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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going call this a "Build" thread in quotations because I will use it as a way to track my progress and the small changes I make to my Colorado. It will keep me motivated. Hopefully you all enjoy.

My goal is to create a nice looking and reliable daily driver to limit the miles I put on my other vehicles, especially in the Buffalo winter. I'm not in a hurry to finish though but would like to have it on the road very soon.

Many of the changes/mods I will be making will be minor, relatively inexpensive and/or free. Most mods will be cosmetic as I am not looking to make this truck into a race truck or track truck lol Most mods are ideas I have seen from 355nation and can be done easily in an evening or weekend.

I'm starting with a 4 cyl, 5spd 2005 Colorado zq8 with no options. It's a salvage truck, purchased out of Alabama last November (see my intro thread). Car Fax stated it was in two accidents and totaled but the more I work on it, tear it apart and clean it up the more it seems it was most likely a flood/hurricane survivor. Dirt and grime is everywhere under the vinyl floor and plastic interior panels. The undercarriage is caked with dirt in places a 2wd truck should never have dirt. So the more I clean it up the more things I find to change and the more reasons I have to go further and further.

"Mods" that I can remember so far: (Front to back)

-Cleaned whole truck to see what I was working with
-Plasti-dipped front emblem
-Buffed/polished the faded headlights and DRLs with Mequiars kit.
-Cleaned engine bay, air filter/intake (it was full of dirt and old rodent poo)
-Shortened stock antenna to about 8"
-Fixed broken washer fluid lines (chewed through by rodent)
-"Back to Black" on faded moldings, mirrors and plastics
-De-badged Colorado decals on doors and tailgate
-Cleaned interior
-Painted center shifter console to break up all the gray (still need to reinstall) and door pull cups w/ Krylon fusion
-Alpine cd/aux/Bluetooth receiver
-Truxport rollup tonneau cover
-2012 taillights (stock right side taillight was cracked upon purchase)
-Flipped 3rd brake light

Currently working on:
-Iron Armour (Harbour Freight product) the bed as well as door sills, lower cab and bed to prevent rust (hence the painters tape behind rear wheel)
-Painting brake drums black
-Removed rear bumper in prep for a roll pan as well as to make it easier to pressure wash the undercarriage.

Future plans: In no particular order...
-Windows tinted
-Lower it 3/4 (most likely with DJMkit)
-Street Scene manual mirrors
-Low profile transmission cross member
-Roll pan (debating on StyleLine or Street Scene) Help me decide!
-OEM Front lower air dam
-Full undercoating before winter
-Recover headliner and sun visors with new fabric
-Install new carpet / remove vinyl flooring
-Hurst Shift lever
-Paint door and tailgate handles
-Upgrade door speakers and add rear speakers

Please excuse the awful cell phone pics from tonight. I will take better ones tomorrow when it's more light out.

Going to try and get the drums painted tomorrow and get it sitting back on all fours.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions!


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275 Posts
Sounds like you have your projects all planned out to start. I've got a few things I've been wanting to do to my truck - like you things I've seen done or described here - I just have to find the time to do them, lol. One problem is right now I don't have a garage.

That's a good looking truck. I like that interior color, too.

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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A garage is definitely necessary.

Interior is stock other than just painting console and door pulls just to break up the boring gray. Gonna order up a Hurst shifter stick and knob to living it up a bit.

Last night I ordered a roll pan and the front lower air damn so check those things off the list. Ill get them mounted ASAP.

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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well 4 years later Ill continue this thread.

A lot has changed in my life since I first started this thread 4 years ago. New house. 2 kids, son is 3 and daughter is 4 months. A few pay raises. Recently sold my Mazdaspeed3 to a coworker and it opened up some funds to get this truck where I want it.

Finally got the truck registered and NY state inspected. Took two tries for inspection due to evap not ready since truck only had 38 miles since new battery and sitting for a couple years other than moving from house to house. Once it was all legal I ordered some parts.

Belltech 2/3 kit went in but its not enough seeing as truck is zq8. Belltech Rear lo shocks and Balljoints are on their way to get the ride height and ride quality better.

Next pay day Ill order a notch and lo-pro crossmember.

Plan for suspension is to get the front dropped to match the rear or be a little lower for a slight forward rake. Once notch is in and if the truck rides nicely I may go to a 4" rear drop and use the Belltech coils up front.

Got the windows tinted last week. I was sick of the fish bowl look especially when driving at night and lights shining through the rear window.

After working woth the suspension I found all the dirt still crammed in crevices everywhere from this truck probably being in some type of southern flood. Took some time to jack it up, take the wheels off and power wash everywhere underneath. I was amazed how much dirt came off and Im sure theres still more in places I cant see.

Here is a before pic right after I got it on the road.

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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the Belltech rear lo shocks installed. Havent been able to drive the truck on them yet to see if they made a difference.

Will be ordering the notch kit this payday. It may take a bit to get to my welder so this may be a dumb question but... is it normal and safe for people to bolt the notch kit in and cut the frame then drive around on it?

I can get the bed off myself and have enough skill and tools to get the notch bolted in. My schedule is crazy between work and kids so the truck may need to be driven on just a bolted in notch until it can get welded.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Whelp, got the driver side installed.

Left front sits where I want it so I may keep the Belltech coil spring and the 2" balljoints in together.

So total it would be a 3/3 drop.

Gonna try to get right side done tomorrow and make an appt for alignment.

Heres where it sits.

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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's how it sits. Absolutely in love. Low and aggressive look. Slight forward rake. I adjusted the tie rods so toe was ok to drive to work. Plan on getting properly alignment this week.

Truck rides nice. Front feels stock minus some rubbing left fender liner during right hand turns with a bump. Quite a bit less axle slap with the rear-lo Belltech shocks. Adding a notch will make this truck feel great I bet.

Trans cross member dragged in the steep angle in the work parking garage. Made me laugh. notch kit was ordered today.

Next up will probably be a front sway bar and trans cross member. Then front coilovers.

Left front is about a finger width lower than the right. Debating if I want to raise the left front corner or cut a coil off the right corner.

May just leave it until I can grab front coilovers.

I really love where the left sits but it rubs a bit compared to right side with no rubbing.

Im gonna take a close look at the leaf springs to see if the left side has flattened out.

Not sure which toy has a meaner "stance".

Little Man always loves to help.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got the notch kit today. Kit looks and feels solid.

Plan is to bolt it in until I can get it welded up. I can do the cutting and bolting myself, just not the welding.

Also, the other day I installed the Belltech spring isolator and three spacers to level the front out from the Chevy lean. Then got it all aligned.

Once the notch is in and all feels right, the truck will probably go lower. Will probably do front coilovers and swap to a drop leaf spring with shorter block eventually.

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