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tbplus10

New truck time to Mod

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Bought a new 2011 Chevy C/C Silverado LT 1500 a few weeks ago, with the holidays here I knew I wouldnt get time to do any mods for a while but the other day my son in law came over and offered to help put on a few of the parts that were stacking up on my work bench.

Now dont think I dont appreciate his help but his mechanical skills are near zero, I helped him work on his own car last summer and when he repeatedly asked what certain tools I was asking for looked like I figured out real quick he was not a skilled and trained mechanic, but my hope is to teach him enough to take care of his own vehicles someday so I took him up on his offer and we went to work.

First up was a Billet Grill insert, not a hard mod as far as required skill but that first cut of plastic or sheetmetal on a brand new truck is always mentally hard, this time wasnt any different. But after the first couple inch's of cutting my Dremel Roto tool was cutting the factory mesh out of the grill like nothing.
I chose an insert because in my area there arent many of this style being used yet, also I like the look of the horizontal center bar and Chevy bowtie, and I have a replacement Texas Flag sticker on its way to go over the center of the Bowtie.
The whole job took about 45 minutes.
Next was Rear wheel well liners, I used original GM parts wheel well liners so the truck and the liners were pre drilled, installation was as easy as placing the liners in place and snapping the provided Dzus fasteners in the holes, finished in less than 20 minutes.
Next we tackled under seat storage for the rear seat. Here I think I made a mistake, I bought an aftermarket brand kit and not only dont half the fastener holes match up but the color is off from the rest of my interior.
Not a hard install, sit in place then run the fasteners through the pre drilled holes. I left it in place with about half the fsteners holding it in but I think I'm gonna remove it and order a Genuine GM storage kit, the holes line up and the colors match.
The final item was installing a CB.
When I was at 4WPW last week I saw a real nice Cobra 40 channel remote mount CB for $89 (remote mount has all the controls and channel indicator on the mike so this is the only part you see, everything else can be mounted under the dash or seat), this reminded me I had a Midland remote mount CB in the garage.
My truck has the 60/40 split seat that the center portion folds down and turns into a center console, I mounted the mike in the center console by drilling a hole in the inside bottom corner of the console and used a fish tape to pull the power, ground, and antenna wires through the seat and below the cushions, then I used the fish tape again to pull the power and ground wires under the carpet to the firewall dash area.
The antenna wire I pulled under the carpet to the back wall, found a hole with a cap, cut an "x" in the cap, ran the wire out between the back cab wall and front bed wall, then up over the bed rail to the bed front left corner where I mounted a 4' adjustable fiberglass antenna on a 2 position mount. The mount is set-up so I can fold the antenna down and horizontal along the bed rail when I dont need it.
Back in the cab I found a hole in the firewall with a cap and cut an "x" in it and ran the wires into the engine compartment, then up to the top of the fenderwell.
I then installed a Marine West 8 terminal Marine fuse block/terminal connected to the battery via a 40 amp relay signaled from an ignition keyed switch.
Notes on this installation:
Whenever doing electrical work always soldier wires if at all possible, soldier connections are much more reliable than crimp connections.
Whenever running wires through sheet metal or across sharp objects always use a grommet or cushion so as not to cut the wires and cause shorts.
Always use an SWR meter to tune CB radios whenever you install a new radio or antenna.

I still have a few more mods to do later, installation of brighter back-up lights, 2.5" rear lowering kit to level the truck, underhood work light and power outlet, louder exhaust, and a switch panel on the dash for the new lights I'm adding.

I need to find a source of switch's that retain the factory look.
Anyone with recommendations or suggestions jump in I'm always open to new ideas or parts sources.
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Comments

  1. Crawdaddy's Avatar
    From what I've read, it's actually better to use crimp terminals (installing them properly) in vehicles rather than soldering because the vibrations of the vehicle will eventually break the joints. That said, I still solder connections when possible in my trucks. But, I've begun to use crimp terminals more.
  2. tbplus10's Avatar
    I've heard it both ways over the years. From previous experience in Aviation where there was a high degree of vibration we were restricted to soldiering only for connections so I've always leaned in that direction.
    I have had problems with crimped connections working loose after a while.
    But in the end I think the key thing is as you pointed out "installing them properly".
    There is a proper way to do crimped connections, part of that is tinning the wire ends, so if I got the soldiering gun out to tin the wires I'll probably go ahead and finish off by soldiering everything together.
  3. tbplus10's Avatar
    Another box delivered by FED EX, not sure whats in this box, it'll have to wait until I get home from work tonight.