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Discussion Starter · #1 ·



Cars/trucks are my first passion, and I have terrible luck with them. Terrible.

Dad saw this truck for sale along the road on his commute to work 12/2013. A small beef farmer had used it to haul bumper tow cattle trailers.

Major flaws:

Reciever hitch broken from "cattle falling in trailer when stopping too fast" (heres your sign)
Airbags leak (load holding, not passenger)
Exhaust leaks
Oil Leaks
Dirty, smells like mice
Ugliest, dented broken Aluminum Topper ever that fell out of Optimus Prime's Butthole
Autotragic trans


Low Mileage
Minimal Rust
Glow plugs good, it starts and runs (lol)
PMD relocated (lol)
Has airbags, is half ton
Extended crab
4wd Worked
Gov Bomb 3.73
One pair of new tires (lol)
Z Seventy Fun
Turbo, its attached, must be fast
New IP and injectors 10k ago

I bought the truck for 4500 during an ice storm, couldn't really test drive it. I wanted it too bad. My bank seemed "overeager" to supply money.

I had two GM service technicians telling me that they were good trucks and reasonable to work on as long as you did your research, and that it was a decent deal.

My parents funded half the purchase, as they needed a truck as well, so we could "split it". A situationally intelligent person would have left it go.

So, I came home with it...

Dollar ticker: $4500

Problems I found when I got home:

No boost, xover junk
Vent gone on rear diff
Constant shutdowns.
4wd actuator very weak
Rides like hell.
Radiator support mounts and brackets rotted out
Intake full of nuts
Mouse Brothel under backseat
Oil lines leaking preddy bad
Drivers door handle broke off when I got home
Dashboard flops around like cougar tits at a dive bar when they play "Girls, Girls, Girls"

First stage: cleaning my nuts 12/12

Clean up truck and take nuts out of intake

Fix trailer hitch

Change oil

Change crossover out with performance one piece unit

Fix diff vent

We melted airbag lines when torching the old nuts fixing the hitch, friend with hoist had a used one that fit. The crossover fought hard, we tried to torch out the old studs, but THE MANIFOLD melted instead.

So we welded a bolt right to the manifold. Apparently, they are cast steel not cast iron.

Trans line gets bumped in process, trans shats 4 quarts on shop floor upon startup. Fixed it with a hose barb and Fuel Injection hose.

Truck still was slow, but quieter and made some boost.

Dollar ticker $5000

Stage 1.are you fist 6.fiving me....: 12/13-1/14

Lift pump wont work, glow plugs dont fire. Replace lift pump. Works a few days.

Dieselplace "helps" me by instructing OPS is bad.

Spend 12 hours with improper tools replacing that little ****er at about 10 degrees, snow. Lift pump, glows still no good.

Was the lift pump ground. Apparently glow/lift circuit is interdependent, but OPS dosen't matter for 1996 and up trucks... Thanks, fgts.

Get really sick from working outside in the cold all day, down for two days.

Dollar Ticker $5145

Stage 1.55 3/14

Truck keeps shutting down at idle, stalls on train tracks with trailer, but restarts. Got Heath PMD Kit. Good to go.

Dollar Ticker $5620

Stage 1.5555 4/14

Mother flipping door handle.
*I started running 5 gallons of blended WMO per tank at this time.*

Dollar ticker $5640

Stage 1.6 6/14
*Head gasket blows on my DD car. Start driving the truck daily.*

Fuel filter, air filter, whippers, pull optical sensor filter, airbag lines/fittings. Bent pin on OS plugging the harness back in, truck no run.

Pulled upper intake to get in there easier to fix. Disconnected MAP sensor and forgot to plug back in, connector resting near sensor, didn't notice.

Truck has no power, drove like this for about a week. DP diagnoses boost solenoid. New boost solenoid doesn't help. Plug in MAP. Winner.

Airbags help truck ride a little better.

Dollar ticker: $5790

Stage 2 (finally) 7/14

Feel rich. Buy things. Get shop time lined up.

Radiator support mounts from junkyard with new bushings from Caulk Auto $40

POR15 for the win for rad mounts and frame $100

Lube Specialists oil lines and cooler $275

Pro Comp ES9000 shaulks $250

Earl Change $50

Support mounts painted with Por15 and new mounts go in with as much incident as frame work goes.

Lube Specialsts lines have bad instructions. We didn't see directions on lubing the oil cooler fittings before torquing the lines.
They put it on the back of the sheet and all in all it was crappy, copier ran out of toner grade school stuff. Grammar wise, it sounded an old man yelling at a dog.
Had to tear it back apart and retorque next day because it was leaking all over, luckily didn't damage the unlubed aluminum fittings.

Shocks went in easy enough. The stock Bilsteins were still good, and to this day I feel that they ride better than the rebranded Monroe garbage I put on.

Truck now rides worse than before.

Dollar Ticker: $6505

Stage 2.dangit 8/14

Rear brakes. Wheel cyliders, pads, hardware. It came apart and the drums gobbled up a bunch of parts.

Dollar Ticker: $6655

Stage 3.im-tired-of-this-**** 11/14

Truck isn't starting all the time, batts weak. Ground is soft and truck is backed against a fence pointed uphill on a 35 degree morning, truck is stuck, 4x4 actuator is dead.

Tires that aren't new are pretty bald. I bought some Hummer H3 rims for $120 (score lol)

Drop $1000 at local ma and pa service station for 2 new tires, mount, balance all 4 on new rims, a stepper motor 4x4 actuator kit, oil change and 2 new interstate batteries, and 0 effort from me. (except tears when writing check)

... Because I just dropped $1000 and 40 hours on my DD car head gaskets and don't want to look at a wrench again.

Dollar Ticker $7780

Stage 3.shyt 12/15-2/15

(Imagine -10F temps and 3 snow storms, DD car broken again) Truck randomly dies, no glows no lift pump. Replaced fuel filter. Goes a month. Does it again. DP thread, much cry, very anger.

Clean up battery and alt terminal wiring, fuse box terminals. Whine, cry, be stalled out on side of the road... DP diagnoses air in fuel.

Thought it was bad O-ring in fuel filter, changed that... Truck runs then stalls later. Ends up... If LP working, and bad o-ring, should spray fuel on ignition cycle not suck air.

LP/GP circuit being overloaded and tripping ecu breaker by overworked lift pump due to restriction. Removed plugged inline filter from tank pickup line. Truck runs.

Dollar Ticker $7800

Stage 4. TBD!

Truck now has 115k.

As we approach doubling my invested value in this truck, I'm definitely taken aback at that number and a little sick to my stomach. I want this to be a nice truck but if I had spent that money up front on something decent, I'd be alot less mad.

Fuel economy is around 17, close to 20 on long easygoing cruises.
It seems to run ok on my blended WMO fuel, decent power.
Lately it hasn't shut down anymore.
4wd works good, great for hauling wood etc with the airbags.
Hummer rims look sick bra
Front end seems to be holding together

Truck is due to have tank dropped, cleaned and filter sock replaced. Probably needs a sender and new hard lines to the IP as well.
Brakes suck, either drum warped or something going on with fronts, cant put a finger on it.
STILL rides garbagy. Replace Rear leaf springs and bushings?
Cab corners, doors, fenderwells getting rusty. Have the rockers done and below trim line painted?
Bad exaust leak, soot trap gasket gone. Diamond Eye?
Lift pump sounds like it threw a rod some days.
Dash is really loud and busted up from truck riding so bad.
I want more power! (dont we all......)

Pics on their way....

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Interesting read, welcome to the world of keeping a truck on the road. Keep us all posted.....J&J.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As we approach 120k....

In July my car broke again. Instead of $1000 for a head gasket (last year), now it needs $500 in brakes. At the moment, all 4 tires are flat, the battery is dead, and 2 locked up calipers, 2 bent rims, so it might look like I'm driving the truck all winter unless I can get some/money to work on it.

Anyway, started driving the truck daily in July.

Had a few problems but nothing major. Had one instance of no-start but after disconnecting the glow plug relay harness and plugging it back in, so far no issues. I'm definitely preparing to do glow plug relay and GP's sometime soon.

Bout 16 avg mpg. Some tanks 17, some 15. Looked through my fuel receipts, had a few 13mpg and 12mpg tanks in Feb/March but I had a severe fuel restriction going on with that inline filter. Also, I do alot of 4lo and farm work in the winter. This is approx the fuel econ I got with my 4cyl Jeep.

Loud exhaust gets... old? 9/15

Had been rocking a bad soot trap gasket. The noise was fun but it worried me a bit as I think it was heating up the floorboards.

Ordered soot trap gasket, 6 oil filters, 4 fuel filters, two air filters, EP158 from rock auto. Stainless hardware from Ace.

Installed the soot trap gasket which ended up being a 6 hour affair. The studs were rusted and all broke off flush in the downpipe flange and the exhaust downpipe is not like, real nice for getting it in the press. Had to heat it with torch and pound them out. Wrecked my dads press in the meantime...

Replaced the air filter while I had the air box removed.

I wish with all my might I had bought a Diamond Eye. The misery of just taking out the studs were as much effort as would have been spent replacing the entire exhaust.

Dollar ticker: $8010

Regular PM 11/15

Changed the Oil. Been buying Mystic 15-40 by the 5 gal bucket and putting in Lucas Synthetic Stabilizer. It needed it bad... I had used a cheaper Fram I had laying around in May from the trucks PO and the oil was real nasty after 5k.

Greased the front end. What a pain, like always. I wish I could get this job under two hours. The front end is holding together but still probably original, the ball joint boots are ripped.

Dollar ticker: $8090

Next on the agenda:

Install the EP158, and probably a new sock and sending unit.

Find out why the front tires leak air constantly.

Drain transmission and change filter, refill. Replace fuel filter.

Replace rear leaf springs.

Replace glow plugs and relay.

Paint frame

Fix body

Replace crank seal and install fluidampr

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Got my cars brakes done with 20 hours of fooling around, but only $110. Truck is parked for the time being.

1/2016 Well Allrighty THEN...

Since December the truck has been stalling in three flavors:
Service Throttle Soon Stall: This light will light up and engine cuts with a loud bang while under light throttle. Punch the pedal to the floor and it lights back up again
Coast and Toast Stall: Truck is coasting downhill and stalls softly and but starts back up again.
Stop and Flop Stall: Stalls hard, and glow plugs don't work to restart it. Have to cycle ignition rapidly to get glow charge.

The truck needs some SERIOUS fuel system work. Going to try and do it in stages so I can still use the truck to haul hay.

Recently dealing with lots of fishbiting too mostly under light throttle.

My drivers seat broke off of the seat base. The ride is so piss poor that the metal couldn't physically handle it anymore and it ripped out of the left front corner. I believe that it also broke the adjusting mechanism because it no longer goes fwd-back.

Gave up messing with passenger seat, I just give the passengers a bike helmet and tell them to hold on. Trying to find seats.

Front actuator left me with an issue where the 4wd was staying partially engaged sounded like I lost the T-case. Had to roll around in snow storm and check entire 4wd system and remove and verify actuator function. Seemed to fix it, but probably will clean and lube the area and change the front diff fluid in attempt to prevent it from happening again.

Luckily, now that the house is done, I have a heated garage with a stall just for the truck. Time to get to work.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Stage 4 (Wooo)

Tank is on the ground, and the whole garage smells like diesel fuel and everything is covered in rust dust.

Why? We are gonna drop:

Dorman Tank

Dorman FSU/Sock delete

Adapters from FSU to AN stainless

Wix Prefilter and Base


Earl's Banjo Fittings in and out of the DRP

FTB modded FFM (by paleyjim of Underdog)

FTB IP Fitting (by Underdog)

All braided stainless Line everywhere

POR15 on the Frame (only some of it for now)

GMT900 Rear Cab Mounts and Frame mounts repaired. Pics Soon! Im excited! :coolnana:
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok I lied a little bit. I think I will need to post these in seperate "projects".

Project 1:
I'm still working on cleaning up the frame, getting close to starting POR15. Going to skip the cab mounts for now, I need to protect the frame while its easy and the tank is out, so I shouldn't need to pull it again when/if I pull the bed and do a complete frame clean up. Plus the cab mount brackets need repair.

Project 2:
The stainless and all the freaking fittings was too much, so I went with SAE30R9 hose and hose barbs. Install of the DRP-02, fuel lines, tank, FTB mod, FTB IP fitting. I might need to break out these projects too. Plus pics of the brackets that paleyjim made me

Project 3:
Bought an F-code lower intake for cheap, going to gut my S-code upper and install it, leaving the EGR valve on but it just won't do anything.

Project 4: My drivers seat broke, going to replace that and detail the interior of the truck

I have a feeling I will be REALLY close to 10K when all said and done.
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Saturday I pulled the S-Vin lower intake and went after gutting the S-vin upper. I got the F-vin lower for 37.50 at the junkyard making a stink about the upper being gone. I wish I had tried to find an upper because this was a royal pain.

I had a carbide burr laying around, popped it in the drill and went to town. I used to use it for wood carving about 15 years ago. Kina nice to play with it again. I used a dremel tool attachment with a bimetal saw blade to cut the exhaust port out, which is every bit of 1/4" thick. A cutting disc with a die grider sized cutoff wheel holder would have worked way better because it kept binding and chattering and bending the shaft. I eventually broke it and just chucked the whole thing in the drill.

All in all, I spent 8 hours pulling the lower and gutting the intake.

I ported the pinch point of the intake with the burr and polished it with a stone in the drill.

And the first pics of the thread... Woo.


· Just add Fuel
656 Posts
Are you going to set the TDCO while your in there?

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The non-egr intake swap is one of the best and cheapest changes I ever made to my truck. It has run better ever since (for obvious reasons)
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Jim, I don't think so going to stop at the intake. I'm out of money and time and motivation. Thanks for keeping me motivated to get this wrapped up.

Quadstar, I'm hoping this is part of the ticket to waking this thing up. It really sucked in the power Dept and the mileage Dept. Also what a crappy casting... I wish I had time to port and polish the whole thing. It's literally like popcorn ceiling inside of that thing.

Pics for tonight... The pile of parts I've taken off this truck so far... Tank, old brake lines, some wire (original LP ground I think) the old lines, sender, FFM, tank straps, the s manifold, the worlds worst PMD relocate kit...

Spent 4 hours prepping some more and laying 1 can of POR15. Should need two more to finish what will be covered by the tank, lines and pumps that I've sanded. I've lost track of the hours around 20. It will probably be all of 40 hours spent doing this frame part of the project. It would have been easier to replace an engine probably. Just 1 coat in the pics... Second coat and it covered good.


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· Just add Fuel
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How's the frame painting going? Any picks to share yet?

· Just add Fuel
656 Posts
Oops! Missed page 2.

Looking good!

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More painting last night. And the night before. I got POR15 in my hair which I'm still trying to get out. I look like I have shitty leopard tattoos all over my arms and hands that will probably be there for a couple weeks. I have gloves but they are semi porous. The POR soaks right though a T-shirt too.

Some notes... Painting the iron vagina of doom between the cab mount, bed mount, spring shackle and the ebrake cable was no fun with the bed on but it's doable. Lots of pushing the brush in and rattling it around and hoping for complete coverage. The dip between the mounts and the back of the cab has about 1/2" of clearance, enough to cram a sponge brush in between there.

The small POR15 cans are just about the right size for an evening of painting like I'm doing in 4 or 5 hours. You put a coat on then wait till it's tacky and hit it again. Usually takes about an hour to apply a half can, including the wipe down with mineral spirits, then wait two hours to tack then apply the other half of the can. Second coat applies easier but it's tough to tell if you hit everything especially laying on your back under the truck with never the right light. So it's more thorough.

I'm applying it right over the remaining rubberized undercoating but wire brushing it and wiping with mineral spirits. Hopefully it sticks OK. If it does peel, the undercoat is there and basically shiny frame to rust on for awhile.

Also, pics of the rusty vent tube. Patched it with JB weld and painted with POR15 too. Should work, patched a gas tank in my Subaru with this methid.

Today I'll apply the last of the paint and start installing the tank, lines pump and filter brackets. More pics to come!!!


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Have you taken a bed off before? not too bad...8 bolts with the impact gun and you can flip it up on it's front after lifting off with a friend's help to coat the underside too.

The worst of mine couldn't even be seen until the bed was off the frame. The couple crossmembers on the frame hold moisture and rust from the top down.
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Bed is coming off later for the leaf springs and cab mounts etc.
Painted parts, pile of new parts and painted frame... Moving on to the manifold and the IP fitting, hopefully by tomorrow I can just stuff the parts in there with hardware, run the hoses and rock and roll

Mosy on Leroy lol...


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Looking good! Curious to see if you like the FASS as much as I do since you are using the stock FFM setup.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Careful, don't get Jim riled up! He did an FTB FFM for me that's going in. He also made the brackets and lent tools

. Got the gasket surfaces cleaned up but I noticed that the return crossover in front of the motor is pretty rusty and has small fuel lines, but I'm gonna leave it I guess......

I'd like to have put in a fancy pants filter setup like you but we will see how the FTB does. I didn't mind the stock filters too bad. I'm out of money too

If I haven't mentioned it before, if it weren't for Jim I would have slammed an FSU in it and probably sold it, this thing has introduced me to just a whole new breed of slow and stupid and unreliable that I didn't know existed.

I think I'm high on paint fumes.


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I'm not saying she won't be fine with the stocker+FTB. Just curious how it goes since I skipped that step :thumb:

The only time mine has let me down in the past 5+ years is once when I ran it out of fuel because the damn Spectra FSU doesn't read correctly. They are great once you fix all the shortcomings!

You can replace that hard line with a Tee or two and some small line. I have hard lines but they are from a 94 so they won't fit with your coolant crossover....dang

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Ah. Well I will be here to complain for sure if it's still crappy. I'm just going to spray the crossover with some oil and hope for the best, I'm really getting fuggin tired of working on this thing every night and weekend.

Rerouted brake line. Was on the outside of the tank bracket and rubbed. That got POR15. Dad helped bleed. Much swear, very curse.

Look ma, POR15 peels off in sheets!

Assembly of tank

Waxing the FSU (Brazilian)

Ground lug for LP. SS dawg

Assembly of the brackets and putting them in ran one hose. The pump bracket bolts on top of the old LP bracket after hasty modification with the bench grinder.

My shrink tubing has eshinktile dysfunction. So I fuggin taped it too. Thank

Notes... Not impressed with the Leroy's fittngs, for the price they could give you a unit that isn't all burred up and won't hardly thread on

I cut the weathpack harness off of my old FSU to wire the FASS pump. The stock harness to the connector is like 20 awg wire... No sense in making it beefeh. Would have to do the whole circuit.

All I can handle this weekend :(


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