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LS3 Cruisin'
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1,671 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently I've been getting some PM's asking for pictures and info and such... Better late than never I suppose.

Quick introduction...

This project started about uh... 6 years ago? Yeah... around 2013 summer.
1998 GMC Sonoma Ext. Cab SLS, originally Pewter Metallic, repainted to Laguna Blue. The truck has been in the family since 2000', it was bought used with about 20k on the clock. I daily drove it in my college days and then after I put it in storage for a number of years.

The name comes from a few shops that it's been to. The most common phrase we hear is "This thing is a beast!".

This was a father & son project. A shared hobby for my dad and I. Majority of it we worked on together, some things he did, some things I did. I was more on the electrical/engine side. A lot of things we did together, fighting a transmission is a lot easier with two people! He was more on the restoration side and fussy things like brake line clips, fixing door handles, little brackets for this or that etc. Combined we have about ~2,000 hours into the project.

Major Items:

Engine Bay:
LS3 6.2L bored 0.020" over, 24x LQ9 crank, stock Gen IV rods, flat top hypereutectic pistons, Mahle rings.
Started life as a bare block LS3 w/ 20k on it, and a donor LQ9. Had local engine shop polish, and balance the crank, match the rods & pistons, and blueprint & assemble the block with rotating assembly. Upgraded extra wide Gen V LT-1/4 cam bearings.
LS3 CNC heads, BTR dual springs .650 lift, Ti retainers, 3/8" 0.080" wall chromoly rods, factory rockers with bronze bushed trunnions.
LS9 head gaskets
Cam Motion 222/228 on 112+2 .598/.598
Stock ignition system using truck coils.
Melling High Volume Oil Pump
ATI damper
ARP hardware through and through.
LS3 intake manifold, stock 42lb hr. stubby LS3 injectors.
Carbon Fiber Intake piping, screened 5pin MAF. Homebrew filter box w/ rubber flappy lid hiding a blue cone K&N filter.
92mm Warr TB
Racetronix fuel pump & FPR, -8 supply, -6 return, billet fuel rails all lines braided PTFE, rail mounted FP sensor wired to EGR inputs on PCM.
Holley 302-1 Oil Pan
Polished Holley Accessory Drive,
170amp alternator with upgraded power and ground wiring throughout.
LEE Power Steering Vette TC-II P/S Pump -10 supply -6 high pressure all lines braided PTFE
LEE P/S Reservoir
CPW Radiator & overflow tank. Stant Rad Cap, 20psi IIRC...
CPW Engine brackets, condenser, hood latch relocation bracket.
CPW main harness, with modifications later on by me for other items.
Controlled by Blue/Green Express Van PCM
Wide Band Bosch 4.9 LSU o2 sensors reading through PLX Devices AFR modules.
Dual Spal low profile 12" fans mounted to custom radiator shroud with RTMR relay/fuse panel, series/parallel hi/low setup.

Trans:
Built 4L65E (all the usual goodies) hardened input/output shafts, w/ Circle D 2,400rpm converter, chromoly yoke.
Trucool trans cooler w/ AN 6 fittings & stainless braided rubber lines.

Driveshaft:
Custom 3.5" w/ 1350 universals, upgraded mid-ship shaft to 1.5" 15 on 16 spline through upgraded AAM carrier bearing.

Rear end:
Explorer 8.8" not narrowed, custom Moser axles w/ corrected BCD and step pilot for explorer rotor/vette rim. Center tubes fully welded. T/A diff cover.
3.73 factory gears using original Trac lok.

Brakes:
Hydro boost, stainless lines end to end.
Front: C6 calipers w/ Z51 rotors.
Rear: Stock Explorer calipers & rotors, parking brake fully working.
EBC Redstuff Pads, slotted cryo rotors, ARP wheel studs.

Wheels:
18x8.5 deep dish Z06 replicas wrapped in 245/40ZR18 BFG KDW's
19x10 deep dish Z06 replicas wrapped in 285/35ZR19 BFG KDW's

Suspension:
Front: SPC Lower Control Arms, SPC double adj. upper control arms, AFX spindles.
ZQ8 sway bar, greaseable poly mounts, BT Street Perf. Shocks & Moog Springs
Rear: Cal-trac split monoleaf springs, solid alum. bushed eyes, Calvert adj. shocks, Cal-trac traction bars.
Lee Power Steering 670 series alum. Steering Gear 12:1 ratio.
ZQ8 sway bar rear w/ greaseable poly mounts.
~3" drop front, ~3" drop rear.

Body:
Xtreme aftermarket kit (though only have the lower bumper on at this point)
Custom tailgate w/ LED halo vette lights w/ sequential blink, white LED reverse lights in roll pan.
Bed shaved brake lights, line-x'd, custom aluminum piano tonneau cover on electric lift actuators.
Tailgate wire harness is fed through the passenger side tailgate hinge.
Street Scene mirrors w/ LED turn signals
LED lower turn signals in grille, aftermarket clear uppers. Currently stock lighting system. It doesn't get driven in the dark much.
LED rear side markers that are wired for turn signal... its a requirement of the law here when your brake lights don't wrap around the corner.
Rear backup sensors.
Hood struts because why not?

Interior:
Restored or matched to original, sand coloured cloth 60/40 bucket seats w/ rebuilt foams, fresh carpet, rebuilt door panels.
Mirror changed to full size for set-screw clip, temperature, auto dimming, and compass.
Cluster swapped to speedo/tach (originally had single large speedo).
All panels lined w/ b quiet.

Misc.
The truck was rebuilt from the ground up, every single part has been on/off probably 5x min, and sometimes like 10+ times. Not a spec of rust anywhere on it.
All of the electrical work matches factory specs for wire/connector type. Some variation in colour.
Factory ABS is fully functional.
Factory EVAP was maintained.
True dual 2.5" S.S. exhaust c/w high flow cats, x-pipe, resonators, dual Borla mufflers out through 3" inner bevel quad tips.
The radio is a 20yr old Pioneer unit that can play CD's... I haven't changed it because I don't listen to music. Prefer the wind, road, and engine for sound.
Fully appraised and insured under agreed value classic/modified policy, 100% street legal.

Things to finish:
Haven't wired backup sensors yet... some day.
Need to figure out tonneau lift switch location.
Need to finish A/C system waiting on modified HP lines.
Needs some more dyno time to get the tune dialed in a bit better.
Need to put skirts on, though I kind of like them off...
Blue LED backlit bowtie for the grille...

Pictures:

I'll start from more current, if there is anything specific that anyone wants to see, let me know I've got too many pics...





 

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LS3 Cruisin'
Joined
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1,671 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
nice touch painting the PCM
Yeah, it was used, so quite gnarly. Roloc wheel'd it clean, sanded it, decided to go with blue. Debated for a long time whether to smooth and paint the intake or leave it black. Decided on leaving it black with a few blue accents around the engine bay, coils, PCM, plug wires etc.
 

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Registered
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336 Posts
Nice truck! The color is awesome. That cam must drive close to factory, all while still laying it down when necessary. I am interested in your air box setup, i've scratched my heard for a few years on fixing my current HAI. I know this is a personal taste thing so please don't take any offense, I think caddy tail lights would look the **** on that thing. Also would the mirror directional satisfy the "side directional" part of the law?
 

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94 4x4,01 Blazer
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739 Posts
suggestion for tonneau lift switch location- inside gas door- mini rocker in upper side of fill neck
 

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Registered
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135 Posts
Hello,

That's a great truck.

I have a question about the 8.8 -- you said it wasn't narrowed. What offset do you have on the front and rear wheels? Are you running spacers on the fronts, or are the fronts a different offset?
 

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time to get cereal
Joined
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1,990 Posts
Corvette tails, or any tails on the tailgate, and lights in side mirrors have always been super gaudy, but other than that truck looks awesome. Needs the rest of the xtreme kit.
 

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94 4x4,01 Blazer
Joined
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739 Posts
Rhot- inside in the top rim- marine grade mini rocker- no see'um
 

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Been there Done it
Joined
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6,325 Posts
How about getting a Blazer FOB with the extra button for the rear window? Not sure if that's a momentary switch, tho. Wouldn't matter if it's wired for one.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
Joined
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1,671 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Nice truck! The color is awesome. That cam must drive close to factory, all while still laying it down when necessary. I am interested in your air box setup, i've scratched my heard for a few years on fixing my current HAI. I know this is a personal taste thing so please don't take any offense, I think caddy tail lights would look the **** on that thing. Also would the mirror directional satisfy the "side directional" part of the law?
Nope, must be located in the rear quarter of the vehicle, mirror directional are too far forward.

Yeah, lot of personal taste, I've never seen a caddy tail conversion I've liked. I think they all look terrible. Then again Im not a fan of most actual caddy's in general.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
Joined
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1,671 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hello,

That's a great truck.

I have a question about the 8.8 -- you said it wasn't narrowed. What offset do you have on the front and rear wheels? Are you running spacers on the fronts, or are the fronts a different offset?
Yeah, fronts run 2.5" adapters. +56F/+59R IIRC.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
Joined
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1,671 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Corvette tails, or any tails on the tailgate, and lights in side mirrors have always been super gaudy, but other than that truck looks awesome. Needs the rest of the xtreme kit.
Personal opinion I suppose... the Olds front grille is also super gaudy. :)
 

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Old Fart
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2,821 Posts
I like how you did things under the hood. I would like to see some detailed pics of the intake and filter set up? It looks very well thought out. :smile2:
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
Joined
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1,671 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I like how you did things under the hood. I would like to see some detailed pics of the intake and filter set up? It looks very well thought out. :smile2:
LOL I'll try to get some this week, it is in the prototype stage, the mock up is made from 1/4" plywood. Currently it has a rubber flappy lid, but thoughts on the next iteration are to simply extend the sides up and use a rubber bulb gasket to seal to the underside of the hood. Though it remains a toss up as to whether we want the filter visible or not...
 
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