1997 GMC Sierra gets a second lease on life

Discussion in 'Other Makes & Models' started by CivicCanuck, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    This is a copy / paste of the refurbishing and repair of my truck on another forum.

    I figured I would share a few specs on my new to me truck, bought it at auction with a broken power steering pump shaft and a fair amount of rust. Engine ran good, transmission shifted good, but all the rims and tires were junk. The body was in need of a total refit: something I could plug away at in my spare time without spending tons of money taking it to a shop, all the work done on it was done by me and me alone.

    Don't recall the date I brought it back on the flat bed, but it was in the spring about 2 years ago. First step was to repair all of the wiring and the holes in the body. Since this was set up as an enforcement truck, they had a blackout box, amplifiers, radio phone and roof mount light bar.

    I spent about 2 weeks pulling out all the interior except for the dash, tracing wiring, soldering and heat shrink to restore what was done to the truck. Excess holes in the firewall were sealed with body plugs and urethane sealant.
     
  2. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    782
    Location:
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    Civic
    Everyone likes pictures, here's a few from when I got a start on it, keep in mind this was on the weekends, and there were other paying projects for other people that occurred while this was shelved for a couple of weeks.

    DSCN0840.JPG DSCN0841.JPG DSCN0845.JPG

    The hitch, bumper and rims went straight to the scrapyard, as well as the tailgate. Doors - repaired the driver's door, and a passenger door off a Tahoe for the truck, the third door needed the most work, skins inside and out. Made them on a pan brake that a buddy has in his garage.

    There was no console in this truck, nor a rear seat, so I bought a scrap 1998 for the rear seat, trim panel behind the seat, carpet, plus that truck had rear heat ducting under the carpet... bonus.

    Some random pictures along the journey to follow.
     
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  3. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    With surgery, skin grafts and chemotherapy the cab came back to life: Cab corners, rockers and repairing the roof. Epoxy priming and painting inside the rockers and cab corners before installation will ensure that the rust will stay away for quite a few years. DSCN0847.JPG DSCN0848.JPG DSCN0860.JPG DSCN0861.JPG DSCN0842.JPG
     
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  4. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    Civic
    More pics: 2013-09-29 14.06.43.jpg 2013-09-29 20.43.07.jpg 2013-09-29 20.55.21.jpg 2013-10-06 20.30.01.jpg 2013-10-06 20.30.09.jpg

    Once the inner skins were welded in place, the welds were ground down, primed, seam sealed and painted prior to the outer skins being installed. Outer skins were primed and painted inside, all with either an epoxy primer or a 2K urethane primer and a polyurethane paint.

    A nice bead of urethane seam sealer in the pinch weld before hammering the seam tight will keep the rusties at bay for a few years, in concert with an oil-based rust proofing.

    DSCN0848.JPG
     
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  5. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    Horse traded some work for fairly decent steel rims, sandblasted them, epoxy & 2K urethane primer and then base / clear on the wheels.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  6. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    782
    Location:
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    Civic
    New fuel tank, sending unit and straps
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  7. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Seems like all the doors around have a shallow dent above the handle, not sure if people donkey punch the doors to close them or what. After repair and 2 rounds blocking of 2K urethane primer surfacer. 2013-09-23 22.17.37.jpg

    Before the doors went on for the final time, I applied a foil covered bubble wrap style insulation - held in place with Sikaflex urethane sealer. One full layer on everything I could get to, and all the edges are sealed fully. It's nice and toasty in the coldest of winter so far. ( -51C with windchill ) It also adds a bit of weight to each door, as each door has 4+ caulking gun tubes full in it. A knuckle rap on the door before and after is quite impressive, with the foil insulation applied, it is a dull thud.

    Also, it should keep the interior nice and chilly with the A/C on high in the summer. The snow on the roof will stay and not melt other than a thin line where the inner center brace is... so that is a good sign it's working.

    2013-10-27 19.24.29.jpg

    No pictures, but I also applied new foam tape to the doors for the inner panel to seal against and sealed all the gaps in the clear plastic sheet. Hvac aluminum foil tape for the win!
     
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  8. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    When the headliner was out for the roof repair, I applied the foil insulation in the same manner to the roof panel, as well as the back cab wall, and added a few pieces of the factory insulation in key places. Nice and quiet... :D
     
  9. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Washed all the heavy grease out of the window regulators and passenger side door latch. Replaced the driver's door latch, all the strikers, pins and bushings.
     

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    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  10. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    The aftermarket headlight housings look decent, but the light output isn't as good as a good clean factory unit, not to mention I spent about an hour a side with the grille in and out, hogged out the mounting holes and almost ground the whole alignment pin off the back to make them 'fit' properly in the grille opening. However, life goes on.

    When the box was off, and the fuel tank was out, I ran all new brake line from front to back, new hoses all around, cleaned and painted the frame.

    Punched out the driver's side license plate lamp, enlarged the hole and installed a new 7 wire trailer plug, one with a weatherpack connector on the back, this makes bumper removal and / or trailer plug replacement a breeze.

    In the middle of the build, the carpet started smelling funky, I pulled the interior out again and water tested with a hose: the rear factory sliding window was the culprit, you could push the top out about a half inch by hand! Ok, out come the oscillating window removal tool, and a tube of 3M windo-weld later, it was healed. Dry carpet out, re-install interior again.

    Half a day was spent cleaning a good set of factory tail lights, finding a set of circuit boards in the pile of used trucks, washing out the housings with water, sanding and clear coating with 2K automotive clear.

    2013-07-12 21.57.53.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  11. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    Of course, there is a plain jane diesel bumper available to me that is a bit sandblasted, with no impact strips or bumpers that would be ripe for narrowing, blasting and powder coating... decisions decisions...
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  12. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    There have been a few 'fails' along the way. I removed a buss bar from an older GM pickup and I wrongly assumed it was just a handy terminal strip. I found out when I put power to it that all the studs were connected by a copper strap buried in the plastic. Err. Already drilled holes, installed, cut wiring to length, ring terminals crimped, soldered and heat shrink, loom installed, yada, yada.

    Ok. Removed it from the firewall, clamped it in the bench vise and carefully cut through the strap in between each of the studs in the back with a zip cut wheel. Cleaned up the copper melted in the plastic with a knife, tested with a multi-meter to make sure each was now electrically insulated. Filled in the gaps in the back with the plastic welder and ground it smooth. Good to go.
     
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  13. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Civic
    Need some good tunes to go with the rest of it:


    The subwoofer enclosure I traded a guy a used home power amp, it was in brand new in the box MTX Thunderform: rotational molded plastic enclosure. The box was washed with super hot soapy water several times, then sprayed with basecoat that was custom matched to the interior color. The cutout was recessed for the MTX driver, and the mounting hole was a tad small for the Alpine. I made a thin spacer out of 1/8" baltic birch and glued it to the enclosure with Sikaflex urethane adhesive / sealant.
     

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    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  14. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    The amplifiers were mounted under the seats.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  15. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Back up camera kit came in this weekend, hooked it up with a 12V wall wart to check out the operation: 2014-01-15 22.34.43.jpg
     

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    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  16. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Vehicle Model:
    Civic
    These trucks need more real estate in the dash area, the curved flowing lines don't really work well with installing extra items the factory did not include.

    Since I had a spare truck, I grabbed a piece of the plastic trim under the rear window area, heated it up with a heat gun and reversed two bends to create this panel, then cut and shaped it to fit.

    DSCN2082.JPG

    Yep, that is my trailer brake controller, color matched to the interior...
    DSCN2083.JPG DSCN2084.JPG

    This does not block any airflow out of the vents, is naturally color matched to the truck, and will butt up against the bracket for the trailer brake controller. I made quite a few concepts out of cardboard first to try and match the lines of the truck and this is what worked best for me.

    I tore apart a spare sunvisor and it appeared to be a lot more work to install a monitor there since the pivot wasn't hollow, so I spent about a half hour trying different spots to get a feel for what was going to be the best for me.
     
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  17. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

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    782
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    Of course, an off color bezel will stick out like a sore thumb, so I color matched that as well: the monitor will stay on the bracket most of the time, if I have to park in a questionable area, it's a simple matter of sliding it off the bracket, unplugging it and toss it in the console.

    DSCN2087.JPG 2014-01-27 21.05.46.jpg
     
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  18. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Civic
    Next up: researching to see if I can find 2 way glass locally. Would be real mint to have the Sirius display behind the rear view mirror glass. :D

    I tore apart my Stratus 6 to see if I could relocate just the LCD, however it's all super tiny surface mount components and the pin header for the display would take some real soldering skill to de-solder, run a ribbon cable and re-locate.

    It is looking like the only option is to just install the boards behind the glass, and cover the tiny led's that light up the buttons. 2014-01-26 19.23.21.jpg 2014-01-26 19.23.35.jpg 2014-01-26 19.23.46.jpg
     
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  19. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Civic
    Used a door pin switch from a donor truck and a piece of plastic to make up a mount: switch contacts the door in the lower left hand side. Works flawlessly. In the event the switch croaks, any gm truck of that vintage can be a donor... unplug switch and swap it out in about 30 seconds.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  20. CivicCanuck

    CivicCanuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    782
    Location:
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    Vehicle Model:
    Civic
    I experimented with recessing the camera in the topper so that it would not stick out, but the wide angle lens on the camera caused a lot of shrouding.
     

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    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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