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 Boom Boom (aka Business Class) 
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Joined: August 9th, 2014, 11:21 am
Posts: 112
Post Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Okay, so I'm starting this mid-build really. I've been doing little by little for the last year or so without really documenting much.

I picked up this '87 V20 Suburban last year as a tow vehicle for my LeMons racing car. The thing was sketchy, with pealing clear coat, a sticky throttle a pretty crappy interior and the seller couldn't get it to pass smog. I rolled the dice since he was willing to take $850 for it.

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Fortunately a few quick fixes took care of most of the issues - a new throttle cable smoothed that out, some pick-n-pull seats and an engine coolant temp sensor kept the ECM from keeping the idle high all time which got me passed smog.

Even though I got it for towing, I couldn't wait to take it out wheeling.
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The headliner was a different story. The original one was horribly sagging and basically uncovered. An LMC replacement is crazy expensive, so I decided to go with a DIY solution. I really wanted this to be a fun truck, and since I don't really like taking myself too seriously I decided to use Blaze Orange True Timber. :thumb: A couple sheets of lightweight board from Home Depot and a half dozen yards of fabric plus some spray glue and I had myself a sweet new headliner that didn't sag.

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Over the summer some friends with other 4x4's and I took a trip down to Monache Meadows at the south end of Inyo National Forest. The trip went well, except I shouldn't have tried to push the old, worn tires through just one more trip, because just before we headed into the woods, one of them decided it had had enough. Long story short that's how I ended up on the 33" BFG's I'm on now.

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After that trip I decided that 4x4 camping is pretty freaking fun, but that the truck really needed a lift. Enter ORD's 4" lift kit. I did the install with a little help over a couple evenings. Truck sits a lot nicer now.

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The most recent addition is a TNA winch cradle with a Badlands 12000 winch I got last Christmas. I'm waiting on a delrin hawse fairlead, but otherwise it's ready to get my fat ass out of a jam.

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Speaking of how big this thing is, it has 2 nicknames, as seen in the post title: Boom Boom and Business Class. Boom Boom comes partly from the John Lee Hooker song which just seems to sound right rolling down the road, and partly since it just seems like a big truck's name. And Business Class is a Swingers reference.

So that's about it at this point. Of course I've got the usual plans:

  • 14 Bolt Full Float and disc brake conversion for the rear
  • Overdrive transmission (3 speeds BLOW)
  • At least a rear locker, maybe front
  • Rear bumper with tire carrier
  • Roof basket

I also really want to add some big drawers to the back and a roof tent for extended overland trips. I've got my eye on the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route this summer if anyone wants to join.


April 1st, 2015, 11:39 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Impressive to have the tire remove itself from the rim like that!

Cool build, and a great platform, there's nothing but parts available for these things, but I'm sure you already knew that. I like the mild wheeling / overlanding / expedition thing you're working towards. Unless tons and 42s are in the plan, then I'm in for that too :mrgreen:

Is it a 10 bolt front?

700R4 would be cool in there to gain OD. I think its a lower first than the TH350 or 400 you have now too? Or you more of a 3 pedal kinda guy? NV4500 or something maybe... If so you're in good company here, several of us have swapped autos for manuals recently.

Can't beat the 14B for the rear. Hell even I've got one in my bronco, paid $450 with detroit and 4.56 gears, can't beat the price of those things.

Anywho, I feel like I'm rambling... keep posting pictures... :yes:

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April 2nd, 2015, 7:25 am
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Joined: February 5th, 2015, 10:01 am
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Cool truck! I like the front winch cradle a lot! There is a guy by the name of Bill who is in Fremont and sells any Chevy part you might need. Word is that he will sell full floats for $100 all day long.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chevy-gmc-vinta ... ks-fremont


April 2nd, 2015, 7:28 am
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Joined: August 9th, 2014, 11:21 am
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Dan90FSB wrote:
Impressive to have the tire remove itself from the rim like that!

Cool build, and a great platform, there's nothing but parts available for these things, but I'm sure you already knew that. I like the mild wheeling / overlanding / expedition thing you're working towards. Unless tons and 42s are in the plan, then I'm in for that too :mrgreen:

Is it a 10 bolt front?

700R4 would be cool in there to gain OD. I think its a lower first than the TH350 or 400 you have now too? Or you more of a 3 pedal kinda guy? NV4500 or something maybe... If so you're in good company here, several of us have swapped autos for manuals recently.

Can't beat the 14B for the rear. Hell even I've got one in my bronco, paid $450 with detroit and 4.56 gears, can't beat the price of those things.

Anywho, I feel like I'm rambling... keep posting pictures... :yes:


Thanks. Yeah, Pick-n-Pull and Autozone have become close friends of mine, plenty of parts from lots of trucks everywhere.

No 1-tons or 42's planned. Long-haul with better than average wheeling is what I'm out for. Biggest I'd like to go is some 37" military tires... know anyone selling some :lol:

10-bolt up front, standard steering setup. 0 bump steer so I don't have any near-term plans to even do cross-over.

I love the auto, so I'm gonna stick with that. The only issue I have with the 700R4 is I'd have to pay a decent amount to get it built up to what the 4l80E already is strength-wise. On the flip side I'd have to figure out an approach to the "E" part of the 4l80E with either a stand-alone controller ($$$$) or finding just the right PnP truck to salvage an ECM and harness out of that will do both my 350TBI and the 4l80E (very hard to come by that combo). I'll likely go the rebuilt 700R4 route when I get enough change together.

Gearing I'm really curious about... I must have something other than stock because it is LOW... so either the tow package these had were super low stock, or someone has swapped in lower gearing. I can take this pig down anything at Hollister in LOW4 and 1st gear WITHOUT brakes. I love it, but I'm super curious what gearing I have.

oatmeal wrote:
Cool truck! I like the front winch cradle a lot! There is a guy by the name of Bill who is in Fremont and sells any Chevy part you might need. Word is that he will sell full floats for $100 all day long.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chevy-gmc-vinta ... ks-fremont


Sweet! I'll definitely check it out.... actually, I think I've seen this guy on Craigslist advertising all kinds of parts. Good to know he's cheap!

The best part of the cradle is it was only $250. Add the wings on for $175 and that's still a pretty inexpensive, unique bumper with great clearance (lord knows I need all I can get). Can't wait to get it finished off.

We'll have to get a pic of the squares at Hollister next weekend!


April 2nd, 2015, 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Not to potentially sabotage my own sale but don't get the 37" militarys. The tires are miserable off-road. I've had them in sand and snow and they just flat out suck. What's worse is you can't air them down much to try to make them better because the 16.5 rims don't have a big lip to keep the tires on the rim the way basically all other rims do. Really the only thing going for them is the price, I paid $125 a piece for mine with 80-90% tread.

I understand your dillemma on the trans / EFI / computer stuff. For a long time I wanted to add MAF to my truck but had Ford's E4OD which was computer controlled and the MAF / E4OD computer was hard to come by and generally expensive. It's all moot now with the manual though :thumb:

Should be easy to figure out axle ratio by spinning the driveshaft and seeing how many revolutions it takes to make the tire go around once. Or count R&P teeth and divide if you have a reason to take the covers off.

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may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all
the stars turn towards it."

- Confucius


April 2nd, 2015, 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Yeah i checked out TNA's site. Pretty neat.

Yeah im with Dan...stay away from military tires. There a great stepping stone for many people but swampers or something like that can be found for a deal and there way more reliable. 16.5 inch rims obviously have some bead issues and i dont think there going to be around for very long. 17's are the new cool thing to run! :yes:

Im running a 700r4 myself. Its no 4l80 but they can withstand big block power stock so thats the route id go. If i end up putting a 5.3 in the k5 it will have to be backed with 4l60e which a lot of people use and i haven't seen any of them give out unless big horsepower is present. The 700 is good till about mid-high 300's in hp/tq.

The gearing is probably 4.10 if it hasn't been swapped out. I know mines real low with metric 33's. Id pull the diff cover and youll see the gear number stamped. 41 10 would be 4.10 and so on.

Are you buying the wings for the bumper?

Yeah im hoping i make it lol!


April 2nd, 2015, 12:34 pm
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Post What a difference an inch makes!
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After I installed the ORD 4" lift kit I felt like the rear was just a little droopy. According to ORD the truck sat at what GM called "level". Which I suppose would have been okay, except loaded up or when towing the thing got super saggy. So yesterday I installed an ORD 0-rate add-a-leaf to try and raise it up a bit. The process was pretty straight forward. The kit gives you a 1" bump under the springs with an option to move the axle backwards or forwards 1" or 1.5" if you need to recenter it. I opted to use the 1" back option because I feel like the shackle flip pushed the axle a bit forwards. Doing that means that the spring pack center pin needed a new hole in the u-bolt top-plate so I drilled one out with a drill press. Otherwise this is a pretty straight forward bit of work, and I'm really happy with the results


April 5th, 2015, 11:41 am
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Nice, I ran a leveling block for years on trails without an issue.

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April 5th, 2015, 2:47 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Awesome job! Im glad you bought the ORD blocks. I have ords up front and bought diy4x ez inches for the rear and they dont come with the damn pin or bolts. They also look like hammered shit. I would rather do buisness with ORD from now on, they actually give you directions with there stuff. Im moving back 1 inch as well. Glad to see what it looks like!


April 5th, 2015, 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
oatmeal wrote:
Awesome job! Im glad you bought the ORD blocks. I have ords up front and bought diy4x ez inches for the rear and they dont come with the damn pin or bolts. They also look like hammered shit. I would rather do buisness with ORD from now on, they actually give you directions with there stuff. Im moving back 1 inch as well. Glad to see what it looks like!


Glad to hear I made the right choice. ORD definitely has my business. Good products and Chris is great with answering questions. And for the most part they're very reasonably priced.


April 5th, 2015, 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Yeah! Im bummed they never have discounts but other than that there pretty reasonable. Between ORD and ruffstuff I can usually find what I need. Although I do snag stuff from diy4x, wfo and chassis unlimited every once and a while.

I really like the camo stuff you got for inside. Im debating on just sticker bombing the entire inside lol.


April 5th, 2015, 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
I'm pretty sure all of us have or have had zero rates on our trucks at some point. I've had my blocks in the rear for probably 5 years and am very happy with them.

Truck looks good, thats really a fullsize!

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April 5th, 2015, 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Yeah I ran the ORD zero rate block with the axle moved back 1.5" for years. Quality party and the guys at ORD are generally pretty cool and helpful.

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"He who exercises government by means of his virtue
may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all
the stars turn towards it."

- Confucius


April 6th, 2015, 7:09 am
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Just finished up the winch wiring last night. It was a bit of a pain because I had to make mostly new cables to get the length I needed to remote mount the solenoid with the winch tucked under the radiator. Fortunately Autozone had 4 gauge flexible starter cables and I just had to change the ends to the right size lug. The real pain was getting nuts tightened in very difficult to reach places. But, it's functional! I plan to replace the rollers with a delrin or steel hawse fairlead, but this will work for now.

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April 6th, 2015, 8:09 am
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Post Re: Boom Boom (aka Business Class)
Looks good, I like how neatly you tucked it up in there. Are the delrin farileads ok to use with steel cable? I feel like the steel cable might chunk the softer delrin.

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"He who exercises government by means of his virtue
may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all
the stars turn towards it."

- Confucius


April 6th, 2015, 12:04 pm
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