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Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

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Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 30 2015, 6:59pm

It is time to create a build log and share my truck and my experience with the forum. My plan is to make this a bit of a documentary as well as a chronicle of the changes and upgrades I do. I hope that is a ok format because I really feel that the story of our trucks says so much more than just the changes we make.

Here goes. I had just finished up the long hot summer with a host of projects that had me lamenting my choice of a commuter vehicle with great fuel economy. I had not too long ago purchased a 2013 Chevy Malibu with the 2.2 liter turbo engine and was getting over 29 mpg average. It ended up being too small back seat for any passengers, so I traded for a pre-owned 2011 Avalon Limited. This car had a V6 3.5 liter and was nearly getting 29 mpg average. Well...it is not a truck! I had been finishing up the summer projects with a huge task. Building a level base for a 8' x 12' shed in the back yard. The ground is not level and it required me buying hundreds of pounds of landscaping edging blocks and 12" x 12" pavers...all of which I hauled in my wife's 2011 Venza. I got it done, but I had an aching to be back in a full size truck with capacity for anything I wanted to do. I considered V6 engines for economy but none really presented much better mgp for what you got. Small trucks were just...small. I gave some consideration to the T****a Crewmax but they were both pricey and not at good mpg. My first love has always been the GM products. I live in a cul-de-sac and every single house has a pickup. There must be 6 F150's! My neighbor has a T****a and a GMC HD Duramax he picked up used. Who has two trucks??! That's another story.

I launched into my fury of intent looking to find the right truck for me. It was going to have to be used...and with some miles on it because I was on a budget. I did not want to be any further in debit than what I currently was on my Avalon (which I only had for about 4 months). I could write an entire blog on my vehicle switching history! I decided my budget was going to be around $24k. I searched high and low in the nearby area. I went out and checked out five or six trucks over several weeks and each time was disappointed. Two were sold before I got there (one of them I was told was there and wasn't). Many of them were decently low mileage (45-60k) for about a 3-4 year old truck...but most were not well cared for. I knew I would have to accept wear and tear on a used truck, but was looking for something that had been owned by a considerate owner and was kept up. I finally found one at a dealership that was about an hour's drive away. I called them up and inquired about the truck which had been taken in on a trade only weeks before. It was a single owner who lived locally. It had 92,000 miles on it though and was a 2010 GMC Sierra which was silver in color. I am really a big fan of blue but this looked good. I was certainly wary of the mileage. Was I prepared to go purchase my primary daily driver at what seemed to me near the end of its life?! From what I had seen so far though...the only way I was going to keep within my budget and get what I wanted was to check this one out. After speaking to the dealer and discussing pricing and trade numbers somewhat...I decided to drive over after work and try and make a deal. I got there and drove it and checked it over. This was a clean truck! I could not believe the difference in this one from the others I had looked at. It was obvious that the owner had taken care of it...and that gave me enough confidence to try and buy it. Well things did not go as planned. The dealer was firm on a low offer for the trade of my vehicle...even after coming down off the price of the truck from $22,795 to $22,000. I did not want to be that upside down on my trade even though I knew I was not going to get a full payoff. I held my ground and left. I was saddened and feeling that I was just not going to be able to make this work. The next day was a beautiful Saturday and I spent it with the family. Later in the afternoon I decided to reach out to the dealership and ask if they were willing to make any better offer. They were. I was offered an additional $1000 for my trade in (which the night before was the best they could possibly do) and that was enough for me. The numbers worked and I decided to head over there that evening. It was about 5:30 pm and the dealership which was an hour's drive away closed up at 7:00. My son and I hopped in the care and away we went. When we got there just before 7:00 the sales guy was having the truck washed and had the papers all ready. I had asked for a price for some OEM step tubes since this one did not have any. The price was $595! I asked if I could get it for their cost and the answer was no. Ultimately I decided to go with it. I did some quick research on eBay and whatnot and the price seemed to be in the ballpark. I signed the papers and then we waited a bit for the finance guy to finish up. Once we completed that I got the keys and switched over my stuff to the truck and said goodbye to the Avalon.

20150221_082825~2.jpg
me and new truck

20150219_135921.jpg
new truck


We headed home and I was thrilled with the truck! I was finally back in a GM truck and was ready to take on the world of projects (little did I know that they would be working on it!). Unfortunately due to the late timing of the purchase, the accessories department was closed and did not work Saturdays so I could not even grab the step tubes and put them on myself later. I would have to drive back over there after work on Monday.
My son and I headed out on Saturday morning for Corpus Christi for a camping trip with his Cub Scout pack on the USS Lexington. She is nicknamed the Grey Ghost.

DSC_9880.JPG
grey ghost


Monday I got off work and headed down to get the steps installed. I noted a few oddities once the hour wait was over and they had finished. The main chrome body seemed to have a seam in the middle and there were only 3 support brackets for each side. I had seen 4 on others I looked at. I just blew it off and determined it must have been some changes or something. Tuesday evening I was looking over the truck and admiring it and saw what I thought was a bow in the step tube. Upon closer inspection there was a bow on both of them! It was nearly 3/8" down in the middle from what I could tell. I immediately called the sales guy and the accessory guy and fired off an email with lots of pictures.

20150305_154331.jpg
bow in steps side

20150305_154323_HDR.jpg
bow in steps front


They admitted there seemed to be an issue…and then to my surprise told me they were aftermarket…not even OEM! I was upset for sure. I clearly asked for and was told I was getting the factory GM parts. The sales guy had to talk to the GM and came back with two options…return the steps and get my $595 back or get the OEM ones (that they say were over $800) installed at no cost. Either way…it was another hour drive! I found a Craigslist seller with a brand new OEM set for $450 (you will see this story throughout my blog). I offered him $400 and he accepted. On the way down to the dealership to have them remove the steps…I stopped off and purchased the new OEM ones. Yay…I was $295 in the black (minus all the fuel) for more goodies!
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Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
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nealinator
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Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
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Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 31 2015, 1:24pm

After installing the OEM step tubes myself (in about 30 minutes...not sure why the accessory shop at the dealor took so long) I wanted to remove the window vent visors that were installed by the previous owner. I don't care for the look myself and I was getting some wind noise that seemed to be coming from them...at least on the driver's side.

vent visors.jpg
With the vent visors the previous owner had installed.


It took hours of tedious scrubbing with goo gone to get all of the years old baked on adhesive removed. This looks much better to me and also that pesky wind noise went away which I was quite happy about.

vent visors removed.jpg
Vent visors removed


I also had the windows tinted. The front windows were already tinted but it was not the best shape due to being an older install I guess. The passenger window had some fairly bad bubbling and was coming up in several areas. I took it by a local shop and had them re-do the fronts to the same 20% and also install some tint over the back windows to bring them down to 5%.
Image
Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
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User avatar
nealinator
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
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Posts: 15275
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Images: 30
Joined: Mar 02 2015, 2:35pm
Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
Group Membership:
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Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby Texas_1500 » Mar 31 2015, 1:58pm

Thats a nice looking truck Neal. What are some other mods you got in mind for your truck??
2013 Silverado 1500 Texas Edition
6" MaxTrac Spindle lift
35/12.50R17 Kenda Klever MT's
Bilstein 5100 rear shocks
Flowmaster Super 44 Muffler
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Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 31 2015, 2:03pm

This was a fun and impactful project for me. I know that this is a very subjective issue and many would not have done it...but for me...I like wood grain. As soon as I got the truck and realized that I had the premium dash layout I planned to change out all the brushed aluminum for wood. I owned a Yukon Denali a while back and really liked the look...although the wood tone in them is a little dark and it does not stand out quite as much against the black dash. I began to search the internet and came across many individual components...some new...some used...and it looked like it was going to really add up in cost to do. Well...then I found it. A complete set on eBay that had been removed out of a Tahoe...with every piece I needed. The dash trim pieces complete with vents, the center radio surround and the console/cup holder as well as the front and rear door switch plates. All for $285!

purchased wood trim set.jpg
The trim set I purchsed off eBay


The pictures were small and it was a bit hard to tell the condition...I had seen some that were quite scratched up. I asked the seller to send me some better pictures and to describe the condition...fearing that they may be scratched up due to the low cost. He described them as excellent condition with only micro scratches typical of any used stuff. I purchased them and was totally thrilled when they arrived...all the pieces looked fantastic and were exactly as described. The two front door switch plates even had the switches still in them which I was planning to sell either those or the old ones I was taking out of mine to re-capture some funds. My plan was to list my brushed aluminum ones and sell them online as well. More about this in a bit...

Here are some before and after shots of the install:

150305_150430_COLLAGE-1.jpg
Before and after of dash trim swap looking from back


150305_151728_COLLAGE-1.jpg
Before and after looking from driver's side


150312_150047_COLLAGE-1.jpg
Before and after door trim switch plate


Once I got into the install...I found out that the switches that came with the set I purchased off eBay were not working properly. It seemed only the drivers window switch was working and nothing else and no mirror functions. I switched out the plate to my original switches and put it all back together. I contacted the seller to ask about this if he was aware of any issue...nothing was noted in the listing about a problem. He said everything was working when they were removed. We both seemed to feel that this could not be something that would need to be programmed to work...the switches were the identical part number as what I already had. I said that my only issue was that I had planned to re-sell them to get back some of the money...and he offered to refund me $50. I accepted this and so I was basically in it for the whole set for $235!

Unfortunatly when I was trying to remove the first piece (the vent to the left of the steering wheel) I cracked the trim. I was so annoyed. It is a very thin piece and I was very concerned about re-selling. I proceeded with the rest of the pieces with more caution but everything else seemed to be more sturdy and I had no more issues. I did struggle a little with the radio surround trim. That one was really on there snug with very little gap around it to grab. I had ordered a set of those plastic prying tools to help this as I knew I would need them. They were only like a couple of bucks from Harbor Freight.

brushed aluminum trim.jpg
Set of brushed aluminum trim I sold


repaired trim.jpg
Vent trim with repaired crack


Once I got everything off, I cleaned them up a bit and repaired the cracked piece the best I could. I went to list them on eBay to re-sell and could not find a set like that listed at all. I decided from the individual prices I was seeing that this set would probably get a good price. I listed it for $585.


I was clear about the cracked piece and subsequent repair as well as the overall condition. Everything was in great shape with only a spot or two noted on the center console cup holder tray piece. After about a week or so, I received a best offer of $500 from a buyer. I countered with $565. He then countered with $550 which I accepted. After paying for shipping ( I listed it with free shipping since it was priced well enough for me to make a profit and as a buyer...I like to see free shipping) of around $25 and the PayPal fees (2.9%) of $15.95 I was at a net gain of around $275! Time to buy some more stuff!
Image
Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
Original Poster
User avatar
nealinator
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 15275
Topics: 170
Images: 30
Joined: Mar 02 2015, 2:35pm
Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
Group Membership:
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Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 31 2015, 2:05pm

Texas_1500 wrote:Thats a nice looking truck Neal. What are some other mods you got in mind for your truck??



Thanks Nate. I am working on chronicling what I have done so far. It is a bit of catch up and I am trying to put the story together. I am having fun with this for sure!
Image
Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
Original Poster
User avatar
nealinator
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 15275
Topics: 170
Images: 30
Joined: Mar 02 2015, 2:35pm
Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
Group Membership:
How-to Authors
TOTM Winner
Supporters
Registered users

Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby Texas_1500 » Mar 31 2015, 2:12pm

Very nice write up. The whole story of your truck. Creative. Once i get back to the states i will start the build thread on mine. Probably wont write up a whole story like this tho. I'm not that great of a writer. ha.
2013 Silverado 1500 Texas Edition
6" MaxTrac Spindle lift
35/12.50R17 Kenda Klever MT's
Bilstein 5100 rear shocks
Flowmaster Super 44 Muffler
Airaid Jr Kit
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Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby coacht » Mar 31 2015, 2:18pm

I want one of those flip ups to replace the cup holder and that big hole in my truck.

You have a sharp looking ride! Heard anything back on your wheel issue? Can't wait to see them on there, can't imagine how you feel...
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Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 31 2015, 2:38pm

When I purchased the truck it was in fantastic condition as I described earlier on. There were a few areas of wear that I knew I would be addressing as time went on. One of the first was the center console armrest. There was a worn spot with rips in it due to elbow wear and tear.
armrest hole.jpg
Armrest with albow damage


It was crusty and scratchy and appeared to have had an attempt to patch or repair it somehow. I started looking for new lids and it was going to be $250 to $300 for a complete new lid. I was not happy about this pricing but was not seeing much in the way of used ones being much less cost. I ended up coming across some sellers with just the vinyl piece already cut and stitched which you could install yourself. The prices were much more reasonable. I settled on a seller which was quite low cost but listed their material as actual leather, which would be a step up from the factory vinyl used.

I knew this would be an interesting process, since I have not done any upholstery work before. After a bit of research I knew that I would need to be stapling the material onto the plastic armrest underside. This was not going to be very easy with a hand stapler...so I picked up a pneumatic staple gun and various lengths of staples from HF for like $25.
HF stapler.jpg
Harbor Freight 20 guage stapler


I did not take pictures of the process unfortunately...I will be better about stuff like this going forward. It was quite the tedious process and I was super glad I invested in the stapler...made it much easier. The main problem I ended up having was that the leather piece was not cut correctly and there ended up being some gap in the front switch trim that I could not hide. The pictures show more gap as I was sending this to the seller to get my money back. I was able to balance it out on both sides to hide it best I could. I ultimately was refunded all my money for this ($22) so it ended up being free...except for the new tool...which I wanted anyway!
20150307_135825.jpg
Gap showing due to poorly trimmed piece


20150307_144924.jpg
Finished product


The final product looks and feels much better. I debated about buying another one from another seller and re-doing it...but for now...I am just going to use this one for a while.
Attachments
150307_223755_COLLAGE-1.jpg
Armrest before and after
Image
Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
Original Poster
User avatar
nealinator
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 15275
Topics: 170
Images: 30
Joined: Mar 02 2015, 2:35pm
Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
Group Membership:
How-to Authors
TOTM Winner
Supporters
Registered users

Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 31 2015, 2:55pm

coacht wrote:I want one of those flip ups to replace the cup holder and that big hole in my truck.

You have a sharp looking ride! Heard anything back on your wheel issue? Can't wait to see them on there, can't imagine how you feel...


Hey Gage...thanks!

I actually debated about getting one of the plain black ones that has a lot more storage for stuff than the wood and brushed aluminum ones. Although they look nice, they do not hold much of anything. I hate having to flip up the armrest to get things in and out when driving. A little more thought need to go into these trucks. It seems the newer models have this a bit better but still needs improvement. It is a delicate balance between form and function as always.

I will be posting about the wheels stuff before long. The seller is shipping me a new one and sending me a shipping label to return the incorrect one.
Image
Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
Original Poster
User avatar
nealinator
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 15275
Topics: 170
Images: 30
Joined: Mar 02 2015, 2:35pm
Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
Group Membership:
How-to Authors
TOTM Winner
Supporters
Registered users

Re: Nealinator's 2010 GMC Sierra All Terrain Build

Postby nealinator [OP] » Mar 31 2015, 3:07pm

Texas_1500 wrote:Very nice write up. The whole story of your truck. Creative. Once i get back to the states i will start the build thread on mine. Probably wont write up a whole story like this tho. I'm not that great of a writer. ha.


Thanks again Nate. I wish there were more stories on here and maybe others will start doing this a little more. I could be a trend setter! haha :lol:
Image
Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain   187,019 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
Original Poster
User avatar
nealinator
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 15275
Topics: 170
Images: 30
Joined: Mar 02 2015, 2:35pm
Years of membership: 5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
Location: Katy, TX
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Variant: All Terrain
Extra Info: 1500 5.3L 4x4 Z71
Group Membership:
How-to Authors
TOTM Winner
Supporters
Registered users
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