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Old 03-05-2017, 11:08 AM   #26
HunterRotten
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

When I say wrong, I mean WRONG. The shifter was all the way back where the bench seat goes. Luckily for us however, tremec has two other places where you can put the shifter at.

This took a lot of digging, it was super hard to locate this thing and it was stupid expensive.








It was pretty straight forward and the plate that covers the original shifter location has a little nub that holds the shift linkage in place so that you don't have to crack the transmission to take it out.

But after the few weeks of research.. it was time to test fit again with this new plate. I think we lifted that bare block in and out about three or four times doing these test fits.
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Old 03-05-2017, 11:11 AM   #27
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

Just in case anyone is wondering what bellhousing I am using, it is aluminum one off of the 3 speed my truck had from factory.

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Old 04-08-2017, 09:52 PM   #28
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

Annnd.. I'm back. I haven't updated for awhile but I'm still progressing on the truck with my dad and have a lot to catch up on!!

Later that weekend we got the Tremec mounted up behind that heavy bare block to see where the new mid mount lined up. It still was off from the hole we cut from the HM290(NV3500) transmission swap we had done previously but in a much better location over all.

We felt pretty stupid for having thrown away the sheet metal we cut out for the other 5 speed we swapped in. That's a lesson we've learned on this project, don't throw things away until you're WAAAAY finished. If you throw it away you'll need it!


You might also notice that now the shift arm is a little close to the dash, my dad made an adapter for it and solved that problem. If anyone has a more appropriate shifter they know about, let me know.. I'm open for change.






Last edited by HunterRotten; 04-10-2017 at 06:08 PM. Reason: added more information
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:59 PM   #29
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

The next thing I did was take apart the core support and took a better look at the rust that was below the battery box tray. This thing was too solid to throw away and too rusty to use in that corner so I primed it and shoved it in the basement for later.

I took lots of photos of the disassembly as there's a lot of bolts that go in this big puzzle.



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Old 04-08-2017, 10:08 PM   #30
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

We spent a few weeks looking for a welder that I could afford and chewing on the idea of repairing the truck cab ourselves. While the downtime happened I occasionally searched on craigslist and ebay for parts. I found some really cool stuff and got some really good deals.

I bought my first NOS part(s) which were two Sierra 15 badges. I'm still kind of stoked about these things!


The other cool thing I picked up was something I had found on craigslist for $90 or so if I recall correctly. I didn't even know they existed at the time. It has some damage I still don't know how to repair, my dad and I are worried about poking holes into the thin aluminum. Someone had put screws into it that were too big and started to poke through the aluminum material.


The same guy sold me some dark blue later 80's belts that were take offs. They don't have any sign of wear and I'm excited about them as well.. I just wish I knew how to dye them to the lighter medium blue.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:14 PM   #31
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

After weeks of searching, we finally got word about a welder that had been doing it for a pretty long time and was really reasonable on his pricing. (More than reasonable, he was cheap!)

My dad, a couple of family members, and myself got the cab ready to lift off of the chassis and made a dolly out of cheap treated wood posts. It was a little tip happy because of the firewall weight so we had to adjust the front wheels at a later date.

If we could do it differently I think we would go with two casters that didn't spin around, the thing rolled around so easily and went whatever direction it wanted that it requires two people to move.







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Old 04-08-2017, 10:21 PM   #32
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

The guy who was welding up the patch panels on the cab let us borrow a trailer he was borrowing, so that was pretty cool. We got the cab back pretty quick and he did what was asked and did a pretty good job.











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Old 04-08-2017, 10:48 PM   #33
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

I feel like there's so much small things lost while I'm playing catch up, so that's why I'm trying to get to the present - So I can post things as they happen.

After we brought the cab back we flipped it up on it's back on some foam we had laying around. I had decided that I wanted to get the underside of the cab done in raptor liner for sound deadening, rust prevention, and insulation.


Remember earlier when I mentioned that we were chewing on the idea of welding ourselves? Well.. I let my dad go as far as buying a mig machine. He had been practicing and I'm glad he did. At the time I couldn't afford the welder again, he was cheap but I'm also not Mr. Moneybags.

I was pretty impressed and I still am that he was able to do it given the little experience. The welds don't look great but I was happy to not have big rust holes anymore. I expect a lot of criticism on this part but you do what you can with what you got.. atleast nobody could see it, right? My truck sits pretty low.

This was all located on the driverside rocker panel.








Same story for the passenger side but not as bad.






And with the work of editing magic, the undercoat was gone. It took multiple weekends of me going out there with a gasket scraper and going to town. I learned the hard way not to reactivate the stuff with chemicals. It turns into an absolute sticky mess and doesn't want to come off.




Last edited by HunterRotten; 04-09-2017 at 06:59 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:28 PM   #34
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

Truck project is looking good. Don't worry about the welding. Gotter dunnn. Back in the day, that is how they were all done. I will be following along on your progress.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:13 PM   #35
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

I am in for the build on this one. Looks great. Nice work.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:07 PM   #36
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

Mooooooore rust. I was surprised it the rust was this bad on the passenger side fender. I spent some bucks getting the passenger side fender repaired and later learned that the body shop didn't like them enough.

Regardless, I'm keeping them since my dad is so adamant he will have a truck when mine is done.






I guess I also liked my dads welding enough to let him butcher my doors, but hey rust free is rust free and his welding improves A LOT as he installs patch panels.

The magnet in the pictures we pulled out of an old hard drive, that thing is strong and will hold up 500% of it's weight.











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Old 04-09-2017, 07:17 PM   #37
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

While my dad was working on the doors I was at the bottom of the driveway cleaning up some core support parts. We found a really cool private yard that had lots of squarebody trucks. I managed to find a late 70's truck with the inside hood release setup. I thought I would share these pictures to help show the difference between them.







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Old 04-09-2017, 07:21 PM   #38
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

What I was afraid would happen is happening, I'm missing pictures in my file and things are getting out of order.. here's hoping to I'll catch up soon. Something I do remember however is how bad I wanted a rear sliding window. I really wanted the original aluminum framed ones but I just could not get ahold of one and ended up buying a brand new one from C.R Laurence. The part number was TSW850S and it was like $150 from amazon. It'll work better than any 40 year old unit I got somewhere else so it has that going for it.

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Old 04-09-2017, 07:32 PM   #39
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

Now that we are back from that little detour of core supports, hood latches, and rear windows.. back to door butchery and repair.(?) I had to leave the area for a few hours at a time, I was not a fan of cutting the door open.





















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Old 04-09-2017, 07:43 PM   #40
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

I was really pushing to get the cab to the body shop and stressing over it a little bit. I tried to get everything done that I could possibly think of before sending the cab in. Some of the few goodies I got included vintage air and those cool 6x9 cab corner speaker brackets off of the forum classifieds.

I opted to send the speaker brackets and the vintage air stuff in to the bodyshop for paint with the rest of the cab.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=345494




I didn't take too many pictures of the vintage air system, it was actually a really annoying process to get it mounted up to the truck cab. There was an excessive amount of slotting to do on the brackets. We went in after watching videos thinking it was going to be very straight forward but it was not so easy nor that fun.




Last edited by HunterRotten; 04-09-2017 at 08:22 PM. Reason: relevant photo found
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:58 PM   #41
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

Wow. I feel like there's a lot of missed content but I suppose it was getting cold and we stopped working on the truck as much as holidays are always busy. I know there are some missed things but it's been long enough to where it's hard for me to recall. (That's why I started the thread.)

Before we all know it, the cab is being loaded up on a borrowed trailer and is being shipped off to the body shop where it still is to this very day. I'm going to share a photo of present day what it looks like as I don't get to see the cab much in our busy schedule.









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Old 04-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #42
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

The next thing to tackle was the bed. We thought the bed was going to be in great shape, it looked to be in great shape. I made jokes after I saw the hidden mess in the doors about hidden holes in the bedside and floor AND BOY WAS I RIGHT whether I wanted to be or not.

We had known there was an issue on the bottom left side of the bed, there was bondo and fiberglass there. We just didn't know how bad, the answer is pretty bad.

It all started on a Friday where I was bored and started poking.









But wait, there's more!







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Old 04-09-2017, 08:27 PM   #43
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD
I also learned just how messy bondo can be in an enclosed garage in the middle of winter..

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Old 04-09-2017, 11:25 PM   #44
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

Ouch, been there, still doing that.

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Old 04-10-2017, 06:19 PM   #45
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

I think I'm going to post all of the problems we found with the bed in stages and then show the repair process.

I'm sure most of you all know what brazing is, I had never heard of the process before and never want to see it done on body work ever again. My bedrails were a bondo mess.. what was it hiding? Brass. Lots of brass. From what I can tell, I guess bondo does not like brazing. While my dad was focused on the bedfloor I took the angle grinder and ground off what I could from both bedsides. The dust was EVERYWHERE!


My guess is the top of the bedside was beat and they drilled holes for the brass to set into in each dent and went to town.. this was a night mare. I discovered them by picking at some bubbles on the bedrails. Stress followed.


















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Old 04-10-2017, 06:26 PM   #46
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

So.. after the holes in the bedfloor and all the bondo on the bed I was getting pretty skeptical about my bedsides. It looked like the bondo from the top of the bedrail was feathered out pretty far on the driver side so I had my dad go savage on it with the angle grinder.

It looked like the truck had been ran into or ran into something and then someone beat it out with a hammer and used the bodyfiller to smooth it. It was pretty beat up and warped. After some long discussion and looking a few times we found the filler held moisture and it would be easier to replace the piece.

We taped them off and measured to try and see if I could get a hold of some OE sheet metal instead of patch panels but didn't have any luck.











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Old 04-10-2017, 06:34 PM   #47
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

I guess now is the time to share how we attacked these issues, I had gotten in contact with a forum member here on 67-72 named KrazyRay. He cut up some bed patch pieces for me and had them at my door very quickly. They weren't pristine NOS by any means but they didn't have holes and were solid.

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Old 04-10-2017, 06:42 PM   #48
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

With our new Californian steel, I let my dad have a go at the bed floor as soon as Saturday morning came around.




It was pretty bad! The repair was made by screwing in some sheet aluminum and then applying bondo/fiberglass on top. To make it worse the aluminum was painted black on the underside of the truck so it was hard to tell.

I know everyone says that these trucks aren't perfect from factory and never were, but I didn't realize there was such a huge difference in sheet metal stamping. The bedfloor patches we received were great but they just didn't line up great. The "ribs" on the floor were either wider than mine or thinner. My dad did a pretty good job with what he had but there was some significant differences in size.

I didn't have much to do during this stage of the truck project. After I had the brazing figured out, there wasn't a whole lot for me to do but wait and watch.














Last edited by HunterRotten; 04-10-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:49 PM   #49
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

So while dad was doing that I was doing two things.. looking for patch panels big enough to repair the bedside and working on the brazing. I attacked the brazing with the dremel tool, doing my best not to damage anything I didn't have to. I'd locate the hole they drilled through the bedside and circle it for my dad to come by later and drill it out.












After I did my best of removing all the excess brazing I had my dad come over and tack the holes up and grind them down smooth. The bedsides aren't straight anymore after all the bondo was removed but at least the brazing was gone to the best of my ability. When it was all said and done there was over 20 holes on both sides.





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Old 04-10-2017, 06:57 PM   #50
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Re: The Hawaiian Blue 1978 GMC.

HUNTER'S 1978 GMC C15 SIERRA BUILD THREAD

Remember how I said I was also looking for patch panels online? Well I found one big enough from a company called Key Parts. The cool thing about them is that Jegs was a vendor and I got free shipping.. once you see how big this delivery was it's hard to believe it was free!!

I picked up the driver side bed patch, two wheel tubs for the front clip, and chrome vent shades for the doors that were at the body shop.



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