2003 Tahoe Build - Family Overland Rig

03tahoe

Member
Yes, the rock sliders got welded directly to the frame. I used the plates that came with the Trail Gear kit. The plate got welded on first and then the tube ends got welded to the plates. I'll get some photos of that up soon.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
You have done some really nice upgrades on your Hoe there Mr 03. Thanks for posting pics of your rig. That truck must be awesome offroad. I look forward to seeing your future upgrades and adventures. Cheers, Chilli...:cool:
 
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03tahoe

Member
Thanks Chilli.

Here's a recent photo from an afternoon drive with the kids.


Detail on the rock slider frame side welds. The plate has plug welds and a perimeter weld to the frame, then the DOM tube was welded to the plate.



Here's the under the awning LED lighting solution; battery powered magnetic LED work lights, in place when you need them and in the truck when you don't. They also stick to anything else magnetic on the truck.

 
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chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Nice looking pic of your truck and child up in some kind of high altitude. Amazing photo. What was your elevation in that pic? Nice looking sliders and welding. All and all a fine rig. Cheers, Chilli...:cool:
 

bigred805

New member
Really love the work you have done with your rig. I was wondering if you had to drill out the frame for the rear bolt on the gmt900 tow hooks? I just found out the previous owner had hit something with the driver side tow hook on my hoe and it managed to pull the bolt that goes through the bottom of the frame through its mounting hole and is now inside the frame still attached to the tow hook. Hoping I can switch to the gmt900 hooks since the rear bolt mounts from the side not the bottom.
 

03tahoe

Member
Really love the work you have done with your rig. I was wondering if you had to drill out the frame for the rear bolt on the gmt900 tow hooks? I just found out the previous owner had hit something with the driver side tow hook on my hoe and it managed to pull the bolt that goes through the bottom of the frame through its mounting hole and is now inside the frame still attached to the tow hook. Hoping I can switch to the gmt900 hooks since the rear bolt mounts from the side not the bottom.
Yes, a new hole needed to be drilled through the frame for the rear bolt on the GMT900 series two hook. The new tow hook was also narrower so a spacer nut was added along the front bolt inside the frame.
 

03tahoe

Member
New Bilstein shocks for the rear. One had blown out and they both were probably too short with the additional spacers I installed last year. Old part number 24-187237. New part number 24-185783. The new ones are for a 3" rear lift. It was interesting to see the difference in the lower bushing.


 

Stryder106

Explorer
Very nice job. A lot of that looks very familiar. Something else you will want to address: the 4L60E trans. Help it live longer - put in a 30,000# trans-cooler - I routed mine outside of the radiator, but I know some on here kept the internal routing.
 

Stryder106

Explorer
Something else to consider - your shocks. The Bilstein 5100s are good, but if you are changing them out, consider the Eibach Pro Truck Sport - they were designed and built specifically for our trucks and are seriously good.
 

XJLI

Adventurer
Very nice job. A lot of that looks very familiar. Something else you will want to address: the 4L60E trans. Help it live longer - put in a 30,000# trans-cooler - I routed mine outside of the radiator, but I know some on here kept the internal routing.
That and a corvette servo.
 

Stryder106

Explorer
That and a corvette servo.
Good point - the vette servo does help - but what will help most is getting that trans completely gutted and replaced with aftermarket components. GM has a design flaw in the 4L60E - steel shaft, aluminum drum. They heat up at different rates and a gap develops that allows fluid to pass and blows the 3-4 clutch pack. If you haven't dealt with it yet - operative word - here's what to watch out for - flaring. You'll be driving along and start noticing your engine RPM going up. If you don't notice - it's going to fry. You SHOULD be able to limp it home in second gear - most of the time. However, if you watch out for it, once it starts to rev, back out of the throttle and then slowly roll back into it. May take a few times, but most of the time that works to get you where you need to go.

I've had 3 of them fail on me. The first resulted in a 105 mile drive in second gear. The second resulted in a 95 mile drive in second gear. The third resulted in a 250 mile drive while pulling a pop-up trailer - in second gear. My current trans is a 4L60E case - everything else is aftermarket and it does much better.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Good point - the vette servo does help - but what will help most is getting that trans completely gutted and replaced with aftermarket components. GM has a design flaw in the 4L60E - steel shaft, aluminum drum. They heat up at different rates and a gap develops that allows fluid to pass and blows the 3-4 clutch pack. If you haven't dealt with it yet - operative word - here's what to watch out for - flaring. You'll be driving along and start noticing your engine RPM going up. If you don't notice - it's going to fry. You SHOULD be able to limp it home in second gear - most of the time. However, if you watch out for it, once it starts to rev, back out of the throttle and then slowly roll back into it. May take a few times, but most of the time that works to get you where you need to go.

I've had 3 of them fail on me. The first resulted in a 105 mile drive in second gear. The second resulted in a 95 mile drive in second gear. The third resulted in a 250 mile drive while pulling a pop-up trailer - in second gear. My current trans is a 4L60E case - everything else is aftermarket and it does much better.
Ah, yes. Been there, done that. ;)

Coming home from a camping trip in Steamboat Springs 2 years ago. Wife, dog, 2 kayaks and probably 500lbs of crap on board, pulling a 2000lb travel trailer. Had just crossed Rabbit ears pass and was passing through the little town of Kremmling. Stopped at a red light, and when the light turned green, I I pressed on the gas and the engine revved but the truck didn't move. Dropped it from D to 3, nothing, then down to 2 and I was able to move. No warning lights, codes, transmission temperature had been fine (got just a hair over 200 ascending the steep grade going up Rabbit Ears but was back down in the ~ 175 range by this point.)

I was nervous as hell, seeing as how I still had to go through the Eisenhower Tunnel (11,000' above sea level) before getting home. I even preemptively called USAA roadside assistance to see if they would take care of our trailer in case the truck died (they said they would - both truck and trailer were insured through USAA.)

To my surprise, 2nd gear was no problem all the way home: 115 miles, up to the top of Eisenhower tunnel, then back down to Denver. The next week I drove the truck in 2nd gear to a transmission shop and they rebuilt it. No issues since then.
 

XJLI

Adventurer
Good point - the vette servo does help - but what will help most is getting that trans completely gutted and replaced with aftermarket components. GM has a design flaw in the 4L60E - steel shaft, aluminum drum. They heat up at different rates and a gap develops that allows fluid to pass and blows the 3-4 clutch pack. If you haven't dealt with it yet - operative word - here's what to watch out for - flaring. You'll be driving along and start noticing your engine RPM going up. If you don't notice - it's going to fry. You SHOULD be able to limp it home in second gear - most of the time. However, if you watch out for it, once it starts to rev, back out of the throttle and then slowly roll back into it. May take a few times, but most of the time that works to get you where you need to go.
Yup, it's definitely a known issue, thats for sure. The vette servo certainly helps though, and if anything, provides a much more solid shift.
 

03tahoe

Member
Thanks for the heads up on the transmission stuff. I've budgeted for a re-build at some point but so far so good. Sounds like swapping in a upgraded transmission is also an option, that's good to know.

Did some suspension travel testing today with the new slightly longer rear shocks. No surprise the rear does all the flexing on the way up and the front only gets moving once the weight is on it on the way down. Still haven't put the sliders to use, but there their mostly for accidental situations given this is not a rock crawler.





 

Chronoblip

A Tall Guy
On the topic of transmission rebuilds, I found that labor to drop and reinstall the transmission was a rather significant portion of the overall cost, because the actual process of disassembling and reassembling an automatic transmission doesn't really take all that much.

I figured this out when wanted to repair a mid-90's 4L60E after having watched this video series on YouTube. Wonderfully detailed instruction on how to rebuild your tran'mission.

Instead I am cutting my teeth on a 700R4. The overhaul kit I purchased off eBay included improved parts from the later 4L60/65/70E transmissions as certain components are backwards-compatible.

The first time around I won't save a huge amount of money, but that's mostly because I was starting from scratch, but I'll be ahead of the game next time around, and given the reputation these transmissions have, it seems certain there will be a "next time". :D
 
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