"Jolene" my 2000 GMC Pre-Runner Project

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
I am pretty much an old school guy who's fab experience was mostly exercised in the late 80s and early 90s. This story starts with a 2000 GMC Sierra I had driven 14 years to 200k miles and she was getting tired. I always thought this truck would make a good off-roader with a 6.0LS motor, 4L80E transmission and the bigger 9.5 rear-end. A truly odd light duty 2500 built for 1 or 2 years by GM.

When my project began, the plan was to do this on the cheap. The truck was already pretty stout, I couldn't justify a Raptor (not a Ford fan) but I would like to create similar performance. Told the wife I would knock out some front suspension work with a quick cage for safety. 6-9 months and we would be ready to go........
GMCPR1.JPG
GMCPR3.JPG

Tear down is always exciting.....
GMCPR5.JPG

But once you get into it, it's hard to figure out where to stop
GMCPR6.JPG
GMCPR7.JPG

It's funny, but I knew I just wanted to have an aluminum dash in the end.
GMCPR9.JPG

Stripping the frame was no fun but pretty rewarding once all the BS brackets where gone
GMCPR10.JPG
GMCPR11.JPG
GMCPR13.JPG
GMCPR14.JPG
 

Attachments

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
My next step was to set-up a sub frame and pivots for the lower arms. I stocked up on some 4130 plate and tubing and got some fresh blades for my 14" Delta band-saw.
GMCPR15.JPG
GMCPR17.1.JPG

Was able to square up the pivots as opposed tot he stock set-up that is out of parallel.
GMCPR17.JPG

I had been watching the increased usage of F-350 unit hubs in the ULTRA-4 series and wanted to stay away from the expense of race hubs. I then realized that my HD front hubs have a 6.5 bolt pattern and that would allow me to convert the front to the Trophy Truck pattern if I ever upgraded the rear housing. I realize these hubs are far from bullet proof but I can get the genuine Timkens for $160 all day long so changing them out every few thousand miles would be acceptable to me. I have access to CNC equipment at work so I had the guys whip out some 4130 mounting plates I drew up.
GMCPR18.JPG
GMCPR19.JPG

With the spindle plates in hand, I broke out my old Miller 300 and went to work.
GMCPR20.JPG
GMCPR21.JPG
GMCPR23.JPG

Next step was to cut the upright from .156 Challenge here was to keep that upper pivot as close tot he tire as I felt safe. I need the upper arm as long as possible. These wheels are 5" backspace and standard trophy truck is more like 4.5 so I wanted to be close so if I ever upgraded, the track width would be acceptable. I really don't want to be much over 92"
GMCPR24.JPG

Went ahead and started drawing up some basic geometry to get things figured out
GMCPR15.1.JPG

This is the start of the lower arm with .156 virtical structure.
GMCPR25.1.JPG
GMCPR25.JPG

Challenge leaving stock frame is managing track width while having decent arm length. I tried to keep the spindle as compact as possible.
GMCPR26.JPG

Capped the .156 upright with .090 4130
GMCPR27.JPG
GMCPR28.JPG
GMCPR29.JPG
GMCPR30.JPG

Spindles looking pretty cool in my opinion. Just need to make sure to join the base box are to the upright when I do steering and brake tabs. Don't want this peeling off.
GMCPR31.JPG

So back to the lower arm. Put my bandsaw and belt sander to work on these guys. .156 vertical plate capped with .125 should be stout.
GMCPR32.JPG
GMCPR33.JPG
GMCPR34.JPG
GMCPR35.JPG
GMCPR36.JPG

GMCPR37.JPG
GMCPR38.JPG

Pretty happy with these!!!
GMCPR39.JPG
 

TYLER WOOF

Well-Known Member
Nice work! I’m excited to follow along! Not sure if you have something for inside the hub but I have done some destructive testing with unit bearings and the strength increases significantly with a slug slipped inside. I’m looking forward to seeing more!


Sent from my iPhone using race-deZert
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
Nice work! I’m excited to follow along! Not sure if you have something for inside the hub but I have done some destructive testing with unit bearings and the strength increases significantly with a slug slipped inside. I’m looking forward to seeing more!


Sent from my iPhone using race-deZert
Tyler,
I had heard that a stub axle increases longevity so I found these dodge 2500 yokes on EBAY and turned them down.
IMG_1184.JPGStub.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
Time to start the upper arms. Lots of clearance issues to consider with the steering column, AC compressor, coil over and frame rails.
GMCPR40.1.JPG
GMCPR40.JPG

Nice to commit and get the upper pivot established. Nailed down my Caster/Camber at ride height.
GMCPR41.JPG

Starting verifying that I had my bump steer correct.
GMCPR42.JPG
GMCPR43.JPG

Boxed the upper in .120 then capped strategically in another layer of .120 Should be pretty stout.
GMCPR45.JPG
GMCPR46.JPG
GMCPR47.JPG

Cut the ends off the sector and idler arms. Machined some pivot bosses and then lined with bronze bushings/steel sleeves from Mcmaster. Built the center link from .156 upper and lower plates with .120 front and back caps. Going to utilize a ram assist.....just need to fit it in.
GMCPR48.JPG
GMCPR49.JPG
GMCPR50.JPG
 
Dude thats BA. Im currently planning a prerunner build on my 2004 dodge ram 1500 but i dont have near the fab skills you do. Some day i will. After i finish auto tech school im gonna start learning.

Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
After getting the spindles LCA, UCA and steering set. It was time to get the upper shock mounts dialed in. This meant I needed to get a cage structure started. My goal with this truck was again to keep it somewhat simple. I had deavers and walker shocks in the rear and intended to just leave the rear of the truck and go bounce it for a season before considering any rear mods. My plan was to provide a junction location below the rear window line for future connection sense my plan was to not have any cage exposed above the bed-line.

GMCPR52.JPGGMCPR53.JPGGMCPR54.JPGGMCPR55.JPGGMCPR56.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
After I had a cage in place, I went back to the front and built out the front shock mounts. At this point, my plan was to stick with 35s but clearance the firewall for 37s at bump so I could up the tire size one day when I tackled the rear. I also wanted to stick with the stock core support to minimize work and budget. Figured I would find a cat-eye Silverado front end that would accept the track width. Went ahead and fabbed up some better motor mounts while I was at it.

GMCPR58.JPGGMCPR59.JPGGMCPR60.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
At this point we are going to have to time-lapse forward. My wife's coffee maker over flowed and I lost about 10+ months of documentation from my phone. What you will see is I ran across fiberwerx 14 conversion 1-piece front end so I ditched the idea of using the stock core support and built my own with a CBR radiator. I couldn't bear dealing with the greasy motor anymore so I picked up a fresh 6.2L. I also wrapped up a bit of front fab and got some paint on things. My buddy also came over and we rebuilt the 4L80E with a manual valve body and TCI converter.

GMCPR61.JPGGMCPR62.JPGGMCPR63.JPGGMCPR67.JPGGMCPR68.JPGGMCPR69.JPGGMCPR78.JPGGMCPR79.JPGGMCPR80.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
For front brakes, I drew up some rotor-hats and Tony Vanillo of OMG (Offroad Managment Group) machined the parts up for me. Was pretty stocked with the outcome. During this process, we went ahead and committed to a 6x6.5 pattern. Figured I would adapt that pattern to the rear with some wheel spacers or double drill my wheels.

GMCPR64.JPGGMCPR65.JPGGMCPR66.JPGGMCPR67.1.JPGGMCPR81.JPGGMCPR82.JPGGMCPR83.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
In 1995, I was down in Baja and ran across Robby Gordon preparing for the 1k. He had a very un-assuming, but rick, ford pre-runner where they had actually widened and shaved the the stock front bumper. When looking under the fender-well, I saw he had exhaust manifolds on the motor. I have built and love headers but I always thought this was a practical choice for a pre-runner. I wanted Jolene to be a bit understated and practical, I chose to stick with manifolds and get the exhaust outside the frame rails away from the transmission and fuel lines. I ran the exhaust to the back of the cab figuring I would tack in some turn downs until the day I tackled the rear of the truck. Used stainless front to back and purge-welded the joints.

GMCPR91.JPGGMCPR92.JPGGMCPR93.JPGGMCPR94.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
Plumed the oil and steering, built some aluminum water lines then then time for an air intake. Wanted to be ahead in cooler clean air so I went over the front of the radiator.

GMCPR87.JPGGMCPR88.JPGGMCPR89.JPGGMCPR90.JPG
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
At this point, the front of the truck is close to completion!!! I needed to get into the cab but still finding myself thinking about the rear. Simple bed cage? Let it eat as planned with the walker 2.0s and deavers? Fiberglass fenders to clear a larger tire? I am going to link it down the road so don't want to waste too much effort double working it!! Wife says she wants to go for a ride.....
 

Attachments

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
Like I said, front was near completion and I had the opportunity to get going on the interior. And then these bed sides showed up!!! I re-enlisted for another stint, spun the truck around in the shop and broke the torch out and cut it in half. Wife was scratching her head............
GMCPR100.JPGGMCPR105.JPG
Picked up these Camburg trailing arms
GMCPR108.JPGGMCPR109.JPG
Then signed up at Curries for a 4" 40 spline housing and got going with the band-saw.
GMCPR110.JPGGMCPR111.JPGGMCPR112.JPGGMCPR113.JPGGMCPR114.JPGGMCPR115.JPGGMCPR117.JPGGMCPR118.JPGGMCPR119.JPG
 

Attachments

Where'd you learn how to do your fabrication? Thats some pretty awesome work there. I cant wait til i can get to doing some stuff like that

Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk
 

GoodGuyMC13

Well-Known Member
Where'd you learn how to do your fabrication? Thats some pretty awesome work there. I cant wait til i can get to doing some stuff like that

Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk
My dad was an auto-shop teacher then would come home and build custom trucks for people in his shop. I would help him and then worked on my own stuff building cages and such. Got out of high-school and partnered in a shop building pre-runners and race trucks. Spent a couple years working at Walker Evans Racing. Walker's is were I got my best experience.

Keep reading and practicing. Best thing you could do is volunteer to do anything for a top notch racing team and learn from them.
 
My dad was an auto-shop teacher then would come home and build custom trucks for people in his shop. I would help him and then worked on my own stuff building cages and such. Got out of high-school and partnered in a shop building pre-runners and race trucks. Spent a couple years working at Walker Evans Racing. Walker's is were I got my best experience.

Keep reading and practicing. Best thing you could do is volunteer to do anything for a top notch racing team and learn from them.
Thats good advice thank you. Just gonna have to see if i can find a racing team around north idaho lol

Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk
 
Top