We just purchased my in-laws 05 Z71 Tahoe for a very good price. I've been using it the past 2.5 years to tow my track car, but since it wasn't my truck, I didn't want to suggest any modifications beyond a good brake controller for towing. Now that it's ours, I'm planning to do some mods to make towing a little more comfortable and safe. I have to say that I've been very impressed with the truck over these past couple of years. Very comfortable, fit and finish is very good, no squeaks or rattles, and it runs great.
What I'll be towing is an 18' steel deck trailer (2,200 lbs) and a 98 Honda Prelude (2,500 lbs), a couple sets of tires, tools, etc. I figure 5,000 to 5,300 lbs with all the spares and everything.
No pictures of the truck yet, but here's one of the car!
The truck has 3.42 gears, so it struggles a bit on hills. Sway hasn't been an issue, but the tongue weight makes the rear sag a bit. I'd certainly like to fix that.
My wife and I have a history of keeping cars for a very long time, so I don't mind spending money to make the Tahoe perform its best, and hopefully increase towing reliability as well.
So, here are my thoughts:
4.10 gears (either GM OEM or Yukon gear?)
Rancho RS9000XL shocks
Eibach or Hotchkis sway bars
Air Lift rear assist bags and/or Equal-i-zer WD hitch setup
I'm also thinking about installing a higher capacity trans pan, but my understanding (thanks to this site!) is that these trucks already have deep sump trans pans. If that's the case, I'll probably just tap the stock pan for a trans fluid temp gauge. Then based on the temp readings, I might install a larger trans cooler.
I've also thought about an exhaust or headers, but I'd really like to keep the truck as quiet as stock. My track car is loud enough! Actually too loud, but that's another story.
I also have a Helms service manual on the way.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!