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Thread: KMW's Colorado ZR2 build

  1. #1
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    KMW's Colorado ZR2 build

    (Edit: Oops! I'm KMW on a Colorado forum. Forgot I had a different name on here! Hence the title.)

    I don't post a lot, but I lurk here often. I still have my H2, but this year I downsized a little. Don't need to fit all 4 kids anymore, so something smaller was in order.

    In the fall of 2015 we looked at a Colorado, and really liked it. But learned that they were adding a Duramax to it in 2016, so we waited to see what that would be like. Come 2016 we finally found one on a Lott and test drove out and I really liked it. Did a lot of research online with guys already driving them, and they seemed pretty solid. But wait, what's that? A ZR2 for 2017? Hmmm. Maybe I should wait and see of that really happens. Fast forward to fall of 2016, and GM finally officially announces there will indeed be a ZR2 released "spring of 2017". And so the impatient wait begins! Around December/ January, I think, they finally announce ordering will open March 16.

    So, come March 16th I put my order in for a Red Hot ZR2 crew cab short bed, Duramax, block heater, vinyl flooring, all weather floor liners, Bose, Nav, amp/subwoofer, Weathertech in channel window shades.

    Finally, almost 2 years after the saga started, I picked up my baby on June 22 from Dave Smith Motors.













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    Last edited by Just me; 10-10-2017 at 08:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    First mod was installing a Provent 200 oil catch can in the PCV system. Did that in the hotel parking lot in Spokane with just 130 miles on it. There was already oil pooling in the PCV lines!






    Next mod was installing a Softopper on the back. I absolutely love this top! The versatility too be able to go from covered to folded down in less than a minute is great. And just another 20 seconds and its completely off. I love it! Before installing it I completely disassembled the hoops and rails and had them powder coated black. Had to drill out a few rivets to remove some plastic parts. But a call to Softopper explaining what I was doing and they sent me out new rivets to reassemble for free! Great people there!












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    Last edited by Just me; 10-10-2017 at 08:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    After the Softopper I swapped out every bulb on the truck to LED. Hikari hi and low beams. Everything else was from Diode Dynamics. Brakes, signals, and all interior lights. All are way brighter. I got a DRL relocating harness from Gen5diy, that changed the DRL from the lo beam headlights to the front market lights. I replaced the marker bulbs with amber/white switchbacks. So DRL are bright white, and when you turn on a signal the white goddess out and bright amber comes on. Or when the headlights come on they switch from white to amber.


    The only ones that really show in pics for brightness are the interior.






    Next I tried some headlight and tail light shades, but I didn't like taking them on and of when it got dark. So they're off now.







    A cool thing in the Colorados, behind the left tail light there is a pigtail tat is wired to the cargo light circuit. GM sells a bed light kit for like $150. Instead I got a roll of weatherproof LED ribbon lighting and wired it into the pigtail. They come on with the cargo light from the switch in the cab.





    Next was a hitch skid. With the long rear overhang and the stock hitch hanging below the bumper, I knew it would take a beating on the trail. So I built a hitch skid for it.





    This was a prototype. Final design is a little bigger.





    Next I needed a spare tire mount. The ZR2 comes with a matching spare wheel. I didn't want it getting trashed underneath the bed, and it hangs down too far in the stock spot for off road anyway.


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    Last edited by Just me; 10-10-2017 at 11:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    Next priority was a winch. I'm pretty confident I had the first ZR2 with a mounted winch.





    Surgery time! 500 miles on the truck and I'm cutting up the bumper! 😨 I could have done it with only a minor notch, but I like to have the winch right between the frame rails, and I like free and open access to the winch. Not a fan of hidden winches if they're actually going to be used for real.




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    Last edited by Just me; 10-10-2017 at 11:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    A little testing in the back field. Reached 30 degrees side slope according to the dash display.





    I had to know how solid the body mounted sliders were going to be.





    Made this up along the way too.






    That's about it for mods so far. Lots more planned though. Eventually a full overlanding setup.

    I'll build a rack that will go over the topper for a RTT. On the sides will mount fuel and traction boards. In the bed I'll have storage and s slide out kitchen. That's all going to take awhile to get done though.



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    Last edited by Just me; 10-11-2017 at 12:03 AM.

  6. #6
    mike Weiler's Avatar
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    Good lookin truck!!!
    Canopy system looks pretty versatile
    Looks like it paid off waiting!!!
    Now the nitty gritty, does this sweet rig come with factory front & rear lockers???
    '98 toyota xcab 4x4...ugly & bone stock.
    3.4 liter, auto, sunroof, heater, a.c., rear locker.
    Sittin on 31s

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weiler View Post
    Good lookin truck!!!
    Canopy system looks pretty versatile
    Looks like it paid off waiting!!!
    Now the nitty gritty, does this sweet rig come with factory front & rear lockers???
    Yes! I guess I should have put full specs in the first post, but...

    What makes the ZR2 a ZR2:

    Lifted 2" over regular Colorados, and 3.5" wider track. Unlike the TRD Pro, which gets its wider track from wheel offset, GM used a wider rear axle and longer control arms in the front. With the wider stance comes fender flares that are just a little bit wider than the standard ones.



    Multimatic DSSV shocks all the way around. They use 3 velocity sensitive spool valves. The shocks are also position sensitive. They are a bypass design with the third spool valve in a separate chamber. This is a pretty good article on how they work:

    http://www.trucktrend.com/how-to/cha...ltimatic-dssv/



    Stock tires are 31" Goodyear Duratrax. GM makes a big deal about the "big 31" tires". 😞 Really, GM?



    Different front bumper. The front bumper is completely different. No air dam, and cut away in front of the tires, providing much better approach angle.



    Different rear bumper. Not much different. They just removed the corner steps because they smashed them up on the test trucks.



    Different hood. It has a non-functional raised cowling that is black on all colors.



    Functional rock sliders. They are actually stainless steel. They are body mounted, which I was not thrilled about. However, after using them, they actually do very well. I wouldn't want to drop and smash onto them, but I can jack the whole side of the truck up with a hi-lift on them and they don't flex. So, good job GM!



    E-lockers front and rear. These are the real meat of the ZR2! The rear locker can be engaged in 4x2 up to 28 mph, when it automatically disengages. Front locker only engages in 4x4 low range, and only if the rear is engaged.



    Off Road Mode. This changes shift points, pretty much like tow-haul mode. However, in addition it raises the threshold for traction control and Stabilitrac to engage, allowing more wheel spin and sliding. (You can also separately completely disable TC and Stabilitrac.) It also allows the rear locker to stay engaged all the way up to the PCM limited 98 mph to speed, in any transfer case mode.



    Off Road screen in the dash display. Shows two-axis inclinometer, and shows a little drivetrain image where the wheels light up to indicate 4x2 or 4x4, hi/lo range, which lockers are engaged, and even which wheels are slipping. Engaged wheels are green, and if they start spinning they turn yellow.



    Full leather interior with ZR2 embossed head rests. ZR2 logo sill plates. Other than those and the locker switches, the interior is just normal Colorado stuff.



    Drivetrain choices are standard Colorado offerings.

    The 3.6 V6 is 308 HP, 275 lb ft torque. In '17 it went from a 6 speed auto to an 8 speed.

    The Duramax 2.8 inline-4 turbo diesel is 181 HP and 369 lb ft torque and is mated to the 6 speed auto only.



    I think that pretty much covers the specs.

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    Last edited by Just me; 10-10-2017 at 10:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Drives like Grampa cjsrebiff's Avatar
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    Nice truck!!
    I wouldn't discount the pinch seam sliders too much. Those came on our 4 door Rubicon, and I think I put them to the test quite a bit. Never a problem with a total full vehicle weight slam a few times. Dented the slider, but never the body.
    Biff - short for Bifford aka - Byph
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  9. #9
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    That's a good looking truck! I'm glad to see you are using it for its intended purpose & not being shy about making it your own. The winch mount looks stout!

    How do you like the diesel so far (power & mileage) vs. gas engines?
    ~Rodney
    '05 LJ Rubicon. 3.75" suspension + 1.25" body lift with Currie adjustable links tuned to fit 35" MTRs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsrebiff View Post
    Nice truck!!
    I wouldn't discount the pinch seam sliders too much. Those came on our 4 door Rubicon, and I think I put them to the test quite a bit. Never a problem with a total full vehicle weight slam a few times. Dented the slider, but never the body.
    Thanks! Yes, that's what I'm finding. I think eventually I'll modify them to the frame, or build different ones. But these will do just fine until then. And I've dented thread already!

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