2018 Chevy Colorado Z71

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great08

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

66025 Good Day Everyone,

Welcome!

Stock Truck Details...
2018 Chevy Colorado 4x4 Z71 with the 308hp V6 and 8spd Auto transmission. Factory installed Eaton Auto locking rear diff. Transfer Case has 2WD, Auto, 4HI, 4LOW, Neutral. Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Stabilitrac, etc, etc.

So far I am LOVING the Auto feature because you can literally drive around on dry pavement without binding the drive train. AWD vehicles have lost that advantage on this vehicle.

The Z71 package adds in Nitrogen shocks. So fade/heat on long washboard roads will not be a worry. (I may upgrade to some good hydraulic ones at a later date... maybe)

This truck was bought spanking new back in March. Sticker price as configured at the dealer was around $38k but I got her (along with a free black bowtie upgrade) for around $32k. She now has a little over 8k miles on her.

PLANS...
Keep it simple.
I will add armor to the undercarriage. I don't plan on replacing the bumpers until they get ripped off. The bed of the truck will be getting the majority of the upgrades. A diamondback bed cover most likely will be in it's future.
The tires will remain stock size and likely even stock brand (or KO2). I need to keep the road manners... especially for towing... which I will do from time to time.

I did not get the ZR2 because of several reasons... #1 being fuel economy and #2 payload/towing is reduced on the ZR2. Once I build the bed up the Z71 suspension should settle out and the ride quality should increase dramatically just like on every other truck I have owned.

Stay tuned... I am sure you guys will like the bed upgrades I have in mind!!!


EDIT/Update on current mods for new folks...

Front Air Dam - Removed
- Lost .5mpg on my mostly slow hwy commute. The truck gained a 4" better approach angle on the front/center of the front bumper and a good 6" of clearance gained in front of the front wheels. Worth it!

Skids - OEM skids installed - These are light/right for my needs. GM now offers what is exactly like the ZR2 skids but with a different cutout that fits the Z71 front bumper. I got both front skids for $330 shipped. There are several other options online from 589 Fab, Superskidz, and soon AEV. They all range from a heavier gauge aluminum... to steel... to hot stamped boron steel (4x stronger than reg steel). I chose the lightest plates because they will rarely if every get used.

Rock Sliders - Actual ZR2 Sliders installed - I found some used rock sliders online for $200 ($320 shipped). They didn't have a mark on them and were in mint condition. Protecting the body of the cab of my truck is very important to me. It is also the most vulnerable part of the truck IMO based on my experience working in the motor pool back when I was in the Army. The ZR2 rock sliders are pretty light compared to other aftermarket sliders that bolt directly to the frame. However, they are sturdy enough to use as a high lift jack point allegedly. I have seen a lot of folks dragging them across rocks in ZR2s and they seem to hold up well.

Air/Tires - I now have some tire deflators, a high performance/affordable inflator, and good quality tire plug kit with valve stem tools. The tires are remaining stock since they are decently beefy and will be good enough for overland touring. I still need to upgrade the spare.

Recovery Gear - I just put a Tow Package winching point on order for the rear. The stock front recovery points are bolted directly to the frame and are gtg. I have a snatch rope, chain, shovels, and boards (No seriously... actual wood boards/old school). I may get some maxtrax later on. A winch will never be on my rig. I would almost never use it and live in a wet/corrosive area. It would likely not work when I needed it.

Cargo Management - Just did a DIY bedliner a little while back. Now I have just installed a DIamondback SE with two side boxes.

Suspension - Stock and likely staying that way! The Z71 comes with Nitrogen shocks from the factory which are really resistant to heat build up compared to hydraulic shocks. Either way... I would never upgrade the suspension until after a build. There is a reason why most folks who do that first thing end up doing it yet again at the end of their build. Just finish the build first and THEN run it through it's paces first. Then make adjustments. I may do shocks some day though. Who knows.

Breather Relocation for Front/Rear Diffs and the T-Case/Transmission - Not required! From the factory my front diff breather comes up in the engine bay next to the fuse box. The rear diff breather goes up in the rear fender well and attaches above the fuel door on the fuel tank filler tube. The transmission and T-case breathers go up the fire wall behind the engine.

The truck as it sits is good for things like the White Rim Trail out in Moab, UT or the Alpine Loop in Colorado. I just need to focus on cargo management and camping gear next.

85194
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Enthusiast III

I really love these new Colorados/Canyons. We are going to need a second rig in our family soon and I have my eye on one of these; based on what I can see/read/test drive, these edge out the Tacoma for me by a wide margin.

I look forward to seeing what you do to it!
 
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great08

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

Thanks!

I traded my 2005 Colorado 4cyl 2WD Crew Cab truck for this one. It had 232,000mi on it and was still running strong.

The difference in build quality and attention to detail between this new truck and the old one is astonishing. I have had it for a little while now and still keep noticing little things they did to make it function well. They really put some effort and thought into these new trucks.

I have had a few small trips with the little ones in the back and they.... really only love that it has WIFI. lol

My little boy (5yrs) sits down with me every day to surf around on YouTube watching folks explore or have fun in their 4wds. He does seem to be very interested in vehicles. I have a lot to teach him on the subject if he stays interested.
 
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Enthusiast III

My little boy (5yrs) sits down with me every day to surf around on YouTube watching folks explore or have fun in their 4wds. He does seem to be very interested in vehicles. I have a lot to teach him on the subject if he stays interested.
That right there is worth more than any overland trip in the world!

There are some good magazines out of Australia all about 4WD that I enjoy -- really good on the iPad or tablet as they have a lot of interactive features. With that Wifi in the truck it could give him something else to enjoy, and the Colorado's (Holdens) were really cutting their teeth in Oz before coming here, as I understand it (but I may be mistaken). This is one I really like: http://unsealed4x4.com.au
 
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great08

Rank VI
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Traveler I

That right there is worth more than any overland trip in the world!

There are some good magazines out of Australia all about 4WD that I enjoy -- really good on the iPad or tablet as they have a lot of interactive features. With that Wifi in the truck it could give him something else to enjoy, and the Colorado's (Holdens) were really cutting their teeth in Oz before coming here, as I understand it (but I may be mistaken). This is one I really like: http://unsealed4x4.com.au
That totally is worth more than anything.

I will check that link out in the morning. Thank you for sharing.
 

LWNZR2

Rank I
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Member I

173
Saint George Utah
Member #

12908

Awesome truck! Love the Colorado/Canyons. I have a ‘18 Duramax Colorado ZR2, I love it so much! The fact that I can keep it near stock (I did upgrade to 33x11.50x17 MT tires) and have great off-road features is awesome for me. I tow on a bi weekly basis, it tows awesome! We tow either a 16ft enclosed double axle, which weighs about 3K, or a 28ft enclosed that weighs 4K empty. Struggles some with the 28ft but will keep Highway speeds no problem. Truck is awesome!
 
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My F-150 has their Auto 4 wheel drive and I share the exact same feeling regarding that setting. I live in rainy Washington and the new F-150 is very light in the back with a super cab setup. I pretty much leave 4A on the entire time I'm driving around on wet hilly pavement. Otherwise the back wheels are spinning if I'm on any meaningful Hill. Lol. It is a great quality of life feature in trucks.
 

great08

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

Awesome truck! Love the Colorado/Canyons. I have a ‘18 Duramax Colorado ZR2, I love it so much! The fact that I can keep it near stock (I did upgrade to 33x11.50x17 MT tires) and have great off-road features is awesome for me. I tow on a bi weekly basis, it tows awesome! We tow either a 16ft enclosed double axle, which weighs about 3K, or a 28ft enclosed that weighs 4K empty. Struggles some with the 28ft but will keep Highway speeds no problem. Truck is awesome!
It is good to hear that you are enjoying your truck so much. Sounds like it still tows pretty darn well with 33" tires. Nice...
 

great08

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

and... some more pre-mod pics.

These are from a recent trip to some campgrounds just down the road at the Outer banks in NC. As you can tell from the pics... my daughter was having fun photo bombing the pics. lol

The steps on the rear bumper look like they will unbolt/morf the bumper into the ZR2 rear bumper. Free upgrade!? We will see...

You can actually drive on the beach on the Outer Banks for many miles. I may go in October for some overnight striper fishing/camping.

My fuel economy for this trip was around 30mpg cruising @ 55mph... until I did the ferry... and got stuck behind a bus stopping every 50yds on the way back.



106.JPG 098.JPG 094.JPG 093.JPG
 

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Zillon

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Traveler I

98
CNJ
I've been wondering about swapping the step inserts out for the ZR2 step-less inserts, as well. Everything appears to bolt on, I doubt it'd be a difficult swap.
 
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great08

Rank VI
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Traveler I

I've been wondering about swapping the step inserts out for the ZR2 step-less inserts, as well. Everything appears to bolt on, I doubt it'd be a difficult swap.
It totally looks like it would be an easy one. Wouldn't make the truck any better on paper for departure angle... but... it is def. going to help when coming off of large rocks or ledges.

I will give it a go and take pics... but put it back to stock most likely. I use that darn step all the time when climbing into the bed with the tailgate down. Which is pretty much every weekend with my fishing yak in there. lol
 

hamiltonj2w1

Rank 0

Contributor II

You are not alone sir. You are not alone.

There are a LOT of small Chevy trucks out there running around doing this sort of thing.

Most just don't call it overlanding... and are not on these forums. I see them out there all the time though.
I just wish we had more aftermarket support some days I feel like I should have went with another Toyota but then I see my 30+mpgs. Datin bedrack is next on the list for my truck and some skid plates.
 
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great08

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

I just wish we had more aftermarket support some days I feel like I should have went with another Toyota but then I see my 30+mpgs. Datin bedrack is next on the list for my truck and some skid plates.
It takes time for a vehicle to develop a following enough to where the aftermarket supports it. It does seem that there is a lot of "in development" items for these trucks. The quality is there so I am sure a following will ensue.

The main things I am interested in are there. I am mainly just making upgrades to my bed and adding armor to the underside. These trucks are pretty darn capable off the shelf. Just need to add protection... but as little weight as possible. If that's even possible. lol

I am interested in longevity so I can still be driving my truck in 300k miles. So the drive train/wheel sizes are staying stock. If I ever get to where I want to start crawling up the Rubicon trail I will just get a beater jeep. I spent a lot of time a decade ago exploring the back country on my dual sport doing trips through Colorado, Moab, Etc. I know my truck can go through/over most things with just a little protection on the underside.

The longer I own my truck the more I notice little pieces of detail they put into it. GM finally put some effort into their midsize trucks. It was going to take a lot to get me out of my old 05' Colorado with 232k miles on it. I am happy with my purchase. Maybe I will get to teach the kids how to drive in it.
 

hamiltonj2w1

Rank 0

Contributor II

It takes time for a vehicle to develop a following enough to where the aftermarket supports it. It does seem that there is a lot of "in development" items for these trucks. The quality is there so I am sure a following will ensue.

The main things I am interested in are there. I am mainly just making upgrades to my bed and adding armor to the underside. These trucks are pretty darn capable off the shelf. Just need to add protection... but as little weight as possible. If that's even possible. lol

I am interested in longevity so I can still be driving my truck in 300k miles. So the drive train/wheel sizes are staying stock. If I ever get to where I want to start crawling up the Rubicon trail I will just get a beater jeep. I spent a lot of time a decade ago exploring the back country on my dual sport doing trips through Colorado, Moab, Etc. I know my truck can go through/over most things with just a little protection on the underside.

The longer I own my truck the more I notice little pieces of detail they put into it. GM finally put some effort into their midsize trucks. It was going to take a lot to get me out of my old 05' Colorado with 232k miles on it. I am happy with my purchase. Maybe I will get to teach the kids how to drive in it.
I already upgraded tires to the 265/65/17 and skids are next I have just added small things like the RC light bar and spray in bedliner and other everyday stuff like weather tech mats and a spray in bedliner.
 

great08

Rank VI
Member

Traveler I

I already upgraded tires to the 265/65/17 and skids are next I have just added small things like the RC light bar and spray in bedliner and other everyday stuff like weather tech mats and a spray in bedliner.
Nice. Feel free to throw in some pics!

I got the dealer to throw in upgraded floor mats with the truck when I bought it. A good spray-in bedliner is next on my list too. I have already worn through long stretches of paint on the bed of my new truck. lol The first load of concrete blocks ate right through it.

My first scratches were on my roof. Before I even got the tags for my truck (like day2 after purchase) the neighbor's kids ran over with baseball cleats on their feet and climbed onto the roof of my new truck. (People suck) Still need to get some touch up paint for that. At least there are no dents since they were little kids.

I accidentally gave my truck a super heavy Salt Bath a few weeks ago when coming off of a suprise construction site on the Bay Bridge Tunnel island near me. I gave the undercarriage a heavy fresh water rinse when I got home. However, I am still worried. So I bought some Fluid Film from a local store and plan on treating any nooks or spots that may be rust proned with it. It is organic/non-toxic and leaves a protective film that slowly gets tougher over time (comes off with alcohol). We use this stuff at work on our helicopters that are always hovering in the saltwater spray. Just keep it off of electronics and things that get hot. It is still great for treating electrical grounds where they attach to the frame though.





Can you give me a link to the skids you recommend for these trucks?

Here is a link to my favorite bumper/front skid for the new gen Colorado. This bumper keeps the truck looking stock but adds the protection where it is actually needed.

It is heavy gauge steel but weighs in @ only 76lbs without a winch. If I ever get a bumper it will be something like this. Looks stock. I would probably add some low power LED lights for fishing/camping and a way to easily attach/detach some rod holders for surf fishing.

http://midwestoverlandindustries.com/colorado-winch-bumper/



 
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