Sparky's 2007 Silverado NNBS build

#1
I'm going to keep track of my build progress on my 2007 Silverado. Do not expect it to be fast as I tend to move slowly on some stuff because either I'm busy, I'm stuck, or I'm just flat out of cash due to other projects I have to get done (such as house stuff). But every so often I'll update with what's going on and some photos.

First off, I'll go back a bit in time to when I got it and the first few things I've done to it already.

Purchased in May 2015 with 128k on the clock. 2007 Silverado NNBS LT with the 5.3L, tow package, Z71 offroad package (for whatever it is good for!), has 3.73 rear gears with a G80 locker in it. Nicely appointed truck without getting into full blown leather and going too nuts.






First mod I did was ditch the 194 bulbs for the license plate with some cheap LED bulbs I had lying around. They're a little on the blue side so I'll switch them out later but I wanted to do something.



Next I removed the broken stick on window visors. That took a fair bit of time and elbow grease. I replaced them with AVS in-channel visors for both front and rear windows.




Next I ditched the dome bulbs for some LED panels. One panel is slightly different than the other three which I'm not all that keen on but I try to ignore it, and really unless I point it out nobody has noticed yet.




Now, this truck has a nice 5.3L rumbling V8, except... it didn't really rumble that much. Fixed that with a Jones Turbine JT3030XL straight-thru muffler. I left the rest of the pipe stock for now, but eventually I want to "redneck" it a bit with twin pipes out under the rear bumper. Probably will just Y off the muffler to keep it simple.




(Yes I know there is rust under there - it is 8 years old in Ohio, OK? Don't worry, it is no where near as rusty as the Trailblazer is! I want to get some of that cleaned up this year if I can.)

Quick video. Phone doesn't fully capture the rumble, and if you only have basic speakers it won't sound right either. Gotta have some half decent bass response in your speakers.



I also got an Android 4.4 head unit that is designed to fit the dash like factory. It works really well and it cost under $400 for it. There are a few quirks that I've had to deal with but nothing major and I cannot complain for the price. I also got a reverse cam for the truck and hooked it up. Works really well.




I also got a nice 1080p dashcam for Christmas so I put that in. I see you!!

 
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Sparky

Sparky

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#2
OK so that pretty much gets us up to speed. I recently purchased some new headlight housings that I'm going to use for my HID projector retrofit. I rather like dark themes so I got the black housings, but unlike the Trailblazer I'm going to keep some chrome in it. I won't be totally blacking out everything in the lights, and I intend to keep some chrome on the rest of the truck itself.



Tonight I baked the passenger headlight and got it all apart to see what I have to work with. Sadly I bumped the housing against the top of the oven when pulling it out and left a 1" scratch right in the middle of the lens! So frustrating. Other than that, it came apart OK.



Now I can't just do simply a projector retrofit. I always have to overdo something. Part of the reason I went ahead and took everything apart was to get some internal measurements and see how it was all put together. Looks like my ideas should work out, so stay tuned for some of the other things I have in mind. It may involve LEDs in some form or another :wink:
 

Matt

Silver Supporter
#3
I've been in this truck and it is quite nice, comfy ride. Lemme know if you need an extra set of hands mate.
 
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#6
I've been doing a lot of digging for parts ideas for my headlights but haven't quite found what I want/need. Starting to think I might just build my own. This could turn out good or downright horrid lol, we'll find out.

In the meantime, some more goodies arrived this week.

First was a used Diablosport InTune i1000. I just stuck the canned 87 tune on it for now with AFM delete. I'll do some tweaking more later. I thought about getting HP tuners but I got this thing for less than half the cost of HP Tuners + a laptop (I don't currently have one). Given I'm a total noob at tuning anything I also figured this is a cheaper and easier way to get my feet wet.

Next up, some other stuff that I got pics of!



My OEM 3rd brake/cargo light is cracked and leaky, so good excuse to upgrade to an LED version. I also couldn't leave the tail lights alone, so I got this new set off ebay for only $138! I'm also hoping to improve some things with the catch can to stop some of the nasty gunk from getting sucked back into the intake.

I don't know when I'll be able to install the lights since the weather may not be cooperating with my schedule for a while, so I got a 9V battery out and just held the contacts on there to see how they look in person. Obviously on the truck will be even brighter but I think this looks pretty good.

Running lights


Brakes
 
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Sparky

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#7
I started the process of installing the new 3rd brake and tail lights, but found scarred paint and some surface rust behind them. Behind the tails is deeper rust on the hefty brackets/rails that will take more than a little sandpaper to clean up. I might just leave that to the body shop later when I have them fix the other stuff. The minor stuff around the 3rd light I sanded down and coated with several coats of color matched paint (even though you won't see it) and it is currently curing.

Cracked and leaky 3rd brake.


Worn paint and surface rust behind the light


Aiming to get the new stuff installed after it all cures fully.
 

DocBrown

Well-Known Member
#8
Nice. My '08 Sierra is equipped almost identical to your Silverado. Where did you get that head unit? It looks stock. I'd love to put one like that in but I've been hesitant because anything after market has a brand name on and screams "steal me".
 
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#9
http://www.eonon.com/Car-GPS/Android-Car-GPS/GA5180F.html

It is 30% off right now too which is a good deal, and the updated model with changeable LED backlight to match the interior lights (mine is red only).

It isn't totally "mod free" you do have to cut the plastic behind the radio out a little bit to make more room for the wire harness. And the CANBUS decoder has a really crappy audio decoder in it so things like the blinker, chimes, etc sound kinda bad and honestly way too loud, but I put a different speaker with a resistor in there to tone it down which helped a lot. Still sounds a bit funny but I don't really care that much as everything else works.
 
#11
Apart from that, how you liking the HU? I'm thinking of getting one specially to be able to connect to the ELM327 and display stuff onscreen all the time using Torque.
 
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#12
I like it a lot. The music app it comes with is a little lacking, but since it is pure android I just loaded something else!

Another update, by the way. I got the tail lights and 3rd brake light in tonight. Ran out of daylight so I couldn't get very good pics, but here are a couple of the new lights on the truck. I used the flash on my phone so you could see a little more than just the lights, but that also means the reflectors are glowing from the flash. There aren't bulbs below the C streaks in those rectangular areas.


 
#13
Now I can't just do simply a projector retrofit. I always have to overdo something. Part of the reason I went ahead and took everything apart was to get some internal measurements and see how it was all put together. Looks like my ideas should work out, so stay tuned for some of the other things I have in mind. It may involve LEDs in some form or another :wink:
Nice ride Jared, but now I must issue you a challenge. A race, so to speak. Let's see which one of us can take longer to get their next retro done!
:bonk:
 

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
#15
They look very nice, actually they remind me of the new tahoe tail lights. I think the running light is the whole perimeter though. Nice truck.
 
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#16
It has me thinking I about my headlights and see if there is a way to mimic that C-streak setup up front somehow.
 

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
#17
There isn't a dead on shot of the housing but maybe chase it around the bowls?
 
#18
It has me thinking I about my headlights and see if there is a way to mimic that C-streak setup up front somehow.
This is a plan of mine as well, LED eyebrow version 3.0... Planning to use some light diffusing acrylic, heated and bent to shape, back lit by some superflux style LEDs.
 
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#19
Long time no update but that's the nature of this. Ran into time issues, then workspace issues, now shoulder issues, but we'll get there!

This weekend my driver side tail light fell off! Yes, just fell off while I was driving down the road, leaving it dangling by the harness. Thankfully the sockets didn't pop free so I didn't lose it. The two mounts just broke, no idea why. They aren't even 90 days old so I contacted the seller and the seller says "sorry they have a 60 day warranty" - what kind of warranty is that? :hissyfit:

Well, I DID snag them for $70+ less than the going rate, so... I think I can repair/rebuild the mounting ears, and nothing else got damaged on the light that I can see. But until I get that figured out, I'm back to stock tail lights in the truck.



In the meantime I still haven't worked on the headlights much until tonight. TRS finally got stock back of the projectors so I ordered those last week and they showed up today. I just had to do a quick little trimming of the bowl and a test fit.




The Mini H1 7.0 is a much nicer feeling unit over the 4.0 that I had in the Trailblazer. Performance should be a lot nicer too. I got new 4500k bulbs to go in and I'll reuse the ballasts from my now-defunct Trailblazer. They also had included a set of high beam splitter cables which is totally awesome to run the bi-xenon solenoid and the factory high beam bulb. I didn't order that specifically as I was figuring I'd reuse the ones I made from the Trailblazer, but they must have read my mind!
 
#20
:undecided: the reflector bowls look stationary in that pic. Or are the optics from that angle playing tricks on me? How do you adjust their height?
 

fletch09

Well-Known Member
#21
looking at the breaking points, on your tail lights, wonder if it got hit by someone/ something in a parking lot. or they knew it was a weak point, that's why they were cheaper. :undecided:
 
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#22
Not sure, but that day I was at home, then at my parents, then on my way to my brother's is when it let loose. And there are no marks anywhere on the light or the truck. Either way I'm going to probably fab a metal bracket that wraps around the whole plastic one and adheres to it via screws/rivets/something.
 
#23
They ought to warranty that.

But you can likely rebuild faster better and stronger
 
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#24
Long time, no update.

The tail lights are at work, we're going to rebuild the mounts and it should be fine.

I did order and get in some more stuff for the truck. Bilstein 5100 series leveling shocks, new mounts, spring insulators, front sway links.



What? Something in the background? Well, yeah, there is. I splurged and bought something a bit extra. Not shown in the pics is a new set of TPMS sensors also, since I still have at least two originals currently on the truck and the other two who knows how old they are.



I have an idea for the center cap logo. The brand is OK but I want something better. Not sure if can happen or not, we'll see.

I have made some slight progress on the retrofit as well. As I said, I can't leave it alone and do a basic retrofit. I have to get well in over my head.





Currently one of those LED light units is curing with some JB Weld, then I'll get the other one welded in, then I can see about cleaning up some edges and putting it back together so I can move on to light #2!

The goal for a lot of stuff is July 21st. We'll see if that will happen. I have some long term ideas but we'll see.
 
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#27
Today is the only day for a while that is good weather for working on a vehicle. Wasn't too hot, humidity wasn't bad, partly cloudy, breezy... Perfect to get my shocks done!

First off, meet my new strut spring compressor! I started the day by assembling this thing and I had high hopes for it. Later it will show I hoped a bit too much, but it still does the job so end result is positive.



Of course the obligatory "before" pic:



Started on the front end and things were really coming apart on the driver side pretty good. Now I knew I had an issue with my alignment, but it was a lot worse than I thought...!



OK then. Good thing I'm doing this!

I had been spraying stuff off and on with PB blaster over the last few weeks and it sure seemed to have helped. The upper ball joint was stuck to the knuckle though and several whacks with the Big Hammer didn't budge it, so I sprayed it and let it soak while I tackled the rear shocks and tried to get the spare free (darn secondary latch). No go on the spare, but got the rear shocks changed without much fuss.



Went back to the front, gave the control arm a whack, and the joint popped free. Great! Um... crap, the upper ball joint is totally shot. I could wiggle it at least 1/16" in its socket. That didn't help the alignment issues I'm sure. After inspecting everything else I decided I'd just order new UCAs and LCAs. More $$$$$, ouch.

Had an issue with the strut compressor though. It wouldn't compress enough on where it would fit on the spring. I ended up grinding the lower seat a bit so it could fit on the very first coil, and that worked. It BARELY compresses the spring enough, so either these springs are stiffer than I thought, or the "5500lb" rating is inflated. Well, either way it did the job.



Now here's where I got stupid.

I was tightening down the upper nut and of course the shock shaft was spinning. I resorted to the impact and while it still spun the shaft the impact hits gradually were tightening the nut. Got it down to what looked like almost but not quite seated and it just stopped. Fiddled with it, hit it with the impact again... SNAP! :wowfaint:

OK, no, spring is still in place on the compressor... What just happened...?

Oh.



It WAS seated all the way, I just thought it wasn't. So when I hit it with the impact, it just sheared the shock shaft right off :duh:

I'm such an idiot.

Well, I can't really fully assemble the truck anyway since I have to wait on those new arms, so I'll just throw another shock in with that order. There goes another hundred bucks :worried:

I thought there should be a bump stop on the shock's shaft, but I didn't see it anywhere. OK, maybe there isn't one. Fine. Put the new assembly back together - this time making sure to NOT break the shock! - and stuck it in the truck. Put the wheel back on so it could sit without being on the jack stand (it bothers me) and plus it let me get this pic of what it looks like after leveling :2thumbsup: well, at least one side is anyway :crazy:



Started cleaning up... crap. Stupid move #2. The bump stop was stuffed in the old upper mount, hidden behind the spring insulator. Guess that means I'll have to take it all apart AGAIN to put that on there!

 
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#28
OK I need some input.

I have rough set stuff together so it isn't all quite lined up, but I'm trying to figure out what looks better, with or without the amber reflectors/lenses. If I don't have them I need to figure out how to clean up some edges where the LED modules end and you can see some ugly behind there (wires, JB weld, etc). Also, I wish the projectors sat further back, but I guess I have the wrong ones for that kind of setup. Oh well.

Here's the pics... give me some feedback please!

WITH REFLECTORS





WITHOUT REFLECTORS





I'm currently leaning towards with just because it hides the fact that I put the LED modules in line with an apparent angle that in the end does not actually exist so it looks like they are pointed upwards compared to the rest of the light. It is annoying me so bad but I don't know if I can fix that without buying new housings and starting over. There is no way I can afford to do that...
 
#29
I like how they look without, but they still look really good with the reflectors in place. I totally understand about not being able to start over, as well as having little things that annoy you. I'm willing to bet no one else will notice that little factor unless you point it out to them.

Edit: As many people as I've showed my latest retro to, none of them have noticed the issues that bug the heck out of me :twocents:
 
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Sparky

Sparky

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#30
I was originally going to go without - that was my first goal as it looks even more "custom" so to speak, and I like that. I'll give it some more thought, maybe take the housings to work and experiment with some scrap ABS pieces to create some sort of shield to hide the wires etc. And the black would blend right in, you'd never see it.

*edit* for the fun of it I set the outer lens on top. Even with it just kind of "there" without being in place it looked 10x better. Wouldn't think a clear lens would do that, but it gives just enough definition to everthing where the angles and such are cut that it just pulls the whole thing together. I'm leaning heavily towards leaving the amber out now.
 
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#31
Blending stuff in is where it's at. I got lucky with some aluminum tape to enclose those RX350s so they didn't light bleed all over the place. I have the same issue, would like them to sit further back in the housing, but that would require starting almost over. No bueno.
 
#33
I kinda like the amber on everything... just me. It does look cleaner without though.
 
#35
Without the amber looks slightly better and cleaner but my older, more safety conscious side tells me that the reflective part is needed. I would probably keep it.
 
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#37
Alright so got 4 new control arms and got them installed this past Friday. Took the day off as I had worked until after midnight Tuesday night so comp time + a little PTO = day off. Weather was pretty nice again also.

It went pretty good, everything came apart and went back together without much fuss. Now that I had the hang of the hydraulic compressor it took maybe 10 minutes to swap the spring to the new Bilstein shock and stuff which was awesome. All 4 ball joints were utterly shot.

Old OEM vs new Moog UCA - the Moog is a lot beefier of a unit.



New stuff underneath. Tie rod ends were still good as they had evidently been replaced at some point.



Got it aligned on Saturday morning but couldn't mount the new wheels/tires because factory lug nuts wouldn't fit. They were too big around, go figure. Ordered some Gorilla skinny lugs and they arrived on Monday. Bolted up the new wheels, did some initial trimming on the mud flap (more is required), aligned the headlights, programmed the TPMS, and set the tires at 40 PSI to start with. Chalk test looks good so far but it seems they could be a little higher perhaps. I may bump up to 45 and see how that is.

Pardon the dirty truck, I haven't had a chance to wash it recently. Also the driveway is a bit dirty from all the work too, I need to clean it off.





 

dna59

Well-Known Member
#38
On your truck I'd like the headlights without the amber. I think with some different shrouds that retro would look even better.
 
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#39
I'm inclined to agree. The issue is the depth of the MH1 projector makes it stick out a fair bit, and other shrouds like the E46-R, while having better diameter coverage, aren't as deep and I think would leave a gap. I can't recess the MH1 projector any further back without some pretty heavy modifications.

I'm mixed on what to do with it honestly.
 
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Sparky

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#40
Been very busy with work this week so not much has changed, except for one thing... exhaust.

Don't get me wrong, I generally love my Jones Turbine JT3030XL, but I do get some drone around 1800-2000 RPM when the engine is under load. Well, after going to the midwest meet this past weekend and spending nearly 4 hours one way in the truck around that RPM I was losing my mind.

Someone on another GM forum said something about he did a "33 inch dump" which killed the drone. Basically, lop the exhaust pipe off after the over axle, before it bends to route behind the tire. So on a whim last night...



It sounds a fair bit different in the cab now actually, and what do you know, the drone is 99% GONE. Yay!
 

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