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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm starting the process of research to get my build down, will probably end up ordering later on in 2018 but have been in and out of dealerships as my girlfriend just bought a 1500 and may have them throw me a quote to stew on, who knows if a '17 pops up with the right options as a better deal I may just bite :)..

The great news for me w/ the "new" Colorado is they have a front diff locker - every truck should have those! Was actually considering a Jeep for this purchase as a possibility, not anymore...

The bad news, when I go to build one it looks like to get the front locker the only way to get it is the chevy ZR2 package, not even listed as an option you can get on any GMC version... Does anyone know if that's really the case? When I first saw that I was hoping maybe w/ GMC you could get a few less other options with the lockers still.. Does anyone know if the front locker is something which could be added as an option after the fact (for a charge obviously) ? What sucks is going to ZR2 adds a good $5000 of options I would not be looking to pay for with the exception of the front locker.

On an aside this is kinda stupid - a front diff locker packaged only with luxury uplevel seats and interior options, the things have nothing to do with eachother and in some sense are opposite ends of the purpose of a given truck (ie someone wants the best sort of off road capability for banging around off road will strongly desire the lockers, but probably doesn't care to do so in leather heated seats and other options they paid extra thousands for).

2nd question - the performance exhaust, is it worth it?

3rd question - it looks like GM insists on sticking us with the 3.42 gear ratio when you go to the V6, does anyone know if there is a way to order it with the lower ratio?

4th (last :) ) question - any feedback on the transfer case and differential locker setup in these trucks I'm speaking of? It looks much more electric/computerized than anything I'm used to, probably works tip top, but I'm wondering if there are any caveats that would be a reason to go down to the simpler version which comes in the less equipped model.

Thanks in advance!

Jon
 

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The front locker only comes with the ZR2 package, as you've already discovered. Unfortunately, it also comes with a rear E-Locker as well. So you only get a full lock or open diff front and rear, no limited slip. On snow and ice, that's not always desirable.


The locking diff is from Eaton. I would think that you would be able to buy the components from Eaton and install them on your front diff. I would contact Eaton and ask them about it. If those parts are not available now, I would guess that they soon will be.


Since you live in NH, the optimal set up would be the G80 diff in the rear and a locking or worm gear diff in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The front locker only comes with the ZR2 package, as you've already discovered. Unfortunately, it also comes with a rear E-Locker as well. So you only get a full lock or open diff front and rear, no limited slip. On snow and ice, that's not always desirable.


The locking diff is from Eaton. I would think that you would be able to buy the components from Eaton and install them on your front diff. I would contact Eaton and ask them about it. If those parts are not available now, I would guess that they soon will be.


Since you live in NH, the optimal set up would be the G80 diff in the rear and a locking or worm gear diff in the front would be optimal.
Thanks for that!

Doing a little research it looks like there are others here looking to figure the retrofit out and it's not quite available yet (parts only available with an entire ZR2 front end), but there may be hope for getting around the GM all or nothing approach to the front locker in the future.. Actually same thread discusses gear ratio too similarly, not yet. I was kinda hoping the dealer could do it somehow, and I may even ask them but does not sound promising since nobody here has figured it out yet.

As far as the auto locking rear goes - I've got mixed feelings, overall I think I'd rather have it be manual locking for low speed extreme traction needs. My '06 Canyon Z71 has the auto locking rear, the truck is phenomenal for not getting stuck, with a front locker it'd be unstoppable, however it can be scary when underway or trying to get underway on the road, even just on wet pavement, due to the rear locker which encourages the rear end to come around on you,,.

Certain situations just require extreme caution which I'd almost rather do without. Like something as simple as a stop light with wet pavement and you are pointing uphill with another lane of cars next to you - touch that gas a little too hard and literally the ass end may try to swing into the next lane before you notice what is going on, never-mind attempting to accelerate as you make the turn around an on-ramp. You can do donuts on wet pavement easily on purpose, is just very light back there and with the wheels locked together it takes nothing to slide.

Jon
 

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1- The ZR2 is the 'ultimate' off-road version of the twins. It can be had with vinyl floor interior as well so I wouldn't say it's the top trim level. Some of the Canyon and Colorado LT with optional packages are the top trim levels. And yes like said, the e-locker is ONLY on the ZR2 and so far it isn't available to retro-fit to other models. A couple here have asked Eaton and others about potential of availability or other options and so far there isn't any. That could change.

3- You can't order the v6 with other gear ratios and it isn't possible to change at this time. Someone here attempted the 4.10(?) from the 4cyl and it just doesn't work without changing everything. Someone also contacted Dana about gear swap availability and basically same as from Eaton, none.

For me, the G80 auto-locking rear diff or putting it into 4wd myself has worked wonders around NH and Mass winters. Don't do any serious off-roading that would benefit from anything else. With actual snow tires now I'm looking forward to the snow. Auto-4wd would be nice but oh well
Turning off TC and stabilitrak in an empty lot with the G80 was plenty fun :)

Browse the forum, check out the threads. There is plenty of information posted answering all of your questions already with much more detail. The advanced search tool is a wonderful feature.
 

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I have found that it is extremely difficult to get the ass end of my truck to swing around without being admonished by the aggressive traction control. When you turn the traction control off, you can have as much fun as you can until the traction control automatically turns itself back on around 30 mph... :/
 

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As far as the auto locking rear goes - I've got mixed feelings, overall I think I'd rather have it be manual locking for low speed extreme traction needs. My '06 Canyon Z71 has the auto locking rear, the truck is phenomenal for not getting stuck, with a front locker it'd be unstoppable, however it can be scary when underway or trying to get underway on the road, even just on wet pavement, due to the rear locker which encourages the rear end to come around on you,,.

Certain situations just require extreme caution which I'd almost rather do without. Like something as simple as a stop light with wet pavement and you are pointing uphill with another lane of cars next to you - touch that gas a little too hard and literally the ass end may try to swing into the next lane before you notice what is going on, never-mind attempting to accelerate as you make the turn around an on-ramp. You can do donuts on wet pavement easily on purpose, is just very light back there and with the wheels locked together it takes nothing to slide.

Jon
I have not had that problem. I found the truck to be extremely sure footed in bad weather, in both 4hi and 4auto. Maybe because I have a cap and a drawer back there, so there's some weight in the back. But I've never actually felt the rear diff lock up. It was always pretty seamless and smooth. And we had some pretty nasty weather in the Rockies last winter. I'm still using the stock Z71 all terrain tires, too. They don't su ck, but they're not stellar, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1- The ZR2 is the 'ultimate' off-road version of the twins. It can be had with vinyl floor interior as well so I wouldn't say it's the top trim level. Some of the Canyon and Colorado LT with optional packages are the top trim levels. And yes like said, the e-locker is ONLY on the ZR2 and so far it isn't available to retro-fit to other models. A couple here have asked Eaton and others about potential of availability or other options and so far there isn't any. That could change.

3- You can't order the v6 with other gear ratios and it isn't possible to change at this time. Someone here attempted the 4.10(?) from the 4cyl and it just doesn't work without changing everything. Someone also contacted Dana about gear swap availability and basically same as from Eaton, none.

For me, the G80 auto-locking rear diff or putting it into 4wd myself has worked wonders around NH and Mass winters. Don't do any serious off-roading that would benefit from anything else. With actual snow tires now I'm looking forward to the snow. Auto-4wd would be nice but oh well
Turning off TC and stabilitrak in an empty lot with the G80 was plenty fun :)

Browse the forum, check out the threads. There is plenty of information posted answering all of your questions already with much more detail. The advanced search tool is a wonderful feature.
Thanks for that - by top trim I'm more talking leather and a host of other odds and ends you get w/ the ZR2. I'd be happier with leatherette or vinyl seats, don't care about body color door handles and bumpers actually prefer chrome bumper, rather get the simplest smallest wheels I can to put higher profile real off road tires on it for the same final diameter (one thing I really liked on my '06 canyon were the 15 inch wheels with the high profile tires, that's a real off road setup and cheaper to replace tires)..

So I disagree the ZR2 is simply the ultimate off road package, to me it's lots of bling with a few key off road features - skid plates, tires, the lockers, a suspension tweak, but most of that $$ seems to go into bling and luxury - as we all know leather seats are a big ticket item alone.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have found that it is extremely difficult to get the ass end of my truck to swing around without being admonished by the aggressive traction control. When you turn the traction control off, you can have as much fun as you can until the traction control automatically turns itself back on around 30 mph... :/
I'm not sure which truck you are talking about but my '06 has no traction control. May have been an option or the last year without it. It is absolutely surprisingly touchy - felt that way with a variety of AT's on it including Toyo's which were very soft and grippy. Literally I can bang donuts on wet pavement like it's on ice. Also has highway gears, so maybe that results in a very quick transition to high speed tire spinning. The auto locking posi I like better than without it all together, but it's very fast to engage and slow to release, turn out of a parking lot and catch a little sand and you are in it without spinning the tires, get onto dry pavement and it will hop for awhile until it releases - was like that for the whole 240K, works fine, but kinda clunky.

Jon
 

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The leather seats are about the only "bling" on the ZR2. It already has the smallest wheels you can put on it. Any smaller and you would have to hand smaller brakes.

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The big high $$$ item in the ZR2 package are:

* DSSV Multimatic shocks - which make it a great road and high speed off-road vehicle without sacrificing its rock crawling capability.
* locking differentials
* unique rear axle and cast lower control arms.

The leather and all the interior stuff is high volume low $.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The big high $$$ item in the ZR2 package are:

* DSSV Multimatic shocks - which make it a great road and high speed off-road vehicle without sacrificing its rock crawling capability.
* locking differentials
* unique rear axle and cast lower control arms.

The leather and all the interior stuff is high volume low $.
well that's how I'm going to have it look a it - spending my $$ for the best off road package, just happens to come with leather :)

Jon
 
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