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Old 08-06-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
69gmcc10
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My New 03 1500HD

I thought I would share with you my new purchase, it is a 03 Silverado 1500HD LT 4x4, and I have a few mods in mind to help make it a little more me. here is a photo.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

I did have to sell my 03 Silverado 1500 LS 4x4 for it. Goodbye truck, i will miss you
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

So, aside from the obvious reason (the HD sticker), I decided to upgrade (opinion) was that on weekends I am routinely towing 1 of several trailers ranging form 3000 lbs to 7500 lbs and I was always afraid of the 4l60e failing me when hooking up to somethin'. Also, I always seem to have a 3rd or 4th passenger. I went with the 1500HD because it has the LQ4, the 4l80e, 8600 lb towing capacity, but also 3.73 gears in the diff. So with the higher gears maybe it will get better mpg than the 2500HD my father has (14 mpg). From what I have driven on the interstate and highway it has proven to be true so far, but only time will tell.

The list of modifications will include, but are not limited to:

-Smoking the cab lights
-Remove the door trim (it is discoloring)
-Lifting the front 2" to level it out (and alignment)
-Intake (taken form the green truck before it sold)
-Tint the front windows (match the rear)
-Exhaust (stock 1500HD seems restrictive compared to 2500HD)
-HD Mirrors
-Custom Tune
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Nice truck. Maybe its just my truck but I think if you can get 14 mpg you are doing pretty good, the best I've seen out of mine (when it wasn't lifted) was 14 mpg. If you do the tune post some results if you don't mind.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #5
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

I got one that looks just like it, except it is 2wd and will be a 2000hd. Never heard of that? well the frame had a twist in it that we just could not get out on the frame rack and I bought another truck last week at the sale. It happened to be a 2500hd, the main diff I could tell was the rear frame section. I have both trucks so I know I will have enough parts to put the truck back right and still have a whole front left over to fix a 05 lwb Silverado out back that has been waiting in line. Oh another good thing is it leaves me a 6.0 4l80 maybe to put in on of my 70 project trucks??. Jim
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #6
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

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Originally Posted by cochino12 View Post
Nice truck. Maybe its just my truck but I think if you can get 14 mpg you are doing pretty good, the best I've seen out of mine (when it wasn't lifted) was 14 mpg. If you do the tune post some results if you don't mind.
I dont think 14 is bad, I mean it is a truck and if I am concerned about mpg I should have got a Honda. My cousin has an 8.1L and he gets 8 mpg towing or not, but in the green truck I got rid of with the 5.3L I was getting 19 if I kept the speed below 70. I will post info on all mods and there effects.

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I got one that looks just like it, except it is 2wd and will be a 2000hd. Never heard of that? well the frame had a twist in it that we just could not get out on the frame rack and I bought another truck last week at the sale. It happened to be a 2500hd, the main diff I could tell was the rear frame section. I have both trucks so I know I will have enough parts to put the truck back right and still have a whole front left over to fix a 05 lwb Silverado out back that has been waiting in line. Oh another good thing is it leaves me a 6.0 4l80 maybe to put in on of my 70 project trucks??. Jim
I have never heard of a 2000HD, thats cool! It sounds like you wont run out parts any time soon, that is for sure.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Nice truck, I have a thing for the 1500 HD's. The tune should help considerably with the mileage. My Dad's quadrasteer with 4.10's only gets around 10-11mpg.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

It might just be me, but I dont like the orange cab lights on the pewter truck, so I got ambitious on my lunch and smoked the lights. I took them off cleaned them and sprayed them with some VHT, I might spray them with some clear later depending on how shiny they come out. While waiting for the lights to dry I stripped off the trim because they were sun damaged and even though I do like the functionality of them it is cheaper to just be done with them. I used a pinstripe eraser wheel on a drill to remove the adhesive and if you get close you can see it needs to be waxed and buffed. I will get to the waxing later, but for an hour and a half of work I think it made a big change.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

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Originally Posted by LEEVON View Post
Nice truck, I have a thing for the 1500 HD's. The tune should help considerably with the mileage. My Dad's quadrasteer with 4.10's only gets around 10-11mpg.
Ouch! I thought about the quadrasteer, I found one for sale and everyone I know that has one loves it, but that mileage and the micro flared fenders makes me real glad I didn't go that rout.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Getting my ride "On the Level"

I don't know why, but it really bothers me that the nose of this truck is so lo compared to the rear of the truck. The numbers on the corners of the truck from the ground the center of the fender lay out like this; RF=26.25", LF=26", RR=29, LR=28.5". So, no real continuity on the numbers but they are close and It is time to commit to turning some bolts.

Depending on who you talk to tightening up your torsion bars can either be a good or bad thing. On the good side it is an almost free (gotta get it aligned=$$) way to get the truck to sit the way allot of us think they should sit, bowing to no other truck! On the negative It does increase operating angles on the ball joints and that will inevitably make them wear out faster (faster is a relative term) and if you tighten up the bars too much alignment can get tricky!

My old 1500 had the bars cranked to the max (by the previous owner) and I ran that truck 100K miles after I got it with out a single problem and when I slid under the HD to look at my torsion bar situation the bars were barely turned at all. So to the jack and an 18mm wrench I ran. The bars under my truck are the GL bars with 8400 ft/lb torque rating and the second stiffest bar they put on Silverado trucks, which explains part of why the pork chop bolt is barely engaged and why it only took 5 turns to move the bar 1".

After turning the left 10 turns and the R 8 turns the truck now sits; RF=28", LF=28", RR=28.5", LR=28.5" (Turning the opposite side up more must have evened out the rear). These seem like figures that I can live with. I also had allot more room to tighten, but I don't want to push the angles on the ball joints too much. Also the alignment only cost $56 and it dialed right in on the specs I wanted, caster= 3.5* and camber= -.3*, it handles real good!

Article I found on the GM Full Size forum I referenced on Torsion bars, Keys and how to (interesting read and allot of info, weather you tighten the bars or not): http://www.gmfullsize.com/tech/torsion401.html

Before and after photos:
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

better
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #12
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

much better!
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #13
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochino12 View Post
better
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1087 View Post
much better!
Thanks guys!
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

I like that truck. You are definitely headed the right way with it, too!
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #15
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Update time!

I have almost had this truck an entire month now and I have made several observations about this truck that I think are worth sharing.

1) In town I am getting 11.5 mpg and at interstate speeds 14.3 mpg.

2) There is a sweet spot between 68 and 69 mph where mileage goes up to almost 16.5.

3) The auto climate control in LT trucks robs my truck of about 2 mpg.

I installed the Spectre cold air intake I had from the previous truck (same part for both engines) and I have noticed some top end grunt, but not much of a mileage gain. I was afraid of installing the intake because on my 5.3 and on my dads 2500HD (he has a 03 6.0l) both droned in the cab bad at 2600-2800rpm but so far no drone.

Next I will be installing a Magnaflow muffler and tailpipe in Sept and I will report back.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #16
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Well....some a$$ hat swiped my truck in the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings!!!! Thank God he is a moron because with witnesses watching he just backed out of the parking spot next to my spot and parked 150 feet from my truck, and went inside to eat dinner. When I came out to my truck a guy told me what the kid drove and then took me back inside and showed me who and where he was. So I approached him and we went outside and got all of his info and his ins is going to cover it. The worst part was I was throwing a bachelor party for a friend and I had about 17 guys that were more upset than I was at this guy. My friends didnt interfere but they were all standing around, I kinda feel bad for the kid he was close to crapping himself. Maybe next time he will leave his info on a vehicle he hits.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #17
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

I got the truck fixed from the parking lot incident. No pictures because it looks like an absolutely normal truck bed side. I have seen this shops work before and it has always been real good, but there is some trash in the paint or the clear coat, I cant tell. But it is allot better than it was so I am not worried.

I took my first real trip in the truck, about 1100 miles last week and the overall mileage for the trip was 14.4 mpg. It would have been better but 350 miles was up hill and into a Eastern Montana head wind that that netted me only 12.9 mpg. I averaged better mpg going over a 2500 ft elevation change mountain pass, go figure.

Lastly, when I bought the truck the driver side seat heater would turn on and quickly turn off and it is tarting to get cold here, so I did a search and found that it is a common issue. There are 3 problem issues in the system, the program in the seat needs to be updated or rebooted, the switch on the door goes bad and finally the elements them selves short out. I didnt think the program was the issue because the passenger seat worked and I doubted it was the switch on the door because the normal symptoms of that is the seats will turn on and off randomly, so I started with the elements. To inspect them I started tearing the drivers seat covers off and looking for any burns on the elements and I found the culprit!

Only 2 companies make a replacement part GM and Dorman. GM wants $175 for the part and through rock auto I had it shipped to me for $65. So, I tore off the old element and stuck the new one on (The part has adhesive strips). Looking at it I am impressed the truck didnt start on fire.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:45 PM   #18
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

Just replaced my muffler with little guy.

I have always wanted a Magnaflows kit and for the 6.0L there cat back kits are a dual 3 into a single 4". It seems ridiculous, I know, but they can back there numbers up with dyno stats and I dont have a dyno to disprove them so I will trust them. They want an arm and a leg for the kit ($650), so I Just bought the muffler for $160 and had a local shop order in a 4" pipe for about $100 and had them install it. The total bill came in right at $425 so piecing it together was way cheaper.

It sounds awesome, throttle response is quicker and you can feel a little more in the seat of the pants through the entire rpm range, especially mid range. The only issue I have with it is there is a light drone in the cab from 1300-1800 rpm, so putting around town can be annoying for passengers. I am gong to do some research and try and get rid of the drone, maybe neck it down to a 3.5" and see what happens. I will post any changes I make and any results I achieve.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:54 PM   #19
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

I just fell victim to the infamous "Pump Rub!" The pump in the transfer case rubbed a hole in the back half of T-case and almost all the fluid was gone when I found it.

Took it to the shop for them to rebuild for me and a few new bearings, bushings, clutch pack, rub correction kit, and a back half housing and it is as good as new. Glad I found it now as opposed to when I was fenders deep in a snow drift and 4wd didnt work because the T-case was smoked.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #20
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

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Originally Posted by 69gmcc10 View Post
I just fell victim to the infamous "Pump Rub!" The pump in the transfer case rubbed a hole in the back half of T-case and almost all the fluid was gone when I found it.

Took it to the shop for them to rebuild for me and a few new bearings, bushings, clutch pack, rub correction kit, and a back half housing and it is as good as new. Glad I found it now as opposed to when I was fenders deep in a snow drift and 4wd didnt work because the T-case was smoked.
You found it early. When we noticed it on our 04 2500hd, It was completely toast, no fluid, and started making one heck of a noise.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:41 AM   #21
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

69gmcc10, how many mile on your 1500HD? I have a 2003 1500HD with 82k miles. I've never heard of this problem, so I want to know when and how to watch for it. What do I watch for, fluid leaking from the back of T-case?
Thanks
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:50 PM   #22
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

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69gmcc10, how many mile on your 1500HD? I have a 2003 1500HD with 82k miles. I've never heard of this problem, so I want to know when and how to watch for it. What do I watch for, fluid leaking from the back of T-case?
Thanks
I have 150K on my truck. Talking with 4 different shops and doing some web searching all lead to the same conclusion, "eventually it will happen!" The thing to watch for is a shop that you trust to do the work as soon as you can afford to.

Here, a shop will charge $500 to take apart the T-case and install the pump upgrade and get you back on the road. Since I had some starvation issues and needed some more internal parts replaced and a new back half, because there was literally a hole in mine, it cost me just over $1000. If you dont catch it soon enough I was quoted $1700 for a rebuilt T-case.

Pump rub happens from the inside out so after the pump has trenched its way out like Bronson and McQueen in the great escape it is too late. $500 of prevention seems cheep compared to over triple for a whole new Transfer-case. You can save allot of $$ by doing it yourself because the pump upgrade is only about $120, I just didnt have the time to do it my self or I would have.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:03 PM   #23
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

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69gmcc10, how many mile on your 1500HD? I have a 2003 1500HD with 82k miles. I've never heard of this problem, so I want to know when and how to watch for it. What do I watch for, fluid leaking from the back of T-case?
Thanks
Ive heard some trucks have it go out at 60k or 160k. The bad thing is, the hole is so small, on mine I didn't even see any fluid, none on the ground, none on the bottom of the truck, nothing. And you know what no oil does to moving parts that NEED oil.
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #24
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

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Ive heard some trucks have it go out at 60k or 160k. The bad thing is, the hole is so small, on mine I didn't even see any fluid, none on the ground, none on the bottom of the truck, nothing. And you know what no oil does to moving parts that NEED oil.
GM used a spring steel clip to try and prevent the problem but the clips are faulty. I am sure some of those sprigs will never break and others will break within a few miles. The problem is once that spring breaks the process starts and you dont know if that clip is broke or not until you get a hole or you take the T-case apart. My fathers 2500HD seems to be fine for now and it has 160K miles on it and my 1500 had no signs with 140k on it. I am just from the "ounce of prevention" school of thought and I would take a $500 bill over a potential $1500 bill and maybe even be stranded miles from civilization in a snowstorm with no 4wd to get me out of the ditch.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:53 PM   #25
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Re: My New 03 1500HD

may the wheel bearing and brake gods be with you.
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