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Sacrilege, building race trucks from classics

SpeedlabDan

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Ok so been wrastlin this idea for a while. My first Gen k5 is planned for a prerunner/long travel/ go fast rig but it's really clean and strait though missing rocker boxes and mounting points completely. Other then that the only rust to be had is the typical very rear of the bed floor... Paint is also like glass other than the outer door skins that are startin to check where the bondo repairs may be but overall the truck was numbers matching all original until my machinist decked the numbers off by accident...

This truck has sat the last couple years while I built the drooley as I want to do it right and I'm also annoyed with all the stupid leaks I've had.

I'm planning on starting the full cage soon but as for the body (that looks great) I want to pull the fenders and put hanneman 3" bulge fenders for clearance and also a Hickey replica glass drop center hood by autofab. This already hurts to think about but if you don't know these trucks struggle to clear 33" tires let alone the 35's I'm runnin.

Next problem is bed sides/quarters. What to do? They're perfect. But any type of use is going to curl them anyway. There are no companies producing bump sides for this year. Even then the entire well has to be cut out.

I believe in using these trucks not storing them and I bought it with these intentions but would it be sacrilege to to hack this body? Should I have just tried to find a tub and do this? Yes. I hate to do it but ya gotta Crack some eggs right?

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SpeedlabDan

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I still need a solution for the rear bulges. Buying 6 front fenders to fuse 4 together to just make molds is an incredible amount of glass work and not my forte
 

ZooMad75

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Your ride for sure, but count me in the cut column. You live in the rust belt. Finding a beater that doesn't require a ton of rust repair that these are known for would still cost a pretty penny. From there you get to spend a good chunk of build time just fixing rust in the body before you can do the cool stuff like cage, suspension and the rest of the body modifications. Time is money in this case. Take what you have and know is rust free and do with it what you want or buy a second and spend months doing rust repair.

It may be sacrilege to cut one up, but it happens out west all the time because rust free out here is the norm. I'd rather see it getting used in whatever form you make it rather than rotting away in a garage somewhere.
 

6872xtc

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My '70 K10 cleared 33's on 15"x10" Centerlines with the ORD springs. I tested a 35 on a rally wheel and it seemed to clear well enough, but when I put them on the Centerlines, they run the inside of the fang on the front. So I am not understanding your comment about the tire size limitations, but I wonder if the wheel offset and width make a bigger difference than I know with these.
But this doesn't really make any difference if you are planning on custom design and parts to be able to use it in a way that the factory never thought about.

So with all of the custom things that you mentioned, how many more will come about later due to the domino effect, or because you found more modifications that intrigued you.
You could start looking for a C10 or C20, or a K5 in useable condition, to build from the ground up. Even if you have to travel a little to get it. You could sell this one to help fund the new project, and make things more in line with your goal from the start, rather than taking apart a truck that is kind of done, but not how you want.

You could do a custom, maybe aluminum (?), sectional floor, to work with a heavily massaged firewall so that you could move the engine back some. You could design it so that you can still remove the bellhousing bolts if needed without frustration.
Then you could have a flat floor under the bars that mount the seats. Full freedom to put the seat where it feels comfortable for you without patching metal back in.
Are you going to want factory heater and A/C in this truck? Maybe not, so get it out of the way of the cage tubes and coil over shock mounts.
Rather than taking out a factory brake booster that hangs too far forward, but works, just buy a new one to tuck closer to the firewall and works with the 4 wheel disc brakes after you remove the worn out one from the builder truck.
Are the new seats going to push you towards a steering column with a removable wheel, because you wanted the wheel to be farther away from the dash for better feel?
Do you want a rear seat with more drop from the seat cushion to the floor than a first gen K5 has? Or how about a raised rear floor section to give room to raise the fuel cell for more ground clearance, but still have it below the floor.
Does the new build even need to be 4x4? Look at Papa Smurf!

Or you can just use the truck that you already own. Your decision.
 

SpeedlabDan

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All good points and it really leaves me on the fence. One reason being time, other being space in my life and shop for another truck project.
Part of me wants to keep this truck and just link it and use it the way it is. On the other hand that would be going against my goals.
A new tub worth working with even if it weren't in the rust belt would be hard to come by and the work involved would more than likely prove it to not be worth it. Honestly not counting the engine work I have maybe 12k into this truck so that's why I say it's not a money thing as I'd spend more than that getting and fixing a tub and I'd still need a chassis.
I feel that if I build this truck to a high enough standard I could possibly do the sacrilege justice?
I want to do this right and I'm sure yes many would be greatful to rock this truck as is but I see myself as a creator and I have something I want to do.
I haven't made my mind up on this however, you all make great points. In my experience builds tend to find their own form over the course of the build and right now I'm banging my head on the wall in its current form to keep even functioning.
Here's an example of how far I'd like to go. I haven't seen it done to this extent.

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SpeedlabDan

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Main difference is I'd like to keep it 4wd preferably straight axle but it may have to be ifs for ride height reasons but I don't want to front half the frame.

Now i still need to find a fender solution for the rear...
 

diesel4me

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I miss my '72 K5 ,and that truck looks a lot like it..
I'd find it hard to cut up any first gen K5,no matter how rough it was..especially one thats is complete and runs,drives & stops..
You just don't see any around any more..

I have sacrificed more than one square body for snow plowing use though,but they doubled as daily drivers..the bodies rot away fast once exposed to salt and the transmissions dying are what was the final straw as far as trying to get a few more years use out of them..
 

Truckman4life

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Just start with some regular fiberglass bedsides and go to town. Fiberglass work isn't too bad to do. I would probably attempt it but I'm not sure how smooth it would turn out. Maybe find a good glass guy that does a lot of boat stuff or something.
 

diesel4me

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Wow,that complete 67-72 truck body & bed in fiberglass for $4500 or so is cheaper than most rotted trucks here sell for..
At 160 lbs for the whole body & bed,the truck would be like 1500+ lbs lighter than stock!..you wouldn't need a lift kit,I bet the ground clearance would be 2-4" higher !--and it would take off like a dragster even with a stock engine...
Surprised they aren't selling any 73-87 square bodies ..

But I know a few guys with fiberglass bodied Jeeps and they were not happy as far as the ability to climb and go thru snow after they replaced the tub,it simply didn't weight enough any more,and they also said on highways they were getting blown around on windy days..the main advantage is you'll never see them rust..
 
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