For GMC Sierra pickup trucks back in the old-body style late 1990s (1996, 1997, 1998) (not the new-body-style and more recent from 1999 onwards), what features made up the Z71 package? I always thought the off road package entailed four wheel drive, but in looking at classifieds, some Z71's seem to be 2WD, not 4WD. I suppose the suspension was different. How about the differentials? What else?

2 Answers 2


As explained here, lots of people add aftermarket Z71 stickers to their truck to artificially increase the value. If the truck truly is a Z71, it would be listed on the RPO ("regular production options") sticker, which I believe is in the glove box for the Sierra.

The real Z71 package had the following (copied from the link):

  • Z71 Off-Road suspension
  • 46mm twin-tube high-pressure gas-charged shocks
  • Skid Plate Package with a frame-mounted shield
  • GM segment-exclusive automatic locking rear differential that provides added grip when you need it
  • Available Z71 Appearance Package: 18" aluminum wheels, body-color mirrors and door handles, body-color grille with chrome insert, and Rancho® shocks
  • Thanks. Had never thought the decals could be aftermarket. The link you provide seems to talk about New Body Style and onwards. Just for clarity, my question is about the package back in the old-body-style era, specifically '96 '97 '98.
    – Franky
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:01
  • The decals don't even have to be aftermarket ... you can pick them up pretty easily. I've owned three different Z71's over the past 15 years (2000 Silvy, 2004 Suburban, 2006 Silvy). Great trucks, but the Z71 package really doesn't add that much. At the dealership new, the package cost something like $500, IIRC. You can only get the Z71 package on a 4x4. If it's 2wd, walk away. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:30
  • I guess repair shops need OEM stickers.
    – Franky
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:44

Here's a different source for a different answer.

This seems to refer to the late 90's models and lists a different suspension and some skid plates. They do specifically list the differential as being a standalone option, and I've seen (Toyota) pickups marked as off-road but only had 2WD, and it was FWD too. Again, check the RPO sticker to make sure it really is a Z71 and not just an aftermarket sticker on the side of the truck.

  • " basically all you get is shocks, skid plates, and the stickers. that's it." if it is authoritative, that about covers it.
    – Franky
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:28
  • @Franky - Really, that does about cover it. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:31
  • Well, there goes a couple years of looking for another truck. Stupid me.
    – Franky
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:34
  • Toyota has never made a FWD truck. There is no exclusively FWD truck since the Dodge Rampage from the 80s (not a truck, in my opinion, but worth a mention). Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 22:35
  • @MooseLucifer Maybe I remember incorrectly, but it was 2WD.
    – tlhIngan
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 3:21

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