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Old 09-22-2018, 06:24 PM   #1
Can68GMC
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68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Recently bought a very original Canadian GMC 3/4 4x4 - in really nice shape. Getting ready to pull the trigger on a resto and Iím struggling with a few things - truck has the original rebuilt 327, HD closed knuckle D44, HO52 rear with factory no spin, SM465 and T221.
There is something to be said in keeping the truck original, but I am seriously thinking of swapping out the frt diff for an open knuckle D44 with disc brakes and swapping out the 221 for a 205. Nothing really wrong with the original kit now, the 221 whines and it would be nice to have some stopping power in the old girl. These trucks are fairly rare (being the Canadian GMC), so would it make more sense for future value in trying to keep it as stock as possible? Or would the upgrades make it more valuable?
If I knew how to post pics, I would, itís a great color combo with the off white exterior and red CST interior
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:19 PM   #2
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Why not do the front axle swap, and keep the original? Then if you ever want to put it back to original, you can.

Not really sure what the transfer case swap would give you other than better parts availability.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

if your 221 whines, its time to freshen it up with a bearing kit and seals. replacing the front axle is not as easy as you thing, disc breakes in the front will requir a new mc and perportioning gizmo and new lines and maybe new rear brakes and rebuilt wheel cylinders and on ward and so forth.

and since it is all origonal, canadean and rare and cheaper to maintain origonal rather than rat rod it.... better to pass on it and experiment with a turd. I'm bias and for a good reason
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:18 PM   #4
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

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if your 221 whines, its time to freshen it up with a bearing kit and seals. replacing the front axle is not as easy as you thing, disc breakes in the front will requir a new mc and perportioning gizmo and new lines and maybe new rear brakes and rebuilt wheel cylinders and on ward and so forth...
All true, but front disks would make it WAY safer to drive on today's roads. You can try to drive defensively all you want, then some bozo cuts you off and stands on the brakes. Sometimes they're on the phone, sometimes they're looking for an insurance payday. It's inevitable.

Locally, the insurance company allows upgrades like disks, leds, and seatbelts on collector vehicles that must be otherwise stock for just that reason - safety.

I guess the OP needs to decide whether he wants a perfect stock resto, or something he can actually drive with confidence. If he keeps all the original parts, and does nothing irreversible, no harm no foul.

Just one guy's opinion.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:35 AM   #5
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

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Originally Posted by Can68GMC View Post
Recently bought a very original Canadian GMC 3/4 4x4 - in really nice shape. Getting ready to pull the trigger on a resto and Iím struggling with a few things - truck has the original rebuilt 327, HD closed knuckle D44, HO52 rear with factory no spin, SM465 and T221.
There is something to be said in keeping the truck original, but I am seriously thinking of swapping out the frt diff for an open knuckle D44 with disc brakes and swapping out the 221 for a 205. Nothing really wrong with the original kit now, the 221 whines and it would be nice to have some stopping power in the old girl. These trucks are fairly rare (being the Canadian GMC), so would it make more sense for future value in trying to keep it as stock as possible? Or would the upgrades make it more valuable?
If I knew how to post pics, I would, itís a great color combo with the off white exterior and red CST interior
I don't know anything about the 4X4 stuff, but it is generally accepted that safety upgrades don't negatively effect a classic vehicles value. I could see it hurting the value if it was a low production rare vehicle or something like that. But these are just trucks, trucks that are meant to be driven and enjoyed. Safely.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:28 AM   #6
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

In to see pictures. Unless the whine is obnoxiously loud, your probably just not used to the sound of straight cut gears. Not much available for them but seals and some bearings, but just as bomb proof as the NP205.
Me, I'd leave it alone, but it's your truck to play with.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Sounds like a nice stock truck and worthy of keeping it original. I do understand the desire to upgrade exactly the two things you're discussing though - they are good choices for upgrade. Having said that, a full resto on that truck's brake job will provide more than sufficient braking - but you are correct in disks being a safety upgrade. Keep in mind, that even though they were VERY sufficient in 68, now everyone else can stop much better than a set of drums or even power disks on a 72 D44 axle with disk brakes which have no anti-skid. So that's a plug for keeping a larger safe distance behind others than you do in a more modern car. If you think you'll need better brakes than the drum setup (i.e. do you drive in a lot of traffic or notsomuch - or lots of rain?), then it's worthwhile and I would hang onto the original axle if you can store it. It kind of sucks to feel like you have to hang onto a giant chunk of metal you may never use just because it's original... and if space is tight, that makes it even harder. NP205 is about the best transfer case ever put in these trucks, but it's worth finding who on here has done the swap to know all the hiccups it will incur. Not sure about what possible crossmember issues, if any, etc etc.

Personally, unless you're often in a bunch of traffic or drive in a lot of rain, I'd restore it to stock. No wrong answer though, your thoughts on what to do to this truck are good ideas. I'd struggle with this decision personally - I like to keep em stock, but I like the original stuff (so I bought a 72 )

Would love to see some pics of it when you get a chance! And welcome to the forum!
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

BTW, here's some info on the transfer case swap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=710717

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=706152

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ad.php?t=61494

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=494017

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ad.php?t=99838

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=304242

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=323994

Last edited by jocko; 09-23-2018 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:48 PM   #9
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

I see both sides, I've kept a truck in stock form & I've upgraded to disc brakes.
Stock drums, in good condition & properly adjusted do a good job ( still like discs on the front)

I've run trucks as DD's for years with front drums & never had any "white knuckle" moments (that I remember!)

As far as the t-case, I'd keep the 221, it's a tough case, just difficult to get hard parts for. I ran a Dana 18 in a jeep truck that's kinda similar in design (they both have offset rear output shafts). It wined at 70 even after a rebuild. I switched to synthetic gear lube & it seamed quieter?! & ran cooler.

I'm inclined to keep an old truck all original.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:45 PM   #10
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Welcome aboard! It sounds like a great truck. Low production numbers for those early K models especially GMC. That may or may not sway your opinion. Here is a link and discussion about production numbers and if you follow the link in the thread a list of Chevy numbers by year and model.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=664273
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:46 PM   #11
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

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Originally Posted by ratty69 View Post
All true, but front disks would make it WAY safer to drive on today's roads. You can try to drive defensively all you want, then some bozo cuts you off and stands on the brakes. Sometimes they're on the phone, sometimes they're looking for an insurance payday. It's inevitable.

Just one guy's opinion.
the whole disc is safer bs is just that.

dont justify ruining a nice origonal truck because others are un safe.

I never had a problem with drums. I dont carry a heavy load any more so they are even more than "more than enough". try if you must to drive defensively around other idiots rather than rat rod a truck. No excuses. its your truck do what you want with it but dont ruin it and blame others

another guys opinion
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:13 PM   #12
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Quick pic
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

here's a flip for ya - SHARP truck!
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:41 PM   #14
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

As long as you keep your drums in good shape and well adjusted, they will have MORE power for a quick stop than discs - if you need to use the brakes for an extended period (going down hill) , then discs are better as they don't fade as quickly.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:42 PM   #15
Can68GMC
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

A few more pics...

I know these 221ís are noisy animals, I wasnít able to find a bearing kit locally, but may have a lead on one so Iíll probably go that route first before I swap it out. Iím not a big fan of the closed knuckle 44ís, having a hard time finding new wiper seals for it, and I heard brake parts are hard to come by these days.
I was searching for a clean 71/72 when I came across this Ď68, it was just so clean and unmolested I couldnít walk away from it.
Thanks to all for your opinions, I really think I should try and keep this truck as close to factory as possible
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Old 09-23-2018, 05:01 PM   #16
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Smile Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

That is a way cool and very rare truck...great find and great to know that they are still out there!!

If you can solve it out in stock form it will be well worth your while in keeping its value high and its driveability acceptable.

If you modify it for modern equivalent driveability reasons....a truck in that 'great original starter' condition will probably depreciate in my opinion.

If it was in poor shape or a 4wd basket case (and many are)...then doing modern change up is probably the way to go.

Either way, very nice truck!!

All good
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:27 PM   #17
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

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A few more pics...

I know these 221’s are noisy animals, I wasn’t able to find a bearing kit locally, but may have a lead on one so I’ll probably go that route first before I swap it out. I’m not a big fan of the closed knuckle 44’s, having a hard time finding new wiper seals for it, and I heard brake parts are hard to come by these days.
I was searching for a clean 71/72 when I came across this ‘68, it was just so clean and unmolested I couldn’t walk away from it.
Thanks to all for your opinions, I really think I should try and keep this truck as close to factory as possible
https://torqueking.com/product/40188...4-front-axles/

Light duty?

https://torqueking.com/product/4936/...0-front-axles/

Or heavy duty?

Put new wipers on and fill the knuckles with corn head grease for many more years of leak free service.

Whoever told you that parts were hard to come by was just another typical drum brake, closed knuckle hater.

Outside of the axle housing and knuckles themselves, all of the parts for them are readily available, brand new.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:07 AM   #18
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

There you go! Redneck has the knuckle solution.
Find a brake rebuilder that also re-lines shoes and be done.
That truck is worth it, she's beautiful. More pics and info on the spid please
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:07 PM   #19
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

I saw that truck on Kijiji for a while and contemplated it a few times. It looks really nice and not messed with. Congrats on your purchase.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:19 PM   #20
Can68GMC
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

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Originally Posted by chewychevy67 View Post
I saw that truck on Kijiji for a while and contemplated it a few times. It looks really nice and not messed with. Congrats on your purchase.
Yeah that was me, after I bought it I thought it was just to clean and original
To start modifying it, so I listed it for awhile. Iíve pretty much decided to go the whole resto route with it now, so I dropped the add
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:27 PM   #21
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

I was looking for a 3/4ton 4wd for myself but my wife wanted me to get something newer so the boys could all come with me otherwise I would have sent you a message. I agree with you on being too clean to mess with it. But as long as you do it right you won't devalue it.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:28 PM   #22
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Great looking truck! I'm glad to hear you're going to keep such a nice survivor intact.
I know that a lot of the drum brake hating started in the years after asbestos was banned. The original shoes were designed to use asbestos linings. After asbestos was banned the replacement lining materials worked OK at best. After years of issues newer material has been formulated that provides stopping power equal to or better than the original linings.
There was a crane at work we had to scrap in the 80's due to the new friction materials for the drum brakes on the winches could not be made to do the job safely. It was a real shame it was low hours and only 10 years old. But nobody wanted it and the market was flooded with similar cranes with the same issue.
The point of the whole story is there are different lining materials available today and it may take some experimenting but you can get very good brakes on a drum set up. (As long as you stay within there operating limits. I.e. heavy loads on steep long hills should be avoided). All of our trucks in this day and age of computer controlled ABS braking systems are really substandard. It would be nice if the aftermarket would come up with an ABS set up for us.

Once again great truck and I really dig the color scheme!
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:08 PM   #23
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Nice truck 👍🏻. Thatís a great survivor. Is the black roof factory? Would love to see the spid on this truck. I would keep it all original and just enjoy it
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:53 PM   #24
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Very nice truck.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:26 AM   #25
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Re: 68 Canadian GMC 920 4x4 Questions

Nice lookin' truck! Dig the roof lights. Yeah, an SPID pic would be welcome.
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