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Old 12-14-2015, 02:28 AM   #1
MTCK
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1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

I'm going to succumb to pressure and start a build thread for the plow truck I bought.

For years I've plowed with a borrowed K5, but needed to come up with a different plow this year. I watched for plows on craigslist with the intention of mounting one on my 1991 V3500, but most of the old plows that came up for sale are no longer supported by the manufacturers, so truck side mounts are not available. New plows are $6-7k! Well it was early November, and we already had snow on the ground, so I needed a plan.

Each night I get a public surplus auction email listing local auctions ending soon. One night I saw an add ending the next day at 3:00 PM. 1984 one ton chevy plow truck. There was only one picture, and the description gave very little information. 250 six cylinder, runs well. I called the maintenance supervisor the next day. He told me it had a 9 or 10 foot flatbed, liftgate, 7 or 8 foot plow, ran great, but couldn't tow a trailer, which they needed it to do. My wife was sleeping until 3:00 PM because she was on night shift, so I made the executive decision and put a bid in. Winner!

This was the photo posted on the auction site.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:59 AM   #2
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

I wheeled into the Matsu School District maintenance facility about a week later to claim my prize. The truck was running, windows defrosted and lights on. Great. After some paperwork, the guy handed me three sets of keys, told me the battery was shot, so don't turn it off. OK. I asked if they needed the decals, government plates or radio. OK. Away we go. It was 50 miles back to my buddy's place where I would give it a quick once over before the 360 miles to home.

The fuel gauge was pointed at 3:00 and a sticker stated only the right tank was to be used. This is getting exciting. The dash only had idiot lights. I wonder if they work... The fuel selector was pointed at the left tank and I didn't dare touch it. I headed down the highway and stopped at the first filling station I came to. It took 10 gallons and the fuel gauge returned to the full position. Cool, just needed to knock the sending unit loose. The motor sounded wound tight at 60 mph, so I kept that as my top speed.

About 40 miles into my 50 mile maiden voyage, my windows started to fog. Great. I could smell the sweet scent of ethylene glycol just before the heater core let go and steam started shooting out of the defrost vents. I pulled into the destination driveway as the coolant temp light came on. Hey at least it works. What have I gotten myself into...
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

In preparation for the trip north I bought a heater core, 4D battery, wipers, coolant, oil, brake fluid (little low) some ratchet straps, air and fuel filters. We wrenched in my buddy's driveway for a few hours in +15F weather and fixed all the little problems. I wasn't too thrilled with the oversize battery install and clearance work the previous owner did on the inside of the hood, but there was no time to UN-fab that before heading home.

I conned a buddy into joining me with promises of a return ticket and scotch upon our successful arrival in Fairbanks. Before leaving, we removed the plow and put it in the back with the help of the Waltco lift gate, and strapped it down on the flatbed. We filled up again and I calculated the mileage. Under 7 mpg. Yikes. Well we idled a lot. Still a single 20 gallon tank and 7 mpg means a lot of stops. I set the parking brake against my better judgement, and when we filled up I smelled brakes. The right rear was hot to the touch and it was 10 degrees out. We went to another Napa, bought a 2 lbs. hammer and a large fire extinguisher. Beat the backing plate and did some reverse brake checks. The brakes were cold when we stopped at our next fuel stop.

Just under 8 hours later, we had traversed the 360 miles and made it home. We even passed a gas station, knowing there was another one 50 miles further. The more we drove, the better the truck felt. Tires are studded and siped 235/85R16 coopers that look new. It handled great on the slick roads, and we drove most of the way in 2wd.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:14 AM   #4
Greenlee
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Sweet truck! Looks pretty clean. Sounds like an adventure getting it home.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

I love reading all of your builds, such wholesome work!
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:18 AM   #6
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Nice score. Should come in handy in your neck of the woods.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:21 AM   #7
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Thanks guys. I'm pretty excited about it.

Once I got it home and hooked the plow up, the weather cooperated and it snowed quite a bit. I plowed quite a bit and figured out a few of the quirks. It took a few starts to recall how to work a carburetor and set the high idle before turning the key. The block heater works great, battery has a trickle charger wired in, and heater blows hot as can be.

The flat bed has a decent amount of rust on it, and there is a hole in the driver's rocker, and misc corrosion throughout the truck, but mechanically it seems very solid. If I get to keep it, I may try to sell the bed and lift to help the cash flow and put a regular bed on it. It's going to be neglected until my L29 swap gets finished on the crew cab though. I'll take some more pics next time I put it to work.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:48 PM   #8
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Glad to see this as a build now, can't wait to see more!
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:48 PM   #9
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Thanks Dave. The CEO/CFO granted approval to keep the plow truck, so now it just has to wait for the crew cab to stop sucking up all the funds. We need some darn snow too. None since late November.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:33 AM   #10
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
Thanks Dave. The CEO/CFO granted approval to keep the plow truck, so now it just has to wait for the crew cab to stop sucking up all the funds. We need some darn snow too. None since late November.
Darn, I was hoping she was going to tell you NO, you couldn’t keep it and you must drive it to Colorado to give to your friend Larry. I would even trade you a brand new Craftsman snowblower with about 30 minutes on it for the truck. Hehe, just kidding. Glad you got it cleared by the CFO. The CEO/CFO of this organization wouldn’t approve a check request for procurement of another truck anyway. The funny thing is she actually is a CFO and runs this place just like her work. …. The answer is always NO…. “NO” is company policy


PS: Don't forget to add pictures of the 292 to this thread as well

Last edited by DirtyLarry; 12-22-2015 at 12:36 AM. Reason: 292 pic request
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:43 AM   #11
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyLarry View Post
The answer is always NO…. “NO” is company policy
This sounds like my place of business!!! Must be a common and desirable trait for the money folks to always say no. I'll get the 292 pics up shortly
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:04 PM   #12
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Cool rig! It's fun pushing snow around with these old squares. It looks like we have nearly the same plows.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:08 PM   #13
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Thanks, it is a blast. I'm looking forward to putting a wrench on it and taking on some minor maintenance issues.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:36 PM   #14
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

On my plow I ended up replacing the fluid, cleaning the filter or filters (can't remember if there was more than one), and cleaning the valves. Also it got new hoses, swivels, and quick disconnects as some of the joints were leaking.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with that plow but a thing to remember is to keep the lift toggle switch in the center position. It's easy to set it to float , disconnect the plow, and forget to switch it back to center. When it's in float it keeps a solenoid energized and can burn it out quicker.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:22 PM   #15
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Thanks for the info. That's good to know about the float position in summer. I think I lucked out a bit as the hoses look new. All I did was top off the reservoir and go.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:02 AM   #16
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Not a bad score, Its still a good solid truck. Just needs a couple tweak's, swap the 250 6 cylinder for a 350 and switch it to a dually.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:13 AM   #17
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Well summer flew by and it's almost plowing season. I found a place that sells all sorts of Meyer plow parts, so I got some filters, proper end markers, a check ball kit, paint and a sticker. Someone there must have been pumped at what I was doing because they sent a whole sticker kit for this plow. I also have a master cylinder to put in the K30 before she goes back on the road. Studded tire restriction ends Friday!
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:14 AM   #18
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

The booty.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:18 PM   #19
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Cool truck, I guess its time to get it ready since the termination dust is gonna start falling soon up there. Bud of mine said its been dropping into the 30s at night out in North Pole and he finally had to cut his heat on. I'd like to get by and check out your rigs next time I am in Fairbanks, maybe do some benchracing over a cold beer or two.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:56 PM   #20
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

The plow's going to look like new.

Any engine pics?
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:22 PM   #21
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

j-rod, shoot me a PM next time you have a trip up this way and we will do that. Here are a couple engine pics as promised months ago.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:33 PM   #22
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

Oh, man that virgin 292 is so cool!!! Especially in a 1 ton 4x4. The only thing that would make it more rare is if it had A/C. If you ever swap that engine for a V8 I'll never speak to you again Marcus
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:51 PM   #23
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

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Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
j-rod, shoot me a PM next time you have a trip up this way and we will do that.
Will do man, I'll be back up there in late Jan/early Feb for a week or so and then back up for around a month in the Apr/May timeframe.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:47 PM   #24
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

You are going to keep the white stuff away because your being Pro-active.
We dipped down to mid-twenties a few nights ago and snow down around 5,500-6000 feet. The boy is playing football so it was about time to start getting cooler.
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:12 PM   #25
MTCK
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Re: 1984 K30 Project Plow Truck

I would be fine with a shiny, fully functioning plow sitting in a snow-free driveway! We have only had one or two frosts, but it won't be long. Leaves are all turned and headed for the ground.

Don't worry Larry, I used up all my big ticket truck money and week-long garage passes on my L29 swap. The 292 just works too well to change for what I use it for. It even starts great when it's cold out.

Studded tire restriction went off yesterday, so I'll use the plow truck to go grab all the materials I need to build a new shed once I replace the master cylinder and get some brakes back.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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