Shocks on 99Silverado Z71????

BkcatBkcat Member Posts: 1
edited February 2014 in Chevrolet
I had a 96 k1500 z71 XCab that I used for hauling
my heavy boat around. I loved the Bilstein shocks.
I have sold that truck and taken delivery of my 99
Silverado XCab Z71 w/ trailer tow package assuming
I'd get the familiar yellow Bilsteins I knew and
loved. Once at home I glanced under the new truck
and spotted red shocks. Aren't Bilsteins supposed
to come on the Z71s? Mine only say Tenneco
Automotive on them. Are these shocks as good as
Bilsteins? One thing I noticed right off is the
ride is much stiffer and not nearly as car like as
my 96. Thanks in advance for any help !!


  • scott41scott41 Member Posts: 3
    Bkcat - Am curious. How firm is the Z71 ride
    with the new shocks? I am about to take delivery
    of a new 99 Silverado Z71. I preferred the
    standard suspension, but need theZ82 Trailering
    Package and cannot get that with the Z83 Standard
    Suspension which has the smoothest ride of all
    4x4 packages. Thanks in advance.
  • DavyddDavydd Member Posts: 121
    I've mentioned this before in other topics. I have the 1999 Silverado z71 option and find the ride firm but not jarring. There is a damping effect which makes the ride comfortable--kind of wavy than bumpy on the highway. Concrete highways with expansion joints makes drinking coffee while driving a tad difficult. So far I am driving with no load. I anticipate putting a bed liner and fiberglass tonneau cover might dampen the ride a little more.

    After opting for a trailering package I decided on z71 over z85 more for vanity than anything else. You do get the skid plates and larger air cleaner with the package. I doubt I'll make a habit of going off road but when I was in Arches NP and Capitol Reef NP in Utah last Summer I did look longingly at attempting some of the off road trails they offered.

    In Minnesota it seems most trucks sold are 4x4 and the z71 on Chevys is a popular option.
  • cookie1cookie1 Member Posts: 68
    I too have found that it seems the 99 shocks for
    my Z71 are stiffer and more jarring than my
    previous 1997-1998 Silverados I have owned
    previously with Z71. I wonder if it is all
    about the shocks or maybe just because the
    frame is all new and that could have an effect
    on ride quality. Personally, I live in Wisconsin
    and the only reason I order my trucks with Z71
    is that most people who buy them think the graphic decals are cool and it's macho. I beg to differ since the shocks ride rougher and probably do not last any longer than the standard shocks on the 4x4. It's a marketing gimmick that Chevrolet created and it is working because most people buy Z71, at least in Wisconsin.
  • cdeancdean Member Posts: 1,110
    the shocks on the older z71s were Bilsteins, which were lifetime shocks, and were largely responsible for the nice ride. I can't remember off hand what the Silverado's have, but I don't think it is Bilstein anymore.
  • DavyddDavydd Member Posts: 121
    The are not Bilsteins but they are bigger than the z85 firm ride option needed for towing. I read in Truck Trend magazine that 60% of Chevy extended cab 4x4s come with the z71 option. It rose to cult status when Chevy started putting "z71" decals on the side in place of the "4x4" decals. From what I can tell, it is marketing and history driving it. But then again, I had the money and I bought into the vanity. Maybe it will help resell. Nevertheless, I think the ride is comfortable enough. I have no complaints.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I was compelled towards the Z85 after I read reports of harsh ride on Z71. But after trying both, I feel the Z71 is very compliant. Firm and sporty yes, but even wash-board chop is smoothly damped, never harsh. But the best part with Z71 is you get a front stabilizer (sway) bar so that it corners much flatter.
  • lbutlerlbutler Member Posts: 3
    the print out I received from the chevy dealer
    showed the Z71 pkg having "high pressure Bilstein gas shocks, off road jounce bumpers, stabilizer bars, skid plate pkg, high cap air cleaner"...
  • dave40dave40 Member Posts: 582
    Want to upgrade those Z-71 stock shocks ?check out this
    IAS Performer Shocks.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    The Bilsteins did not come on mine, they are Tenneco shocks. But I still like them.
  • jxyoungjxyoung Member Posts: 156
    I am very satisfied with the ride of my Z71! Takes bumps very well as well as road seams.
    Man this 1 cool machine!
  • benstewartbenstewart Member Posts: 1
    In the 1999 GMC brochure there is another option ( I don't remember the code) that is selectable suspension. With an onboard switch you can choose between the standard smooth ride or trailering. I assume this is through gas shocks. Is this option not offered on the Chevrolet?
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    ZX3 adjustable ride suspension. It is only available on the two wheel drive models.
  • chevy4mechevy4me Member Posts: 203
    Does anyone know whats included in the Z85 Firm ride package ? The blue shocks are Monroe made by Tenneco . Can't find out which ones exactly by looking at
  • chevy4mechevy4me Member Posts: 203
    Actually that site is
This discussion has been closed.