Fun on a budget- My 96 Sierra 2500 454

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454C2500Longbed

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In Early December, I bought my first truck, this Sierra for $1800 with 177K on the odometer. It looked good in the pictures on marketplace, not quite as much when I went to look at it, but the rumble of the 454 made it impossible to resist. So here I am, making this truck as good as I can on the budget of a high schooler. Here's what the truck looked like when I brought it home. Took off the one running board and mounts the day after I took the pictures.
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I noticed it was dogwalking when I pulled it into the gas station right after buying it. Went home and discovered this amazingness.
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Welp, new leaf spring time. You may also notice that it used to have dual exhaust until the right pipe rusted off the muffler. Soo, ordered up a new leaf spring and exhaust kit, got a Cherry Bomb Salute (Magnaflow style) and 2.5 inch pipes out the back. It sounds much better and drives straighter now. Still drives crooked, I believe the front leaf spring hanger is bent, I'm having a guy with an alignment rack check the truck out. I replaced that rusty bumper and am cleaning up the brush guard a bit. I will take some better pictures once I get that all buttoned up.

Problem I'm battling right now is the well known hot start issue. It left me and my buddy stranded at Culver's, come back a few hours later and it started right up, but started stuttering while driving, then it got better, then it stuttered again. Soooo it's time for injectors, and then I'll need a tune, so I think I'll just bite the bullet and get JET DST and learn how to tune my truck. It needs more power anyway. It'll get a moderate cam at some point down the road, EGR delete, headers, and whatever else I decide it needs.

Big thing is paint! My grandpa used to be a body and paint man, and he said he would help me paint it in his driveway this summer, so I look forward to that, it'll make the truck look so much better. Wheels will also be blasted and painted black, the trim rings shined, and I have center caps off a Chevy to put on, so I'll get some GMC stick on logos to put on in place of the Chevy ones. It looks like I'll need body mounts in the future, but I don't really feel like doing them at the moment. I will replace the rusty fender as soon as I can get a clean one. Also need to get the one piece of trim to put back on. Oh, and it's getting a new windshield when I get the rear end alignment checked out.

If anyone has any ideas or input, please let me know! I love to learn anything about these trucks that you guys have to offer.
 

454C2500Longbed

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You wouldn’t happen to have the running boards still would you? I’d like a set for my truck. Were they missing from the bed when you bought it?
Only have the one, sadly. The rest were missing when I bought it, the seller said they were falling apart and he threw them away. Wish he wouldn't have, cause fiberglass can be fixed.
 

Sean Buick 76

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great work so far I love to see the young guys getting into these trucks! When I was in my early 20s I bought a $3600 91 2500 4x4 and i made my first million with that truck over 8 years. I put about $5000 into the truck over those years but it was flawless when I sold it to move onto a newer truck for work
 

454C2500Longbed

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great work so far I love to see the young guys getting into these trucks! When I was in my early 20s I bought a $3600 91 2500 4x4 and i made my first million with that truck over 8 years. I put about $5000 into the truck over those years but it was flawless when I sold it to move onto a newer truck for work
Thank you sir! I figure we better scoop em up before they become expensive "collector's items". They sure are workhorses and reliable once they're sorted out. This, in a way, was the prime era for cheap hardworking trucks, the electronics offer free performance when you tune, but there's enough older style stuff in the to make them good still.
 

fancyTBI

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I know, I probably would have kept them on then. Been sort of looking on and off for the rest of a set, but if I come across a set I'll let you know. I don't need em as much right now
Appreciate it! Have fun with your truck. I’ll be watching your progress. Sean Buick 76 is right - buy up good parts when you find them if you’re able to. I’ve got a collection of nice parts I’ve scored from the salvage yard. Sometimes I flip them, others I keep for myself.
 

Road Trip

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In Early December, I bought my first truck, this Sierra for $1800 with 177K on the odometer. It looked good in the pictures on marketplace, not quite as much when I went to look at it, but the rumble of the 454 made it impossible to resist. So here I am, making this truck as good as I can on the budget of a high schooler.

Reading the above is like going back in time. No doubt this won't be your last vehicle...but I
guarantee you that it will make lasting memories.

Just for laughs, check out some old photos & memories of my buddy's truck back when I was
your age. (454 Camper Special project from my misspent youth.)

If you treat this as the real-world learning experience that it is, and strive to
make the most of what you have to work with, this will in turn give you
invaluable practice in all things having to do with critical thinking, analytic troubleshooting, etc.

Way more than your contemporaries will be doing while only putting fingertips to a screen.

Play your cards right, and you will get to do anything you want for a career.

Just be careful. Respect the laws of physics. Safety 1st.

And go for it.

:0)
 
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