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Old 04-15-2018, 08:27 PM   #1
ahlsy
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1972 K20 Suburban

Hello everyone. Love the forum. I've been lurking here for a while, enjoying all the build threads, and figured I should contribute a little...

67-72 trucks have been my favorite. Never considered a suburban until I had a couple kids, and a single cab truck became unreasonable. So I started looking at suburbans... They really grew on me. But up here, they are pretty rare. So rare, I bought a 69 2wd last fall that's a basketcase. At least I had one. Aside from all the rust, it's not really what I wanted. 2wd and a half ton. I kept thinking that if it was only a 4wd 3/4 ton it would be worth the work for me to save it.

Long story short, I found this one a month ago. Shortly after that I made it my own. I flew up last weekend to where it was in northern BC, and drove it straight home. About 1000 miles with no issues. So far very happy with my purchase. It's no prize winner, but it has just about everything I was looking for. It's even the right colour...

The plan here is to make this a reliable daily driver for now,while it's little brother (1952 Willys Wagon that's higher on the project list)) is in the shop getting a frame off rebuild/modernization. Then in a couple years (a little bit of dreaming here) maybe a 6.0 liter swap and a good paint job. That's a long way off though. First thing will be to fix all the small issues. It has a few. The biggest one right now is the missing 2nd and 3rd row seats. But the engine seems strong (if not a little bit leaky), and the little bit of rust that I can find seems manageable so I think this will make a great driver for now...

Also, I'll have to come up with a name...
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:35 PM   #2
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

And here's one for you SPID guys.

I've never seen the manual throttle option before. I'll have to look into that one. It's not something I need, and I'm not sure if it's hooked up right now. All I have found so far is a factory looking knob on the gauge panel below the wiper knob labelled Throttle. It doesn't seem to do anything.

Also loving the No Spin rear axle, (its an Eaton), and the tow hooks and clearance lights...
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:43 PM   #3
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Welcome
to burb land, it a little slow and small but a bumch of good people willing to help with W's and A's. Just remember picture. Good luck
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Welcome to the board.
That is a good looking Suburban
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:21 PM   #5
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

My list of small issues to fix is getting bigger every day...So far this is what I have.

2nd and 3rd row seating. (on the hunt for some original seats)
Leaky engine (losing a little engine oil. I'll get it cleaned up and fix the leak soon but there's enough that I can't tell if anything else is leaking ie trans and transfer case)
Passenger door handle (button stays in and door won't close. replacement ordered already)
Fuel level gauge doesn't work. (Ordered a new sender and will have a look at the wiring when it shows up)
No door keys (new set of locks ordered)
Exhaust not the greatest. Still solid but but it looks like the PO wanted to try building an exhaust system for the first time...
Missing tailgate badge
Extra holes in the doors, and incorrect trailer mirrors (I don't mind those mirrors but I'll end up either filling the original holes or finding better mirrors...)
All the rubber in all the doors needs replacing (That will be an ongoing project I suspect)
Needs some sort of interior (I'll slowly ad interior panels and sound deadening as I go)
AM stereo not working (I'm looking at options for speakers and a head unit that look stock...)
Panel gaps aren't very good and there are 2 definitely different colours from a respray (that will likely wait for a few years. I can live with it for now)

Other than that, things are looking pretty good for a daily driver. Most people around here have never seen one of these so I get a lot of weird guesses. The most popular one is 'some sort of international...'
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

When you get a chance maybe a close up of the clearance lamp. I am curious about the brand / style (curved base?).

I bought some recently that I want to add to my K20

I think the manual throttle was mostly used to increase the engine speed when a PTO pump was added to the transfer case. Winching etc.
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:53 PM   #7
ahlsy
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdav160 View Post
When you get a chance maybe a close up of the clearance lamp. I am curious about the brand / style (curved base?).

I bought some recently that I want to add to my K20

I think the manual throttle was mostly used to increase the engine speed when a PTO pump was added to the transfer case. Winching etc.
Will do. I think they are the original GM clearance lamps. They are listed on the SPID. I'll take a few pics though, and get them up for you.
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:53 PM   #8
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

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Welcome to the board! That's a pretty nice looking Burb.

The door handles are known for the back retainer popping off of the inside of the handle. They are repairable but you probably did the right thing by ordering a new one. The door and ignition locks are keyed the same but someone may have changed the ignition cylinder and not the door locks. Does the ignition key fit the tailgate?

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Old 04-19-2018, 04:06 PM   #9
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahlsy View Post
And here's one for you SPID guys.

I've never seen the manual throttle option before. I'll have to look into that one. It's not something I need, and I'm not sure if it's hooked up right now. All I have found so far is a factory looking knob on the gauge panel below the wiper knob labelled Throttle...
Choke nob and cable?

Like BigDav said ...

My grandfather had one on his K20 that he called a "manual throttle"... he used it to increase the idle when he was using the wench or using his truck as a PTO...

He always figured out ways to make hard work ideas ...work

Great find by the way and the more you do to the more you'll love ... And welcome these folks know their trucks and burbs in this case
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:49 AM   #10
Travisarmenta
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Beautiful Sub sir. Impressive SPID.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Indeed, great color too.
Yeah, I want it..
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:35 PM   #12
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

First issue with the new Burb. It seems to be flooding out on cold starts. If I let it sit for more than a day without driving, it will flood on startup and refuse to run. If I drive it the night before and start it the next morning it starts just fine. It only acts up if it goes more than a day without running. I suspected a high float level or a fuel logged float, so I picked up a carb kit and rebuilt it. Replaced the float too. I set the float level to 3/16" as directed by the instructions, but I'm finding info online that says most guys set it to 1/4 or even 3/8". Anyway, long story short, it started right up, but I'm getting fuel leaking by the accelerator pump shaft. This also indicates a high float level, but I'm 99% sure I have the float at the recommended level. Now I'm leaning towards too high of fuel pressure, that's blowing the needle off the seat in the bowl. Hopefully I have time to check the fuel pressure tonight or tomorrow, and get a regulator set up if needed. The fuel pump looks new. In fact, I found the packaging for it in the back of the burb doing my initial cleanup...

Anybody have any different ideas that I should have a look at? I'm pretty handy, but not really a carburetor guy...
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:38 PM   #13
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Quote:
Originally Posted by LockDoc View Post
-
Welcome to the board! That's a pretty nice looking Burb.

The door handles are known for the back retainer popping off of the inside of the handle. They are repairable but you probably did the right thing by ordering a new one. The door and ignition locks are keyed the same but someone may have changed the ignition cylinder and not the door locks. Does the ignition key fit the tailgate?

LockDoc
Ignition key does not open the rear hatch. I ordered new door locks but not the ignition key. I'm used to Chevy's having a different key for the doors and ignition. The old, but I guess not that old, square key for the ignition and round key for the doors system.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:56 PM   #14
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

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Originally Posted by ahlsy View Post
Ignition key does not open the rear hatch. I ordered new door locks but not the ignition key. I'm used to Chevy's having a different key for the doors and ignition. The old, but I guess not that old, square key for the ignition and round key for the doors system.

That should work. If you ever decide that you want the hatch lock keyed the same as the ignition or doors I could do that as long as one of the keys will slide into the hatch lock.

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Old 04-29-2018, 01:34 AM   #15
ahlsy
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdav160 View Post
When you get a chance maybe a close up of the clearance lamp. I am curious about the brand / style (curved base?).

I bought some recently that I want to add to my K20

I think the manual throttle was mostly used to increase the engine speed when a PTO pump was added to the transfer case. Winching etc.
It took a while but here you go.
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:56 AM   #16
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Yankee 77, good to know. I thought, perhaps, with the curve of a Suburban roof GM might have used a different light.
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:57 PM   #17
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Nice Burb! Welcome to the forum. (subscribed)
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:51 PM   #18
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Been a while but I have a few updates. I got all new felts in the frond doors. Really cuts down on the noise while driving...and not too difficult to install. Of course, one thing leads to another. While installing the felts on the passenger door, I found that the vent window frame was broken... one step forward and one step back. I found a few window assemblies locally, but held off on picking one up. I'm waiting to see if my parts burban (which might hopefully arrive next weekend...) has a good one. I'm pretty sure the pickup windows will fit...
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:02 PM   #19
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

I've also fixed the flooding problem with the factory quadrajet. I picked up a carb kit at the LPS and installed it. Truck ran better, but I had gas coming out of the accelerator pump bore with the float set at the recommended height of 3/16". Did a little checking, and found that internet wisdom recommended 1/4" minimum. Went there, but still had gas pouring out. Googled the problem a bit more, and found some guys saying 3/8 minimum. I settled on trying it at .325 inch, and it worked great.

While I was trying to figure out why I was pouring fuel out of the accelerator pump bore, I found some internet info saying that too high of fuel pressure might just be pushing the needle off the seat (basically overpowering the float). Seems plausible, and I had a pressure regulator sitting around from a previous project, so I ran a new line from the fuel pump, up to the regulator, ond into the carb through a new filter.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:10 PM   #20
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Of course, the first ride I took after installing the pressure regulator, I got a few miles down the road and started smelling gas. A few more miles, and I was getting a little worried. Pulled over and found that the diaphragm in the old fuel pump had let go. Funny thing is, when that happens, gas comes out of the two small holes on the top side of the pump...where it sprays right into the back of the engine driven fan, which of course redirects it back onto the engine and hot exhaust manifold. Long story short, I got back home by tying a rag around the pump to prevent the constant fuel spraying and trying not to rev the engine too high... Made it. No fire. Replaced the fuel pump a couple days later. My fuel pump was a 2 port, though all the research I dd says I should have a 3 port pump. If anybody know any different, let me know. I'm going to be getting around to replacing the fuel tank sender shortly, and while I have the tank down, I'm tempted to run/fix the return line and run the third line back to the tank...
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:36 PM   #21
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

Maybe its the new window seals, but the rear Eaton diff seemed to get a lot louder recently. It's making some noise when I'm on the throttle, so I'm thinking its the pinion bearing. Well, first things first. Checked the oil level, and of course it's low. And thoroughly mixed with water... So, off comer the rear cover. This is what I found.

Not in too bad of condition. A bit of pitting near the tips, but not bad at all. And most importantly, no chunks of anything in the bottom of the housing. I'd say it's repairable.

Anybody notice the first class job of hand bending a new brakeline on the drivers side. Something else to add to the to-do list...
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:39 AM   #22
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

The really warm weather recently got me worried about the missing fan shroud. I haven't had the burb out much, and passed on driving it a few times in stop and go traffic figuring it would overheat, so it was time to get a fan shroud installed.

I found a good used one locally, sanded it down and repainted it mostly because it had been previously painted and that was flaking off. I went to install it a few days ago, and found the lower rad hose was in the way. It probably would have cleared a 2wd shroud, but no luck with the 4wd shroud.

There were a few threads I found where guys were having a hard time finding a correct lower hose for the 4x4 models. I guess thats the problem the PO had because the hose was not even close to what it should have been.

Pic 1 is the old hose, and pic 2 is the new hose. Got the shroud installed with no issues after that. New hose was an AC Delco hose. Part number 24053L if anybody needs it. Works perfectly in a 4x4 and would probably work fine in a 2wd with a good bit of trimming.

Now to fix the mess the PO made of the tranny cooler lines...
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:45 AM   #23
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Re: 1972 K20 Suburban

And look what followed me home the other day. My suburbans ugly cousin... Just planning on stripping it for any usable parts. This one is definitely not worth saving. Ive already used a couple screws for the fan shroud... it might be handy to have this one around...
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