This shall be our new family run-around, road trip and occasional adventure rig. I just picked it up on Thursday. It fit the bill close enough for our expanding family and seems to have lots of life left in her. It has been affectionately dubbed the "Canyonero". It drives pretty nice, and the big block power is great.
As the title says, it has the 8.1 (it was advertised as having the "powerful 6 liter", I wonder if they didn't think they could market the 8.1?), 4.10 gearing, seats 7, has 170,000 Kms and has a bunch of options that I don't really care about.
She has some issues that I'd like to get resolved, and a few modifications that I'd like to do. This is specifically why I'm creating a thread here - as I know there are some "experts" on this platform that frequent here, and have been down this road before me.
1) The HVAC is stuck on defrost. This is a best case scenario for a failure of this nature, but I'd like to get it fixed. I'm guessing it's a stuck door, but I don't know where to start looking, and I haven't had the time to research it. Input?
2) Autoride. It seems to be functional, but I know nothing about it, other than I'd rather not have it. Can I bump up the torsion bars without causing issues? Or is there a work-around? I would like a little more height, for a bit bigger tires in the future.
3) It smells a bit like wet dog inside, and there is dog hair embedded in the carpet. I've been working at it, and purchased an oxidizing spray that seems to be giving some results. This should be simple enough to correct, just tedious. If bad comes to worse, I'll remove all the seats and shampoo the carpets. Has anybody had good luck with any particular product? What about getting the hair out of the carpet? A vacuum will get it, but I have the make 40+ passes to pull it out, and there is a lot of carpet in this thing! No, I don't want to strip the carpet out. Once they are clean, I intend on putting floor liners down.
4) Motor. Is low(ish) hot oil pressure is normal for this motor? What does it like for spark plugs?
What I'd like to do:
1) Bigger tires. I'd like to move up to a 285/75R16, or thereabouts; looks like they should fit without issue. Stick with the PY0 rims? I have a set of H2 rims on my pickup that I could use, if the fitment is better. I'm thinking BFG ATs or Duratracs. Maybe Coopers.
2) Transmission/drivetrain. Is there anything that I need to be concerned about in the drivetrain on this truck, especially with the 8.1? Is it worth having a shift kit put in the transmission, or does electronic tuning net the same gains? I know GM neutered the motor with torque management to increase longevity.
3) Motor. I'm sure GM left power on the table with this motor. Is there an easy way to get it? Results? Cost?
4) Drivers seat. It has the typical wear and tear. I'll likely just leave it for now. Are replacement covers available?
5) Audio input. Is there a way to achieve an audio input into the stock head unit?
There is some easy stuff I'll nail down:
- New windshield.
- Flush the hydroboost.
- Grease the front wheel bearings.
- Headlight diode mod.
- Misc. basic maintenance and repair as required.
- Aux. lighitng.
Is there anything else I should consider? Looking forward to your input.