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Z71 Shocks Upgrade

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

  1. 747

    747 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    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 Member

    I second this question.
  3. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    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 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.

  5. audible

    audible 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 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.
  7. audible

    audible 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:

  8. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    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 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 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    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.

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