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Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

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  • Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

    I am thinking of buying a 2003 Avalanche Z71 with around 90,000 to 110,000. Does anyone have this truck? Any problems? Pros and Cons? Thanks
    sigpic1994 k1500 K&N cold air intake, TBI spacer, Edelbrock shortys, Straight pipe exhaust, Corvette Servo.

  • #2
    Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

    I have an 04; same truck basically. Low miles also, maybe 130k.

    There's nothing unique about them that makes them much different from any other GM truck. The Z71 stickers on mine are even still intact so that's gotta be worth something. The main thing that the Av (and the Escalade that's the same thing) have that's any different, is the gaskets around the rear window and the wall behind the rear seat. Check that over carefully.

    Z71 on that model truck in that year, incidentally, is nothing but the shocks they used, the addition of skid plates, and of course, the all-important STICKERS!!!! There's basically nothing functional about it, nothing that makes it "special"; no drivetrain or suspension differences besides the shocks (which are TOTALLY wore out anyway, since it has over 40,000 miles on it). Not worth wasting Internet bandwidth on. About the only thing it means is, that it probably isn't a "bottom of the line" truck, since generally the REAL bottom-feeders didn't even get that little bit of nothing. SO even though you see goobs on here all the time that think that their "Z71" needs "timing" or some other random thing different from any other truck, it ain't so.
    Last edited by RB04Av; 03-12-2012, 07:15 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

      Thanks. So They are pretty much a 1500 with an avalanche body on them? It doesn't have to be a Z71 as long as its 4x4 Ill be good.
      sigpic1994 k1500 K&N cold air intake, TBI spacer, Edelbrock shortys, Straight pipe exhaust, Corvette Servo.

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      • #4
        Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

        They're actually more like a Suburban than a pickup... cab & bed are one single assembly instead of 2 separate pieces, shocks are on the outside of the frame instead of the inside, etc. They just sort of "look like" a pickup.

        Yeah the whole Z71 thing is WAY overrated... kind of like on the F body boards, the Firebird people posturing about "WS6", which you NEVER heard the first word about until they started putting STICKERS!!!!!! on the side of cars in about 98 or so. Now, EVERY schmoe with a Firebird just has to ask about "does my car have WS6", or talk about "my WS6" this that or the other, even if they're asking about interior parts or something. Disgusting.

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        • #5
          Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

          i think in the years your talking the av/tahoe/sub rears use coil springs and struts or load leveling struts while the trucks have leafs. i really like the av's rear seat room like a quad cab, much better ride, like the side tool pockets and the bed seals so its like having a huge trunk.

          z85 is a good package to get when talking about a truck but its not hugely advertised, towing package that upgrades some stuff that even if you dont tow will make things last longer.
          Last edited by ToyHauler; 03-13-2012, 07:04 AM.
          04 Avalanche Z71
          87 Firebird, 07 Monte Carlo lt, 08 lucerne cxl
          some previous; 99 GMC Yukon SLE, 89 350/5spd, 04 550 cclwb, 03 2500hd ccsb, 06 2500hd eclb, 03 sclb 2500hd

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          • #6
            Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

            The main difference is the coil spring rear,it gives you a better ride.If it has the load leveling option I would stay away from it.The 2 shocks and compressor are about $800 online.Other than that,great vehicle.
            sigpic
            03 2500HD duramax/allision,efilive,ad165,4"turbo back,etc
            95 3500HD 454/5spd century wrecker
            89 gmc 1500 350/auto,sb/stepside
            87 camaro z28 mostly stock
            72 camaro rs/ss 396/th400 looks stock

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            • #7
              Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

              Thanks guys . So this truck is going t ride better than my 94? Does the avalanche have IFS? How good are the 5.3l s in the avalanche? I have never had one.
              sigpic1994 k1500 K&N cold air intake, TBI spacer, Edelbrock shortys, Straight pipe exhaust, Corvette Servo.

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              • #8
                Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                The 5.3 IS A GOOD SOLID, STOUT MOTOR. I've got over 200K on my 2000 and it still only uses about 1 qt of oil in 5000mi. Some have had problems with this motor, others haven't. It is gutsy and fuel efficient. Since you're looking at 2003, be advised the dash cluster may need some work. The stepper motors for the cluster were a bad run, there are replacements if Speedo/tach/fuel guage don't work right. That isn't a hard job though.
                If it is local, make sure you get a good look underneath first for signs of rust.
                00 k-1500 ECSB 5.3 4l60e, Z71, 231,500 miles. TRADED 5-2013
                03 2500HD ECSB 6.0 4l80e, 4.10 gears G80, 165,000 miles.
                05 K2500HD ECLB 6.6l LLY, 5speed Allison, 270,700 miles (Got 5-2013) SOLD 7-2014 at 299,876 mi
                08 K3500HD CCLB Dually, 6.6l LMM, 6 sp Allison, 3.73 gears 183,000 miles

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                • #9
                  Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                  Thanks man. Ill deff look for rust . Can you pop the plastics off the doors? And what kinda tranny do they have Im guessing 4L60e? Thanks
                  sigpic1994 k1500 K&N cold air intake, TBI spacer, Edelbrock shortys, Straight pipe exhaust, Corvette Servo.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                    Should have the 4L60e. Don't know about the doors
                    00 k-1500 ECSB 5.3 4l60e, Z71, 231,500 miles. TRADED 5-2013
                    03 2500HD ECSB 6.0 4l80e, 4.10 gears G80, 165,000 miles.
                    05 K2500HD ECLB 6.6l LLY, 5speed Allison, 270,700 miles (Got 5-2013) SOLD 7-2014 at 299,876 mi
                    08 K3500HD CCLB Dually, 6.6l LMM, 6 sp Allison, 3.73 gears 183,000 miles

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                      Ok thats good I like that trans. Im looking around today . Im only 19 and have a small budget. Im in the 7,500 to 10,500 range for a 2003 with 90,000 to 110,000 . I have found plenty of 02s one for 8 grand with 98,000 on it. But I really like the buttons on the steering wheel option in the 2003 and up.
                      sigpic1994 k1500 K&N cold air intake, TBI spacer, Edelbrock shortys, Straight pipe exhaust, Corvette Servo.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                        Originally posted by kjk1500 View Post
                        Ok thats good I like that trans. Im looking around today . Im only 19 and have a small budget. Im in the 7,500 to 10,500 range for a 2003 with 90,000 to 110,000 . I have found plenty of 02s one for 8 grand with 98,000 on it. But I really like the buttons on the steering wheel option in the 2003 and up.
                        Well!?! Did you buy one!?!

                        haha, I just did. 2002 z71 with 150k on it. It's got a lift and brand new 33" BFG's. Paid $7500 for it so now I'm in the same boat; trying to see what I got myself into.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                          Na man not yet . Im still looking around for one. Maybe by the august though Im not in much of a hurry.
                          sigpic1994 k1500 K&N cold air intake, TBI spacer, Edelbrock shortys, Straight pipe exhaust, Corvette Servo.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                            Originally posted by kjk1500 View Post
                            I am thinking of buying a 2003 Avalanche Z71 with around 90,000 to 110,000. Does anyone have this truck? Any problems? Pros and Cons? Thanks
                            Taken care of properly, 100K on these trucks is no sweat.

                            GMT800 ride runs circles around the GMT400 trucks.
                            2012 Chevy Volt - Red
                            2007 Trailblazer SS - Red Jewel SOLD
                            2000 GMC Sierra Z71 SOLD // Michigan Classics // My Garage // My ebay auctions
                            Hot Rod Search

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pros/Cons Chevy avalanche Z71

                              IMO the 4l60e is a weak transmission. if it was never serviced every 20,000-30,000 miles I would subtract 2000-3000 in the asking price especially if over a 100k miles.
                              O2 GMC RCSB 4.8L V8 AUTO 3.73's
                              rebuilt/beefed up 4L60E(at 43,000miles)

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