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Old 03-12-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
sparkydog
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Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Hi all. Here is my obscure project in case some of you want to follow along. I hope you forgive me for what I did to the 96 GMC Extnd Cab Z71 2WD.

To start off with - here's the concept. I am transplanting the bodies off of a '67 IH Pickup and a '68 IH Travelall onto the rolling/running chassis of a '96 GMC truck. This is a picture of the dream.

Edit: And another shot as of 8/14/10 w/ 4 doors.

Edit: And the goal for wheels/lowering/nose job & fender mods.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:09 PM   #2
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

The start of this dream goes back over a decade. I didn't get semi-serious until 2 years ago. And I didn't get real serious until a little over a year ago when I purchased the IH vehicles that would form the core of my build.

About 10 years ago I kept driving past a dead Travelette in the front yard of a house near Ruch, OR. (Edit - a "Travelette" is the model name of an IH Crewcab) Every time I drove past it something would tug at me. I think it was that it had sunk low enough into the weeds that it looked kind of cool like a cruiser. I kept saying "that sort of looks cool but not really - I wonder what it is about that look?"

But I never did anything with the thoughts and then one year the truck was gone and I stopped thinking about it.

A few years later a red one popped up in Sutherlin right along I5. This was a crummy - a logging rig. Seeing it revived my curiosity. I finally stopped and took some pictures. It was beat to chit. I went home and started playing around with crops of the pictures - trying to figure out what it was about the body that had made me think something that fugly had the potential to look OK.

I finally decided that IF:
a) the hood was shorter
b) the roof was lower
c) the bed was longer
d) the rear axle was further away
e) the crew compartment was a little shorter

That there was in fact a decent looking and very unique cruiser lurking inside the Travelette.

At that point it was fun playing paper dolls with photo crops. But once I had the basic look I was starting to get hooked. So, I said "hey what the hell - how expensive can a Travelette be?" So I hopped on the internet and starting trying to find one...

...that was in decent BODY condition..... but wasn't show quality.... and that was affordable.

Well ultimately I came to the conclusion that there wasn't such an animal. There are always a few Travelettes for sale but they all have had a hard life and their sheet metal is usually trashed. And then every so often there is a real cherry but it is usually available for top $$$$ and I AM A CHEAP BASTARD MOFO.

I pretty much gave up at that point.

Then I had a wild *** idea. If I was going to do a bunch of chopping on the cab anyway to get the unique cruiser look I wanted, then who said I had to start with a Travelette? I started wondering whether I could find a decent pickup AND a decent Travelall and then ... uh.... welllll um... just do some kind of magic whupass on the two cabs and make my own crew cab.

Well it didn't take much effort to find two trucks with decent sheet metal and for low $$$'s (pre economic meltdown $$$'s).

Sooooo..... I bought them!!!
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

That was about 1-2 years ago. The next phase was "catch a lot of crap from my wife and kids" phase. Also the economy tanked and life took it's twists and turns. And the two trucks sat and sat and sat.

Then I got frustrated and tried to sell them. Well nobody wanted them which was how I got them for a good deal in the first place. So they sat some more. My job has changed and now I will be commuting between Portland and San Diego all the time. When I am in San Diego I will have nothing to do but whack off in the evenings so instead I am going to start cutting up the trucks and see where this takes me.

First I towed the 68 Travelall down to SoCal and started demo.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Then cut the rear off the body.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

During this phase I was leaving both sections of the cabs extra extra long.

Next I demo'd the '67 Pickup.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Fabbed up some dollies for the cab section and the future bed.

Had to go into shop reorg mode and get all the body carnage stowed away. Then started the early mockups of the cab sections.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Like I had said this phase of cab cuts were extra-extra long. So next was taking them a little shorter after studying where and what were going to be the fitment issues.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:36 PM   #8
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Definitely gonna be watching this one! I love those awkward old Binders. A ballsy project, for sure man. I dig it.

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Old 03-12-2010, 05:39 PM   #9
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Now that the floor, rockers and door frames were within about 8" of final position I had to start planning my final fits/cuts.

Gradually coming up with the fit plan. Measure 54 times, cut 3 times!
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

And now the two sections are at their final cuts and I'll be getting ready to prep and tack weld next.

Roof tin is still extra long and I have to make some final cuts there too.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #11
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Wow, kinda of sad, but it's too cool!

Is the Z71 the one in the pic? Or is that just a reference pic? I'm curious about it because I've NEVER seen an 88-98 truck with a DS ex cab door. GM didn't even make them available until the new body style came out, and even then it wasn't until 2000 as an option.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:47 PM   #12
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Meanwhile along came a donor opportunity. It was a Craigslist ad for parting out but I was lucky and happened to be one of the first callers. Truck had been a police impound and then they donated to charity. The charity was going to try parting out some easy stuff and then crush it. Truck runs. We cut a deal - they kept the bed and I got the rest for $550.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:52 PM   #13
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Now we're more or less real time on the build. I have the GMC stripped and almost ready to yank the cab off. I am probably going to graft the firewall off the GMC and onto the IH in an attempt to reduce fab time a little bit. I'm hoping that I can figure out the right cuts and get the graft to work well. If so then I don't have to spend as much time mocking up and fabbing new brackets for the HVAC, steering and brakes.

I wasn't going to use the GMC floorpan but now I may keep that open as an option because it might work out better for the body mounts.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #14
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

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Wow, kinda of sad, but it's too cool!

Is the Z71 the one in the pic? Or is that just a reference pic? I'm curious about it because I've NEVER seen an 88-98 truck with a DS ex cab door. GM didn't even make them available until the new body style came out, and even then it wasn't until 2000 as an option.
Reference pic. Artistic license. Did the photo mockups months b4 I ever had a viable donor lined up.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:06 PM   #15
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

By the way - the ass end of the GMC Z71 cab will be available should anybody need it. I'll probably cut through the whole cab just ahead of the B pillars.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:39 PM   #16
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

two words WICKED AWESOME!
I have always had a soft spot for the old cornbinders, they are just so ugly that you have to like them...
Although it did make me sad to see two good trucks go under the knife, but your vision sounds like its worth it. You are definitly giving me confidence to go ahead with my dreams for an IH truck...
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:38 AM   #17
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

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Wow, kinda of sad, but it's too cool!

Is the Z71 the one in the pic? Or is that just a reference pic? I'm curious about it because I've NEVER seen an 88-98 truck with a DS ex cab door. GM didn't even make them available until the new body style came out, and even then it wasn't until 2000 as an option.
I'm not sure but it looks like the picture has been mirrored.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:18 AM   #18
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

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they are just so ugly that you have to like them..

Defiantly a build to watch for sure !!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:29 AM   #19
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

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I'm not sure but it looks like the picture has been mirrored.
Yes probably. I think I clipped it off a Craigslist photo and then mirrored it to use in my photo-chopping.

These next pictures are just showing how I played and played with photo crops trying to decide what wheelbase and body proportions to settle in on. This went on for quite awhile. I was doing rough scaling of the pictures and trying to find good side views off the internet. As you can see in one of the pics I was considering a Dodge cab for awhile.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #20
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Eventually I settled in on the GM/Chevy extended cab proportions and also firmed up what chassis I was going to need as a donor vehicle. By then I had bought the two IH trucks and started to realize that before I cut them up I'd better have a more accurate idea of what dimensions worked. I realized the photo chop stuff could be out of scale enough that it would really mess me up.

So I moved into using Solidworks instead of Powerpoint and started making accurate measurements and scaling better. If you haven't guessed already I am an Engineer so I like having numbers to go with my ideas. This is where and how I finalized my plans and decided how big I wanted the rear door openings and the length of the bed. Here's a pdf file that shows an example of the "engineering drawing" I am using as a guide. (Warning - these dimensions are not my final ones so don't go cutting up another pair of trucks off these!)
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:21 PM   #21
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

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I'm not sure but it looks like the picture has been mirrored.
Well, that explains it. The exhuast is supposed to be on the PS and the steering wheel looks to be on the wrong side in the pic as well, mystery solved

Even using the chevy ext cab frame, with the "smaller" cab of the IH, you should still have a good bit of back seat room and a decent sized rear door.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:37 PM   #22
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Either that.... or it is an extremely rare British version!
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #23
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

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Even using the chevy ext cab frame, with the "smaller" cab of the IH, you should still have a good bit of back seat room and a decent sized rear door.
Funny thing - my decisions on where to finish cut the cab were all based on visual/exterior look. Just the other day I measured the interior dims of both the stock GMC cab and my IH extnd cab. The rear cab wall to firewall distance is within 1" of each other. And even though the two trucks are 30 years apart in time and worlds away in designs - the GMC interior cab width at the dashboard and the IH are within 1/2".
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:53 PM   #24
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Re: Halfbreed - GMC Z71 + IH Extd Cab

Friday afternoon I chopped on the roof tin and ended up not getting it to feather like I thought it would. I don't think I'm in trouble but the next cut(s) will make me a hero or a zero. Decided to stop and study for awhile and shifted my attention toward the GMC cab... heh heh
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:56 PM   #25
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Warning - the following images may be disturbing to gm truck fans

Over the last week I went from thinking I was never going to use any of the GMC body metal on my project, to thinking it wouldn't hurt to keep the floor pan and firewall, to wanting to use the firewall, to now I'm getting more interested in using the floorpan. So I decided that I would proceed with cutting up the GMC as if I will use the floorpan and that way I have all my options open.

So for the third time I proceeded to destroy a perfectly fine looking bunch of sheet metal.

First I cut out the roof inner liner. I may end up grafting this into the IH in order to provide a nice attachment point for a dome light and an overhead console.....someday.

Then I took out the windshield and frame. It wasn't exactly pretty but I got it done and learned more than I wanted to know about the inner structural supports of the cab of the GMC.
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