GM Dirt Dobbers 03 suburban build

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Nov 27, 2015
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tore it all down and started back with the corvette servo, it has you cut four oil passages in the plate I started out with a large file and cut small squares in it only to find out they were covered by the snap ring when installed so I broke out the flap wheel and opened them up and still barely clear the snap ring but I didn't want to cut out the bend fearing I would weaken the plate. installed larger boost valve in the pump (very long nosed snap ring pliers needed to make it easy). Drilled the separator plate all directions was clear except for the 1-2 shift hole stock its drilled .065" but said it could be drilled to no larger than .073 well the kit does not come with a .070-.073 drill so I found one that was just barely larger than the factor hole and went for it, cleaned and replaced springs in every piston in the valve body, installed all the pin less actuator pistons, this is where it kind of got confusing,

Transgo gives one set of instructions and Sonnax gives another when it comes to how the pistons should be set in the bore....I installed it the transgo way and hoped for the best.

The transmission gasket was baked on I used the flap wheel on a 4" grinder to remove it, buttoned every thing back up (less than 12hours total) and waited a day to put fluid in it still thinking about those piston discrepancies.

Then went for it, filled it, stuck it in revers and to my surprise it went the direction it was supposed to. I cycled the shifter a few time and filled to level and took if for a drive, pulled out of the drive and when it was supposed to hit second it held for about 1-2 seconds longer, I was ready for the hard shift(remember the .073 hole I guessed on), and it shifted super smooth and crisp. So now I'm thinking what did I do wrong it was so smooth. I ran it all the way up highway speed and every shift was smooth but crisp, I stopped and pinned it to the floor, spun just a little and when it hit second this time at 6 grand it knocked stuff out of my tool box but didn't bark second (I was disappointed). I stopped and did it again, and again and again...LOL the only thing I noticed after all those hard runs was the 1-2 shift is hard but almost feels squishy like when a leaf spring rear axle is twisting the springs. Today I took it out in the rain and did the same run it shifts hard enough to break second and jump side ways... I will take it for a longer drive this weekend up in the hills to see if I burn anything up.

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Joined
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So remember the blower motor fan problem, I now have another problem...….Lets start with the trans cooler install ( see where this is going). I pulled the grill out and thought I'm going to just run the two cooler together why not, only problem is that the factory cooler needs to be moved over to the driver side. no problem I will just drill some hole in the core support and slide them over. ( do you see now?) I got the drill out and started to drill and thought that's a little too close to the condenser....( now you see.),

I stared over to a semi mud flap I use for situations like this when I got over there I got a phone call and forgot all about the mud flap.....I drilled the first hole smooth as butter, but of coarse with the second hole the bit threaded into the aluminum instead of cutting the hole and spishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what a tiny loud hole.....LOL Freon, leak seek, and cuss words spewed from the condenser.

So I thought it was small enough I could just solder/braze it up. That did not work I can only assume because I didn't disconnect the lines and by heating the area it was pressurizing the blowing the solder out. So I bit the bullet and checked rock auto and much to my surprise $50-$75 not to bad....I was thinking $200 like the last radiator I had to replace I mean it still 75 bucks that could have went somewhere else.

The new cooler fits pretty good with space between the condenser and the cooler, I fastened it with zip ties and weather stripping between the cooler and the core support and barely clears the bottom corner of the grill. It fits tight no wiggles but I'm sure I need to keep a check on the zip ties or possibly go with some stainless ties.

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numby

 
Joined
May 3, 2009
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854
Nice work all the way through! There's a lot of good info here for anyone with a similar vehicle. You certainly seem to have recovered from your illness.
 
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Thanks Numby, yes I have almost fully recovered from the stroke I still stutter and stammer on words but I did that before but not a bad...thanks for the reply I didn't know if there was any body watching the GM threads.. LOL

For a update on the truck after shift kit is I have to watch how hard I'm on the throttle with the tow haul mode on if I give it more than half throttle it will bark the tire in second, the police have gave me the stare down but not pulled me over yet. And yes I do it more than I should but the look on kids in the parking lots when I bark second in a suburban is priceless. Other than that been using it for what I'm building it for ...back woods fishing truck.

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here is one of the first drive with the shift kit installed.....If you have a 4l60e you know how long the 1-2 shift is so this will show the how quick it shifts now.
 
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Started working on the front axle shaft bearing...tore into the long side first and I hope the short side is as easy... only worry is the sliver I found in the disconnect section of the housing... the bearing on the long side was bad but not that bad, the oil looked like 16 year old oil, no water, not a whole lot of metal. I was able to pull the long side with out completely pulling the CV, I didn't even jack the truck up. I have a feeling the short side wont be as easy.

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I hit a road block with the short side shaft...the keeper must me messed up because I've beat on this thing for the past 3 hours and cannot get it to budge. I thought it was because the long side housing was off and the bushings were obsorbing the shock from the slide hammer so I installed the long side just to see with no prevail.... any one ever have this problem. In the morning I'm going to hook a come along to it and put a ton of pressure on it then whack it with the slide hammer maybe that will knock it out.
 

45Kevin

 
Joined
May 10, 2005
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Calgary, Alberta
Very detailed write up. Thanks.

I rocked a 'burb for many years of camping and towing my land cruiser. It had the 6.5T with the 4L80 tranny. The G80 option was great.

I now have an AWD Express van. It has the 4L60 and I know what you mean about the 1-2 shift.
Maybe I'll look into the shift kit.

Looks like you figured out the photo attachments. The first ones come up pretty small.
Glad to hear you have recovered from the stroke. And arthritis, you must be old. LOL
 
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Thanks kevin yeah I don't know what happened there....Oh I would love to have an AWD Chevy express they are sweet expecially if you do the part time swap torsion bar keys in the front and 2500 suburban springs in the back I almost bet you could get a set of 285s on it.
 
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I figured out where the sliver came from its from what I would call a thrust washer with 2 ears on it....mine was cone shapped into the axle shaft housing no ears left on it..don't know what caused it but now I need to find one. Its #8 in the photo.
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After looking at some pictures of people rebuilding the a 8.25 clamshell I realize why the thrust washer is the way it is...some previous owner/mechanic tried to use a slide hammer to pull the long axle out and therefore screwed the washer. The below picture makes me realize what caused the eared washer to be pulled into the long shaft housing.

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Got it out I used a strap and pulled it until I started sliding the sub and jack stands on the concrete, pounded one side of a pickle fork behind the flange, and then beat it with the slide hammer about 30 whacks and it finally came out. Now I have the wrong short side bearing I guess a trip back to the parts store is in order.
 
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no more front axle noise.... so I took the long weekend and a couple more days to go out and use the truck for what its for, didn't catch many fish but got some miles in on the water didn't realize how out of shape I'm in..

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Joined
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Messages
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Very detailed write up. Thanks.

I rocked a 'burb for many years of camping and towing my land cruiser. It had the 6.5T with the 4L80 tranny. The G80 option was great.

I now have an AWD Express van. It has the 4L60 and I know what you mean about the 1-2 shift.
Maybe I'll look into the shift kit.

Looks like you figured out the photo attachments. The first ones come up pretty small.
Glad to hear you have recovered from the stroke. And arthritis, you must be old. LOL
I you install just the corvette servo it will quicken the 1-2 shift. and its super easy and cheap to do.
 
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any one know anything about these wheels I've seen a couple of trucks local with them and always thought they were OEM on some GMT400s but I guess not I cannot find anything about them.....If I go with the 255/85s on the suburban I would also like to go to a skinnier wheel like what's on the GMT400 and these wheels I have always liked.

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100/90w HD wire harness and 100w high beams

HD wire harness from LMC, looks like something form Aliexpress but its all there and the harness is just long enough to run it in the factory position. pretty painless install, I also installed some 100 watt HELLA bulbs. I've heard goods and bads about the Korean Hellas for $2.50ea I wont complain but after a couple of hours of use they are still burning. I do need to adjust the headlights they are way high and I didn't notice until I installed the new high bulbs.

I fastened the harness to the main hot cable in the fuse panel, routed the relays beside the fuse panel and ran the wires along side the factory harness. zip ties, electrical tape and ribbed conduit. The harness had individual grounds for each headlight plug, I mounted them behind the washer fluid jug on the driver side and below the air box on the passenger side. I covered each headlight lead with ribbed conduit. the only thing that you can tell is different is the relays on the fuse box and the loud click they make when you turn the lights on, or swap between low and high. The relays are switched by the factory High low connectors on the factory harness they plug in where the Headlight bulbs plug in, so the OEM headlight harness is still connected and works.. Maybe some LED lights for the factory harness is next.

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the ground placement and the reason I installed HD harness. The oem plugs where like that for the high, low, and DRL

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