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A Diamond in the Rough

v-3500

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Hey Guys and Gals! I am new to this forum. I just purchased a project truck, which is a 1991 Chevrolet V-Body 3500 4X4 Crew Cab single rear wheel truck, with a 350 Cu. In. engine, 4L80E auto trans, and a NP241 transfer case (the last of the GM trucks with a solid live front axle).

This truck is a diamond in the rough. It is straight, complete, not butchered, and from the looks of the under carriage the previous owner never touched the dirt with this truck in it's entire life. It has 110,000 original miles, and runs OK for that many miles, but needs a lot of refurbishing to make it tight and trustworthy. I was searching around the net for aftermarket GM 4X4 parts, and came across this site. Cool site!
 

nvrenuf

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Kewl truck! Welcome to the site! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

No offense but are you sure it's got a 241 t-case? I'm thinking it should have a 205. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif Is it a pick up or cab & chassis?
 

camiswelding

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hey brother...lots of v3500s here... I have one... still has under 40k original miles...
become a member here you wont regret it!!!
cam
 

v-3500

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Thanx for the welcome! NVRENUF truck sounds exacly like mine. The truck is a crew cab 3+3 pick-up. I am not 100% percent sure it has a NP421, but after doing some research on the web, the NP421 seems to be the most common transfer case connected to the 4L80E transmission on a 1-ton truck. If it where an NP205, I would not be disappointed. If anybody can tell me how to positively identify this transfer case, I would appreciate it.

Another issue I need to address is replacing the ball-joints on the Dana 60 front-end. According to the repair manual, the ball-joints need to be torqued down to 500 - 800 Ft. Lbs. That's insane! I have never heard of anything being torqued down to 500 - 800 Ft. Lbs.

I am very interested in the cross over steering set-up, and ball-joint spring and bushing set that ORD offers.


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thatK30guy

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Its gotta be a 205.

There are no ball joints on the GM version D60 fronts. What you are referring to for the 500-800 ft. lbs. of torque is the kingpins. Ideally, the preferred spec is 600 ft. lbs.

But before you go trying to replace the kingpins, are they scoured or gouged in any way? If they are smooth to the touch and no nicks or grooves, leave them alone. You don't need to replace them if there are no grooves in them. These are the PITA of the D60 fronts.
 

v-3500

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OK king pin. I have had some people, who are supposedly experts, try to argue the point with me that they where ball-joints when I used the term "king pin".

It is kind of hard to get a good look at king pins because not much of a king pin is exposed enough to get a good look at it. When I use a pry bar on the king pin there is a good bit of up and down play in the pins. I also get the wobble of death at 35 to 55 mph. It would be nice if the only thing wrong with it where the king pins springs and bushings, but this truck has enough miles on it that I would rather replace every thing on the front end.

600 Ft. Lbs. is a lot. The highest torque I have ever encountered was Detroit or CAT main bearing caps, and that is torqued to 300 Ft. Lbs. We used a torque wrench that had a 3/4 in. drive and was 3 Ft. long. It had a maximum setting value of 500 Ft. Lbs.

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OL14BLAZ

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More than likely it will just be your King Pin springs and bushings that need to be replaced. The springs wear out and loose there tension, and that is what is causing your death wobble. Here is a good read on King Pin rebuilding. Also this one has alot of info and would be good to print out and keep in a binder. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

Eric
 

thatK30guy

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I agree with Eric. Replace the springs and bushings or just install a washer(s) on top of the springs under the cap. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
 

v-3500

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Alright, you guys talked me into it. Especially after reading that article OL14BLAZ posted. WOW, I new it would be a difficult job, but not that hard! It would be nice to replace that lower king pin bearing and race, but even that would be very involved. Thanx!

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nvrenuf

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[ QUOTE ]
If anybody can tell me how to positively identify this transfer case, I would appreciate it.


[/ QUOTE ]

The easiest difference between a 241 & 205 with be the case material; a 241 is aluminum and a 205 is cast iron. Like Wes (ThatK30guy) said, your truck most definitely should have a 205. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
 

v-3500

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Yes, it is an NP205. I finally got around to crawling under it, after the NASCAR race today, and found the transfer cases ID tag. First, it listed the manufacture date of (11/19/90), and after that listed the model number (205). Thanx people!

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nvrenuf

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EXCELLENT! Congrats on having the rarest of the rare! The 4L80E/205 was only offered 1 year. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

BTW, put some pics on the net somewhere so we can see it!
 

v-3500

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First, I need to get a digital camera, and then learn how to use the photo editing software that comes with it. Second, I will need to set up a web page on one of those community web sites before I can get any pictures up of my truck.

On second thought...

I live in Las Vegas, and I have some friends, from California, coming into town for a S.C.O.R.E off-road race soon, and one of them has a digital camera. I can get him to take some pictures of it and have him e-mail me the pictures as an attachment. Then I can get them up on a community web site.


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Stephen

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I hate to say this but your truck has been subject to an Offroad Design recall and you need to bring it up here immediately. Unfortunately, you won't be compensated much but we can arrange transportation back to your home in a vehicle that does not have death wobble. If you see this truck on the road ever again, forget you saw me, it didn't happen.

If for some reason you should decide to keep that old chevy rattle trap, let us know and we'll fix you up with whatever rebuild or improvement parts you need.

Why isn't this person ever me?
"I have this really clean '91 crewcab...."
"the farmer next door had this one ton that he just wanted hauled off....."
"I had to pay $300 for it at an auction but somebody had already swapped a cummins into it...."
 

sapper

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[ QUOTE ]
"I have this really clean '91 crewcab...."
"the farmer next door had this one ton that he just wanted hauled off....."
"I had to pay $300 for it at an auction but somebody had already swapped a cummins into it...."

[/ QUOTE ]

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Nonesuch

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I used a 3/4" drive ratchet, a custon 7/8" allen head socket, and a 6' cheater pipe to remove and install my upper king pins. It wasn't that bad. You should be able to knock out a full rebuild in a couple of hours if you are up for the task. don't forget to use locktite on the new kingpins if you do try to tackle them.
 

v-3500

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It was that article, which scared me away from wanting to do the kingpins. Luckily my truck is a 100% rust free, Southern Nevada desert truck, and the one in the article is from the East Cost with a considerable amount of rust damage to the suspension, and is actually used to go off-roading. It is guesstimated that 90% of all four-wheel drive trucks purchased never touch the dirt...well mine is one of those 90%. The truck I bought was a totally pampered grocery getter. I am hoping the pampered life this truck has led means that the kingpins are still in good condition; at least, for now until I get some other more important fixes done on it.

First, it needed a fuel tank selector switch...Done.

Second, was front brakes calipers, rotors, wheel studs, pads, bearings and races, hubs...Done.

Third, I need to put all new steering arms, kingpin spring and bushings, shocks, steering stabilizer shock, and alignment...Coming next.

Fourth, New fuel tanks, sending units, hoses, and TBI fuel injectors...(I am thinking of going with an auxiliary tank in the bed of the truck, in order to get rid of the exploding saddle tanks)

After these items my truck should be road worthy, and then I can start adding luxury items like taller lifts, better rims and tires, new GM Goodwrench crate engine, and any thing else imaginable. /forums/images/graemlins/crewcab.gif
 
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