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Old 08-12-2017, 05:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cbus, Ohio
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'78 K20 to C10. Almost 20 years in the making.

This project started in '99 with me and my dad. I was 17 at the time. It had been a monster/mud truck when I bought it. All red with ~16" of lift and 44" tires. We bought it without an engine.

The plan was to pull some of the lift out of it. Put smaller wheels and tires on it, put an engine in it and drive it. (for some reason Im without better pictures when I got it)

That all changed as we started fixing bits and pieces. The cab floors, rockers and corners needed replaced so we attempted to patch them in but we didn't reinforce the cab correctly so nothing fit back together correctly.

A guy my dad new brought body parts from the south up to Ohio and sold them. We had him locate and 87 AC cab for us to swap over.

We then proceed to do a frame off on the truck. Pulled everything off, cleaned, replaced all the bits and pieces. etc. etc.

We decided to leave the TH350 and NP205 in the truck. My dad had an 396ci engine from an Impala that we tore down and rebuilt. Mostly stock but with lower combustion heads and aftermarket camshaft. Edelbrock carb and headers.

We took the truck to a well known exhaust shop and had 3" exhaust with an H pipe and 50 series Flowmasters installed.

We built a crossover steering for the Dana 60 before there was such a thing available elsewhere. I thought it would look cool to put dual shocks all around so we found plates and order up 8 Ranchos for it.

We bought brand new doors and fenders from GM for the build. My dad and I spent many hours refinishing the bed, it didn't need any panels replaced though. I for whatever reason wanted a blue truck, so we tried a few random colors and nothing hit home. Dodge Viper GTS's were one of my favorite cars at the time so I said "lets just paint it VIPER GTS Blue!" So that was that.

We had a friend come spray it in our garage. We sprayed everything but the bed floor (planned to bedline the floor only) and the hood. For some reason we didn't have a hood when the truck was sprayed.

We bought some interior panels to switch the color over to gray. New Dash from GM and I think GM door panels. We installed the AC box and some wiring.

The engine was fired up and ran for break in. The engine has less than an hour or run time on it. We didnt even put fuel in the tank.

This was roughly 2 years worth of work from 98-99 to 2000-2001. I dont remember the exact time frame. At this time we both were sorta burnt out on working on it. I was seeing a girl, had bought a camaro to be stupid in and my dad got remarried, so his time was limited too.

So the truck sat and has sat in his garage since then.

Over the years Ive went back and forth about what to do with it. From finishing it as it is, selling it, parting it out, etc. I really have minimal desire to complete the truck as is. Lifted, with big tires, etc. I guess that's just not what I'm into anymore. Ive had newer 4wd trucks since then and I just don't enjoy driving them.

Last edited by cruizin01; Yesterday at 05:44 PM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cbus, Ohio
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Re: '78 K20 to C10. Almost 20 years in the making.

Recently I looked into converting it over to 2wd to make a "street" truck out of it. Something I can drive around on the weekends, haul some light loads, do burn outs, etc. :-)

My wife gave the ok to start bring the project together this fall. I just didn't know exactly how to go about it. I considered trying to find a LWB 2wd truck and redo the frame restoration, upgrade, etc on it. But I think just doing the front and rear swap might be better. I already have a very nice frame, all new lines, fuel tank, new mounts, exhaust hung, etc. Along with the fact I wont need to remove the cab.

The plan is to remove the Dana 60 and 14B FF rear along with the TH350 and NP205. Swap the 2wd crossmember, control arms, brake, etc over. Do the same with the rear axle. Id like to find a 4L80E for this swap since I'm having to find a 2wd trans anyway. Ill just use a standalone controller for it.

August 2017.
Luck would have it that I ran across a 2wd frame and junky cab on craigslist for $300. It was a 76 so it was a 12B which seemed like the right move and shortbed which makes keeping it in the garage slightly easier.

I decided to start on the rear end since it was less parts to deal with. I was pleasantly surprised to find a Powertrax No Slip LSD had been installed sometime recently. One of the springs is broke so I ordered a new spring kit.

Ive removed the rear brakes to prep the axle for a rear disk conversion. I decided to do a weld on bracket and Astro rotors with GM metric rear calipers. (ordered non ebrake) might switch them out for ebrake calipers at some point.

I also ordered a TA rear diff cover for it, rear brake hoses, fluid, new axle studs, etc.

I did uncover a broke rear leaf which got my thinking about how Im gonna do the suspension. Initially I was gonna do the std 4/6 drop but Im thinking slightly more advanced. Id need new leafs and new coils (they were cut) anyway.

My current plan is the RideTech Street Grip setup. So that the plan for now. We'll see how this all comes together over the next few months.

My plan is to ready the front and rear suspensions over this fall winter. Order the Ridetech and in probably in the spring bring the blue truck over and swap the 4x4 parts off and put the 2wd parts on. (axles, transmission, tcase, etc.

So wish me luck!

Last edited by cruizin01; Yesterday at 05:53 PM.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:47 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Smethport, PA
Posts: 731
Re: '78 K20 to C10. Almost 20 years in the making.

That's quite the back story. I will follow along to see where this goes from here.

85 K30 crew cab dually - Project
87 Wrangler Rock Crawler - Reason for the project
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