A Long, Strange Journey - Finally, Back in the ZR2

DFWZR2

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After a brief stint in Stellantis-land, I have made the journey back to my Chevrolet roots.

I traded in my first 2022 Silverado ZR2, back in October, on the Ram TRX I factory ordered on the same day - 2/17/2022. Chevrolet produced the pickup first, in early May, but my salesman at the dealer informed me a week before my factory ordered (White) ZR2 was set to deliver that another buyer was backing out on the first blue one they had received, he told me there were two other salesmen with prospective buyers making arrangements to come see it. I grappled between ordering white and blue, so he knew I was interested to see the blue and I decided to come in and take a look, I wasn't sure how much I'd like the truck having never seen one in person at that time. I rushed in that morning to try and beat the other buyers, and I was blown away when I saw it. I told him to tell those other salesmen the truck is taken, and we made the deal. I traded in my 2020 Silverado LT Trail Boss, and welcomed the ZR2 to the family.

About six months, and ~7,000 miles later, after taking the ZR2 on several road trips and one off-road trip to Hot Springs, AR, I got a call from the Ram dealer I placed my TRX order with - after 8 months, mine was on a railcar and headed to the dealer. Having seen and watched every video under the sun about the TRX, I was determined to get it - which would require a 1,500mile journey from DFW to Koon's Corner in Virginia. One huge factor that influenced my decision was the deal I secured on this factory order. Koons CDJR is a Hellcat power broker, they were offering 11% off MSRP, and price protection, when I placed my order. When ordered, the truck was optioned to a total price of $94,850, which locked my buying price in at $84,416. The final sticker price was $96,750 after the price increases posted by Stellantis over the following months, so if I decided to move forward and buy I was getting over $12k off MSRP. When I saw the truck in person and heard it start, I knew I was going to have to move forward. We drove ~21hrs and 1.5k miles up there to see the thing, and we were gonna drive it home.

About 300 short miles later, after meticulously following the recommended break-in procedure for the 6.2L Hellcat engine, it was about 2am in rural western Virginia. This is when my wife and I experienced cruise control malfunctioning, and the instrument cluster lighting up warning messages;

Service Electronic Stability Control
Service Anti-Lock Brake System
4WD System Temporarily Unavailable
Cruise Control Temporarily Unavailable
Forward Collision Braking Unavailable
Traction Control System Unavailable

"Gotta be a sensor", I told my wife. Pulled over to the nearest gas station and began searching the Ram TRX Forum I was a part of to see what could be the cause. All things pointed to a Wheel Speed Sensor, since there was no noticeable change in driving behavior - at that time. Long story-short, I was wrong. We made it home, but only barely. There was a missing brakeline bracket that the factory, and dealer, overlooked during their final and post-delivery inspections. The rear passenger brakeline was loose, and rubbed against the inside of the tires until it ultimately severed and depleted the brake reservoir.

A protracted saga with RamCares/Stellantis ensued, in which compensation and repair was requested - and ultimately accepted, followed by a renege on the compensation initially offered by RamCares, and eventually a pretty big check. While RamCares did eventually extend generous compensation, they failed to make good on the full promise. I detail those sagas in the following threads. That TRX forum is a great source for deals and support if you're inclined to pursue ownership of that vehicle.

The Problem: https://www.ram-trx.com/threads/severed-brake-line-rear-speed-sensor.13410/
The "Resolution": https://www.ram-trx.com/threads/ram-cares-months-of-anticipation-ends-in-disappointment.14388/

Finally, after getting about ~$9,000 worth of compensation from Stellantis, I had a decision to make. The prorated monthly payment check, combined with refunds of the extended warranties I'd purchased, added up to that amount. I'd driven the Ram TRX for about 4,500 miles, and to its credit I didn't experience any additional mechanical failures. The fastest 0-60 time I logged was 3.9s. I put the Borla performance exhaust on it. Installed IGLA security and ordered some decals. It was a pretty exciting ownership, all things considered. The thrill had thoroughly worn off though, if I was being honest with myself. I didn't feel like I could take the truck anywhere without a hassle, since its such a huge theft target and the IGLA system requires a passcode or extra fob to valet, and the truck is too valuable to take off-road in the types of parks we like to go (narrow, rocky, wooded trails). I didn't trust the truck, and I'd had my fun. I had positive equity in the vehicle, and if I was going to get out of it, now was the time.

After securing buy-in from the deciding committee in our household, aka: my wife, I decided to find another ZR2. That was the Goldilocks truck. Did everything I needed it to, looked amazing, sounded better with the Borla exhaust than the TRX did, and if the dealer could make the right deal, we'd stand to save $70/mo. on insurance, $120/mo. on gas, and at least $200/mo. on monthly payment, without any money out of pocket. AutoNation Chevrolet in North Richland Hills had just such the vehicle, and made just such a deal - except it ended up being $262/mo. less on monthly payment, and two features my Blue ZR2 didn't have - the sunroof, and the MF tailgate.

I don't regret any particular step in the journey, I got some amazing deals on some of the most advanced and performance oriented pickup trucks on the market, and got the driving and ownership experiences that go with them. I will say, though, that my confidence in manufacturing quality has been shaken. Forums like this one are a great resource for ownership communities, and if properly socialized and adequately vetted may be used to hold dealers and manufacturers to account. It worked for me with the brakeline bracket issue, and saved me from spending out of pocket to have the repair taken care of.

Onto what I have planned for the Black ZR2. Purchased and installed the Borla GM Performance exhaust, ordered black/red 6.2 + Silverado badges, looking into getting the kicker sub for the sound system and would appreciate any links anyone has to what they used for this, interested in learning more about the Ultimate9 throttle controller, and on the lookout for a good deal on AMP Research deployable side-steps.
 

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After a brief stint in Stellantis-land, I have made the journey back to my Chevrolet roots.

I traded in my first 2022 Silverado ZR2, back in October, on the Ram TRX I factory ordered on the same day - 2/17/2022. Chevrolet produced the pickup first, in early May, but my salesman at the dealer informed me a week before my factory ordered (White) ZR2 was set to deliver that another buyer was backing out on the first blue one they had received, he told me there were two other salesmen with prospective buyers making arrangements to come see it. I grappled between ordering white and blue, so he knew I was interested to see the blue and I decided to come in and take a look, I wasn't sure how much I'd like the truck having never seen one in person at that time. I rushed in that morning to try and beat the other buyers, and I was blown away when I saw it. I told him to tell those other salesmen the truck is taken, and we made the deal. I traded in my 2020 Silverado LT Trail Boss, and welcomed the ZR2 to the family.

About six months, and ~7,000 miles later, after taking the ZR2 on several road trips and one off-road trip to Hot Springs, AR, I got a call from the Ram dealer I placed my TRX order with - after 8 months, mine was on a railcar and headed to the dealer. Having seen and watched every video under the sun about the TRX, I was determined to get it - which would require a 1,500mile journey from DFW to Koon's Corner in Virginia. One huge factor that influenced my decision was the deal I secured on this factory order. Koons CDJR is a Hellcat power broker, they were offering 11% off MSRP, and price protection, when I placed my order. When ordered, the truck was optioned to a total price of $94,850, which locked my buying price in at $84,416. The final sticker price was $96,750 after the price increases posted by Stellantis over the following months, so if I decided to move forward and buy I was getting over $12k off MSRP. When I saw the truck in person and heard it start, I knew I was going to have to move forward. We drove ~21hrs and 1.5k miles up there to see the thing, and we were gonna drive it home.

About 300 short miles later, after meticulously following the recommended break-in procedure for the 6.2L Hellcat engine, it was about 2am in rural western Virginia. This is when my wife and I experienced cruise control malfunctioning, and the instrument cluster lighting up warning messages;

Service Electronic Stability Control
Service Anti-Lock Brake System
4WD System Temporarily Unavailable
Cruise Control Temporarily Unavailable
Forward Collision Braking Unavailable
Traction Control System Unavailable

"Gotta be a sensor", I told my wife. Pulled over to the nearest gas station and began searching the Ram TRX Forum I was a part of to see what could be the cause. All things pointed to a Wheel Speed Sensor, since there was no noticeable change in driving behavior - at that time. Long story-short, I was wrong. We made it home, but only barely. There was a missing brakeline bracket that the factory, and dealer, overlooked during their final and post-delivery inspections. The rear passenger brakeline was loose, and rubbed against the inside of the tires until it ultimately severed and depleted the brake reservoir.

A protracted saga with RamCares/Stellantis ensued, in which compensation and repair was requested - and ultimately accepted, followed by a renege on the compensation initially offered by RamCares, and eventually a pretty big check. While RamCares did eventually extend generous compensation, they failed to make good on the full promise. I detail those sagas in the following threads. That TRX forum is a great source for deals and support if you're inclined to pursue ownership of that vehicle.

The Problem: https://www.ram-trx.com/threads/severed-brake-line-rear-speed-sensor.13410/
The "Resolution": https://www.ram-trx.com/threads/ram-cares-months-of-anticipation-ends-in-disappointment.14388/

Finally, after getting about ~$9,000 worth of compensation from Stellantis, I had a decision to make. The prorated monthly payment check, combined with refunds of the extended warranties I'd purchased, added up to that amount. I'd driven the Ram TRX for about 4,500 miles, and to its credit I didn't experience any additional mechanical failures. The fastest 0-60 time I logged was 3.9s. I put the Borla performance exhaust on it. Installed IGLA security and ordered some decals. It was a pretty exciting ownership, all things considered. The thrill had thoroughly worn off though, if I was being honest with myself. I didn't feel like I could take the truck anywhere without a hassle, since its such a huge theft target and the IGLA system requires a passcode or extra fob to valet, and the truck is too valuable to take off-road in the types of parks we like to go (narrow, rocky, wooded trails). I didn't trust the truck, and I'd had my fun. I had positive equity in the vehicle, and if I was going to get out of it, now was the time.

After securing buy-in from the deciding committee in our household, aka: my wife, I decided to find another ZR2. That was the Goldilocks truck. Did everything I needed it to, looked amazing, sounded better with the Borla exhaust than the TRX did, and if the dealer could make the right deal, we'd stand to save $70/mo. on insurance, $120/mo. on gas, and at least $200/mo. on monthly payment, without any money out of pocket. AutoNation Chevrolet in North Richland Hills had just such the vehicle, and made just such a deal - except it ended up being $262/mo. less on monthly payment, and two features my Blue ZR2 didn't have - the sunroof, and the MF tailgate.

I don't regret any particular step in the journey, I got some amazing deals on some of the most advanced and performance oriented pickup trucks on the market, and got the driving and ownership experiences that go with them. I will say, though, that my confidence in manufacturing quality has been shaken. Forums like this one are a great resource for ownership communities, and if properly socialized and adequately vetted may be used to hold dealers and manufacturers to account. It worked for me with the brakeline bracket issue, and saved me from spending out of pocket to have the repair taken care of.

Onto what I have planned for the Black ZR2. Purchased and installed the Borla GM Performance exhaust, ordered black/red 6.2 + Silverado badges, looking into getting the kicker sub for the sound system and would appreciate any links anyone has to what they used for this, interested in learning more about the Ultimate9 throttle controller, and on the lookout for a good deal on AMP Research deployable side-steps.
That's one hell of a story! You did a good job writing it as well. I'm sure if the ZR2 was supercharged, like an LSA, it would be the same price as the TRX.
 
Thanks for the write up! I put down a deposit through the forums with Koons about a year ago as well but ended up going with the ZR2. Not sure if I made the right decision, but I do enjoy my truck.
 
Thanks for the write up! I put down a deposit through the forums with Koons about a year ago as well but ended up going with the ZR2. Not sure if I made the right decision, but I do enjoy my truck.
If you ever decide to move forward with a factory order on almost any performance MOPAR vehicle, Koons is a decent source. Try to get Joel as your finance guy, and you may have to place your order through Craig - but I found Adam to be much more responsive throughout the process. They usually have invoice and below pricing on all the popular Jeep/Dodge/Ram models.
 
Quite the story.. If you don't mind, how much did you get for the trade in when you traded the ZR2?
 
Quite the story.. If you don't mind, how much did you get for the trade in when you traded the ZR2?
Koons initially offered 66k, I negotiated up to 68k. The truck had the tech package, but that's the only factory option. No sunroof or MF tailgate. I had installed the S-Type Borla exhaust. So I basically got what I owed on the truck, it had 8.5k miles and I owed 67. The tax benefit was a plus.
 
Nah, I call bullshit... sorry I'm not buying it.

Based on your pics... you only took 877 photos while you had the TRX... that's not even enough to cover the defects you experienced! Somethings not right here...


LOL :ROFLMAO: Awesome story, well written and detailed. Appreciate you sharing, and glad you're back in a ZR2.

Cheers,

RiG
 

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