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Old 08-31-2012, 06:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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'99 Chevy Tahoe - Expedition Build!

I haven't been as active on Pirate as in other forums...but I thought folks on here might be interested in a build I completed a few months ago.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away!!

Here are the plans for the vehicle:
1999 Tahoe 4dr 4x4


14bolt semi float swap
4" IFS RCX Lift
Viking Offroad - Synthetic Winchline - A MUST have for IFS rigs
Hydroboost Conversion
Custom fabbed tie rods - FFR Fabrication
HD Ball Joints - Synergy Suspension
Moog HD Pitman/Idler Arm
Pro Comp Extreme AT 285/70R17
Mickey Thompson 17x9
Custom rear bumper w/tire carrier - Do NOT purchase from Tactical Armor Group
Custom torsion bars (33% stiffer) - Sway A Way
Bilstein 5100 shocks (5150's were not valved heavy enough)
Vehicle mounted air compressor
Defender 6.5' roof rack
Volant CAI
BlackBear Tune
12vot guy custom switch panel - AMAZING!
220amp alternator - Iraggi
x4 170 Lightforce lights (on roof rack)
x2 KC 130w on ARB Winch bumper
Body Armor (skid plate, frame sliders, tank protector, diff protector)
Larger trans cooler - still searching!
ARB front bumper - fitted by Liquid Iron Industries
Superwinch Talon 12.5k
ARB fridge - 60 Liter
DDM 35 & 55w HIDs w/4hi mod

Trailer:
LV416 Trailer
30 gallons water
20 gallons fuel
Holds lots of spare parts and equip

As I add more and finish up installs, I will update this first page!


Hydroboost Conversion w/PS Cooler - this is all new AC Delco components (base vehicle k2500)..PS cooler from '97 K3500



This was used to delete variable steering from PS pump


12Voltguy Custom Panel



Mark VIII Efan - custom wiring setup to engage both speeds automatically


Volant CAI:
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Custom Expedition Tahoe - traveling the US, one rock at a time!

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Old 08-31-2012, 06:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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ProComp Extreme AT 285/70R17


Iraggi 220 alt - 180amp @ Idle!!!


14bsf 6 lug rear w/Blue Torch diff cover - COMPLETELY rebuilt w/Timken Bearings & Tru Trac



Updated Fuel Injector Spider


Timken Hub Bearing Replacement


Manifold Gasket Replacement (clean manifold!)


Plenum Gasket


Electric Air Horn - 300hz


Custom Trailer:


Interior
]

As you can imagine, I've also swapped out every fluid (trans, front diff, rear diff, transfer case, oil, coolant)
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Finished prepping and POR'ing the 14bsf - I've rebuilt the drums and bent up some new brake lines.

before

after


Replaced the Compressor, drier and orifice tube...



After installing the new system, evacuating and filling with refrigerant...the high pressure relief valve went south...and I had to do it all over again!

I also installed a new idler pulley and fixed my hi beam HIDs!
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Can anyone guess what may go in here? (i cut and grinded the heck out of it...came out pretty clean IMO)


On to the venerable 14 bolt and Alcan springs.

If you are going to replace your springs, plan on dropping your tank. I decided in my infinite wisdom that if I cut all the old bolts, it would piece of cake...wrong!

There is one bolt that butts up against the gas tank that once you cut the head off, it falls in between the frame and gas tank. The head of the bolt is bigger then the opening in the frame, so you can't simply grab a magnet and pull it out...also, these are grade 8 bolts, so unless you want to spend hours with a Sawzall, grab a grinder and go to town

- 10bolt stripped and ready to come out
- got it out nice and easy! I had new ubolts, so this part was actually pretty simple

This is where it gets painful...spring removal...it took me over a day to get these out b/c I didn't drop the tank and had to run to home depot twice for bigger cutting blades

- i did this at about 11p when I saw it was going to take hours of squirming to cut the bolt

New springs in - really easy - I installed with the head of bolt facing out


14 bolt in - POR'd it and with that ridiculous thick BlueFab diff cover, this thing is beefy


The RCX shocks are in the rear (white in the photo) as I wait for a bracket for my rear 5150's...sadly, the front 5150's are no valved heavy enough for this truck, so i'm ordering 5100's tonight

The driveshaft is also in!
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Im pretty sure we are on all of the same sites lol
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92BurbanAZ View Post
Im pretty sure we are on all of the same sites lol
I think so too - with how quiet the reception has been on pirate, I think everyone has seen this build by now!!
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just so you know, if you ever need to replace your PS pump, you can get one from the factory without the variable effort. No need for your delete kit.

Build looks good and fairly well planned out. What did you do to clean your upper and lower intake manifold? I spent hours scrubbing away at mine with all the carbon build-up when I did my injectors. The EGR looked like it wasn't doing anything other than getting shit dirty.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevy_man View Post
Just so you know, if you ever need to replace your PS pump, you can get one from the factory without the variable effort. No need for your delete kit.

Build looks good and fairly well planned out. What did you do to clean your upper and lower intake manifold? I spent hours scrubbing away at mine with all the carbon build-up when I did my injectors. The EGR looked like it wasn't doing anything other than getting shit dirty.
Good intel, thank you.

I believe I used brake cleaner on the manifold to get it all clean..I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was an aerosol can of brake cleaner
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks good. I'm not on a lot of other sites...so I haven't seen it. You said you completed it? Any updates?
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pike2350 View Post
Looks good. I'm not on a lot of other sites...so I haven't seen it. You said you completed it? Any updates?
Yes it is! Here are some more pics of the build...

The venerable 14bolt is in and so far so good!!



The 14bsf mod is a piece of cake if you are retaining the stock springs...but i definitely was slowed down by mine.

This thing looks awesome under the truck! I POR'd it (dont mind the spots i missed) and it looks really clean under the truck.

I also painted the drums and any visible rust on the frame... (this photo was taken before I touched up all the rust)[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:22 PM ----------




This is my 100% Cycle Duty VIAIR 450H. If you want to run a tank, they make a pump with an auto shutoff...the "H" is not designed for use with tanks, but with a little ingenuity, it easily could.

We essentially purchased two brackets from Home Depot and with self taping screws, drilled into the body. To reduce vibration when this thing is on, rubber sealing material (roofers use it - see the shiny material on the fender), was placed on parts that have metal to metal contact. You will also see there are rubber grommets on the screws that mount the pump to the black mounting plate.

I also purchased the mounting bracket specifically for this pump and it made installation a piece of cake. You can tug on the pump and it doesn't budge.

From a wiring perspective, this will be wired directly to a relayed switch in our center console. The air line will run from the pump to a quick disconnect that will be mounted on the custom rear bumper.

Also, b/c this rig will go through water, I siliconed the heck out of the parts of the screws that went through the metal interior to the outside.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Going out of order a little bit today, but here are pics from the RCX install we completed.

The good - fit and finish were solid and directions were spot-on

The bad
- NO WAY CAN YOU INSTALL IN 8hrs - two guys who have done this before on a Tahoe with air tools and a hydraulic lift could not bang this out in 4hrs (2 guys x 4hrs each). My recommendation, start Friday evening and hope you are done by dinner on Sunday...our rigs are not spring puppies, you will run into rusty suspension bolts and some are a beast to remove.

- My front anti sway bar kept banging into my tie rods after install - you will have to seriously consider if you want to remove your front sway bar, b/c bending a tie rod is not an option.

- Order longer brake lines from the front & back; RCX has this ridiculous solution for rebending your brake lines - bad idea - don't do it! I didn't have the lines on me so I carefully rebent the lines and the rubber lines are still fully stretched when my wheel drops all the way...I received my Skyjacker extended brake lines this week and they're going in next week.

Quick tips:
When doing this lift, it's a great time to replace your pitman/idle arm/idler arm bracket. These parts wear on our rigs and you're taking apart the entire front end anyway, so spend the extra hour or two and put in some new hardware. I also recommend replacing your upper & lower ball joints - again, these parts wear and you're taking apart the front end anyway. I do have one precaution though, all of this takes up a lot of time, if you need your rig for work on Monday and you haven't completed this type of work before, don't do it...same the extras for another day so you're not stranded.

This lift requires a LOT of tools. Download their install directions online prior to ordering and make sure you can get your hands on this many tools if you don't already own them. I would also seriously recommend you have an air gun to assist you b/c manually doing all of this would be exhausting and a number of these bolts may be seized from rust. Definitely have a least one friend helping you out...there's a lot of work to be done and an extra set of hands is invaluable; especially for resetting the torsion bars and front differential.

Ok, off my soap box - on to the photos

Here's where we did the install...I got really lucky that someone in my family has a commercial garage attached to their house


First up - new torsion bars from Sway A Way - these are huge compared to OEM and very little preload is needed to set the suspension up. B/c I'm going to have an extra 350lbs off the front (winch + bumper + battery), I decided to try these bars as they are much stiffer then OEM.




FFR Fabrication made these for me and I have to say, the craftsmanship is superb. These guys are well know for tie rods ends in the NBS community, so I called them up and they made these special for my OBS. These tie rod ends are leagues ahead of OEM and I seriously recommend them for anyone that offroads




For anyone running the np246 transfer case (it has the Auto 4wd pushbutton), you will need to order the custom driveshaft from RCX - if you don't, you will have vibrations while engaged in 4wd. I was a little skeptical of what RCX was going to send, but I have to say, this front driveshaft is incredibly well made. It's perfectly balanced and a serious beast of a driveshaft with a high end joint that allows greater articulation



Also, for folks with rear sway bars (4dr Tahoes + Subs), you will need the longer drop down links for your rear anti sway bar.

Most IFS lift require cutting/grinding/etc - the Tahoe going under the knife by one of the guys helping out


Keep a rattle can available and you can make most of your old rusty parts look pretty new; I also painted the frame and IMO, it looks great


Shot of the IFS completed!


In terms of overall lift, I'm up 4.5" in the rear (Alcan Springs - no blocks), and about 5" up in the front. I just ordered z71 bump stops and i'm hoping that b/c these are smaller then non-Z71 rigs, I can lower the front 0.5".

Once the new bump stops are in, I'll take a photo on level ground to show everyone the new stance!
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Any updates on this build?
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wes,
My apologies, I've been spending a lot of time over on a new site and kept the build going there.

www.gmc4x4.com

Here's the thread:
GMT400 Tahoe - Expedition/Overland Build - Build Threads - GMC4x4

When I have the chance, I'll definitely throw up some updates here as well...it's been tough time finding the time to do it all!
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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dont know if anyone mentioned before but i would buy a couple extra sets of the ddm hid kits. ive gone through 4 or 5 ballasts on my truck and another set of ballasts for the fogs. only had them in for a year before i said fuck it and went back to halogen.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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1lo - I've had their 35w and 55w in this truck for over a year and haven't had any trouble. They also come with a lifetime warranty, so if they ever go bad, I'll have them replaced.

Sounds like you had some badluck with yours. With that many bad sets, I would look into your electrical system as possibly damaging the ballast.

I run mine off of a relay so it receives full and clean power from the battery (fused of course)
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Ok, tons of photos folks!

Here is the new stance of the rig! 4.5" lifted in the rear (springs, no blocks) and ~5" lift up front. IMHO this stance looks awesome and with a 35" tire, it would look incredible (i have 33's on)

Once the ARB bumper is on with the Superwinch, I'm guessing it will drop ~ 0.5" and sit more level.


Group 34 battery, Sears PLatinum Marine edition - has the same CCA as the auto, but quad terminals on top...I have this as my secondary truck battery and another one in the trailer. The group 34 fits perfectly and has a higher reserve then the group 78's



I got really luck with this part - my 14bsf did not have a tab for the e-brake and Dave (@ Crum's Welding) was installing the rock sliders he built when he made a quick bracket and welded it on...perfect fit




Some photos of the rock sliders. These are amazing and can literally hold the weight of our rigs. If you go this route, one side you can easily bolt on (use Grade 8 hardware), but the other you will have to weld unless you want to drop the tank.




Here is my OEM vs the new Z71 bump stop I purchase from LMC. B/c I'm riding my suspension close to the lower bump stop, the Z71 change for me was perfect


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Old 11-09-2012, 05:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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How about some details on the rear bumper?
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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It's a TOTAL piece of $hit and the only item on the truck I'm not happy with.

The mounts are VERY poorly made, it wasn't internally sprayed so it rusts, welds are crap, mount for my hi lift is in the wrong location so I can't use it.

The mounts are so poorly made the bumper doesn't sit upright on the truck and always leans backwards. In the photo the bumper is straight b/c I had just put it on, once you drive a few miles it slides backwards bc the only thing holding it upright is the pressure of 4 horizontal mounts - since there are no vertical and no stops, the weight of the bumper causes it to slide downward. Right now, you could easily lift the bumper up with one strong guy. I showed it to Tim of Liquid Iron Industries (vendor on here) and when I get back to the shop, he's going to design a new mount system that braces it correctly.

It was made by TAG (Tactical Armor Group) and the first bumper they sent was made incorrectly (wrong design) and they used RTV sealant over all the welds - this was b/c the welds were AWFUL and had gaps (no joke). Nothing was straight on it either, it was literally like they welded everything on just by guessing where it should go.

So, they made me another one which is what I have on now - it's crap, total crap; more specifically, see above notes.

Check out Kennesaw Mountain, that was their old name. In addition to making this junk rear bumper, the owner is incredibly rude. I sent him a few photos of the bumper detailing the issues in a very kind way and he was unbelievably rude when I finally got him on the phone; and I was very nice to the guy, I don't raise my voice.

Don't take my word for it, check out all the review of Kennesaw Mountain and Tactical Armor Group. When I spoke to the owner about these reviews before I made the purchase, he assured those were problems he used to have, but after re-working the company, it was fixed - bull, same owner, same junk.

Apologies for the rant, but with the quality of the product he sent me and how unbelievably sarcastic and difficult he was, at least if someone else is thinking of working with Tactical Armor Group, they'll have some heads up of what they may go through.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Over the last two weeks I installed a reman AC Delco steering pump and a new Moog pitman arm...for some reason the Moog pitman arm I had on there was shot in about 20k miles; idler was ok.

Also, the big improvement was....

Installed a set of Realift Torsion Bar Relocators - very cool product!!

Here's an initial product review and I put together a How-To video that I'll post up next week when I finish editing it:
Realift Torsion Bar Relocators - Review - Retailer & Product Review - GMC4x4

Before:


Installed:


After:
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Almost done fixing the TAG bumper. I've rebuilt the mounting system and so far happy with the results. In stead of it leaning backwards, it now sits straight up and is MUCH stronger then it was previous

Before:


After:
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