My '08 SWB LT V8 "Build" Thread

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l008com

l008com

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#41
Snapped a nice pic of my truck today. We didn't really get any snow last year. This year we're getting lots. This truck is kind of a beast in the snow. These big aggressive tires dig in real well, especially for non-snow tires. And the lack a locker/lsd doesn't really matter because with V8 power, you just get on the gas hard and all 4 tires spin up. And you go. Just don't forget and hit it when you're in 2 wheel drive. That said, I'd still like to get some kind of non-open diff at least in the back.

 
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l008com

l008com

Well-Known Member
#42
Got new new LED reverse lights. These are DDM "projector" style LEDs. They claim to be made of CREE LEDs and are supposed to be 5K. Looks 5K to my eyes. They are very bright, but of course don't light up the lens well because all the light goes straight out. Still looks great and works very well. I can't wait to see them combined with some nice LED brake lights!

Oh and they sell these on ebay for $10 a set shipped (from china so it takes 2 weeks). Normally I'm super against ebay LEDs but these are sold by the manufacturer and they came out real good , I'm happy.





 
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l008com

l008com

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#45
Update:
Tonight I installed the Hotchkis Rear Swaybar Upgrade kit, which includes polyurethane bushings, plus new bushings for the front, plus I replaced all 4 endlinks.

... with no power tools. How sore am I? Usually "I couldn't move the next day" is a big exaggeration. But I may not be able to move tomorrow, literally. It took something like 7 hours of cranking away with sockets and whatnot to actually get all of those rusty bolts off and the replacements back on. Pure misery.

But how is the TRUCK? Steering is much sharper no doubt. Theres no more half second lag time when you turn the wheel, now its more like a 1/10 S lag time. Unfortunately the terrible turning ratio means even sharp steering doesn't feel all that sharp. This could be fixed with the steering rack out of an SS but I don't see that happening any time soon. And the truck definitely bounces around a lot less than it used to. It is a good upgrade. And if I had power tools, and had managed to do this in 2 hours or so, it would have been a REAL good upgrade.

But all that said, between the springs, shocks, tires, and now swaybars/bushings, i was expecting this truck to handle more like a sports car than a truck. But as solid as it is, it's still a little floppy site to side. And the steering seems a little too loose, and like maybe there's a little too much feedback from the road pushing the wheel back to the centerline after a turn. I'm not sure if there's a way to tighten up that steering or not... there's not much left i can do, I've updated pretty much everything at this point.

And while the ride is significantly improved over when I bought it, it's still a little softer than i'd like. I feel like the shocks, the bilsteins that everyone said were the stiffest option and many said were "too stiff", I feel like are nowhere near stiff enough.

I was expecting all these upgrades to make my truck handle as good or better than an SS (even though I wasn't lowering). I don't think I got there unfortunately. Oh well, time to focus some upgrades on other things.

Oh actually one more thing. The new rear swaybar is touching the rear diff casing. That seems awfully strange to me. The old one was not touching.
 

Capote

Platinum Supporter
#46
Update:
Tonight I installed the Hotchkis Rear Swaybar Upgrade kit, which includes polyurethane bushings, plus new bushings for the front, plus I replaced all 4 endlinks.

... with no power tools. How sore am I? Usually "I couldn't move the next day" is a big exaggeration. But I may not be able to move tomorrow, literally. It took something like 7 hours of cranking away with sockets and whatnot to actually get all of those rusty bolts off and the replacements back on. Pure misery.

But how is the TRUCK? Steering is much sharper no doubt. Theres no more half second lag time when you turn the wheel, now its more like a 1/10 S lag time. Unfortunately the terrible turning ratio means even sharp steering doesn't feel all that sharp. This could be fixed with the steering rack out of an SS but I don't see that happening any time soon. And the truck definitely bounces around a lot less than it used to. It is a good upgrade. And if I had power tools, and had managed to do this in 2 hours or so, it would have been a REAL good upgrade.

But all that said, between the springs, shocks, tires, and now swaybars/bushings, i was expecting this truck to handle more like a sports car than a truck. But as solid as it is, it's still a little floppy site to side. And the steering seems a little too loose, and like maybe there's a little too much feedback from the road pushing the wheel back to the centerline after a turn. I'm not sure if there's a way to tighten up that steering or not... there's not much left i can do, I've updated pretty much everything at this point.

And while the ride is significantly improved over when I bought it, it's still a little softer than i'd like. I feel like the shocks, the bilsteins that everyone said were the stiffest option and many said were "too stiff", I feel like are nowhere near stiff enough.

I was expecting all these upgrades to make my truck handle as good or better than an SS (even though I wasn't lowering). I don't think I got there unfortunately. Oh well, time to focus some upgrades on other things.

Oh actually one more thing. The new rear swaybar is touching the rear diff casing. That seems awfully strange to me. The old one was not touching.
I feel you on the non-power tool usage man. Makes everything much longer and grueling on the body. I pretty much do everything by hand unless I am at my bud's house with a compressor. Even then I don't like to use it unless we're doing trans work or taking on/off wheels on something.

Only way you're gonna reduce body roll more is to lower it. Mine is lowered 3"F - 5"R and it handles great like it was a car to be honest, compared to my previous SUV and before I lowered my truck at all. Interesting note on the rear sway bar upgrade. My OEM sway bar is cutting it close to touching the rear diff cover already. I bet if I upgraded to the one you just installed or got a Belltech it'd for sure run into issues in terms of space. Can you take a pic of the clearance issue you ran into? And how many more diameters is the Hotchkis bar vs. the OEM one?
 
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l008com

l008com

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#47
The hotchkis bar isn't a ton thicker, but it feels a lot more rigid and solid, and it is a bit thicker.

I specifically wanted to retain factory ride height. The truck has poor enough ground clearance as it is, I wanted to keep what little bit I had. I was hoping I could stiffen enough stuff up that it would make up for the height but I guess not. The only thing left I could do that could help a bit is wheel spacers, but I'm still on the fence about getting those.
 

Capote

Platinum Supporter
#48
The hotchkis bar isn't a ton thicker, but it feels a lot more rigid and solid, and it is a bit thicker.

I specifically wanted to retain factory ride height. The truck has poor enough ground clearance as it is, I wanted to keep what little bit I had. I was hoping I could stiffen enough stuff up that it would make up for the height but I guess not. The only thing left I could do that could help a bit is wheel spacers, but I'm still on the fence about getting those.
Well I've guess you've done all you can besides the wheel spacers, which would improve cornering. In general they can lead to more wear on hubs, but nobody on here running them has had any complaints IIRC. I'd hit up some of the guys like @HARDTRAILZ who runs wheel spacers/adapters, and see what brand(s) they recommend. A hub-centric type is the only kind you should run. They maintain the proper diameter as the original hub, so there's zero play.
 
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l008com

l008com

Well-Known Member
#49
The thing I don't like about spacers is the potential for lug loosening on the spacer. The only way to check for that is to regularly pop my wheels off and check the spacers. Which is something I'm just not going to have time to do. Plus I don't have air tools so it would be an all day project. Before I bought my new tires, I was trying to find a set of 18" factory wheels. The look better (imo) and give me an extra half inch of width.... which would be that much less reason to get spacers. Oh well, Ill just leave it as is for now and see if i ever want to mess with anything else down the line.

The biggest thing my truck needs now, hands down, is a street tune. This truck has a beast of an engine and it drives like an S10 thanks to the computer.
 

Capote

Platinum Supporter
#50
The thing I don't like about spacers is the potential for lug loosening on the spacer. The only way to check for that is to regularly pop my wheels off and check the spacers. Which is something I'm just not going to have time to do. Plus I don't have air tools so it would be an all day project. Before I bought my new tires, I was trying to find a set of 18" factory wheels. The look better (imo) and give me an extra half inch of width.... which would be that much less reason to get spacers. Oh well, Ill just leave it as is for now and see if i ever want to mess with anything else down the line.

The biggest thing my truck needs now, hands down, is a street tune. This truck has a beast of an engine and it drives like an S10 thanks to the computer.
I'm with you on that, I hate removing my wheels unless absolutely necessary. If I have to, it means lugging my 108lbs 3.5 ton jack 400ft to the parking lot. That is a workout! The I have to raise it hella high because the only jack-stands I have are 4 ton ones, that are annoyingly high. They are well over a foot tall....
My wheels are 18" and sit farther out than stock; Verde Protocols.
 
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l008com

l008com

Well-Known Member
#51
So the new swaybar does not touch the diff case once it's off the lift, so that's good. Driving around today thinking about it, I think most of what's left of my unwanted movement is probably tire sidewall. But I don't plan on upgrading, I'll just live with it. But 19" wheels would probably make a huge difference in handling :biggrin:
 
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l008com

l008com

Well-Known Member
#52
Finally had my mechanic replace my resonator with a straight pipe.
I still have the factory muffler. At first, I didn't even notice! Then I remembered he had done it (it was a long list of items).

From the inside, there's very little difference in sound. I had him give me the old resonator in case I wanted to put it back in, in case it was too loud. HAHA yeah nope. Maybe a very slight increase in volume and deepness of the sound. A tiny bit more like a sports car, not a truck. Again this is from the inside.

From the outside, the sound change is more noticeable. It sounds really nice from outside. It's not loud or annoying or obnoxious at all. But it is clearly a powerful V8 engine in there, not a 6 cylinder.

It was a pain finding the 2.75" tubing, and it ended up costing me a lot to order a 2' piece of it online. But in the end, it was worth it.

Once I get that engine tick taken care of, this truck will really sound nice.
And after that, I'm going to do a street tune to get it to drive like it *should* have driven from the factory.
 

Capote

Platinum Supporter
#54
Get a cheap harbor freight red wagon with airfilled tires. Whip up a ramp you can drive it on and off of. Then you'll get nice smooth rolling :biggrin:
I have no room to store any of that. I live in a cramped studio apartment with my girlfriend.
 

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