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Old 06-18-2018, 05:18 PM   #1
Root2812
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2016 Sierra Rebuild

Hi Guys,

I have been posting this on silveradosierra forum too but I really like this forum and want to see what you guys say and see what ideas you may have.

I've been driving an 86 K10 but I needed more cab space for the family and more reliability. I looked at newer trucks and couldn't find what I wanted with low miles in a price I could afford. Having built a few cars in the past, including rebuilding a salvage SUV for my wife, I decided to head to auction. When I was done I went home with a 2016 GMC Sierra SLT Crewcab 4x4 for $16,100 including auction fees. The truck has lots of options and only 12,000 miles.

NADA on this truck is $41,000 and I set two goals for myself, or project phases as I like to call them. Phase one is to get my truck driveable and start to enjoy it. Phase 2 is to make it finished. The target is to have this truck finished for less than 60% of retail. That puts my goal at $24,600. Yes it has a salvage title but for a $16,000+ savings I really don't care and neither does my insurance company, GEICO already let me put full coverage on it. The salvage brand will be replaced with a rebuilt title brand when the truck is repaired and won't matter one bit unless I go to sell the truck which I don't plan to do until its very worn out many years from now. Even then it will sell around 50-60% of retail which will be the cost I have in it. Its a trade off, spend 100% retail and sell later at retail (what ever that is then) or spend 60% and get 60%, Basically a wash.

I can answer a few questions for you guys about having a rebuilt vehicle (insurance claims, titles, ect) but we can save that for later and just focus on the build. This is not the first time I have done this and it probably won't be the last. Rebuilding your own cars can save a ton!

So with that let me introduce my truck.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Old 06-18-2018, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Old 06-18-2018, 05:29 PM   #4
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

As you can see this truck got run off the road. It obviously went into cable guard rails on both sides. My best guess is on the interstate where you see those cable guard rails come to a v shape before the two bridges for going each way. Those guard rails are designed to keep you from going through the median and between the bridges and into what ever is below. I'll post pics that should obvious steel cable damage and you can see that aside from what jumped up and hit the windshield all the damage is on the lower half of the truck at the height of a guard rail.

The truck was totaled but only for cosmetic damage. Every panel on the truck is damaged except the tail gate. Its also a hard to paint and expensive tri-coat color. Parts are still really expensive on 2016 trucks and the insurance company has to buy certified parts. Good thing I can do the work myself!

The only damage keeping it off the road was a bad tire and a busted brake hose. Even the air bags didn't go off and the frame was perfect! The negative is that its so new there is not any aftermarket sheet metal yet but I have bargain shopped for brand new OEM parts.

I get it that the truck looks like hell right now and most guys would run but I hope you all follow along and see an alternate option to dropping $40-50k at the dealer if you're handy.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:03 PM   #5
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Nice, I'll be following! That's a perfect rebuilder candidate, not too smashed up.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:50 PM   #6
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Nice, I'll be following! That's a perfect rebuilder candidate, not too smashed up.
That was my feeling exactly. Yeah its beat up all over the place but none of its major so I can take my time and fix one panel at a time while I use the truck. I've got about 150 mines on it since I fixed it up last weekend and it runs great. I am about to post about that.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

The first thing that was done was to have a new windshield put in. Luckily I know a guy and got a deal. Then one brake hose was busted so that was replaced. It also needed one tire. Those really weren't photo worthy repairs.

The large dent in the passenger rear door popped out so that door is savable. All of the doors are savable and so is the hood and roof. The truck will need new fenders, grill, bumpers, and box sides as well as new headlights and one tail light.

I'll give a cost brake down in a bit but I was able to get some new OEM fenders for a deal at the dealer. I had a paint mixed because I had to put some paint on them to prevent rust but sadly it didn't match. I have to respray them when I paint the rest of the truck anyway so thats not a big deal. This color is good enough for the back of the fender you can't see. I also got online and saved big on my lights and mirror. The mirror was over $600 at the dealer and I got a lightly used one on craigslist for about a third of that. My headlights were $1100 each at the dealer but thats too much for me so I got online and got them for $610 and $680. That was a great savings too. It was a similar deal with the LED tail light.

Now that I had my parts it was time to get to work. Here are the pics of the painting and tear down. It was actually much easyer than I thought to take the front clip apart and put it back together.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:18 AM   #8
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

The radiator support had a small bend behind where the headlight goes and I straightened it so everything fit fine. You can't see the little dent in it anyway. The hardest part was bending the bumper out so it would clear my new fenders. That took some real prying.

On to assembly. Like I said the color didn't match but thats ok for Phase 1. the gaps turned out perfect so I was happy about that. For now the original dented bumper was kept and the cracked grill was left. Those are things to do when I get to Phase 2 (make it pretty).

Everything went together well. I got the mirror and tail light in and get the front all done. The I took it on an 85 mile drive with my camper. It worked perfectly.

By the way, I have to break these posts up because I can only post 5 pictures per post.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:28 AM   #9
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

So there is still a long way to go but I achieved phase 1!!! I love this truck.

I did have to spend a long time detailing the interior because of all the broken glass. See photo below of finished interior.

So now I owe you guys a cost break down of the project so far. To recap, the goal of the project is to have a nice truck at around 60% of retail price. With an NADA of $41K that puts my goal all done at $24,600. So far all my parts have been new OEM except the brake hose which came form O'riellys. As stated before, phase 1 was to make it driveable and that had been achieved except I have a shake from a bent wheel so I need to buy a rim. I found one for $225 at a local yard but I haven't gone and bought it yet. The tire on that wheel has some sidewall rash so I am just going to replace it too for peace of mind even though it looks ok and I have driven 150 miles on it so far (its on the rear). Here is the breakdown so far (rounded to nearest dollar):

Purchase with auction fees: $16,100
Brake hose: $18
New tire: $135
Pair of fender:s $621
Windshield: $400
Paint and supplies for fenders: $230
Tail light: $380
Headlights: $1290
Mirror:$220

Total so far: $19,394

That leaves $5,206 in the budget.
The rim will cost me $225, Ill need another tire for $135, two box sides at about $500 each, fuel door $34, Bumpers for around $1800, and a grill for $500. That will put me about $3,694 in parts. I'm estimating $1,500 in paint and supplies. My guestimation math leaves me with $12 in the budget. I know I will run into some surprises that cost me money but I may also save a bit more here and there. Either way I am well on track to having my truck at a heavy discount ($16,400 estimated) thanks to my labor. The bonus is that I have a really nice truck to drive now for less than $20K and if I wait to fix the body, the parts will get cheaper. Right now its all cosmetics aside from that wheel and even beat up it looks a ton better than my rusty old 1986 K10. With two of us working on it (my dad and I) I am guessing we are in the project about 8-10 man hours.

I am very happy so far. Before I go too far on the body I need to decide what look I want. I am leaning toward a denali grill and painted bumpers instead of chrome but I might try the stock grill with painted surround to look more like an All terrain package truck. Either way, unless I get an awesome deal on chrome bumpers I will have painted ones. I really don't like offroad look but I did see a steel fabbed rear bumper that I am thinking might look good. I really only want that so I can mount a winch back there to pull cars up on a trailer with. We will see but for now I have a nice truck to enjoy.
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Not wasting any time I see. That's a lot of truck for the money. Do you think you'll end up doing an all-over paint?
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:41 PM   #11
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Not wasting any time I see. That's a lot of truck for the money. Do you think you'll end up doing an all-over paint?
Yeah I will end up painting the whole truck. The paint color is a tricoat and its hard to paint and even harder to match. Since the only panel without any damage is the tailgate I will end up painting the whole truck and cheating by changing the color. My first try was too far off but I found a 2011 Gm color thats almost a perfect match but regular base clear paint. Base clear will be cheaper and easyer to paint. The color just has to be close enough so I don't have to paint the jambs.

So far I have 1,000 miles on the truck with no issues other than a slight vibration which turns out to be a common complaint with the 2014-2018 trucks and its not accident related. I did pick up a nice used topper the other day for a deal too and it was already the right color... well right color for now anyway.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:18 PM   #12
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Very nice truck for $19,394 invested!

Root, can you explain a little about the auction where you picked this one up from?
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:08 PM   #13
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Nice truck for the money!
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:24 PM   #14
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Nice truck for the money!
Thank you. I've done a few of these rebuilders. I just did a 2016 Honda CRV AWD for my wife. 670 miles with a sticker of $28K, All done for under $13K. The rebuilders are kinda fun to do too. NO Rust!
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Old 07-09-2018, 10:38 PM   #15
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Very nice truck for $19,394 invested!

Root, can you explain a little about the auction where you picked this one up from?
Sure can... I went with a company called Copart. Its free to sign up but different states have different laws. Here in MN I can bid and buy with no dealers licence but I can't bid on cars over in Wisconsin unless I hire a broker with a licence. Once I decide what cars I can bid on I search their website just like any other car sales site to identify ones I may be interested in. The list them months in advance of the actual auction so there is plenty of time to go view the cars in person. I took a day off and went to 4 lots to view a dozen trucks. Its free to be a member and members get onto the lots for free. Copart has 100's of lots across the nation.

Before I decided what I wanted to bid on there were certain things I did. 1) was look at the title status and make sure its something that can be repaired. 2)price out all repairs and determine a max price I would be willing to pay. 3) put in my deposit (fully refundable). At copart you can bid up to $1000 with no deposit but since I was going much larger I deposited $2000 to give me $20,000 in buying power.

There are 3 ways to bid. 1) set your max bid early like ebay and let the system do the bidding. I like this one because I can't get caught up in wanting to win and over pay. 2) Live bid online during the actual auction. or 3) Go to the lot in person to bid live.

On the first truck I bid on I lost. I bid $14,000 and it went for $15,000. the second one I bid on went out of my price range at over $20K. Then there was this one. I bid $15K and won it at $14K. This truck was drivable except for the windshild. The frame and air bags are all good. What kept the price down was the amount of body damage. A dealer or flipper would have a hard time making out on this one but as a DIYer I can save big. That emphasizes the most important thing. Buy the car thats right for you. If you paint you might want a truck like mine but if you do engines you might want one with mechanical issues. Trucks with front end or rear damage are pretty easy because you can unbolt and swap a box or a whole front clip where its harder to do that with a car. Those trucks all went higher than mine with all over damage. I always stay away from flood cars because of the electronics.

So anyway I won. I had to pay 15% auction fees plus a few other small fees and then tax, title, and licence. I had 5 days to go get my truck. Copart took care of the paperwork and my title and plates came to me in the mail.

From there on out its all state specific. In MN you can drive with a salvage title and you have a year to get it inspected. I know some states like Florida and I think Illinois (saw you are there) you can't drive until after you are repaired and inspected.

Check out Copart if you are interested. You can watch live auctions without even being signed up so you can get an idea of the process.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:51 PM   #16
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Very nice truck. Looks very similar to one of mine but mines a 3/4 ton. I donít think mine is a tri Color though.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:11 PM   #17
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Root, thank you for taking the time to share the detail explanation and sound advice. I’ve been on Copart looking at engines and I didn’t know they also did vehicle auctions. Will check that out.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:17 PM   #18
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Root, thank you for taking the time to share the detail explanation and sound advice. Iíve been on Copart looking at engines and I didnít know they also did vehicle auctions. Will check that out.
You're looking at Copart for engines? Copart sells vehicles primarily but to the best of my knowledge they don't sell just parts. Are you looking at car-part.com? I know you could buy a donor vehicle from Copart and get a motor that way.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:35 PM   #19
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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You're looking at Copart for engines? Copart sells vehicles primarily but to the best of my knowledge they don't sell just parts. Are you looking at car-part.com? I know you could buy a donor vehicle from Copart and get a motor that way.
Oops...my bad and lack of paying attention to detail. Will blame it on having a senior moment.

Yes, I was thinking of http://www.car-part.com
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:03 PM   #20
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Nearly 2000 miles on the truck and only one real problem. One rim was really bent so I am running the spare for now. I need to find new rims soon. I still have a light vibration in the rear so I'm wondering if the axle got bent when that drivers rear wheel hit the pole. After I get all 4 new rims, if the shake is still there I will take it to a driveline shop.

On the upside I don't have to worry about $1000-1200 for besides anymore. I knew i needed those and a fuel door ($40) and both flares ($90 each). Then I nabbed this bed off craigslist for $350. It got rear ended but the tiny damage to the bedsides is fixable. I am going to cut the bed sides off and put them on my truck. The bed came with tail light to sell to so I figure after I sell those and then account for the fuel door and flares I really only have about $50 in these bedsides. It was a real steal.

I know some of you are thinking "why not just swap the bed and fix the sides since I have to fix the damage on the sides anyway". Well this bed has some bent mounts and a little rust in the cross rails. I'd rather just put the sides on my rust free box and treat the back sides of them to prevent future rust.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:56 AM   #21
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Question Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

Sir:
Would you have the electrical wiring diagram you could share with me. I have a 2016 Chevy 2500 with a 6ltr engine. The trucks warnings lights as per failure of the stable track, ABS, rear break controller and back up sensors goes off when I talk on 7 MHz " 40 meters" from my Ham radio in the truck. I need to figure out where these wires go so I can put ferrite chokes around the wires right before they enter what ever computer they go to. Any help fighting this issue would be great.
My wife and I use the truck to pull our 30' camper to Florida snow birding for health reasons.

Thanks in advance

Jimmy, WX9DX, ARRL TS
Just an old old US 8TH Army Trooper

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Old 08-28-2018, 11:34 AM   #22
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

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Sir:
Would you have the electrical wiring diagram you could share with me. I have a 2016 Chevy 2500 with a 6ltr engine. The trucks warnings lights as per failure of the stable track, ABS, rear break controller and back up sensors goes off when I talk on 7 MHz " 40 meters" from my Ham radio in the truck. I need to figure out where these wires go so I can put ferrite chokes around the wires right before they enter what ever computer they go to. Any help fighting this issue would be great.
My wife and I use the truck to pull our 30' camper to Florida snow birding for health reasons.

Thanks in advance

Jimmy, WX9DX, ARRL TS
Just an old old US 8TH Army Trooper
Sorry no, I don't have any diagrams. The only wiring work I did was wiring up my topper and I found instructions for that on google.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:59 PM   #23
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Re: 2016 Sierra Rebuild

So I'm logged in and figured I should post up an update. Not much has happened since summer is winding down and I have been busy. My dad talked me out of swapping the bed sides and instead just repairing this bed. He does body work and said whats wrong with this white box is easy stuff to repair and we can take care of the surface rust on the rails. I need to finish another rebuilder before I go any farther on this one but its atleast a great driver. I have about 3500 miles on it now with no problems except that slight vibration.

My bargain hunting saved me a bit more this weekend. I got an All Terrain grill for only $275 off craigslist. The painted surround has a scratch but I have to repaint it anyway since its white. Thats way better than the $500-600 for a new one. Used painted bumpers without the sensor holes are really hard to come by.

Thats about it. The truck has been great and given me lots of trouble free towing when I am pulling my new camper that I got in August and I just picked up a 67 camaro convertible project and it gets to drag that home too. So many project so little time.
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