1986 GMC S-15

1stDeuce

Explorer
Been a while since I checked this thread... Congrats for sure on the new family member! I know it is a bit more work but do keep getting that kid outside!! So many parents just stay home after the kids come, and kids are not better off as a result...

I'm not sure what is necessary to import a truck from the US into Canada, but if you want an LBZ I can keep an eye out here in the dry SW. I brought a rust free 2006 LBZ to Colorado 2010 and I swear it has no more rust on it than when I bought it. 325k mi and still trucking along, with only a few hiccups along the way... I would also not hesitate on a clean 2004.5-2005 LLY, as they run almost as well and can be had for a bit less. A slight tune and it's LBZ power levels, which is plenty. IMO the 6-speed Allison is not necessary... With ~33's on my truck, it's much happer in 5th gear if I'm hauling anything. 6th for long flat highway trips only. I will probably program 6th gear out in tow haul once I get busy with HPTuners...

If a gasser is an option, I HIGHLY recommend finding a 2009-10 truck. That gets you the 6L90E , which is WAY better than the old 4L80E, especially in the hills. I had one with 3.73 gears and it was a very nice truck. I think 4:10's would have made it even better here at 7000'...

Or if a 6.5l suburban is an option, there's a '94 K2500 for sale "local" to me for $3500. Still good in the mountains but WAY cheaper than a duramax... :) Looks like a nice truck, though I do like the '95+ interior better...

426599296_7134550113330111_7723979814703020507_n.jpg


Thanks for all the updates too, this is still my favorite thread on all of the internet!!
 

Andrew_S

Observer
Ooof, extended leave from posting, still alive, lots of updating to do in here.
Been a while since I checked this thread... Congrats for sure on the new family member! I know it is a bit more work but do keep getting that kid outside!! So many parents just stay home after the kids come, and kids are not better off as a result...

I'm not sure what is necessary to import a truck from the US into Canada, but if you want an LBZ I can keep an eye out here in the dry SW. I brought a rust free 2006 LBZ to Colorado 2010 and I swear it has no more rust on it than when I bought it. 325k mi and still trucking along, with only a few hiccups along the way... I would also not hesitate on a clean 2004.5-2005 LLY, as they run almost as well and can be had for a bit less. A slight tune and it's LBZ power levels, which is plenty. IMO the 6-speed Allison is not necessary... With ~33's on my truck, it's much happer in 5th gear if I'm hauling anything. 6th for long flat highway trips only. I will probably program 6th gear out in tow haul once I get busy with HPTuners...

If a gasser is an option, I HIGHLY recommend finding a 2009-10 truck. That gets you the 6L90E , which is WAY better than the old 4L80E, especially in the hills. I had one with 3.73 gears and it was a very nice truck. I think 4:10's would have made it even better here at 7000'...

Or if a 6.5l suburban is an option, there's a '94 K2500 for sale "local" to me for $3500. Still good in the mountains but WAY cheaper than a duramax... :) Looks like a nice truck, though I do like the '95+ interior better...

426599296_7134550113330111_7723979814703020507_n.jpg


Thanks for all the updates too, this is still my favorite thread on all of the internet!!
The LBZ is turning out to be a bit of unicorn. My checklist is crew, not white, any trim level, no rust, sub 200k km's. I've found a few but they sell like hot cakes. I just missed out on a really nice red one but it was 8 hours away...
I hear you on the LLY but I'm not in a major rush and would prefer the LBZ if I can find one ticking all the boxes. I'm really trying to stick with diesel for the economy & power. I plan to solid axle swap it and run big tires, combined with a camper I'm going to need the torque.
It's crazy what trucks are worth these days.
We miss ya, Andrew. Hope things are going well and you are loving every minute of the best part of life.
Thank you. I've definitely had a hard time prioritizing this as we adjust to the new lifestyle.
I’m waiting for a square body, pop up roof suburban or something else super cool to appear.

I hope the family is doing well.
Yeah right haha, the irony is one of my neighbours has a lly swapped '86 suburban for sale, super clean. I'm pretty stuck on a truck for this one though.

Ok back to the routine, starting in Jan/Feb. Attempting to punch my way into a lake to do some ice fishing.
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Making good use of the winch...
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Lockers and tire chains make this thing 10x the truck it used to be.
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Until I completely turtle in sugar.
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15 psi is the sweet spot between fuel economy, traction and comfort.
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After all that I opted to walk-in....
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Took my 82-year-old step father for a fish. I can only hope to still be doing this at his age.
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Couple beauties for dinner.
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Finally swapped out the 5100's for a set of 4600's with 10.5" of travel. Night and day difference. The 5100's are not a great shock for driving lots of bush roads, just my (likely unpopular) opinion. This thing floats now compared to the stupidly harsh ride I had previously.
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Tore up an air line dragging the truck through all that snow. I'm an ARB fan boy now, these lockers are dead nuts reliable and the lines are super easy to field fix.
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fixed a busted drivers door handle return spring. Wish I could sort out a long term solution because this feels like annual repair.
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Andrew_S

Observer
Developed a pretty good oil leak. The oil filter housing o-ring was flat and bypassing. Unfortunately, the only way to repair this is to remove the mount work making a 5 min job a couple hours....
53754066436_355dde7e87_c.jpg

When the repair cost $.10 but it's a pain. I don't mind the more expensive easy fixes.
53754482700_8b0ca8e42c_c.jpg


Fixed, hopefully for another 100k km's
53754257978_5027f4614b_c.jpg


Now it was time for camper upgrades for the boy as spring camping was approaching.
53754392834_1118f00821_c.jpg


Early on we decided we would not be co-sleeping with him, so a crib was in order.
53754066311_78083b3645_c.jpg

I didn't want to do anything permanent as he would quickly grow out of it. So I came up with this:
53753154102_d7a7bf55fa_c.jpg


This welding cart has paid back dividends every time I use it.
53754257923_88f36a2bf4_c.jpg


Getting there:
53753154022_e73e610056_c.jpg


Needed a rail to secure him in place, this kid moves
53753154007_d5867b8146_c.jpg


Done with netting for a soft touch, removable to double as a change table and allow the camper to drop down.
53754257808_856e71753e_c.jpg


In the testing phase, I had another actuator failure. Actually the same one and due to my poor assembly skills. A plastic strip designed to reduce resistance came out of place jamming against a limit switch effectively shutting it down.
53754257878_46610f5646_c.jpg


So with that, we set out on our first overnight "test" trip with the boy... and I proceeded to get stuck immediately - winch again becoming my best friend.
53754066176_3053655d3e_c.jpg


We ended up at this little forested gem of a site.
53754392729_0e9647221a_c.jpg


This kid just soaking it up, natural camper in his element.
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Last edited:

Andrew_S

Observer
With our test run in the books, we set out on a multi-night trip a bit further away but nothing crazy.
53753153877_321301a44c_c.jpg


Beauty beach site all to ourselves.
53753153927_cce548ae22_c.jpg


At some point a critter chewed my hood liner and started to nest in the engine bay. Luckily this was the limit of the damage.
53753153832_c6f047a9c9_c.jpg


After this trip we took off for Ontario & New Brunswick to complete a tour of the grandmothers (who can't fly anymore).
Immediately set to work with my dad on his old S10
53754066046_e46118a586_c.jpg


This old truck desperately needed a bed due to rust.
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It's amazing what salt will do to a vehicle out East.
53754066016_bdf1343a4e_c.jpg


another example, this is what maybe an 8 year old truck?
53754482135_13b1b955c9_c.jpg


A week of wrenching on dads junk, visiting family and then hit the East coast,
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Fundy,
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53754257503_392c3d15a6_c.jpg


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Then back home in beautiful BC. Just in time for....
53754482145_af0fc053e9_c.jpg


Morels!
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Next rendition of the truck was revisiting the front sway bar. Unfortunately the explorer bar I installed was just a touch narrow and contacting the frame. I've opted to try out this Jeep TJ bar, this is version 4 or 5 now, losing track.
53754392199_f3c53e4c2e_c.jpg


This truck is crying for some attention, I haven't driven it once and it still needs a front blower oil seal... Free time is a not a thing anymore it seems.
53754065701_3dc4dc2d91_c.jpg


I chased an awful squeaking noise on the '86 for a couple of weeks. The front shaft was super tight, no slop at all, the only thing that gave it away was the rust dust. I completely forgot to replace these u-joints after my proof of concept was successful...
53754481955_879d5224ef_c.jpg


53754481885_7e126c89f2_c.jpg

Still actively truck hunting and found myself intermittently seriously interested in a kodiak, until I saw the fuel economy stats. This is a pretty rad looking unit though, almost enough to convince a guy.
53754065471_f9209363c1_c.jpg


Flip forward to late May/June. Bear hunting & still lots of snow in the hills.
53754481880_2a79e3c530_c.jpg


53754257173_76ef8d4e49_c.jpg
 

Andrew_S

Observer
3rd or 4th trip out with the family and I was lucky enough to connect with this great bear. This will be a core memory for me.
53754481875_00e057558e_c.jpg


Another trip out exploring some old roads,
53754481930_3435dc2062_c.jpg


The road ends here for us.
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I never want to lose the ability to camp anywhere we want. It was getting late so we set up next to the creek on this dead-end road. I don't envy the folks who always need to make it back to the park to have all the amenities, different strokes and all.
53754065156_787eed6fb5_c.jpg

Looking for bear #2, would have loved to have laid eyes on the bruiser that dropped these pop can sized turds.
53754065611_7ffc260844_c.jpg

Mid-trip hike into a waterfall. Carrying this kid on my back will whip my fat ass into shape in no time.
53754256943_15fda0fb04_c.jpg

Douglas cattle ranch lands, an absolutely gorgeous area.
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Solo paddle on this little stop over lake before heading home.
53754065006_41a0e288a7_c.jpg


More morels as the weather turned,
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53754481300_2a03577ace_c.jpg


New front bar is working well. Allows for great articulation with balanced road manners.
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Picking up a tire in the rear.
53754256818_34589bb76e_c.jpg


Another evening of Morels after work.
53754065136_fefd1b7ca5_c.jpg
 

Andrew_S

Observer
Another camping trip and another washed out road,
53783787900_4cd896f1b2_c.jpg


Heading to plan b and yup, stuck again, this late season mash potato piles are no joke.
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Nice surprise at camp,
53783791405_039ea414e9_c.jpg


Cleaned up that bear skull. It never ceases to amaze me how tough these animals are. This one had teeth worn down to the gums, it's jaw was starting to rot away at the back of it's mouth, a round lodged in it's upper back from a bad shot from at least 5+ years ago, and it was still healthy and eating well.
53782429227_e83199f6fe_c.jpg


53783688894_da34399b9b_c.jpg

Next up was front end improvements chapter 20, measuring for bump stops at full compression, this thing will tuck those tires.
53782425467_92984d8a41_c.jpg


and full droop
53783787790_d9df23ae46_c.jpg


53783689134_2a968d8880_c.jpg


Lastly, I installed the over-the-knuckle tie rod and drag link flip kits. This flattened out my angles significantly and allowed me to adjust the track bar up as well to match.
53783578578_e6d18af164_c.jpg


The only issue I'm having now is my tie rod ends are binding at full droop/compression. I'm hoping to find some high-angle joints and not have to run heims.

That's it, 6 months of catch-up and here we are present day again.
 

NevadaLover

Forking Icehole
3rd or 4th trip out with the family and I was lucky enough to connect with this great bear. This will be a core memory for me.
53754481875_00e057558e_c.jpg


Another trip out exploring some old roads,
53754481930_3435dc2062_c.jpg


The road ends here for us.
53754392044_5fb4f275d1_c.jpg


I never want to lose the ability to camp anywhere we want. It was getting late so we set up next to the creek on this dead-end road. I don't envy the folks who always need to make it back to the park to have all the amenities, different strokes and all.
53754065156_787eed6fb5_c.jpg

Looking for bear #2, would have loved to have laid eyes on the bruiser that dropped these pop can sized turds.
53754065611_7ffc260844_c.jpg

Mid-trip hike into a waterfall. Carrying this kid on my back will whip my fat ass into shape in no time.
53754256943_15fda0fb04_c.jpg

Douglas cattle ranch lands, an absolutely gorgeous area.
53754256693_b97cb5c6d7_c.jpg


Solo paddle on this little stop over lake before heading home.
53754065006_41a0e288a7_c.jpg


More morels as the weather turned,
53754256833_46da612734_c.jpg


53754481300_2a03577ace_c.jpg


New front bar is working well. Allows for great articulation with balanced road manners.
53754481350_45c24f63e6_c.jpg


Picking up a tire in the rear.
53754256818_34589bb76e_c.jpg


Another evening of Morels after work.
53754065136_fefd1b7ca5_c.jpg

That handsome little tyke definitely has 2 of the best parents/role models a child could have, keep up the good work and enjoy the life you have, it's awesome from this perspective.
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
@Andrew_S Glad to see your making memories getting out there and enjoying life with the kiddo! That's what it's all about.

Looks like some amazing trips and congrats on the bear!

Good luck on your hunt for the diesel. Guessing finding one under 200K has got to be the biggest hurtle?

If your willing to travel, shoot me a list of your 'must haves' and I can keep my eyes peeled here in AB for you.
 

YetiX

Active member
Grateful for the update, I was hoping all was well with you and you were just too busy. Clearly that's the case. Congrats on that bruin, that a NICE bear! Keep it up!!
 

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