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Old 06-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #76
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Looks like you're going to get it to fit just fine.
Kim
Just takes time. Just when I thought I would head into the fabricating something like you, I chickened out on the new core support. Will see where the old one takes me. May have to fab one after the heckling my buddy Jim gave me.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:25 PM   #77
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Just takes time. Just when I thought I would head into the fabricating something like you, I chickened out on the new core support. Will see where the old one takes me. May have to fab one after the heckling my buddy Jim gave me.
I think you're doing a great job on your build.
Looks like you can mount some tabs higher up on the core support to mount on top of your frame.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:17 PM   #78
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

You are really making great progress with getting the cab mounted. I will be asking for reference points and heights soon! You mentioned that you were a DIY person related to the wiring (and everything else it appears!). From the looks of your engine, it appears you could have this engine running in short order. If you purchase a Trailblazer SS underhood fuse block the engine harness will bolt to it to power the engine. Then all you need are 4 or 5 wires out of the Trailblazer SS underhood fuseblock connected for the engine to run. If you didn't get it, you will need to purchase a 2003-2005 computer (I have the number here at the house) from any chevy pickup that had a 5.3 engine (almost all), and you will need a Drive by Wire accelerator petal (can also be found in 2003-2005 pickups). You will need to have the "Theft" turned off in the computer (and while they are at it they can delete the rear O2 sensors - both can be done for less than $100 from several mail order shops - I can give you some names if you like, or go over to LS1Tech and look in the conversions and hybrids section and they can point you in the right direction). The 5.3 pickup tune will run this engine perfectly (in my opinion) as long as you don't change the cam or injectors.
Great gob documenting the build, you will save me countless hours on the frame fabrication part, I hope I can try and save you some time figuring out the wiring part.

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Old 06-11-2012, 05:59 AM   #79
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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You are really making great progress with getting the cab mounted. I will be asking for reference points and heights soon! You mentioned that you were a DIY person related to the wiring (and everything else it appears!). From the looks of your engine, it appears you could have this engine running in short order. If you purchase a Trailblazer SS underhood fuse block the engine harness will bolt to it to power the engine. Then all you need are 4 or 5 wires out of the Trailblazer SS underhood fuseblock connected for the engine to run. If you didn't get it, you will need to purchase a 2003-2005 computer (I have the number here at the house) from any chevy pickup that had a 5.3 engine (almost all), and you will need a Drive by Wire accelerator petal (can also be found in 2003-2005 pickups). You will need to have the "Theft" turned off in the computer (and while they are at it they can delete the rear O2 sensors - both can be done for less than $100 from several mail order shops - I can give you some names if you like, or go over to LS1Tech and look in the conversions and hybrids section and they can point you in the right direction). The 5.3 pickup tune will run this engine perfectly (in my opinion) as long as you don't change the cam or injectors.
Great gob documenting the build, you will save me countless hours on the frame fabrication part, I hope I can try and save you some time figuring out the wiring part.

Ricky
Ricky: You summed it up nicely. I did get the computer. In search of a drive by wire throttle body and pedal. Not normally missing. The engine sat around so long that it got robbed. There is a pair available on a 4.8 that just rolled in but was not sure that is is the same one that is on a 5.3. Will have to check.

Why the T.B. SS under hood fuse box? Can it be the stock fuse box out of a 5.3 T.B.? Finding one out of an SS seems like pretty low odds and I know I can get the stock one.

I don't intend to change the cam or injectors at this time so all the goods that came on the engine should bring it back to life in stock running condition. The best thing I did after loading the engine on the trailer was walk back in and have the counter man search his database for all of the parts/accessories that came specifically on that engine. He had everything except alternator and throttle body.....and bolts. Getting all the bolts off of the 4.8 that just rolled in and I left the dismantler a bucket that he is filling it with metric bolts.

Don't forget, the engine that fits these frames has a front sump oil pan that goes over the rack so, unless you get an engine out of a T.B., Envoy, Ascender or Ranier, it will have to be changed.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:51 AM   #80
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

A 5.3 Trailblazer fuseblock will work (sorry for the confusion). If you can get a 2003-2005 they should be the same. The pickup accelerator petal and throttle body will work - just verify that the intake bolt pattern is the same (older versions -like what you have have 3 bolts while newer versions 2006 or 2007 and up have 4 bolts). Your computer may or may not need an accelerator petal interface (some did some didn't). The only difference between the 4.8/5.3 engine is the stroke (different crank/rods/pistons) The 5.3/5.7/6.0 engines all have the same stroke (crank/rods/pistons) but the bore is different for each of these engines. The 5.3/4.8 electric throttle body is the same - I used 4.8 parts on a 5.3 that I helped a friend wire up and it worked fine.

Last edited by ricott; 06-11-2012 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:32 PM   #81
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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A 5.3 Trailblazer fuseblock will work (sorry for the confusion). If you can get a 2003-2005 they should be the same. The pickup accelerator petal and throttle body will work - just verify that the intake bolt pattern is the same (older versions -like what you have have 3 bolts while newer versions 2006 or 2007 and up have 4 bolts). Your computer may or may not need an accelerator petal interface (some did some didn't). The only difference between the 4.8/5.3 engine is the stroke (different crank/rods/pistons) The 5.3/5.7/6.0 engines all have the same stroke (crank/rods/pistons) but the bore is different for each of these engines. The 5.3/4.8 electric throttle body is the same - I used 4.8 parts on a 5.3 that I helped a friend wire up and it worked fine.
Beautiful! I will grab all I can off the 4.8. Dug
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #82
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Thanks again for posting your progress. What size tires did you ultimately wind up with in the front and back? Also, did you see any clearance issues under the cab when the cab was 3.5 inches over the frame (other than the engine manifold issue and the Tranny)?

While looking at your pictures, I saw your concern about the TB intake manifold hitting the hood bracing. When you get the alternator installed, you may have additional clearance problems in that area. The book will probably show a 135 amp alternator for this vehicle (trailblazer 5.3), but the more plentiful 110 (or115) amp truck version will work just fine. Since you will not have duel AC units and all the other goodies that normally went with the Trailblazer 5.3, I donít see the need for the higher rated (and more expensive) 135 amp alternator. This is what we did on the GTO to save a few dollars. You can reduce the height of your engine by several inches if you were to switch to the LS1/6 Intake manifold and the Corvette accessory drive system. Using the insight gained from your build, I think this is what I will do. Again, thanks for all your hard work and documentation.

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Old 06-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #83
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Thanks again for posting your progress. What size tires did you ultimately wind up with in the front and back? Also, did you see any clearance issues under the cab when the cab was 3.5 inches over the frame (other than the engine manifold issue and the Tranny)?

While looking at your pictures, I saw your concern about the TB intake manifold hitting the hood bracing. When you get the alternator installed, you may have additional clearance problems in that area. The book will probably show a 135 amp alternator for this vehicle (trailblazer 5.3), but the more plentiful 110 (or115) amp truck version will work just fine. Since you will not have duel AC units and all the other goodies that normally went with the Trailblazer 5.3, I donít see the need for the higher rated (and more expensive) 135 amp alternator. This is what we did on the GTO to save a few dollars. You can reduce the height of your engine by several inches if you were to switch to the LS1/6 Intake manifold and the Corvette accessory drive system. Using the insight gained from your build, I think this is what I will do. Again, thanks for all your hard work and documentation.

Ricky
Ricky: Tire size 245-45-18 front and 255-55-18 rear. Factory wheel is 18 x 8. I would not have been offended by a sligthly taller front tire. Always thought I would resort the Vette intake if I had to. Studied the alternator last night. It should work based on its relative location to the cross member under the hood. Stay tuned on this one.

Other issues 1: The first set of cab mounting brackets I had to cut off the frame were those that interfered with the rear cab corners. They have to come off to even get started. I reused them on top of the frame for the rear mounts.

Other issues 2: Part of the fuel tank interfered, or so I thought, with the bottom of the cab. See photo below. Front right of the fuel cell. The grey thing sticking up. I cut a 10x10 section out of the floor. Turns out, it was not necessary. I will weld it back in. Any work I do on the fuel tank will require me to drop the tank which I probably would have had to do if in the Trailblazer.

Other issues 3: Turns out, after trimming the bottom brackets off of the core support and fitting the old core support in place, the factory radiator fits where it belongs except the bottom pipe fitting hits the cross member. Will use a new radiator that supports the 5.3 and have someone weld a 90 degree elbow turned up onto the radiator.

Other issues 4: The transmission mounting bracket does not quite reach the trans cross member. Will have to build a bracket for it to reach. Have not studied this too closely. May be able to move the cross member. Got my new transmission rubber mount today and will look more closely at it tonight or tomorrow.

Dug
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:51 AM   #84
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Revisit of "Other issues 4". I have the tail piece of the trans sitting on a 3"-ish piece of wood that is sitting on the trans cross memember. Had to do this because the trans bracket/mount does not quite reach the cross member. May be attributable to the fact that the V-8 is shorter than the in-line 6. In addition, if I install the new the trans mount in the proper vertical plain, it raises the tail piece of the trans and the top of the trans hits the bottom of the cab. The alignment of the driveshaft looks pretty good as well. Since I like were everthing is at this time, I intend to fabricate a bracket to reach the trans mounting bracket and keep it where it is. Possible problem exists witht he angle of the engine. It currently has a pretty steep rake to it. Does anyone know if the LS engines have a tolerance from horizontal that has to be honored? If so, and I have to raise it, I can cut the front of the trans tunnel where the interference occurs.

I have not investigated whether or not the trans cross memeber can be rotated 180 degrees or somehow moved to reach the trans. Will look at this soon.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #85
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Your driveline angle should be no more than 4 degrees down, but it needs to match the driveline angle of your pinion. I have a digital angle finder (easier on my poor eyes) that I use. I level the frame rails front to back (any jacking done to level, I do on the front to keep the rear wheels as loaded as possible). I then zero my digital angle finder and attach it to the pinion yoke. If it reads + 3, then I attach it to the tranny output shaft and move the tranny up or down until it reads - 3. Hope this helps. I was looking at the driveline tunnel on my wife's 07 5.3 Envoy last night trying to anticipate cab problems. It sure looks like you will need a center tunnel to achieve full driveline travel (my plan is to set the cab at around 3 inches over the frame). One question, it appears the part of the motor mounts that bolt to the frame and the rubber cushion are the same between the 6 and the V8, can you confirm? I found a 5.3 envoy oil pan/pickup tube and windage tray, I'm looking for the motor mounts.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #86
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Your driveline angle should be no more than 4 degrees down, but it needs to match the driveline angle of your pinion. I have a digital angle finder (easier on my poor eyes) that I use. I level the frame rails front to back (any jacking done to level, I do on the front to keep the rear wheels as loaded as possible). I then zero my digital angle finder and attach it to the pinion yoke. If it reads + 3, then I attach it to the tranny output shaft and move the tranny up or down until it reads - 3. Hope this helps. I was looking at the driveline tunnel on my wife's 07 5.3 Envoy last night trying to anticipate cab problems. It sure looks like you will need a center tunnel to achieve full driveline travel (my plan is to set the cab at around 3 inches over the frame). One question, it appears the part of the motor mounts that bolt to the frame and the rubber cushion are the same between the 6 and the V8, can you confirm? I found a 5.3 envoy oil pan/pickup tube and windage tray, I'm looking for the motor mounts.
The motor mount rubber and the lower bracket are absolutely NOT the same between the V8 and inline 6. I found a pair in Arkansas and paid $80 for the pair including shipping. Dealer wanted $150 each. They dropped right in. One of the three bolts that holds the bracket to the frame actually hits the rubber part of the engine mount so I will trim off them by an inch or so. Bought new motor mounts and paid about $45 each for those from the Chevy dealer.

Right now, my cab is 5" off the frame in the front and 4.25" in ther rear. If you drop your cab to 3" off the frame, it will definitely need a larger trans tunnel.

Thanks for the driveline angle lesson. I will step back and rethink this a bit.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:54 PM   #87
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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The motor mount rubber and the lower bracket are absolutely NOT the same between the V8 and inline 6. I found a pair in Arkansas and paid $80 for the pair including shipping. Dealer wanted $150 each. They dropped right in. One of the three bolts that holds the bracket to the frame actually hits the rubber part of the engine mount so I will trim off them by an inch or so. Bought new motor mounts and paid about $45 each for those from the Chevy dealer.

Right now, my cab is 5" off the frame in the front and 4.25" in ther rear. If you drop your cab to 3" off the frame, it will definitely need a larger trans tunnel.

Thanks for the driveline angle lesson. I will step back and rethink this a bit.
Good call on the driveline angle. Angle at the rearend is good. Will have to raise the transmission to the factory trans mount height to get it right. This will cause the trans to hit the bottom of the cab so some modification of the trans cover/cab floor will be in order.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #88
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Having the angle right also affects the fan to radiator relationship (something I would be checking at this point before you lock in the engine location). to much angle and the fan is not parallel to the radiator. If you are running fans on the radiator and not the engine it will not be as critical.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:08 PM   #89
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Having the angle right also affects the fan to radiator relationship (something I would be checking at this point before you lock in the engine location). to much angle and the fan is not parallel to the radiator. If you are running fans on the radiator and not the engine it will not be as critical.
Good point. I am attempting to use the original core support that lands properly in the vertical location, however, it is way closer than stock to the engine. As a result of the apparent close proximity of the engine to the radiator (that I don't even own yet), I had decided to go with the electric fans. If I can manage a weekend at home like last weekend, I could probably get close to having things tied down and maybe even be able to start it. Had 17 inches (yep 1 foot 5 inches) of rain last weekend so it was a good time to be in the garage for a bunch of hours. Besides being the birthplace of Mardi Gras, Mobile gets credit for the most amount of rain per year (60+ inches). Both are a pain to deal with. Dug
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #90
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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live and learn, at least you didn't have a lot of money tied up in that motor

glad you liked the molded bed and spear idea
Ogre!!! I blew it.....After reading one of your other posts and noticing your masking tape bumper sticker regarding Motown, I realized I missed an opportunity to see your truck in real life. Just spent the entire week in Downtown Detroit on business. At least I got to see your incredible fireworks display. Maybe next time...dug
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:08 PM   #91
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Finally found some time to work on the truck. Got the rear Envoy body mounts tacked to the frame. I first bolted them to the body and then lowered on to the frame and tacked with the stick welder. Was going to use the MIG since I had been practicing with it but I ran out of gas.

Disassembled the front sheetmetal so I could get to the front mounts that had to be cut off the frame. Got the drivers side cut off and will move it around to line up with the factory body location. You can see where I cut the mount and you can see where the bolt is that it has to meet. Will have to trim the end that mounts to the frame slightly. Will have to trim the rounded in as well. It hits the body.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:49 PM   #92
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Thanks for posting pictures of your recent progress. I was concerned that the new house project might have relegated the truck to second string status sooner rather than later! How far off the ground are your rockers with where you are placing the cab? Eric and I are headed for the conclusion of his GTO and I am trying to talk the wife into doing the truck before the 58 - we will see.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:18 AM   #93
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Thanks for posting pictures of your recent progress. I was concerned that the new house project might have relegated the truck to second string status sooner rather than later! How far off the ground are your rockers with where you are placing the cab? Eric and I are headed for the conclusion of his GTO and I am trying to talk the wife into doing the truck before the 58 - we will see.
Took a look at the GTO the other day and did not see any new photos. That thing will be nice when complete. The truck has fallen to third place behind the design of the new place and entertaining out of town family and friends on the weekends. I am looking forward to getting the momemtum back up this winter. Been watching shadow1967's 1959 Fleetside REBORN build thrash for motivation. Noticed he was going to put it together and drive it for awhile before final paint. Toying around with this idea. May get it together enough to use to build a house then go to final paint in a couple of years after I move into the new place.

Looks like 10-1/2" at the leading edge of the driver side rocker depending on which bend I measue to. Remember, the rear is unloaded and I have the front clip off. It will head towards 10" once I get the goods back on the truck which may be as soon as a couple of weeks. FYI....If you are laying on the ground looking under the truck, the bottom of the frame appears to be in the same plane as the bottom of the body. So far, my last minute decision to drop it an additional 3/4" has not back fired on me. Best I can tell from my pictures of the alternator clearance to the bottom of the hood (with X brace removed) is several inches. The throttle body, that I do not currently own, appears to clear the center hood structural piece as well.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:55 PM   #94
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Took a look at the GTO the other day and did not see any new photos. That thing will be nice when complete. The truck has fallen to third place behind the design of the new place and entertaining out of town family and friends on the weekends. I am looking forward to getting the momemtum back up this winter. Been watching shadow1967's 1959 Fleetside REBORN build thrash for motivation. Noticed he was going to put it together and drive it for awhile before final paint. Toying around with this idea. May get it together enough to use to build a house then go to final paint in a couple of years after I move into the new place.

Looks like 10-1/2" at the leading edge of the driver side rocker depending on which bend I measue to. Remember, the rear is unloaded and I have the front clip off. It will head towards 10" once I get the goods back on the truck which may be as soon as a couple of weeks. FYI....If you are laying on the ground looking under the truck, the bottom of the frame appears to be in the same plane as the bottom of the body. So far, my last minute decision to drop it an additional 3/4" has not back fired on me. Best I can tell from my pictures of the alternator clearance to the bottom of the hood (with X brace removed) is several inches. The throttle body, that I do not currently own, appears to clear the center hood structural piece as well.

Make that 9-7/8" to the bottom of the rocker. Confirmed on both sides. The cab was hung up on the top of the transmission. Got it out of the way and cut spacers for each side of the cab so it is exactly positioned in final location. Next move is to custom fit the factory brackets. Remember, due to transmission interference, I will be cutting the floor of the cab to install a slightly larger hump over the transmission. Also, another dimension that I have established is 16-7/8" from the flat face of the firewall to the center line of the front shock bolt. dug
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #95
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Hey
Thanks for stopping in on my 58 LS Build....
Yours looks great and I don't think we are too far apart in build ...it's always intresting to see a few projects that are similar in style and build it's a great way to come across great ideas. Keep up the fine work I am sure I wll be back to check on your progress.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:26 AM   #96
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Thanks again for posting your measurements. When you said the flat part of the firewall was 16 7/8 from the centerline of the shock tower bolts, I am assuming the "shock tower bolt" is the actual shock end - correct?

In an earlier post, you said your cab was 4.25" above the frame (in the back). When you took the 9 7/8ths measurement on the rocker, was the cab at the 4.25" above the frame height? My thought is to try and get the frame -to-cab distance reduced so that the "static height" of the truck rockers will be in the 8 inch range. Based on your measurements, I think I could get there by using the Envoy floorpan/firewall. (floorpan is less than 2 inches above the Envoy frame on the wifey's Envoy).

My son Eric and I are going to hit it hard on the GTO tomorrow through Monday (I'm taking a vacation day) in an attempt to get the GTO (almost) fully roadworthy. I will post picture of the current status on Monday or Tuesday night. We have been driving it in the evenings on the city streets and it is a blast! Our family is headed to Orange Beach for a few days after the first of August, so we will be in your neck of the woods! Good luck.

Ricky
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #97
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Thanks again for posting your measurements. When you said the flat part of the firewall was 16 7/8 from the centerline of the shock tower bolts, I am assuming the "shock tower bolt" is the actual shock end - correct?

In an earlier post, you said your cab was 4.25" above the frame (in the back). When you took the 9 7/8ths measurement on the rocker, was the cab at the 4.25" above the frame height? My thought is to try and get the frame -to-cab distance reduced so that the "static height" of the truck rockers will be in the 8 inch range. Based on your measurements, I think I could get there by using the Envoy floorpan/firewall. (floorpan is less than 2 inches above the Envoy frame on the wifey's Envoy).

My son Eric and I are going to hit it hard on the GTO tomorrow through Monday (I'm taking a vacation day) in an attempt to get the GTO (almost) fully roadworthy. I will post picture of the current status on Monday or Tuesday night. We have been driving it in the evenings on the city streets and it is a blast! Our family is headed to Orange Beach for a few days after the first of August, so we will be in your neck of the woods! Good luck.

Ricky
Yes, shock tower "bolt". The one in middle. We are in Orange Beach now. I will take some dimensions with photographs next time in the garage so there is no question. Get that GTO done so you can get to the good project! dug
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #98
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Originally Posted by dug224 View Post
Yes, shock tower "bolt". The one in middle. We are in Orange Beach now. I will take some dimensions with photographs next time in the garage so there is no question. Get that GTO done so you can get to the good project! dug
Here is the latest.
- The first photo shows the shock tower bolt location at 16-3/4" from firewall. When I welded the rear cab mounts and tightened the bolts, it pushed the cab forward 1/8" which ultimately helped with my rear wheel location slightly. Remember, stock wheelbase of the Envoy is a hair short for the Fleetside.
- The second photo shows the 4" tall wooden spacer for the front of the cab. Note that the leading edge of the wooden spacer is approximately 3/16" behind the Envoy body mount bracket directly below the firewall that I cut off. Look for the fresh metal.
- The third photo shows the welded rear cab mount. The top of the body mount pad/bottom of the cab rail is 3-11/16" above the frame rail.
- The lower you go with the cab, the closer you get to the bottom of the cab interfering with the top of the fuel tank sending unit. The 4th picture is of the floor piece I cut out many weeks ago when I first started placing the cab thinking the floor was in the way. Thought it was a mistake. Turns out, it is really close. The 5th picture is of the clearance to the top of the sending unit and the cab floor. I have about 1/4" to go before it hits. If you lower your cab any more than this, you will have to make provisions to clear. If you do clear it, you have approximately 1.25" to go before the structural lateral cab metal hits the top of the fuel tank. There does not appear to be any other obstacles. You said you were going to use the firewall. If you have already done so, you may consider using the floor as well. By the way, I had forgotten about this potential interference when I lowered the cab over my previous studies. Glad you asked for the dimensions. Dug
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #99
rawkinbones13
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

Dug, I was checking out your build and I noticed that you live in Mobile, nice to see another Mobilian on this board. I have a 58 Apache too that's a daily driver. I'd love to come check out your project sometime.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:30 AM   #100
dug224
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Re: Dug's 1959 Fleetside

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Originally Posted by rawkinbones13 View Post
Dug, I was checking out your build and I noticed that you live in Mobile, nice to see another Mobilian on this board. I have a 58 Apache too that's a daily driver. I'd love to come check out your project sometime.
Rawkinbones13....would love to see your truck. Check your private messages. dug
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