'89 R3500 Crew Cab 2wd to 4wd conversion & beyond

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  • before & after of sorts.jpg
    Some of you may be familiar with my yellow K5, the General. It's been several years since I posted anything about it. Just been running trails and not doing much work on it. After owning the former military K5 for 12 years, we've reached the point where any new mods are out of my budget and we need a truck that is more family orientated. Plus the truck is just plain wore out.

    We found a good deal on a local '89 crew cab Chevy. The only catch is that it's a 2wd. Here it is on the day we bought it.

    just purchased (3).jpg




    I think this would be the Scottsdale package. Basic TBI350, SM465, and not much else. It was apparently some sort of public service vehicle in the past. The base color is school bus yellow. Some previous owner rattle-canned it white. They painted the interior black, including the dash and door panels. The paint is peeling off the door panels; and every time I close the doors, flakes of paint float off.

    The plan is to swap over the 60/14 and 700/241 from the General. The suspension will be ORD 48.5" leaf springs up front and 64" springs in the rear. The rear sprints will be hung with the 2.5" ORD flip and 6" DIY4x shackles on the General now.

    I'm also planning to shorten the wheelbase down to a short bed. We really want to have the full pickup functionality because I'm not only replacing the wheelin' rig but also the Super Duty we had. I'm hoping the for level of trail running we'll be doing, a full bed can survive. If nothing else we'll try it out for a while and see what happens. Worse case, I pull off a severely beat up bed and fab up a flat bed. Heck I've never wheeled a truck this long so who knows how it'll go.

    The end goal is a decent looking pickup that I can do some moderate wheeling with and pull a lightweight camping trailer. Something that will get the family out in the back woods having fun. Just a truck. :laugh:

    A little summary on the conversion:
  • Year:
    Trim Level:
    PRP seats, DIY4x aluminum dash
    Factory Options:
    454 with Holley Sniper EFI
    4l80e from 95 K3500, US Shift Quick 4 standalone controller
    Transfer Case:
    Offroad Design Magnum 4 speed NP205
    Offroad Design crossover high steer and PSC ram assist
    FRONT: Offroad Design leaf springs & Bilstein 7100 shocks
    REAR: ProComp 4" leaf springs with 2.5" shackle flip
    Dana 60 & 14 bolt FF. ARB locker & 5.13 gears in both
    Robby Gordon type 184
    37" Nitto Terra Grapplers