27 September 2006

That's Why They're Called Shocks

2002 Tahoe LT with Autoride suspension. This becomes the z55 option. I had never heard of this z55. I've heard of the z06 Corvette option. I've heard of the z71 off-road option for trucks and Tahoes. We're all familiar with the legendary z28 option for Camaros. I now wish that I had never heard of the z55 option for the Tahoe.

Autoride real-time damping system

Tahoe’s Z55 suspension includes the Autoride bi-state, real-time damping system. This advanced system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. It delivers instant suspension response to wheel speed, body position, vehicle speed, steering angle and braking.

Autoride is a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors. There are also steering, engine torque, brake, and speed sensors. Each corner features independent damping control. Autoride’s air-lift/auto-leveling system includes an air bladder in the shocks. An integrated air pump automatically adds air to raise and level the vehicle’s ride height when carrying passengers or a heavy payload. Conversely, air is bled from the shocks when the payload is removed, returning the vehicle to a level ride height.


The most expensive set of shocks for any version of this vehicle. Why? Because they electronically adjust, and there's a ride-height adjustment made to keep the vehicle level when loaded down or when trailering. This preserves the handling characteristics & maintains safety.

$481 per shock at list price. That's correct. $481 each. For that kind of money, I should at least see a big-ass sticker on the vehicle, shouldn't I??? The z71 option package provides Bilstein shocks, a scraper plate under the truck, a different front air dam with round fog lights (instead of rectangular) and a roller on the back of the roof rack (so, if you loaded a canoe, it wouldn't scrape, it would glide toward the front of the roof rack) 0h yeah, you get a big-ass sticker on the side of the pickup and a badge on the Tahoe/Suburban.

Only GM and AC/Delco make these shocks. Monroe makes something close, but for the savings of $65 per corner, I didn't want to bother. Thanks to our great friends: John Hausmann, Wally, Anthony, etc. at WheelWorks on Saratoga Avenue in Campbell, we were able to select shocks from AC/Delco. Doing this puts a lifetime warranty on the parts - from WheelWorks. If we used the GM shocks, it would be a 1-year warranty. That was huge!!

So - shocks, brakes, rotors, brake fluid flush, etc. + labor = about $2,500. It doesn't feel like a $2,500 improvement.

More later.


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