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84 Shortbox-2wd to 4wd- Parts Trucks!

  • Have had the idea/itch to build a comfortable daily driver/do all truck for quite sometime. Something the wife isn't afraid to get in and go on a road trip. My K5 has become too much to daily drive, and the body is too nice to subject to the salt on the roads. I missed having the versatility of an open box truck and wanted that back as well. Having had all 3 wheel bases over the years I knew I wanted a short bed truck. I have been collecting parts for this for the past couple months, still need some of the big items though. Knowing how much I was going to be changing, I didn't care if I started with a 2wd or 4wd.

    One of the requirements of this build is a nice ride quality, from the front and back. To get that in the rear I'll use 64's and up front I plan on coils and links. Either a 3 link or radius arms (keep an eye out for a separate thread in the Garage about this).

    Tire size will be a 35 (already have) possibly going down to a 33. So not much lift, 3-4" maybe. After daily driving many tire sizes I feel that 33-35 is about the tallest you can go and still have good comfort/road manners/tire life/maneuverability.

    Engine will be a standard SBC. Truck is currently carb'd, I'm looking for a TPI setup currently. If I fall into a good deal on an LS motor I may go that route. But I have 10+ small blocks sitting around so I may as well use them.

    Trans/t-case is going to be a Nv3500/ drivers drop 241 (already have). I traded a parts truck for them. Trans has a fresh GM rebuild on it. Got a new clutch with it as well. I settled on this combo for a couple reasons....I have an Nv4500 too, (for the K5) but need a t-case for it. Pass side drop cases that will bolt up to it aren't too easy to find around here. So rather than trying to find 2 of them I'll only need one. The second reason is the front axle choice...

    Ideal front axle will be a high pinion Dana44 from a Ford truck (trying to work out a deal on one right now). Don't really want to mess around making a drivers drop axle from a GM axle, even though I have enough parts to do it. I'll use Chevy outers on the Ford axle to get a 6 lug pattern. Have a flat top passenger side knuckle already to do the crossover steering, just needs machined.

    Rear axle will be a 6lug SF 14bolt from a 88-98 truck. Moving perches/shock mounts is no big deal. May grab the springs from the same truck. I feel this will be more than enough for the rear. If I come across a matching D44/9", I'm not against using that and switching to 5 lug rims. Gearing will be 3.73 or 4.10.

    Interior will get whatever floor work needs to be done. Some liner/sound deadening and carpet. Seats will be either bench or buckets out of a newer truck, looking for leather (or whatever synthetic they use now) heated as well, not afraid to mod the floor. Have a spare K5 gas tank I can put out back if I need to remove the saddle tank.

    Some other requirements: On board air, power inverter, good heater, decent stereo, remote start (possibly, having had it in one car...it's hard not to want it in others), quiet going down the road.


    Now, after that novel...on to the actual truck I found. $800 and a set of 3.73 geared 3/4ton axles got me this. It's an 84 (I think) C10. It was owned by a very good friend of mine, still need to pay him, so title will stay with him and no real work will be done on the truck till then. It has a 350/Th400 in it currently. Rear axle has been swapped for a 12bolt from a Chevelle (I'm guessing, it has the mounts for that style rear suspension). Was lowered in the back by an axle flip and in the front with springs. Has a locker in the rear as well. Very basic truck, manual windows/locks, no AC, no cruise, fixed rear window. Not many options checked when it was bought new.

    Truck runs/drives well. And will stay running/driving until I get all the parts I need to do the conversion. I will say that it may end up staying 2wd and lowered if I really like driving it the way it is...can always find another truck to build.


    It looks clean, but it needs a cab corner and a rocker. Door has a dent and both have been cut for speakers. Nothing too bad to deal with though.

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    Tires I have for it. 35x12.5x15 BFG Mud Terrains on 6lug aluminum turbine rims.

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    I thought I had a picture of the Nv3500/241, but I don't...so use your imagination here.

    This thread will be where I put my ramblings/thoughts/pics on the build. I'm sure I'll have some stupid questions, and if they warrant it, I'll make them there own thread in the Garage.

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