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Old 05-18-2018, 09:23 PM   #126
400/400
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Cool rig!

Let us know how it rides.

The rear shock mounts seem prone to cracking. Especially with the coil over shocks. I think ORD offers some shock mount gussets.

Do you have the front quad shocks?
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:43 AM   #127
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Looking better and better
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:28 PM   #128
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Originally Posted by 400/400 View Post
Cool rig!

Let us know how it rides.

The rear shock mounts seem prone to cracking. Especially with the coil over shocks. I think ORD offers some shock mount gussets.

Do you have the front quad shocks?
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Looking better and better
Thanks guys! It rides a lot better. Its amazing what working shocks can do for an old 3/4 ton truck haha. It takes bumps at low speeds really well now. The other thing I notice is that there is less vibration when I'm cruising down the road at 55 mph. I thought it was just how 3/4 ton trucks ride with heavier springs (I've only had 1/2 square bodies before this), but after putting the coil overs on it rides much smoother at every speed. I threw the fronts on last night.

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Old 05-20-2018, 03:44 PM   #129
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Being 25 its a no brainer that I want big tires on my 4x4. I saw a set of 33/12.5/16.5s on craigslist for $200 so I jumped on the deal. Just to be sure they would fit I scanned over the internet and made sure that 33s would fit a stock suspension. The consensus online was that 33s are the biggest tire you can put on these trucks without a lift. That was enough for me, so I went and picked them up and threw them on The Ox. WOW did they look good, they gave the truck a cool new stance. I went to back out of the driveway and as soon as I turned the wheel I heard a terrible rubbing/grinding sound.... I hopped out and found that they rub both the front and rear of the fenders.... I'm not wanting to trim my fenders so I decided to put my old 225/75/16 tires back on. The one good thing that came of this was the chance to paint my old rims black to match the truck a little better. I'm still going to keep my eye out for a set of 16's that would fit a stock suspension. Anybody running 285/75/16 tires on a stock K20?

The other thing I learned is that no shops carry 16.5 tires anymore. The shops I called laughed when I asked if they had any 16.5 tires in stock. So it may not be the worst thing in the world that these tires didn't fit.

The Ox sitting on my old tires....
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Comparing the 33s to the 225s
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If only they didn't rub...
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Old rims painted
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Concert at the local Musk Ox Farm with the girls
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:50 PM   #130
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Every time I see this thread I feel I'm lazy. Do love the truck.

On the ignition thing - Delco modules have more 'spike' protection than the others. That's why they cost more.

When my 4.3 started eating modules, discovered a bad Accel plug wire that caused internal distributor arcing (very difficult to see on a black cap) and subsequent failure. Good GM wires and module went 60K with no more issues. I no longer will buy Accel wires because of that.
That's helpful to know! Its a weird thing to trouble shoot because each time I try to fix it I don't know if the problem is gone until it randomly leaves me on the road dead haha. 300 miles on the latest fix this time... so we will see. I appreciate the info, if it blows again I'll probably replace my wires and check for voltage spikes coming to the distributor.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:53 AM   #131
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I enjoy this thread a lot. You take on most everything with enthusiasm and more often than not say that it ended up being fun. I think that approach is key to truck projects and applies to a lot more in life. All that, and now you're an old hand with a welder. Good work. I like the truck a lot, even though I'm not much of a flatbed guy, and I'm definitely not a spare tire on the grill guy, haha.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:43 PM   #132
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I was cruising down the road with my trailer hooked up and all of the sudden I realized I had no blinkers. I turned around and went home to do some trouble shooting. My first thought was that I had a bad fuse. I checked all my fuses and replaced my flasher....but still the problem persisted. After an hour of checking wires and crawling around the truck I came back to the fuse box. I took another look at it and wouldn't you know it, I missed one of the fuses while I was initially checking them. It also was the blinker light fuse... I pulled it out, and sure enough it was blown... threw a new one in and I was back in business.

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The blown fuse was right behind the plug with the red and pink wires coming from it. It was perfectly in the way of the blinker fuse that I initially didn't see...embarrassing haha.

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I also am trying a new look on the truck, no more front tire mount... its a little cleaner look. I think its a good change...but still think the tire could be put somewhere else. What do you guys think?

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Old 05-23-2018, 08:12 AM   #133
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Look way better with it in the bed. I assume your air flow through the radiator will be much better now too.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:26 AM   #134
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Look way better with it in the bed. I assume your air flow through the radiator will be much better now too.
Thanks! The air flow seems to much better, the motor runs around 5 degrees cooler when I'm cruising down the highway.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:34 AM   #135
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Not all jobs on The Ox are exciting... today I focused on the glove box. The bottom plastic strip that connects the glove box door to the dash was almost cracked completely in half. When I would open the glove box it would sag and looked like it was about to fall off the hinge. I didn't feel like buying a new one so I fixed it with some black electrical tape. It may be a little bit of a redneck fix, but it seems to be working really well.

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Old 06-12-2018, 03:50 AM   #136
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Just read through everything. Can't believe I missed an Alaska thread. Truck is coming along nicely. Love the pop up camper!
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:12 AM   #137
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Just read through everything. Can't believe I missed an Alaska thread. Truck is coming along nicely. Love the pop up camper!
Thanks man! It's a work in progress, there's not too many of these old classics around up here!
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:24 AM   #138
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I see you’ve had it up for sale. Change of plans?
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:28 AM   #139
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I haven't posted in a while, simply because I've been busy driving The Ox around. It hasn't had any issues in 1000 miles! Kinda a milestone for me haha. However this week I started on a project I've been wanting to get to since I put the flat bed on, stake pockets. I picked up 6 of them at our local trailer supply store, painted them up, and bolted them on. I ran into a little trouble while bolting them on. As many of you already know, carriage bolts have a square head that seats into the holes of the stake pockets. However, the square portion of the bolt is deeper than the thickness of my stake pockets. When I bolted the stake pockets on, they were loose and sloppy because of the spacing caused by the bolt. I was able to remedy this by countersinking my holes. After that they fit great! I'm really happy to have some extra mounting points for strapping down loads as well.

New set of stake pockets and some paint...
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Countersinking my holes with a larger bit. The holes on the right have yet to be countersunk.
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Carriage bolt that fits properly..
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All bolted up!
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Another view of all the pockets, now its time to build some side boards.
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Old 06-23-2018, 01:23 PM   #140
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Looks good. Regarding the tires, lt285/75r16 tires are 33" in diameter, so you would be in the same boat as with the 33's you already tried. FYI, 33's will rub with a 4" lift usually too,depending on the wheel offset.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:33 AM   #141
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Looks good. Regarding the tires, lt285/75r16 tires are 33" in diameter, so you would be in the same boat as with the 33's you already tried. FYI, 33's will rub with a 4" lift usually too,depending on the wheel offset.
Thanks for the info, knowing that, I'll keep an eye out for 265/75/16s instead!
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:38 AM   #142
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Sideboards are built! I used 2x4s for the posts on the sides. They had to be notched to fit in the stake pockets. A little work with the hand saw and everything fell nicely in place. The sideboards themselves are 1 x material. 1x8 on the bottom, and 1x6 on the top. The backboard is just a piece of 2x6 I had laying around. Next chance I get I'll be painting it all black to preserve the wood.

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Old 06-25-2018, 01:25 AM   #143
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Great looking truck!
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:45 AM   #144
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Great looking truck!
Thanks man! One piece at a time.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:51 AM   #145
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Painted the side boards, it took a couple coats to cover it. I think they turned out pretty well, I feel like The Blue Ox is taking shape.

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Old 06-29-2018, 07:25 AM   #146
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox



It looks good.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:43 AM   #147
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Nice work! The bed turned out nice.

With that bed, I think it would look good with a homemade bumper of some type. Maybe something with an integrated receiver and some shackles on each side. Future weekend project maybe...
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:02 AM   #148
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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It looks good.
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Nice work! The bed turned out nice.

With that bed, I think it would look good with a homemade bumper of some type. Maybe something with an integrated receiver and some shackles on each side. Future weekend project maybe...
Thank you! Your comments keep me motivated to work on the truck. I appreciate it!

In regards to the bumper....I think that is a great idea, I've been scanning the internet for different designs. I like the look you were describing with the shackles.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:16 AM   #149
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I went to the dump the other day to toss an old go kart motor that was seized up. While I was there I found a nice frame of square tubing. It's a real shame looking through the scrap metal piles, I'm always amazed at what people throw away, motors, fencing, rebar, lawn mowers...the list goes on. My local dump frowns upon taking anything from the scrap piles. One of the worker drove by and I struck up a conversation with him about taking material. He paused for a second, looked around, then said, "Man...as long as your truck doesn't weigh more than it did when you came in, and the checkout people don't notice...you can take whatever you want." So with that green like I snagged the 2" square tubing.

Anyway, the reason I grabbed the tubing was for The Ox, I wanted to make a headache rack to put on my flatbed. So, for the cost of some paint I already had from other projects I was able to make my own. I like how it turned out.

I have a couple larger projects looming in the near future. Rocker panel replacement, rear axle seals, and a clutch kit are all on the list for this summer....we'll see how far I get!

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Old 07-05-2018, 09:16 PM   #150
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

The Ox proved to be a decent little brush haller today. I was helping cut down some willow and cottonwood trees at our family farm. Hauled the load threw the woods down an old trucking trail to dump them off. Driving an old truck offroad never gets old!

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