Greetings from AZ

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MBRZ71

Newbie
Joined
May 10, 2023
Messages
13
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18
Location
AZ
I purchased my truck in October 2022. I didn't even know what GMT400 meant then, probably still don't know exactly. I have little to no experience with these trucks but was willing to take on a project instead of buying something newer. Picked up a 1997 K1500 Silverado extended cab Z71. Silver and blue two tone. I've always loved the two tone paint jobs on these.

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I need to get new pictures when it's been washed. More images to be posted, my pictures are too large to be uploaded atm.

When I test drove it I could tell the brakes were loose. It didn't have any power because the throttle body wasn't bolted tight, I later found out it wasn't bolted on at all. I didn't see any check engine lights but that was because the bulb was burned out. The tires rubbed on the frame so you couldn't go full U-turn. It needed an alignment for sure. I could tell there was some work that was done on the fuel system. But it started right up and didn't sound bad. All the gears worked and the push button 4WD seemed to be working no problem. The interior wasn't too bad but definitely needed cleaning.

I brought it home and went right to work on it. Started with the interior to get rid of any smells and dirt from the previous owners. I decided to brave pulling all the panels since doing the rear speakers seemed to require it. Pulled out the front and rear seats and cleaned them top to bottom outside the truck. Full vacuum and carpet cleaning. I pulled up the carpet and installed 3M sound deadening panels. I was lucky that things went back pretty nicely and the few plastic clips that broke I was able to glue back on and reinstall. I replace several interior switches due to plastic breakage from the previous owner. Installed new speakers and LED lights on the inside. The dash is badly cracked so I did the cheap easy thing and bought a new dash cover. Took it to some pro's to get it tinted since the old stuff just doesn't do enough here in AZ. The brakes were addressed. It turns out so many nuts and bolts are missing. The brake booster only had one out of four nuts holding it in. The steering column only had one side that was bolted on. Someone was messing around under the dash. I tried to find and replace all missing nuts and bolts. The brake pedal wasn't connected completely so that could've come off on the drive home and I had no idea they did that. Finally got all that put back together and bled the brakes. They are all in decent shape surprisingly.

On the Exterior I added the nerf bars, the bug deflector and replaced all the faded lights. New door handles. Pulled off the valence and hit it with the heat gun to smooth it out and clean it up. It had a bunch of missing clips which are replaced. Replaced the bumper trim and polished them up while the trim was off. Replaced the side mirrors. New Bilstein shocks all around. Took it to the tire shop for new tires and alignment.

Under the hood I've been fighting a P1441 error code. The evap system wasn't hooked up at all, the charcoal canister had a broken plastic piece where the line should hook to. I've never had to deal with an evap system before so I had some learning to do here. I'm still not done with this issue but I think I finally have the last piece of the puzzle solved thanks to this forum. It was missing the EGR valve entirely. I replaced the purge solenoid and canister. Was using crappy images from online to try and figure out the what gets plugged in where. I installed a K&N filter and plugged the holes that were drilled in the stock intake. Tightened down the loose nuts and bolts almost everywhere. The engine mounts were missing bolts on one side. Replaced the oil cooler lines while doing the radiator which had a small leak and the radiator hoses which I just always do when replacing the radiator. New optima yellow top. I got the larger battery because I plan on having a winch. I did an oil change and checked the fluids on the trans. I have a oil test kit on the way to see how healthy this motor is.

The motor has 391K on it. I was having oil pressure issues at idle when warm. I changed the oil again and went with a Valvoline 20w-50 VR1 high zinc synthetic oil. So far so good on the oil pressures. I'm guessing it needs a rebuild eventually, waiting for the results on the oil test kit. It gets super hot here so having the higher oil weights probably just makes more sense.

It's been quite a project so far, but I'm enjoying it. I think I'm nearly there to having more fun with it. It's not meant to be a daily driver. Mostly going to be for working on larger projects, going camping, and hauling.

This forum seems like a great wealth of information on these trucks and I'm happy to see such a large active community for something over 20ish years old. Glad to be a part!

-Matt
 

LVJJJ

I'm Awesome
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
230
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268
Location
Blaine, Washington
Welcome Z71. bought my 94 Burb in 2016 and also had no idea what a GMT 400 was. The members straightened me out quick. Your truck looks great but sure sounds somebody just threw it together to sell. However, if you're like me you love fixing it. What's a Z71?
 

MBRZ71

Newbie
Joined
May 10, 2023
Messages
13
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Location
AZ
It's a 4X4 package. IIRC it comes with a "skid plate", Bilstein shocks, and Z71 stickers.
That's my understanding also. I think it's possible the tire sizes were different stock but I'm not certain. I don't have stock tires or wheels. I was underneath looking at the mounting holes for the skid plate and am thinking of making a custom one. I thought I heard that it was a PITA to change the oil without taking the plate off. The one I was supposed to have is gone atm. I think I can make multiple plates to make it more accessible to change the oil without taking all them off.

Also that's a really nice blue TBI.
 

GrimsterGMC

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
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Nov 3, 2021
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Location
New Zealand
Welcome to the forum, that's an awesome colour combination and a fine looking truck. Mine was a bit like yours when I got it, as in needing a lot of stuff sorting out, but don't worry because every time you work on something you are learning more about your truck an creating experiences to look back on. When it's all sorted you will have a great truck to have good times in.
 

any4xx

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2023
Messages
157
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Location
Vail, AZ
Welcome from Vail (Tucson).

Lots of good information to be found here and lots of helpful folks.
 
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