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Old 05-10-2016, 12:54 AM   #1
rs74
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Project Z

I guess I should start a bit of a build thread here. A little history first. I bought this 91 Z71 short bed around 2000 or so and drove it pretty regular for about four years or so. I acquired a couple of different vehicles after and the 91 pretty much set around. It had begun to get pretty tired at 250,000+ miles. Eventually after a few years of setting I bought a parts truck for the drivetrain. I swapped in the donor engine and replaced the 700r4 with a NV3500 trans. I had went through the engine and put new gaskets, oil pump, water pump, tune up etc. on it as I went. The trans received a new heavy duty clutch kit. After all of this it rarely got driven and pretty much sat over the next couple years. I did start driving it again off and on for about six months at a time.

Well in 2014 I sold it to help fund a business I was starting. I regretted doing so but I had to do it for the business. I knew I had made a mistake and after the business started doing well I plotted to try to buy it back. Fast forward to about a month ago when I bought it back after the rear end had pretty much exploded and put a whole through the pumpkin. I haven't done much to it since except took the hood and grille off my 93 and swapped them on. I also bought a six lug 14 bolt and put in. I had to put new pinion and axle seals in along with new rear brakes. I have since drove it a few miles enough to know that the new rear end is working good.

My plans for the truck were to get the rear end fixed, body/paint work, redo interior, new factory take off wheels, exhaust and then possible a 5.3l and 4l60e that I have in a donor truck.

Today I thought I would swap dashes from my 93 into the 91. I started on the 93 and had the dash out in a couple hours after being my first one. I then started on the 91 and soon found out the dash cluster plug connectors are mounted totally different. I about called it quits right then but decided I would try to somehow make it work. I went ahead and pulled the 91 dash too. This led me to find a mess of wires hidden behind the dash that have been like this since before I bought it originally but didn't know it was like this. I found anything from wire nuts used to duct tape to speaker wire use as ground wires. I quickly cut all of that out and still have to finish a few thing up. T

This then led to me totally ripping out all the interior. I had not intended to do this but it all came on kind of quickly. As it sets now all the interior is out minus door panels and a couple trim pieces. I am going to work on getting the new dash back in it and everything hooked back up. The rest of the interior might hold off for awhile. I am having thought of swapping a 700r4 back in while the carpet is out. I would have to weld in the plate I originally cut out for the NV3500 to go in. Figured this might be the time instead of doing this twice later. I am still debating. If I can find a deal on a transmission without having to rebuild or buy a new one then I might go ahead and do this now. I am wanting to get the bodywork and paint done next before wheels and exhaust. I guess this is enough reading for this time. I will get some photos up here tomorrow. Time to turn into bed for the night.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: Project Z

Pic time. After I bought the truck back and got home I swapped to the 94+ grille and put on the ram air hood. I am going to buy a new 94+ grille but using this one until then. I like the new look with the grille and hood. Then what started out to be a dash swap ended up being a complete interior tear out which I just did last night. After pulling that dash out I found all the wire nut splices, duct tape and speaker wire used as ground wires. The scary thing is that I drove it that way unknowingly for around 14 years. I cut it all out last night and in process of repairing the wiring today.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Project Z

pics
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:25 AM   #4
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Re: Project Z

The carpet was terrible. I also forgot about the rear end. The 10 bolt had went out before I bought it back. So I decided to upgrade a little and bought a 14 bolt 6 lug rear from a 90 K2500. I put new pinion and axle seals in along with doing a U-bolt flip kit too. I ordered new stainless axle lines from Inline Tube and a new Delco center brake hose. Had the drums cleaned up a little and new shoes were put on and topped the diff with 75-90.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
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Re: Project Z

14 bolt.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: Project Z

U-bolt flip kit installed. Also I did have one issue with the new rear end. I started to pull the pinion bolt that holds the big pin in and where the threaded part of the bolt transitions into the small pin is where it snapped. Luckily I used a small propane torch to heat the housing it was in and a small screwdriver to walk the rest of the threads out. Once far enough I pulled the pin out with a magnet. Bought a new bolt and was back in business.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
2007.5 Duramax
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #7
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Re: Project Z

Broken bolt and pin.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:22 PM   #8
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Re: Project Z

Not much going on here. I have been waiting to get to a yard to see about interior pieces and a dash. I would really like to up grade to atleast the 95-96 dash and interior but I am not sure if I could get all that I need for it. It doesn't really seem like it would be too much more work since I already have my dash tore out. I have yet to find a really good write up on it. So for now it is just setting in the garage waiting on me.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
2007.5 Duramax
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:39 PM   #9
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Re: Project Z

It's taking shape! I know it's a headache, but it's good you found the butchered wiring so you can fix it now.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:12 PM   #10
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Re: Project Z

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It's taking shape! I know it's a headache, but it's good you found the butchered wiring so you can fix it now.
If I could find a nice 95+ K1500 regular cab I would be tempted to just swap it in place of the 91 cab. With the body work my cab needs and the fact that I like the newer interior I am not sure it would be too much more money.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
2007.5 Duramax
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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Re: Project Z

in post #3 picture #2 you have exceeded the amount of screwdrivers allowed in 1 picture.

+1 vote for the 95+ cab, i prefer the newer interior also.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:34 AM   #12
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in post #3 picture #2 you have exceeded the amount of screwdrivers allowed in 1 picture.

+1 vote for the 95+ cab, i prefer the newer interior also.
LMAO! Well you know how it is when you get a screwdriver and set it down. You turn around to get it and then it's gone so you get another. Not even sure why that claw hammer is even in there.

Not sure where I want to go with this truck. After riding around in my new to me 2000 crew cab I have found myself looking for a 95-98 regular cab short bed ready to go. I already have an 85 short bed that I need to finish putting back together and really don't want this to turn into the same thing. The 85 started off as "Oh I will just replace this" and turned into a full blown frame off rebuild.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:02 AM   #13
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Re: Project Z

Not alot going on here lately. I did pressure wash the carpet and put it and the seat back in. I have been putting a few things back together here and there. I am still looking for a nice dash to put back in. Probably going to leave some plastic trim out until the rockers get replace. Also I am going to leave the rear trim out until the new dash goes in so I can wire the speakers in and also I need a new piece or two of trim.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:51 PM   #14
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Re: Project Z

Hopefully going tomorrow morning to take a dash out at the salvage yard. I am going to get a new headliner and a few interior trim pieces for it as well. I found a nice set of Yukon GT door panels but not sure if they are a direct plug n play. This Yukon also has a set of factory fender flares that I am debating whether I want to put on my truck if I stay with a fleet side bed.

I am ready to get this truck back on the road. I always have a second truck just in case. However this is the second truck and yesterday my Duramax blew a transmission line and left me without a vehicle. I am getting there though with this truck, just taking a little more time than expected.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:10 PM   #15
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Re: Project Z

Debating on going with a step side bed or stay fleet side. I like both looks. The wheel arches are rotted on mine along with a couple cross members underneath. Then I have also been debating the factory fender flares but I am leaning towards without them. Here is a pic of a step side the same color and would be a very close representation of what mine will look like since it is the same color. I am going to try to get a set of the new factory take off wheels too.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
2007.5 Duramax
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:13 PM   #16
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Re: Project Z

Stay fleet side and add the flares!
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:25 PM   #17
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Re: Project Z

Flares. Mine would be body colored.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:13 PM   #18
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Re: Project Z

Definitely fleet side and flares!
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:36 PM   #19
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Re: Project Z

Decided against the flares for now. I didn't realize one was busted beyond repair and the other had some deep scratches. I will get more serious about a final decision when I get closer to paint and bodywork.

I did get a new dash, headliner and interior trim today. Not the dash I wanted though. The exact color match to mine ended up having a couple small cracks in it. I pulled another dash instead. Not sure about this. It is a dark gray and not sure if it's going to match my seat and door panels. There is a lot of contrast. There are three different shades of gray between the hard plastic on the doors and two shades on the dash. That doesn't include the light gray fabric either. Not sure pics does the difference any justice. I am stuck with it for now. I needed a dash so I can get moving to something else on the truck.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
2007.5 Duramax
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:54 PM   #20
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Re: Project Z

Got the dash all finished along with the headliner in. I am leaving some of the plastic trim off until I decide what I am doing about a stereo system that way I don't have to take it back off if I run new wiring.

Next thing will probably be getting the exhaust either fixed or replaced. It had some pin holes in it and I think it needs a new donut gasket put on. I might just fix it for now. I am wanting to put the 5.3 in it sometime and go back to an automatic trans and don't want to do it twice although there wouldn't be much to redo if I swapped later. Always something to ponder.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
1991 Z71 Short Bed
2007.5 Duramax
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:53 PM   #21
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Re: Project Z

I think I've seen you over on the square side of the forum. What ever happened with this truck?
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:42 PM   #22
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Re: Project Z

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Originally Posted by LT7A View Post
I think I've seen you over on the square side of the forum. What ever happened with this truck?

Yeah I have an 85 Short Bed that I started a frame off on. The 91 hasn't seen much attention all year. I haven't had time with working alot of hours this summer. I did buy some new Silverado takeoff wheels for it this year and started on the exhaust. I just ended up buying a new y-pipe, center pipe section and put a Dynomax turbo muffler on it., Single in and dual out. Not sure what I am going to do from here. It still needs the rockers and cab corners replaced, needs a new bed and paint. I drive it occasionally but haven't done much to it lately.
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85 Short Bed Silverado- Work in progress. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=564818
1993 RCSB stepper
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:25 PM   #23
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Re: Project Z

It's a neat truck though. And it looks like your new gray dash turned out just fine.
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