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Old 07-25-2017, 03:09 AM   #76
Smniekamp
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I have to admit, I didn't do a single thing to The Ox this weekend. It was a rare 77 degrees here in Alaska so I spent the time out enjoying the sunshine. However, I was able to put some miles on the truck. In total I think I tacked on another 100 miles with no issues! Here's a couple friends and The Ox soaking up the sun on a day trip out to the lake.

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Old 07-25-2017, 12:09 PM   #77
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Enjoying your truck that you have put so much work in to is what it is all about. A couple girls in bikinis doesn't hurt either,
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:42 AM   #78
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Enjoying your truck that you have put so much work in to is what it is all about. A couple girls in bikinis doesn't hurt either,
I couldn't agree more, old trucks and girls, what more could a guy ask for?!
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:46 AM   #79
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

It was time I cleaned up my tailgate. I don't know what the deal is with this old blue paint, but it sure loves to flake off. Sanded it down and gave it a fresh coat. One more panel down! Now its time to attack the front end...

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Old 08-08-2017, 01:59 AM   #80
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

This week was a little frustrating, The Ox left me stranded again on the side of the road with no spark....thankfully I was able to figure out that the ICM was the problem. Initially I was thinking the fuel filter may be the problem, but after a little more work I realized that it was an electrical issue. It wasn't a big deal to fix, however, its the 3rd ICM I've burned up in the last 600 miles. Someone told me that aftermarket tachs can short out and burn the ICM. My truck came with one of these aftermarket tachs (which never read accurately), so I removed it along with its wiring. Hopefully that stops me from killing another ICM.

Anyway...after that fix my troubles continued, I was 40 miles away from home in the truck when it stumbled like I was running out of gas. After the stumble it evened itself out and ran fine the rest of the way home....fewww! Once I got home I thought I'd check my fuel filters and make sure everything was in order. Turns out...when I looked at my carb filter on the side of the road (when my ICM died) I put it in backwards.... I flipped it around and what do you know, it runs great now and have had no issues since! My goal is to get a little more painting done this next week.
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If you're familiar with these filters, you'll see this is not the way you want to have them installed into the carb lol. It really helps to have the inlet hole of the filter on the gas line side.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:01 AM   #81
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Took a day off work and spent my time on the truck, the hood got taken care of today. Love the refreshed color....however, it does show the dent a little more clearly lol.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:47 PM   #82
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Another body panel down, this time it was a front fender I had to replace. I was happy to find out that all the bolts came out without too much of a fight. I've snapped many bolts off on previous trucks removing fenders. While the fender was off I got a better look at my rocker panel, there isn't as much rust as I was thinking there would be. That's a project for another day... Here's some pictures of what I got done this weekend.

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Old 02-08-2018, 10:45 PM   #83
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Hey Guys,

Its been a little while since I last posted, I'm trying to revive my thread. The winter months were a busy time for the Blue Ox. She blew a head gasket and had to go under the knife for a couple weeks. I decided it was a good time to rebuild my heads and freshen up the top end of the motor. I took some pictures and will post soon. For now, here is my truck in the fall just before it blew the head gasket.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:35 AM   #84
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Read thru the entire build thread. I don't know how I missed this one, i really like seeing the progress that is made on the trucks. You have done great on a budget, The OX looks good.

One thing that is bugging me when I see the grille, it needs a bowtie emblem, lol. I would offer to donate one, but unfortunately the ones I have are for the 83 and up grilles.

Keep the updates coming!! I'm following along
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #85
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Also, I forgot to add if you don't know this already, search this website for parts you may need: http://www.car-part.com/index.htm

You can search in Alaska only, if you want. It will let you search just for your make and model year for our trucks. But it will find salvage yards you may never knew existed. Someone told me about this site, and I found a bunch of salvage yards that were local to me and I never knew they were there.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:45 PM   #86
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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One thing that is bugging me when I see the grille, it needs a bowtie emblem, lol. I would offer to donate one, but unfortunately the ones I have are for the 83 and up grilles.
:
Its been an eye sore to me since I bought the truck, I thought I was the only one that noticed haha. However I just picked up a replacement grill last month, same year and style. Hopefully will have it on in the next week or so!
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:17 PM   #87
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Here are some pictures of my top end rebuild. It started with a head gasket replacement....but once I have everything apart I couldn't help but refurbish the heads. I re-seated the valves and replaced the valve seals. It was a fun process to go through. I had never takes heads apart before. While I had the motor apart I found out that it has been bored .30 over (it was stamped on top of the pistons). I believe that means its a 355 now? The cylinder walls were in great shape as well.

In other news.....I sold the bed off my truck... While I liked the bed I had, it was more dented and rusty than the pictures showed. I bought a flat bed to replace it with. I'm not sure how I will like the flat bed look, but I'll give it a try. It will do for now, or until I find a nicer long bed that will be permanent.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:53 AM   #88
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Here is the motor as I was laying the head gaskets down. Was paranoid I put them on upside down after I bolted the heads on lol.
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Taking the heads apart.
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Finished product with the heads painted.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:58 AM   #89
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Here are more photos, sorry if some of the other pictures appear sideways, hopefully I have that issue fixed.

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Old 02-12-2018, 06:27 PM   #90
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

They sure clean up quickly once parts start getting painted, don't they? Looking good!
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:44 PM   #91
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

GREAT THREAD! My kind of rebuild! Great work!
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:34 PM   #92
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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They sure clean up quickly once parts start getting painted, don't they? Looking good!
Haha my thought exactly, I can work for weeks and it feels like I haven't made any progress... but a quick coat of paint and it starts to look good as new!
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:56 PM   #93
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Massive heat wave hit Alaska this week, it's 33 degrees out so I decided to use the warm weather to my advantage. I had the flatbed sitting on a snow machine trailer ready to be put on. However, my driveway was shear ice, so I decided to do the swap in the hay field behind my house. It went rather smoothly. I used my camper jacks again to lift the bed into the air, they have really come in handy. This flatbed was previously welded onto a truck, so I am going to have to drill my own holes to bolt it on... not looking forward to that job. I can't wait to see how many drill bits I break haha. For now its sitting nicely on the truck and gives it a totally new look. Like I said, it will do for now. The Blue Ox is happy again!
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:59 PM   #94
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

The truck with the flatbed sitting in place, also me feeling tired, wet, and cold.

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Old 03-08-2018, 11:48 AM   #95
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Just read through your whole build, you've done a great job so far! Truck looks super sharp, and gave me some inspiration on my new budget k10 for sure. I might have missed it, but what paint and primer are you using? With how little you have spent on paint to look that good it's worth it to throw some color on and make my rig look slightly less crummy. My bed is so dented, rusted, and dinged it may not be worth saving, so I was also considering a flat bed if one pops up on craigslist for a good price. Did you loose tire clearance when switching from a fleetside to flatbed?
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:34 PM   #96
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Just read through your whole build, you've done a great job so far! Truck looks super sharp, and gave me some inspiration on my new budget k10 for sure. I might have missed it, but what paint and primer are you using? With how little you have spent on paint to look that good it's worth it to throw some color on and make my rig look slightly less crummy. My bed is so dented, rusted, and dinged it may not be worth saving, so I was also considering a flat bed if one pops up on craigslist for a good price. Did you loose tire clearance when switching from a fleetside to flatbed?
Thanks man! I used Rustoleum primer and paint out of a spray can from Lowes, it turned out better than I expected. I made sure that I cleaned and sanded the surface pretty well before spraying. Lots of thin coats...lol.

I don't think I lost much clearance with the flatbed. The bed I bought was built on top of two pieces of channel tubing, so it sits a little higher than if it was just on the frame of the truck. Do you have a thread going of your truck? I'd love to see it!
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:51 PM   #97
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

So my flatbed was previously welded onto a truck before I bought it. The owner I bought it from cut the spacers off with a plasma cutter, leaving them damaged beyond use. The spacers were just pieces of square tubing that laid sideways across the bottom of the bed. I decided to cut the spacer off and use the center portion for my new spacers, which I welded in lengthwise with the frame. In the end, it does the same job and takes up a little less room. I'm happy with the results, especially since it was my second time welding haha.

Jacking the bed up with camper jacks to work on....little sketchy...the bed is a heavy sucker...
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The center section of the old spacer I cut out.
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The remainder of the old spacer.
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My new spacer welded in where the old one was located.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:06 PM   #98
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

Today I was able to wire in my trailer lights. I bought a pair of tail lights at Car Quest and a used harness at a salvage yard. I decided to upgrade my old harness plug to the newer style that was on the late 80s Chevys. Plus, the one I bought from the salvage yard had a trailer hook up already wired in. I like how it turned out, still not in love with the flatbed, but the utility of it is going to be nice.

One half of the harness plug I bought from the salvage yard.
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My messy work space, trying to sort through which wires go where.
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Lights mounted and working! Now to bolt the bed down...
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:46 AM   #99
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

I love it. Just like me - I use the truck as a work table for working on.. the truck.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:05 AM   #100
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Re: 1981 K20 Project - The Blue Ox

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Thanks man! I used Rustoleum primer and paint out of a spray can from Lowes, it turned out better than I expected. I made sure that I cleaned and sanded the surface pretty well before spraying. Lots of thin coats...lol.

I don't think I lost much clearance with the flatbed. The bed I bought was built on top of two pieces of channel tubing, so it sits a little higher than if it was just on the frame of the truck. Do you have a thread going of your truck? I'd love to see it!
Not bad for rattle can, that's for sure.

And dope, the bed on my truck is pretty rough. Bedsides are badly dented, and there are quite a few rust holes in the floor, so after I get through all my mechanical work I'm going to address the body and likely tear it off. I like how that flatbed looks on yours and is so functional.

I haven't done anything to my chevy since I picked her up besides clean it, but here's my thread. I have a radiator, new brakes, lift components, and a few other misc parts all on order so hopefully will have some updates in the next month!
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...28#post8207828
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