There seems to be quite a bit of confusion I've found by many members as to just how different the 2011 is from the 2010 and prior model HD's.. There's a lot of stuff, too much to cut n' paste into a thread
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. Like I said, there are a lot of technical differences, but two major changes that stick out:
The new IFS:
2. New and strong independent front suspension
A completely redesigned independent front suspension system offers up to a 25-percent greater front axle weight rating – up to 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) front gross axle weight rating (FGAWR) – enabling a snow plow to be used on all 4WD cab configurations with the available snow plow prep package, while also supporting improved ride and handling characteristics.
Silverado’s signature short-long arm/torsion bar front suspension design is retained, but now features new, forged steel upper control arms that are stronger and lighter than their predecessors. The new lower control arms are made of precision-machined cast iron to handle the greater loads. Five different torsion bar rates support five different front gross axle weight ratings (a single torsion bar was previously used for all models). This helps stabilize the range of trim heights of various models under load, while enhancing appearance, handling, durability, tire wear and alignment. The trim height is adjusted on each bar via a single bolt, easily allowing the height to be changed to account for the weight of a snow plow or other accessories.
The Silverado HD front suspension now uses a pair of urethane jounce bumpers on each side, instead of one, for improved load management; and there’s a new upper shock mount attachment design that’s positively connected to the frame with two fasteners. This design eliminates squeaks and clunks, while supporting higher load capability and increased durability.
Compared to competitors’ beam-axle front suspension, the Silverado’s independent front suspension provides a better ride, more accurate trim height control (with fewer parts) and greater flexibility to adjust the alignment for weight and tire sensitivity.
the new frame:
1. New frames
In the quest to comprehensively redesign the Silverado HD chassis to improve durability and ride, while also supporting increased capability, engineers developed 11 all-new, fully boxed frame assemblies. The frames have increased cross sections and use more high-strength steel for greater durability, higher towing capacity and improved ride and handling; the front sections are hydroformed.
The bending and beaming stiffness of the frames is increased 92 percent and 20 percent, respectively, with the fully boxed sections enhancing torsional stiffness by a factor of five. Also, larger engine and transmission mounts, coupled with a 125-percent-stiffer front frame structure, provide greater vibration control, while hydraulic body mounts are incorporated under the cab section on extended and crew cab models for a more isolated feel inside.
Engineers addressed common customer and aftermarket uses when designing the new frames, including adding access holes to the rear frame section to enable easier installation of fifth-wheel/gooseneck-style hitches. Also, the frame-mounted hitch for conventional trailering is stronger, with a box-tube design. It supports up to 16,000 pounds (7,257 kg).