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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I've got a bunch of tech threads to make already, but my wife found this truck in CO last summer and drove it home to NY for me. She was gettin fat and didn't want me to haul a new baby in the bed of my old reg cab 94 Z71. haha

I do miss that thing...I built it into a nasty beast in the 10 years I had it.

We got it super cheap cause the clutch felt funny and nobody who test drove it even wanted it. I didn't like it either the first time I drove it, but it only took a minute to pop the clutch return spring off the pedal and fix the feel. (It had like 2/3 dead travel and the bottom 1/3 was friction...why Chevy built them this way, I have no idea.) They said it had the hood & grille stolen a couple years ago and it looked a little worse for wear, but that's pretty easy to fix. A lot easier than finding another ZF6!





I've done a bunch of work to it now and got it lookin pretty good. Playing with the tune at the moment. But I'll add more pics here as I create some tech threads and catch it up to date. Here's a little peek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
An OBDlink LX bluetooth adapter with TunerPro RT for the calibration adjustments and datalogging. The actual flashing of the PCM is done via LS-Droid with a phone. It's a fairly new DIY solution, but it's not very user-friendly. The basic functionality is there, but there are still some bugs. Sharing it now would just open many cans of worms...haha


I'll post a ton of info once it's a little better ironed out. Right now I'm trying to get my wideband to report in the PID datastream correctly. That and TargetAFR and KnockRetard are really needed for a solid tuning basis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting. I had read some of the earlier PCM Hammer stuff, but chose LS-Droid and haven't really looked at it since. The proprietary scanner is interesting...I need to look into that. I'd guess it doesn't function any better with TunerPro than my OBDlink since the ELM plugin seems to be the weak link...but it's worth a look. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Posted in exterior with info on the Raptor Liner:
Raptor liner on rockers, Nfabs and plastic trim









I got some Nfab nerf bars on Facebook Marketplace "for a 2006 Chevy" that I had to cut up and and re-weld to work. I realized that pretty quick that they wouldn't fit, but I had already driven 1.5hrs to pick them up and they were super cheap ($80) so I bought them anyway. I'm not a huge fan of the look, but they are nice to put the car seat in the middle...


 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The truck already had what looked to be DeeZee step bar mounts without the bars. Being from Colorado the truck wasn't rusty, but I see those DeeZee bars fall off trucks here in NY all the time. My 100lb wife actually broke one on her step dad's 03 like 10 years ago...

I connected the Nfabs to the DeeZee mounts with some 16ga stainless exhaust tubing bends. That's as thick as those Nfabs anyway - I was surprised how light duty they are. But with the mounts I put on them they're super solid. Two body mounts and one more 2in.120 angle iron mount 8in the middle. There's maybe 1/8 of flex when my 200lbs steps on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah. I guess the factory HD hood and grille and bumper cap were all stolen. Then the PO just put an unpainted hood on it and drove it. I was gonna repaint the HD hood, but there were a lot of dents to fix in it and I was running out of time with the little one due. I bought the half ton hood on Facebook already in the right color for $50 and sold the HD one for $75. I may revisit all that later. I have some ideas, but probably never have time for them. I still have a Camaro to finish. Haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here are a couple things that don't deserve their own tech threads, but came out looking good:

Being a designer, I couldn't stand the stock emblems. I hate chromey looking stuff anyway, but the HD bowtie is ridiculously huge, too. So I painted it orange and cut a vinyl inlay for it to reduce the visual size of it. The shiny bowties in the 2500HD and Silverado emblems broke when prying them out, so I cut 1/8" plastic at work into bowties and painted & vinyl'd them to match. I also erased the side molding and 4x4 stickers and cut my own "ZF6" stickers. A Chevy has gotta be a Z, right? I couldn't find vinyl to match the paint I had...so I just painted the vinyl itself...and it came out mint! Way better than I would have guessed...





Recently I cut some more vinyl for the back window. My last truck had a "Shark Warrior" sticker from our cage dive in Australia...and that's how the local cops (who know my wife from her job in the ER) knew my truck and to leave me alone. So I cut my own this time and matched them to the color scheme. (Plus I redrew the shark...drove me crazy that the logo looked more like a mako than a great white.) Cmon man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Added E-fans from a stock 2006 half ton. Quite a bit more work for an 8.1HD than other half tons where it's mostly a bolt-in. Radiator support is different than 5.3/6.0 so the fan doesn't bolt up. Can't use the big 5.3/6.0 radiator and its support because the 8.1 rad is about 4" wider and taller with bigger hoses. So I made an adapter bracket for the height difference and offset it to the pass side for the width difference. I ground and modified the plastic shroud to be sure it draws air through the radiator and not around it.




I ended up cutting and extending the ls1fans.com harness to relocate it to the stock fan relay spot. Their instructions tell you to mount it to the PCM cover, but it would be right in the way every time I pull the PCM, and the LS-droid tuning software requires you to pull it every time you write a calibration...so that was a deal breaker. Plus, it looks a lot cleaner hidden under the stock plastic housing. I also added my wideband output wire to the PCM when I added the fan control pin. Trying to get that to datalog correctly has been a fight...but the fans work nice, all controlled by the PCM.





I also started working on another little project (photoshop preview below). Can you spot what's different than stock? It's subtle, but I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Popped my 5th wheel cherry today. Moved my FIL's 38' 14,000lb camper from his winter storage to the lake. I wanted to see how it drove with something heavy. This truck is a champ! It's a little jerky with the 6spd under hard acceleration with all that extra inertia, but 90% it's awesome. The deep first gear is great to get it moving from a stop up hills. And 4L is really good for creeping it backwards.

I had bought a B&W 5th wheel that drops into the gooseneck mount on FB for $300 cause I knew it was a good deal...it's like $1000 new and in immaculate shape. I like the non-slider even though I have a short bed cause there are different adjustment positions and less moving parts rides better. Adjusted directly over the rear axle, it gave me 54" of clearance to the corner of the bed, which ended up plenty for the camper.







I think this summer especially, that camper will be a nice plate to spend some time.
 
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