drivabeater 4.0: another try to get it right

Dec 17, 2010
83
0
6
albemarle, nc
#1
Budget first:



truck: 1200

front brake pads: 29.99

drop shocks, clear headlights, springs, spare rotors, etc: free

glove box:14.15

instrument bezel: 19.61

ash tray and sockets: 12.58

trim panel under dash: 13.06

bumper: 51.93

trailer hitch and 7 pin connector: 37.21

factory trans cooler and lines: 27.25

rockauto order (4 tie rods, lower ball joints. Pitman, idler, plugs, cap and rotor, idler bracket, antenna bezels: 235.21

turn signal switch: 39.99

mirrors: 55.50

fuel filter: 4.99

trans filter: had.

Plug wires: had

fog lights and wiring harness: had

various bulbs: had

oil filter: had

ATF/oil/gear lube: not counting it, because I dont want to. But, not much! Had the gear oil already.



total to date: 1741.47



so, its time to do a real deal build thread post on this truck. Instead of haphazard comments and incoherent ramblings.



The story starts like many others: I already have a cool truck. 95 silverado regular cab shortbed. My daughter, who is 11, has claimed this as her first car. Im ok with it. Its a savage title, high mileage, fully depreciated sport truck that is tired and needs some minor tlc.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



So I started truck shopping on craigslist and marketplace for an 09ish extended cab shortben half ton silverado. They are still commanding an insane price in my area. Figured id save for a while, or build a copart truck.



So I mentioned to my body-man buddy that does copart to keep his eyes open for one in black with a tan interior that could be put back together over the course of a couple years. We got to talking about why, when I had a good truck already, I would want to do that. The conversation progressed, and I explained it all to him. I also said that I had slight buyers remorse at not getting a fleetside extended cab version of my truck, as otherwise I had the perfect blend of utility and style.



Couple days later he sends me these pictures, telling me that he told the seller that I was buying this one for me. I could have strangled him. I had no idea it existed.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



story was that the truck wass owned by a old coworker of his from 20 years ago. It had been in this part of NC all its life, had 136k, 5.7 4l60e, 2wd. Been parked a couple of years, and $1200. supposedly able to be driven home.



So, I didnt kill him instantly, cause that sounded like a pretty good deal! I agreed to go look at it, with the full understanding that I would throw him under the bus if I chose not to buy it.



When we got there, these two younger, very heavyset girls were trying to get the door open. Apparently, someone came to test drive the truck a month or two ago, and locked the keys inside. They were the only set, and sitting plain as day on the seat. My buddy and I took over getting into the locked truck (we've had more practice. No further comment) while the girls cleaned out the toolbox and bed. They filled a curbside trashcan from the bed, and a contractor trashcan as well. With garbage and unwanted stuff. Another contractor can with stuff they wanted to keep.

When we managed to break in and get the keys, they filled another curbside can of garbage and made a not insignificant pile of keep. This cleared enough room I was willing to test drive it. The truck fired up with no issue after being parked for a month or two, blowing a little oil smoke that cleared up pretty quick. I went for a test drive, noted that the front end was loose, AC inop, violent brake shake and no pedal to speak of, and a hard shifting trans. But truck ran strong, 1t was straight, the fluid dint smell burned, etc. I bought it, as brother Dustin told me he'd buy it if didn't. Worst case, Dustin buys it from me at break even was my thought. The girls finished filling the last trashcan they had while we did title work and paid. Apparently the girls were the owners daughter and her best friend, and the daughter was the last caretaker of the truck, so dad made it her problem to clean out. Cant say I blame him.



They claimed the truck has a shift kit, and they used to pull heavy trailers with it. There's an aftermarket cooler and extra large radiator, so maybe. Also, there was a master cylinder core in the back, and some other evidence of someone chasing brake issues.



we finished the transaction, stopped at the first gas station to clean the windshield, put 10 gallons of fresh gas in it, and shovel out more trash. These are the gas station pictures.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



we got it home, and parked it next to my red truck so they could get acquainted. I also killed a few wasp nests, and mostly filled the green can from stuff from under the seats and in the bed. I pulled the gm rubber floor mats to clean them, and get the trash from under them. Just staggering....

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
 
Dec 17, 2010
83
0
6
albemarle, nc
#2
next stop was to get the first layer of filth off. Started by removing the toolbox and bed rail caps. Then went to the local full service car wash and spent $28 worth of the good money. They washed it, vacuumed it, cleaned the windows, etc. its not clean. Not even close. Hell, the roof is still mostly black. But, its clean enough to clean and work on! Except their undercarriage wash that I paid extra for didn't do a damn thing on all the mud and filth underneath from the trucks years of living on that rutted, red dirt road to the trailer a mile in....

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



took it down to dads after this. Its too long to fit in my shop, and I didn't feel comfortable working in the gravel for an unknown length of time with the truck on jackstands. Just have visions of it sinking and falling.



Anyway, we decided that the violent brake shake was multiple issues. Drums out of round, warped rotors, and badly worn steering linkage.



Step one was the get the spinny bits round again. Turned both drums and both rotors on the brake lathe at my friendly local parts store. The drums were really bad. Like oval bad. Rotor was slight. Other rotor was fine!

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



Went ahead and bought fresh pads for thoroughness sake. We greased the slides for the front calipers that had probably never been greased, cleaned and repacked bearings, etc.

the brake shake was gone! Pedal steel feels like crap though. Plan is to adjust and re-lube and double check everything, bleed the brakes for fresh fluid, and see what I think. I believe I will ultimately do the gmt800 master swap like I did on the stepside.



So, next stop was parts procurement. Needed to go to the junkyard anyway, so I figured id shop for the new truck while there. But before that, I met up with Brett, whom I had given my leftovers from the stepside to. He used what he needed, sold his truck, and gave me back what was left. Spare brake rotors, lowering springs, headlights and turn signals, etc. all good stuff! My junkyard run netted me a good suburban bumper and trailer hitch (spoiler: suburban don't fit truck), factory trans cooler, gauge bezel, glovebox, knee panel, ash tray, etc. not safety related at all, but stuff to make the truck much nicer.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



after we did the brakes, I brought it back to my house to do basics like get it registered and inspected, etc.

so obviously, that ACTUALLY meant make it nicer by doing unnecessary stuff instead of fixing whats broken that relates to safety or reliability.



First up was more cleaning. With superclean and a pressure washer. The underside picture on the lift is out of order, but a good example. Thing cleaned up reasonably well! I'm not sure what the gray damage is on the black plastics. The texture of the plastic is actually different in those spots. I'm thinking acid or something ate into it at some point in its life. Ill probably not worry about it. Probably.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



then, I moved on to the back bumper. The old one was pretty mangled.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



suburban one bolted right up. I did adjust it better later....

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



moved on to the nasty ass interior next. Mostly to get the fragile interior plastics put in their home. The first thing I tackled was the broken glove box. Now, the tan parts I got from the 99/00 Yukon at the junkyard are a different shade of tan. Very obvious. Also, the glovebox outer cover was in worse shape than mine. So I took two, used the best parts of both, and made a good glovebox. I peeled the Yukon RPO label off the box, and used my bandsaw to cut the RPO codes off the original glovebox so I wouldn't lose them.



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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



moved on to cleaning ac vents, installing non broken pieces, etc. cleaning parts as I go. I did successfully break my turn signal switch though! Score one for captain hamfist...

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



in the process, I failed to figure out how to adjust the ignition switch and shifter to work better for the column lock out. To turn the key to the lock position always requires juggling the shifter. Hopefully its obvious once I pull the turn signal assembly I broke.



Lastly for this post, I grabbed new power mirrors from amazon. The passengers was completely FUBAR, and it was just as cheap to buy two.

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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr



dad and I started in yesterday. Got all the steering linkage replaced with fresh (pitman, idler, idler bracket, all four tie rod ends), oil changed, and everything greased. Next is trans service and factory cooler install.
 
Dec 17, 2010
83
0
6
albemarle, nc
#3
previously: 1741.47





new stuff:


returned trailer hitch and socket, trans cooler and lines. -64.46


correct hitch, front tow hooks, gmt800 master cyl: 15.00


power mirror switch: 14.99 amazon


stereo adapter harness 3.98


stereo dash kit: 4.99 pullapart


blaupunkt Tennessee stereo: free


belltech 4 inch rear drop kit: 161.30


inner door handles autex from amazon: 19.69


infinity reference speakers: had


door sound deadening: had


used belltech spindles: 50


15x8 truck rallys and center caps: 50


new chrome grille/lights 100


overhead console form a blazer: 22.96





new total 2119.92





so, ive been busy! Well, not very busy, but busy enough I guess. I like this truck, and its all been fairly simple maintenance and repairs so far, with a little fun stuff thrown in. because I like fun stuff.





Anyway, when we left off last time, dad and I had done the steering linkage and given the truck a good once over. I didn't have a picture, so I took a crappy one to make up for that.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





I went ahead and changed the rest of the fluids and filters. I had planned while the trans pan was down to replace the 1-2 accumulator due to hard shifting, but saw no appreciable wear or any issues with the one in the truck. So I left it alone, hoping fresh fluid would fix it. I also found that the used cooler and lines I picked up were not usable, so I returned them. Same with the suburban trailer hitch (hint: apparently the freaking frames are different! ) I eventually got the factory in radiator trans cooler hooked up and the hacked in aftermarket one out of the system. Unfortunately, none of this fixed the hard shifts. But it did give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. So I have that going for me.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





we also fluched the brake fluid, chenged the diff fluid, lubed all the hinges, greased all the zerk fittings. You know, normal maintenance.





When I brought it home, I went ahead to go after the broken passengers side door handle. I swear it worked when I bought it, but stopped. Anyway, ordered a nice pair from amazon, and cracked the filthy freaking doors open. I didnt take a before picture, but the nicotine and filth was appalling. The factory door speakers were surprisingly intact though! Regardless, I swapped them for a pair of infinity reference 6.5 speakers I pulled from a parts car. They are my favorite speakers of all time, and I try to put them in everything. I also have a pair of nice sounding 6.5 from a different parts car for the rear speakers if I ever dig that deep.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





so, I cleaned and lubed all the window mechanisms and latches, added some peel and seal sound deadening, replaced broken door panel fasteners, tightened loose fasteners, etc. just cleaning and maintenance, with replacing the broken handles and upgrading the speakers.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





I also cleaned up the door panels. Castrol superclean, a scrub brush, and a hose. Passengers side (done) vs drivers side (not). Both were done. Before re-installation. The difference was hard to photograph, but easy to see.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





went ahead and did the same stuff to the drivers door, in addition to replacing the dead power mirror switch.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





then moved on to the turn signal switch. Pulled the steering wheel and airbag, replaced the switch, and glued the column covers back together in the hops of making it better. No good picture of the switch, but you can mostly see it in the picture here. You can also see the funky and collapsed drivers seat. If anyone withing a reasonable drive if Charlotte NC has a tan 60/40 bench with armrest in good shape, please let me know. Reasonable is 5 hours each way.....


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





while I had it all apart, I went ahead and installed the free stereo my scrap guy gave me. Works really good! Grabbed the dash kit from the junkyard, the antenna adapter came with the stereo, and the wiring harness adapter was cheap on amazon. So, roughly $10 stereo upgrade!


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





since were talking about interior stuff, I went ahead and grabbed the long console from a blazer. The DIC supposedly reads the data stream for instant MPG and stuff on the obd2 trucks. However, this one isn't obd2 yet. Eventually it will work properly when I swap an LS in. after the tbi dies.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr
 
Dec 17, 2010
83
0
6
albemarle, nc
#4
I also grabbed a proper hitch for a truck, instead of the suburban one that doesn't clear the bumper. It has a neat setup for wiring, and i'll show that when I utilize it. This came off a service body truck over at my scrap guys house.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





went ahead and did a tune up as well, since we did everything else. Somebody had put motorcraft platinum plugs in it. Dunno how that seemed like a good idea, but apparently it was at the time....


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





lastly, I have made a plan and goal for the truck. Stock appearing, 2/4 drop on 15s, and black. I found this truck in a thread somewhere and it speaks to me. Its what I want to own.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





so, I worked out a trade. Beige bed for a straight black one, beige hood for a straight black one, and fix a honda for paint and body labor. I have a gallon of matrix black basecoat and good clear like I used on the neon on the shopping list for next week. This week, I got the belltech four inch drop parts (wifes birthday present to me!) and dropped off the bed with steve.


When I dropped it off, we noted that despite multiple rounds of undercarriage washing, this thing still look like a swamp truck. Also, the rear cab wall is pretty banged up.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





so, pressure washer. Again. For the umpteenth time.


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


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by Michael Crawford, on Flickr





next up, rear hangars install and frame paint, along with bodywork on the back of the cab. Im not looking forward to removing the rivets on this.....