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So you recently found out that your gmt800/900 doesn't have a cabin air filter. I know, its a huge shock since every other vehicle has one. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about it's a filter that is between your vents and the outside of your truck to keep dust and debris (and possibly foul odors) from entering the cab. Well it turns out Silverados used to have them...the year before the SSS came out. You can thank your friendly GM engineer for trying to save a couple bucks on production and later repairs for people not changing them out regularly. Luckily, enough people complained and GM made a retrofit kit...or at least offered the parts from previous years into one convenient package. Well fret no more, I will show you all how to do this. I know, I know (in a thick whiny nerd voice) "But there are other forums out there that already show how to do this". Shut up and sit down nerd, I'm going to write this up anyway so you don't have to dig through google looking for the one with pictures or one that makes sense. So first things first, before you order any parts or even decide to tackle this you need to take into consideration a few items: Do you have the tools required: Ratchet with 7mm, 1/4, 7/32 sockets (or equivalent) Dremel or other suitable cutting device, preferably with a 90 degree tool head Box cutter or suitable razor blade device Safety Glasses (safety first) Lots and lots of patience Are you comfortable making irreversible cuts into your trucks HVAC system with a high speed rotary tool? Are you at least slightly mechanically inclined? Are you ready to spend an hour swearing at one stupid screw? And most importantly do you know what parts you need? Thats easy. Go out to your truck and open the passenger door. Climb under the dash and using your 7mm socket tool unbolt the 3 screws holding the HVAC shield that protects everything under there. Looks like this: Before you unbolt those screws though I need to warn you (oh wait did you already do that? Well that will teach you for not reading the forum completely before tackling this job). The third screw is above the hump just behind the center console. It is a GIANT PITA. You can do this all without taking it out, but the shield will poke you and get in your way the whole time, and you may even end up breaking it. That being said, if you take this screw out, you'd better be prepared to spend some time trying to put it back in. I can show you a little trick to make it easier when the time comes. For this part only remove the 2 easy ones because you will need to put it back on until you get your parts. Ok so once said shield is out of the way, you need to determine which type of cover you need (and possibly which style filter). There are three types out there. Earlier years (2003-2004) may look like this (lets refer to as Gen1): Later years (2005-2006) may look like this (refer as Gen2): Or even possibly this (2007 and up - refer as Gen3): For the sake of this install we will use mine as an example. I have a 2006 so I've got the Gen2 picture above. So now that you have seen what style cover you have, you need to go online and place an order for the parts. Keep in mind there are two types of filters, a standard pleated filter to keep out dust and debris, and a carbon filter that will keep out dust, debris, and help filter out foul odors. (These filters need replaced yearly by the way) If you have the Gen1 'L' shaped bracket you will need: Cabin Air Filter Cover: GM# 52494070 2x Standard air filters: GM# 19257782 -or- 2x Carbon air filters: GM# 12489479 (this style uses 2 half filters side by side) If you have either the Gen2 or Gen3 style you will need: Cabin Air Filter Cover & Screw: GM# 22759208 Standard air filter: GM# 22759203 -or- Carbon air filter: GM# 23101674 (these styles use only 1 filter, although you can use 2 half filters as well) -or- Alternatively you can also use this complete Dorman Kit: Cover, Screw, and Standard Filter: 259-200 Cover, Screw, and Carbon Filter: 259-201 (I used this one – it worked perfect, and was $48 off amazon) All 3 styles are relatively similar in installation with minor differences so it is very easy to adapt these instructions to your style. So at this point you have received your parts and are ready to get started. Go back and remove that cover like before. Lay something on the floor to catch debris and plastic shavings. Next unbolt the Blower Motor Resistor. It’s the rectangular thing with two 7/32 screws directly to the right of where the filter(s) go. Looks like this: Either unplug both connectors or if you can’t get the PITA one in the back of the Blower, just unplug the one and tuck the Resistor up behind it. This will give you a little extra room to work. Now comes the fun part. Grab your rotary tool with a cutting wheel on it (a 90 degree tool head will make this a million times easier) and safety glasses and start cutting. This is where things vary a little. The Gen 1 you will be cutting an ‘L’ shape hole. This one will have the tab for the cover on the front and the screw post in the rear. Make it look like this: Gen 3 is really easy, just cut between the grooves. I hear it can be done with a razor blade. Gen 2 is somewhat more difficult. You will be cutting a 10.25” x 1” slot. I would recommend you hold the filter up to it so you can see about the dimensions you plan to cut. Just cut slightly smaller than the filter. Cut slow and carefully. This one’s tab is in the rear while the screw post is in the front. Now you don't have to do this with a dremel, but i'll tell you that it will make things easier. This is just a recommendation. You’ll notice that the ‘V’ cuts in the filter are there so you can bend the filter to make it easier to angle into the hole. You can also test fit your cover: Notice the 90 degree head. You won't be able to easily get the dremel in there without it. Alternatively if you want you can purchase the half filters and just cut a hole half the length (the length of one of the half filters). Make sure you bought the Gen2/3 cover though. It will still work with a half cut as it’s meant to sit on the outside of the hole. I prefer to do things right though. Once you get your rough cut look up inside. You will see the factory grooves for the filter that is no longer there (just like how there are screw posts yet no cover). You’ll also likely see years of nasty crap mashed into your heater core. Also take note of the inside dimensions. Just inside your cut you will see the vertical surfaces before it opens up to the heater core. Take your razor blade and very carefully trim your hole so it is even with said vertical surfaces. It will coincidentally be the exact size you need for your filter. Also on the front and back surfaces you will see grooves going vertically all the way to the top. Cut exactly to that center groove sticking out. You should end up with about 2-3mm of surface left all the way around and a flat opening with nothing to catch on the filter. Make sure you make this smooth, as well as the bottom surface where the cover mounts so you get a solid seal. Test fit your filter. It should slide in easily without snagging on burrs, and should stop with the bottom completely flush with the cover surface. Make sure the convenient pull tabs are on the bottom and the ‘V’ cuts are facing to the right. If you used the two half filters you will slide one up and then push it to the back, then slide the second one in beside it. Pull the filter out and use compressed air or something to blow the crap out of the heater core. Put the filter back in. Finally take your new cover and hook the back tab into the slot and set against the filter. Take your new screw and using your 1/4” screw the cover onto the screw post. It won’t take any effort. Don’t use a drill. If you have a Gen2, screw it in until the seal is lightly compressed and the tab should be making contact with the screw post. A Gen 3 will not make contact with the screw post. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN! Make sure you put your Blower Motor Resistor back in and plug it in. Clean up the area well and grab that HVAC cover. This is the fun part. If you unscrewed only two, good for you, screw it back on. If you unscrewed all 3, take a deep breath. Grab your 7mm, preferably a deep well. Put one of your screws in it and use electrical tape to tape it on, like this: Take the cover and note the PITA screw location. It has a screw well that if you look at the inside has a depression that conveniently will seat right over top of the screw post under the dash. Find said screw post and get your bearings. Take the cover and carefully seat that screw post into the cover’s depression. Now with the other hand take the socket contraption you just made and stick it up in the screw well and try and seat the screw. Once its seated the socket and screw will stay up there while you hand tighten the screw. Once suitably tight put your ratchet on and tighten it. Now pull the socket off. It should come off with the tape. Now tighten the last two screws. You just saved yourself an hour of swearing. Clean up and pat yourself on the back while you breathe in nice filtered air. And don’t forget, the next time you see a GM engineer, punch him in the junk.
This how-to is going to address the process involved in taking a 2006 Silverado SS with Rear Wheel Drive and convert it to All Wheel Drive. I know, I can already hear you all asking me why anyone would ever do that. Well, everyone with an AWD wants a RWD and vice versa. The good news is that this write-up will actually explain how to go either direction. It’s a very similar process, albeit a little easier to go RWD. Whatever your reason, whether you want the all-weather drivability of AWD or the tire melting burnouts of RWD, you've come to the right place. Before I get started, let me first address the elephant. This is a complex process. It will not be a simple bolt on application. Anything done to your vehicle is at YOUR OWN RISK. That being said, unless you have significant automotive experience, money, time, and patience then don't even bother attempting this. I am simply going to show you how I did this to my truck. I did this to a 2006 SS. Your year/model may have differences. I don't have a 2005 so I can’t vouch that the frame will be the exact same as the 2006. You will be cutting your frame. You will be welding things to your frame. You will be rebuilding drivetrain components. If you can’t do these things comfortably, or the person you are having do this can’t, then you have no business attempting this. Now if you are feeling brave, or just have nothing better to do, then read on…then re-read it…a few times. Make some lists. Get under your truck and make some measurements. Now let’s get started. Ok, so first off a little background. I love my truck. It’s my daily driver. I tow, haul, travel, and everything else except take it offroad…because if it ever touches mud or snow, I’m all over the place or stuck. So when I slid off the road twice during a blizzard (at 25mph, going straight no less, with snow tires) I decided it was time. After a lot of research online and finding essentially nothing but people talking about how they think they would do it, I decided the best thing to do was just get a salvage SS and figure it out. I found a 2004 SS locally at an insurance auction and bought it. I then spent the next couple months tearing it apart piece by piece to retrieve the parts I needed, then ordering a whole lot more. If you are going RWD to AWD this is about your only option….unless by some fluke your truck came with the proper mounts (you’ll see later). Remember, if you get a salvage, make sure it starts and drives. Large impacts can do serious unseen damage to the drivetrain, even if it wasn’t touched. So you got your donor truck. You are going to need to strip it down to the frame. I recommend you do what I did and sell what you don’t use to recoup some of the cost of buying it. There are plenty of people who want/need parts, especially the cladding. Here is what you need: NV-149 Transfer Case Transfer Case Adapter AWD Transmission (or just an AWD output shaft) Front IFS (8.25”) Front IFS Mount Front Constant Velocity Axles Intermediate Driveshaft Front Hub Bearings Engine Support (2-pieces) Transmission Support Transmission Mount Frame Mounts (cut out the whole frame sections) Primary Driveshaft (see below) Some things that you need to do/consider: Rebuild the transfer case and front IFS. It doesn’t matter what the mileage is. These are probably halfway to junk. They may have even been rebuilt once already. Don’t trust that. Consider replacing or repacking the CV axles. Probably a little contaminated by now. I rebuilt mine just because I’ve never done it before. You can see below how contaminated they get. Its fairly easy to do, but getting the right dog ear clamps is a giant pain (online) and the clamping tool is not easy to find. New axles aren’t that expensive. Lesson learned. Consider replacing all of the universal joints. Consider the mileage they have on them. Consider buying new Hub bearings. None of this is mandatory, but why not. If you are about to put a new drivetrain on your truck you should probably build it to last. Primary driveshaft. You will need to either have the AWD shaft shortened or a custom shaft made. The reason for this is because of the Rear Axle. The 2003-2005 has an 8.6” 10 bolt piece of crap (a great reason to stick with the 06’). The 2006 has a 9.5” 14 bolt. The 9.5 is slightly longer (front to back) which will result in the old shaft being slightly too long. New Ring Gear: This is up to you how you do this, but the AWD has 4.10 gears while the RWD has 3.73. The front and rear axle must match. Either put a 4.10 in your rear or a 3.73 in the new front…or something else in both. Choose your own adventure. I went with the 4.10 in the rear because I was already rebuilding it and I wanted the low end for the extra weight I was about to add. The easiest way is to just change the front axle since you should already be rebuilding it (hint, hint). Transmission Exterior Seal Kit: This can be a slightly misleading name. It is going to contain some important seals and gaskets that you will need during the transmission rebuild; more on that later. Fluids: you will need the following Transmission: 11.2 quarts of Dexron VI – brand/synthetic or not is personal preference Front Axle (IFS): 1.5 quarts of 75w90 or 75w140 (severe service) Gear Oil. I (and many others) recommend the 75w140. These axles are a bit weak. Rear Axle (if necessary): 2.75 quarts of 75w90/75w140 gear oil. Same as front. Transfer Case: 2.22 quarts of either Dexron VI or AutoTrac II. This T-case is also a bit weak so don’t skimp. Some will swear by one while others swear by the other. Your choice. Coolant: 16.7 quarts Dex Cool GM 50/50 Freon: R-134a – enough to get 24-45 psi low side (dependant on temp/humidity). Or just have GM refill it. With the drivetrain fluids it isn’t necessary to go with synthetics, but with how crappy this AWD drivetrain is, you might want to go the extra mile. I went with Amsoil Synthetics and Autotrac II (ACdelco PN# 88900402). Now you know why everyone wants to convert to RWD. Also go ahead and double the gear oil and t-case amounts as you will need to do a break-in fluid change at 500 miles. Anaerobic Sealant: You will need this to rebuild your IFS and T-Case. Any brand will work. This stuff hardens in the absence of oxygen. DO NOT USE SILICON SEALANT! I will show you why later. Transmission Assembly Lube/Goo: there are multiple types and colors. You won’t need much. Tools: There are some specialty tools you will need as well. I will try and address them as I go. I also recommend the factory service manuals for torque specs and reference, but you can probably find a lot of the information on the internet if you look hard enough.
Before I start this I should point out that I am in fact not a Transmission specialist. I am a general tech who just happens to dabble in everything and try new things. That being said, if any actual Transmission Techs out there want to chime in with pointers, correct me, add stuff, whatever...please do so. I'm not a genius and i'm also writing this up months after i actually did it, so i may have missed something or typed it wrong. I'm not going to cry if you criticize me, I care more that the correct info is out there for the people who need it. The following how-to is a step by step process of how to change out your transmission Output Shaft. This is actually part of a massive retrofit I'm doing over HERE to swap AWD into my RWD SSS. In case you didn't know, the only major difference between an AWD and RWD transmission in your SSS is the output shaft. The RWD has a longer Output Shaft because it has a tail housing going directly to the driveshaft. The AWD has a short "stub" shaft that goes into the NV-149 Transfer Case adapter, then T-case, which connects to the driveshaft. Anyone who has tried to put high HP into their truck knows that these transmissions are actually utter crap and can't handle power. Quick bit of history. The silverado used to use the 4L60E, but due to increases in power, especially with the SS version, they revised it into the 4L65E. A few revised parts here and there, and boom a transmission that can still barely handle the power being put into it. Most everyone has had their transmission go out or had a friend's who's did. 70,000 miles here...intake, exhaust, daily driver. Don't get discouraged though, a good reputable builder can build you a 4L65E that can last. Anyway back on point, one of the many weak parts in this transmission is the AWD output shaft. So the long RWD shaft while put under stress actually flexes a bit to help alleviate said stress. The shorter AWD shaft though does not, so when said stress is exerted, say hundreds of pounds of torque suddenly applied, the shaft will just straight break. Luckily you can find shot-peened, cryo-treeted, electrical induction treated, billet, etc shafts all over the internet. Now if you decided to tackle an output shaft replacement/swap you'll find that the ouput shaft is actually close to the back of the transmission and 3/4 of the guts have to be removed to get to it. A real pain, but not all that hard. Much easier than a full transmission rebuild. If you have a manual and patience this can be done in a few hours. For my purposes though i have to replace the RWD long shaft with the short AWD shaft for my build.
so a few months ago, with my little spare time, I got around to doing the bi-xenon projector retrofit on our Joe Gibbs shop truck. these retrofits are one of my personal favorite things, and once you see them in person, you will hate your headlight output no more hot spots and blinding people with PnP HIDs, yet still having inadequate light output! I used a set of Morimoto Mini H1 bi-xenon projectors for the headlights, and a set of Morimoto Matchbox bi-xenons in the fog lights (but I don't think I have pics of the fog lights). they are powered by Morimoto 50w H1 HIDs with XB35 5000k bulbs up top, 35w ballasts with 5000k XB35 bulbs in the fogs. keep in mind, ALL of these output pictures are SOLELY the low beam projector on, nothing else. bi-xenon solenoid is not open in these. upon high beam activation, the OE halogen high beams come one, in addition to the low and high beam bi-xenon projectors, as well as the fog lights. it is crazy with the high beams on lol. well here are some pics of it, let me know what you all think. this is a service we wanted to bring to our customers, so I put a set in my shop truck first for demo purposes (and cause they are awesome hehe).