Decided to start a build thread to share what I have been up to. Some of you have helped me tremendously already and I appreciate that. I live in Michigan and bought my truck from North Carolina. Never seen the truck in person. I would not recommend doing this but I decided to take a gamble. Found it on Craig’s list. Had it shipped up here from a trucking company in January of 2020.
Here is the truck when I first got it. It had stock open diffs and 35x12 m/t on 15x12 Mickey Thompson wheels. Also 4”pro Comp lift spring front block rear. It wouldn’t stay running and the throttle was hard to push. Come to find out the previous owner sprayed the engine down and somehow filled the cap and rotor with water. No biggie he was just trying to clean it up it was an easy fix. Next came the throttle cable. I knew right away something was up with the tv cable and the geometry was off. So I bought the arm for an edlebrok to fix that and also the proper bracket. I ended up needing to cut the bracket and make some changes to it and weld it back together. I got the geometry right but the gas peddle was still stiff. To fix that issue I went to a shorter 79’ camaro throttle cable and drilled a higher hole in the carb arm where the cable attaches so it would pull straight.then around the spring I pulled the carpet and started patching the floors. No major holes just some pitting. So one big patch on the passenger side and a couple small ones here and there.
After the patches I did primer, paint, insulation , and rubber floors. Around this time I found some one tons in Pennsylvania. They were a matching set out of a k30 with 4.10 gears. Beware 84-85 some 14bolts use a small bearing for the pinion that you can’t find. I didn’t know this when I bought them and almost had a heart attach when I thought I had a useless 14bolt. I got lucky and mine was the right bearing. I took the axles apart and metal finished the diffs to make them look pretty. Lol. Had the rear rebuilt with the 4.10 gears that were in them but with a true-track. The Dana 60 was the same but put a detroit locker up front.
As you can see in those pics I also shaved the diff and put in a diy4x shakle flip. After the rear was in place I centered it and got the angle right and welded it in. “While I was in there” I did the Tom woods sye and double caradan driveshaft. Don’t have pics but I rebuilt the tcase while the tail shaft was away for machining. Next was the one ton steering. Used the whole kit from ORD. Reid bushimg, high steer arms and and drop arm. I also had to switch to the 2wd steering box so “while I was in there” I also welded in steering box frame braces. Do t have a pic of that either. I’ll get pics next time I’m up north we’re the truck is for the winter.
here’s the steering. When I took this pick I think they were just laying there and not actually hooked up. I can’t remember . I bent the bars with a harbor freight tubing bender. Not recommended but I got it done.
These are some pics when I got the tires mounted to the wheels. The front wheel was just sitting over the spindle. It wasn’t complete yet but I wanted to see some progress. There is a lot of stuff still needed to be done. I drove it around through the fall then put it away. I worked hard on this but everything takes time. What I had planned on getting done and what I got done was close but I ran out of time and weather. As I write this I am in the progress of building a 400sbc. It will have a Comp cams xe262 cam, edelebrock performer intake, Holley 750 vacuum secondary carb with quick change spring kit. Heddman long tube ceramic headers. The bottom end was built by my buddy that had it in his g20 van so the bottom end has like 20,000 miles on it. There is a lot of little things I did aswell and I’m forgetting half of them. New neutral safety switch and seals . All the brakes and bearings and seals are new on both axles. I would rather do these parts while I have the apart.
here’s some pics of my goodies for my 400sbc. Thanks for reading I’ll add more as I go. After the motor goes in then I have a Gm NOS quarter panel to bolt on. And wrap up the interior.
these are the pics of the 400sbc. The serpentine system is half g20 van and half 96-98 gm pick up. we had thought it all came from the van but after further research I found out we had a mix match. It doesn't really matter cause they all use the same 3 bolt holes for mounting. Some of you eagle eye members can probably notice i have the belt ran the wrong way. When I was putting it together I did not have diagram and just put it there for mock up. And for those in the same boat as me( when adding a serpentine set up like mine) keep in mind your alternator will be different. the v-belt style with two wires is a 10si/12si style. I am now going to a cs130 alternator. you can wire it a bunch of different ways or just run a one wire alternator. there is a ton of info on the innerwebs on this conversion. I will just be adding an adapter plug. its easy and i don't want a lite to act as the resistor. my hedders were installed in the truck from the bottom and i had to take the starter out to get them in and the oil filter on the other side. I accidentally ordered the wrong mini starter. my 350 has bolt holes that are parrallel to each other but my 400 has offset bolt holes. so that one is being sent back and a new one is on the way so used the original one for mock up. the next issue i am going to have is running the exhaust around the shifter linkage. the truck has a column shifter and would like to keep it. i did install a ORD crossmember and poly mounts. I am very happy with the crossmember. not only did it make more space between the oil pan but also brings the crossmember back about 3". not sure if i said this earlier in the build but the crossmember is for a big block/Ls motor. it still fits the frame with out modification. just gives more space and in the future if i want a big block or an Ls i can just toss it in there with no issues....lol.
While I was up north I also added a 26,000 gvw trans cooler with braided nylon lines. you can see the lines in the pick with the engine in the truck. They will be mounted to the passenger inner fender. Right now they just have zip ties but I ordered actual cnc -an line holders. Something I learned this weekend that i want to share with you guys about installing fittings on nylon lines. i used tape to cut them then removed the tape and used a lighter to stop the end from fraying. kind of like a shoe lace. the fittings are very tight on the lines so i held the lines with my hand and hit the fittings with a non marring mallet. then lubed up the other piece of the fitting that squeezes the line into the fitting with the trans lube that I am using for the trans. hope this helps some one i noticed a lot of people mad about it on the jegs reviews on their nylon lines.