Seth's 2003 TB LS Build

therealsethallen

Well-Known Member
#1
So, as some of you know, I stuffed the 9-7x into a tree like a goober Labor Day weekend. To replace it I got myself this 2003 Trailblazer 4.2 LS for stupid cheap. It's an oddly optioned truck. It's an LS with cloth. But it has a sunroof and OnStar. Something I haven't seen. I am in the process of finding an unlocked 2004+ radio so I can add my XM Tuner to it. It's got 171k now. The hood is rusty, but we have plenty of junkyards with good hoods.

DISCLAIMER: Much of this is carry over from the 2005 9-7x, and while not complete yet, they are the mods that were already done to the Saab and will make their way to the TB.

The Truck

2003 Trailblazer LS
4.2 I6
4WD
3.73 Gears
G80 Locker

The Suspension Mods
9-7x Front Sway Bar
Monroe Load Adjust Rear Shocks
Monroe Quick Strut Front Struts with .5" Leveler
The Engine/Performance Mods
Magnaflow 11229 Muffler
Resonator Delete
Side Exit Flowmater Chrome Tip

The Lighting/Electrical Mods
Silverstar Bulbs
Quad Headlight Mod
DRL Kill
LED, Reverse Lights, Plate Lights, Interior and Mirror Turn Signals
Cobra CB Radio
Kenwood 2-Meter Radio
Emergency Lighting

Appearance Mods

LEDs In and Out
Black Bowties on Wheel Covers and Door Molding
Color Matched Bowtie
Massachusetts Love Cape Ann Special Fund Plates
AVS Window Visors
Interior Tool Storage System (in progress)​


Trailblazer.jpg

IMG_5308.JPG.jpeg

Not quite sure where I am going to go with this build, but here we go! Mod bug has bitten, and it's time to start draining the bank account!
 

gpking

Well-Known Member
#3
It's an oddly optioned truck. It's an LS with cloth. But it has a sunroof and OnStar.

The Truck
2003 Trailblazer LS
4.2 I6
4WD
3.73 Gears
G80 Locker
Ay, same here! I've never noticed another LS spec'd exactly like mine before.
Of course, leather seats, OnStar/HomeLink mirror and console, running boards, fog lights, and signal mirrors are easy enough to transplant from an LT/LTZ; but sunroof? Not so much.

I've seen more than one Blazer with an aftermarket power sunroof. Not the prettiest thing in the world...

Good luck!
 
#4
Isn't it fun to have the knowledge and parts to work and mod it?

Is the 9-7x front stab bar bigger? I have a 5.3 parts 9-7x that I'll have to look at the bar. My LS sure doesn't handle like my Saab.
 
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therealsethallen

therealsethallen

Well-Known Member
#5
Nice. I would have to lift front or lower back since I hate rake, but it looks like a heck off a start
Don't worry, that's the plan! I'm only going to level it and put slightly larger tires under it. Nothing drastic. I am in the process of designing skid plates for it. My roomie is a Jeep guru and wants nothing more than to build my TB for me.

Ay, same here! I've never noticed another LS spec'd exactly like mine before.
Of course, leather seats, OnStar/HomeLink mirror and console, running boards, fog lights, and signal mirrors are easy enough to transplant from an LT/LTZ; but sunroof? Not so much.

I've seen more than one Blazer with an aftermarket power sunroof. Not the prettiest thing in the world...

Good luck!
Yeah I've never seen one quite like it before. It's got the auto dimming rearview mirror too, which I kind of hate. That'll get swapped from the Saab which didn't have it. 02-04 leather seats are ugly IMO.

Isn't it fun to have the knowledge and parts to work and mod it?

Is the 9-7x front stab bar bigger? I have a 5.3 parts 9-7x that I'll have to look at the bar. My LS sure doesn't handle like my Saab.
As far as I know it shares the OEM GM Part # with that of the TBSS. I found this out by accident. I ordered sway bar bushings for a 2005 TB and they didn't fit. Low and behold, different part numbers. Different sized bar.
 

Shaw520

Well-Known Member
#9
It's an oddly optioned truck. It's an LS with cloth. But it has a sunroof and OnStar. Something I haven't seen.


Hmm,..guess my TB falls in the class of oddly optioned as well,...My 05 LS has cloth w/onstar, sunroof, Bose sound, the fancy rear view mirror and full power front seats. ..what gives ?​
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#11

Hmm,..guess my TB falls in the class of oddly optioned as well,...My 05 LS has cloth w/onstar, sunroof, Bose sound, the fancy rear view mirror and full power front seats. ..what gives ?​
Well, back in '03 (and probably through at least '05), one could still obtain a few items as 'standalone' RPO, rather than getting them only via a 'package' or trim. Wasn't as much of a free-for-all as in the past (think: 60s-80's), but not as locked down as things are today.

Here's a link from the GM Heritage Center site - this is for the '03 SWB / LWB TB, and similar probably exists for other years (I think I already had the Envoy equivalent, not sure). 180pgs of dealer info on the platform in PDF form (unfortunately, not searchable, but at least it contains a TOC).
 
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therealsethallen

therealsethallen

Well-Known Member
#12
That's some interesting reading, for sure. I'll have to check it out.

Anyways. I work for Honda. The new CRV is the volume seller for us (big shock there) but it's interesting to me in a few ways.

The base trim gets a 2.4 4-Cyl while the rest of the line gets a 1.5 Turbo.
All trims except the entry model have a sunroof. Everything above the entry level has heated seats. Those things aren't options on the base trim, to get them you have to step to the next trim level.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#13
That's some interesting reading, for sure. I'll have to check it out.

Anyways. I work for Honda. The new CRV is the volume seller for us (big shock there) but it's interesting to me in a few ways.

The base trim gets a 2.4 4-Cyl while the rest of the line gets a 1.5 Turbo.
All trims except the entry model have a sunroof. Everything above the entry level has heated seats. Those things aren't options on the base trim, to get them you have to step to the next trim level.
I've been purchasing Honda products since my last 'new' GM vehicle (a '97 Grand Prix), so reading that you work for them got my attention.

CRV took over as Honda's best selling vehicle a few years back; before then, it was the Civic. People love SUVs, and the CR-V generally gets rated at / near the top of its segment. Wouldn't be something I'd buy personally (nor a Pilot), but I've driven a lot of Accords as daily drivers the last 20yrs, along with a couple of Civics, three hybrids, an Acura, a couple of bikes, and an S2K as a track toy. Converted the wife to Honda, and she purchased a few as well. I've had friends that switched to Honda, as well. We helped make my sales guy one of Honda's top 100 nationwide (not kidding - he really is, although that's not solely due to me, of course)
One of these days, I dream of a 1st-gen NSX gracing my driveway, although they're starting to climb in price again with the new one finally out. May have missed that window... ::sigh::

Honda has never gone the individual options route, except for a few dealer-installed things (rear spoilers, all-season mats, etc.) Everything has *always* been trim level-based. 'DX' was the old entry-level ('LX' has taken over for that, apparently)... if you saw a Honda with a sunroof, you knew it was an EX or above. 'Above' these days is a few more trim levels - used to be that an EX w/ leather & V6 was the 'ne plus ultra'. Now there's 'Touring', 'Touring Elite', and probably even something else above that now. And for the last couple of years, if you wanted the new safety goodies (autonomous braking, etc.,) there were intermediate 'Sensing' trim levels in the LX / EX ranges. At least it was easy to get a car with them; I shopped Toyota a year or so ago, and there was no way I could 'guarantee' an Avalon with their safety toys - even if I 'ordered' it.

Small-displacement turbos are where Honda (and several other makers) are going now (due to escalating MPG and decreasing emissions standards.) For me, that means that I'll be hanging onto my current Accord for awhile - as with the new '18, there's no available V6.

In fact, the K24 you mention as the CRV's base trim (a pure GEM of an engine) isn't available any longer at all in the Accord - base is the 1.5T, a 2.0T is the top engine (said to be based heavily off the one in the new Civic Type-R), and the new hybrid will come in the spring. It just doesn't sit right with me that the 'new' car has 2 engines *smaller* than the base 4-banger from last year (and again, no V6 at all). The other thing that bothers me is that the new Accord is now on the Civic (!) platform, and doesn't have its own any longer. Another reason I'll be holding onto my current Accord (and my sales guy might be falling out of the top 100? LOL)

I'll probably go drive one of the new Accords soon to see what they're like - but there's no way I'll be buying one. I've got about 290 horse with the current one, and can also sustain 40mpg on the highway with it w/o too much trouble (it has a 3-cylinder mode and a tall 6th gear that actually works). And that's on reformulated E10 (!)

Anyway...here's your thread back...LOL.
 
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therealsethallen

therealsethallen

Well-Known Member
#14
I've been purchasing Honda products since my last 'new' GM vehicle (a '97 Grand Prix), so reading that you work for them got my attention.

CRV took over as Honda's best selling vehicle a few years back; before then, it was the Civic. People love SUVs, and the CR-V generally gets rated at / near the top of its segment. Wouldn't be something I'd buy personally (nor a Pilot), but I've driven a lot of Accords as daily drivers the last 20yrs, along with a couple of Civics, three hybrids, an Acura, a couple of bikes, and an S2K as a track toy. Converted the wife to Honda, and she purchased a few as well. I've had friends that switched to Honda, as well. We helped make my sales guy one of Honda's top 100 nationwide (not kidding - he really is, although that's not solely due to me, of course)
One of these days, I dream of a 1st-gen NSX gracing my driveway, although they're starting to climb in price again with the new one finally out. May have missed that window... ::sigh::

Honda has never gone the individual options route, except for a few dealer-installed things (rear spoilers, all-season mats, etc.) Everything has *always* been trim level-based. 'DX' was the old entry-level ('LX' has taken over for that, apparently)... if you saw a Honda with a sunroof, you knew it was an EX or above. 'Above' these days is a few more trim levels - used to be that an EX w/ leather & V6 was the 'ne plus ultra'. Now there's 'Touring', 'Touring Elite', and probably even something else above that now. And for the last couple of years, if you wanted the new safety goodies (autonomous braking, etc.,) there were intermediate 'Sensing' trim levels in the LX / EX ranges. At least it was easy to get a car with them; I shopped Toyota a year or so ago, and there was no way I could 'guarantee' an Avalon with their safety toys - even if I 'ordered' it.

Small-displacement turbos are where Honda (and several other makers) are going now (due to escalating MPG and decreasing emissions standards.) For me, that means that I'll be hanging onto my current Accord for awhile - as with the new '18, there's no available V6.

In fact, the K24 you mention as the CRV's base trim (a pure GEM of an engine) isn't available any longer at all in the Accord - base is the 1.5T, a 2.0T is the top engine (said to be based heavily off the one in the new Civic Type-R), and the new hybrid will come in the spring. It just doesn't sit right with me that the 'new' car has 2 engines *smaller* than the base 4-banger from last year (and again, no V6 at all). The other thing that bothers me is that the new Accord is now on the Civic (!) platform, and doesn't have its own any longer. Another reason I'll be holding onto my current Accord (and my sales guy might be falling out of the top 100? LOL)

I'll probably go drive one of the new Accords soon to see what they're like - but there's no way I'll be buying one. I've got about 290 horse with the current one, and can also sustain 40mpg on the highway with it w/o too much trouble (it has a 3-cylinder mode and a tall 6th gear that actually works). And that's on reformulated E10 (!)

Anyway...here's your thread back...LOL.

The CR-V is a gem of a vehicle in it's segment. I highly recommend you go drive the new Accord 2.0T (which finally landed at dealers just a week ago). It makes the outgoing V6 powered accord look pathetic, I'm not kidding.

My next vehicle will be a Pilot. In fact, if they didn't hold their value so well I would own one today.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
#15
The only reason I didn't buy a 1st-gen Pilot 3 years ago was its lack of towing capability, compared to the Envoy I bought, which is rated for 7,000lb (I don't use all of that, but I like not having to push a loaded rig to its absolute rated limit, tow-wise.) Plus, the GMT370 has a lot more cargo room, which is important to me.

I disliked the 2nd-gen Pilot styling. The current one is easier on the eyes (but I'll still hang onto the Envoy; there's a LOT of life left in mine) :wooot:

If I get another truck at this point, it'll be a 1/2 or 3/4 ton GM product, most likely a '13 or older (I don't like the full B-pillared current models, and after seeing full-reveal pics of a '19 NBS Silverado recently, I think it's pretty damned ugly. As an aside, there's going to be a new 'Trail Boss' trim, with a factory-supplied & supported 2" lift, for our members that like riding up high (basically a Z71 trim, lifted)

Thankfully, they're going to continue making the current one as a 'Classic' for a year (hopefully more). Although you better like a 5.3L, extended cab and cloth interior!

Back to Honda...I'll drive the 2.0T after January (at this point, the dealer would probably let me walk up to the key box and grab whatever fob I want...Sport 6MT, Touring 10AT...lol.) But I doubt it's going to sway me much - I love my '16 Touring, and now that I know it's the last of its kind - I'm keeping it till it dies (which means I'll be dying before the car does.)

Too bad, too - because if you're a car buyer these days, you're getting a LOT more upmarket content than in the past.

I'll PM you on how I like the '18 (or don't!)
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well-Known Member
#16
This might be a stupid question, but what size is the straight pipe and tip? are they 2.5 or 3? I want to do the resonator delete but I can't any how-to guides.
 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well-Known Member
#18
thank you for the help. so you just cut the resonator off about an inch after the hanger and weld on a 2.75 straight pipe with a 2.75 tip?
 

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