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So looking to build my '03 into a (semi) monster...

redheadedrod

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PM 2015
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May 15, 2011
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Muskegon, MI
Assuming my truck holds together well I am looking to do some upgrades when I retire in 4.5 years. (Retire from first job and start collecting pension right away, start new career as hacker or computer programmer or both, have fun)

Note that the end result is to have a truck I can drive on normal roads just fine but can also have fun off road as well. I plan to pick up another truck to pull this truck with when finished so I don't worry if I am going to break it when having fun with it...

Since I have no experience in upgrading a 4x4 I want to start planning for it now... Might even do some of the lower cost stuff before hand.

The end product will be equipped with a Magnusen super charger on a 6.0L engine as planned currently. Putting out 600+ hp.

I expect to need to replace some of the driveline to handle this power and want to consider it now to reduce my chance of major breakage when playing with it.  I assume I can replace my transmission with a stronger one but don't want to loose too much power to parasitic losses. Would a 4l80E make sense with something like this or is there something better out there?

I am somewhat familiar with the rear ends.  I know the simplest thing to do is to go to a bigger rear end and probably go with a different gear to support bigger tires.

Beyond that what are my considerations for the front differential and the transfer case? While they may be able to handle the power while towing or going down the road are they going to hold together when I am stuck in the mud trying to get out?

I will leave the suspension and related questions to another thread in the 4x4 area.

Not planning on building a drag truck so much... I will be building a car for that stuff... ;) 

 

redheadedrod

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Still in process actually... I have installed an H2 rear end on my truck but haven't actually driven it yet. Had a lot happen the past couple months.
The old rear broke on me and I picked up an H2 3/4 ton rear with 4.10 gearing and electric locker to replace it with. Had the driveshaft shortened and ready to go. I have a leak at the transfer case adapter to transmission so I am stuck until I pull that and replace the gasket and related seals. I will be leaving the front drive shaft off when finished because the front diff is a 3.73 gear. Once I fix the TC leak I have to redo one of the brake lines on the rear end then I can take it out for a test drive. I left the Parking brake off and I have to get some parts for the sway bar to reinstall that but it will be driveable.

The engine is currently under construction. I haven't had the time to work on it but I have everything but the heads for it now. I MAY initially reuse the factory 317 heads or wait until I get my taxes back to work on it further.
The engine is an LQ9 out of a 2005 escalade. It is now rolling with a 408 stroker rotating assembly and Stage 3 Turbo Cam.
I have to install the front and rear seals, clearance the windage tray for the stroker assembly, install the pickup tube and oil pan. Then flip the motor over and install the Lifters and trays. Using all ARP studs for main caps, and heads, using ARP bolts for oil pan and balancer. I am waiting on the balancer at the moment before I do much else with the motor.

So realistically the only things left to get are the heads, rockers (If necissary) and push rods. I have everything else here. Then I will install it on my truck and get it running.

I have an original prototype Lightning blower here and a guy that can make the adapter to make it work with an air to water inter cooler setup. But I MAY wait until I get my taxes in January to finish this motor up and install it by spring. I have a local tuner with Dyno that will set it up for me when I get there. The engine will get all new sensors.

I will likely drop the front diff since the gearing is wrong and temporarily run it without the front diff. I have axle stubs to install in the front hubs so they don't come apart. Not sure I want to waste the money to put a different gear in the front end if I plan to go SAS in a year or so. I MIGHT try rebuilding the front diff with the right gearing myself just as a project to see if I can do it but we shall see. But local junkyard sells rebuild front diffs with whatever gearing I want for $1000 and my old diff. And they told me these diffs are the same on the 3/4 ton trucks so I would just have to swap to the 3/4 ton hubs and axle shafts.

As for the supercharger. I will get it up and running with this one and see how it goes. I got this low mileage blower for $100 and now I just have to adapt it to fit on my engine. It should be good for 500-600 hp. I don't believe it will be able to go much higher. But once it is up and running I can always sell it and upgrade to a bigger unit. Not sure how much I would have tied up in it but I expect I will be super charged for less than $1000.

But I will also have to upgrade the fuel system and exhaust system before I go bigger. I will hopefully be fabricating a dual blower system sometime next year that could get me well over 1000hp by using a couple of STS-V blowers on a custom fabricated adapter. I will be practicing my fabrication skills for that one. lol. But I want to make sure the engine is running well long before I do that. And those blowers should fit under a hood with a slightly raised center.

Then we go from there.. So this is a long term project. I retire 12 months from this posting and I will be starting a new Career. I hope to have the truck running with the dual blower system by that time. Once I have my "new" job I will be looking to take my truck to a custom shop to have the SAS done and about a 12" lift. To be built to handle the toughest terrain possible. Will likely be a very capable off road vehicle when I get it done.

And I will be sure to post pictures in my specific threads... I actually do have a couple different threads about this truck where I am at today. I have plenty of projects to finish on this truck. I hopefully will have time to get back to the PC install and try to finish that up as well. But I am also fabricating a blower for my CTS which I will be working on once my truck is back on the road.

When I posted this message originally I was busy with school and had my kids at home with no place to really work on stuff. Still in school, kids are grown but I am about to retire. The truck does have some "michigan cancer" But that will be dealt with when I do the lift. Also looking at getting a full MOVE bumper and possibly one of their rear bumpers and modifying it to work on my truck since they don't actually make them for this truck.
Have a plasma cutter, a stick welder and a tig welder so I can do some stuff. I will likely be picking up a mig welder at some point too so I can make new toys. :)
 
Last edited:

bacs22

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Feb 25, 2003
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Hamilton, NJ
Would a 4l80E make sense with something like this or is there something better out there?

You might know a little more about this than I do…but if you switch to the 4L80E I believe there are a host of additional modifications and adapters that are needed.

I would checkout a built 4L65E, 4L70E, or a 4L75E first. What I do know is what you’re building will eat the stock transmission sooner than later.

I’m looking at a GearStar or Monster 4L65E for myself.
 
Last edited:

batmanntexas

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Mar 14, 2010
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59
Location
Sanford, NC
Take a look at Performabuilt transmissions as well. I have one of their Stage 3+ 4L70E units in my Avalanche, and it works just fine at 650-700whp. Also using a CIrcle D billet stall converter.

Your right though, the stock tranny DID NOT like the additional HP & TQ...neither did the rear differential :)
 
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