If you are just joining us, this is a project truck I bought to restore and customize. It will be a long process but it will be fun.
The truck I got is a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 and it was in really bad shape. You can read more about Project Build: Truck Purchased and also about Project Build: Engine Rebuild if you want to catch up.
This is Part 3 of the build process and today we’ll be talking about all the parts that required cleaning before they would go back into the truck.
Although the cleaning part went between the engine assembly and installation of the engine, I didn’t want to interrupt the engine topic with cleaning of parts, so this part will be about how I cleaned all the parts that I didn’t need to replace.
As you can imagine from the before photos of the engine, the rest of the parts surrounding the engine were just as filthy. Because my goal is not to replace every single thing on the truck, not yet anyway, I wanted to reuse as many parts as long as it didn’t compromise the drivability of the truck.
It all began with me removing everything around the engine and piling up the parts that need to be cleaned in a corner. During the engine rebuild process there was times where I had to wait for a part or some other gap int eh process so I used that time to clean the parts one by one.
Cleaning The Front Transfer Case
The front transfer case had all kinds of grease and grime stuck on it. It also was leaking from every seal, so I had to replace all those.
I started by using a putty knife and a screwdriver to remove all the caked on mixture of oil and dirt. Once that all came off, then I sprayed degreaser on it and used a brush to brush it all.
Many times of rinse and repeat and this transfer case was looking good!
I then drained the fluid and replaced the seals. I read somewhere that the gear oil you should use is the best one you can afford, so I took that as a sign to get the best one. I chose to go with the Lucas Synthetic 75W-90 gear oil. I think I paid about $15 per quart.
I Dropped The Transmission
Just like all the other parts, I lifted the transmission onto the portable bench I have. It is a bench on wheels that I roll around the garage. This is where I cleaned everything else and it is very comfortable as I can position it perfectly under the lights for best lighting.
As I was moving the bench into position, one of the wheels got stuck in the crack in the concrete floor and the bench stopped but things on the bench wanted to continue. I also had my DeWalt cordless impact driver sitting on the bench and it went flying so while I was trying to catch the impact, the transmission rolled off the back of the bench and fell about 4 feet onto concrete floor.
It was a sad day. The tranny cracked in all kinds of bad ways. It was a gonner. Nothing I could do with it.
After being depressed for a day, I looked online for a replacement. I called a local junk yard to see what options they had.
I obviously didn’t have the budget to buy a new one, although I was very much tempted to. The $1,500 price tag just wasn’t possible.
Fortunately my brother-in-law just happened to have a 4L60E sitting in his shed from a truck that had just a little over 50K miles on it. And he gave it to me at a “relative” discount so it couldn’t of came out better.
After I picked up the tranny, I cleaned it up from all the dust and it was ready to go.
Cleaning Other Parts
There was many other parts that I cleaned following the same exact method, screwdriver to remove the caked on mud and oil and then degreaser and a brush and a lot of elbow grease.
- Steering pump
- Steering rack and pinion
- Water pump was new so no cleaning required there
- AC Condenser
- All kinds of plastics
- Computer and its covers
- Coolant hoses
- AC Hoses and lines
- Expansion reservoir
- Windshield washer fluid tank
- and all kinds of other things
Engine Bay Renewal & Painting The Firewall
When the engine came out, this was the perfect time for me to clean up the engine bay. I wanted to paint the firewall and clean and paint the frame.
There was all kinds of grime on the frame too that I had to chip off with a screwdriver. I user degreaser and brushes and steel wool on it to get it to a clean state.
When the frame was ready, I painted it gloss black and it came out looking great.
Then I removed things off the firewall and prep it for paint. Painting the firewall also let me play with the color I want to paint the truck.
The color is a House Of Kolor Brandy Wine Candy. This candy goes over a metallic silver base coat. Painting the firewall was very enjoyable and exciting to see the color go onto something bigger than a small paint sample.
The engine bay turned out beautiful. I am very happy with it.
Well that is all I have for this time. Next, let’s talk about the exhaust that I got for this truck and how it sounds, read it here: Truck Project Build: Exhaust System.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.