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Old 03-21-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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1992 29' Excella
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What Was Your Latest DIY Tow Vehicle Repair or Modification?

Let me start by saying I searched for a thread with this type of content and didn't find anything on the forum. My apologies if this subject has already been covered.

The idea of this thread is to describe, in written form and with pictures and videos, the latest repair you've made to your tow vehicle. You must have made the repair yourself or with the help of friends. This thread is not for repairs that were made by a professional auto mechanic. This thread is also not for repairs made to your Airstream trailer or motorhome - there are plenty of other threads for that.

This thread is not brand or model specific - anything goes - as long as it's your tow vehicle. This thread is also not intended to be a my brand versus your brand platform. We're not comparing service records, compiling failure rates, not making fun of somebody else's problems.

Just thought it would be fun and interesting to see what the do-it-yourselfers are tackling out there in the Air Forums community.

With that... I'll start:

I recently noticed a clanking noise on the left front axle of our 2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500. The noise was very similar to the sound many front wheel drive cars exhibit when the CV joints go bad. So yes, it was determined our front left axle CV joint was deteriorating. The CV boots were in good condition but with over 95,000 miles on the odometer it was time for front axle replacements.

I generally try to use OEM parts when the price makes sense. In this case, even with Amazon and a variety of other online and local retailers, the OEM parts were simply too expensive. I can change the axles three times (not that I want to) for less than the discounted OEM prices. I decided to order a set of axle replacements from www.1aauto.com.

I didn't take many photographs of the replacement. Instead I'll let this video to the talking for me. The detailed information available on the internet is simply amazing!

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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 03-21-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
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We have 1996 K1500 Suburban. I recently replaced both front axles, hubs, axle seals, ball joints, brake rotors, calipers and shocks. I also upgraded to coil spring rear shocks.
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:26 PM   #3
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Do mods count?
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:26 PM   #4
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Yes, it seems like modifications fall into this category too. Particularly if they involve some sort of mechanical or electrical upgrade.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:07 PM   #5
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Installed OEM tow mirrors and replaced the serpentine belt on the engine. On my '08 Tundra.
Installed air bags on the rear axle.
Fabricated my own "Rock Tamer" and installed it.
Recently installed a rear view (not backup) camera and monitor. The camera is mounted on the passenger side rear view mirror. No more blind spot.


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Old 03-22-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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Decided to beef up the rear end for towing. One of the first things I did after purchasing the truck was change over all the fluids. Rear end now has Amsoil 75W-140 Severe Gear synthetic gear oil.

Replaced my rear dif cover with this Mag-Hytec differential cover. It holds two quarts more fluid, it's finned and made out of aircraft grade aluminum, so it should keep things cooler. It features a drain plug and a dip stick to keep and eye on things. Also there is a larger magnet inside the cover.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:49 AM   #7
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You guys are going to laugh....

I stupidly left summer windshield washer in my Jeep and it froze and busted the feeder tube under the hood. I took off the heat shield on the hood and repaired the feeder tubes with silicone tubing from a useless Keurig machine I took apart. It fit perfectly. I still have more tubing and I am sure I will find a use for it. There is no such thing as junk, just stuff you haven't used yet.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post


Decided to beef up the rear end for towing. One of the first things I did after purchasing the truck was change over all the fluids. Rear end now has Amsoil 75W-140 Severe Gear synthetic gear oil.

Replaced my rear dif cover with this Mag-Hytec differential cover. It holds two quarts more fluid, it's finned and made out of aircraft grade aluminum, so it should keep things cooler. It features a drain plug and a dip stick to keep and eye on things. Also there is a larger magnet inside the cover.
That looks like a good product. I looked at the Mag-Hytec web site. Most of their differential covers include an o-ring seal rather than a gasket.

I am particularly interested in the automatic transmission pans made by Mag-Hytec. I'm taking a trip soon and plan to keep an eye on the transmission fluid temperature - I recently installed a transmission temp gauge. If the temperature is on the high side, the Mag-Hytec product may aid in reducing the temperature a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flygrrl View Post
I stupidly left summer windshield washer in my Jeep and it froze and busted the feeder tube under the hood. I took off the heat shield on the hood and repaired the feeder tubes with silicone tubing from a useless Keurig machine I took apart. It fit perfectly. I still have more tubing and I am sure I will find a use for it. There is no such thing as junk, just stuff you haven't used yet.
Leonie
Not laughing, but chuckling... that sounds like something I would do although finding the silicone hose that I saved from another project would be a dilemma for me. Sometimes I suffer from the too much stuff and can't find it syndrome.

On a related note, it seems to be more and more difficult to find washer fluid rated for sub-freezing temperatures. Many of the retailers in Georgia are limited to selling fluid for above freezing temperatures. I guess there are some new regulations (state or federal EPA/EPD?) that limit products with certain chemical components. If that's true, many more people will be freezing and breaking items in their windshield washer systems.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:10 AM   #9
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Spring 2014- rear view camera on the trailer, tires, Rock Tamers, anti-rattle device
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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2003 F150 SuperCrew with 248,000 miles.

Over Christmas Holiday replaced:

Upper control arms with integral ball joints and new bushings.

Lower control arms, ball joints, and new bushings.

Stabilizer bar bushings.

Upper control arm cam bolts.

Lower left control arm Clunk washers.

Salvage yard rear differential.

New front shocks.

Total costs sans labor $700.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:23 PM   #11
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Nothing sexy, had to replace the rear metal brake line. Silverado is 10 years old and has now had every single steel brake line replaced. Seems like they used the cheapest steel on the truck for the brake lines. It's a long brake line so I had to buy a spool and double flare it myself.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:59 PM   #12
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Replaced the transmission solenoid pack in the 4R100 automatic in my F250 tow vehicle. The solenoid controlling the torque converter lockup (a member of the pack) failed mechanically at 185,000 miles. Transmission, powertrain control module and the truck found happiness again.... along with the owner....
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:16 AM   #13
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Lots of Do It Yourselfers out there! I guess Airstreamers are a "handy" bunch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by war eagle View Post
Replaced the transmission solenoid pack in the 4R100 automatic in my F250 tow vehicle. The solenoid controlling the torque converter lockup (a member of the pack) failed mechanically at 185,000 miles. Transmission, powertrain control module and the truck found happiness again.... along with the owner....
We're experiencing an odd problem on our 2005 K2500 Suburban. It has switched itself to 4WD - high on it's own several times. I haven't quite figured out when and how it's happening. There is a fault code seen by the dealer that indicates the 4WD actuator or the control module is experiencing problems. Both are expensive (from the dealer) so I may be looking at my next DIY project.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:31 AM   #14
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We have an '06 Dodge Ram Megacab ... It came with cloth interior that is notoriously weak & breaks down at the places where my rear end meets it upon entry. After following several threads about this issue on Cummins Forum, I bit the bullet & bought seats out of a '14 Megacab ... The seats bolted right in, they are a LOT more comfortable, and now we have power leather all around. I have not figured out the heat/cool part of the seats yet.

My next project for this truck is an exhaust brake - probably PacBrake
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