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ryanroo 09-12-2011 12:04 AM

72 k20 project
small history
my grandfather bought this truck new. i got it from him when i was 13. when i was younger i thought i should make it into a mud racer, but thankfully that didnt progress far enough to really make a mess of things. so, after high school it pretty much sat with little being done to it. it had been in my dads driveway up untill last weekend. i finally got it home to colorado.

the current build plan is a body resto and a powertrain including a 12v cummins, 6 speed manual and the current 4" lift. so we got a little time today to start the tear down. of course there will be pictures.

i am sure there will be alot of questions to field about bodywork. i am still not sure how i am going to do the body. i may have someone else do it, but i also want to possibly teach myself as well. time will tell.

i was impressed. this truck has been it Iowa its entire life and i was able to unfasten the front body mount bolts with a ratchet. so far the rust problem doesnt seem to be that bad


ryanroo 10-02-2011 11:24 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
so, progress is slow. while the weather is still nice we are working(slowly) at finishing our patio project. the process of laying pavers is hard on my back and knees and also on my truck progress. anyhow, there has been a little more dissasembly.

i think i decided to have the cab blasted and while it is at the professional blaster i will try to do the frame at work. that is unless the pro gives me a nice price for both.

some pics

the rust i have to deal with on the cab

i have these. are they worth anything or hard to find? i know the jack and associated stuff is hard to find for my jeep, but i dont know if this is a good score or not


McNugget 10-02-2011 11:38 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
That has always been one of my dreams, to drop a 12v cummins into a 71-71!! Best of luck to you!!

ryanroo 12-16-2011 10:19 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
Finally decided to update. other than a lot of dis-assembly there wasn't much to show. i finally got the frame to the blaster and back into the garage. tomorrow i plan to start boxing the frame in. will return with more pics as progress occurs

i sure am excited to work on a clean frame instead of grinding and wire wheeling and suffering


ryanroo 12-18-2011 01:29 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
a few progress pics. i thought i took more today but apparently i was slacking. more tomorrow

primered the inside of the frame where the first round of box plate was to be affixed. i also shot the inside of the plates themselves.

my buddy Derek has been helping me(a lot) and learning about cars and fabrication. for being a first timer his welds are not so bad

i will get a few more tomorrow with a little more progress. i have to make some decent patterns for the more complicated areas tomorrow hopefully as well


72LSK10 12-18-2011 03:11 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
Nice looking project, I really like the way these trucks look in the teal.

72KAY20 12-18-2011 08:46 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
5 Attachment(s)
Your truck's condition prior to restore looks very similar to my K20 project. The rust on the cab looks about the same. You made the right choice having the frame blasted. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Below are some before and after pics of the rust on the floor of my K20 floor. I remember being a little disappointed when I pulled up my rubber mat and discovered the rotted out floors. The driver's side was much worse. If you take your time welding in patch panels, grinding smooth, you should end up being very pleased. These trucks in good condition seem to be rare.
Good luck Ryanroo.

ryanroo 12-19-2011 12:43 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
little more progress

mostly welded

all welded

finishing the welds

also filling the holes. alot left to go

mjensen 12-19-2011 12:50 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
That is looking good.

ryanroo 12-25-2011 11:27 PM

Re: 72 k20 project

ryanroo 12-25-2011 11:49 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
got a little more done to the frame today

where my grandfather had welded in the gooseneck ball hitch plate there was a lot of rust between the frame and the plate and alot of pitting on the top of the frame. in places the original 3/16 material was only 1/16 thick. i didnt like it and decided to repair it before i boxed it in.


i marked out the areas that i wanted to cut and drilled a hole in the corner so as to leave no sharp corner.

i guess i forgot pictures of the cuts before i repaired

so here are the after shots

i also got most of the weld finishing done on the drivers rail where i boxed it. there was a lot of grinding dust on the floor today.

ryanroo 01-26-2012 11:18 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
I had another side project that was eating my weekend time, but it has left, so i got a little more done to the truck

yanked the front suspension and axle

removed the stock front crossmember. the engine crossmember was taken out long ago. added some bracing to keep the frame square and at the correct width

this is the stock cast bushing tube/bracket. it is well known that the stock 1.125" bushings are not known for their durability. they also were in the way of my frame boxing plans

since i mentioned frame boxing, i will show these. still have to get them in there, but at least i have them...

so, to replace the crap stock stuff, i whipped out a pair of these today. bushing tubes are 2" .250" wall DOM. the frame has a 1.875" hole punched for clearance around the stock cast piece. i turned the tube down to slip fit tightly into the stock hole in the frame and will locate and holesaw the other side in the boxing plate after it is firmly in place. the bolt sleeves are just .750" .120" wall DOM faced on the lathe for the cool guy effect. and mostly just because i was there. i will use a normal spring eye bushing for the new upper shackle bushing, hopefully greatly increasing the durability with the added weight of the cummins.

this is a picture of the idea. i may fishplate around the tube, but i think it would be a bit overkill, and i don't have a lot of room to weld the tube in if i do. that will be decided later i suppose.

i think i am running to denver for some sheetmetal parts saturday, but hopefully i can get some of this stuff at least tacked in on sunday


Dieselwrencher 01-27-2012 12:17 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
Great project! Nice fab work on boxing the frame. What are your plans on an engine cross member? I'm guessing fabbing one your self? Keep up the great work!

ryanroo 01-27-2012 01:41 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
i have a mental plan for the crossmember, but nothing more concrete than that. the engine will be supported on the frame and there will be a cradle/crossmember that will be removable. so the oil pan can be removed while the engine is in the truck and supported on its mounts. similar to the way you have started doing in your crew cab. i am pretty sure i will be using a double set of leaf spring t-bushings on each side but i may use the stock dodge mounts. that is doubtful though as i have some hidden childhood fear of stock parts. in my head it is all very pretty and functional. hopefully i will be able to get to work on that in the next few months.

VA72C10 01-27-2012 02:05 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
Nice looking project and frame is coming along great!!!

Dieselwrencher 01-27-2012 03:20 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
Cool deal man. I look forward to the progress! I'll be adding to my Longhorn's mounts when it gets back from the body shop.

burnitg 01-27-2012 11:29 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
Nice looking project! I am looking forward to seeing how you mount the engine, trans & transfer case. I am planning a swap for my '72 GMC K2500.


fakerwade 01-27-2012 12:55 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
Hey Ryan, your project looks great!! Should be a real stump puller!! :metal:

ryanroo 01-27-2012 11:28 PM

Re: 72 k20 project

Originally Posted by Dieselwrencher (Post 5148664)
Cool deal man. I look forward to the progress! I'll be adding to my Longhorn's mounts when it gets back from the body shop.

looking forward to more on that one as well. i am liking that build.


Originally Posted by burnitg (Post 5149036)
Nice looking project! I am looking forward to seeing how you mount the engine, trans & transfer case. I am planning a swap for my '72 GMC K2500.


i am looking forward to that stage very much. i have some ideas for how to build the crossmembers. not sure if it will turn out. i am going to use less tube on this than when i built my jeep and more sheet metal. we will see how it turns out. in my head, it will be awesome. i hope reality turns out somewhat close to that


Originally Posted by fakerwade (Post 5149194)
Hey Ryan, your project looks great!! Should be a real stump puller!! :metal:


ryanroo 01-29-2012 01:34 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
So, after a long and peculiar day i returned home with this.

67 front clip

grill has a few dingers in it. nothing terrible

this is the battery box.

fender cup is solid on the passenger side. there is some rust through on the drivers that will have to get fixed but nothing compared to the stuff on my original fenders. the core support is solid and strong. there a little spot on one of the inner fenders that is rusty. i'm not even sure i will repair it. i was pretty happy with my haul. so much better than the stuff i pulled off the truck


VA72C10 01-29-2012 02:00 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
Looks nice and solid from here! :chevy:

ryanroo 01-29-2012 09:36 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
tacked in the drivers side

i hacked the old fuel pump relief out. i will plate that back in and then depending on the front accessories i end up with i will likely have to notch and replate the frame in that area for the A/C comp. i want to have a blank slate if that is the case so i am going to patch it all in first.

had a little extra bit in the front. i thought i took shots of both sides, but i guess not. the other looks like this one in a mirror. the frame has some awkwardness at the front. i have a few gaps to deal with, but when i am done it will be smooth.

drilled the holes for the bushing tubes, need to touch them up a little with a die grinder as the holesaw walked just a touch on the passenger side and the bushing tube is about .060" off on the inside. the saw left a little ridge that is holding it away from where i want it.

then i had to clean the garage as it was a horrid wreck. in the process i decided i would like some gratuitous test fit shots with the new front clip.

i am so excited to have the cab moved away from my workbench and out of my way. a weekend or two more and i think i can set it back on a welded frame


tsnow678 01-30-2012 06:03 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
The 67 clip is sweet! I dont think that seat will be DOT approved though! Great job on the frame and thanks for all of the details and pics. I have a question: I see where you have an existing 4" lift on the truck in the first few pics, do you know if the K20 sits higher than the K10 with the same lift? I know sometimes the 3/4 ton trucks do have more ground clearance from the factory but I wasn't sure about the oldies. Thanks

ryanroo 01-30-2012 09:03 AM

Re: 72 k20 project
if they do it would be minimal. i know the frames are the same between the K10 and k20 and the springs will fit either. visually i have never noticed a difference i stock trucks.


ryanroo 02-05-2012 11:46 PM

Re: 72 k20 project
time for more pics

as promised, patch going in

the rough knock down on the welds

smoothed up. i could have spent alot more time in alot of places finishing this out to make it 100% awesome and beautiful, but i will save that effort for a build that it matters on. this truck is going to be used and will be dirty and dusty most of the time. so, this is enough

burned the bushing tubes in

i couldnt stand not having some paint on the frame somewhere. i will have to knock it off in a few places when i start doing crossmembers i'm sure but oh well. some times i cant be patient. you can also see that i have filled alot of the holes in the frame. i dont want/need them all filled but i have done alot of them. i have also left some of the front unpainted since i know i have alot of fab left up there. the back also for the same reason

hopefully i can get some cab mounts ordered and maybe next week set the cab back on the frame.

does anyone know if the 67-68 core support bushings are different than 69-72, and does it matter if you use one or the other on a conversion truck?

and on that note rubber or poly?


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