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'73 K5 Fiberglass Body Tub....240mi shakedown run...

Discussion in 'The Driveway (build threads)' started by 73k5blazer, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Hello all...
    In my third year of this restoration buildup. I've purchased one of the Us Body source FiberGlass tubs and Tilt front clips.
    Man, what a lot of work. You have to drill, cut, every hole in the body. Everythings a day or two or three chore. Taillights, 1 day, Headlights 1day, Doors - 1day per door, tailgate - 3days.....anyhow...I was wondering if anyone else has done one of these.
    Specifically, I'm very concerned with the roll cage mounting. Obviously it had to go to the frame, but the question is, how?
    I started with a smittybilt cab cage and added rear hoops and some crossmembers. I custom designed and welded brakets from the frame to the bottom of the floor. Theres a large rubber bushing (really large...I got the bushings from a Freightliner parts place, a certain OTR truck uses two of them to hold the steering gear box) incorporated within. Then I bolted the cage to those points...(6 of them). I used different size plates top and bottom of the floor to avoid the cookie cutter effect. The body is additionaly mounted using the stock (ok some modification there as well) points (8 of them). I'm concerned that all this will make the body too rigid and the fiberglass will end up cracking to pieces in no time from the cage points flexing at a different rate than the body mount points....any expieriece here would be apperciated.
    The only other choice was to cut large holes in the floor and send the tube steel though the holes to the frame. No plates. The holes would then have to be large enough to accomodate for flexing of the body..and use makeshift boots to cover it.
    The floor is fully reinforced with 2x4, 4x4, and 1x2 wood (I wish they would have used aluminum there...perhaps that would have been to rigid...hopefully it was treated wood...but probably not...oh well, hope they sprayed that glass troughly enough to seal in the wood completely).
    I'm also in dilemma about how to mount the seats. Do I spend several days and weeks of spare time bending and welding in a sub-cage to mount the seats to, or just bolt the seats to the floor using some plate steel to spead out the load. The front ones are right over one of the 4x4's underneath.... I really don't want the subcage as it would make it even more difficult to access the reat seat....but if it's nessecary..The guys at Us Body I think are a little over confident as they say I don't even need to spread the load, just bolt the seats right in...they also say the cage should be fine how it is, but...as I stated, I get the feeling they think thier bodies are indestructable....
    They said they sell about 4-8 of those bodies a year, hopefully somehere has been one of those people...

    My goal was to make a daily driver, and decent wheelin' vehicle in one, and to never have to worry about rust again (I live in Michigan, and it would have killed me to go buy another 73-75 blazer tub that wasn't rusted, bring it here watch it turn to nothing inside of a year or two). I want the outside and inside of the truck to look basically stock, except for the modestly increased tire size. The truck has 35's on it, (only 1 1/2" of spring lift on no fender trimming!! amazing what 1200# weight savings will do..) 14 bolt rear w/detroit locker, dana 44 (converted to 3/4 ton eight lug knuckles) with ARB Air locker. Imron painted frame, axles, trans, transfer case. SM465 Trans, NP205 transfer case....'91 interior... and No motor yet! (Plan on a GM Crate 383 stroker)


    Any insight into these issues would be greatly appreciated.

    BlazerMan
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  2. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Fiberglass Body Tub

    Well when are we going to see the pictures? hahaha
    Fiberglass, if done correctly is a lot stronger than you would think. With the loss of 1200 lb and the way you mounted the cage I think your going to be ok. As for the seats.. you could probably get away with a plate on the top about 3 inch raidus and a couple BIG fender washers on the bottom.
    Most of the wheeling in MI is mud bogging unless your plan on jumping the dunes. You probably not going to see the frame twisting that some of us see at places like Tellico. just going by your discription your probably fine. Also tieing the cage into the frame you are taking some of that twist out.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  3. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Re: Fiberglass Body Tub

    Ok...you talked me into it....give me a few days, mabey a week or two..and I'll get a bunch of pictures together and scan them in and post 'em...I've been meaning to do it sometime anyhow...
     
  4. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Here's those pictures I promised...7 years ago!

    Ok, Since the site seems to have migrated towards 'build' threads, I will finish my project out that way..(Yes, I said finish!)

    First though, here is a conglomeration of years of threads, FYI...


    It started with this:
    [​IMG]
    1 NIce 1973 K5....well, rusty, but nice, ok it was just ok, it ran and 4wd worked....

    Eventually the rust got so bad, I tore it down for the "summer appearance package". I turned it into a rust hating project, that is now my 10 years running fiberglass body K5 rebuild/resto/mod project...
    I sandblasted the frame (that was 3 days of fun picking sand from my ears), and coated with DuPont Imron (the stuff they use on Airplanes, it's an epoxy paint, I found it cheap then, it's wildly expensive now!)
    [​IMG]

    I bought the fiberglass body from US Body source (again, it was waaayyy cheaper back then) and started fitting it. I used metal doors and an new GM OEM tailgate. All primered, rustprooffed inside...
    [​IMG]



    I also fabbed a full cage, starting with a Smittybilt front cage part (another part I don't think you can get anymore), but the Smittybilt cage wasn't such a wise choice, it doesn't hug the contours of the truck very well. It works though, I guess...
    [​IMG]


    CUstom nerf bars I fabbed that double as cage supports, the glass body needs a full cage with support to frame, this provides said support.
    [​IMG]

    And that's about where the thread search picks up..I'm sure I've missed many threads here..but...alas...

    Glass Body back from Line-X


    Air tank install


    H2 tire/wheel install

    Started all new wiring, all custom from scratch.

    Everything you wanted to know about wire and more

    Diamond Plate siding

    120v Inverter install

    Battery tray for Optima D31

    Borgeson Steering Shaft

    80's wiper system install

    Kert DIY4x bumpers..

    Bumper accessories

    More Bumper stuff..

    More bumpers

    Delphi Terminal wiring how-to

    CUstom re-worked Dash

    Alum. Radiator install


    Elec. Fuel pump tech



    Tilt front clip supports


    Engine purchase

    And here's how it sits pretty much today:
    [​IMG]

    With this in my garage...
    [​IMG]

    Ok, so I have the engine, I've got the clutch, motor mounts and various other pieces required to physically install the motor coming tommorow. I'm thinking I may actualy drop it in on Thruday.
    Of course, "drop it in" is a far cry from "installed", I want to get it in so I can order d-shafts with the whole drivetrain sitting in proper position, and once d-shafts are in, I can do exhaust, all stainless of course. You know I hate rust, that's the whole purpose here you know, rust prevention! :haha:
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  5. cdoggwsu

    cdoggwsu 1/2 ton status

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    Man...just finished reading all your previous build thread stuff. Congrats on all the hard work, it's really an amazing build!

    Are you planning on separating the "topper" at some point, or is that too critical for the glass structure?
     
  6. 73redblaze

    73redblaze 1/2 ton status

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    good god man thats beautiful
    [​IMG]
     
  7. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    dear god man you have patience!

    Dont forget the stainless nuts on your exhaust manifold studs:p:
     
  8. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    THanks for all the kind words! I have a Specialty Top Co fastrac top for it, new in the box, Dontoe clued me off where one was on Craigslist late last year. I figured by the time I get to most of this stuff and work out the gremlins, (remember, many parts are now considered NOS, like I installed an air locker in 1999, it may or may not actually work!), it will be late summer, fall, so I'll just leave the hard top on for now.

    Giddy up.....
     
  9. 82355

    82355 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Wow, I am going to go back through and read all of this tonight.

    Martin
     
  10. mad_burban

    mad_burban 1/2 ton status

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    I'll 2nd that :bow:
     
  11. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Thanks!

    Brown just dropped off some install goodies..

    Centerforce Duel Friction clutch
    Centerforce throwout bearing
    ARP pressure plate bolts
    Motor mounts and engery suspension urethane inserts
    Fuel pressure gauge for initial tuning

    ANd I just finished rebuilding my bellhousing. All cleaned up, NOS clutch fork, NOS clutch fork pivot ball stud, NOS clutch fork rubber seal, NOS Z-Bar ball stud and Z-Bar seals. I rebuilt my clutch Z-Bar with all NOS GM seals and bushings several years ago. I also cleaned up my engine mount brackets with the rest of the yellow Imron the dude sold me cheap when I bought a gallon of black several years ago. He said he had this qt of yellow he sold me at 75% off. I don't like yellow much, but it's good for parts like this...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. chevyuser74

    chevyuser74 1/2 ton status

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    subscribed
     
  13. 73redblaze

    73redblaze 1/2 ton status

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    you know how some people spend thousands of dollars on art work by guys like Thomas Kincaid? i would just mount one of those on my wall! it would look soooo much cooler!!!
     
  14. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    I got some body parts that are nice and jagged and rusty, artwork in their own right, those could be mounted on the walls.
     
  15. cuervo

    cuervo Wears Boob Goggles! Premium Member

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    What motor mounts did you buy and where from?

    On a side note: I got my old motor out yesterday and it's the 14093638 casting. I've not pulled the pan to see if it's a 2 or 4 bolt version yet. I'm hoping for a 4 bolt so I can sell it to some racer for a few bucks.
     
  16. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    I bought these cheap motor mounts just for the clamshell pieces

    THen I drilled out the rivets and replaced the rubber insert with these Energy Suspension urethane inserts. THe instructions say to just use the provided zip ties to hold the clamshell together until you bolt them into place, but I just tack welded the clamshell back together, one less thing the have to align and screw with when the engine dangling from the hoist. The energy suspension instructions also don't mention which way to install those inserts, there are little tabs that need to go a certain way to catch the engine bracket properly, I'm glad I noticed it, that would suck to have the eninge dangling off the hoist and find out those inserts are 180degrees off and the bracket won't fully engage.
     
  17. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    :doah:


    you just reminded me of a very very aggravating day I once had. Thanks for peeing in my cheerios:mad::p:
     
  18. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    I think we've all been there at one point. Not because of the mounts specifically perhaps, but just in general,
    "WHy won't it go all the down?",
    "How come it won't come all the back against the tranny?".
    " Why's this balancer touching the crossmember?"
    "Dude, You shouldn't have to beat those motor mount bolts in!"
    "Just a second, let me get a bigger pry bar."
    "WHy does the throwout bearing keep falling off?"

    All mixed in among many creative explicatives of course
     
  19. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Installed the serpentine seutp I bought 3 years ago, I saw it at a garage sale for $100. I think GM sells the kit for quite a bit more.....

    [​IMG]

    It's almost to pretty. I should get a bucket of mud from out back and throw it on it.
     
  20. chevyuser74

    chevyuser74 1/2 ton status

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    probably wont stay clean once its in i know mine didnt, but it sure did look pretty out of it.
     

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