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Old 09-02-2012, 11:04 PM   #76
mosesburb
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

That is the only formal automotive training I ever had in school--autobody. I hate doing it with a passion. It usually turns out well, but I hate doing it. Yours looks great!! I bet if you use a flexible block, you could knock those runs down without repainting it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:01 AM   #77
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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I bet if you use a flexible block, you could knock those runs down without repainting it.
Thanks man, a compliment from you is huge.

Yeah, that is the plan but this is single stage paint so it will probably lose its luster if I rub it down flat and try to buff it. I went cheap and easy on this project with single stage instead of basecoat/clear coat. I'll have to mix up more paint for the rear bumper anyway as it looks even worse. Notice I didn't post any pictures of the bumper? Hehe, it looks like a chimpanzee painted it with a dirty mop!
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:00 AM   #78
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Nice work! The more I see it the more I like that Burb!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #79
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

That came out good!
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:09 PM   #80
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Well, half of the lift is done! Started thrashing the rear tonight getting ready for the ORD shackle flip and 14 bolt FF swap. To do the rear shackle flip the tank must come down and of course, the tank was ¾ full so that took a while to syphon the gas out. Still need more parts and I have some work travel coming up so probably won’t get the lift all wrapped up for a couple weeks. To my surprise, the old springs I removed from the K10 many years ago that I cleaned up to use on the Polar Bear are 6” springs, not 4”. Ah, well…..it will come down an inch or so once it gets an 8.1L.

I am also in a quandary what I want to do with the front drive shaft. It is now too short but I don’t feel like spending money on lengthening it as I plan on swapping in a NV4500 sometime this winter and don’t want to pay to have the shaft reworked twice. Problem is I don't know exactly when my boss (wife) will let me throw down the coin to fix up the NV4500 I have laying under the work bench. Might have to do the same for the rear shaft too. Dang! I need someone to start buying some of the stuff I have on Craigslist so I can finish my projects

These Q78 Super Swampers will not be on here full time. They will just be used for certain trips.


Out with the turd 9.5” semi floater with 3:42 gears!


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Old 09-20-2012, 01:53 AM   #81
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Looks great, Larry. Shackle flip and zero rate for the back? What will it have for tires the rest of the time?
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:48 AM   #82
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Looks great, Larry. Shackle flip and zero rate for the back? What will it have for tires the rest of the time?
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Thanks MTCK! Yeah, shackle flip for sure but it may need more than a zero rate. I might actually have to throw a lift block in there to make it sit level (I hate blocks but it is what it is). The plan is to do the shackle flip then bolt the tires on with the old axle still in place and let it on the ground to see how low it is compared to the front. From there I can determine if a zero rate block or a lift block will need to be used when I bolt the 14 bolt ff in. We’ll see!

The small tires on the aluminum wheels (the ones that were on the Burb when I got it) will be the main tires even though they will be quite small now. Once they get worn away I plan on using some type of 315/75R16 all-terrain tire on Desert Rat Raton wheels.

These are the wheels I plan to eventually get for it whenever I get some 315’s. Its going to be a while as I got higher priorities for it before a tire and wheel purcha$e. The K10 needs tires too so the Burb will have to wait a while.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:38 AM   #83
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

i like those old school steel wheels on the front, white on white looks awesome on that suburban
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:52 PM   #84
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Behold! Finally got some work done to the Polar Bear that is post worthy.

Removing the rear spring shackle brackets. I find it easier to cut the rivet head in half then use an air hammer to knock off the rivet halves then beat the rivet on through the frame. Unfortunately, my air compressor was dying so removing these rivets still turned out to be an all-day event.


ORD shackle flip brackets mounted and the old 9.5” semi-floating axle pitched in the iron pile.




As the 10.5" 14 bolt full-floater was going in. Learned something with the rear brake backing plates….do not always believe the AC Delco online parts catalog for “Vehicle List” to view which vehicles use the same part. The AC Delco catalog had me believing the 13 x 2 brake backing plates from the 9.5” semi-floater were compatible with 13 x 3.5 drums on a full-floater. Ah, nope! After finding that issue, I had to go scrounge up some 13 backing plates at the salvage yard for a full-floater. Funny thing is this axle had 13 x 3.5 brakes on it when I pruned it out of the donor truck but I stole them to bolt on my K10 and had planned to use the K10’s 11”s on the back of the burb until it dawned on me I would have a park brake issue being the 11” backing plates had the bolt on park brake cables while the Suburban requires the later style push in cables. The only way to make the park brake work correctly was to find full floater backing plates with the push in cable design (1984 and later). What a ha$$le that turned out to be! Actually, I would have had the same issue had I used the 13” brakes that were originally on this axle anyway as they were the early bolt on style. It is easier to find the correct backing plates to work with the Burbs park brake system than rework the entire park brake system on the Burb to the old style U-system. With it being a manual trans, a park brake is a must so it was worth the lost week of chasing parts!


All buckled up and ready for some tires


One thing I need to redo is replace the drop pitman arm in exchange for a raised steering arm. I had a 2” drop pitman arm lying around that I thought would suffice, but no dice. It steers horrible……In fact, it barely turns left before the draglink smacks the leaf spring.


Nice butt!


To my surprise, it actually sits level and rides so much better even with the bias ply Super Swampers. Rear shackle flips make a huge different in ride. My buddy and I need to fabricate some rear bumper brackets next weekend to mount the rear step bumper. Even with a step up in tire size the change in gear ratio to 4:10 (from 3:42) did give the big bear a noticeable amount of oomph at the bottom end. The step up to 13 x 3.5 rear brake shoes/drums gave it a noticeable bump in brake power as well.


That’s all for now. Next up is hanging the rear bumper then I need to get some tunes in this thing. Been driving it for a year without a radio.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:55 AM   #85
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

The Burb is coming along nicely, good on the gear ratio change, big truck for sure.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:58 AM   #86
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I love the build!!! Paint runs and all lolz, ahh the memories...

That stuff happens all the time, but only the brave post it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:23 PM   #87
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I follow your progress and it looks great. I am working myself on my suburban between to much work.. Going to post pictures later on my own built thread.
I like the look of the white original wheels.
You have 13" x 3,5" brakes on the FF? Is that axel from a Crew Cab dually or single?
How is it working out with the proportion valve with a different brake size? Is it not a bigger brake cylinder also on 13 x 3,5 compared to 13 x 2,5?
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #88
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Originally Posted by chevak20 View Post
I follow your progress and it looks great. I am working myself on my suburban between to much work.. Going to post pictures later on my own built thread.
I like the look of the white original wheels.
You have 13" x 3,5" brakes on the FF? Is that axel from a Crew Cab dually or single?
How is it working out with the proportion valve with a different brake size? Is it not a bigger brake cylinder also on 13 x 3,5 compared to 13 x 2,5?
Thanks Chevak20!

Yes, those are 13 x 3.5 brakes. The axle is a ¾ ton 10.5” 14 bolt full-floater but the brake backing plates, shoes, wheel cylinders, hardware and drums are single rear wheel 1-ton pieces. Actually, the drums, shoes and hardware are all new from Napa....only the backing plates are used.

I did not change master cylinder or prop valve and it works great. Probably will convert it to hydroboost someday but for now vacuum powers these big brakes just fine. It stops on a dime now! I did this same swap to my dad’s K20 back in the early 90’s and I just did this same 13 x 3.5 brake swap to my K10 this past July. Unlike most people, I don’t buy into the rear disk brake swaps. I still prefer a big rear drum brakes.

I thought I would be able to use the 11” brakes that I took off the K10 in July on this Suburban but no dice, as the park brake cable I would have needed doesn’t exist so I converted this donor axle for the Suburban back to 13’s. Confused? Me too
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #89
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

This is all good to know. I plan on swapping a 14 bolt FF into my burb one day and would like to do the 1 ton brakes as well.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #90
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Sexy!
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:01 PM   #91
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Do you know how much more that full floater weights than the semi?

Does it have a posi, what kind the eaton rev-lok?

My 81 k20 has the 14 bolt semi with 4.10s. I always thought id but in a Full floater in it.

Just put a pinion seal on the semi and changed the oil. It looked excelent inside and has a posi. Lot of heavy use pulling a concrete pump for years and all that heavy hose in the back, seemed to hold up ok.

Whats a good price on a 14 bolt FF with 4.10s? If I dont find a deal else where besides a junk yard

Should I look for a particular year axle to go right in my 81 k20 ?
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #92
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

If you find a 14FF that is in good useable condition, they are worth up to $200.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #93
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Quote:
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Do you know how much more that full floater weights than the semi?

Does it have a posi, what kind the eaton rev-lok?

My 81 k20 has the 14 bolt semi with 4.10s. I always thought id but in a Full floater in it.

Just put a pinion seal on the semi and changed the oil. It looked excelent inside and has a posi. Lot of heavy use pulling a concrete pump for years and all that heavy hose in the back, seemed to hold up ok.

Whats a good price on a 14 bolt FF with 4.10s? If I dont find a deal else where besides a junk yard

Should I look for a particular year axle to go right in my 81 k20 ?
Not sure how much more a 14 bolt FF weights over a 14 bolt SF but it is considerably more, especially if running the 13 x 3.5 drums. The 14 bolt FF I used from my dad’s truck is open, no locker or limited slip.

Cost wise, around here 14 bolt FF range from $80 at a pick and pull yard where any axle is $80 regardless what axle it is (although they seldom have good stuff), up to $400 at other yards.

The best years to pirate an axle from is ’73-’87. The square body ’88-‘91 trucks with full floaters were 1 tons which the spring perches are wider than a ¾ ton so they are not a direct bolt in. Late model 14 bolt FF have a wider track width and just don’t look right in an older truck in my opinion plus they need perch work to bolt into an older truck as well.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #94
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

You do good work. I like what you've done with this truck.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:53 PM   #95
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Finally got around to mounting the rear bumper this weekend. Not a rear bumper most people would probably use but it is a factory GM pickup rear bumper and the price was right plus a rear step bumper makes it easier to crawl in and out of the back of this thing. This bumper also beats the heck out of the stock Suburban rear bumpers that wrap around the corners that are only good for caving in rear quarter panels with even the slightest of bumping. Also took the Q78 Super Swampers/white OEM wheel combo off for a while as I don’t want to wear them out just cruising it around town. For the time being I moved the well-worn 315 all terrains from the K10 onto the Suburban to run out the rest of the life on them.

All it needs are lights on top and a few crosses in the windows and it would look like an Ambulance!






Planning to have the front driveshaft built and have the front windows tinted this week, then after that it is time to move efforts to the inside. I’ve been driving this thing for a year without a radio or 12 volt accessory power (Cig lighter is missing the complete power wire). If all goes well, a NV4500 5-speed will go in around Decemberish too.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:08 AM   #96
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Love what you have done so far with this burb Larry.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:12 AM   #97
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Looks good! 8.1L at the same time? Those factory step bumpers are good and sturdy if I recall correctly.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:25 AM   #98
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I can't stand stock bumpers from these years i feel they are the most useless bumpers i have ever attempted to stand on, i am not sure why it was chose but i do know newer bumpers fit quite nicely if you like the look of them
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1995 Geo Metro - 5spd play toy - Sold
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:27 AM   #99
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Thanks Vectorit! This thing has come together surprisingly well and easy. Guess all of the good and bad experiences in building the K10 made this one a breeze……so far.

MTCK,

I would love to do an 8.1L at the same time as the NV4500 but my boss would probably have my head on a stick if I did that. NV4500 first then the 8.1L next year….unless this 5.7L drops dead. It does drink a lot of oil though so I am going to start feeding it used oil. Yeah, the factory step bumpers are pretty darn beefy. I got this one for $40 but I learned something on this project. Trucks and SUV’s (definitely Suburban’s) use different rear step bumpers. From the side, the bumper looks like it is set back a bit too far but from the top it fits perfectly. To make it fit more like a glove I would have had to cut about 2” off the lip of the bumper just below the rear doors. I don’t think I could have made that cut on such a long run to look good. Too long of a cut to do with a cut off wheel. I know some people won’t like the rear bumper but I like it. I like the price even better, $40 plus paint.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:12 PM   #100
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Nice Larry!
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