TN Suburban Build (edited) | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

TN Suburban Build (edited)

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ZRex

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

Hello all!

It's been a while since I've been on here but I am working on a new build and trying to get back into the groove! I had been building a 95 4Runner and shared most of that process here, but a friend of mine decided that he just had to have it and for me the 4Runner seemed to be getting out of hand for my goals with it. I bought it to build an overlander but ended up getting closer and closer to rock crawler and the next big moves in that process for me were a SAS and Cummins R2.8 and by the time I had those done I think the whole overlanding goal would've been lost.

Here's a picture from one of the last trips with that rig.



So, I sold the 4Runner and found this '99 K1500 Suburban 6.5L Turbodiesel for a steal on craigslist. It is a 1500 but it's got all 2500 running gear from the factory to go along with the 6.5L Detroit.

This is the day after I picked it up.



More to come soon!

Cheers,
Mike
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

Moved from the first post!

Parked next to Dads 99 K1500 Suburban 5.7, which is the truck I learned to drive in, and has since been passed on to my brother as Dad upgraded to an 03 C2500 Suburban.


Couldn't believe how well this body cleans up and how straight it is!


One of the main reasons I chose this truck was Dad's 32' camper, which he bought without having a truck to tow (Before he upgraded).


And of course we had to upgrade the wheels and tires. Some 285/70R17 Falken Wildpeak AT3W 10 ply tires wrapped around some H2 wheels.


Removed the sidesteps and the valence for a more aggresive look, better approach angle, and more ground clearance.


Stopped in at the local tint shop and had them tint the front two windows, they were scheduling out for weeks but managed to get me in the same day!


And a little patriotic sticker action going on at the back end!


Getting some center caps in the Hummer wheels, I could've found Hummer center caps but I really like the stock center caps as I feel they keep the nostalgia of the older truck.


Added a little lift, front and rear.
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

Update 20191020

Started Thursday night after work with a couple parts that I got in early, figured if I got a head start it would make my Friday night easier. I'm not great at remembering to take action pictures when I'm working but I did manage to recover a few pictures I sent to a friend, don't mind the orientation.

Got started doing my new crossover pipe, 20 year old exhaust bolts and I was sure I'd break them. somehow I got all six out without breaking a single one, and some of them weren't looking too hot!


Then moved on to the front U-Joints, simple enough job with the crossover pipe out of the way and the right tools.



Also installed a left front CV axle as the outboard boot was leaking grease, and either it or the U-Joints were squeaking. I was delighted to find out that I could replace the halfshaft without having to disconnect one of the ball joints which we typically do on everything else. Just six bolts to the diff and one axle nut and the whole thing just rotates out with little motivating.

Friday during my lunch break I removed the factory cigarette lighter and replaced it with this two port USB charger. I forgot that this truck keeps the 12V outlets hot at all times so this is constantly on with the blue light, but with the light being LED's and nothing plugged into it I'm not too worried about the draw when the truck is off.


Then it was time to make some bigger moves!


Got all the open diff junk out and the new PowerTrax Lock-Right locker in.


And finally, one of the most important parts! I've had this emblem waiting at the shop since before I sold the 4Runner, but never got around to putting it on.


Saturday I got suckered in to helping the 4Runners new owner get it fixed up. He is a learning mechanic and wanted to get the knock sensor replaced and the injectors rebuilt which meant major engine disassembly. Since I had already been through the entire engine he asked me to help him get it all put back together. First we had to pull it back up to his carport from the bottom of his driveway, but I spent some time time getting some stickers on while he was getting ready.



Went to pull the 4Runner up the driveway and tried it in 2HI first, looks like the locker is working! Put it in 4LO to make sure I had full range and 4WD since I haven't really had this truck offroad yet.


We ended up getting the whole truck done within a couple hours and I left him with only needing to fill the coolant and bleed the clutch, I know he was driving the truck today so it looks like everything worked out! Hope I can get him over here to OB once he's got everything sorted out on it!


Until next time!

Cheers,
Mike
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

Another little update!

Got my tablet mount in today and installed it after work.

Removed the center console and seat to inspect under the carpet before mounting the base.


Installed and holding the iPad. Pretty happy with the location. It's definitely not the most sturdy but for $30 I sure won't be complaining about it.
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
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Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

Back from the dead!

So much has happened with this truck, and life, since my last post here.

Long story short, we bought a house, got married, and had our beautiful little girl, Maeve.

I've since added some fantastic Husky Liner floor mats for the front, what a great investment!

Then came a WHOLE front end rebuild, typical Chevy style. Ball joints, pitman and idler, all new poly bushings front and rear, sway bar and links, caster/camber bolts, steering damper, shocks all around, torsion keys, front pads, rotors, and calipers, and two more new CV shafts. What a weekend that was!

A couple of little touches here and there, like a new transfer case switch, hood release lever, door hinge pins.

Spent a few weekends fabricating a new rear bumper (Still in progress on that, would like to add a swinging tire carrier for a new full size spare), a simple brush guard for the front bumper with a little trimming and limb risers, and a little bed liner.





I finally found a product to clean these nasty old wheels, Star Brite marine aluminum cleaner, spray on and rinse off, then spray on again and a little elbow grease with a wire brush (You can see how much cleaner a little farther down, with the center caps.)!







The old GMC center caps weren't cutting it anymore, not to mention two off them had gone wandering on the wide open road...

A little time in CAD and a few days on the 3D printers and we had some new ones!







And finally, this past weekend I got a chance to tear out the old jack storage box and spare tire set up and replace it with some dedicated storage!















I think that's everything that was somewhat important to catch us up from my last post, with any luck I will be more active on the outfitting of this truck and bringing the results right back to you here!

Cheers!
Mike
 
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mface7

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Adventure

Pathfinder III

1,470
Syracuse, Utah, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Facer
Member #

29083

Great work on this! I have a 98 K2500 with 454 I've been working on. Gonna keep an eye on yours, maybe steal some ideas.
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
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Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

Great work on this! I have a 98 K2500 with 454 I've been working on. Gonna keep an eye on yours, maybe steal some ideas.
Awesome! Give me a shout if I can help at all.
I actually just ordered a couple of the USB replacements for the cig lighters.
Good call! I've found that that's pretty much all they get used for anyways, so the integration was pretty easy. I kept two just in case, and I have a Bluetooth FM transmitter that lives in one of mine. Keep in mind the circuit is live all the time so if it lights up like mine does they will stay on all the time. It doesn't seem to bother mine with two big batteries, but your mileage may vary.
 
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mface7

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Pathfinder III

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Syracuse, Utah, USA
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Michael
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Facer
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29083

Good call! I've found that that's pretty much all they get used for anyways, so the integration was pretty easy. I kept two just in case, and I have a Bluetooth FM transmitter that lives in one of mine. Keep in mind the circuit is live all the time so if it lights up like mine does they will stay on all the time. It doesn't seem to bother mine with two big batteries, but your mileage may vary.
I ordered 2 as well. These had a power button on them, so maybe that allows me to shut it off and not drain anything.
 

ZRex

Rank VI
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Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

I ordered 2 as well. These had a power button on them, so maybe that allows me to shut it off and not drain anything.
You'll have to share when you get them in, I may switch mine out if they shut off completely. I haven't had issues with mine draining the battery, but better safe than sorry!
 
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mface7

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Michael
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Facer
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I ordered 2 as well. These had a power button on them, so maybe that allows me to shut it off and not drain anything.
You'll have to share when you get them in, I may switch mine out if they shut off completely. I haven't had issues with mine draining the battery, but better safe than sorry!
They are in and seems they are working like advertised. Posted on my build thread (link in signature). However I'm on the app and struggling with the Amazon link so I'll have to fix that when I get to the laptop.
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
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Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

3D printed a hook for my hatchet, so we've got it secured finally. Not much else has happened since the storage was finished but I was pretty happy with this one so I wanted to share!
 

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GLOCKer

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Traveler I

1,010
Marietta, Georgia, USA
First Name
John
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Battersby
This is a pretty cool project. I'm a Ford person through and through, but I remember seeing one of these as a teenager badged up as a Peterbilt and I fell in love with it. Overlanding will be a cool use!
 
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ZRex

Rank VI
Member

Enthusiast III

3,872
Elizabethton, TN
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Klepp
Member #

15512

This is a pretty cool project. I'm a Ford person through and through, but I remember seeing one of these as a teenager badged up as a Peterbilt and I fell in love with it. Overlanding will be a cool use!

Thanks John! I pretty much grew up in one of these trucks so I couldn't stray far from what I knew. I've seen the Excursions badged as a Pete before (the logo shape matches great,) but never one of these. Interesting!