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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I added another white GMC Sierra to the fleet 7/3/2021 :)
Introducing the "definitely work truck" 2003 GMC Sierra 2500HD RCLB










I had been watching for a regular cab long bed 2500HD for quite a while. They have consistently been expensive and high mileage, plus they don't seem to come up for sale to often. This truck was listed on FB marketplace for about 4-5 weeks before I decided to contact the owner. I didn't get a screaming deal on it, paid $4500 which I think is a bit high for a 2wd truck like this but it does have a few redeeming/unique features so I think it was a fair price (especially with what trucks go for these days). I obviously would have rather had a 4wd, (and even an automatic) but as soon as you go 4wd these trucks are either $6-8k AND/or they have 200k+ miles. The manual transmission is a bit rare, and I'm not unhappy with it. Roughly half of the vehicles I have owned (all GM trucks of some sort) have been a stick shift, so it's not unfamiliar. Sadly this is probably one of the worst for any type of quick shifting or "racing" but can still have a bit of fun with it. Once I figure out how to stop it from stalling at throttle (tip in) this thing is going to spin the tire(s) so easy.


Here are the specs.

2003 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab Long Bed
117k miles
5400~ engine hours

SUPER work truck edition
6.0 Liter
Manual windows
Manual locks
5 speed NV4500 transmission
2 wheel drive, open rear diff 4.10 gears
245/75/16 tires on basic steel wheels
105A alternator
Basic Vinyl Seats
Basic Stereo
Basic Interior
Rubber Floors
Tow hook Delete
Built in Fort Wayne, IN
Fleet Packages (various mentions of Fleet vehicle in the GM Build Sheet, specifically Penske on one of them. I'm pretty sure "Fleet" means Cheap in this case)

We'll just go over the weak points first...

It's super dirty, bed is banged up pretty good and the bed liner is super nasty dirty. This was a company contractor truck, pipe fitter/plumber's I guess in a past life. Tailgate had some issues, I think I fixed those already. They definitely used it as a work truck. There was a spare key box attached to the side of the cab that I removed and left 3 nice holes. Those are covered with some white caulking for now.... Cab is in pretty good shape, some dents and paint peeling, not cherry but no rust. Front end was smashed by a deer I think the owner said, and he replaced the grill, headlights and hood from a Denali. Headlights are in poor shape, there are a few broken plastic pieces around the core support still. Interior is trashed pretty good. The headliner was falling off, and smelled bad. Maybe had a smoker in the truck, I cleaned it a bit but still has some stink. Floor is surprisingly tore up for a rubber style floor. Steering wheel is totalled out, like someone used sandpaper on it. The HVAC is messed up bad, A/C kind of works, when it wants to and it blows cold out of the left 2 or 3 vents, and hot out of the right vent no matter what. Only 1 or 2 fan speeds work, there is some damage to the actual HVAC box at bottom, holes in it. Other misc, issues.

OK that's enough rough stuff. On to the good sides lol.

Mechanically sound. This was a California truck, very minimal rust, and underbody is in excellent shape. Steers well, has tons of power and shifts nicely. Exhaust in good shape, nice and quiet. Has a new windshield, maybe a new battery too. Low mileage on the truck, even if it was beat to death, that has to count for something... It's a new project and a second vehicle for me so I can juggle working on this one and my crew cab. Car insurance on it was ridiculously cheap.

Bought it on 7/3/2021. It was quite the trip to get it also. It's about 300 miles and 6 hours one way to get to where it was, in Bigfork, Montana. Was a pretty nice drive. I only had one hiccup with my truck (crew cab) about an hour and a half into the trip the heater core quick disconnect fitting failed and I messed around trying to fix that for about an hour or so. Truck didn't overheat, just on the side of road for a bit. I actually had replacement fittings as I knew about these failures. The problem was getting the broken piece off. I didn't have the tool to disconnect it. I ended up just bypassing the heater core completely by looping the hose back onto itself. GM designed this nicely on the waterpump to bypass it really easily, just looping the outlet hose back around to the inlet side of the pump. After that it was smooth sailing, mostly. I made up to the guys house around 12:30 or 1pm. Looked at the truck for a while and decided to take it home. I drove the RCLB home and my parents took my crew cab home. The truck cruises just fine, had it up to 75mph and it just went. 5th gear seems a little whiny at those speeds, but there wasn't a shifter boot on it, so a lot more noise came through into the cab there.

I did manage to pop the shift fork out of place about halfway home. I got it stuck in 5th gear at a stop light, and luckily got a little push from a few people right into a big gas station there. That was pretty lucky, and even luckier there was no shifter boot (makes you wonder...) 4 little bolts to pop off the shifter lever and a big screwdriver put it back into place. I think I tried to shift it a bit to harsh sideways instead of in it's pattern and it just popped out of place. I will have to investigate that and see what is worn, it shouldn't be able to do that.

Other than that, the truck made it the 300 miles no problem and I calculated 18 MPG from that trip which was basically all highway.

Now my plans for it.

Going to fix up stuff that has to be fixed, but not intending to put tons of money into it for now. I actually was planning to use it for my 10 mile round trip commute to work for the summer/nicer months. I'm a remodeler/contractor and the long bed will be nice to carry materials, plus it will keep miles off my crew cab. I'm looking for a cheap ladder/lumber rack for it but those are few and far between it seems.

I really had wanted one of these trucks to make a nice toy out of, maybe a sloppy mechanics style turbo truck, but I really would need a truck with a 4l80e (4x4 would have been really nice). It's also a bit rough on the body to make it to nice, but I do want to fix some of the interior stuff. I actually bought a cheap Suburban to swap the HVAC, seats/console and maybe power windows/doors into it. That's a possible plan at the moment, we'll see how much work I really want to put into it. The current interior really needs to go though, stinks and beat to death. It also really needs some type of locker in the rear, even the G80 would be welcome. With a G80 this thing could go a lot more places without worry.

I have already done some work to it, will update in next posts.
 

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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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3,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Underhood and Undercarriage Pics

New-ish Battery I was told

Who knows what's missing here? (Get to do this for a second time, and a third time on my dad's "new" truck at some point I imagine haha)



Undercarriage is Mint (minus the worn out parts LOL)

Upgraded hitch receiver, but no spare tire in sight


Not sure what they were "jumping" to bend that crossmember

 

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.

I have already done some work to it, will update in next posts.
[/QUOTE]

Thats a great gettin-it-home story. 🤣.
Why am I not finding the motor size in here? Did I miss it? I love the manual's but I'm weird like that.
 

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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh I thought I had that in there somewhere. All the 2500HD came with only 3 options, 6.0L, 8.1L or Duramax 6.6L Just by the engine cover you can tell which of the three if you know anything about the trucks, but I will add it in. 6.0L btw

Yes I'm hoping my tip in/throttle up stumble is from an air intake leak, either intake gasket or exhaust manifold (possibly both). Have yet to hook it up and take a datalog with the EFILive scanner, that will tell me a lot too. I'm just going to replace both of those gaskets anyway, and obviously the bolts.
 

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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Shortly after having the truck home It got put to work with basically a max load. This was the heaviest I ever towed with my own vehicle. Loaded up my dad's newly purchased 2001 2500HD crew cab. It looks almost exactly like my 01 2500HD haha, same color and fancy exterior trim package, except it's a Silverado and I have a Sierra. Oh and his has a 6 inch lift I believe. He got it for a good deal but transmission had a problem, so this was loading it up to tow about an hour away to trans shop.








Short video of loading the truck, kind of cool. This is a sweet trailer my boss has with bluetooth controlled tilt deck.


As for how the truck towed it, I can't say it was great. The steering was light and touchy, probably needed to hang about 500lbs of weight off the nose to make it feel nice. The steering is pretty tight in this truck so even small adjustments to the wheel really matter at highway speeds. I was probably introducing more trailer sway just by my over-correcting in the beginning of the trip, then figured out how to let it steer a little better the rest of the way. As far as power is concerned it did just fine, didn't care about the load at all.
 

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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Initial Maintenance, all done at approx. 117k miles

Oil change 7/18/21


Starting my fleet of White GMC's :D


Replaced all shocks with Bilstein 4600 Series (Part# Front 24-060813 & Rear 24-060820)
Also replaced the Jounce bumper/stops with the "Z71" style (Part# GM 15835667)
8/28/2021








Removed the headliner, started to prep it for recovering 8/29/21




Changed coolant on both trucks. 9/24/21


Costco cake pan lid makes a good catch pan lol


If you don't have one of these remote hose clamp tools and remove any hoses in engine bay, you NEED to get one. I love this thing, should have bought a long time ago. I have the Mayhew Tools 28680. I believe this is the OEM supplier for the MAC Tools version, it's been great so far.


Replaced 3rd brake light. The one on there was looking really sad, and didn't want to trust the gasket either.
Part# GM 19169016 "High Mount Stop Lamp" 8/29/21




I intended to buy plugs and wires, then decided to inspect one of the spark plugs first. This isn't an OEM plug and it looks really good so I'm just going to leave the plugs and wires alone unless some problem points to them. 11/23/21

 

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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is where I left off on maintenance, and winter was here so I parked the truck and wasn't intending to drive it till Spring basically. My parents were kind of in between vehicles and/or were having issues so they decided to borrow this truck and make a trip to Missoula, MT which is about 3hrs, 1 way, there. I had already drove the truck on a 6 hr trip to get it home, plus towing heavy for a couple hours, so it seemed to be fairly proven. I guess the trip found a weakness..... Sometime on their trip over there the waterpump started leaking. It actually would hold fluid alright when driving, but when coming to a stop it started leaking. They had to top it up with water a few times to get home.

So that was a bummer after just doing the coolant change, and added another maintenance item to the list. Now winter was here, and that becomes super busy time between hunting, working, holiday shopping. Pretty much no spare time and I was looking for a deal on a pump for a while. I finally found a ACDelco Professional 252-845 pump on Amazon Warehouse. Listed as "Used - Like New". I have gambled on these kind of parts before on ebay and Amazon and almost always had good luck, and great prices. Pump showed up as described, looked like new, wasn't missing anything, and had the gaskets. I figured I would order a thermostat with my Rockauto order I was putting together, but that never happened.

Then mother nature forced my hand.

12/17/2021 We were forecast to get into single digit temperatures the next day or 2 away and I had tested the coolant as only good down to 10F

Using an old survival trick, of building a snow cave to keep warm, I "buried" my truck's front end with some insulating snow to try and keep it from getting to cold and freezing the block. I guess It worked, and it did get cold. You can laugh all you like about this though, I'm cracking up myself. How many people have buried there vehicles in snow to keep them warm? haha



So this brings us to the actual repair of the waterpump (Part# ACDelco Professional 252-845). 12/23/21
Forecast was for the day to get snow and be a bit ugly. The morning started out really nice and didn't look like it was going to be that bad.


I tore it all down, had the waterpump ready to go back on fairly quickly and it was still nice out. Sadly the "original" thermostat was garbage, and had to hold off for a part.




And then out of nowhere, wind showed up and brought some white stuff with it. About 3 inches of the stuff by the late evening (when I was still working on it.)






7PM after dinner I had the thermostat and went back to work on it. Thermostat Part# Murray Plus 37987 (O'Reillys part)








It seems to me I got everything cleaned up and had started the truck for a test about 11PM. I was not very happy when I could see coolant seeping from the upper neck of the waterpump during the test. Had messed around all day and late at night during nasty weather for the waterpump to be junk... except it wasn't. I left it for the night and tested it in the morning and nothing was leaking. When I connected the upper radiator hose it dumped a little bit of coolant out onto the top of the waterpump and I think the hose was just squeezing out a bit of fluid very slowly onto the neck that night. Was all dry and good the next day. I was so relieved.

Now the only thing I'm not sure about this job is that I couldn't flush the block out of coolant. The coolant I drained from the system was like a glitter bomb. That waterpump must have ground up something pretty good. So whatever fluid was in the block probably had all that metal in it as well. Not sure if I will just ignore it or drain and flush it again in spring.... we'll see. At least it's good for -40F at least now.

A beauty shot before it was put away.


It made it down off our hill just fine with 1 chain. It's not to steep of a hill, but had it parked up in the field a little ways from the house. I tried to get it back up the hill with 1 chain and it just couldn't do it. There was about 8 inches of snow at this time. I put a 2nd chain on it and it was a struggle but it did it. I had that thing spinning some pretty good RPM and it was digging down to the dirt. That open diff was not very happy LOL. I had to make a few attempts since it is not a straight shot to where it's parked but a right turn was necessary. I'm not sure if the motor mounts are shot on this thing but it felt like the transmission was rocking about 3 inches side to side when I was really slogging through that stuff. Anyhow it made it up to it's original spot and I even turned it around up on top there and faced it back downward. I think if it had a locker/G80 it would have done much better though.

I really should have video'd that haha.

Probably won't be much to update on this til Spring. I should probably get the headliner done in the deadtime though.
 

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2004 Sierra 3500 6.0L, auto, extended cab, cab&chassis, upgraded to 4wd
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The snow cave works only if there is a source of heat inside the cave. Unless you left your truck running, I doubt you could detect a temperature difference inside vs outside the "cave"...
 
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