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Down East Pirate’s build – project Resurrect Ole Gray

3070 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Lnhiv
Well I have been a member of 355Nation since 2010 and up to now have mostly read posts with little/no input. I think it is about time to throw a project tread on the site.

I got my Colorado in August 2008, traded my 97 S10 in on it. The Colorado was a Z71 4x4, LT2, crew cab, in gray, and only had 56 miles on her. The first week I had her I almost completely removed the interior (carpet, seats, most of the plastic, and half of the dash) to put in the stereo system, most of which came out of the S10. My wife just looked at me and shook her head and walked back into the house! Next installed was the security system, a Viper. The S10 had been broken into before. Last was my Christmas present from the wife, a TruXedo Lo Pro QT Soft Tonneau. Oh yeah, I got the front windows tinted (legal to NC) 35%. I kept Ole Gray pretty much this way for a few years.

One of the perks of living less than 2 hours from some of the best beaches on the East Coast (North Carolina Outer Banks, OBX) is being able to go surf fishing just about any time you like. Well the more I went the more I need some where to put my fishing rods, they range from 8ft to 12ft. Now I had a need for some sort of rod holder. Being I had the Tonneau, a bed mount was not an option. So I bought a hitch mount rig. Well after the first trip I quickly noticed the flaw in my idea, the tailgate is too long and the hitch mount is too short, of course this is with the tailgate down. What a pain to have to take the rig off every time I wanted to let the gate down to get something (cooler, tackle, tow strap for the dumb ----- with 2 wheel drive). Looking around at everybody else’s set up I noticed most had a front hitch. I saw there were a few options in the aftermarket available but none I really liked at the time. I went to the local farm supply store and found my solution, a standard bumper mounted hitch plate. Wouldn’t it be sweet if this thing worked I thought! So I went to the parking lot and took a few measurements and what do you know, it would fit with some minor adjustments. I get back to the house and open up shop. A few cuts to the plastic near the tow hooks and she fit perfectly! I was thinking to myself; how nice would it be if I could hide this with my license plate? A few more adjustments before bolting it up and what do you know, it worked perfectly! A $20 fix that actually looked good in the end!

Now that I am going to the beach often I needed new mats to keep the sand out of the carpet. So I got some Husky Liners. While I was at it why not get some seat covers being they were on sale? So I got a full set (front and back seat) of Cover Craft custom seat covers.

Nothing really changed until 2011 when our family grew by 1, so I had to get a car seat.

Fast forward to 2014:

Now Ole Gray is in the 90,000 mile club, and I have had her for about 5 ½ years. I just started looking around at the “possibility” of a new vehicle, seeing what was new on the market like the 2015 Colorado/Canyon. Then the wife tells me our family will be growing again! Decisions! Do I buy a new vehicle and add the monthly payment on top of the upcoming day care? Or do I make Ole Gary new again? The choice was pretty simple. Ole Gray (to date) has never let me down. The only issues I have had with her were the brake switch and the fan blower #3 speed. And most importantly, she is paid for. So I have decided to keep her and drop a few $$$ on her.

It was time to Resurrect Ole Gray. First was a much needed tune up. Changed the spark plugs to Denso’s, new belt and tension pulley, cleaned the TB and MAF sensor, Seafoam the upper, and new filter. While doing the Seafoam the smoke started rolling out of the engine bay, yep cracked header. So I have a new one (JTR) on order that should be in soon. While doing the tune up I decided to do a resonator delete, do the coil pack spring mod, ported the TB, and Big 3. Finding a way to get the new pipe to the TB and air box was the hardest part. I finally found a 3.5 in hose at a local diesel shop. As for the air filter, I decided on a K&N drop in. After the Big 3 install the headlight hardly dim at all under a full load. I still need to change the fluids (trans, diff, transfer case, and cooling system) they have all been checked are in good condition and correct colors; so they are on the back burner.

I had always wanted 2 things on this truck; 1) good off road tires and 2) an exhaust. I decided on the Gibson Dual Sport Exhaust after much research. I love the way the dual exhaust comes out behind the rear passenger wheel. Not to mention it sounds awesome! On to the tires; I decided on Goodyear DuraTrac’s, they have a good look and pretty good reviews. Now what size do I get? Well my truck is not lifted, except for about 1 inch of TB turning to level the rake. So I decided to go with 31x10.5R15 on the factory rim. Yes I know now would be the perfect time for some sweet aftermarket rims, but it’s just not my style. Since Ole Gray had over 90K miles on the factory shocks I decided it was time to upgrade them. I went with Rancho 5000 series. It’s a good thing I did because one of the rear and one of the front were both shot.

On to style: what to do to the outside and inside to make it look a little different? I looked around and the Halo style headlights caught my eye. I decided to go with Spyder Chrome CCFL headlights. Then the grille got a makeover with a GrillCraft BG series Billet Grille. On the inside I changed the gauges, found some from US Speedo that caught my eye the first time I saw them! So I got the US Speedo Aqua edition, the install was easy but the needles were a MAJOR PAIN.

I caught a sale on a Pioneer AVHX3500BHS head unit and picked it up. I also picked up the IPhone 5 adapter for it. This thing has got to be the coolest unit I have ever seen! It is a App Radio so certain apps will interface with the IPhone and Radio, like navigation, weather, (and the coolest) Dash Command. If you are not familiar with Dash Command; you use a device that plugs into the OBDII (I used ELM327), using WIFI it connects to the IPhone, the IPhone then extends the screen over to the App Radio. It will then display all the info the OBDII has; RPM, speed, coolant temp, MAF, O2, MAP, intake temp, air temp, timing, and many others.

The mods I have coming; bull bar with KC lights, the JTR header, and a Lime-Swap tune.
Future mods; new tail light and 3rd brake light.

Till next time - DEP
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So I finally got some pictures of the Pioneer head unit set up.

Siri is my personal secretary voice text, voice data, change the iTunes track without searching, you get the idea. The only issue I have with this set up is the lack of a true home/Siri button on the head unit.

Here is a shot of Dash Command on the Pioneer head unit.

Here is the ELM327 OBDII WIFI

Drivers prospective shows that the ELM327 is not really visible to the driver.

So I tried Plasti-Dip for the first time the other day

I like the way the rims look, but not so much of my craftsmen’s ship at the job.

Ended up peeling off all but the bow tie, that turned out pretty good.

Blacking out the tail gate badge and name, came out ok might peel and give it another try.

Got the Bull bar and JTR header in, KC lights should be in today. Ordered LED tail and 3rd break light.

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Nice work, you have a lot going on there.

Sent from App
So I got the bull bar and KC’s in the week before last. I finally found a bull bar that was open in the factory license plate area so my hidden hitch would still work. It looks a little low in the pictures but is about midway of the skid plate.

Here is a shot with the hitch used with rod holder. You can see why I needed the open space for.

Here are a couple of shots with the rods. Too bad I am coming back from fishing and not going.:(

Next up new LED tail lights and Third brake light.

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Last night’s project was installing the JTR headers and cleaning up the engine bay. I got the header a couple of weeks ago and have been dying to get it installed. Unfortunately my schedule has not afforded me time to get it done. After coming home from work the other day, and while the block and header was still hot, I broke lose the manifold bolts. No problem here, except GM decided not to put the first bolt in. Next was getting the 3 connector flange bolts off. Major problem! After working at it for several hours I decided to snug the manifold bolts back and carry the truck to my local muffler shop the next morning. $30 latter the flange bolts was removed! Side note: our trucks (3.7) sound like pure crap with just headers, loud, but still crap!

Day 2 of the install. I get under the truck and remove the one nut on the flange, held on by one thread. Next up removed the upper components, air intake, transmission fill tube, and the thing-a-mabob that is bolted to the block. I removed all the manifold bolts and O2 sensors, with a little finesse the old cracked stock header came out. On to the new header install. I got it into place and after a few tries got the gasket to line up, I loosely put the bolts in and went under the truck. Let it be known that I have tools, lots and lots of hand tools. While in college and before my professional career, I worked at both Home Depot and Lowes. Most of my pay check went to, you guessed it, TOOLS. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE WHAT TOOL GM HAS TO PUT THESE BOLTS BACK INTO THAT FLANGE ON A 4x4! They must put it on before they install the front drive shaft and TB. Finally after an hour or so of cussing over skinned knuckles and scratched forearms the three bolts were in!

I had already planned on cleaning up the looks of the engine bay, and knew that I would be removing the air intake so now was the perfect time. I removed the air intake and box, battery tray, and fuse top so I could paint them a new color. A few coats of High Heat silver and the parts looked good! I did some wire re-routing of the Big 3 and the finished product turned out looking acceptable. Now to put everything back together and do a test run, mind you it is now 11:45pm. I cranked the truck up and immediately knew something wasn’t right. Looked around and listened and wouldn’t you know it, the FLANGE! It took me .2 seconds to realize my mistake, no doughnut gasket. How could I have been so careless as to forget this part? I had 2 options at this point, 1) go to bed, drive it to work sounding like crap fix it tomorrow or 2) remove the dreaded flange bolts put the doughnut gasket in and re-install the bolts. Well I am this far into it and good and ticked off at it and myself so I continued. Another hour or so and the gasket and bolts were back in!! It was time to fire this baby up again and see what we got. Yes, yes that sound more like it! Wow was I impressed by the performance improvement over the stock header during my test drive. The sound was good to. And no more tick, tick, ticking! I did notice a little leaking sound once I hit 2500 RPM’s and on, figured out it was the second flange. It did not sound bad enough to have to work on it right then and by this time it was 1:45am, so I went to bed. This morning I went to the local AutoZone and got a new flange doughnut gasket for the second flange to see if that fixes the problem. At least the back flange is a whole lot easier to work on than the front.

I did notice that I have a leak were the transmission filler tube goes into the transmission. I think the grommet came out or was pushed in. That will be my project this afternoon.

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Here are pictures from 2008 when I first installed the audio system. I have changed out/upgraded the head unit a couple of times but none of the other components. The system is still running strong to this day.

Pioneer GM4000F (for Front and Rear)
Pioneer GM5000T (Sub)
Coustic XM-3e Cross Over
Alpine SWR-1042D in .5cf sealed box
Alpine SPR-17S Front (not pictured)
Alpine SPR-17C Rear (not pictured)

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Yea, my package from China arrived yesterday! What was in the package? Glad you asked. It was a ton of LED’s to add to my lighting situation.

First, new backup lights. I got some 5W CREE with projector plus 9X5630 SMD. Then how about we add some switchbacks for the front parking lights? Yes, I think so. I went with 60 dual color SMD (white/Amber). They look good to! I finished the outside with some 1x3W CREE with projectors for the license plate. I had to install some load resistors to stop the hype blink in the turn signals. On the inside I added 28x3528 SMD for the floor and a panel 24x5050 for dome replacement. It is now all nice and bright in the cab!

Next maybe the headlight and fog light bulbs to HID, who knows?

The truck is moving in the right direction looks good
Looking good!

10 feet away

I can now see inside the cab at night!
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Here is a picture of the new HID set up.
DDM Tuning 35W 5000K in Spyder projection headlights
DDM Tuning 35W 5000K in stock fog lights

Well I decided to go to my farm and go fishing at one of the ponds yesterday and check some of my deer stands while I was out there. We got about 3 inches of rain on Thursday and my ******* side could no longer take not knowing what the DuraTrac’s could do. I was very impressed with them! My 3 year old was happy too; he saw a few deer, and it was his first time mudding (on purpose).
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Nice truck
Awesome thread, and great looking truck! Reading through you sound like me...just nickle and diming away at it til it's where you want it (and of course the full stereo being the first thing lol).
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