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Unread 07-02-2017, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

Project Update for July 2nd, 2017: I've owned this white 2000 Silverado 1/2 ton truck for three months. Shop was very busy during that time so I was just dealing with some issues on the new truck. Those "issues" have been handled in our first round of upgrades and repairs, including: a Bluetooth radio upgrade, custom phone cradle, center console lid repair, tailgate latch replacement, and janky alarm system removal.

It sure has been handy having the old truck around to source parts that are broken on the new truck. We've already swapped a bunch of little parts over, which we will detail in this update. More and more of Truck Norris is going into the white truck... so I'm just calling the white Silverado Truck Norris 2.


Aftermarket car alarms are the scourge of the automotive world. I absolutely hate them because they rarely work and are always more nuisance than "security upgrade". I call them "noise makers", noises that nobody pays any attention to. Every car I've ever purchased with an "alarm system" installed has been a hot mess, and I always end up removing them. The CARBINE branded car alarm that was added to this white truck was no different - it just made noise, always false tripped, and stopped even unlocking the doors. It all started falling apart 24 hours after I purchased the truck.

At one point this mess of wires and modules must have set the previous owner back a pretty penny. It had all sorts of features - a long range 2-way radio signal to alert you (on a special key fob) when the truck was being broken into and how, integration with the keyless entry and factory horn, and more. If you so much as touched the truck it would go off - and the wind set it off more times than not. The key fob didn't work worth a damn and the alarm siren and truck horn would blare every time I tried to unlock the truck. I swear it worked when I test drove it and all the way home, but the day after I got back the key fob no longer cycled the remote locks - just set off the alarm. I'm cursed when it comes to alarms!

As a work around (FOR THREE MONTHS!) I would manually unlock the driver's door with the key, then cycle the "unlock" button on the alarm fob, then open the door. I'd manually lock it when exiting. If you did this out of order - ALARM! ALARM! ALARM! The little siren didn't last 2 days before I ripped it out and threw hard into a concrete wall.

One day in late June we had a small window of time where we could touch this truck, so I asked Brad to swap the radio (see below) from Truck Norris over this white truck, and remove the aftermarket alarm in the process. He found a wiring harness diagram online and got to work. After removing the face plate of the dash, then the column covers and knee crushing plate, the wiring, relays, and alarm modules were uncovered.

Brad surgically removed the entire system, which strangely enough wasn't even connected to the ignition system - and sure enough, I could start and drive this truck with the alarm blaring (ask me how I know). With the many wires, modules, windshield mounted transmitter removed it was finally alarm free. But I still needed a remote keyless entry fob - so I stole one from Truck Norris. Reprogramming it (and any replacement you but) was rather easy. After a quick check of Google and 60 seconds of programming, I had a remote keyless entry and factory security system working again. If the flashing "SECURITY" light issues start up I know how to fix that, which we discussed earlier in this thread for Truck Norris. Its all functioning like the factory intended now.

I was very happy to NOT have go through a 4 step process to unlock and disarm the alarm anymore. Just hit "unlock" on the fob and hop in the truck. While the alarm was being removed the radio was swapped...


Other than the alarm, the $300 Alpine IDA-X100 radio the previous owner had installed (2008 installation) bugged me something fierce. It sounded great, and come to find out after looking at his receipts, the speakers were upgraded as well (Kicker 6" and 4x6" speakers installed in 2007). But this Alpine had one of the worst layouts I've ever seen for radio controls - it was literally as bad as BMW iDrive, with a big dial you had to press and rotate and other buttons you had to press to change to different FM station presets.

It was super distracting to have to mash and rotate and press 3 buttons just to change a station. NOPE! Add to that it had no Bluetooth support - you had to buy an upgrade module" for about $100 to get that feature back then. That's janky - time to swap in the Alpine radio we had in... you guessed it! TruckNorris

I was still pretty happy with the Alpine CDE-135BT head unit we installed into the old Truck Norris back in August 2013 (see above left - shown inside the black dash from Truck Norris). It was easy to use, sounded good, had integrated Bluetooth support, an external microphone to use with calls (see above right) and worked with well my phone. The one thing about this setup I never loved was the phone holder, which sat up on the dash with a suction cup. It held onto the dash during the crash but the head popped off and my phone was wedged up under the windshield. Almost damaging my $1000 phone was almost as costly as the rest of this crash, so I wanted something more secure and out of my line of sight - see the new RAM phone holder solution in the next section.

Brad went to the old Truck Norris and removed the OEM black face plate from the dash. I was hoping to replace the grey unit on the new truck, which had a hole drilled in it for an LED from the stupid alarm system, but it looks too dark with the light grey dash. He then extracted the 2013 Alpine unit for use in the new truck.

Brad got to work on the new truck and removed the 2008 era Alpine and replaced it with the newer Alpine unit from Truck Norris. The old unit was hit with #TheJankyStick on the way out.

A mixture of both dash installation kits was used, but the harnesses were fairly interchangeable, since they were both Alpine units for 1999-07 GMT800 trucks. The new unit fired up and worked like a champ - even kept the Bluetooth pairing to my phone! Sounded great and changing radio stations was easy again. I can mash one button and give Siri commands via the microphone we swapped over, for hands free dialing, navigation, and the rest.


This might seem trivial but having a sturdy, easy to use phone holder is very important to me. I invest a lot in my smart phones and I live and die by this thing - it reminds me when to wake up, has my "to do" list and calendar, email, Facebook, navigation, and streaming music stations I've worked on for years. My phone goes with me everywhere, and I drive this truck everywhere. So the truck and phone need a good mounting interface.

It has taken me a lifetime to learn this valuable lesson, and I keep learning it over and over again: You get what you pay for. You want to be cheap? You are gonna get cheap results. Spend a little more up front to get quality and you will be rewarded in the long run.

For this new truck I purchased a number of cheap Chinese phone holders as a test, shown above. I have 3 or 4 other ones I've purchased for other vehicles. After using these for a few days I realized that they are garbage. GARBAGE. The dash mounted unit I had in Truck Norris worked "OK" but it was somewhat flimsy, didn't hold the phone securely, and snapped in half during the crash. I have got to stop buying the cheap Chinese junk like this - they always let you down in the end.

I looked at a friend's "magnetic" phone holder setup, which he swore by. This works where you have some dash mounted magnetic pedestal with a magnet, and a thin piece of steel that you apply to the back of your phone with adhesive. Only $8.99! Act now, operators are standing by! You just point the phone at the magnet and it sticks. Sort of. A light flick of my pinkie finger sent his phone tumbling to the floor. Uhhh.... no. A good bump in the road will send my phone falling under my feet. Another cheap Chinese gimmick.

continued below
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Unread 07-02-2017, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

continued from above

I have always used RAM mounts for lap timer/data loggers and windshield suction cup camera mounts. They are rugged, easy to adjust, use a standardized 1" ball for mounting at either ends, and standardized bolt hole spacing for the "device holders" and suction cup ends. When something is important in a race car I use a RAM mount, why not for a costly phone in my daily driven truck? This time I didn't need the windshield suction cup mount, but instead a bolt-on mount to secure it all to the dash.

After the latest round of Chinese crap was shown to be as bad expected, I purchased a number of USA made modular RAM mounting parts. I got a RAM (RAM-HOL-PD3U) Universal Spring Loaded "Large" Cell Phone Cradle Holder ($14.24), RAM "Diamond Base" with 1" Ball ($7.95) to mount to the phone holder, and a Ram Composite Double Socket Arm for 1-Inch Ball Bases ($8.80). To this was added a (RAM-B-202U) Round Marine Electronic 1-Inch Ball Mount Base ($6.99). Could have used a second "Diamond" shaped base but I wanted something larger and heavier duty on the chassis side.

If you have read my other build threads you know we use lots of threaded "nutserts" or "rivnuts". These threaded inserts are used to add a threaded hole to a blind panel - like the mounting points for the flares on my E46 race car, above. Nutserts are installed with a special rivet gun (see above). Rivnuts can be installed into sheet metal, of course, but there are different nutserts made for use with plastic or fiberglass panels. Four of these threaded inserts were added to the dash. This gives us a place to screw the stainless M5 button head bolts for the round RAM base.

Aaron bolted the round "marine" RAM mount base into the dash nutserts, near the airbag disable switch - which is never used (it is always "On" - I never carry child seats). This small area of plastic is bolted to the inner dash structure and can easily be replaced in minutes, with either new plastic pieces or a plastic "cubby" from the extended cab GMT800 trucks ($17, which was purchased but not used). The RAM double socket arm attaches to the RAM base at the dash, then the diamond head attaches at the other end. This is then bolted to the "large" RAM phone case holder.

This RAM phone holder wasn't quite big enough for the large frame of my iPhone 6+ with a case. I asked Aaron to cut off the two "fixed" plastic claw mounts and add a bent aluminum clamp in its place. This was built then riveted to the end of the RAM holder, extending the clamp reach by half an inch. This worked perfectly to fit my big 6+ sized phone with case.

I've been using this RAM holder setup for about a week and absolutely love it. I can install my phone into the spring loaded holder with one hand, blindfolded, so its no longer bouncing around on the center console. Installing it just takes a bit of downward pressure and it pops into the upper and lower jaws of the holder. The 4 adjustable side pins keep the phone aligned left to right. It won't move a fraction of an inch within the holder, and the RAM arm and base keep the holder from moving relative to the truck. Secure as hell - I suspect it would survive any crash without moving. People use this phone holder on motorcycles, so it is well trusted. And I've trusted RAM products for many years, too.

With the Alpine unit from Truck Norris installed now we have Bluetooth communication from radio to phone, and I've been using this for Pandora music streaming, navigation with Waze, and hands free calling. Compared to using your phone on speaker this is 100 times better - louder, clearer, and hassle free. The RAM mount allows me to rotate the phone or swivel the mount around in a pretty big arc. I've got it just out of the way of the HVAC vents and just below the top of the dash. If my phone is low on juice I can plug in the Lightning cable through the two lower claws, to charge on the go.

The only regret I have is not adding this RAM mount setup to either truck sooner! In this case "doing it right" was a whopping $38 in parts, and worth every penny. All of my cars with janky Chinese phone holders are getting something similar, soon.


These are two things that just broke on the new truck, which I detailed earlier on the original Truck Norris. The console lid has some foam on the back side to keep it tight against the latch, but the foam had disintegrated. This made the lid squeak.... constantly.

This is a known issue on single cab GMT800s, along with the rear hinge mount snapping off (like it did on Truck Norris). I asked Aaron to swap the lid from Truck Norris to the new white truck, but they have different grey interior colors... the white trucks' is a much lighter shade of gray vs the dark charcoal grey of the old truck. So instead he swapped the replacement aftermarket lid's lower section over, which had new foam, and it worked like a champ. No more foam dust going everywhere - and no more squeaking!

The image above at left shows the upper console lids separated from the lower. They can be "unsnapped" but take a lot of pressure to snap back together. I suspect this console lid in the white truck had been replaced at some point - its just too clean and perfect for a truck with 208K miles. But it matches the rest of the interior and exterior, which are perfect.

The same goes for the tailgate latch - which broke and stuck on the white truck in June. Aaron removed it from the back side and manually opened the tailgate. He then extracted the latch from the old truck - which had been replaced with a better aftermarket version and new latch clips. The red and green clips are what break, but the latch itself was pretty crusty on the white 2000, so we replaced everything with the newer/aftermarket parts from Truck Norris - latch assembly, clips, and latch surround.

This is yet another part from Truck Norris transferred over after a problem on the new truck. Very handy having the old truck around...


When we were doing the center console lid swap I cleaned out the contents of this storage area and found a big stack of repair receipts from the previous owner. I went through these when I was putting them in a proper file folder and found out a number of things. One, the ARE fiberglass bed cover cost $1429 to order and install, wow.

Also, the previous owner did really good maintenance on this truck using outside shops: regular oil changes, a transmission flush, diff fluid, new ball joints, annual tune ups, new AC compressor, alternator, the other rear caliper was replaced 2 years ago, tires every few years, and on and on. The only thing he didn't fix properly was the latch for the ARE bedcover, which looked like it was glued in place. It fell off within about a week of ownership, gone. I'll have our guys build a proper latch from aluminum soon. Otherwise we will just wait until I buy the flat, retractable aluminum cover.

The original taillight lenses on the 2000 were foggy and cooked from the sun (see above left) - 18 years will do that. When you step on the brakes they are faint and hard to see in full daylight. Not good - I want whoever is behind me to SEE when I am stopping, after what happened to me in the old truck. I had hoped to re-use the relatively new 2003-07 Silverado taillights (above right) that we had installed in Truck Norris, but both sides were cracked in the rear end collision. I did some research...

For this new truck I wanted something even brighter than new OEM rear lights. I wanted LED brightness so I just ordered these aftermarket LED taillight housings (see above). These aftermarket units are ALL made in China now, and can often be cheesy looking and flaky, but I did a lot of research and got some of the costlier units. A buddy has the same ones in his GMT800, so I figured I'd give these a try. Look for that and some new front headlight housings in my next update.


The "LR4" Vortec 4800 4.8L GEN III iron block V8 under the hood of this 2000 Silverado is somewhat uninspiring. The LR4 engines in 1999 produced 255 hp while the 2000-04 models made 270 hp/285 lb·ft, and the 2005-2006 models made 285 hp/295 lb·ft. The last 208,000 miles of use hasn't made it any more powerful. The 1999 "LM7" 5.3L engine produced 270 hp/315 lb·ft - which is what we had in Truck Norris (plus we had a cold air, long tube headers, dual 3" exhaust, and a custom dyno tune). The 2000-2003 LM7 made 285 hp/325 lb·ft and the 2004-2007 made 295 hp/335 lb·ft. This also has a cast iron block and aluminum heads.

So theoretically this 2000 Chevy's 4.8L should make as much horsepower as the stock 5.3L in the 1999 GMC we had. It sure doesn't feel like it - this thing is a slug. Sure, it has a K&N cold air, but otherwise its stock. I suspect we will move the long tube ARH headers and custom dual 3" exhaust over to this new truck fairly soon, along with the new fuel pump from the old truck as well.

Now that our engine shop HorsePower Research is really going strong it might be time to think about a more powerful engine to build for Truck Norris 2. Something with an aluminum GEN III block, bigger displacement, and better heads/cam/intake. We're about to test a Holley Hi-Ram intake on a customer's 7.7L powered car and if it works as well as we hope, I might add one of those to the shopping list. These are easy to fit under the hood of a truck and they really uncork the over 7.0L LS engines. Big time.

Wheels and tires are still stock and boring, but the tall sidewall 17" tires do ride better than the 20" wheel/tire combo I had on Truck Norris. Still deciding what to do with the brakes, which might dictate a move to at least an 18" diameter wheels. The 6 piston Powerbrake kit (above) made for the GMT800 is just begging to be purchased.

More soon,
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Unread 07-04-2017, 12:18 PM
CrowsFeast CrowsFeast is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

A little late now that you've bought the built in LED tail lights but you could have done Silverado housings and replace the bulbs with LED's. I did this with my previous car (current one has oem led's) and it worked out very well. I followed it once (mom driving) and it bordered on being too bright!
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Unread 07-19-2017, 02:22 PM
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WarShrike WarShrike is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

We have a high ram on the shop truck, "The Krakken" and it's been nice. Can't say the same about the sammich intercooler that goes between the lid and the LIM.

It was advertised to be efficient on up to 2000hp, but it's not even doing that at a lower level and we have a huge water supply, reservoir and bilge pump to supply it all.

I need to do a few things with some rivnuts, I forgot about that tech awhile back.
2000 Pontiac Firebird
●Heads/Cam/Intake●FFF Longtubes●Strano HP7 Package●T56 swapped●
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Unread 08-09-2017, 01:30 AM
Zora Zora is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

Been following this post lately, can't wait to see your progress on the truck! I also own a 2000 silverado with a 4.8 (stock) and i'm wondering about modding it. I've seen a couple of videos pushing the little v8 to around 900hp. For a 17-18 year old engine I think some seafoam should help it gain a little horsepower back.
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Unread 08-19-2017, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

Project Update for August 19th, 2017: Not much to report on the white truck (#Trucknado) this time, just a few upgrades and fixes. We have been too busy to tackle any of the big performance stuff or even much of the #TruckNorris parts transfer. So far I still really like this little truck, and its much cleaner than TruckNorris ever was. Radio and Bluetooth upgrade make life so much easier inside. We have had some really mild weather for August in Texas and I've washed the truck a couple of times in the morning, before the crew gets to the shop.

I'm still a bit frustrated with the somewhat lackluster performance of the 4.8L vs the hotted-up 5.3L in the old truck, but we will address that SOON. This time I am going to cover some new exterior lighting upgrades, an ant extermination job, and some battery fixes.


Since my last update we moved "out in the country" to a small piece of property (the #FairFarm... soon to be called AntFarm!) and I sometimes have to park this truck in the grass out there. I've tried to avoid it but we are very "driveway limited" compared to our old house, where we had 10K sf of concrete driveway and parking area. Well we have been noticing little black ants in the grass out there and after one solid rain a week ago they migrated into Trucknado.

After having the battery not work (see below) earlier that day, I saw ants all over the inside of the truck bed when I got to work. See I was transporting a bunch of cardboard boxes left over from our recent move, to put them in the giant recycling dumpster at Vorshlag. Those boxes got wet sitting outside for a day, and I guess the ants had made a new home inside. After unloading the ant covered boxes I still saw them - under the truck bed mat, on the exterior of the truck, and even a few inside. I pulled out the bed mat and floor mats and washed all of the ants out that I could see. Then Aaron got to work on the battery issues but found thousands more in the weatherstrip seals, underhood, on the frame, everywhere! WTF! This literally happened during one full day of being parked in the grass at the farm, FFS....

Aaron blasted the truck outside, underneath, and underhood with the pressure washer and ants were swimming down into the creek behind the shop in droves... but they just kept re-appearing. This ant spawn/power wash cycle went on for for almost 2 hours while he fixed the battery cables. That night they were still coming out, I tried some "ant dust" applied around the tires like demon powder! As the #Jankystick points out above, that crap did NOT work.

Jon then brought me some proper ant killer - Bifen Insecticide/Termiticide. One ounce per gallon of water in my garden sprayer (aka: tire sprayer) and I sprayed the truck in the same spots as we power washed, including on the paint. Haven't seen an ant in a week since. I then used the remainder of that first gallon mix to spray all around the house. No more ants there, either. Good stuff, just ordered more from Amazon - it kills ALL bugs, doesn't mess with pets, and its easy to apply "like a pro" with a tire sprayer. I don't recommend this for race tires, however...

So earlier on the morning of "Ant Day" the truck wouldn't start. It wanted to try to crank, but acted like it had a bad connection at the battery. The battery was 4 years old (they last about 4-6 years in Texas heat) but it looked good, no oozing crud from the GM style side terminals. Of course it was pouring rain when I came out of the gym, and the truck was now parked in 4" of water. So I broke out my Leatherman multi-tool and managed to get the terminals off. Yuck, both cable ends were FULL of crud. I scraped the funk back and got it to start, then limped the truck to work.

After we attacked the ants Aaron got some new side terminal posts ordered and replaced the crusty OEM ones. The copper ends of the main positive and negative battery cables were then cleaned and inspected. The corrosion did not travel up inside the insulation so they were re-used - sometimes the rot goes up inside the cable jacket and they have to be replaced.

Everyone that knows me understands I'm a bit of a clean freak. I hate dirty cars, engines, wheels, shop areas, etc. Apparently the new technician/fabricator Aaron picked up on this and without me prompting him he removed the battery and battery tray, cleaned the surface rust off the tray, and painted it black. Then replaced all of the crusty hardware with shiny new bits from our metric bolt assortment. I noticed when I came out and saw the finished product - good stuff. All told he spent 1.4 hours power washing the ants all over the truck, cleaning the terminals, painting the tray and buttoning up all of the battery repairs. No problems since.

PRO TIP: Shortly after you buy any used car, go to the trouble of removing the battery terminals and inspect the cable ends. Then inspect the battery's age, too. Clean the connections - this is the NUMBER ONE reason why any car won't start. Don't do this on the side of the road at night, or in a parking lot in the rain like I did. Plan ahead, be proactive, and spend the $2 on fresh terminals if its a GM side post battery. Do this every 2 years and your battery won't let you down.


I pointed out the LED tail lights I planned to purchase last time. I wanted to get something brighter than the very faded OEM tail lights (below left) that had old school incandescent bulbs in this 2000 Silverado (18 year old plastics parked in Texas sun tend to fade).

I went with LED tail lights mostly for the safety aspect - they are MUCH brighter under braking, and that is a real thing for me. Virtually every car made in the past 5-10+ years comes with LED base tail lights, as they last much longer, use less power, and provide much more light than filament bulbs. After looking at dozens of options and styles I went with a sedate LED array, no Altizzima silliness. Technology improves and better options than OEM housings exist for very little money. Yes I could have just bought LED replacement bulbs and used them in new Silverado housings, but I wanted to try this simple LED array housing from "Spyder Auto" (aka: China).

I ordered the tamest version they make - no smoked lenses, no clear LEDs, just a LED housing with stock looking red lenses. Before ordering I read a bunch of reviews on the Amazon. Most of the reviews for this brand were very positive (4 stars is good compared to other brands/options) except for one thing: these would sometimes arrive with a broken lens. And sure enough, the first set that I ordered arrived with one broken (see above). I went through the return process with the Amazon and shipped them back. My account was credited within about 2 weeks, so I checked a bunch more brands and reviews, then... re-ordered the same damn things.

This second set arrived in perfect shape, in the same type of packaging. Who knows. They looked very shiny and sparkly and Aaron had these installed in a handful of minutes - they are literally plug-and-play replacements.

The LED 3rd brake light/cargo light setup above (from "SPPC", aka: China) is another aftermarket replacement that upgrades the OEM unit. About $57 shipped, and Aaron had that installed in about 3 minutes. Yet another plug-and-play solution that really worked. Very bright 3rd brake light, and a much more usable "cargo light" with the clear portions on the sides. Have used this many times already to unload things at night, its handy.

The stock style front headlights were in great shape - somebody had even replaced them at one point. There are tons of OEM housings available on the Amazon for around $100, including the lower Daylight Running/Turn Signal Lights. They are easy to change - you pull to quick release pins (see above right) and out the come!

But the stock 1999-2002 Chevrolet headlights bored me - I always liked the 1999-07 GMC sierra front headlight shape and grill better. But changing over to GMC or even the later 2003-07 Chevy bits would involve new fenders and hood, and this truck's finish is too perfect to warrant that. So I went with aftermarket headlights that differ slightly from the OEM bits...

I took a bit of a gamble on these headlight assemblies form DNA Motoring (aka: China), but at $83 it wasn't a huge risk. There are dozens and dozens of headlight style options for these trucks, a dizzying array of poor taste and bad design. These are just subtly different enough that some might not notice the change. Its the same shape housings but with black plastics inside. Not CHROME! or SMOKED! or ALTEZZA! styled, just a little different. I like them, gives the truck just a slight alternation from the boring OEM lights.

Another easy install, with the OEM bulbs and sockets just swapping over. Some options come with new sockets/bulbs but these didn't. I'd suggest changing the turn signal bulbs to amber, which we will do next week. The lighting is good at night but we need to adjust them ever so slightly.

The LED tail light housings work very well, too. The images above are in full daylight with the parking lights on, not the brake lights. At night the brake lights are BRIGHT, which is what I wanted. Again, they have the same shape and coloring as the stock units, just in a more modern LED array. Happy with all 3 purchases so far.


I wanted to get these new headlight housings installed and sorted out before dropping more money on LED replacement bulbs for the main lights, running lights, turn signals, and rear reverse lights - all of which are using the OEM style bulbs for now. There are SO many options on LED bulb replacements it makes my head spin! Many of these have fans to keep them cool, which apparently can be noisy. I will try some out and give a review here soon.

This 4.8L needs to go. I've got a hot little 5.7L LS engine with the same 24 style tooth reluctor left over from a previous project. Wait, an iron 5.7L LS was never built by GM!? That is true, but its a long story. This thing should make close to 380 whp and its just sitting here - probably double the power of this old 4.8L V8 lump. For the cost of a balancer and some gaskets we can swap in this 5.7L + the 1-7/8" long tubes + tuned PCM from #TruckNorris and it should scoot along pretty well.

The OEM wheels and nearly stock ride height are also pretty annoying, but I have so many other "higher priorities" right now. I have to pay to build a new shop for Vorshlag, the house we moved into needs work, I've got major mods planned for my BMW E46 330, then I went and bought this C6 Z06 Corvette since my last post - and it needs everything. So for now the OEM 17" truck wheels/tires/stance are gonna stay. Power... we must improve the power next!

Until next time,

Last edited by Fair!; 10-05-2018 at 11:27 AM.
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Unread 08-21-2017, 09:47 AM
frink84 frink84 is offline
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

I've got the same combo of company's LED taillights and not chromed headlights on my 96 Suburban, they all work pretty dang well. Nice work!
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Unread 10-07-2018, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag Shop Truck - 5.3L SWB GMT800 (Truck Norris!)

Project Update for October 7th, 2018: Not a huge update this time, just a few repairs on the white 2000 Silverado to cover for the last 14 months of driving. Still don't know what to call this, as #TruckNorris was such a good name for the old GMC. So sometimes I just call it that. Also sharing some plans, a bit of "thinking out loud", to show where we might go next on my daily driver shop truck.


There has been a weird, intermittent starting issue with this truck since I bought it a year and a half ago. It doesn't have any problems starting up in the morning for the first time, or with restarting after it has been run for a few minutes. But if you let it sit for more than 10 minutes it would take a LOT of cranking to get it fired back up. But if it sits for a number of hours parked, it would crank and fire immediately again.

There were no leaks or obvious issues that we could see. But then a buddy of mine with the same year/model truck had the same issue (McCall). He did a bunch of research and turns out this is common - and usually a bad fuel pressure regulator. He replaced his and it fixed the issue, so I ordered one as well.

There are two styles of regulators for these engines, so I checked my 2000 Silverado visually and this one had the vacuum line coming off at a 90° angle (instead of straight). The part was $36 from RockAuto and it was finally here about a week and a half later (the down side to RA is the time it takes to get anything). The old unit had a bad diaphragm that was leaking fuel internally, which dumped into the vacuum port. Fuel was pouring out of the vacuum line when Brad took it off!

He swapped on the new unit in a matter of minutes. That fixed the starting issue 100%, and the truck runs better at cruise and part throttle as well. It has since rolled 228,000 miles and this original 4.8L V8 is running smoothly once again.


I was so happy with the improvement from the fuel pressure regulator repair that we went ahead and did an oil and filter change. Old oil coming out was black, 2 qts low, terrible. We had some free jugs of 10W60 LiquiMoly synthetic and then we ordered a Wix oil filter.

Now that the truck runs properly and I wasn't ready to ram this truck into a bridge embankment any longer, I gave it a good wash. It had been MANY months and the filth buildup on the hood shows how bad it got - I washed half the hood and shot that pic above. Damn.

Long overdue cleaning, but its been raining steadily for months here. Never went more than a few days of sunlight this summer, other than the dry month of July.


Still need to replace the door pins for both hinges (parts have been here for a while). Then pull the entire interior out and do a deep cleaning - never did that on this truck since we bought it, and it shows. A bit musty inside (might have a water leak?), and very dirty carpets, but it should all clean up nicely - like it did in the GMC. Just need time to pull seats + carpet, shampoo all of that, let it air dry for a day, then put it all back in.

We already changed the radio on this 2000 Silverado, which came with a weird unit I didn't like when I bought it (below), for the one I bought in 2013 for the original Truck Norris.

The current working mostly fine, just has some "trouble" sometimes getting a Bluetooth connection going after startup. Sometimes it works in the first 5 seconds, sometimes it takes a few minutes and lots of fiddling to make a connection to my phone. Frustrating.

Getting access to the head unit is super easy, with the front of the dash cover that just pops on and off. And with the old GMC hanging around I've got a spare, too.

After having seen some good double-DIN LCD screen radios with Apply CarPlay lately, I think I want to add one to this truck. There are aftermarket front dash covers made for a Double-DIN install (above left) and with a big LCD screen mimicking my phone screen I will have more things to distract me while driving.

Would like to add a rear camera, for reversing (and possibly hooking up to a trailer - more on that later). I did buy a traffic camera that I have been using, but it needs to be integrated / wired a little more cleanly.


Lots of little things need to be fixed on this truck, but nothing major. Cruise control stopped working a long time ago, so we need to chase that down. And of course we still have that hotted up 5.7L LS motor sitting here. And the long tube headers and exhaust from the original #TruckNorris.

I've got the old GMC parked at the edge of the shop's parking area on new property, off in the corner next to a Miata. This way I can keep it and the GMC can become a good "parts truck" to keep this 2000 Silverado on the road.

The old 4L60E transmission in this Silverado is starting to get tired at 228K miles. The same unit in the 1999 GMC was even worse right before the accident. So I need to decide if I want to rebuild one of these two units and swap it in with the 5.7L LS motor? Or maybe upgrade to the newer 6L80 6 speed auto? There are some plug-and-play harnesses for making the modern, stronger 6 speed auto work in this GMT800 chassis. It would require a modified driveshaft as well, maybe more. I am researching this work.

The suspension in this truck is starting to get a bit clunky. Just a bunch of worn out ball joints, bushings, shocks and the rest. And the brakes... bought new rotors to and we plan to swap over to the "big OEM bits" from TruckNorris, just need to actually do that. And the tires on this thing are old and dry rotted. Lots to do.

That's all for this time. Nothing earth shattering, just normal maintenance stuff and some plans.

More soon,
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