Jump to content
  • Sign up for FREE! Become a GM-Trucks.com Member Today!

    In 20 seconds you can become part of the worlds largest and oldest community discussing General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC branded pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. From buying research to owner support, join 1.5 MILLION GM Truck Enthusiasts every month who use GM-Trucks.com as a daily part of their ownership experience. 

Sign in to follow this  
barry G

barry G's 1996 gmc 4x4 5spd

Recommended Posts

windshield installed.

-12F in lagrange maine for my cold start.. I checked safelite website, they allowed a delay to 2 pm.

bangor maine was going to be 13F by then.


the repair guy scrubbed 2 small rust spots under the 18 year old glass, gave it 2 coats of primer.. and complimented the condition.


We got to talking, he is also looking for a gmt400.. less gadgets, and the first years of real injection.

I was proud to bring this one in to their shop.


not trusting the time allowance for glass to seat, now at 8F this evening already.. I let it sit and idle hot defrost to allow more seat time.


ice and rain storm tomorrow...again.

I also got free full trim, the glass edge and the side pieces at the door.


all that stuff was 18 years old.
This means 250-300k miles.



You don't know how bad the old glass is , until you look through some brand new sometimes.


analogy to evolution..



the new ground followup..

cold starts back to the reason I love this truck, it is on its way.

Now just pretending it will get through another ice storm with no problems... I am sure it will. The safelite guys seemed confident, and told me of the warranty.

Edited by barry G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always doubt windshield swaps, unless factory..

I found something interesting.

Even the old glass is outdated.(I am sure of it)


I got brand new fuyao brand.

Click image for larger version  Name: glass.jpg Views: 1 Size: 11.0 KB ID: 1189083

my safelite review..
ice, arctic, rain 40s, F frozen again, now 12F and 12 inches of snow.

in one week we have had a worlds weather...one spot, called maine.

I judge thickness of new glass at the wipers outside and my finger inside behind them.
this seems beefier than what was already damn good.
no wavy side views, no egg like magnifying.


the last clues something is better.. induction noise with lid popped up on air cleaner, and my flowmaster.

it changed sound to less decibels. ..and to think my neighbor used to sleep on our nascar run to the V.A. hospital appts already. :) 

I get into my dads 2016, and look at the corner of glass for the brand
same as mine.


lo and behold, safelite isn't flunking like a corvette forum full of bitches might declare.

this review is for real results.
I know they can't mess with truck glass anyway, they got work to do, and windshields are always a part of structure strength.

I'd do it again for sure.
I am guessing some kind of computer guidance and chemistry would be the changes. It is right on as of now.. and will only settle to even better.
Being a steel nut, I am glad to have new glass, my welding got these old two rails straight as can be. New glass allows it to dial in even more.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you got the truck rolling good !!!!!! Hang on another month and the frost heaves and potholes will slow your time lol.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, pickmeup said:

Looks like you got the truck rolling good !!!!!! Hang on another month and the frost heaves and potholes will slow your time lol.

they are here now..

I am also inspecting my rear tail welds every ride out, it is a baja thrashing for miles on my rural road.


I did good. right on the money.. I even sailed up to 90mph once on the big highway.

I love the trucks, everything good in comes back out good.


I am quite sure now my baby has never seen this cycle, it is a 1996.

we are going through an 1989-1993 cycle.. related to the sun.

Nerdy, but I pay attention.


-23.6F has been the low..coming weeks is the last wild stab for even colder, before april climbs right out with a vengeance.

may not get it this year.. but might.


I also let idle and monitor IAT and ECT. I make sure radiator gains a flow once and awhile.. this 305 stays air cooled the past month+. Does not need radiator flowing.

Edited by barry G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

map sensor


found strange readings at idle, and off idle. timing was pegging to 38-40 really soon. As if no curve.

seemed like an old carb tune with snappy twacking centrifugal advance.


I knew better than that.

I went out on ebay and spent a whole 7  dollars.


sure enough.. I had someones junk yard swap, even bunged up.. but worse. It was outright broken.


no codes triggered.

lesson: live data is still needed to debiug some issues. codes do not trigger all the time.


end result is faster warmup, more retard at idle and gentle timing curve to feed fuel nicely.

fuel saver.


and this really is a mint engine. consumption is next to nothing on oil.

Throttle stays clean.. this revealed the map sensor was the little thief.. from another place.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

coil and module


with the the past 3 years, my first ignition trouble was cheap wires in the maine fog.

this got a swap to 8.8mm zero bleed accel custom equal length

a year later I found the platinum original plugs at .080 and still running strong and clean.


I then swapped to iridiums recommended for this truck.


a broken ground for who knows how long lead me to anew starter eventually.

My bro-n-law swapped out the plugs to LS 5.3


I finally found the ground, and made it hefty and sheathed.


Yet the 25th ice and frigid combo bouncing back and forth, I got a goofy start this morning..


my maintenance manager for the building casually mentioned the coil after a goofy start. It does start now at all times.. that is a good direction. No more no start condition.


I then figured it out...

the module or igniter has been through hell and back, and still coming to life.

my subaru broke coils just to replace a cap or rotor or plugs.. anyhting to do with ignition, coil used to fail.

the setup above is claimed to be for commercial, industrial.. could be ad hoax.. but gm stuff normally doesn't play around like that.



I summarized how tough that little module is on the side of the coil..not to mention a tough coil. Being it had a brain before it.. I give the module credit. This is still working full power mind you.. the february sun is bringing it right back out.

  • coil and heatsink and module is painted covering rust (it is indeed old)
  • alternator met a violent end a year or two ago.
  • map sensor pegged timing to 38 degrees just off throttle.. this is a hard snap for ignition
    • it then survived a new map sensor, new gentle curve.. 2 degrees more retarded at idle. smooth sailing
  • plug wires were so bad, 5 and 7 zapped to each other.. I added brand new accel zero bleed, equal length.
  • 3 different sets of plugs
  • broken engine ground. the disty for sure uses that one.. not sure where module uses its ground. Might be same spot
  • I have never had a machine survive this weather pattern we are in. Ever. Here i am hacking away at a 21 yr old runtime..hardly bothers it.




I am impressed. I am glad to have learned all 23 of my vehicles before this one, to realize how damn good it is.

I went an ordered all new coil/module/heatsink altogether as one. The setup was old enough where a previous owner painted everything black, including heatsink.


From there.. I may swap crank position sensor just for the sake of doing so.

No engine ground at all for more than a year.. I am guessing other items may catch up.


I am truly impressed with how much wet and frozen cycles into the coldest spot in the lower 48..many times.


Edited by barry G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

another map sensor


that little gadget sure does something good.

between that and new coil... ls spark plugs are fast acting as well.


all back to normal plus a percentage unknown. This was never a normal sounding tug boat of a gmt400 anyway.. I just added to it even further.


very alive.


this is a unusually feisty ecm anyway.. manual trans takes a huge load off of functions. It concentrates on motor only...and a/c.


the random p0420 code is now deciphered as well.

the timing controls are faster than the fuel..

you may have seen the unfamous black puff from the newer LS  engines,

tuned engines...they can go as far as a fire spit.


this old 1st year vortec won't ever go there, it is just enough control.

In live data I caught in action.

the trigger is immediate throttle off, and this engine almost barks.


that code goes ignored.. just like my usual inspector does.


that is due thismonth, expecting no problems. The frigid new ebrake cable is back to usable now as well.


good to go.

calling this as no codes.

Edited by barry G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

been awhile.


only 1 chore thus far as I rack up closer to 400k mile marker...

charge up a/c.

dropped to 18psi after our northern maine version of winter.

24 below was the coldest low outside my window

it sat for days as I was in florida etc...20s below, many many high teens below.

we had several weeks of that in a row. nothing above single digits for a high.


a tip to add a sealer that responds well to large systems..Especially on brand new a/c pumps.

I found a kit a parts store put togther just for gm trucks. Real 134a etc.. no gimmicks.

I dropped system to 30 inches vacuum and let all new stuff in.

Colder each year as I go ahead with it. It just might keep the charge for a whole year.



Other than that, the oil change after a winter was spotless. the stainless mesh captures everything.

Very content motor.


Will be doing steel chores soon, will share my simply addons...basic repairs.


Edited by barry G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

october already,

tightening my hurst shifter was the winter chore.

I swapped lenses in front parking to clear.. did not like giving up the old ones...but had to move on.


370k miles and 22 years. They deserve a break.

I was losing ground wire in the parking light passenger side for no reason.

Well.. not wanting to reveal the mystery. The lense had to go, it took on  a life of its own and bothered the circuit.


I do mean the lense by itself had an electrical life of its own.:crazy:

new lense looks good, painted the outer edge of lense black.

Should get photos.. looks modern for sure.


painted frame with kbs in the back, tire crossmember.

rotated tires.


truck is still the go anywhere vehicle, at any moment..

I mean from here to so cal and back if I need it


The latest compliment was by a homeless man. He approached me while sitting in it.

That was nice of him.


I gave him 60 cents. :)


that compliment was yesterday..

my neighbor today mentioned the sound. "this sounds damn good"

I have concluded it will never end. I truly mean that.


Edited by barry G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

its been awhile.

not much to update..

miles now at 374k


needs nothing.

this year my locale has frost heaves I have never seen in my 30 years here.

the steel extras and tires, suspension... I am actually enjoying this even more.


almost 4 years on the tires, no uneven wear.

everyhting works.

bought a new passenger side mirror, had 1 error...

and got a genuine delta pro old logo truck box today very cheap.


our ground is frigid. A trait of maine.. air temps don't matter for late jan and february.

this year is unique.



I carry nearly 300 pounds of stuff living rural. including chains, a generator, 3 ton jack (73 pounds by itself)

the box has been a must do for quite some time.


this summer gets a dig at frame near gas tank, and the same on the other side.

I have been smacking at exfoliation random since I bought this..

time to dig in to keep good measures.

I am beyond half ton already, but hardly leads to trouble.

I need silly strong.


you should see my roads... :rolleyes:


not that I am here to play weird music.. but this song started playing as I finished typing.:crazy:


Edited by barry G
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

been a while



new fender

stainless steel brake lines


and where I am the one working the old frame, I took an air chisel to one hanger. could not kill it.. so now I have two new ones in a box

I laughed out loud to the torture I attempted on the old one...:smash:


now at 375k miles. Been keeping miles down.

I love the thought of this simply starting and being comfortable.

I may get yet another one. A 1998.


a/c recharged, everything is still working.


this summer gets more welding in spots i know will catch up faster than I expect.

I also have a toolbox squaring up the bed. I like it in this xcab model.

I live rural.. there s more than 500 pounds of "stuff" in it. Carefully placed, full to the brim. the old delta pro can handle it.

Learning the steel as much as I have these past 4 years... I like the weight placement and geometry.

Edited by barry G
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

saw a picture on a facebook group for gmt400.

guy was going to take his xcab in for new brake lines... and the truck broke in half on the lift.:(


the sad part is the owners surprise.. wasn't expecting it. not even a pile of rust underneath after it let go.

It did have a big truck cap on, etc... the resonance of years must have hammered a legit crack to fatigue right between cab and bed.


I seriously have a legit phobia of that area in all makes and models.. even dump trucks.

it started when I was a boy.


anyway, my truck is same year.. I am taking it back to the 7500 it was advertised to do from day 1.

lucky for this truck, there was an improper receiver install decades ago. No one ever bothered putting a real one back on (the first attempt had four bolts instead of the six.. missing the long arms that go toward front of truck.)

That saved this trucks wimpy tails for sure. Could not haul heavy off the bumper alone.


I bought this truck needing that lower rail filled in. They even cut triangles to install whatever dumb thing that was...and then left it there.

I ponder some kind of receiver rental hack job.. uhaul or something.



thinking ahead, I added angle iron 2 years ago, the other day added a weld seam.

photos are terrible, but you get an idea anyway.




 Driver side has some local drama to old hydro carbon problems that must have emerged somewhere along the years.


the heat stayed in the metal for a very long time...

I know I made a change and won it back, and added a sweet spot.

passenger side has no errors...gave it the same weld.

I'll add plate to this just to knock it further towards 1 ton territory.


up next would be worrying of 10 bolt axles if to freight it.


I am adding my version of the 400 pound tongue and 7500 hitch.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wanting to drop hitch, as tails are welded to a very old receiver mishap.

That gave this truck an easy life. the inspiration to utilize bumper as half of the 7500 came after tuigging at dad's peterbilt on ice.

This is one hardened old half ton.



found this on ebay. its purpose is exactly what I want. Good for half ton limits.. and my version of dispersal is the other half of the load.

Bolted it up today with whatever hardware to map welding. Will have four grade 8s going through the factory ball deck.


welding this seam as well. It was cheap enough to not suffer a loss if bumper needs a swap some day

will share when it is done.


the decision was the 900 pound helpers and big ubolts. It was dragging the boats license plate.. ball hitch too tall after levelling truck.

using old tire crossmember laminated as 2 of the end points.


Between you and I ... it is more than a half ton capable, but am going by model number and towing laws for the category.

just well done.. .that is all.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

my scariest weld yet


to the left of gas tank. Judging how local it stayed, it appears one of the lines in years past must have broke and got fixed right away.

This area left to even a vent tube would have a frame shattered into a pile of rubble by now. the yellow is where i welded the plate from the outside,it is the height of frame, and 3 inches wide. the bottom is angle iron I put in a couple of years ago.


Not a scary weld to me, but for those that don't know what maine does.

this injury stayed local, I was fortunate. I poked a golf ball sized hole last winter, while inspecting (I tend to do that twice a year - the truck is that old to me)


I waited until july to cut out the shape I wanted for the plate. Again nothing to notice going down road or hauling.. this frame is some kinda wonderful.

I am at nearly 6 pounds of mig wire, weight of steel unknown. Flat stock, angle, cross sills, box beam etc. It is sure to be near 100 pounds rebuilding the back end. The hellwigs keep this old heavy weight (and getting fatter) level and raked nicely.


this will stay like this through next years May inspection, then I attack again for summer. you see, the weld date I use is gone past.. it is already getting too cool at night. this risks a break when the whole chore can't stay with the whole frame. I learned this weirdness local years ago.


 From here on out, welding can be lightweight stuff, like panels, or removable items. The frame is very serious to me...casually so. I make it look easy.



Edited by barry G
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

one more weld


I heard a squeak, unusual place. This truck is abrick.. a squeak is something moving.

So I started smashing and poking at the rear left tail near hanger.. the only area that has had just one plate, and nothing more.



sure enough, I took out a whole section near the hanger.

added new plate. this may have been the longest weld yet.. I noticed 5 hours went by.

almost 2 more pounds of wire, 18 inches of plate. Also added welds to the ugly hangers bottom .. its like adding two more rivets.

I have two new hangers, and am in no hurry.


I am keeping full tow ability. I take my time.




fixed the old tailgate hinges, now I just slam it like an old barn door. I can also use it as a tail end reference.


squared up heading into another winter.

odometer fast approaching 380k

5th full year in the coming january

gained 38k miles since feb 2015.

drivetrain has needed nothing. Running very strong.

Edited by barry G
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.