This 2003 LB7 Was Made Into A Winner

2500_5

What an age we live in, that the everyday builds taken on by individuals can now get the attention they truly deserve. Take the case of gtrslngrchris, a member of the Duramax Forum, who began this project back in the middle of 2014: a 2003 Chevrolet 2500 4WD, appearing stock but already outfitted with some bells and whistles in the form of fresh injectors, MBRP downpipe, aFe Power five-inch exhaust, and a PPE boost valve.

The truck as it appeared at the beginning of the build.

The truck as it appeared at the beginning of the build.

“Damn, this thing is LOUD,” said gtrslngrchris in one post to the build thread. That resolved the man to get his hands on some sound deadening material, which he placed on the floor and doors to cut down on all the noise. While he was at it, he went full-bore on the carpet to remove a stench he’d picked up from doing a Rug Doctor treatment.

Next were the brakes, which were serviced at a shop. Numerous issues were spotted, including a leaking output shaft seal and leaking axle seal on the driver’s side. “I’m going to need to get my trans built or replaced…” said gtrslngrchris. After some more minor fixes and add-ons, gtrslngrchris installed an Edge CTS Insight tuner to get the most out of the LB7, as well as diagnose issues as they came up.

Admittedly, the truck was not a safe and sound machine that operated flawlessly, with several seals cracking and important parts showing greasy, gross buildup. Gtrslngrchris knew what he was getting into when he bought the truck, and half-jokingly confesses that “It wouldn’t be a diesel if it wasn’t bleeding me dry in one way or another.”

Left: sound deadening material was laid down to minimize the excessive exhaust tone. Right: the Aero Turbine 5050XL muffler cut down on noise even more.

Tie rod sleeves, a NOS steering wheel, CTS mounting pod, and more interior parts were taken care of in late 2014. In February 2015, gtrslngrchris installed an XDP fuel sump to ensure the lift pump wasn’t “sucking air or hitting a restriction.” This was paired with a FASS Titanium Series fuel pump to maintain a superior fuel flow rate in multiple situations. Bilstein shocks were mounted on the front and rear for better stability, too.

A Merchant Automotive transfer case brace was installed to add some peace of mind.

A Merchant Automotive transfer case brace was installed to add some peace of mind.

Fast-forward to July 2015, and the exhaust was taken care of with an Aero Turbine 5050XL muffler to get it to quiet down some more. A set of 20-inch OEM wheels and tires were tried out using wheel spacers, giving the truck a wider track width and filling out the truck’s profile better.

Gtrslngrchris teases the thread followers with a comment on purchasing a new turbocharger and transmission cooler, so we think power and cooling are on the man’s shortlist of mods to do in the near future. Keep up with what’s coming next by checking out the build thread here.

The truck as it appears now, in January 2016.

The truck as it appears now, in January 2016.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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