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ZR2 owners: fuel economy

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Old 09-17-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I am considering the purchase of a 2003 Zr2 pickup with an automatic transmission. After reading many reviews from other owners posted on other auto websites I am shocked at the following: poor fuel mileage and frequent engine/body repairs? Right now my 91 is getting about 14-15 mpgs in town and about 22 on long highway trips. On top of that, it is basically maintance free. The only reason I am getting a newer truck is because of the rust that I can't seem to stop.
I never complain about fuel mileage because owning a truck means mediocre fuel economy PERIOD. I just want to know if these claims are true and what other ZR2 owners on this board are getting in terms of a stock 4.3 with stock 31 inch tires.
Second, I read many reports about interior body panels coming loose and other odd mechanical problems going wrong with these trucks? This is hard to believe because my 91 was basically maintenance free since the day I bought it. Tell me, what are some of the common problems other Zr2 owners have?

I appriciate any information from other ZR2 owners. Your info may help me decide whether or not to purchase this ZR2 I am eyeing up. Gotta love the yellow paint job!!
Old 09-17-2008, 07:34 PM   #2
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

buy mine.

when mine was stock i was prob getting around 15-16 mpgs.

my cab corner rusted out, along with my bed (damn fender flares. but those rust areas are typical in a truck.

a problem you will have, you'll break the 3rd door handle, possibly the seat adjuster to lean foward and back.

all in all they are pretty good trucks!
Old 09-17-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

it'll get teh same as you were getting before. 11-16 in town....19-23 highway
Old 09-22-2008, 12:41 AM   #4
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

my brother complains bout his getting 14-15 city mpg
Old 09-22-2008, 07:14 PM   #5
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I really appreciate the feedback guys. I'm now looking at a 2001 Zr2 with 84000 at a local repeutable dealer here. They are willing to give me 2000 for my 91. Please keep the comments coming. Is it posible to achieve 20 or better for highway trips?
Old 09-22-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I'm sure it is possible to get better mpg, get the ecm tuned, headers, exhaust, cai, keep up with maintence. On my 4 door I was averaging 20mpg, not bad for a 4100lb suv. I just bought a 2 door and should see over 20mpg especially since I have that nifty overhead console. Also buy brand name gas, and try to keep your foot off the pedal.
Old 09-22-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I get around 18-19 mpg with mixed driving in my ZR2. Replaced the plactic 3rd door handle with an aluminum one. I bought my truck with 69K on it and its got 91K on it now. I had to replace a wheel bearing, do a tranny flush, replace the radiator due to a leak, and while I was doing the radiator I went ahead and replaced the water pump. I expect I'll change the fuel pump at around 100K. All in all I love my truck and wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
Old 09-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

wow im am sooooo impressed with the MPG with other people. the best in town MPG was 14.9. Highway was 18.4 and i was going 90 1/4 of the way( friend had a fuzz buster). gas mileage in town is really sucky especially during the winter months. I have had regular matenance on my truck, no problems. in the winter MPG got down to 10! Pretty sucky i think. and everyone says thats expected. I drive like grandpa around town, my friends make fun of me. I like everything about it but the gas mileage.
Old 09-23-2008, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I've got a 99 ZR2 and i love it common things that go wrong with truck are gonna be ball joints specially if you get a t-bar crank and the cv axles also depending on if you get a t- bar crank, the higher you go the more stress your gonna have on the front end also as mentioned the third door handle and seat adjuster as far as fuel economy there isnt much economy when i first got my truck i got between 8(hard on the pedal) and 11 in town but no i have a K&N intake and flows and I get about 13-14 in town and on the highway i have only seen 20mpg once average 17 but overall it is a great truck imo and I would def. buy another one.
Old 09-23-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Quote: Originally Posted by 91S104x4
I really appreciate the feedback guys. I'm now looking at a 2001 Zr2 with 84000 at a local repeutable dealer here. They are willing to give me 2000 for my 91. Please keep the comments coming. Is it posible to achieve 20 or better for highway trips?
not doing 70+MPH....but if your doing 55-65...then yes it easily done
Old 09-24-2008, 11:23 PM   #11
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Thank you for the info. It looks like I'm going to buy it.
Old 09-26-2008, 11:23 PM   #12
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

So far I love the truck. One concern though: It seems like when your feathering the throttle at lower RPMS, there seems to be a metallic rattle coming from inside hood area. It only makes this slight rattle at lower RPMs but vanishes at higher RPMS. When it's park it doesn't make this noise at all? I'm thinking a loose skid plate or something?
Old 09-26-2008, 11:38 PM   #13
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Quote: Originally Posted by 91S104x4
So far I love the truck. One concern though: It seems like when your feathering the throttle at lower RPMS, there seems to be a metallic rattle coming from inside hood area. It only makes this slight rattle at lower RPMs but vanishes at higher RPMS. When it's park it doesn't make this noise at all? I'm thinking a loose skid plate or something?
I had a similar rattle on mine, it was the heat shield on the muffler. It's held on with metal bands, I just grab the bands with some pliers, and twisted them slightly to tighten them up.

BTW mine is a 01 with 122k miles, and I average about 17mpg. I currently have a K&N fipk, FM44 dumped at the axle, and a Trick Flow t-body spacer.

I've repaired all the usual problems stated above.
bj's
wheel bearings
tie-rod ends
3rd door handle
idler & pitman arms.
Also keep an eye out for an intake leak if it's got the red coolant.
Old 10-03-2008, 04:11 PM   #14
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I've got a 98 Standard cab zr2. Bought it in 2005 with 69K miles, now has 116K. Here's what I've replaced, somewhat in order.

-Heater Core (whole dash has to come out)
-Alternator
-Rear brake caliper
-4 different sets of brakes (finally pulled the anti-rattle clips off because they wouldn't let the pads off of the rotors.)
-Fuel pump
-Radiator
-Wiper control module needs to be adjusted almost weekly due to a bad harness connection.
-Sway bar linkage
-U-joints on rear drive shaft
-Had to "custom modify" (aka rig up) the armrests on the doors because the plastic mounts broke and GM wants $140 for 2.

Also replaced plugs, wires, dist. cap and rotor, shocks, and tires which I don't mind considering these are all maintenance.

All these repairs said, I would buy another. The truck is a blast, and if you can do your own work its not too expensive for most repairs. In fact most I listed cost me under $50 bucks each to do. Long story short, fun truck but be prepared to spend some time on it when it starts to get a little older.

Oh, and I don't get above 16 on the highway, and thats going 60-65. Winter city driving I'm lucky to get above 12mpg. I do have BFG MudTerrains on, but still stock size (31x10.5)
Old 10-12-2008, 04:21 PM   #15
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Well so far the first tank avereged out to about 13.5 MPGs. This was mostly city driving. I drive about 2 miles to work each day and back.
Old 10-12-2008, 06:56 PM   #16
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I have a 2001 ZR2 Blazer and average 16 to 17 city, I drive about 7 miles one way to work. I took the truck down to Louisville, Ky. back in August and averaged 21, best was 22 with the cruise set at 68 most of the way. I tend to run my tire spessure a bit high to help reduce the rolling resistance and also (and I think this helps) my Blazer does not have the spare tire mount on the back. I believe there is alot of drag eliminated there. The truck has jsut over 80k on it right now.

Truck is pretty much stock and I also drive with a very light foot to try to get the best milage possible, costs alot to drive the damn thing. . The only complaint or problem I have had is a vibration that appeared after putting in lift shackles in to get rid of the saggy butt the blazers are notorious for. I have however only owned the truck for 8 months though, Im sure there is plenty to go wrong though .
Old 04-28-2009, 10:42 PM   #17
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Love My zr2 blazer but the Best Gas MPG i have got was 13 yes i have 32/10.5 superswampers but i got headers throttlebody spacer a chip nitrogen in the tires just nuthing is doing it for me to get better
Old 04-29-2009, 07:57 PM   #18
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I have a 2001 and I got 17 on highway with a 30 mph wind the whole time .
Old 04-30-2009, 08:22 PM   #19
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

i have a 2001 with 98000 miles and i was getting 13-15 city MAYBE 18 highway. I then added a AEM air intake, a magnaflow 3" highflow cat, 2 1/2" pipe to a single in dual out flowmaster 40. I added more for the sound and little bit of performance but WOW im getting more like 21 highway now it seems like. I drive 25miles to work and back every day, so i definately notice the difference. As far as wear and tear goes, i already replaced my 3rd goor handle, my reclining lever for my seat is currently a vice-grip (EVERY s10 has this problem, my dad has owned 4) and the engine has needed nothing besides an oil change every 3k. (and a fuel pump, but that was 100% my own fault) I love these trucks, have never let me down. My dads have lasted over 200k without a problem. You will not regret buying one.
Old 04-30-2009, 08:27 PM   #20
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

I also want to add that these trucks take a serious beating...i definately dont baby it, and i do go offroad with it, bury it in the mud, snow...anything. the only thing to ever go bad was a ball joint but if you do any offroading or add bigger tires, you can be ready for plenty of repair of those.
Old 05-03-2009, 05:15 PM   #21
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Quote: Originally Posted by 91S104x4
So far I love the truck. One concern though: It seems like when your feathering the throttle at lower RPMS, there seems to be a metallic rattle coming from inside hood area. It only makes this slight rattle at lower RPMs but vanishes at higher RPMS. When it's park it doesn't make this noise at all? I'm thinking a loose skid plate or something?
There might be a rock in the skidplate. or the skidplate door for the oil filter could be loose. We had rocks in our skidplates and we thought the transmission was going out. It sounded bad lol.
Old 05-04-2009, 05:46 AM   #22
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

It is the balance shaft, no big deal. On a recent trip from PA to FL I averaged about 19-20 MPGS on the ay down @ 70 mph. The highest was about 20.75 MPG from SC to the FL boarder.
Old 05-04-2009, 09:02 AM   #23
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Quote: Originally Posted by 91S104x4
So far I love the truck. One concern though: It seems like when your feathering the throttle at lower RPMS, there seems to be a metallic rattle coming from inside hood area. It only makes this slight rattle at lower RPMs but vanishes at higher RPMS. When it's park it doesn't make this noise at all? I'm thinking a loose skid plate or something?
There is a fix for hood rattle...it's a wavy washer for the hood hinges....I know...it sounds silly but it works.
Old 11-17-2012, 03:01 PM   #24
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

My 2003 ZR2 is definitely the worst purchase I have ever made!! I have had nothing but problems !! No more Chevys for me!!
Old 11-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #25
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Quote: Originally Posted by crs0124
My 2003 ZR2 is definitely the worst purchase I have ever made!! I have had nothing but problems !! No more Chevys for me!!
Whats wrong? Every engine from every manufacturer has problems. There is no perfect engine, other than maybe that 91 Cummins I used to have
Old 11-19-2012, 09:46 PM   #26
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

Hey, sorry if I am in the wrong section but I need some advise.
I too am buying a 1998 s10 zr2.
I have a few questions.

1 when accelerating the truck it shifts hard, is that normal for a automatic zr2 transmission?

2 it sways a little on the road when going 45mph, is that normal, or should it be real tight?

3 the truck could of had a engine swap, do you know where the numbers are located so I can see if they match the truck?

Thanks alot everyone!
Old 11-20-2012, 12:39 AM   #27
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Re: ZR2 owners: fuel economy

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