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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DISCLAIMER: This post is for informational purposes only. I am not a professional and I am not giving you advice on what you should or should not do. You are solely liable for any action you take as a result of reading this post or in life in general.

I have a 2016 chevrolet colorado Z71 2.8L with an Icon stage 5 suspension lift with no rear block. I had the 1 inch block installed for a bit but took it out (I noticed it was cracked) because I did not like it. Since I do not tow, I do not care for the stock rear leaf springs as they are stiff and restrict travel. Since the ZR2 is now available (of course they release it a year after I bought my z71 or else I would have bought one) and I heard it had "specially tuned" rear leaf springs so I figured I would buy and install the ZR2 rear leaf springs in my Z71 to see how I liked the ride and potential lift if any.

Here are the GM part numbers for the rear leaf springs:

84293345 Driver side rear leaf spring
84293346 Passenger side leaf spring

A few things to note:

  • If your rear suspension is stock, you should be able to use all your stock bolts, U bolts and brake lines. (I do not have stock U bolts so you will want to double check this)
  • With the ZR2 leafs installed with no block, at full droop my brake lines were maxed out and taught just like when I had a one inch block installed.
  • You will need to drop your spare tire (easy) and your fuel tank (not as easy but very doable).
  • The spare tire kit under your rear seat includes the tool you will need to drop your spare tire and the tool is inserted to the right of your license plate.
  • To drop the fuel tank, you will need to disconnect two fuel lines at the front of the tank and the filler hose at the top.
  • It is suggested to remove the fuel cap to depressurize the fuel system.
  • It is suggested that you run your truck's fuel tank down until the low fuel level light comes on before attempting this project.
  • The rear leafs, after installed, will lift your truck roughly 1 - 1.5 inches, as a result I adjusted/compressed my front icon shock springs accordingly.
  • I personally prefer this lift over a block and if/when I do it again, I will remove the top spacer on the top of the rear leaf springs to give me more up travel.
  • It is suggested to do one side at a time.

Here are a few pictures of the leafs:






The install is pretty straight forward and there are many videos online to guide you. The hardest part is dropping the fuel tank to remove the driver side front leaf spring bolt. You will also need to drop the spare tire to remove the driver side rear shackle bolt. The passenger side is the easiest as it simply requires:

  1. Jacking up the truck
  2. Placing an adjustable stand under rear differential on the passenger side
  3. Remove the passenger side U bolts
  4. Remove the passenger side rear leaf spring bottom shackle bolt
  5. Remove the passenger side front leaf spring bolt
  6. Remove the passenger side rear leaf spring by lowering the adjustable stand
  7. Install the new ZR2 passenger side rear leaf spring
  8. Install the passenger side front leaf spring bolt
  9. Install the passenger side rear leaf spring bottom shackle bolt
  10. Install the passenger side U bolts

The driver side install requires a bit more steps including dropping the spare tire, removing the fuel cap, disconnecting two fuel lines from the front of the fuel tank, disconnecting the fuel filler hose at the top of the fuel tank and dropping the tank, carefully, as it is unstable with the fuel swashing around.

  1. Jacking up the truck
  2. Placing an adjustable stand under rear differential on the driver side
  3. Remove the driver side U bolts
  4. Loosen the river side rear leaf spring bottom shackle bolt and remove the nut
  5. Drop the spare tire enough to get to the driver side rear leaf spring bottom shackle bolt
  6. Remove the driver side rear leaf spring bottom shackle bolt
  7. Loosen the driver side front leaf spring bolt and remove the nut
  8. Remove the gas cap and disconnect the two fuel lines located at the front of the fuel tank (fuel will leak out so prepare accordingly)
  9. Place an adjustable stand under the fuel tank and remove the two bolts and brackets that secure the tank to the frame
  10. Slowly lower the fuel tank until you can reach the filler hose, loosen the clamp and remove the hose from the tank (the more fuel in the tank, the more unstable the tank is when lowering)
  11. Lower the tank, carefully, until you can remove the driver side front leaf spring bolt (the more fuel in the tank, the more unstable the tank is when lowering)
  12. Remove the driver side rear leaf spring by lowering the adjustable stand
  13. Install the new ZR2 driver side rear leaf spring
  14. Install the driver side front leaf spring bolt
  15. Install the driver side rear leaf spring bottom shackle bolt
  16. Put the spare tire back to its original location
  17. Raise the tank enough to put the fuel tank filler hose back in place and tighten the clamp
  18. Install the two bolts and brackets that secure the tank to the frame
  19. Connect the two fuel lines located at the front of the fuel tank and screw your gas cap back on
  20. Install the driver side U bolts

Here are a few pictures of the installation:






Here are a few pictures of the fuel tank/lines and spare tire drop process:







NOTE: I have read to torque the bolts to factory spec after the truck is on the ground and then re-check in 500-1000 miles. Here are the fastener specifications for the rear suspension:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, it seemed to have softened the ride but I am still testing it out. The most noticeable difference is about a 1 inch lift without the use of blocks and more droop so the potential of a bit more travel.
 

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Thanks for the write up!

I thought the ZR2 simply used 1" blocks on the regular twin leafs.

And why in the hell did they put the bolts in from that direction instead of the other side where they would pull out without removing the tank and tire? Did you reverse tgem upon reinstall?
 

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Thanks for the write up!

I thought the ZR2 simply used 1" blocks on the regular twin leafs.

And why in the hell did they put the bolts in from that direction instead of the other side where they would pull out without removing the tank and tire? Did you reverse tgem upon reinstall?
Same folks that installed the air dam.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
From what I can tell, the ZR2 gets a total 2 inch lift = 1 inch from the block and 1 inch from the leafs.

I did not reverse the bolts because the bolt side is too long to fit.
 

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Awesome write up! I hope this helps out alot of the members that want to go down this route. Considering how i big i thought these trucks have gotten compared to the first gens. Space doesnt seem to have changed in the underbody and GM really packed alot underneath.
 
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What was the cost of the leaf springs? I looked on gmpartsdirect but didn't see them.

I'd like to replace mine because I'm pretty positive that my current leaf springs are causing all kinds of rear end noise over uneven surfaces and such. The softer ride would be a bonus.
 

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What was the cost of the leaf springs? I looked on gmpartsdirect but didn't see them.

I'd like to replace mine because I'm pretty positive that my current leaf springs are causing all kinds of rear end noise over uneven surfaces and such. The softer ride would be a bonus.
Just Google - GM 84293345
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yup, just google the part numbers. There are several GM part dealers online.

Here is what I got them for online:

Part Number Part Name Price Quantity Total
84293345 Leaf Spring $118.97 1 $118.97
84293346 Spring $118.97 1 $118.97

Pretty cheap if you ask me and they arrived quick, in only a few days.

As for the noise, well, I had that before I swapped the leafs and still have it now (worse actually, but I have not re-tightened the bolts yet).

I "think" it comes from the shackle bolts but I am not 100%. It could be something deeper than that, maybe related to the body/frame. However, it seems to be a known issue. Per the service bulletin below, you basically loosen up and tighten up everything again:

https://gm.oemdtc.com/2388/clunking-noise-from-rear-of-vehicle-2007-2017-chevrolet-gmc-trucks

#09-03-09-001D: Clunking Noise from Rear of Vehicle (Retorque Leaf Spring Bolts) – (Apr 12, 2016)

Condition

Some customers may comment about a clunking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. Upon further investigation, the technician may diagnose the noise coming from the rear suspension leaf spring area.

Correction

The noise may be resolved by re-torquing the joints of the leaf spring assembly.

Support the vehicle at curb height when re-torquing the leaf spring bolts/nuts.

Note: Do not remove the fuel tank.

Loosen the shackle joint to the frame, front eye joint to the frame, rear eye to shackle joint and the anchor plate U-bolts.
Re-torque the shackle joint to the frame and to the rear eye (1). Refer to SI for torque specifications.

Leaf Spring

Re-torque the anchor plate U-bolts (2). Refer to SI for torque specifications.
Re-torque the front rear spring mounting nut (3). Refer to SI for torque specifications.
Repeat steps 2 through 5 for the right side leaf spring.
Re-test the vehicle for the same clunking noise. If the issue remains, follow the regular repair procedure.
 

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Yes, it seemed to have softened the ride but I am still testing it out. The most noticeable difference is about a 1 inch lift without the use of blocks and more droop so the potential of a bit more travel.
What are your thoughts on the springs after having them installed for a few months? Im interested in going this route and removing my block in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What are your thoughts on the springs after having them installed for a few months? Im interested in going this route and removing my block in the rear.
I am happy with my choice for what I was looking for.

I think if you are able to do the install yourself, it is worth it. The leafs are cost effective and provide an extra inch or so lift.

I have read some articles about aftermarket ZR2 performance parts including long travel shocks, leafs and jounce bumpers. Those sound interesting but who knows if/when the will hit the market. I was going to get a custom set of deaver leaf springs made but for what I need it for, the ZR2 leafs work great.

If I were to do it again, I would look into removing the top spacer from each leaf to give another 1/2 of so of upward travel, assuming it does not bottom out the shocks. I still might get in there and do that and replace the bumps but that is not on the current high priority mod list :)
 

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2018 Colorado CCLB Z71 3.6 LGZ
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The photos aren't working anymore. Any chance of getting them re-hosted?
off site hosting is a waste of time and un necessary. pics can be uploaded to the forum and inserted in the thread. why do folks still use photo bucket?
IT DOESN'T WORK!
IT became passe like AOL and MySpace a long time ago. Like, when people still used "like".
 

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off site hosting is a waste of time and un necessary. pics can be uploaded to the forum and inserted in the thread. why do folks still use photo bucket?
IT DOESN'T WORK!
IT became passe like AOL and MySpace a long time ago. Like, when people still used "like".
The drawback to hosting on a specific forum is reduced image quality and or increased steps required to obtain the photo URL, especiallly when posting the same photos on multiple sites. I understand the frustration of dead links and all but if I could only post photos after uploading them to this site I wouldn't bother doing it.
 
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off site hosting is a waste of time and un necessary. pics can be uploaded to the forum and inserted in the thread. why do folks still use photo bucket?
IT DOESN'T WORK!
IT became passe like AOL and MySpace a long time ago. Like, when people still used "like".
Funny I just checked from Tapatalk and the pics are working now. Unless the OP fixed them and didn't mention it.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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off site hosting is a waste of time and un necessary. pics can be uploaded to the forum and inserted in the thread. why do folks still use photo bucket?
IT DOESN'T WORK!
IT became passe like AOL and MySpace a long time ago. Like, when people still used "like".
Forum gallery space is limited and it's time consuming having to upload then link each picture one by one........also, you shortly end up having no uploads available due to size limitations of the gallery.......with the only option to delete old ones which then again, gives dead photo links.

Better solution is to have the site allow direct uploads to the threads.....much quicker, easier, and it keeps the integrity of the forum intact with no dead photo links.
If the owners of the site really cared about the integrity of the forum they would enable this option like some other sites do.

I'd even be willing to contribute to the effort if they made it available.
 

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2018 Colorado CCLB Z71 3.6 LGZ
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if I could only post photos after uploading them to this site I wouldn't bother doing it.
I do it! all of my pictures have been uploaded directly to the thread from my computer or my fone. And they're there till the forum admin does something with them. No URLs or links.
 

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Better solution is to have the site allow direct uploads to the threads.....much quicker, easier, and it keeps the integrity of the forum intact with no dead photo links.
This is what I do. All my pictures are uploaded and re-sized using forum tools. They suck, but they're there to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would not hold your breath for the owners of this site to do anything. Here are some pics. Not sure what happened to the other ones.
 

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