Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 Silverado Chassis is Foundation for Greater Capability

  • Stronger chassis supports segment-best 11,500-pound towing rating
  • Revised suspension, wider wheels enhance ride and handling
  • New four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife™ rotors improve brake feel and extend rotor life

SAN ANTONIO – The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 was engineered for improved refinement and greater capability, with a quieter, more controlled ride, improved steering and braking feel, and best-in-class conventional towing rating of up to 11,500 pounds. 

The stronger chassis serves as the foundation for suspension, steering and brake enhancements including:
  • Revised coil-over-shock front suspension contributes to a smoother ride and more responsive handling
  • Wider rear track and tuned, multi-leaf rear suspension improve ride and handling performance, especially in turns
  • Revised twin-tube shock absorbers feature new valving that improves damping at low speeds for a smoother, more controlled ride
  • Wider wheels – offered in 17-, 18-, 20- and 22-inch sizes – reduce tire flex for more improved cornering performance (22-inch wheels are dealer-available accessories)
  • A larger 9.5-inch axle is standard on V-8 models and is designed for the higher torque of the new EcoTec3 powertrains
  • New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions that improve pedal feel for stronger-feeling, more confident braking performance
  • Electric, variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
  • Available Z71 off-road package includes GM’s exclusive automatic locking differential and hill descent control, which improve traction and maneuverability in extreme driving conditions
  • Electronic vehicle controls including StabiliTrak, trailer sway control and hill start assist that that make hauling or towing with Silverado easier in the most demanding conditions
  • Integrated trailer brake controller and seven-pin wire harness make hooking up and towing a trailer easier and safer.

Firmer foundation

A fully boxed frame with the main rails and major cross members formed from high-strength steel provides a rigid base for maximum hauling capability, greater noise and vibration isolation and excellent crashworthiness.

To optimize the strength and refinement characteristics for the four wheelbase lengths in Silverado’s lineup, the frame comprises three sections: front bay, mid bay and rear bay. The front frame bay uses hydroformed side rails and includes the radiator support cross member, engine support cross member and front lower control arm cross member. GM pioneered the use of hydroformed frame rails for full-size trucks nearly 15 years ago. The process uses highly pressurized fluid to shape the frame rails, making them stronger and lighter than comparable welded multi-piece components.

A four-point, front-axle mounting system is integrated with the front bay and uses strong axle mounting brackets that, combined with the front bay’s stiffness, significantly reduces vibration.

New, boxed side rails of the frame’s middle bay are constructed of two pieces of high-strength steel welded to form the sturdy box design. The rails also have a variable-height construction that enables strategic placement of strength-enhancing materials in certain areas, for a more integrated, lower-mass design.

The side rails support two stiffness-enhancing cross members. Strength is also built into the frame by joining the front bay to the middle bay, with the front bay’s hydroformed rails slipping inside the boxed sections of the middle bay 9.4 inches (240 mm), creating a very rigid structure that resists bending. It also helps deliver excellent crush dynamics. The cab foot well area, for example, features an L-channel design to reduce frame deformation and help prevent the transfer of crash energy into the passenger compartment.

The rear-bay boxed rail sections are joined to the middle bay with an overlapping, shingle-type construction. The rear bay section offers enhanced strength over the previous model with four cross members, including a robust fuel tank cross member and a stronger, single-piece spare tire cross member. The rails are thicker where carrying strength is needed and tapered toward the rear to reduce weight and improve ride characteristics.

Silverado was designed for long cruising distances between fill-ups. Crew cab, double cab and regular cab/standard box configurations have a 26-gallon tank, while regular cab/long box models come with a 34-gallon tank.

Enhanced suspensions and more robust axles

The stiffer chassis enabled more precise tuning of the front and rear suspensions, giving the new Silverado a more responsive feel with smoother performance and less vibration and shake, particularly on harsh terrain.

The new Silverado’s driving experience benefits from a half-inch wider rear track and half-inch wider wheels all around to improve stability and ride smoothness. The new geometry also contributes to flatter, more confident-feeling cornering whether the truck is empty, loaded or trailering. The wider wheels reduce tire flexing and new-design twin-tube shock absorbers at all corners improve low-speed damping for a smoother, more controlled ride.

All Silverado 1500 models – 2WD and 4WD – feature an updated coil-over-shock independent front suspension design, with forged aluminum upper control arms and cast-aluminum lower control arms on select models. They are 23 pounds lighter and 10 percent stiffer than comparable steel components.

The front suspension also uses new cast-aluminum steering knuckles that are 19 pounds lighter than previous models and deliver comparable stiffness, as well as coil springs that are up to 30 percent stiffer, depending on the model. Larger-diameter stabilizer bars – 1.34 inches or 1.42 inches with the Max Trailering Package – and enhanced jounce bumpers, spring isolators and top shock mounts round out the suspension upgrades.

All of the new lighter and stiffer front suspension components contribute to the truck’s smoother, more responsive driving experience. 

A true-truck Hotchkiss-type axle/rear suspension design delivers the load-sharing strength and flexibility that truck owners have relied on for decades. A lineup of more robust axles is used with two-stage, semi-elliptical multi-leaf springs, complementing the higher-torque powertrains to deliver maximum strength under load. It includes:
  • An 8.6-inch axle with V-6 models offered with a 3.23 ratio in 2WD models and a 3.42 ratio with 4WD
  • A larger, 9.5-inch axle is used with 5.3L and 6.2L V-8 models. A 3.08 ratio is standard with the 5.3L and a 3.42 ratio is standard with the 6.2L and optional with the 5.3L
  • A high-capacity 9.75-inch axle is part of the available Max Trailering Package and features a 3.73 axle ratio.
New bushings for the leaf springs offer a greater balance of compliance and stiffness, contributing to greater ride quality and enhanced steering responsiveness. Also, new cast-aluminum leaf spring spacers and cast iron anchor plates on crew cab and double cab models save more than 12 pounds (5.6 kg) per vehicle.

The new Silverado’s suspension systems are tailored for its range of 17-, 18- and 20-inch regular-production wheels – and 22-inch accessory wheels, delivering an uncompromising ride to match its appearance. The base suspension is designed to deliver a balanced ride whether the truck is empty, hauling cargo in the pickup box or trailering, with shocks tuned for the mass and ride characteristics of models equipped with larger wheels. The 20- and 22-inch wheels are constructed with a full-forming process that makes them stronger and lighter, enhancing the ride quality with less unsprung weight.

For owners whose work or recreation takes them off road, Z71 returns as a unique model, with specific exterior and interior appointments, available in LT and LTZ trims. It includes 46mm monotube Rancho shocks – with an enhanced, fade-resistant design for more consistent, smoother performance – front tow hooks, a transfer case shield on 4WD models and available unique 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels and all-terrain tires are also available.

Hill descent control and GM’s exclusive automatic locking rear differential (available on other Silverado models) are also part of the Z71 package, providing drivers with maximum traction and optimal vehicle control in extreme conditions. Hill descent control is engaged by the driver and uses the anti-lock braking system to enable a smooth and controlled descent in rough terrain.

The automatic locking rear differential reacts in milliseconds in low-traction situations to improve safety and confidence on wet, snowy or muddy surfaces. Without driver input of any kind, the rear axle engages when a wheel speed difference of 100 rpm or more is detected between the left and right wheels, providing instant traction for confident driving. During normal driving conditions, the differential functions as a conventional light-bias limited-slip axle.

Max Trailering Package

Trailering is a fundamental capability that customers invest in and depend on when they purchase a truck. The available Max Trailering Package gives them specialized tools to do it with confidence. It is available on 2WD and 4WD V-8 crew cab and double cab models and includes:
  • Trailering package with seven-pin and four-pin connector
  • Enhanced cooling
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • Heavy-duty 9.75-inch rear axle with 3.73 ratio
  • Increased-capacity rear leaf springs
  • Revised shock tuning for increased control
  • Integrated brake controller.
With the Max Trailering Package, the maximum trailering capacity on a 5.3L-equipped model increases to 11,500 pounds – the highest rating in the segment.

Electric power steering

All models feature new electric variable-assist power steering, which improves overall vehicle handling and reduces steering effort at low speeds. Because there is no engine-driven pump, electric power steering also saves fuel and eliminates the maintenance associated with hydraulic power steering.
The steering ratio is tailored for each of the Silverado’s four wheelbases, while the variable assistance enhances overall handling with reduced steering effort in parking lots and a higher rate on the highway that provides a more solid, direct and on-center feel.

Longer-lasting brakes

All 2014 Silverado 1500 models have standard four-wheel disc brakes – with new Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life – and four-channel ABS, for straighter, more controlled braking in all conditions. A revised brake pedal system complements the new brakes with improved feelings of firmness and smoothness that give customers confidence when they step on the brake pedal. 

The new Duralife™ brake rotors enhance braking performance, too, thanks to a GM-exclusive process that protects against rust that, over time, can lead to steering wheel shudder. It involves super-heating the rotors to more than 1,000 degrees F (560 C) for an entire day in a special oven, where the nitrogen-rich atmosphere promotes nitrogen atoms to bond to the rotors’ surfaces, hardening and strengthening them.

The larger, vented front brake rotors measure 13 inches in diameter and are complemented by 13.6-inch rear rotors. They’re optimized for the new Silverado’s mass, wider wheels and other new chassis dynamics. An enhanced brake vacuum pump improves braking capability through greater brake system boost, while the brake pedal assembly itself is lighter, for a more uniform, linear feel throughout the entire pedal travel range.

In short, when the driver steps on the brake pedal, the response is firm, smooth and confidence-inspiring.

Silverado also features Auto Grade Braking, which uses the engine and transmission controls to slow the vehicle on a long downgrade, helping maintain vehicle speed and reducing the need for the driver to use the brakes.

Electronic vehicle control features

StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on all 2014 Silverado 1500 models, working in concert with the new four-wheel-disc brake system and four-channel ABS to provide more precise and controlled ABS stops, greater traction and excellent cornering stability. It also incorporates rollover mitigation technology, which anticipates tip-up conditions – such as fishtailing – on a flat road surface and rapidly applies brake pressure to help reduce the likelihood of a rollover.

Trailer sway control is also standard and works with StabiliTrak to provide an added measure of confidence when towing a trailer. It senses conditions of trailer sway and, without input from the driver, intervenes with braking and/or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path. The system will use electric trailer brakes when a trailer is plugged into the standard wiring harness. 

Silverado also offers an integrated trailer brake controller and hill start assist, two more examples of the solutions built into the Silverado that help owners do their work with greater confidence and less hassle. The trailer brake controller allows the driver to adjust the amount of output available to the electric trailer brake and to manually apply the brakes, which is very useful with customers who use their truck regularly to tow loaded and empty trailers back to back.

With hill start assist, the brakes hold for about 1.5 seconds on grades of 5 percent or greater when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal, preventing rollback for a more confident take-off on hilly roads or terrain – especially with a trailer.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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