OK... so I’ve exhausted myself with search after search... and I will continue to search and read from past threads... but few people actually have the time to address their own niche by piecing together fragments of information found across a broad spectrum of scenarios... so here I am, selfishly, starting my own thread to help myself get the extremely specific information I seek as it pertains to just me. I am sorry if that offends you, but I am not sorry since this is the beauty and benefit of these types of forums.
So for those willing to participate and help... THANK YOU in advance!
Also, I typically choose to purchase ONLY the best quality products I can find... so please keep that in mind... ONLY THE BEST that you know of. So here we go...
About a year ago, I bought a modified 2007 GMC 2500HD... the fulfillment of a dream I’ve had for about 10 years. I bought this truck knowing it had some problems, but believed the “bones” were solid and there was a lot of potential. It had about 148k miles on the clock... had different size/brand tires on the back and front... was stamped with the “Banks Power” logo... had a 5 position key for the EFI (EFI Live sys, not Banks)... a cold air intake (Banks)... and what felt like monstrous power and performance. The steering and suspension was shot... BAD... and I could see other issues as well, so here I am wanting to “invest” both precious cash and time into what I believe is a truck I will keep even while being able to purchase new trucks at will. What I am saying is that this particular 2007 Classic is a “KEEPER.“ A word of caution on that intake. I had one on my LB7 and fought it constantly. The filter would not stay connected to the top of the intake, and when id go to clean it it would often just be laying inside the box not connected to the intake which would allow air to bypass the filter.
With that context and information in mind, I seek the friendship and help of this community as I take this project on by myself. As potential side benefit, I own a small media production company that I run and manage as a hobby from my garage. Whenever possible, I will produce videos of what I am doing and post them on YouTube to help those that follow in the future. For those that help, I will make sure I always give a shout out... so make sure you tell me how you want to be given credit for any help and guidance you might provide.
Today, I spent a few hundred dollars having my local diesel performance shop conduct a thorough inspection of my truck, producing a lengthy list of both critical and pending things that I will need to deal with as soon as possible. The most urgent matter is the steering system.
The entire steering system is shot and is terrifying to drive... so that is my initial focus.
I think the lift is about 6”... there’s about three feet of play in the steering. I kid... it’s probably more like a foot and a half, but still terrifying nonetheless.
They say that the “XRF” brand components are the best, and to go with a Red-Head Power Steering gear box. I’d love to hear some feedback regarding the quality of these brands and whether or not there’s better. I definitely want upgraded parts, since the OEM stuff SUCKS! They said I need the following items: I dont have experience with that brand of lift, but i have owned a redhead gear box and was very happy with both the customer service and the product.
Idler Arm Bracket Assy
3 Spline Pitman Arm
HD Design Tie Rod Assembly Inner/Outer If it were me, i would get a complete kryptonite front end package and call it a day, since you said you only want the best.
Are there any related components that I should replace while in there? Often, it is easiest to just “replace everything” Shiloe tearing that system apart, so please let me know if I am missing anything. I’m not going to take any chances, so I will be replacing the Power Steering Gear Box too... so if there is a better option than the Red-Head rebuild, PLEASE let me know. I would do the power steering pump while your in there too, its not a very expensive part and the newer pumps to my understanding put out a little more pressure to reduce the power steering assist loss you get when also braking. There is also a "blue top" brand gear box which based on the name seems to be competition for red head. Ive heard good things about them too but i have not owned one personally.
In a different thread, someone (I’ll go find the ID) turned me on to the Kryptonite brand, which looks seriously bad ass. Is that a better brand than XRF? Is that the best? If not, what is? Kryptonite make the beefiest parts i am aware of, and there warranty appears to be literally bullet proof.
Motor and transmission mounts are worn out and looking bad. What is the best brand to buy to replace them? Im pretty sure there basically all the same. Merchant has a nice set of painted engine mounts, as does duramax store, but i dont think there anything special outside the finish.
I would like to replace ALL of the rubber bits and pieces with urethane... is there a “BEST” kit that includes all of the necessary bushings? Please tell me which brand is BEST. There is a "master kit" that i have seen here and there, but its highly incomplete for the whole truck. Urethane will also be noisy, rubber would probably be a better option unless you NEED the stiffness of the urethane for some reason. Ride quality would likely be better with rubber though.
There are many other items, but for now, this is what is most important. Later, within this thread, I will deal with the other items they found today as well as other items, like interior trim and electronics that directly impact the day to day ownership experience. Through all this, hopefully you will see the gradual transformation of my beast.
Thank you to any and all willing to make the connection, and to build a friendship through the rebuilding of an LBZ.