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1999 GMC 1500
06-10-2010, 10:58 AM
Hey guys i've got a 1999 gmc 1500 ex cab short bed with a back rack and tool box. Becuase I'm only landscaping/snowplowing with a 1500 should I do anything to "beef" it up. Or do you guys recommand anything I should put on my truck. I am going yo get a whele mini bar light and some work lights. Thank you!
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Triple G Lawn and Snow
06-10-2010, 01:24 PM
-add timbrens front and back

- additional back up lights

- don't go bigger then a 7'6" plow cause its only a half ton

-transmission cooler

1999 GMC 1500
06-10-2010, 01:27 PM
i forgot to add that i have a 7'6'' MM2
i was thinking about that mini bar light should i get hide away strobes or the light bar?

Triple G Lawn and Snow
06-10-2010, 02:16 PM
I have a mini light bar it did just fine. I would get the hide-a-ways just another way of making sure no one is going to hit you, so I would get both.

as soon as my computer stops being stupid I'll upload some pics of my setup for ya.

Moto52
06-10-2010, 04:17 PM
Crank the torsion bars up on the front to take the weight of the plow and add a leaf spring in the back.. then you will have a 1500HD..

1999 GMC 1500
06-10-2010, 08:55 PM
How do I crank the torsion keys should I bring it to my mechanic
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ajslands
06-10-2010, 09:06 PM
Take one of he zeros off of 1500, buy a couple ford embolims.

But if you want a pair of hide aways, I have a pair, 3 brand new tubes and one needs to be replaced (like 20$ to fix)
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Moto52
06-10-2010, 10:50 PM
How do I crank the torsion keys should I bring it to my mechanic
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no it's super easy, just jack the front of the truck off the ground from the frame so the suspesion is sagging down. and turn the bolts in tighter, if you tighten the bolt all the way in it will sit about 2''s higher and a stiffer ride. and make sure you tighten both sides. and you will have to get an alignment after you crank them up. and then you'll want to add a leaf in the back to level out the ride a bit unless you like the "california rake" look..

STIHL GUY
06-10-2010, 10:54 PM
torsion bars are real easy to adjust. id add a set of airbags to the rear

Junior M
06-10-2010, 11:01 PM
swap everything with 2500 parts..

Or just buy a 2500..

topsites
06-11-2010, 11:39 PM
I agree, you got yourself a homeowner's version pick up truck.

lakertaker2003
06-12-2010, 10:30 PM
Cmon guys! He needs new springs up front--heavy coil springs. Thats a must have. You def need extra leaf springs in back each set is $220 installed & will add 800-900lbs. A pallet of salt (if you use it) can weigh 2600lbs. Get a good BRIGHT light on roof to warn stupid drivers you are plowing! I have seen guys install strobes in the front and rear fog lights which work really well. P.S. Get a 2500 if you are serious about doing snow commercially. They have a HUGE radiator and hose system that is going to be needed.

1999 GMC 1500
06-14-2010, 09:34 AM
Thank you everyone for the advice the only reason why I have a 1500 is because I'm 16 lol and I bought it off my dad. I will prob get one next year but I am serious about snow plowing and mowing:) thank you again
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ajslands
06-14-2010, 10:20 AM
I'll sell you my truck for 60 grand! It's a ford so you know it'll last :D
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1999 GMC 1500
06-14-2010, 10:23 AM
I'm a chevy guy. I don't mind fords buy my next truck is a dmax anyways
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ZTR_Diesel
06-15-2010, 01:30 AM
Ok - try this on for size.

Use what you have.

Be content with it, let it last you through high school, then (let's hope) through college. It's paid for, or will be soon.

Upgrade parts only as you need them, and try this out: Save money for a newer truck.

Gosh, I would have loved to be doing lawn care with something that nice at 16, or even at 20. You have the rest of your live to consider bigger trucks. Don't do it till you need it, better yet - don't do it till you need it and can pay cash for it.

IMAGE
06-15-2010, 02:13 AM
instead of cranking the Tbars, you should just get a set of 2500HD torsions. They can be had at a junk yard for about $100 per set. Sometimes they install easy, and sometimes the old ones are a ***** to get out... but it can be done. Google "GM Torsion Bar Codes" to find a list of the different bars available, so you know what bars your taking out, and what ones your putting in.

I've got a K1500 Blazer with 2500HD Torsions in the front, and Timbrens, and I run a 7'6 Boss V RT3 on the front of it.... and it carries it very very well :). It's got overloads in the back also.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e281/livelifedaily/Snow/SSPX0075.jpg

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e281/livelifedaily/Snow/SSPX0076.jpg

FYI: Keep a set of front wheel bearings on your parts shelf when plowing with a 1500... I've gone through a few. Not a bad idea to stock front axles (half shafts) also. I wouldn't recommend a half ton with a plow for someone that can't fix things, because stuff WILL break (but stuff breaks on my 3/4 tons also so WTF right).

mnglocker
06-15-2010, 02:54 AM
Crank the torsion bars up on the front to take the weight of the plow and add a leaf spring in the back.. then you will have a 1500HD..

Not quite, the 1500HD has a full floating rear axel and heavier front wheel bearings. What he'll have is springs that let him over load the axels capacity without letting him know via bump stops.

swap everything with 2500 parts..

Or just buy a 2500..

This ^

I agree, you got yourself a homeowner's version pick up truck.

Harsh but true.

Ok - try this on for size.

Use what you have.

Be content with it, let it last you through high school, then (let's hope) through college. It's paid for, or will be soon.

Upgrade parts only as you need them, and try this out: Save money for a newer truck.

Gosh, I would have loved to be doing lawn care with something that nice at 16, or even at 20. You have the rest of your live to consider bigger trucks. Don't do it till you need it, better yet - don't do it till you need it and can pay cash for it.

The bolded is some very sage advice.

And yes, keep a set of half shafts and front wheel bearings on the shelf because you will be replacing them at least once a season with a half ton used for plowing.

ETA: Brake rotors, pads, calipers and hoses too.

ZTR_Diesel
06-15-2010, 11:06 AM
I worked for Wheaton College a number of years back, during a year of layoff from the engineering field. They had (and still have) 2 - 1997 Chevy 1500's with the 5.0 V8 and short beds; 4wd, and set up with 7.5' plows. They have larger Ford gas trucks as well with larger plows.

But for all parking lot plowing, and some daily road (urban streets only) plowing, the Chevy's are all they use. Yes, half shafts & front wheel bearings went from time to time, but I was suprised at how well overall these short (very hand size truck in parking lots) truck have held up. When they do plow with them, the are used pretty hard for many hours a day.

Plus those truck have been used daily for all kinds of grounds operations, they may not have many miles on them (likely around 35k by now) but they have been used hard.

topsites
06-15-2010, 11:42 AM
What I do to all my vehicles, although mine is a 2500 and I would agree that I would just save my money for that
rather than getting into a 1500 because the following initial maintenance spell is both time consuming and a tad pricey:

First fix anything that is truly broken and not working, essentials take priority.
Also pull the codes and see about fixing anything that comes up on that, then:

Replace 02 sensor(s).
Replace fuel filter.
Replace pcv valve and possibly the hose.
Replace breather cap (you'll need a way to bypass the tube).
Change oil and filter (synthetic).
While you're under the hood inspect ALL hoses and belts for cracks and deterioration, again replace as needed
or at the least get as a spare to carry with you if some are not looking so hot, also inspect and check for vacuum leaks,
any disconnected wires and just have a really good look see.

Change transmission fluid and filter.
Inspect ALL the brake pads for thickness, replace as needed, while you got
the front wheels off go ahead and re-pack the bearings.
Grease ALL zerks if it has.

The following gets replaced as well, with:
High performance ignition coil.
High performance (at LEAST 8mm ignition wires, Accel sells some as a set, as does Taylor wire).
In my case I built my own because they don't make the right set for my truck.

High performance cap and rotor (last one I bought was made by Accel).
High performance air filter assembly (you'll need a way to bypass the breather cap's rubber tube).
Double platinum spark plugs, I believe Autolites.

Other brand names I'm aware of would be Mallory, I believe my truck's coil is made by them.

I think that about does it, I'm sure if you're still feeling energetic you can think of more, the above will cost you 5-600 or so in parts.

Here's what the wire set up looks like on mine, and you can see the air filter as well,
the air horn is optional lol:

mnglocker
06-15-2010, 12:25 PM
What I do to all my vehicles, although mine is a 2500 and I would agree that I would just save my money for that
rather than getting into a 1500 because the following initial maintenance spell is both time consuming and a tad pricey:

First fix anything that is truly broken and not working, essentials take priority.
Also pull the codes and see about fixing anything that comes up on that, then:

Replace 02 sensor(s).
Replace fuel filter.
Replace pcv valve and possibly the hose.
Replace breather cap (you'll need a way to bypass the tube).

There is not a breather on his truck

Change oil and filter (synthetic).

just keep doing what you've been doing, changing from one brand you've ran for many years to another can cause leaks and remove the crud that's been stuck for years allowing it to get into the bearings.

While you're under the hood inspect ALL hoses and belts for cracks and deterioration, again replace as needed
or at the least get as a spare to carry with you if some are not looking so hot, also inspect and check for vacuum leaks,
any disconnected wires and just have a really good look see.

Change transmission fluid and filter.
Inspect ALL the brake pads for thickness, replace as needed, while you got
the front wheels off go ahead and re-pack the bearings.

It has non-servicable bearings.

Grease ALL zerks if it has.

There's 11 in the front end.

The following gets replaced as well, with:
High performance ignition coil.
High performance (at LEAST 8mm ignition wires, Accel sells some as a set, as does Taylor wire).
In my case I built my own because they don't make the right set for my truck.

High performance cap and rotor (last one I bought was made by Accel).
High performance air filter assembly (you'll need a way to bypass the breather cap's rubber tube).
Double platinum spark plugs, I believe Autolites.

Just replace the ignition components with OEM equivalents, when you start tinkering with this crap you will loose reliability.
Not only that, "High-perf" crap like the ancient oil filled coil shown are actually a down grade in performance over modern solid state components, that and a 99' GM 1500 has an LS seriers modular motor with coil packs. There is no distributor to worry about.

Other brand names I'm aware of would be Mallory, I believe my truck's coil is made by them.

I think that about does it, I'm sure if you're still feeling energetic you can think of more, the above will cost you 5-600 or so in parts.

Here's what the wire set up looks like on mine, and you can see the air filter as well,
the air horn is optional lol:

Here's an experienced mechanics input in red. I turned wrenches professionaly for 6 years. I still wrench on the side too. I had a 99' Chevy 1500, same as the OP's.

1999 GMC 1500
06-15-2010, 01:00 PM
oooo thank you, for beefing up the suspension should i add a leaf on the back and what should i do to the front? or should i change it out with 2500 leafs

mnglocker
06-15-2010, 01:01 PM
oooo thank you, for beefing up the suspension should i add a leaf on the back and what should i do to the front? or should i change it out with 2500 leafs

Go back and read my post. It'll save you some headaches and alot of cash.

In short since you are a young kid I doubt you will read any sage advice, here it is: DFWI (Don't &%$# With It) Do do your regular severe service duty mainenance schedule.

Your springs are set up as the weak link to let you know you're at your maximum weight. The truck will bottom out on the bump stops when you hit that weight. If you tinker around and get the truck back up off the bump stops you will OVERLOAD your axels' capacity and cause severe damage and be a danger on the road.

1999 GMC 1500
06-15-2010, 01:22 PM
Ok so The smart thing to do is not to do Anything to it and wait to get my 2500
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mnglocker
06-15-2010, 02:08 PM
Ok so The smart thing to do is not to do Anything to it and wait to get my 2500
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With the exception of routine maintenance (oil changes, transmission fluid, ect) yes.

1999 GMC 1500
06-15-2010, 02:16 PM
That's a given lol
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ZTR_Diesel
06-16-2010, 01:36 AM
With the exception of routine maintenance (oil changes, transmission fluid, ect) yes.


Yes - keep following this advice!

Having worked in componet reseach and development, I will say that most "upgrades" are not, in the end, worth thier price. There are some aftermarket items I've used, but not much, and that's interesting considering I own a 12-valve Cummins Dodge. One of 11 in this country that is still un-modified to this date.

This quote is instructive:
Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by hundreds of engineers that get paid thousands of dollars for something you bought at Pep Boys because your buddy who doesn't have a job told you it was 'better'?!?