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  1. #1

    Default JaxTahoe04's thread

    Rather than posting a new thread any time I change something on my 04 Tahoe, I thought it would be better to start an ongoing thread with ANYTHING I do to the truck. I'm not an avid wheeler/mudder, hunter, etc and I don't plan on really doing a whole lot of mods to the truck. My previous car was a completely built VW Jetta GLI with a full big turbo set-up, full suspension, big brakes, computer (windows XP), laser jammer, THE WORKS! It was pushing 340WHP and was super quick for a FWD 4 banger. I'm over it! A little sad but ready to move on. I'm an auto enthusiast through and through and I appreciate and respect vehicles of all sorts. American, German, Japanese, Korean (wow, they're really coming around).

    Anyways, my ongoing thread will cover any cosmectic and/or performance updates, DIY's detailing how-to, random photos etc...It might not interest everyone but hey, it's only a click to go back looking at something of more interest.

    Being an avid detailer, when I purchased the Tahoe a few weeks ago, I told the dealer to NOT even wash it, no tire slime and no greasy dash stuff. I do this mainly with new cars because the detailers at the dealer often put swirl marks etc in the paint and treat it like it's a normal part of washing a car. IT'S NOT! Anyway, that's my rant. I gave the tahoe a decent wash inside and out the following weekend. Of course, the pollen arrived here in Florida.

    So my first real notable update is the debadging of the rear liftgate. Debadging is a common cosmetic mod and one that I usually do. I'll debadge the C pillars next. No need to have an old LT badge on each side of the truck. For the tahoe I used a plastic puddy knife, a stiff guitar pick and some goo gone. Dental floss works well too but all I have are those newer slingshot looking floss tools. Once I got the badges and most of the two sided tape off, I hit it with some goo-gone. Next I used a clay bar and some clay lube spray. This works well at really getting the residue off. It's been there for 7 years! Next day, I did a quick clean of the entire hatch area and polished the painted area with Meguiar's finishing polish (M205). I used a porter cable DA polisher (PC7424) and a foam polishing pad. I polished the entire hatch and this removed the swirls and cleaned the paint. I followed this with a wipedown using 93% Isapropyl alcohol and a plush microfiber towel. The IPA wipedown gets rid of any residue, oils etc from the polish and makes the paint surface squeaky clean. Sealants and waxes tend to bond better to clean paint making it more durable. After this IPA wipedown, I used a wipe-on sealant called Optimum opti-seal. I let this 'cure' for about 2 hours. Most modern sealants use advanced polymers which actually crosslink with each other during the curing process. I then topped this with a popular liquid wax called Pinnacle liquid souveran. This is a great liquid wax and I like the look of it on lighter metallic paints. The debadging took close to an hour. The polishing, wax process I did later also took about an hour (not counting the 2 hours waiting for the sealant to cure.

    I wish I would have taken more before after pics but all I have at the moement is this crappy cell pic. I have some shots on my DSLR but having some PC issues.

    Here is the debadged shot of the rear!

    Thanks for reading my boring story!

  2. #2
    Jr. Engineer jwco5.3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Indianapolis, IN


    I used to build Toyotas and Hondas. My MR2 turbo was a great little car, but the need for speed was soaking up to much money. I then got into LS1 american muscle cars.... and learned to love the engines. After getting out of the (waste all my money on cars) phase of life, I wanted to stay with LS series engines, which eventually led me to my truck and this site. Looking forward to keeping up on your build.
    [/SIGPIC]James :great:

  3. #3

    mfleetwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Denver, CO
    Blog Entries


    Nice thread! I will enjoy watching your progress over time. Thanks for sharing!

    Mike (Denver, CO) - 2008 Sierra 1500 Z71 SLE 5.3L 4WD

    SUSPENSION: Rancho 4" Suspension Lift; Rancho RS9000XL Shocks; Rancho Skid Plates; Rancho MyRide Wireless Shock Controller;
    BFG All Terrain KO 315/70/17
    DRIVE TRAIN: 4.56 Gears; Detroit TrueTrac Differential; True Cool 40k Transmission Cooler
    PERFORMANCE: DiableSport Predator Tuner; Custom Tuned by Diablew; Magnaflow Exhaust; AFE Cold Air Intake
    ELECTRONICS: Kenwood DNX6180 Touchscreen; Subthump box w/10" Kicker; Driver Information Center (DIC); Rear View Camera
    ACCESSORIES: Westin Brush/Grill Gaurd; Westin Nerf Bars; Truxedo Tonneau; 20% Tint; Tow Mirrors w/Heat & Signals

  4. #4


    Welcome to the club. I'm a X watercooled VW guy myself. They were fun. In the late '70's ran a Rabbit in SCCA showroom stock. FUN, FUN, FUN!

  5. #5


    Cool to see that some of you do in fact have a soft spot for little import sleepers. I know a lot of truck folks would only consider american muscle which is an awesome slice of the current mix of sport cars. It's also what many of us grew up dreaming about. We might have had a poster with a Lambo Countach but we'd be building model cars of a blue 68 Camaro with white racing stripes!

    Well, I went the cheap route and picked up an intake at the local parts store. I've seen others around here and other GM forums swallowing their pride and installing the Spectre intakes. The build quality seems at least somewhat on par with the K&N or AEM. If I wanted to splurge I think I would have gone with the Volant. I agree with the closed filter housing. The heat shield and open cone filter probably doesn't really block as much hot air as intended. It sure looks cool though and really does clean up the engine bay a lot. How is it possible that in some people's mod list I see both TBS and CAI? Are they chopping out the fan housing to make this fit?

    Anyway, the install was pretty simple and the sound was as I expected. I don't notice any measurable difference in performance or fuel economy. The intake was originally listed for $139. I walked into the store ready to pay that amount and surprised to see it on sale for $125.

    Next update: The obvious....all this extra air coming in needs to exit just the same.

  6. #6


    I have a full CAI and a TBS on my '02 and it is a tight fit. I didn't have to cut anything b/c the AirAid tube is shaped so that it allows for additional room between the tube and the fan. But please don't bother with the TBS, I'm sure you are aware that they are a waste of time and money.
    2002 Chevy 1500 Ex-cab Z71: 5.3L, auto 4, shorties, hi-flow cats, true dual 2.5" straight pipes, AirAid intake, TBS, Platinum plugs, 8.5mm wires, programmer, 3in w/ 33s, also has the composite bed

    2010 GMC 1500 Crew Cab Z71 w/ All Terrain package: 5.3L, auto 6, 2" Zone leveling kit, AirAid Jr. Intake Kit

  7. #7


    Thanks man! Yeah I got the same impression with the intakes too. In the turbo world it's hit or miss too. Just depends on the vehicle. I had a 2007 GTI and intakes did absolutely nothing. On the other hand, the mazdaspeed3 got significant gains with the intake. I know plenty of NA motors do get good gains from the intake. Guess it just depends how the stock set up is and probably the ECU's ability to read and respond/adapt? Not positive. Headers might not be a bad idea! I saw some hooker headers on craigslist locally. Also spotted a bully dog GT from a local silverado guy that sold his truck. Not sure that's worth the money though. In turbo cars, a 'chip' gives unreal gains but not so much on NA motors. My neighbor used to have a duramax and he was always itching to get the full banks setup. I would have loved to see his expression but he ended up selling it.

  8. #8


    Well it takes a couple days for the computer to adjust to the new air flow, so if you just put the intake on you might not see instant results. as the computer "relearns" the air fuel ratios you might start to see a gradual increase in MPGs. but don't expect anything drastic.

  9. #9


    MAGNAFLOW! Man this catback setup sounds perfect! Morning start-ups ignite with a nice throaty blurp then the idles drop down to a subtle bub-bub-bub-bub. When you lauch a little harder and force the revs up in the 3000+ range, it sounds real nice. Highways cruising is not bad at all. We took a trip to Disney a couple days ago and everyone was able to hold normal conversation without yelling. Good price installed out the door at a local performance truck shop. Anyway, I love the exhaust.

    Also, not sure the relevance with the intake and exhaust set-up but I averaged 17.7 mpg from the trip Orlando from Jacksonville. Kept it at about 75mph. I kicked it up a notch on the trip back and hit some traffic so ended the trip at an even 17mpg. I got on it a bit more on the trip home with a few kick downs to a lower gear passing etc (mainly to hear the exhaust).

  10. #10


    Add a Diablo Preditor to compliment the intake and exhaust.

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