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Sierra Dan

Factory "Rancho" Tenneco Shocks Love 'Em or Hate 'Em/Upgraded

Factory "Rancho" Tenneco Shocks Love 'Em or Hate 'Em/Upgraded  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. For Members with Factory Rancho shocks on your K2, Do you still have them and Like/Love them or Have you ditched and upgraded to New Shocks?

    • Love My Factory Rancho's, or they still seem to Work/Feel Good
      26
    • Ditched them In Favor of Something Better or Because of Mileage or Failure
      27


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I've now had experience with 2 different K2s with ranchos.  Oddly, they are not the same.  My 15 SLT AT had 18" wheels and ranchos.  I really thought it rode fine.  My 18 LTZ Z71 has 20" wheels and ranchos.  It seems to feel a bit nervous to me.  My 15 I bought used at 28k miles and my 18 I bought new last weekend.  I wonder if the sidewall height difference between the 18s and 20s are making a difference or if the newer shocks are just not as good as my older one were. 

 

I have Bilstein 4600 on my 2000 Z71 and they are fine, but I wouldn't rave about them.  I also have Bilsteins on rear of my 2000 Camaro SS and Koni adjustables on the front.  Talk about night and day over stock.  The Camaro stock rode and floated like an old Caddy.  Now, I autocross it and do track days.  It's great fun and just feels right.

 

Anyway, I'll give the ranchos on the 18 a while and see if they still feel weird or not.  If they do, I'll be getting 5100s or fox 2.0 if I can afford them.  No, I didn't vote because I don't know yet.

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It all depends on how and where you drive. If you have nice roads and never go wheeling, the factory ones probably work just fine.


I bought an 18 with the factory Rancho's. In my opinion, they were dangerous for where I drive. I wouldn't let my wife drive it until I changed the shocks. I almost got bounced off the road more than once. There is no rebound dampening and when the springs load up there is nothing to slow them down when they let go. I swear the front end would jump off the ground sometimes when 4 wheeling. And I take it pretty easy most of the time and to try and let the suspension to it's job. At 4k miles I put on 5100's, I'm not a bilstein fanboy but seemed like the best thing going for the price. No more jumping up in the air, I can drive over a dip without being bounced off the road. No it doesn't ride like a car anymore, but its a truck. I have a car when I need a car.

 

These factory Rancho's are not the same as real Rancho's I've had before. I had Rancho 5000's on a 81 Cherokee and I put more than 200K miles on the shocks. Hardly any on the highway. They did the job, no complaints. When I saw the Rancho's on the new truck I thought, great, I don't have to change the shocks for a while. Not the case. These factory ones with the painted boot covers are something else. Maybe the new 5000's are junk too, I bought mine in the 80's.

 

I also swapped the 20in rims for 17's when I did the shocks. After riding around a bit I realized the 20's weren't going to take much off-roading and still look good. It rides much better now, even with the Mickey Thompson ATZ's. 

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I agree rancho today does not seem to be the same as they used to be.  I had 5000s on an 89 Cherokee they were fine.  It just seems that the lower profile tires with stiff side walls coulpled with stiff shock makes for a crappy combo.

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Let’s all be honest, you don’t buy a 4x4 Z71 Package because you want to drive on smooth roads, why look at buying a 4x4 truck with a “Z71” Package unless you’re looking at going Offroad. Rancho shocks are “ONLY” found on the Z71 packages and they’re the reason for this discussion. I don’t know about how anyone else feels about this but for me...GM has definitely dropped the ball by switching from Bilstein to these BS worthless Rancho shocks and all season tires that come with a Z71 Package.


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13 hours ago, TXGREEK said:


Let’s all be honest, you don’t buy a 4x4 Z71 Package because you want to drive on smooth roads, why look at buying a 4x4 truck with a “Z71” Package unless you’re looking at going Offroad. Rancho shocks are “ONLY” found on the Z71 packages and they’re the reason for this discussion. I don’t know about how anyone else feels about this but for me...GM has definitely dropped the ball by switching from Bilstein to these BS worthless Rancho shocks and all season tires that come with a Z71 Package.


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Not true. I bought my Z71 used because it had 4wd (wasn't buying a 2wd), was in my budget, and I liked the truck. Really didn't care about the Z71 beyond it being 4wd. I'm not planning to go offroad 4wheeling, just want 4wd for the few times I need it due to weather or work. And, I've seen numerous comments on this site in the short time I've been here from people buying Z71 for appearance reasons (color matched trim, I think). Not meaning to be rude to you at all, but you really can't make a massive generalization like that and ever be accurate. I'm positive there are numerous Z71 lifted trucks on this site that are mainly pavement queens. Nothing wrong with that, it's the owner's choice, and they are still very good looking trucks.

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Not true. I bought my Z71 used because it had 4wd (wasn't buying a 2wd), was in my budget, and I liked the truck. Really didn't care about the Z71 beyond it being 4wd. I'm not planning to go offroad 4wheeling, just want 4wd for the few times I need it due to weather or work. And, I've seen numerous comments on this site in the short time I've been here from people buying Z71 for appearance reasons (color matched trim, I think). Not meaning to be rude to you at all, but you really can't make a massive generalization like that and ever be accurate. I'm positive there are numerous Z71 lifted trucks on this site that are mainly pavement queens. Nothing wrong with that, it's the owner's choice, and they are still very good looking trucks.


Yeah he might have a point if it wasn’t the only way to get a color matched model. Everyone that I’ve talked to bought the Z71 strictly because they didn’t like chrome. GM has made it nothing but a looks package to most. I avoided the Z71 strictly because I wanted chrome.

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Not true. I bought my Z71 used because it had 4wd (wasn't buying a 2wd), was in my budget, and I liked the truck. Really didn't care about the Z71 beyond it being 4wd. I'm not planning to go offroad 4wheeling, just want 4wd for the few times I need it due to weather or work. And, I've seen numerous comments on this site in the short time I've been here from people buying Z71 for appearance reasons (color matched trim, I think). Not meaning to be rude to you at all, but you really can't make a massive generalization like that and ever be accurate. I'm positive there are numerous Z71 lifted trucks on this site that are mainly pavement queens. Nothing wrong with that, it's the owner's choice, and they are still very good looking trucks.


No worries, we’re all untitled to our own opinions. I’ve seen a great many people complain about the rougher ride in the Z71 when compared to just a regular 4X4. You’re right about some buying the Z71 package for the trim but you can still get a Z71 without trim and the Z71 for a great many years was sold with Bilsteins and those shocks never required switching out cause they were just great overall shocks which I believe they were today’s 4600’s. As per OP he was asking about whether to switch out because of shock failure at a low mileage which has been an on going issue in these forums since the switching began. My new 14, 16 and now 18 all had those subpar rancho shocks go out in less than 7K which never ever happened to me when the Z71’s were equipped with Bilsteins. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when will these shocks go out on you? I wouldn’t want to be out somewhere on a road trip and have these crappy shocks go out on me and that’s why the recommendation of switching them out is more preventative. Besides, Z71 has skid plates for off-road use, stiffer (crap) shocks, stiffer springs for a reason. Adding to that, tires, buying a Z71 my window sticker claimed off road tires and not these garbage Goodyear SRA’s. GM dropped the ball on these two but easily fixed.


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Yeah he might have a point if it wasn’t the only way to get a color matched model. Everyone that I’ve talked to bought the Z71 strictly because they didn’t like chrome. GM has made it nothing but a looks package to most. I avoided the Z71 strictly because I wanted chrome.


You’ll see Z71 chrome trucks all day long, it’s not only color matched. Sport models can get color matched too. A Z71 is supposed to handle and be more off-road worthy than a regular 4X4, skid plates, beefier coils just to make a couple


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5 minutes ago, TXGREEK said:

 


No worries, we’re all untitled to our own opinions. I’ve seen a great many people complain about the rougher ride in the Z71 when compared to just a regular 4X4. You’re right about some buying the Z71 package for the trim but you can still get a Z71 without trim and the Z71 for a great many years was sold with Bilsteins and those shocks never required switching out cause they were just great overall shocks which I believe they were today’s 4600’s. As per OP he was asking about whether to switch out because of shock failure at a low mileage which has been an on going issue in these forums since the switching began. My new 14, 16 and now 18 all had those subpar rancho shocks go out in less than 7K which never ever happened to me when the Z71’s were equipped with Bilsteins. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when will these shocks go out on you? I wouldn’t want to be out somewhere on a road trip and have these crappy shocks go out on me and that’s why the recommendation of switching them out is more preventative. Besides, Z71 has skid plates for off-road use, stiffer (crap) shocks, stiffer springs for a reason. Adding to that, tires, buying a Z71 my window sticker claimed off road tires and not these garbage Goodyear SRA’s. GM dropped the ball on these two but easily fixed.


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When you say all 3 sets "went out" on you in less than 7000 miles, what do you mean "went out"? Did they literally break and leak? I ask because my stock Ranchos, with 81,000 on them, perform fine for my needs so 3 sets going out in 7000 miles is surprising to me. And yes, I've done suspension mods on other vehicles, understand how shocks work, etc. I'm no expert, but I understand the basics. 

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When you say all 3 sets "went out" on you in less than 7000 miles, what do you mean "went out"? Did they literally break and leak? I ask because my stock Ranchos, with 81,000 on them, perform fine for my needs so 3 sets going out in 7000 miles is surprising to me. And yes, I've done suspension mods on other vehicles, understand how shocks work, etc. I'm no expert, but I understand the basics. 


Leaked on three separate trucks. My Yukon at 20K but not a Z71. You’re not using the skid plates or taking advantage of the beefier coils cause you’re just driving on a normal road but when buying a truck it’s the capability of going off-road that you’ll desire. Go to any 4x4 shop and look what they do with brand new rancho shocks from lifted trucks, they toss them in the garbage!


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1 minute ago, TXGREEK said:

 


Leaked on three separate trucks. My Yukon at 20K but not a Z71. You’re not using the skid plates or taking advantage of the beefier coils cause you’re just driving on a normal road but when buying a truck it’s the capability of going off-road that you’ll desire. Go to any 4x4 shop and look what they do with brand new rancho shocks from lifted trucks, they toss them in the garbage!


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Yeah, that is odd. I had a 95 Yukon (1st year), 2001 Yukon XL, 2006 Yukon XL, and have bought/used for our construction company (subcontractor) 20+ GM 3/4 ton trucks and have never changed shocks for any reason under 100,000 miles (I managed our fleet). The Yukons were all sold with 125,000+ on them, stock shocks. The trucks were constantly on jobsites at full weight capacity, 2wd, and rarely if ever broke a shock. This was a mix of standard cab 8' bed and crew cab 8' bed trucks. Granted, they weren't all Ranchos, and over the years we did replace some high mileage shocks.

 

It just seems like, given the much higher number of vehicles and the much more abusive treatment my fleet went through, I would've run into trouble if GM were putting cheap shocks on their trucks. But, maybe I was just lucky and you weren't. Who knows?

 

I totally agree, though, if I had had 3 trucks with leaking shocks in 7000 miles or less, I wouldn't trust them either. Frankly, I wouldn't have bought the same truck with the same shock the 3rd time after it happened twice.

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Yeah, that is odd. I had a 95 Yukon (1st year), 2001 Yukon XL, 2006 Yukon XL, and have bought/used for our construction company (subcontractor) 20+ GM 3/4 ton trucks and have never changed shocks for any reason under 100,000 miles (I managed our fleet). The Yukons were all sold with 125,000+ on them, stock shocks. The trucks were constantly on jobsites at full weight capacity, 2wd, and rarely if ever broke a shock. This was a mix of standard cab 8' bed and crew cab 8' bed trucks. Granted, they weren't all Ranchos, and over the years we did replace some high mileage shocks.
 
It just seems like, given the much higher number of vehicles and the much more abusive treatment my fleet went through, I would've run into trouble if GM were putting cheap shocks on their trucks. But, maybe I was just lucky and you weren't. Who knows?
 
I totally agree, though, if I had had 3 trucks with leaking shocks in 7000 miles or less, I wouldn't trust them either. Frankly, I wouldn't have bought the same truck with the same shock the 3rd time after it happened twice.


I’m talking specifically about the Rancho shocks which don’t come on any other trucks but Z71. My shop trucks are all 2wd specifically for hauling heavy ship parts (engine and deck supplies) off of cranes etc, Bilsteins are on each and every one of them with ZERO failures. Well, except for that one time crane dropped the load 2ft above the bed and crushed it. Anyway, hope everyone is off to a great 2019, I’m outta here.

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You’ll see Z71 chrome trucks all day long, it’s not only color matched. Sport models can get color matched too. A Z71 is supposed to handle and be more off-road worthy than a regular 4X4, skid plates, beefier coils just to make a couple


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Do you have a specialty local trim in your area? I’m looking through all my materials and Chrome front and rear was not an option on any K2 Z71 trucks. Nor was the opposite of color matched available on a regular LT or LTZ (the most popular non-fleet models). Centennial was LTZ Z71 only. Redline was LT and LTZ Z71 only. Midnight was Z71 only. Rally1 was Custom only (LS). Rally2 was LT Z71 only. Realtree was LTZ Z71 only. Spec ops was WT in black only. I don’t see any possibility outside of a low equipped Custom to get body color without Z71. So I guess Z71 is supposed to be beefier and the only way to get body color outside of a WT (which gets nothing because it has a plain plastic lower) or a Custom (LS without chrome)?

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Do you have a specialty local trim in your area? I’m looking through all my materials and Chrome front and rear was not an option on any K2 Z71 trucks. Nor was the opposite of color matched available on a regular LT or LTZ (the most popular non-fleet models). Centennial was LTZ Z71 only. Redline was LT and LTZ Z71 only. Midnight was Z71 only. Rally1 was Custom only (LS). Rally2 was LT Z71 only. Realtree was LTZ Z71 only. Spec ops was WT in black only. I don’t see any possibility outside of a low equipped Custom to get body color without Z71. So I guess Z71 is supposed to be beefier and the only way to get body color outside of a WT (which gets nothing because it has a plain plastic lower) or a Custom (LS without chrome)?


d5b340cbb1a805f8d5fb2afae0f740df.jpg no color match

4f5b4c59b8bae7beaddaff1377ea1359.jpg no color match

b504635750ee11844a348d66f2ce69d7.jpg no color match either.

Point I was making, you don’t have to get a Z71 in order to get paint matching, it comes with chrome too. Z71 came with color match or chrome.


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d5b340cbb1a805f8d5fb2afae0f740df.jpg no color match

4f5b4c59b8bae7beaddaff1377ea1359.jpg no color match

b504635750ee11844a348d66f2ce69d7.jpg no color match either.

Point I was making, you don’t have to get a Z71 in order to get paint matching, it comes with chrome too. Z71 came with color match or chrome.


Sent from above


I’ll give the Sierra, I know nothing about them. The last Silverado there is an older K2, and I see yes you could get them then, didn’t know that. None of my friends have one before the face lift, none of them would want the older technology to get the chrome Z71 either. So I’ll agree the color match issue is only post facelift. The HD’s run their own packages, like the Alaskan edition truck (which has a very weird set of features and limitations). This isn’t the HD section, and I don’t think the discussion includes them. We couldn’t say anything regarding a platform if we included half and HD in the same convo, as their packages rarely match.

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