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AHelm's ZQ8 3LT progress thread.

45848 Views 354 Replies 57 Participants Last post by  Spizze33
Brought this truck up from Tennessee to Pittsburgh to be my weekend toy. Was rather entertaining having three guys in a Cobalt for 11 hours, which ended with a short nap in a Wal-Mart parking lot waiting for the dealer to open.

Previous owner had the windows tinted, 22" Boss 330s, and some haggardly installed HID put in it. Also, the tails, and brake light have been "tinted". Those will go.

Bringing it home.

Couple pics with my Cobalt

At this point I've owned the truck for a little over a month now, and it's getting time to tear into it.

Found a Undercover ABS tonneau cover at a swap meet for $100. One corner is messed up and the harware needs blasted/painted. But for the price, couldn't pass it up. I'll probably smooth and color match it.

22's are way too big for these trucks IMO, so I ordered a set of 20's for it, wrapped in Hankook Ventus Evos. 245/35 if I remember correctly. This is how the truck sits now.

Ordered a DJM 3/4 kit (arms/blocks) from SS Colly earlier this week. Should be in tomorrow!

Also, sold the 22s yesterday, so I went ahead and ordered a JTR lo-pro tranny x-member, and a rollpan from modshop inc.

Cant wait to get this thing looking how I want it to, then I can start tossing go fast goodies at it!
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Thanks guys. I'll have to look into that link Kenny. I appreciate it.
Looking good
looks good, do you know what rims are on your brothers s10?
Awesome looking truck! I'm jealous over your V8....can't wait to see more progress!

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Thanks guys!

looks good, do you know what rims are on your brothers s10?
Those would be Boss 338's, 18x8 I do believe
Truck as been sitting as it is un-drivable until I get the frame notched. Hopefully that happens soon.

In the mean time, I've been thinking/researching what I can do to wake this motor up over the winter. Probably going to budget myself at $1k.

Thinking perhaps a Texas Speed 224R cam, custom tune, and make one of those tony tube intakes from the sticky thread.

Any opinions, or better options out there? I'm kind of a newb when it comes to performance.
Another good cam for a 5.3 is the TSP 228 but remember the higher the duration the higher the stall you'll need to match.
One step closer to spring!


After tossing on the control arms and blocks, the truck got set on the ground.
Frame was on the bumpstops, exhaust was hitting all kinds of stuff, brake lines were twisted, all kinds of fun stuff.

So, over the weekend, my dad and I tackled notching the frame.

Loading pics into photobucket now. But it is taking its good old time.
I had 3in drop springs and 4in blocks on my rear before I step notched mine, I had to slow down to like 30 on bridges on interstates. It was terrible

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I had 3in drop springs and 4in blocks on my rear before I step notched mine, I had to slow down to like 30 on bridges on interstates. It was terrible

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I put the lowering kid on at my uncles, and as I was pulling out of his driveway, I scooped up a bunch of gravel in the trans crossmember, and bottomed out quite violently. At that moment, I knew there was a lot of work left to do.

Gotta pay to play :lol:
Very true. :lol: keep up the good work!

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:th_woot: Big progress over the last couple of weeks. :th_woot:

Got her up on the rack. Dropped the rear end a little by unbolting the rear leaf hangers.

Bed off.

Bump-stop brackets. These had to go. I don't have a picture, but an extension bracket had to be made for the brake lines.

Notch material. 4in pipe with 1/4" sidewall, giving a 4 1/2" OD. That's a 4 1/2" holesaw on top.

Used this little jig that my dad's friend made. It clamps to the side of the frame so you can drill a nice, straight pilot hole.

Cut the pipe down to 2 1/2" wide, and zipped off some of the bottom. Then heated with a torch to straighten out the bottoms.

Marked the pilot hole using a bob centered over the axle. The hole is 1/2" from the bottom of the frame IIRC. Right where the frame had to be cut, there is a 3rd wall in the middle. What a bitch that was to cut. The hole-saw is missing some teeth needless to say.

Got everything ground down and test fit the pipe.

Welded up.

Notch in bed brace for extra clearance.

Back on the ground. :bestest:

Next step is to tackle a JTR lo-pro tranny cross member.
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Good Job! I like your father idea keeping the drill bit straight. :thumbup:
Thanks James. He's definitely the brains of the operation. Wouldn't know what to do without him!
Oh baby, looks fantastic :yup:
Almost there!

I wasn't able to make it to the shop this weekend, but my dad kept making progress. Got the JTR crossmember on. He had to fab up a couple extra brackets to address the fuel lines. I plan on getting it powder coated so I'll take some better pics once it comes back out.

My brother was also nice enough to give it a bath.

Before spring is in full swing I'd like to get headers and exhaust done. And hopefully de-moulded, redo the tails and 3rd brake light, and paint the handles.
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Finally got to take it out on the highway for the first time since the drop. It rides much better than expected. No rubbing other then the plastic fender liners so far. Going to toss a couple spacers in the front to level it out from side to side.

My hitch drags allover the pace though...

Found another 355 to park by at work.

Also ordered some Thorley's, so those and full exhaust is next on the list.

Put her back in the garage for now since it is going to be crappy again.
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