Finally, 2 years after I purchased the truck I got my stuff together and arranged and prepared all the photos of the truck so I can start documenting and posting the progress of the restoration process. I’m sure glad I took pictures and video all the way through so I can share them here.
The story begins with me wanting to do a project truck but at first I was going to do a smaller truck, a Chevy S10, and I was going to bag it and slam it. It was my childhood dream after all. But as an adult I am glad I had a chance to analyze that dream by buying 2 S10’s and realizing that I really in my hear of hearts want a bigger truck and I still don’t know if I want to bag it or lift it instead. I do love both looks.
I think I’ll do both in my future.
It’s Been Purchased!
But this one is the story of the 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 that I purchased in 2020. It was a great deal that I found for $1,800. The catch was that it was leaking like a sieve. Every seal and gasket in the truck was leaking. Worse yet, it has been leaking for years and the previous owners just kept adding oil and fluids to keep them topped off. Also the oil pressure was near 0.
Inside the truck it smelled like smoke from about 100 years of smoking inside with the windows closed. The dash was in a good condition with the exception in one spot where the paint is pealing. The front seats and the center console are destroyed and will need to be completely replaced… eventually. The back bench seat is in good condition. The carpet is also in bad shape.
The Body & Exterior
There are almost no dents on the truck but the clear coat and paint is pealing all over. Not too much body work but going to be a lot of sanding to get all the top layers off.
I like it that this truck has some fender flares, they look pretty good on these trucks.
The truck came with a bed cover which is in a really good condition. I think it will be staying for a while. I might replace it with something better, or may even remove it in the future when I spray the bed in bed-liner.
The wheels it came with were not impressive by any means, but they don’t look bad. The tires are definitely in need of replacement, which are old and bald. I’m not worried because we are going to be replacing them for sure.
Windshield is another item that will need to be replaced as it is completely cracked from one end to the other.
The engine bay looks great but just dusty – if you don’t look too close. When I bought the truck, I didn’t even look too closely at it. I just needed it to run enough to get it home which was about 10 miles away. I checked that it runs and sounds good. Checked the oil and that was good enough for me. The oil pressure was very low and kept jumping around on me, but when the engine is not idling the pressure came up to about 8 PSI. It was good enough to drive home with. I knew I was going to fix that part anyway. The price I was getting it at was what made me exxcited about this one and so I just wanted to take it home already.
I couldn’t believe it, my first full-size truck, and it’s all mine. It is a pile, but I see so much potential in it. It has good bones.
So the plan is to first make it drivable. That means I need to figure out what is going on with the oil pressure. After that part is fixed, I will need to fix all those leaks, replace all the seals and gaskets.
Once the drive train is good, then I can start working on the body. I want to replace the front end on this 2000 Sierra 1500 with a 2006 Sierra 2500 front end because I really don’t like the rounded look of the grill and I love the look of the newer grill and the front bumper. Also the small filler part that goes between the grill and the bumper on the 2500 trucks really adds the cherry to the front end and gives it a little more aggressive look.
Adapting the newer front end to this truck will require some customizations so that should be fun.
At some point I will be purchasing some new wheels and tires for the truck. I’ve been looking at a lot of wheels and I think I like the Snowflake wheels off a newer Cadillac Escalade. But to take it a notch higher I’ll be putting some aggressive tires on it so it will be a hybrid of sorts that I have only seen once on YouTube and fell in instant love with the look.
These are the plans. We will see what reality will throw in my face when things get down to business.
That is all we got for this part, but go ahead and check out part 2 here: Project Build: Engine Rebuild if you like and also part 3 here: Project Build: Cleaning Parts.
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.