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Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

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Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby AppalachianHandcraft [OP] » Jun 25 2021, 5:10pm

I've been having tons of vehicle issues lately, and on the way home from the local Chevy dealer getting my 2000 Astro intake gasket done, I was talking with a close friend that was giving me a ride and he offered to sell me this pickup he inherited from his father. At half the normal local asking price, I couldn't refuse, so off to the bank I went.

It's a 2005 1500 Crew Cab LT Z71 4x4 with 5.3 / 4L60E and right around 218,000 miles.

She has already had the transfer and rear diff rebuilt, as well as new brakes, front wheel bearings/hubs, and new Michelin tires. Runs nice and strong. It's loaded with options too, I don't think I've ever owned a vehicle so decked out with options. Bose 6 disc stereo (and yes I am one of the last people on earth that prefers CDs to Bluetooth audio :lol: ), power sunroof, locking rear, power everything, leather heated seats, sliding rear window, etc.

She did have quite a few little normal quirks when I bought her though, such as the common wonky gauges, ripped driver seat leather, improperly repaired headliner, a busted mirror with a stick on lens on the passenger side, and a busted tailgate cap.

How I found her, pics taken at seller's house.

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My daughters are 15 & 16 and they love getting into projects with me. They swapped the engine and trans in our 1982 G10 boogie van project all by themselves under my direction last summer, and they helped with a huge house renovation we did last year as well. So you'll be seeing them a lot in my pics. This is Mia, my youngest, helping me install the new mirrors. I bought a set Brock of replacement mirrors from "EverydayAutoParts" on Amazon. Thoroughly displeased with them. The driver side lens has way too much vibration for a brand new $170 set of mirrors.

I messaged the seller and they said since it's through Amazon they couldn't just send a replacement. I would have to order a new set and return the old set. So I did so, only to find out the new driver side mirror was even worse than the first. Absolute garbage quality product. I guess it is what it is in this day and age of cheaply produced Chinese consumer junk.

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We had some of the typical wonky dial gauges, no PRND321 inidicator, etc issues with the gauges. I sent the gauges to https://www.gmgaugerepair.com/ and had them fix it up. Also opted for the transmission gauge install and new green LEDs. I am thoroughly pleased with the outcome. They even polished up the filthy lens and turnaround was super quick.

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Next order of business was to fix the tailgate that was being held up my bungee cords. I ordered a "Karpal" complete tailgate hardware kit from Amazon, again full of low quality junk, but most of it worked out okay. The biggest problem we had was the cups that mount to the bottom of the tailgate were not even close to the correct bends and would not line up with the bolt holes. I put them in the bench vise and tweaked them, beat on them a bit with a hammer, got them to bolt on, but the cups now sat at such an angle that the tailgate sat too high and would not latch onto the striker bolts. So I ordered another cup set from Amazon that worked out fine.

The original handle was so rusty it wouldn't move an inch. I even soaked it in white vinegar for a day to remove the rust, then greased it up really well. Still a No-Go. So we installed the new handle, with a Bully handle lock and that fixed it up. I'm not too impressed with the Bully lock either, it works as intended, but only barely. The tailgate rod on the driver side manages to bypass the lockout mechanism easily, and the lock cylinder sits a tad high, so when you put the bezel on the hole doesn't line up quite right. I'm sure the bezel will disappear on me someday. Is it too much to ask for some darn quality parts these days?

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Again with the sketchy aftermarket junk. This time onto the new tailgate cap. It seems sturdy, but the bottom doesn't extend as far as the original, so you can see where the original rubbed through the paint. Also, the bottom line is very wavy, mostly on the left side.

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Of course I forgot to grab some before pictures, but there was a huge white paint spill in the bed. So we pressure washed it out. Rhino lining is looking a bit dull these days, but a lot better than a giant paint spill.

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And how she sits as of yesterday. No extraordinary plans just yet as I have several other project vehicles that need more attention, but someday maybe she will get some cool goodies. For now it's just really nice having a reliable daily.

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I also found this little guy resting in the wiper cowl last night. Wasn't mine, and wasn't my friends, so it must be his father's. He has had the truck for a few years since his father passed, and his father bought the truck new, so who knows how long this guy has been riding in the wiper cowl. :lol:

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I have a friend that is going to install the Bank1/Sensor1 O2 for me as well as the oil pressure sensor when we return from a TX trip next week. I also installed a new fuel tank vent valve solenoid the other day. Hope to be replacing the junky headlights and tail lights soon.
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Extra Info: LT 1500 Crew Cab 4x4
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Re: Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby shakenfake » Jun 25 2021, 5:32pm

Go on LMC truck and buy side mirrors. I bought a driver's side mirror from RockAuto and it was supposedly a TYC and it shook like a mother.
I now have what I thought was a factory mirror that does the same thing. My plan is to put some weights on either side of it and weight it down so it quits shaking.
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Re: Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby Bradley21sanders » Jun 25 2021, 7:11pm

Nice work, its looking good to be an 05 for sure!

I see you are missing the center caps on the wheels, not sure if that was intentional or not. here is a site to get some new ones from https://www.hubcaphaven.com/c/2031/chev ... bcaps.html

I have not looked to see if your specific ones are cheaper elsewhere but when I replaced my wifes hub caps on her chevy malibu this place was cheaper than anywhere else.
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Re: Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby rollingm » Jun 25 2021, 10:40pm

From the peanut gallery... if you buy from Amazon, you get Amazon quality.
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Re: Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby AppalachianHandcraft [OP] » Jun 26 2021, 4:53pm

shakenfake wrote:Go on LMC truck and buy side mirrors. I bought a driver's side mirror from RockAuto and it was supposedly a TYC and it shook like a mother.
I now have what I thought was a factory mirror that does the same thing. My plan is to put some weights on either side of it and weight it down so it quits shaking.


I kept the factory mirrors for spares, so I can mess around with the driver side and see if I can figure out a way to eliminate the shake. The weight idea sounds pretty feasible too. I'll figure something out down the road.

Bradley21sanders wrote:Nice work, its looking good to be an 05 for sure!

I see you are missing the center caps on the wheels, not sure if that was intentional or not. here is a site to get some new ones from https://www.hubcaphaven.com/c/2031/chev ... bcaps.html

I have not looked to see if your specific ones are cheaper elsewhere but when I replaced my wifes hub caps on her chevy malibu this place was cheaper than anywhere else.


I've got 3 of the original caps, but several of the plastic lug nuts are messed up on them. I haven't made up my mind on what exactly I'm going to do just yet. I found one in a junkyard to replace the missing one, but it isn't an exact match. I really don't like the rims, so I'm keeping my eyes open for possible alternative rims in the local scrap yards. I appreciate the link though.

rollingm wrote:From the peanut gallery... if you buy from Amazon, you get Amazon quality.


The problem is, most aftermarket suppliers use the same manufacturers. I've been working on cars, trucks, bikes, hot rods, choppers, etc. for 30+ years. I've found the same cheap quality garbage from the big name suppliers just as often as I have from Amazon and other discount retailers. I've had expensive Snap On tools turn out to be garbage, and I've had cheap Stanley tools that are still performing flawlessly. It's a total crap shoot in todays mass production market.

Do you have any specific suggestions on which parts I could have done better with, and where I should have bought them?
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Re: Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby AppalachianHandcraft [OP] » Jul 22 2021, 2:59am

Well she got a proper break-in with the new family. We drove from VA to Corpus Christi TX and back for around 3,200 miles in one week. Wore my old butt out, but the truck handled it flawlessly. I noticed a rattling in the driver door as we were leaving, sounds like the window, probably just need to tighten the window track bolts.

After speaking with the company that sold me the less than desirable tailgate cap, they informed me that all of theirs were probably the same low quality, and refunded me half the cost (they offered a return for full refund, but I decided to keep it on until I find a better one). I did look at the LMC catalog, but theirs looks completely different from the factory cap. Anyone have good luck with those?

That long trip, the truck purchase, a house renovation coming up, and bills bills bills are putting a pinch on the old wallet. It will probably be a while before I can afford to fix her up any further, but I'll update here as I do.
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Re: Appalachian Handcraft's 2005 LT 1500 Z71 4x4

Postby shakenfake » Jul 22 2021, 3:30am

LMC is a pretty stand up company so I would get it and return it if you don't like it to be honest
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