appearance Package, available on Extended Cab Standard Box and Crew Cabâ„¢ Short Box models, includes body-color front bumper lower and center sections with body-color end caps, a body-color grille with chrome insert, unique Z71 decals, bright door sill plates, chrome recovery hooks, body-color outside mirrors and door handles and fog lamps. 18" aluminum wheels and 18" tires and front and rear Rancho shocks raise the Z71 performance level even higher.


    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  16. 747

    747 New Member

    Thanks for the answers! My family has wondered about this :great:
  17. audible

    audible New Member

    99 Heart Beat
    Thanks for the information. It really helps when you provide the codes. That way we can compare to our individual trucks and not guess. :great:
  18. pmf608

    pmf608 New Member

    I agree that that is good information. However, I do think that gm should mention I there that the rancho shocks only come on the z71 appearance package (separate from the z71 suspension package even though the shocks are a suspension part). If they pu all of this info in one area of information, I think it would avoid confusion for people
  19. GrizzlyTN

    GrizzlyTN New Member

    Got another question about this. My truck does have the Z71 upgraded appearance package and has the Rancho shocks. I got under to see what model of shocks they are but I didn't see a name or number.

    Anybody got an idea what Rancho model shock they are using from the factory on the 2012 Crew LT Z71 Rancho? I'm wanting to lift my truck and might get the Rancho MyRide kit.
  20. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    The newer GM Z71's come with a Cheap Rancho shocks, Not the Bil's that they had before. one more case of GM going CHEAP again.... :( I just got my new Bilstein's and will be putting them on soon. As the Bilstein reps will tell you. After 100K miles if there shock is not leaking it's still good And when I had my 02 Avalanche I changed my Bil's for new ones and they were both the same in damping.. So the old ones were still good..

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