2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

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Thread: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

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    2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    OK, I know, I bought it. It actually wasn't until is was sitting next to my trade-in Nissan Frontier that I notices how low the front end was. I know full well, that stupid low air damn was put on for highway mileage only and it will be coming off soon. But what other options do I have that won't void the factory warranty? The entire front end is just way too low for taking it up my homestead's fire road.

    I also ordered the matching mud flaps right away, but even those are simply way too low for an off road vehicle. Cracked one of them the first time up! Does anyone make a quality mud flap that's about 2-3 inches shorter?

    I purchased a Silverado because, frankly, I just could not afford the comparable Ford off-road model. But I have to give kuddo's to Ford because their off road labelled models have much more ground clearance.

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Yeah- nowadays the Z-71 package is nothing more than an inflated price for decal stickers. Sad to see, but most people don't take their $40k+ trucks off the asphalt anyway.
    Get used to more.

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    The "stupid low air dam" is to direct air to the cooling system. You'll probably notice your gage temp go up after it is removed.

    Exactly what is the difference in inches between the Ford front end and the Chevy at the lowest point?

    Is the problem your truck, or your road?

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Those air dams in the GM trucks are way to low, the SUV's have the same problem. GM needs a better off road package and everyone here knows it.

    Now about that price... Your truck was cheaper than the equivalent Ford?? I'm quite sure the GM trucks are more expensive than the Fords and Rams.
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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Your dealer cannot refuse your warranty unless they can prove your modification caused the problem.

    I don't see how the Z71 package is just decals. It includes Rancho monotube shocks, a transfer case shield, automatic locking rear diff, all-terrain tires, and descent control. Jalopnik took an HD2500 Z71 offroading and had a blast.

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeetheUSA View Post
    Yeah- nowadays the Z-71 package is nothing more than an inflated price for decal stickers. Sad to see, but most people don't take their $40k+ trucks off the asphalt anyway.
    Z-71 has never been anything but slightly upgraded shocks and a "high-capacity" air filter, which just mean it has a few more pleats than the standard one, but what do you expect for $300?

    We all know its "All About the Decals!"

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote:Your dealer cannot refuse your warranty unless they can prove your modification caused the problem."

    Dream on.

    We do it every day, and the owner has to prove that it didn't.

    A well trained service advisor or shop foreman will inform you before taking your obviously modified vehicle that is in warranty time/mileage that you will be responsible for any charges incurred diagnosing a problem that is later determined to be caused by your modification. The fine print where you sign releasing your vehicle to us for diagnosis states the same thing (and does every repair order I've personally ever seen, along with some other legal tidbits), to cover modifications that don't obviously present themselves (PCM upgrades, engine internal mods, different gearing, ect). Manufacturers don't pay dealers to diagnose or repair problems caused by mods, and no one works for free.

    Common-sense, non-related items, of course would be a non-issue.

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    Z-71 has never been anything but slightly upgraded shocks and a "high-capacity" air filter, which just mean it has a few more pleats than the standard one, but what do you expect for $300?

    We all know its "All About the Decals!"



    2014 Silverado / Sierra

    Z71 Package

    LT Z71 includes all LT features, with the addition or substitution of:
    Z71 Off-Road Suspension with Rancho® monotube shocks
    Hill Descent Control
    All-terrain tires
    Off-road jounce bumpers
    Underbody transfer shield on 4WD models
    Locking rear differential
    Z71 appearance package (Brushed metal Z71 door sill plate, unique Z71 gauge cluster, unique finish interior trim plates, unique lower bumper appearance, unique grille design with Z71 badge and Z71 pickup box decals)
    Fog lamps
    Recovery hooks




    2014 F150

    Ford Off-Road Package
    (requires 301A or 302A; 4x4 only; n/a
    with 3.7L V6 engine, Heavy-Duty Payload Package or 163"
    WB) includes 3.55 electronic-locking rear axle; fuel tank,
    transfer case and front differential skid plates; off-road
    tuned front shock absorbers; P265/70R17 OWL all-terrain
    tires; 4x4 Off-Road box decals; and Hill Descent Control™


    Quote Originally Posted by petemacmahon View Post

    I purchased a Silverado because, frankly, I just could not afford the comparable Ford off-road model. But I have to give kuddo's to Ford because their off road labelled models have much more ground clearance.


    2014 Silverado / Sierra 1500 4X4
    Minm. Running Ground Clearance

    DoubleCab / CrewCab - 8.9"


    2014 F150 4X4
    Minm. Running Ground Clearance


    SuperCab 144.5 WB / 8.6" 163.1 WB / 8.4"
    SuperCrew 144.5 WB / 9.1" 163.1 WB / 9.0"



    From your Silverado Owners manual..............

    Before Driving Off-Road
    To gain more ground clearance if
    needed, it may be necessary to
    remove the front fascia lower
    air dam.

    Notice: Operating the vehicle for
    extended periods without the
    front fascia lower air dam
    installed can cause improper air
    flow to the engine. Re‐attach the
    front fascia air dam after off-road
    driving.
    2016 FORD F250 4X4 - 2018 CHEVY VOLT PREMIER

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    Quote:Your dealer cannot refuse your warranty unless they can prove your modification caused the problem."

    Dream on.

    We do it every day, and the owner has to prove that it didn't.

    A well trained service advisor or shop foreman will inform you before taking your obviously modified vehicle that is in warranty time/mileage that you will be responsible for any charges incurred diagnosing a problem that is later determined to be caused by your modification. The fine print where you sign releasing your vehicle to us for diagnosis states the same thing (and does every repair order I've personally ever seen, along with some other legal tidbits), to cover modifications that don't obviously present themselves (PCM upgrades, engine internal mods, different gearing, ect). Manufacturers don't pay dealers to diagnose or repair problems caused by mods, and no one works for free.

    Common-sense, non-related items, of course would be a non-issue.
    I was responding to the implication that it would void his warranty entirely. Removing the air dam would not cancel his warranty. The dealer can only decline coverage of problems related to its removal.
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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    The "stupid low air dam" is to direct air to the cooling system. You'll probably notice your gage temp go up after it is removed.
    I drove without mine on for years after it broke off, including towing 4 tons in the mountains and never had a problem with the cooling system.

    Most T900 Silverados and Sierras I've seen on the road have them removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    Exactly what is the difference in inches between the Ford front end and the Chevy at the lowest point?
    Maximum ground clearance has very little to do with approach and departure angles, which are impacted by vehicle body design and axle placement.

    Just a few facts:
    2014 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab - 8.9" ground clearance, 17.9 degree approach angle......a huge handicap for a truck
    2015 Chevrolet Suburban - 7.9" ground clearance, 15.5 degree approach angle (which is beyond pathetic)

    2014 Toyota Tundra - 10.4" ground clearance, 26 degree approach angle
    2014 Subaru Outback - 8.7" ground clearance, 18.5 degree approach angle
    2014 Toyota Highlander - 8.0" ground clearance, 22 degree approach angle
    2014 Ford F150 crew cab XLT - 9.0" ground clearance, 25.7 degree approach angle

    http://www.fourwheeler.com/vehicle-r...off-road-test/
    Ground clearance on this vehicle was only 7.9 inches and the approach angle was only 15.5 degrees. For comparison, these numbers are lower (that means worse) than the ’14 Dodge Durango that competed in our 2014 Four Wheeler of the Year test and even lower than a ’14 Subaru Outback. It hasn’t always been this way. The ’03 Chevrolet Suburban 4x4 had better ground clearance (8.4 inches) and a 9.5-degree better approach angle (25 degrees).


    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post

    Is the problem your truck, or your road?
    As a former Chevrolet truck loyalist, I can assure you that it is the truck. This is a huge handicap for GM trucks and SUVs and a major design oversight for anything that is expected to go off pavement or even park near a tall curb without losing parts.


    Operating the vehicle for
    extended periods without the
    front fascia lower air dam
    installed can cause improper air
    flow to the engine. Re‐attach the
    front fascia air dam after off-road
    driving.
    Yeah....it's a pathetic design. Depending on the model, there are about 4 bolts and a dozen clips. It's a real hassle when other competitors design their air dams in a way that they don't actually have to be removed. This has been a major design oversight on the part of GM products for a long time. I'd avoid buying from them if you need a truck that gets taken off pavement for even light off roading. There's no reason to have to deal with that.

    I don't see how the Z71 package is just decals. It includes Rancho monotube shocks, a transfer case shield, automatic locking rear diff, all-terrain tires, and descent control.
    All of those options are completely lost on a vehicle that will scrape it's chin on paved suburban parking lots. General Motors needs to move their front axle forward and stop attaching flimsy plastic crap to their trucks. It's as if their trucks are designed by a committee of people who want to create a caricature of what they think truck buyers want.

    Even Consumer Reports complained about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RuJZPI2lEM (fast forward to 13:50)
    Last edited by member12; 06-10-2014 at 11:50 PM.

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    The minimum ground clearance almost has nothing to do with off-roading because the minimum ground clearance is usually the distance between where the differential hangs down and the ground. Also it seems like 90% of trucks on the road seem to be within 2" of each other when it comes to minimum ground clearance (between 7.xx and 10.xx inches).The rest of the truck can sit either a little by higher or a lot higher and how low the frame sits affects the approach, departure and break over angle by a large margin. Chevy trucks have always sat low when compared to Ford and Toyota trucks. I doubt that having the air dam that low really affects fuel mileage or engine cooling as much as people think it does. When I was deployed to Iraq a lot of FOBs had Silverados, Rams and F150s on them and 90% of the Silverados had their air dams ripped or taken off and I never heard of them overheating in 130 degree weather. I took mine off my silverado when I had mine and it never overheated and it didn't affect my fuel mileage at all. Most of my driving is highway as well. I do think that the Z71 should have a mild suspension lift, maybe something like 2", even a leveling kit that lifts the front end up a little so the truck sits more level and bigger tires, like an inch or so larger than a regular 4x4. Like how the ZR2 S10 was, it wasn't extreme or overdone but it was noticeably taller and had noticeably bigger tires.
    Last edited by dr_mario_05; 06-11-2014 at 02:35 AM.
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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCritical View Post
    The "stupid low air dam" is to direct air to the cooling system. You'll probably notice your gage temp go up after it is removed.

    Exactly what is the difference in inches between the Ford front end and the Chevy at the lowest point?

    Is the problem your truck, or your road?
    The problem is definetly the truck. It says off road an it shoul be able to handle mild off-roading from the factory. The truth is that these trucks can't do it. I know because I've tried it in my dad's 14 z71. The front air dam is a piss poor design.
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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by rjpoog1989 View Post
    The problem is definetly the truck. It says off road an it shoul be able to handle mild off-roading from the factory. The truth is that these trucks can't do it. I know because I've tried it in my dad's 14 z71. The front air dam is a piss poor design.
    What I don't understand is how other manufacturers can direct airflow around underbody components without handicapping the vehicle while GM doesn't even bother trying.

    GM's designs in this respect are cheap, ugly, and have a serious impact on the versatility of what is otherwise a solid product. You shouldn't have to take parts off of a $50,000 truck or SUV to handle a fire road or a trip to a hunting cabin. Ford and Toyota saw this problem and avoided it the best they could.

    I don't see why they are designing the Tahoe and Suburban to do what a large crossover can accomplish. That's a war that a truck based SUV will not win. What it can win is in towing capacity, off road capability, and overall versatility. The GM full sized SUVs need to be budget Land Cruisers. Perhaps they can offer an adjustable ride height via air suspension on four wheel drive models of their large SUVs. That's not unreasonable at the prices they are asking.

    This is a different world than 2004. In a few short years, the buyers of these large truck based SUVs are going to be affluent families with horses and other toys that require real SUVs with towing and off road capability. There is no reason Suburban, a nameplate that's been around forever, to be left out of that. Soccer moms are going to be switching to crossovers like the Traverse and Acadia while trucks like the Tahoe and Suburban will become less popular. GM needs to offer a no compromise vehicle to compete with the Land Cruiser or Land Rover LR4 in every way and stop using truck based SUVs to chase would-be crossover buyers.

    They've really stepped up their game in interior quality, but they need to shift focus a little bit here on what these SUVs are designed to do. With $4.00 per gallon gas, people who don't need real capability aren't buying a Suburban. People who need to tow horse trailers or venture off road while carrying all of their stuff won't touch something with a 15.5 degree approach angle either. That needs to change. I think the best way for the SUVs to handle that is by offering an adjustable ride height air suspension on four wheel drive models or to redesign the front end. The Grand Cherokee and most of the Land Rovers have this adjustable ride height option with their air suspension. It would work really well in conjunction with GM's locking rear diff and hill descent control to increase security and confidence off road while you can remain at a low height on pavement. I honestly can't believe they aren't doing something like this.

    I think pickup buyers are more price conscious and would shy away from an air suspension.....the front end needs to be redesigned on them. They really need to aim for a 24 degree approach angle and real off road capability without sacrificing ride comfort or efficiency. At the prices they're are asking, it's not an unreasonable demand. It would help maintain their share of what I think may be a shrinking market in the future, and establish their place as a premium choice in the segment.
    Last edited by member12; 06-11-2014 at 09:19 AM.

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    I'll have to disagree on a couple of points.

    Bypassing capabilities for a moment, what I see from a service perspective is a large percentage of customers buying vehicles that stretch their monthly budgets to the max. According to everything I can read, there's a disappearing middle class in this country, with most either leaning toward affluence or poverty. Nowhere is this more evident than when we see $50k and above vehicles come in for oil changes still in powertrain coverage, but out of bumper-to-bumper with inop a/c, and other much needed repairs. Yet the owners never calculated repair costs along with their $800 monthly notes. Or their teenage sons got 3 tickets in dad's Camaro SS, and insurance has tripled.

    Secondly, what's the % of the market that goes off road with their SUV? I can't remember the last time I saw anyone towing with anything less than a diesel 2500 or Super Duty. Heck, I never see a late model gasoline truck towing. I can't speak for Ram or Ford, but I'm pretty sure GM has no interest in any shrinking market whatsoever (how many 2 door non-sport cars do we manufacture?)

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    Re: 2014 Silverado Z71 "Offroad" ... really?

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsRace View Post
    Those air dams in the GM trucks are way to low, the SUV's have the same problem. GM needs a better off road package and everyone here knows it.

    Now about that price... Your truck was cheaper than the equivalent Ford?? I'm quite sure the GM trucks are more expensive than the Fords and Rams.
    Offroading is not accomplished by a package, it's accomplished by a model.

    Chevrolet needs a killer. It needs something completely unmarketable by a twangy guitar.

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