Time to Rebuild

TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
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Mid Michigan
Considering the balljoints and bushings are 18 years old, the shocks and brakes are at least 10, the hydroboost is failing and the rear springs are rusted to the Caltrac mounts and such.....its time for a comprehensive chassis rebuild.
Plan is to remove everything from each corner, paint the frame as I go, and bring both systems back to new, or almost-new. Even going to put the stock exhaust back on....cant stand the loudness much anymore.
Its about time I actually spent some money on the old girl. She's tired and needs love.

While its not the first time Ive ever done this kind of work, do you guys have any tips and tricks?
 
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TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
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LOL No, cant do that. She's honestly not worth much right now. Michigan has been very hard on her.

Besides, Roni already knows she's burying me in BBT (or crushing and melting it down for scrap with my ashes in it).....
 

clrussell

pro-procrastinator
Sep 23, 2013
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Well in that case..

Amazon (as much as you probably hate them) as much as you can prices are 1/3rd..

Krylon rust tough enamel semi gloss from Wally workd works great.

replace the entire upper control arm when you do all that, it’s cheaper and bolt in.
Mooch parts otherwise as much as you can.
 

zakkb787

<that’s not me...
Sep 29, 2014
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Granite Falls NC
I would not go back with stock exhaust lol you wouldn’t believe how much those 12” flo pro resonators cut sound down especially in the cab. Put one of those as close to the front of the exhaust as possible (mines under the passenger seat) and run a muffler. Quiet and no choking
 

moparkxracer

Active member
Jun 25, 2010
2,290
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Out and about
Just did my lbz.. did kryptonite upper arms, then did Mevotec lower ball joints and energy suspension lower control arm and torsion bar bushings. Rides wayyyyy better.
 

snowman22

Member
Jan 30, 2018
297
1
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SoCal
I would not go back with stock exhaust lol you wouldn’t believe how much those 12” flo pro resonators cut sound down especially in the cab. Put one of those as close to the front of the exhaust as possible (mines under the passenger seat) and run a muffler. Quiet and no choking

The 24" resonator I have makes it about as close to stock on my LML.
 
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TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
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Mid Michigan
Amazon and Rockauto, Corbin. I was getting excellent prices at my local Advanced, but then they stopped allowing discount codes. Oh well, they lost my business except for small things.

New leaf springs, bolts
New shocks (went with KYB mono-max this time)
New brake hoses (Russell stainless)
New U joints
New front hubs
New rotors/pads
Rebuild calipers as needed (replace if necessary)
New adjusters on Tbars
Just doing ball joints and bushings in the front upper and lower arms. (all Moog) Helps to have a small press.

Using Chassis Saver on frame. Will cover it with Standard paint.

...and yes, guys.....the OEM exhaust is going back on. Nothing is quieter. I have absolutely no reason to have anything else at this point and time. Truck will never see the track again, doesnt tow heavy, is all stock tuning-wise too. I just want BBT to be a nice driving truck again.
 

clrussell

pro-procrastinator
Sep 23, 2013
5,671
194
63
Amazon and Rockauto, Corbin. I was getting excellent prices at my local Advanced, but then they stopped allowing discount codes. Oh well, they lost my business except for small things.

New leaf springs, bolts
New shocks (went with KYB mono-max this time)
New brake hoses (Russell stainless)
New U joints
New front hubs
New rotors/pads
Rebuild calipers as needed (replace if necessary)
New adjusters on Tbars
Just doing ball joints and bushings in the front upper and lower arms. (all Moog) Helps to have a small press.

Using Chassis Saver on frame. Will cover it with Standard paint.

...and yes, guys.....the OEM exhaust is going back on. Nothing is quieter. I have absolutely no reason to have anything else at this point and time. Truck will never see the track again, doesnt tow heavy, is all stock tuning-wise too. I just want BBT to be a nice driving truck again.

I feel that last sentence deep in my bones. Daily I think about how can I get a quiet, stock feeling ride with all the creature comforts I want. Which then leads to looking at newest trucks and saying nah I’ll deal with the hoopdie a while longer.
 

Chevy1925

don't know sh!t about IFS
Staff member
Oct 21, 2009
18,297
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Phoenix Az
I just want BBT to be a nice driving truck again.

There’s an old saying with dirt bike and quad riders/racers “with age comes a cage”. In our case, it’s just comfort lol.


Being you will be battling rust, you may run into issues getting the bolts out of the arm bushings or leaf spring pack bushings. I’d have a good diablo sawzall blade and sawzall ready to hack the bolts out. So plan on getting factory hardware as well (no idea where for that). Also, driver side front bolt on the leaf pack won’t come out unless you drop the tank. Personally I just cut the head off in the inside and pull it out from the outside. Then just put a bolt in from the outside with the nut on the inside. No need to drop the tank then. The rear shackles may require pulling the hitch to get the bolts out too iirc. That’s been a while though and I don’t quite remember
 

DAVe3283

Heavy & Slow
Sep 3, 2009
3,436
42
48
Boise, ID, USA
That's why my Suburban has the stock LB7 exhaust. Though I run a tune, so it still moves out. If you're anywhere near stock power, why spend a ton of time and money making an aftermarket exhaust quiet when the stock one will do what you want?

Just brace yourself for the amount of time it will take to clean, prep, and paint the frame as you go along. Even just knocking the dirt/debris off, let alone getting down to clean metal, is a huge effort. Worth it, though.

Sent from my FlashScan V2 using Tapatalk
 

TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
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Mid Michigan
That's why my Suburban has the stock LB7 exhaust. Though I run a tune, so it still moves out. If you're anywhere near stock power, why spend a ton of time and money making an aftermarket exhaust quiet when the stock one will do what you want?

Just brace yourself for the amount of time it will take to clean, prep, and paint the frame as you go along. Even just knocking the dirt/debris off, let alone getting down to clean metal, is a huge effort. Worth it, though.

Sent from my FlashScan V2 using Tapatalk

Yup. Im not worried about time. I went thru all of this when I was cleaning/painting the frame on the 1/2 ton. Takes a while, but its worth it.
Id love to take the bed and cab off to do a lot of this. but I know all the mounting bolts will probably snap right off, so thats the non-starter.

I even thought about taking a drive out west and finding another Arrival Blue crew cab, and just rebuilding that way.....
 
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TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
13,973
282
83
Mid Michigan
There’s an old saying with dirt bike and quad riders/racers “with age comes a cage”. In our case, it’s just comfort lol.


Being you will be battling rust, you may run into issues getting the bolts out of the arm bushings or leaf spring pack bushings. I’d have a good diablo sawzall blade and sawzall ready to hack the bolts out. So plan on getting factory hardware as well (no idea where for that). Also, driver side front bolt on the leaf pack won’t come out unless you drop the tank. Personally I just cut the head off in the inside and pull it out from the outside. Then just put a bolt in from the outside with the nut on the inside. No need to drop the tank then. The rear shackles may require pulling the hitch to get the bolts out too iirc. That’s been a while though and I don’t quite remember
Thanks.. Oh yeah, sawzall is part of the plan. I figure the front bolts are siezed to the aluminum Trac bushings, so those'll get destroyed in the process.....
I actually have all new leaf spring bolts from the 1/2 ton project, and the new rear shackles come with them, too. Covered. :)
I found out the hard way about that bolt by the tank when I put the Tracs on. Yep, you cut the hex end off and that gives it just enough room to remove, then switch it around. Im still going to have to cut it out, though....

Ever try to remove the tank when one of those clip-nuts break? Ugh....I hate being reminded of it....
 

Chevy1925

don't know sh!t about IFS
Staff member
Oct 21, 2009
18,297
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Phoenix Az
Thanks.. Oh yeah, sawzall is part of the plan. I figure the front bolts are siezed to the aluminum Trac bushings, so those'll get destroyed in the process.....
I actually have all new leaf spring bolts from the 1/2 ton project, and the new rear shackles come with them, too. Covered. :)
I found out the hard way about that bolt by the tank when I put the Tracs on. Yep, you cut the hex end off and that gives it just enough room to remove, then switch it around. Im still going to have to cut it out, though....

Ever try to remove the tank when one of those clip-nuts break? Ugh....I hate being reminded of it....

Ah yes, literally read that in your post and then forgot you had the cal tracs so you’ve already been in there!

Nope, not having to deal with rust keeps the simple things simple lol
 

SmokeShow

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2006
6,804
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Lawrenceburg, KY
Stock tune on an LB7? Mercy, that's brutal. My wife's 02 is still stock tune and while it's super reliable and everything, it sure has no good passing power at all. I definitely feel you on the desire to have as quiet and smooth a ride as possible though. Modern vehicles are so nice in that respect.

Speaking of the half ton project though, what came of it, Tom? I thought I remember you saying you decided to put effort into finishing it. Is that still happening? Overall plan for it?
 

TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
13,973
282
83
Mid Michigan
Done, over, finished. Wish I never started it. I have the Vette if I want a thrill.
 
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