What is the Z71 suspension??? some more ???'s

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Forum' started by usmceric1, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. usmceric1

    usmceric1 Senior Member

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    What is the Z71 suspension and how does it differ from the "normal" 4x4 susp??

    What is the difference between a 1500 and a 2500 and a 3500 etc... I know that they have different axles, but is the frame more heavy duty as well??

    Can you make the 10 bolt axle any better without getting a 2500 with a 14 bolt??

    Will I lose alot of mpg if I do a 3 or 4 inch susp lift??

    Did Chevrolet change the material of gas tanks at some point in thier trucks, from stamped steel to plastic??

    Would you get a GM Performance engine or rebuild your 5.7 with upgraded parts...opinion vs. costs....what would be the better route for more hp/tq and reliability. I would like to make at least as much as 340 crank hp and over 400tq. But I would also like it to last as long as the stock motor does.

    I have a 96 Z71 ext cab w5.7


    Thanks...my first truck so I have lots of ?'s
     
  2. mrjohnwayne

    mrjohnwayne Full Member

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    not sure about the difference between z71 and 4x4.

    The frames for the 2500/3500 should be the same but also should be bigger than a 1500.

    you can probably get stronger axels for the 10 bolt but it will not do alot of good because you are still using a smaller ring and pinion etc..

    I don't think lifting the vehicle would change mpg until you start regearing etc..

    almost all auto makers use a plastic tank now

    if you are going to spend the money a good gm crate motor will probably be the best bet. They will have a better warranty and be just as dependable as any other motor.
     
  3. usmceric1

    usmceric1 Senior Member

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    Okay not to many answers from all the knowledgeable people on this site. I found out that the Z71 has beefier shocks, and a sticker and thats about it.

    Still waiting on a definitive answer on the 1500, 2500, and 3500 differences. I know that the bigger trucks have the 14 rear and some have solid front axles.....

    So a 10 bolt rear isn't really all that great....much rather have a stonger rear axle, should have bought a 2500

    I am also really thinking of the HT383E motor from GM Performance, drop in 340hp. Sounds great to me.

    I am also thinking of switching to a plastic tank as mine is steel.
     
  4. 436'd skylark

    436'd skylark Senior Member

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    the 8.5" 10 bolt is a good rear, with a very strong aftermarket/perforamance following. when properly built they can hold there own through 11 seconds in the 1/4. It will last you a long time if you put money into it.

    You will lose mpg with a lift. the aerodynamics get all messed up when the truck goes higher.

    as far as a motor, I'd go with a 383 stroker for torque. as far as rebuilding vs crate, that depends on your time and cash budget..
     
  5. mook6979

    mook6979 Member

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    z71 is just an extra shock in the front on each side and skid plates
     
  6. chevyguy

    chevyguy Senior Member

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    Z71 has better shocks, Skid plates on the front and transfer case. Other than that its just a sticker. As for the rear diff. Look arounfd the local bone yard for a short bed 2500. They have 6 lug axles but are actually 8.5 ring and pinion 14 bolt diffs. Real strong and alot have gov lock traction devises in them from the factory
     
  7. Sneakysportsman

    Sneakysportsman Senior Member

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    Chevyguy is right, Bilstien shocks all the way around and stainless steel skid plates, ALSO No Z71 trucks came with less than a 3.73 gear ratio no matter 5.7 or 5.0 and all had P or LT 265 75 R16 tires.
    4X4 trucks came with 3.42 3.73 even a 3.07 rear. They had P or LT 245 75 R16 or P 265 75 R16. All had a mechanical locking Diff, that was speed sensitive. It was part of the "Like a Rock" era of 1988.
     

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