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Offline OVERWATCH_09

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LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« on: September 25, 2014, 02:22:09 PM »
Note to viewers: The following posts from Overwatch and KensAuto are actually Flyin6's, unless noted and highlighted. They were copied from the DF forum, where this project started. The page numbers are not accurate at this time. They will change as this build thread is transferred from it's original setting.

My Build Thread
"CMAX"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This will be the start of my build thread. My newly purchased 2011 2500HD LTZ will be undergoing a plethorea of modifications to make it more "capable" as it were. I already own a super capable off road sort of semi militarized truck so this one will not focus on the off road thing as the primary design factor.
I think the truck should retain all it's off road prowess and perhaps even be enhanced in some areas such ar undercarriage armor and suspension travel, but I am not going to SAS this truck like I did with my other truck.

Edit: When I wrote this I thought Obama was finished in 1 term...He got re-elected...I have hence forth lost my mind and after some 7oo odd pages from here, you will see I was not telling the truth about the SAS thing, nor have I kept this project as sane as I envisioned when I thought our nation was soon to be saved...

I want it to have good bumpers just in case I need to push stuff out of the way, a self recovery capability if I need that, more engine power but only if it does not adversly affect mileage, much longer range while enhancing the multi fuel capabilities. It would be able to safely carry my family over great distances while negotiating anything from a tractor trail around a field to a debris strewn roadway. Well, more on my thinking and the vehicle mission statement later on as this thread developes. I think some of you will understand where I am going with this especially in view of the particuliar design charactersitics of my Tundra.
So here it is on zero day when I purchased it this past fall

So far the modifications include: (I update this list every time I make a change)
1. Glock pistol holster mod Pg. 1
2. MBRP 4" exhaust w/muffler Pg. 2,3
3. H&S XT Pro Pg. 3
4. S&B air filter/intake system Pg. 1,2
5. Stainless exhaust clamps Pg. 2,3
6. 6" Fabtech lift Pg. 7-17
7. Dirt Logic 2.25" shocks Pg. 7-17
8. Pro Comp 18 X 9 wheels Pg. 18
9. Toyo 12.50 X 35" MT's Pg. 18
10. Road Armor front bumper Pg. 22-25
11. T-Max 9K winch Pg. 21,22
12. Synthetic winch line Pg. 21-22
13. Poly fairhead rollers and poly bobbin Pg. 20
14. 4 ea. Warn 350F fog lights Pg. 22
15. Hella Optilux HID driving lights Pg. 22,24,28
16. Air Dog 165 fuel pump Pg. 32-36
17. Alligator Performance fuel tank sump Pg. 32-34
18. Merchant Automotive tie rod sleeves Pg. 39
19. S&B paper filter and filter wrap Pg. 55
20. Yukon 4.56 gears Pg. 60-64,81-84
21. Yukon Grizzly locker in rear axle Pg. 52
22. Amsoil dual bypass filter system Pg. 86
23 Fumoto engine oil drain valve Pg. 87
24. Extra exhaust hangar pg. 66
25. Opti Lube Pg. 43-50
26. Fuel tank skid plate mod Pg. 67
27. Great Lakes Off Road rear cover Pg. 71
28. Overhead switch mod Pg. 69
29. Great Lakes Off Road (GLO) rear Axle cover pg. 97,98,103,104
30. Bug out bag/medical bag pg. 101-102
31. Steering stablizer, Fabtech pg. 108-109
32. U-Pol Raptor bed liner pg. 117
33. GLO U-Bolt flip kit Pg. 130
34. Relocated lower shock mounts (rear axle) pg. 140
35. Cognito steering truss kit pg. 144-145
36. Swiss topper mod pg. 157-182
37. Sulastic Shackles pg. 183-184
38. 12 gage shotgun mount install 188-189
39. Fuel and oil filter rock shields 194-195
40. Edge CTS pg. 208-209
41. Turbo resonator block off pg 214-215
42. HID headlights pg 216
43. LED back up and map reading lights pg. 217
44. EGR Delete/downpipe install pg 238-244
45 Hypertech speedometer in line calibration unit pg 249-250
46 Cognito UCA pg 256-257
47 Kenwood GPS/tuner pg 262-263
48 Pro Flow manifolds and up pipes pg 303-312
49 3" Alligator intercooler pipe pg. 312
50 PPE Deep trans pan pg. 315
51 Rare Parts tie rods pg. 333-334
52 AMP Research steps pg 337-339
53 Road Armor rear bumper pg 377-430
54 Rear tire and fuel can carrier 377-430
55 PCV Delete 456-458
56 Tire Pressure Sensor removal 461
57 Solar panel 481-482, 487
58 Mossberg 930 Modification 486
59 Spare tire mod and latch painting 487
60 Mag Light mount 490
61 Pac-Air Air Bags installation and modification 492-496
62 10K Trailer 502, 510, 523
63 Articulating trailer coupling 518-519, 524, 528-529
64 Side exit exhaust 554-556
65 Titan fuel tank 564
66 Back up camera 583
67 Back Up LED lights 583
68 Tac-Topper restart 591-690ish (Project incomplete, discontinued)
69 T-Rex Y-bridge test fit #1 609
70 T-Rex Y-bridge test fit #2 653
71 SAS project starts (parts acquisition) 703
72 HPD60 axle purchased 724
73 ARE Aluminum commercial topper 757

« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 09:58:39 AM by KensAuto »

Offline OVERWATCH_09

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 02:22:33 PM »
Here's the first modification that any country gentleman will well understand.
The position of the Glock is only inches from my hand while holding the steering wheel. I need to practice at a range (farm) drawing and engaging so I don't ventilate my passenger door frame!
      



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:44:05 PM by KensAuto »

Offline OVERWATCH_09

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 02:22:45 PM »
Next I decided to do something to improve the mileage which was historically running in at 16.4 overall.
I started with adding an air intake system. After talking to Holton over at Alligator performance, he recommended an S&B intake for my application
Here is the factory intake system after removal .


Here is the vacant spot sans factory air box

Next the factory steel air box mount is removed


The factory MAF and filter life units are removed and installed on the new air box

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:47:09 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 02:22:58 PM »
Here is the intake tube end showing the air bellows which is a smooth venturi molded into the tube itself       

The build up of the S&B continues. The filter element is much like the K&N which I have used on everything from past trucks to even Huey and Chinook helicopters




« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:48:51 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 02:23:05 PM »
The air box has an option to either leave the bottom of the box open for additional air flow or to colse it off. Since the orientation of the opening is straight down, and considering the possibility for emergency deep water fording, I elected to close it off
      



side by side of factory and S&B air tube
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:50:44 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2014, 02:23:15 PM »
New air box and filter installed       






Air intake box install complete!
This was an easy mod that I casually took about 2 hours to complete.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:53:15 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 02:23:26 PM »
For the next project I had to temporarily remove some things to gain room to install the new parts. The garage floor became quite cluttered as the disassembly continued.      

The MBRP 4" exhaust went on quite easily, although some minor trimming was required. I did not, however, use the supplied muffler clamps which came directly from the old testament!
I purchased stainless steel band clamps and secured the system with those. Also I would critique the MBRP system for not using all the factory hangars. They elect to skip one which in my opinion is not a good idea. I will rectify that by securing some steel rod and fashioning my own hangar and welding that to the supplied pipe.

I suffered a temporary brain malfunction and forgot to take pics of this particuliar install, so I took these (poor) shots later after, of course, the exhaust system was plastered with dirt and mud
I painted the tailpipe section semi gloss black to get a stealth look out of it.



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:57:06 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 02:34:31 PM »
Next the new engine programming is installed
I chose this H&S unit because I didn't want to squint at the credit card display in the mini unit. This unit cost significantly less and I wanted to upgrade to real gages. The pilot in me likes to look at stuff and know what's going on with the mechanical stuff I'm strapped to, just a habit I guess...       



Upcoming projects (which are in progress) include:



Lift and suspension




« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 09:59:29 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 02:34:45 PM »
Wheels (Pro Comp 18 X 9's) and tires




   
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:02:01 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 02:34:55 PM »
OK, more pics of stuff which is piling up around here awaiting install time on Mr. HD

I went with the standard Road Armor bumper. I actually had one of the trucks issued to my unit in Kandahar get VBIED'd. The blast tore the holy heck out of the Ford F250 but that RA bumper remained more or less intact. Obviously it was not in the main part of the blast, but when the truck was recovered by dragging the suspensionless ford off the X with a recovery strap, the bumper carried all the tugging force and remained mostly intact.




Here's the lights
Warn 350F, 4 ea to be used as fog lights. My thought is to just create enough heat out in front of the truck to ignite the fog and burn it out of the way. Sorry if any TH (tree huggers) are offended by my burning away virgin acreage, but you know what they say, "Safety first!"



I am also adding either two or three of these 4" HID driving lights on top of the bumper. They will be wired in to the high beam circut to boost vis out in front when I need it. So what do we think, 2 or 3 lights???
I think the Optilux are Hellas.



      
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:08:12 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 02:35:06 PM »
Finally, to finish off the bumper installation, I'm adding my trusty T-Max winch. It's a perky little reel rated at 9K line pull. I always use a pulley to double so I'm looking at 18,000 lbs worth of pull out of around 60 lbs. The line is aramid, with the inner 30 feet spliced into the heat resistient "red" plastic line stuff. Yes, it is all dusty and has seen some miles, but is still plenty servicable, so why not go for it and get another service life out of it. This will be vehicle number 3 for this winch!

 

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:08:57 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 02:35:16 PM »
OK, here we go again.
This series will show the installation of the Fabtech 6" lift kit
Here is the truck on jack stands wearing the stock stuff for the last couple minutes.
      


First you remove the tires and wheels, no big deal there
Next you have to tackle the torsion bars.
I just picked up a new Ready-Lift torsion bar tool, here it is in action



Here is the factory torsion bar key
It is different than the earlier keys. I snapped a shot of the part number in case anyone needs that info



I measured the torsion bars which can be removed when and if you drop the torsion bar crossmember. I had two different part numbers
Left: AAF
Right: AAG
Left: 1.54"
Right: 1.552"


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:12:05 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 02:35:32 PM »
Next the stock shocks come out
I'm a little concerned at this point because the stockers top mount consists of a two bolt T-Shaped arrangement. THe replacement Fabtech units feature a top stud which is all together different, time will tell I suppose



Where it all is at this point


Parts on the floor are increasing, but I haven't tripped over anything yet!
I'd note that this kit or rather working on this HD truck is truely akin to heavy lifting. I mean nothing is easy. THe bolts are torqued to 76,000 ft lbs. the nuts weigh 45 pounds each! Well maybe not that much, but I'm telling you, if you were planning on a morning workout, skip it, a day on this will more than suffice.
Fabtech says to discard the factory skid pans

View of things at this point

Don't discard used up rotors. Weld a bar inbetween two of them and you have a pretty decent curling bar. Girly men better stick to the Mustang 2 rotors!

These rotors are serious equipment. Mine measure 14" in diameter!!!!!!



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:14:58 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 02:35:45 PM »
With the rotor removed       
      

4 large bolts and the wheel bearing assembly is out

Wheel bearing and rotors

The spindle comes out relatively easily. This part will not be reused


Next the axle shafts are remove, then the lower control arm.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:18:25 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 02:36:00 PM »
Next I removed the front drive shaft from the front diff and let it hang. That was as far as I got today working from 10AM until 1700. I lost about an hour having to go to the parts store to purchase a 35mm socket for the axle shafts. Somehow, I lost my old one!!!!! That was $20 I didn't want to spend. But having just shelled out 10,000 for parts so far, I guess it's a small thing.
Tomorrow morning I'll get back into it and see if I can get the front lift installed by sundown tomorrow!

...........OK, here we go, day 2 of the Fabtech lift install
Next the aft front diff crossmember is removed and discarded       


Next the differential assembly is removed. That is no easy task BTW, I had to use a jack and carefully lower it clear of the wreckage of what's left of the front end.


Here's a view of the bottom side of the oil pan, something most folks will never see I guess. So for reference and education purposes, here it is:

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:22:49 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2014, 02:36:11 PM »
Next the sawzall comes out to remove some of the rear cross member mounting tabs. This is necessary to make way for the repositioned front diff.

This is a particuliarly nerve racking step. Ever here the guy say, "I cut it twice and it's still too short!" Yea, don't be that guy! I measured, and measured, and measured again. In the final analysis, it really doesn't have to be all that precise.      



A view of the cut on the passenger side

Finally an easy step. A hole in the front diff had to be drilled out to 1/2"

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:25:48 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2014, 02:36:32 PM »
Finally the reassembly is started. Both new front differential drop brackets which are thick, reinforced, and cadium or zinc plated, are bolted to the factory mounts and the diff is reinstalled.
Reinstalling that axle is quite a chore. I did it by myself, but I'd say it would be much better to do it with two capable men. That thing is very heavy and difficult to balance. All the while it is dangling up there just inches away from crushing one of your body parts, you have to thread it onto four bolts and somehow with your third and forth hand get a washer and nut on something. Gravity was in full effect in my garage today, so I got to do the balancing act several times!
      



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:26:23 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2014, 02:36:46 PM »
Now the drive shaft is reconnected and the new aft crossmenber is installed using the factory bolts.      


And the new front crossmember

The lower control arms need to have the stock shock bushings removed. That is done with a ball joint press. Here is mine set up ready to push out the stock bushing



The bushing presses right out. The job would probably stop you right here if you don't have this tool

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:28:51 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2014, 02:37:22 PM »
Fabtech supplies some large aluminum bushings which get inserted into the factory torsion bar socket




The other half of the bushing occupying the old torsion bar hole



The last of the aluminum bushings, a smaller set is inserted into the hole where the factory shock bushing used to reside.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:30:22 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2014, 02:37:37 PM »
The cold temperature abated somewhat in the late afternoon so I took advantage of it and coated my new wheels with a product called "SharkHide" made by the Eastwood company. It was originally formulated for aluminum pontoon boats. One wipe on application protects the metal against the corrosive effects of water for a couple to several years. THe wheels will basically stay just like this for a long time.
THe stuff is expensive, over $60 for that little can, but it's worth it. I also coated the plated parts I already installed and am yet to install.
      



OK, just finished Day 3 and this thing is like wrestling alligators, not that I've done that, but it just doesn't let up. This is just plain hard work. If you are going to do it on the floor using jacks and jack stands, well, good luck. I had hoped to finish with the front today, but it just didn't happen. I am close though, but I don't like to rush anything. When I get tired, there is a probability for sloppiness, and I'll have none of that, thank you very much.
Here is the torsion bar relocation bracket. It is very substantial and well engineered. It requires you to temporarily bolt it into place to mark the spot to drill a 1/2" hole for an additional mount.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:32:15 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2014, 02:38:07 PM »
With the drilling complete and the hole checked (It turned out perfect both times) the lower control arm gets remounted. The bolts stay loose for now
      



The torsion bar relocation brackets can now be permanently mounted and torqued in place.

Next, the tie rod ends are removed and 1/2" is cut off the threaded rod


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:34:09 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2014, 02:38:43 PM »
Fabtech supplies a upper shock mount plate which bolts in place using the factory boltholes.      




Here's a comparo of the factory shocks with the dirt logics



Here a better shot of that new upper shock mount

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:35:40 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2014, 02:39:00 PM »
Now the front shocks can get mounted. There is a lower mount already provided for dual shocks if I want to do that in the future.
      



Tool time...
TO slightly enlarge a 2" area on a crossmember where the torsion bar needs some clearance, out came the handy carbide cutter


Next, the factory torsion bars get loaded from the front. I needed to be about two feet taller and have dextrous feet to have done it the first time without trouble. Like I said it is just a wrestling match. THe torsion bars are heavy and the going is just plain slow. But everything is fitting just fine as I go


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:37:31 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2014, 02:39:25 PM »
Here are the factory and Fabtech spindles. Lots of mother earth in the Fabtech piece!



I installed the heavy spindles with the help of a jact. THen installed the "O" rings into the new spindle.
I coated everything with a small amount of high temp disc brake grease to aid in removal at some future point in time



Then the backing plates and wheel bearing assemblies can be reinstalled. They take something like 175 ft lbs torque times 8 bolts which was another workout.
At this point it was past 1700 and time to call it quits after another long day. Tomorrow I should finish the front and maybe the entire install, we'll see how it goes!


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:39:20 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2014, 02:39:43 PM »
OK, here we go, off and running, well barely crawling, onto day 4
Here's a shot of something, heck, I can't remember of what, but there is some progress in there somewhere!
      



The factory sway bar gets two horizontal extensions that will then mount to the factory link onto the new torsion bar mount


I painted the factory links with John Deere flat black. THis is a very high quality paint that is reasonably priced



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:41:49 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2014, 02:39:55 PM »
Here is the sway bar extension and the factory link all installed as looking pretty





The brake lines which are hard mounted to the chassis forward of the suspension needs to be relocated. These plated brackets do that. I checked the line to be sure there was no contact anywhere to later chaff through and cause a loss of braking.



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:42:51 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2014, 02:40:10 PM »
Next the shorter tie rod ends get installed. THis was probably the easiest task I had encountered to this point. It was like a mini vacation!
      


At this point I mounted the new Fabtech front differential skid plate. It looks pretty beefy and like everything else was heavy.




Next came the scary part, reinstalling those torsion bar keys. You just can't imagine just how much pressure that torsion bar exerts. It is nothing to mess with. My special tool slipped just a tad while loaded and this is what happened!

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:45:47 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2014, 02:40:22 PM »
After some praying I got back under there and got it done. I think I was more worried about cranking those bars without the keeper in place than I have been landing in a hot LZ. Heck over there I could only have been killed. This torsion bar stuff will flat mess you up!

Finally, I got to see what it is all for. I mounted the 35" Toyos and let the thing off the jack stands. At this point the rear is still stock everything




No, I didn't install no stinkin caps! And, yes, I chose black lug nuts for a reason

By comparision the rear was a piece of cake. I literally did the whole thing in about an hour and a half!
Here the rear blocks are going in. This was uber simple. I simply removed the U-bolts from one side and let the weight of the housing warp the opposing spring. I then positioned the vlock and lightly tightened the new U-bolts, then repeated the opposite side.



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:48:38 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2014, 02:40:32 PM »
There are a myriad of extension brackets that attach to the rear axle repositioning things north a couple inches. Another bracket drops the emergency brake cable on the left side.




The shocks were installed and just like that I was done, well sort of



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:49:34 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2014, 02:40:43 PM »
Front shot done in the garage at night



Undercarriage shot resting on the ground



I drove it over to the alignment shop after fussing with leveling it using the key adjustment bolts. Final lift came in a tad over 7" in the front. THe darn thing is so tall now, I will need to do the step/rock rail thing PDQ

Surprisingly, the ride was good over to the shop and the alignment I had set by eyeball was remarkably close.

After the alignment the I drove home at normal speeds. The ride is, well. remarkable! It rides very well indeed and so far hasn't shown any quirky habits. It is definately smoother than it was, however has lost some power. I have so much of the latter that it really is no issue what so ever, but since I like power, I'll probably opt for a regear. Braking is normal and cornering is near stock and we have our share of corners here in the "Tucky.

All in all, I am pleased with this install, and the kit as a whole. It is not a novice project and will definately be a long and ardrous task for anyone undertaking it. But the end result is a good looking well engineered setup that you can be proud of!


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:52:10 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2014, 02:40:57 PM »
Quote:
Originally Posted by *****
"Looks great. What are you going to do for center caps. I know you said you are not going to put the stock ones on but I hope you are going to do something".


Sorry bro, no center caps. I think it looks fine the way it is. Center caps are just fake plastic junk anyway and I don't like stuff like that. Not going for any particuliar look, but I choose function over appearance every day of the week.
That's why the bumpers are going away. The factory ones are little more than air dams, totally inadequate when pushing small foreign cars out of the way!

...........OK, the next project is going to be the Road Armor bumper install. This will be a slow start out of the gate. Being a Saturday, my list of family activities and honey do's (starting with fixing a toilet!) out weighs my desire to bolt that cool bumper on.
So I just fussed around a little rounding up parts and hardware and fooled a little with the winch.
I have chosen to reuse a T-Max 9000 winch I once had used on other vehicles. It is an excellent winch featuring a 6.6HP motor. THe warn, notably only has 4.6HP! When I was buying this winch I scrutinized the winch components of the various winches and actually found this T-Max to be more robust in construction than the venerable Warn. The planetary gear set was slightly thicker in the T-Max and of course the motor was much more powerful. Retrival line speed of the T-Max also eclipised the Warn, and finally at 2/3rds the price of a Warn, I purchased this winch.
I carry a recovery bag which contains a tree sling, a tow strap, several clevis, some chain and hooks, and a pulley.
Ah yes, the pulley??? You actually have an option, that is to either mount a 150 lb 16,000 winch or simply double the line with the use of a pulley to get a pull of 18,000 lbs out of the 75lb 9K winch. Since every time you step on the loud pedal you are applying a force to acclerate a mas, well, the less mass you have to push, the less force (fuel) needed. So the math was pretty easy even for a thick headed guy like me. Forgo the 16.5 K bragging rights and get more done for less and save $$$ for as long as I own the truck.
OK the winch has synthetic line for safety reasons. Steel wire will stretch then when it snaps it recoils with sufficient force to kill. Synthetic line will just tear and fall to the ground. Then it is also much lighter. You can use either a hause fairhead which is just smoothed out aluminum or opt for a set of rollers. Here is a standard set of rollers used with a standard winch with steel cable.

To make it compatible with the Aramid fiber rope I am using, the rollers need to be made of poly or DelRin. Here is a replacement set of rollers

Not a great pic, my humble apologies, and here is yet another poor pic showing the roller itself

4 quick snap rings later and the steel rollers were, well, rolling away!
The new poly rollers were actually too long to fit, so I carefully cut them down to size with a miter saw.


The new rollers slid right into place in a jiffy completing this simple but necessary modification.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:00:22 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2014, 02:41:07 PM »
I also picked up a poly bobbin to save the winch line while in it's travel position. THis cool little chunk of synthetic something or another slides over the line and provides for a more gentle transition through the rollers while you have it presumably secured to an anchor point on the bumper. Looks cool too!


Here's Mr T-Max that will shortly once again call a GM truck it's home. (I once had it installed on my Hummer).
And this will conclude the rather short entry today while I resume toilet repair duties! The plan is to fit everything onto the Road Armor on Montag, then actually mount it on the truck on Dienstag. Should be ready to start running over things in just a couple days!



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:01:30 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2014, 02:41:16 PM »
Quote:
Originally Posted by ********
"Everything looking good, tell us how she runs, any problems with the mini maxx, exhaust, etc? I have a hypertech and S&B, doing a lot of adjusting and testing to see what works best with my truck, when I'm done will post a report on the forum".


I have driven the truck a couple hundred miles so far. The ride is both softer and different. I do get a little roll in the corners, but well within the green. The ride is cushy whereas the stocker was more percise although harsher. I have noticed a slight loss of power that is becoming more noticeable. Instead of cruising at 1700-1800RPM, I am now 1500-1650RPM. That has resulted in a loss of fuel economy. When I started the lift the truck was making 18.9MPG. At the moment that figure has dipped to 18.2 MPG.
The speedo is actually very close. It is now indicating 2-3 MPH slower than actual speed as measured by those handy roadside radar units.
I can now see the definite need to regear. I would think a 4.56 ratio would be ideal and should get me back to the 18.9MPG or maybe even a tad better. In any event, it will return the "snappy" throttle response I was used to before the 35" tires. It will also open the door to future 37" tires. My other truck, the Tundra was running 37" tires with a 4.88 gear and that was fine for the highway as well as crawling around in the rocks.
Finally my two young boys have both wiped out badly! They step out of the truck expecting to find terra-firma and instead discover they just jumped of the ramp of a C130 on a HALO jump! Yup!!! But, judging from the bruises and scrapes they should be pretty fast learners!

Stickers removed!!!!!
Easiest project day so far!



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:04:50 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2014, 02:41:27 PM »
OK, here we go with the Road armor and lights install. THis would be the first serious half day work fitting stuff together
Here I'm getting the bumper off the skid and onto the work bench. If I had two people working, the tractor would not be necessary at least at this point



I planned to install the winch first but before starting I wanted to replace the rusty old snap rings with new ones. That took 5 minutes


The winch goes in with 4 easily installed 3/8" bolts



Next the roller fairhead is installed. Access to the back side of the two bolts that secure it is iffy at best. I installed the bolts from the inside protruding outward and then worked the bolts slowly until they too were tight

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:07:05 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2014, 02:41:38 PM »
The winch has a remotely mounted control box. I decided to mount it on to the top of the bumper for easy access. I fabbed up a mount made of 1/8" steel and used angles to completely encase the delicate box, thus affording it some protection.
      


Using cleco's I temporarily secured the bracket while drilling 1/8" pilot holes. Afterward, I drilled the holes to 1/4" their final size.


I ground the welds mostly flush and treated the steel before spraying with two coats of the John Deere black paint

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:14:15 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2014, 02:41:47 PM »
I welded bolts to several places on the bumper to act as ground points for the winch and the lights. I plan to run a ground strap from the battery, to the frame, from the frame to the bumper and then to each component. I have successfully used this technique many times in the past eliminating long runs of wire and keeping things neat and tucked away.
You can see a 1/4" bolt under each side of the light ports, and another on the right side for the winch ground cable.




In go the Warn 350F fog lights, 4 of them total to replace the two factory fog lights.


This is as far as I got tonight as far as installing things


I played with the position of the HID driving lights some. Dunno exactly where they will end up just yet, but not far from here me thinks...

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:16:35 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2014, 02:42:03 PM »
Quote:
Originally Posted by *****
"Is that winch 9000 lbs or is that just the model number?
Just asking because if its 9000lbs you may want to upgrade. As a general rule, you want 1.5 times vehicle weight, so id say a 14-15k winch would be a good match. Depends on if youre planning on using it to pull the truck out of thick mud or up some rocks or if youre just using it to pull the little jeeps and such out. But then again, you probably already know all of this, im just throwing my 2 cents in".

You don't need a large winch.
Everytime you double the line with a pulley, you mechanically multiply the line pull. straight line = 9000 lbs. double the line with a pulley and you get 18,000 lbs pull, although at half the line retrival speed. Triple it and get 27,000 lbs pull.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I attended the US Army's recovery school in Aberdeen Maryland. Back then I was a tanker and had a secondary as a recovery specialist. THis was obviously long before my pilot days. I learned a vehicle mired to it's undercarriage in average mud required a force equal to it's weight plus 60%. So my fully loaded truck at 8,000 lbs would need 12,800 of pull to free it, well under the 18,000 lbs I normally use.

........OK, here we go with Day 2 of the bumper install.
It was easy going right up to the point where I had to bolt it to the truck. THen everything went into slow motion mode. It was so slow getting to all those difficult to access bolts that I didn't get the lights hooked up.
Anyway, here's the fabbed up winch control box sitting securely in it's new home.


Here's how I did the winch ground cable. Simple and out of the way. THe winch gets grounded to the bumper, and the bumper in turn gets grounded to the frame and the battery

I wraped the positive cables in plastic wire loom then paid attention to securing everything so that no wire can chaff, or get in the way of anything. Murphy's law is in full force when playing with electrical fire starting stuff. Take a little time now and forget about it for years


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:21:32 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2014, 02:42:13 PM »
Next I drilled two 3/8" holes and temporarily mounted the HID lights. The position seemed OK and looked like they would clear the grill while not inhibiting air flow to the hot stuff up front.
      



« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:22:13 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2014, 02:42:22 PM »
Finally it was time to remove the stock bumper.
There is absolutely nothing behind it to protect the front end of our trucks!




The rather beefy Road Armor bumper brackets get installed next. I left all the bolts pretty loose at this point


Time for the heavy lifting. I decided to give that chore to by best friend, Mr. Hydraulics. By rigging the bumper with 4 opposing slings, I was able to jockey the angle. THe front loader and the tractor did the rest getting it into position.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:26:42 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2014, 02:42:36 PM »
Hours later, here's what it ended up looking like!
I connected the winch cable and got that working. I then off loaded the cable and installed the poly bobbin.








Close up of the winch/bobbin/clevis thing

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:29:01 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2014, 02:42:44 PM »
I carry a winch accessoriy kit.
It has:
Several Clevis
Tow strap
Tree saver
some tools
Shovel
Some gloves
Pulley
Extra nylon strap
And what ever else I might think I need on any given day



....I got the lights installed this morning, well into the afternoon if I'm being completely truthful.
First off, I mounted the HID's back into the previously drilled holes, leveled them and snugged up the stud bolts.
(this is where ken accidently deleted the wiring pics....oops)
....I plugged it all together and tested the operation, one fog at a time, then eventually all four. THe wire did not even get warm and all the lights worked seamlessly.
The HID's were similiarly plugged in to the blue power leads from the fuse box and tested. They, too worked without problem.
So, no new switches, no holes in the firewall.
The HID driving lights come on when the high beam is activated. The 4 ea warn fog lights come on when you push the factory fog light switch
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:54:39 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2014, 02:43:15 PM »
I spent some time zip tieing everything up and out of harms way starting at both ends and finishing in the middle just below the bumper
The grill and the plastic cover went on in a snap (literally!). Prior to pulling it out in the rain, I wiped everything down well with armor all and silicone to shine it up and give it some more H2O protection.      



Here's the low beams illuminated with all four fog lights on as well.
Sorry for the daytime pic, but I'm not in control of all of that!


Here's the high beams on with the HID on as well...still daylight...



Here's a couple prfile shots to show how far out things are positioned and the protection that bumper provides.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:57:31 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2014, 02:43:24 PM »
Time for some more mods!
This time I am going to install an Air Dog 165
Earlier I did some piliminary work when I cut up an unused mount on the frame and constructed a sturdy mount using it and some square tubing.
      


What was left of the mount when I finished cutting

This is the Air Dog 165 backing plate that was welded to the truck and reinforced

Here is the Air Dog pump being test fitted.
I mounted it at a 20 degree angle relative to the vehilde CL to give the fuel pickup line as much room as I could


« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 11:59:56 PM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2014, 02:43:32 PM »
Next I removed the fuel tank skid plate
      

Next I marked and drilled a 1/4" hole in the center of the sump area underneath the in tank sending unit.
I did not want to fool around with a draw straw and quarter tank fueling issues, so I'm going straight to a sump. THanks again to Holton over at Alligator who both advised me to do so and sold me the part.



« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 12:00:57 AM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2014, 02:43:44 PM »
I installed all the fittings onto the pump/filter unit
      



This piece is supposed to fit inline in the factory fuel filler line...more on that later

I cut about 3/4" out of the filler line then came the big surprise!

...The supplied piece was too big. The diameter was too large and it actually fit over the hose!
This is a nice time to find out I have the wrong part. Not like I can call and get another. So, what, my truck sits idle for a week while I wait for the correct part that should have been there all along, finally shows up? What if I actually needed the truck...Man there's a concept!
I had no choice but to fab up something myself or I'd be dead in the water!

Luckily I found a piece of steel the correct diameter and started cutting things apart

Once I finished cutting this is all that was left of the Air Dog piece


After the sparks stopped flying, here is what I had. Not as pretty as the ill fitting piece, but it's in there and it works!


« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 12:14:03 AM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2014, 02:44:05 PM »
Now the messy work started. I thought all the fuel was drained from the tank, well I was wrong...
I started drilling a 2.75" hole to fit the Alligator sump then quickly discovered I had a couple quarts of fuel still in there. No2 diesel does not taste all that bad I guess, especially when mixed with greasy gloves!


The sump is an aluminum billet piece which is very well made. It has inside and exterior parts and studs to help one align the parts


Here's the inside of the tank parts and how they all fit together



I used a piece of scrap to push the sending unit up out of the way while I fitted the ring halves to the inside of the tank

Next the sump gets carefully and slowly bolted in place after first installing the two "O" rings.



« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 09:49:04 AM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2014, 02:44:23 PM »
I then finally mounted the Air Dog pump unit
      


The sump line is now connected to the pump.



Here is the line going into the pump. Note the minimum of space for that big line to get around in

The rest of the lines are now able to be hooked up


The air bleed return line was plumbed to the earlier fabbed return unit and plugged in


« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 09:54:00 AM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2014, 11:13:17 AM »
Todays installment will completely finish the air dog installation except for replacing my fabbed up part with the new AD part and the reinstallation of the fuel tank skid plate.
I wanted to hold off reinstalling the skid plate until I can verify the sump is not leaking. I think a full tank of fuel and a week of driving should be a fitting test.
Today I installed the wiring harness, which was a simple matter. I mounted the relay to an engine to firewall ground cable on the drivers side of the firewall.


Next came sorting through which fuse to tap into for the pump power supply. I tried several different fuses, finally settling on #47 which is the Misc switched ignition, a 10 amp circut. THe original 10 amp fuse plugged into the tap and a 2 amp fuse routed to the relay which switches voltage directly from the battery.
Some of these photos do not show the wire properly installed as I had the pump wired to many different circuts while I ferreted out which one I was going to use.



I decided to replace the fuel filter with a new one to be sure I'd get the max fuel the hungry 6.6 required.
If you haven't done a filter change, here's how:

First get the correct new filter. I stuck with an AC Delco


« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 09:56:27 AM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2014, 11:13:32 AM »
You have to drop the right inner fender splash liner which is an easy 5 minute job. Here's where you start


Remove all the aft and most of the middle fastners then pull the inner wheel well down to expose the filter.

The filter can be seen and accessed through the opening.
Disconnect the water level sensor wire and unscrew the filter. Sway the H20 detector onto the new filter with the new O ring, then install a new O ring into the filter top. I used heavy grease to hold the O ring in place while replacing the filter.



I then had to bleed the fuel system to remove all the trapped air from the empty filter and new lines. To do that I simply cracked the bleed screw and turned on the Air Dog for a few seconds, that was it!
I buttoned everything up and started the engine. It started immediately and never stumbled at all!
WHile inspecting the job as a QC check afterward, I noticed fuell dripping from a corner of the Air Dog pump unit itself. After some investigation, it turned out to be coming from a factory (AD) installed allen head plug in the supply side of things.
Yup, none of my installed fittings were leaking but the AD factory plug was!!!
I loosened it several turns then tightened it back up. I noted it was in there monster tight. I just snugged it up and perhaps another 1/4 turn. THat fixed the leak!
I have to say that I did not expect all these pesky problems out of a well engineered $700+ unit. THe issue with the filler adapter was in someone not packing the unit of checking. THe leak problem was an assembly issue. THe lack of a way of mounting the unit and the instructions showing the wrong year frame is a mangement, production control, and quality issue.
I'd say Air Dog has a little homework to do unless they risk this becoming a larger issue.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 09:58:50 AM by KensAuto »

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Re: LML Duramax Silverado Build Thread [Part 1]
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2014, 11:13:43 AM »
OK, time to get this thread rolling again.
This time I am installing Merchant Automotive tie rod sleeves.
In the past on my H2, I installed some high quality and thourghly expensive Fabtech tie rod assemblies. I off roaded that Hummer and even on days when I would break something in half such as a sway bar link, I never experienced a tie rod failure.
Knowing the tie rods are a weak point in our trucks, I wanted to get some insurance in there early on so I wasn't left stranded on a hill side in plain view of a bunch of Ford owners. Yes some fates are worse than death!
The tie rod can flex which leads to failure about where it and the tie rod end on the steering knuckle are causing a complete loss of steering.
The Merchant Automotive sleeves solve this problem by simply sliding over the existing tie rod. The factory shaft might flex a few thousands, however would immediately bind against the interior of the sleeve, effectively strengthening the whole assembly.
I like two things about parts. 1. Simplicity and 2. Low cost. and 3. Low cost, well I said only 2 things, sorry...
Here is the Merchant Automotive sleeves:





The last photo is a tad bit fuzzy, but if your vision is like mine. it won't matter.
The stock tie rod shaft is .590" at the thread and .700" thick further down it's length.
The MA shaft is 1.125" in diameter made from stainless steel and has a wall thickness of .210"
It is 6.15" long
It threads directly onto the tie rod shaft with no fuss what so ever!
Here's the stocker

Next you remove the tie rod from the knuckle, then unscrew the tie rod end. I then measured the exposed thread, then took the lock nut off


Here the MA sleeve is screwed loosely onto the tie rod shaft

I then threaded the lock nut, and tie rod end, seating it to the previous depth and reinstalled onto the spindle. Then I snugged the lock nut and then the MA sleeve...simple enough for a helo pilot, so it's pretty much idiot proof!

Here's a couple of installed part shots


« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 10:03:09 AM by KensAuto »