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Grumpy Bear

Grumpy Bears 2015 Silverado 2WD

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I had been looking for a new truck for nearly two years and I was not looking for the right truck as much as I was looking for the right deal. I’d never owned a truck and I’ve had brand loyalty pistol whipped out of me. You see, at 62 I’ve finally become aware that you don’t know what you don’t know and what you don’t’ know can and will hurt you; right in the wallet.

 

Maybe it’s my age but I think trucks have two doors and are two wheel drive; have manual transmissions and AM pushbutton radios. I get a lather on when I see finely restored 30’s or 40’s prewar half tons that are so vanilla it says Borden’s in the door sill. Studebakers and Internationals are some favorites although I love a good mid 30’s Chevy or Ford. Point is, I like durable and I like reliable and easy to work on and with which in my thinking means keep it simple and keep it up.

 

That said time has softened my base needs to include air conditioning and cruise control. Roll up windows are fine. I don’t need a theater grade sound system. I have some hearing loss from that in the house. No need for in dash navigation. I like maps and a compass.

 

Too old and too broke to start a restoration I decided I’d buy as close to new as possible and do my best to keep it from falling apart or rusting out before the payment book coupons were all used up. Besides, have you seen the “ask” for anything worth restoring? More than I paid for this one. Yikes!

 

I was exploring options from GM, Ford and Dodge and shy as a Coydog when I ran across this 2015 Silverado WT1 Regular cab short bed. I know, the build sheet calls the six foot six a “standard” bed and the eight footer a long bed. It’s part of the experience of aging. Those younger than us at some point decided to redefine “words” for us without our permission but that’s small potatoes. The general lack of overall caring about what one builds is quite another and not so small a deal. Not sure when it happened but at one time engineers built to improve the product. Now it’s the profit margin and the marketing gurus have made an art out of selling the illusion of quality instead of delivering it. You hear the spin on why a factory steel wheel MSRP is twice that of many good aftermarket alloy rims? $245! Really? Maybe someday we will return to pricing “worth” instead of what we think we can “steal”.

 

So…what that means is…this trucks “build” isn’t going to be centered around “speeding money I don’t have to impress people I don’t know and maybe wouldn’t like anyway” on eye candy they value but who have no vested interest in the end product. Rather it will be to improve safety, reliability, longevity, economy, utility, and if anything is left over…then maybe some old school tastefully done curb appeal. Lord knows there isn’t much to work with.

 

The previous owner of this very clean (and cheap) 4.3 liter flex fuel V6 six speed automatic Borden’s truck has done me the honor of taking very nice care of it for the year he owned it and the 1300 miles he drove it. The Lund soft roll up is nice and a choice I would have made. He added the Go-Rhino stainless step bars to ease entry and egress for his 80 year plus frame and a Bed-Rug bed mat. We will take it from there then.

 

​Thanks for dropping in.

 

Marty

 

P.S. Yes. I enjoy editorializing (writing). Don't take it personal. Just me being me.

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Nice truck and write up

 

Build thread doesn't mean you have to spend money. It can be anything you want it to be (trips, hauling,working, maintenance, etc)

 

 

Ryan

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good looking truck - maybe a RED bowtie , Black letters / bowtie (rear) ,rims ,steps. But that's me .

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Thanks Ryan that's good to know and I will make good use of that information.

 

I really wanted to buy new. If I could give you five minutes with my brother-in-law behind the wheel you would understand. The sort of guy the stories about rental cars find legend in. "Not my car", he giggles as he takes second aim at a parking stop he's just curbed. The valence wasn’t completely destroyed yet. He believes every road is Road America in the middle of a state fair and he's Jody Scheckter and Joie Chitwood in one big ball of wax. Well he isn't. He’s also in his middle fifties so this isn’t the sole rule of the young. Oh yes. I've made the mistake of lending him a car. Once. It's not the only type of abuse a car/truck can suffer though is it? Neglect is as bad as abuse or misuse. Poor design an execution is yet another.

 

Problem with new is pricing.

 

Finding the right truck is easy. There are dozens on every lot in the country that I'd love to park in the driveway. Finding the right deal is a combination, IMHO, of a truck that appeals at the heart level without running afoul of common sense and reasonable expectations. These days that's a tall order.

 

Caveat Emptor is one of a half dozen Latin phrases that stuck with me. Everyone's idea of reasonable expectations differs. Greatly between the buyer and seller. His only expectation is obtaining your wealth and leaving you with the irresistible urge to buy from him again. I on the other hand, expect the object to perform and function as is should and do so for a reasonable period of time without breaking the bank. Cash, time and use of the device are all "reserves" of wealth that can be drawn on. Until we run out. That’s his goal. Empty reserves. Mine is in opposition to his.

 

To make that all work you need choices and sadly every one of the choices we have are all living down to expectations. So we do the best we can and fill the gaps with thoughtful application of common sense, research and truck loads of cash, time and effort.

 

Somewhere along the way almost every lesson learned by the industry about coach work got tossed out the window in favor of “the bottom line”. Datsun got tossed of here decades ago, like Fiat and Yugo by providing vehicles that rusted and rotted out before the first years payments were made. They learned their lesson and reinvented themselves as Nissan. Fiat just outwaited a generation or two of memories to sneak back in.

 

Okay so rust protection was first on my list. That meant Dodge, no matter how much I like the “look” and the allure of the marketing of the word “Hemi” was out before the count started. Ford alloy body trucks just out priced themselves in one year and with the limited supply of used within a time frame I was good with it wasn’t viable. Chevy or GMC it is then.

 

I have no fear of six cylinder power. I loved the 292’s and 300 CID straight sixes of yesteryear. You can pull a house down with a six and some gear. Just not fast enough to satisfy the current crowd of “NOW” people. Impatient cost money kids. Fuel cost money too. Anyway, I digress.

 

At one time there was a Ziebart on nearly every corner in North America. Good market for them too for about three decades. Then coach work got much better and put them and their cousins out of business for the most part. As soon as this was so coach work went straight south as fast as it could retreat.

 

I stumbled onto Valugard or perhaps I should say was guided toward by my father whose experience with the wax type rustproof has netted 20 years plus rust free service in two consecutive GM trucks. The exact brand he used is also gone. Now that’s what I’m talking about. I had both the rustproof and the undercoating applied at my local Line-X dealer. No it wasn’t as simple as drive in and drive out although it should be. I got a cherry applications tech who missed plenty first go around which I would have missed taking his proficiency at face value. Nearly as important was what he didn’t spray that which he shouldn’t have. That he Aced. Don’t take face value. Pants go on one leg at a time for everyone. A creeper and five minutes of my time had a second appointment and reapplication handled. I was even thanked by the owner for pointing out some much needed training. Did that get it done? What I could see, yes. What I can’t see jury is still out. I did pull a few panels and it looks fine but it only takes one chink in the armor to slay the dragon.

 

Eastwood sells cans of both was type rustproof and undercoat. I bought a few for touchup and suspect areas.

 

Yes, I expect 20 year service life out of a $30 K purchase.

 

These products work best before the surface gets coated with the environment. The newer the better, the cleaner the better. A near zero mile truck kept in a garage by an Old Timer who quit driving was a rare and welcome find. It saved me tons of “Gap” cash as well. I had it in as fast as Line-X could get it done.

Edited by Grumpy Bear

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Line-X Premium spray in bed liner. Small snag is the tailgate has the latches moved back so the gate will close and open freely. Liner took all the gap between bed and gate and as it has a shine to it grinding it back a bit would look more tacky than the minor misalignment. Good for now. I tossed the bed back in anyway. It's paid for and easier to sweep clean.

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Edited by Grumpy Bear
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I had the tubs sprayed with the same material the bed is lined with. Tougher than undercoat and in the most violent place on the truck. For whatever reason not fully explained at the time the solution is more dilute and thinner although the cost was nearly as much. Still is seems sufficient.

 

Yesterday we took "Pepper" for a 400 mile jaunt. Wife and I name all are rides. Naturally it rained and blew. A truck on the I-80 peppered her with rocks during the storm which lasted but a minutes and a bird flew into the passenger side of the box at the top of the arch providing the first very minor dent. Two minor rock chips. I can't reach the dent but the chips I fixed. Started the fix anyway.

 

Dupli-Color paint pen and some modeling micro brushes. Good light and magnification help. On the vertical panels it takes a few coats to get enough build to offer some material to work back to the surface. I've gotten pretty good at this over the years. Panels have two sides and both need protection if rust is to be held off. Even though it's a lacquer I spend a few days building it up. I knock it back wet with some 3000 3M foam back followed by 5000 then a rub out with Perfect-it II. Give it a month and seal it with Meguiars Ultimate Liquid Wax. I use a bit of liquid wax in the water I wet sand with as a lubricant and water mark preventer.

 

I've notice that chips on this truck go primer deep and cleanly so. Like it isn't bonded between color and primer. I'll keep an eye on this. Making a mental note.

 

If the weather holds a few days I have some seam sealer work I'd like to do. Work the factory should have done. Like the lower corners of the cab underneath. I'll take a snap before I fill the spot. The only area on Dads truck that failed. There was a foam block just above the corner installed as a noise dampener that prevented the rust proof from reaching that area. Salt and rain packed into the opening below and as they say...the rest is history.

 

Folds in the wheel wells need some work as well. I won't depend on the liner to do this.

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good looking truck - maybe a RED bowtie , Black letters / bowtie (rear) ,rims ,steps. But that's me .

 

Trucks and Harley's are to their owners what canvas is to a painter or clay to a potter. While those fellas works are of imagination, mine is more utilitarian yet...art. No idea what the end result will look like. I do know it has to be there to work with and at the rate nature and man are treating it. Well...I may no win.

 

I do like ideas though so keep pitching them. Thanks for your input.

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During our outing Saturday it became obvious to both the wife and I that this truck isn't stiff...It's down right harsh. That is a function of dampening rates not spring rates. These factory shocks are anything but. If the road isn't glass smooth call your doctor before departure and tell him to stay on call. They have to go and soon before every screw and bolt in her is loose. A suspension can be firm without being rough and literally, out of control.

 

Ran across a county road in Iowa where a curve is marked 40 in an otherwise 55 mph zone. I am that guy who slows and glad I did. This was an asphalt road and in that curve was a MILD washboard that set up a judder that moved the truck half a lane sideways. Abruptly. That's unacceptable GM. Tar snakes jar bottles out of their holders. Tires not on the road control nothing.

 

Anyway I'm doing the research now and drowning in useless information. Daunting none the less if only by shear mass. I've read "consumer reviews" until my eyes swelled shut. I have less feel for it than I did when I started. Back in the day manufactures gave you some useful information called SPECIFICATIONS. Now it's just marketing drivel. People that write reviews that have little understanding of the thing they review just muddy the water. Those that do know aren't writing.

 

Okay boys and girls...input is good here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These are some of the best riding trucks out there... It is a base model work truck, but it has the same suspension for the most part.

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Not sure what this cab corner design is about but I know what it does in Midwest winters. Salt trap. This gets a filler.

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Back twice to the undercoater and still.... :bs: We do know what the point of the exercise is...right? Water and salt, rocks and debris under a truck or car churned by the tire and wind of highway speeds is something like hitting a water balloon with a 12 gauge point blank. ​

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These are some of the best riding trucks out there... It is a base model work truck, but it has the same suspension for the most part.

 

Well that is not encouraging. I'm looking at the Fox 2.0 IFP shocks to calm this thing down? They made shocks that worked well for my bikes.

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Weight In the bed should help smooth it out a bit. It's naturally going to be bumpy, it is a light 2WD truck and has a very short wheelbase. Also could air down the tires a few PSI, may help a bit.

Edited by KMGZ400

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Weight In the bed should help smooth it out a bit. It's naturally going to be bumpy, it is a light 2WD truck and has a very short wheelbase. Also could air down the tires a few PSI, may help a bit.

 

4521 curb weight Silverado 1500, 3770 curb weight 2009 Buick LaCrosse CXL

110.5" wheel base Buick, 119 “ wheelbase Silverado

Weight distribution Buick 58/42 Silverado 58/42 It isn't that light and it isn't that short. Percentages are the same.

​While I would not expect my truck to ride like my lighter and shorter wheelbase Buick, I do expect to keep it under control during day in, day out highway and city street duty without adding energy to the system or driving at a snails pace. It's a safety issue I can't let stand. There is an answer to this.

Edited by Grumpy Bear

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I had the rare privelage to meet and deal with a true craftsman this day. There are paintless dent guys then there are masters of the art. Erich Pawelko is such a craftsman.

 

Larry Gunn at Bemis Collision Center in De Kalb Illinois made the introduction and Erick took it from there. He looks down the side of Pepper and says, "Which dent did you want removed"? I had no idea how many there were until he put it under some polarized lights with some colored filters that suction cup to the panel he is working on. What eyes and what touch.

 

He spent about an hour or so moving from place to place. He would see a spot while working on the current location the repair would uncover. Amazing.

 

Larry is my "go to" guy for anything body related. A retired panel beater himself and in the business for over thirty years he has "weeded out" painters, body men, you name it until he has distilled a shop ripe with some pretty amazing talent.

 

Erich is free lance and roams Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Not limit to the auto trade Erich takes dents out of all things metal. A lot of restoration work for churches and museums. Private collectors. Anyway after working out a dozen plus imperfections he says, "How's $80 sound"? He saw the stunned look and says, "You asked for one. I get carried away. Can't stand imperfection." WOW!!

 

Before I leave Larry instructs me and gives me a shopping list to de-badge this beast. I get all choked up over such rare events as today. About the time I loose faith...BOOM!!

 

I think Larry gets a kick out of watching me get all teary eyed and speechless. It is quite hard to do. His painter Robert and body man (can't recall the young mans name) did my last project to perfection and we all knew it. Boss says he can't get his head threw a door anymore after that one. He shouldn't. He's no joke. He was sad to hear I traded it for the truck. It was a Masterpiece.

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