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First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

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First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2007, 09:37 PM
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Default First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

I have a 1997 Chevy K1500, Z71 with the 5.7L V8, 3" Body Lift, 33" Mud Brutes. The truck came with the body lift and the tires, although they all had plugs and leaks, so I'm riding on brand new ones. I'm 18, in the military, and this is the first vehicle I have owned.

Questions/Ideas:

1) I do not know if the previous owner(s) have changed the transmission fluid. I want to do this. Is this hard to do? How do I do it?
2) I am thinking of and saving to put a cold air intake on. Which brand gives the best bang for the buck? I have changed my air filter, and looking at the air intake, it seems like it could be an easy swap. Is this so?
3) The exhaust system is a true double I think- both sides of the engine have their own catalytic converters and mufflers. A supervisor told me that replacing the catalytic converters could give better fuel economy. Also, the exhaust tips look like they have been shot with 00 buckshot. Ideas on that? Would putting in a new exhaust system help? I have the time and the equipment (welders, plasma cutters, oxy-acetylene: although learning with them all), except for a way to lift the truck beyond jack stands, is a full lift necessary to do the work?
4) Would a programmer/chip be a good investment, especially since I have seen them on sale from Cabela's for $279.99? I do not tow with the truck, although a small trailer with my roomates motorcycle or a small boat might happen once in a blue moon.
5) What kind of differential am I running out back? I know there is IFS in the front, is it a limited slip out back?

I have many, many more questions and ideas, but will stop here to see what kind of feedback I recieve.

Thank You all in advance for the input!

Don't forget to support our troops and sailors!

SN Hall
USCG
 
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

1. Check the tranny fluid (let it warm up all the way, leave it in park, while running check the fluid level). If the fluid isn't a bright red color, then changing the fluid will never hurt. You technically can't go overboard with tranny fluid changes with that transmission, especially with a lift and bigger tires. Get yourself a transmission filter kit. Comes with gasket and filter. You have to drain the pan (might be a plug on yours) and carefully unbolt it. Try not to bend the outer edges or smack it off anything. Then look to see what you got in the tranny kit and replace it with the old parts in the tranny. That filter should just pull off and the new one should push right on. Wipe the pan clean. replace the gasket. Wipe the area clean where the gasket meets the tranny. Bolt her back up! DO NOT overtighten the bolts. Check online or in a manual if you need the torque specs on it. (Argon might know off hand).

2. Air intakes are pretty easy to install. If you have the cash to spend, go for a Volant, they are excellent intakes. I would buy one if I had the cash to spend. They even have Ram-air versions for most trucks. Otherwise I'd go Airaid. If your on a budget you can find Airaid knockoffs on ebay pretty cheap. I bought one for $40 that fits perfect and is an exact replica of the Airaid intake down to the quality and color of the filter. (I had an Airaid i bought though advance auto and before I installed it i bought the one off ebay, needless to say I returned the Airaid. Only downfall was the knock-off didn't have instructions).

3. Leave the cats go unless they are all plugged up and truck runs like sh*t. They are too expensive to replace and you will loose a ton of torque if you get high flow cats. As far as the tips go, get stainless tips or else they will rot away again like the ones you have now.

4. Programmer (Hypertech, Diablo) = Good
Tune (Nelson, Wheatley) = Better
Do your engine and drivetrain mods first, then get her programmed or tuned.
What kind are they selling a Cabelas?

5. Yes you have an IFS with an open differential in the front and a solid axle with a limited slip in the rear.

Any other questions? Go nuts! There is more experience with Silverados in this forum then you will ever see in one place anywhere else.

 
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

Cabela's is selling a Superchip Programmer. Should I just get exhaust tips or should I do a whole exhaust system? The holes in the tips make the truck sound like crap. I have a small Walmart battery that came with the truck and am thinking of an Optima Red Top. I hear good things about them...are they worth the close to $150? How hard would it be to run 2 batteries? I have a mounting bracket on each side of the engine and it looks like it used to have two batteries. Series or parallel them, and what is required to hook up a second to the alternator, or do I need to run another alternator? I don't really have any premium sound or anything, there used to be subs and speakers and the like, but they were taken out when I bought the truck. So I guess I'm wondering if I even need two batteries, although I do have plans to fabricate a crazy light bar for in the bed. Thanks again!
 
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:32 PM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

You do not need two batteries or alternators. Save the money for another battery but don't fix it if it ain't broke. Superchips is what I would consider the middle of the road...not the best.....not the worst.....that is a good price compared to my area.
 
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2007, 10:59 PM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

I like airaid i have had two of them. Right now im running the Airaid JR. and on my oldjeep i had the full cold air intake. The JR. Is a lot cheaper and flows really well. I picked it up for about 150 from summitracing.com.

I ran that programer from cabelas on my 97 and i really liked it. It was easy to install and i really noticed the difference both in fuel millage and power.

On my 97 for the exhaust i went with a duel in duel out muffler and i loved the way it performed for me. That is the way i would go for exhaust. But to stay under 200 like you want to you might just want to change the mufflers and get stainless tips so they wont go to hell on you again.
 
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:46 AM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

pretty much all intakes are the same, but i'd go with a plastic tube... and dont waste money on new catalytic converters unless yours are screwed (check engine light will be on if they are)... a guy at a muffler shop told me they are a waste of time, so i figure its true, since i was going to buy some.
 
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:51 PM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

well thank you for your service. im 16 and am going to go into some branch of the service. what branch are you in?
 
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:59 PM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

I'm in the Coast Guard, stationed in Louisiana.


Does anybody know where I can get a duel in, duel out , muffler? There is a flowmaster on there now and want to replace it but all the ones online dont fit my VIN

thanks
 
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:25 AM
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Default RE: First truck...many questions...little $...lots of time and ideas

Never mind that last post, found one on Jegs, says it will fit my truck, mentions it specifically, so I'm guessing the other websites forgot about my VIN
 
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