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Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/16/22 3:43 p.m.

 

Back to the top again. I snapped this picture today when I was hauling an air compressor and engine hoist. Don't anyone try and tell me that lowered trucks can't work. That's a whole lot of weight in the bed of the truck. The toolbox is crammed full of tools too. 
 

 

As a side note, loading that compressor into the truck by myself with an engine hoist was one of the sketchier things I've done in a while. 

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
3/16/22 4:38 p.m.

It's funny, I have almost the same truck Cousin_Eddie has (2002 white W/T single cab long bed) and hate it, but love his truck.  I think the hate for mine is because it was a former county vehicle and is riddled with dents, scrapes, bent fenders, etc.  It'll never look as nice without major bodywork, which would be double or triple the value of the truck. 

I've been going back and forth in my head on what to do with it.  One part says drop some coin on it and freshen up the suspension, rebuild the transmission (it works, but is suspect) and maybe do a light rebuild/4.8L swap.  Could probably do it all for under $3k and leave the body looking like poop and just use it.  The other part says to keep it running just enough until the market calms back down and replacing it with what I'd prefer; either a single cab short bed or a 2-door Tahoe.  Either of which I'd also pour money in to, but would be my daily and my "forever" truck.  Sigh.....

I should stay away from this thread entirely.  I know I can subscribe to a thread, but is there a way to block one?  laugh

-Rob

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/16/22 4:54 p.m.
rob_lewis said:

It's funny, I have almost the same truck Cousin_Eddie has (2002 white W/T single cab long bed) and hate it, but love his truck.  I think the hate for mine is because it was a former county vehicle and is riddled with dents, scrapes, bent fenders, etc.  It'll never look as nice without major bodywork, which would be double or triple the value of the truck. 

Rob,

When I read this my mind said hit the junkyards and buy straighter panels Any color. Just straight body panels Install them and then whack it with the lowering stick. Find a set of decent pull off larger diameter GMT800 wheels and Bob is your uncle. Patina truck !

I built a GMT800 a few years ago and it was so easy. Parts are laying on every street corner for those trucks. And they're great trucks too !

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
3/16/22 5:36 p.m.
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) said:

Rob,

When I read this my mind said hit the junkyards and buy straighter panels Any color. Just straight body panels Install them and then whack it with the lowering stick. Find a set of decent pull off larger diameter GMT800 wheels and Bob is your uncle. Patina truck !

I built a GMT800 a few years ago and it was so easy. Parts are laying on every street corner for those trucks. And they're great trucks too !

And because it's a GMT800, an LS swap would be probably be the same as rebuiling the 4.3l....... 

You're not helping, BTW......  :D

-Rob

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
3/19/22 5:09 p.m.

Today I removed the work truck front grille and lights and converted to the early 1988-89 Silverado style. No particular justification other than it's my favorite of all the GMT400 front grille styles. I like the quad glass sealed beam headlights better than the 1990-1998 composite lights.
 

While I was at it I converted the side view mirrors to the stainless steel 1988-1994 style in lieu of the 95+ black molded shaped ones that the truck had. Then I swapped out the front 6.5 speakers and the rear 4x6 speakers with some new Polk Audio replacements. I also replaced the outer door window sweeps while I had the door panels and mirrors off. 

NY Nick
NY Nick HalfDork
3/19/22 7:29 p.m.

Looking good, I like the smooth front bumper too. 

Loving this long bed. Had to pick up a shed from Home Depot this morning.  To think of all the years that I refused anything other than short bed trucks. This getting old E36 M3 isn't that bad  

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
4/15/22 8:55 p.m.

My tailgate was flexing and making some bad crunching noises, and I'm supposed to help a buddy move next weekend so I decided to do something about it.

 

Yup

 

Going to put a 1"x2" tube in there. $65 CAD for the 8' stick, $21 for some Dorman gate side hinges. $15 in paint. Some other scraps of metal.

 

Exterior still looked decent, the few holes you can see there are from me hammering away with a screwdriver. Probably will try and replace a strip along the bottom.

 

Rust sucks

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/15/22 8:58 p.m.

I have a slightly odd ....notchiness in my steering? I think it might be the weird EVO assist thing since mines a 97, off of center it seems to be very super boosted for a second

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/15/22 9:06 p.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

I have a slightly odd ....notchiness in my steering? I think it might be the weird EVO assist thing since mines a 97, off of center it seems to be very super boosted for a second

Likely. I'm about to do away with it on my 97. It just takes an earlier fitting on the back of the pump and an earlier pressure hose. GM sells a kit for way too much money. The fitting from the earlier pump just screws in place. Maybe Rockauto a new pressure hose to avoid a used one from the junkyard. Just use stuff from pre-97.

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
5/15/22 11:58 a.m.

Update to my tailgate....welded the tube to the inside skin, tied it into the sides. There's about 6" of 1x1 tube going up the insides too, all tied in. Added fresh metal to the sides, new hinges.

 

Just tied the outer skin to the tube with 3 tabs as I needed to use it that weekend and didn't have the metal on hand. I think if I revisit it, I'll add a 1.5" angle iron to the bottom of the tube so it'll be even more indestructible and eliminate the rust. Splashed some gloss white on it

 

All useable again. Also finally took off the studded winter tires off three days ago and put on the summers.

onemanarmy
onemanarmy Reader
5/17/22 2:48 p.m.

1995 2 Door Tahoe, owned for a month

350 / 5 speed, mechanically VERY sound

210K miles...with ALL of the typical GMT400 nagging issues

Should be a fun project

 

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UberDork
5/17/22 2:58 p.m.
onemanarmy said:

1995 2 Door Tahoe, owned for a month

350 / 5 speed, mechanically VERY sound

210K miles...with ALL of the typical GMT400 nagging issues

Should be a fun project

 

So jealous!!  2 or 4wd?  I still think a 2wd Tahoe could be my "forever" truck.

-Rob

onemanarmy
onemanarmy Reader
5/17/22 3:01 p.m.

4wd floor shift

 

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
5/17/22 3:19 p.m.

In reply to onemanarmy :

Nice looking truck! Congrats on the new purchase 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
5/18/22 9:05 a.m.

4x4 2 door 5 speed! Wow!

If anyone is looking for some parts, I think I'm getting ready to move my Tahoe Limited along. It's a great truck, but now that I have the Suburban, I really don't need both.

There will be a for sale ad for the truck eventually, but I have a bunch of parts I doubt I will ever get to that I also need to move. I've got an Escalade center console and dash bezel, a manual transmission pedal box for the late firewall (I think it was off of a 1998), a 2 piece driveshaft from an ECLB truck, and a T56 out of a '94 Z28 that I really need to get out of my garage. Also have a 2500/3500 hydroboost setup I will probably sell if I can't make it work in the 944. And a 350 Vortec with the Edelbrock tunnel ram injection intake, individual coils, etc. Would be an easy drop in for any GMT400. It's a bummer to get rid of this stuff, but I need to if the E30s and 944 are ever going to get finished. All located in Columbus, Indiana.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/18/22 9:40 a.m.

In reply to gearheadE30 :

I may be interested in the truck when it goes up for sale.  Regarding the hydroboost, I just installed one of them in my S10 - took up a lot less space than a regular booster, although I don't have the truck all put together enough yet to know how well it will work.  It was pretty easy, once I decided to make my own hydraulic lines, but that may have been more expensive than paying a shop to make them.  Hardest part of the install was changing the length of the shaft that connects to the brake pedal.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
5/18/22 12:12 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Right on, it will definitely be posted here before it goes up anywhere else. I need to fly out to California at some point to get it back to Indiana....

I was going to put the hydroboost in the Tahoe to improve the braking situation and to get rid of the electric vacuum pump brakes that I had run with that engine I was going to swap in - not quite enough vacuum with the cam I ended up running. It did seem like a pretty good and very compact solution, and the Suburban has basically the same hydroboost setup and it really works well. The 944 plan is really just as a potential fallback since I have it sitting here and there is so little space for anything brake-related in that engine bay. Same deal as a swapped S10, I imagine.

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/19/22 3:37 p.m.

My 97 now has 118k miles on it. I don't have much idea of what maintenance has or hasn't been performed prior to my taking guardianship of it. 
 

Today was service the wheel bearings day. And since I'm enamored with this truck and hope to keep it a long time I went ahead and scope-creeped servicing wheel bearings into...

  • new rotors
  • new Timken bearings and seals
  • rebuilt a pair of core calipers I had on the shelf
  • braided brake hoses
  • ceramic brake pads

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/27/22 1:01 p.m.

I am debating looking at a GMT400 Escalade this weekend.  Anyone have any comments on how that generation (same as Tahoe/Yukon) do for towing nowadays, especially compared to the GMT800 trucks.  

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
5/27/22 1:14 p.m.

I sold my GMT400 Suburban this morning. I replaced it with a GMT900 Escalade ESV and it was primarily for towing capacity. I was able to tow an open car trailer with a car on it with no issues with the GMT400 but my camper (5,400 lbs loaded) and 23' long was a chore. A little because of power but more because of sway and braking. If I balanced it perfect with load distributing bars it was ok for a couple hours but long trips were tough. The GMT900 is a lot better for towing IMO. That said the GMT900 is way more complicated and far more expensive / complex to maintain. Also I get about 30% better fuel economy with the GMT900 towing. It's about a wash empty. I suspect that is weight, AWD and the joy of stabbing it with 403hp available. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/27/22 1:25 p.m.

In reply to NY Nick :

Thanks.  I figure power is not really an issue, as I've towed with a 4.6 F-150, but stability/braking might be.  Most likely I'd only be towing an open trailer or a tow dolly, but who knows.  Now that you mention it, braking could be the biggest issue.  It seems like generation-to-generation, there were pretty significant improvements.

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
5/27/22 1:45 p.m.

If you are towing open trailers and tow dolly's I would say you are good to go. I towed the camper a few thousand miles last year so it starts to matter a little more. 

I did the GMT800 master cylinder upgrade and it helped the brakes and I could have done a bunch of other upgrades to the brakes a lot cheaper than the GMT900 cost. E36 M3 I've spent more fixing broken stuff than a major brake upgrade on the GMT400 would have cost.surprise

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
5/27/22 3:08 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

I am debating looking at a GMT400 Escalade this weekend.  Anyone have any comments on how that generation (same as Tahoe/Yukon) do for towing nowadays, especially compared to the GMT800 trucks.  

No idea why, but the Escalade interiors seem to show wear a lot worse than the standard GMT400s. But they feel meaningfully nicer inside when they are in good shape, and the sound system is much better than the standard models.

I've towed quite a bit with my GMT400s (Tahoe Limited and K1500), a GMT800 5.3 Tahoe, and my Suburban 2500. 6x12 enlosed trailer or a dual axle equipment trailer with a car on it. Biggest difference is the brakes; GMT400s are pretty bad stock. Powerstop Z36 parts, the GMT800 MC swap, and front calipers that are not low-drag fix a lot of the problems, but the brakes are still small. GMT800s are great right out of the box.

That Escalade will be pretty soft compared to the GMT800s that generally have Autoride or the Nivomat self-leveling setup. Shocks and springs go a long way.

The 5.7 is a better engine for towing than the 5.3 in my opinion; it feels quite a bit stronger off the bottom. Fuel economy between the two is a wash; I generally got 8.5 mpg in any of the half ton trucks towing the enclosed trailer. The Suburban gets 10 mpg just because it isn't working as hard with the big block.

4L60E life is what it is, but the GMT800 benefits from having a tow/haul mode. EFILive, an 0411 ECM swap, and some time tuning the transmission parameters made a HUGE difference in how well that transmission handled towing in my GMT400s. The stock calibration is definitely luxury-oriented to the point of being detrimental to transmission life.

The Suburban 2500 is a completely different experience, even compared to the GMT800 Tahoe. I now have a much greater appreciation for why people who tow a lot on long trips tend to have overly capable trucks; much more relaxing.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/11/22 12:51 p.m.

The Escalade was a bust, it'd been smoked in and the seller was very flakey.  I'll keep an eye out for something similar, but in the rust belt, I'm not likely to see many decent GMT400s around.

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