2002 Z71: Time for new shocks - seeking input on lift options

jeffm333

TYF Newbie
Joined
May 25, 2021
Posts
5
Reaction score
22
Location
Tennessee & Nevada mostly
The jounce stops are very raggedy and the shocks are quite ready to be replaced, so while doing this (or having it done) I have been exploring options for getting a little bit of lift to maybe fit slightly larger tires in the future and get just a little more clearance so I can stop ripping off my stock z71 step rails when offroad. :)

Vehicle: 2002 Z71 with 285k original miles. All mine, I've had this truck since new. Mechanically mostly stock. All original Z71 suspension still on the vehicle. I have never cranked the torsion keys. It does carry a bit more weight than stock as it has an extra battery under the hood, stock-size 10-ply KO2's, plus a significant wooden platform and cabinet system in the back as well as another Lithium Ion battery back there.

Usage: This is my road-warrior travel vehicle that I more-or-less live out of and overland with off and on throughout the year. It sees all types of road conditions - lengthy cross-country interstate drives, windy small highway and backroad drives, city driving, and of course multiple hundreds (maybe thousands) of miles off-pavement each year. I have absolutely pushed the limits of where you should take a mostly-stock Tahoe. And my occasionally missing step-rails that need to be welded back together are evidence of this.

Desire: Lifted trucks sure look cool. But I really only want practical/usable mods that help keep me from getting stuck off-road, or at least help spare my skid plate of more scratches and my step rails from violent experiences. I'm not considering any kind of serious lift; just a couple inches for a little more clearance and for future space if I want to go with a slightly larger than stock tire when the current KO2's need to be replaced. I'm not unhappy with where I can get the Tahoe off-road as it currently is, but adding a smidge more breathing room seems logical while I'm replacing the shocks anyway.

I've been reading tons of threads here and researching youtube and other places for input. There was quite a bit of confusion determining what to do considering which shock/suspension type/options your Tahoe has. I have checked all my RPO codes and I do not have any of the auto-adjusting/air-ride/etc options. Most consensus seems to be "get the Billstein 5100's and put in new torsion keys and z71 springs". Well, I already have z71 springs obviously....

So input from anyone who has modified their 2000-2006 Z71's suspension at all would be appreciated.


From my research, since I am only looking for a couple inches or so, the standard Billstein shocks (24-186643 and 24-185783) are my appropriate choice for shocks. Then my options are crank the stock torsion keys as far as they go and see how the ride height is. If I want to go up from here, next step is aftermarket keys for additional lift in the front, and then puck/spacer for the coils in the rear, or a different set of coils altogether. Any thoughts/input here? Any opinions on my gains off-road vs. performance sacrifices on pavement?

Any and all input is appreciated.
 

cooki3mnster

TYF Newbie
Joined
May 24, 2021
Posts
23
Reaction score
33
The Bilsteins are great. Just installed them with some Z71 springs on my Yukon.just be advised the rears are good for up to a 2.5” lift the fronts are only good for 0-1” lift per Bilstsin. You may need to reach out to them for an update P/N to allow for more lift in the front.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
112,610
Posts
1,527,483
Members
68,178
Latest member
Goonie450
Top