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Old 12-12-2016, 06:16 PM   #1
CSHADES
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Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

this is a project that has been going on for about year. I have owned this truck since 1983. Since I have owned it I replaced the body once(1989) and had it repainted with new panels once(1992). It has been getting really bad in the last few years as far as rust and just falling apart.
So I had to make a decision to either replace the truck or fix it one more time. I had bought a different cab from a friend of mine to replace this one but had not been able to find a box for it. The cab I had purchased was ok but it had had some of the panels replaced already and I wasn't sure of the quality of work that had been performed. I knew after last plowing season that I was going to do something because it was coming unglued so bad that there was no way it would make it much longer. So I was on the look out for either a parts truck with a solid body or a good box. I wanted to stay with the round head light front. So I was at the local swap meet and I came across a 82 chevy 1/2 ton 2 whl drive from Georgia. It is pretty rust free and has no engine/trans.
So this is the story on redoing my old friend for the last time, any one interested? Here are pics of the truck before I start.
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Last edited by CSHADES; 12-12-2016 at 06:19 PM. Reason: added pics
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:24 PM   #2
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

here is a few more. It may not look to bad in these pics but believe me there really isn't much left. The patches had patches welded on them.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:26 PM   #3
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Plowing is always hard on trucks. Glad you saved it!!!
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:05 PM   #4
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Sweet truck. What are the specs on it? Salt is hell...
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:57 AM   #5
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Subscribed.
Looking to build a plow truck. I have bodies, just looking for that perfect chassis..
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

The truck is a K2500 GMC, 400 engine, 350 trans, a/c, sliding rear window. It did have power locks and cruise which I eliminated both this time. I have no real use of power anything on a plow truck. I knew it was really rusty but didn't understand how bad it was until I started taking it apart. I will post a few pics every day to show what I went through to make this thing as good as I could. My problem is, when I build any vehicle now I always want every thing as perfect as I can make it. I had to keep reminding my self of what it is and what I am going to do with it. So I will start with some disassembly pics and go from there. Any questions speak up.
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:35 AM   #7
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Are you keeping the old plow contols ?
If not I would be interested !!!!!
Thanx.....
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:08 AM   #8
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

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Originally Posted by ETKTRYD View Post
Are you keeping the old plow contols ?
If not I would be interested !!!!!
Thanx.....
Sorry but I would never give up my old style plow control. I buy every reasonable priced old style control that I see at the swap meet just so I have extra parts to keep repairing what I have.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Is it a Western? I found a place back in the Midwest that sells about every part and piece that you could need on my Meyer E47.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:31 PM   #10
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Super cool project! keep us posted!
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:34 PM   #11
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I have a 85 k30 chassis I need to do thing with. Idk if I want a bogger on 44's or a plow. Or get rid of...
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Just a teaser for tomorrow here is some pics of the frame under the donor body. if you look close you can see the factory stenciled lettering on the drivers side frame rail.
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Last edited by CSHADES; 12-13-2016 at 05:58 PM. Reason: rephrase sentence
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:27 AM   #13
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So on with the build. I bought this 82 chevy 1/2 ton 2 whl drive at the swap meet for a fair price, I couldn't believe it hadn't sold already. The guy I bought it from said everyone wanted to buy the box not the whole truck and he wasn't going to separate the parts.
So I got it home and started disassembly. It was a really solid with just a few rust spots. The sad part was the vent window posts were broken so water had been coming in and soaking the carpet. It was a good thing I got to it when I did. I got the carpet out of it and dried the floor out before anything else.
So here is some pics of the disassembled donor truck.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:54 AM   #14
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

As you can see in the above pics I put the cab on a rotisserie so I could work on the bottom in comfort. If you look at the last pic above you can see how bad the water from the broken vent window has invaded the floor pan. This was the first time I ever had a body with more rust on the inside floor pan than the outside.The rotisserie was one of my better tool purchases. this is the third vehicle I have had on it. If you have one you will wonder how you ever got along without it.
Here is a few more pics with more to come. I learned a lot with this build as far as what it takes to put a newer cab with the older front and frame as you will see in the future posts. Also as you can see the box doesn't have a fuel filler on the passenger side were as the plow truck has dual tanks so we are going to have to fix that also.
The one thing to keep in mind as I am doing this truck I actually am getting the new body ready to go on the plow truck before I disassemble the plow truck even though I showed you pics of the plow truck being disassembled I actually did all the body and paint work on the donor body first then tore the plow truck apart. This may not seem important at this point but I can tell you it actually caused some problems later which you will see and hear about.
Any questions so far?
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:26 AM   #15
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I've gotta question: can you do two posts a day? The suspense is killing me! I always want to know how the story ends, like did you get the truck on the road before you had that snow storm.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:36 AM   #16
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

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Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
I've gotta question: can you do two posts a day? The suspense is killing me! I always want to know how the story ends, like did you get the truck on the road before you had that snow storm.
I could, but that would take all of the fun out of doing this thread. I think you guys will be interested to see how it all comes out, pitfalls and all. Believe me when you are under a deadline to finish something it seems like any stupid thing that could slow you down does and you will see some stupid things happen here. The old 1 step forward and 2 back.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:35 AM   #17
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So with the cab mounted on the rotisserie we start repairing the bad spots that I found while looking at it. The most obvious spots are the one at the drivers side cab corner and the one on the top of the drivers side rocker. The one on the rocker must of had something laying on it and holding water. The strangest spot was the one at the bottom of the rear window. I didn't see it until I pulled the glass and rubber off. It didn't have anything that should have caused it to get rusty there, so my thought was it probably had the glass changed at one time and they scraped a bit of the paint off. Who knows.
So with rear window I had to figure out how I was going to repair it because of the tight bends in that section. so here is a few pics of the rusty spots and the repairs to them.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:28 AM   #18
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So to repair the rear window area I had to figure out if I was going to make a piece to repair it or find something similar to weld in. I have a couple of metal brakes but sometimes I can be lazy and look for better/faster way of doing something. The other thing that I had to figure out was the cowl area. The cab was a 82 and my front end is a 77 so the cowl is different with the hinge pockets. I did a lot of research on doing this swap before I actually did anything. Most of what I read on here and other places was just weld some metal over the top of the hinge holes and call it good. That bothered me for a few reasons, the main thing to me as I said at the beginning of this thread was I have problem with things not looking correct. So all that being said my options were to cut up my plow truck to get the cowl pieces and the rear window repair piece I needed or find another 73-80 parts truck. Guess what happened? I was on my way home one day and saw the neighbor had pulled one of his dads GMC/Chev trucks out of the woods and parked by the garage. I have known this family since I was about 12 and I knew the granddad had went into a nursing home and the grand daughter was living there. But everytime I went by there was never any one around. So one Saturday I was coming home from work and I saw the garage door was open and there was a loader tractor running around the property. So I stopped in and the son was moving dirt away from the wall of the garage next to the GMC truck. So I finally got his attention and told him I was interested in the truck for parts. I asked him what his plans were for it and he told me basically that he was going to pull the engine/trans out of it and scrap the rest. So I ended up making a deal that I would pull the engine/trans out for him if I could have the rest of the truck. I came back to town and grabbed the tow truck from the shop and picked up the truck that afternoon. I towed it home and was going to back it on to my hoist so I could disassemble it carefully and take my time. The problem with that plan was I jumped out of the tow truck to open my garage door and saw a couple of mice sticking their heads out of the rusty cab corners. So I decided I really didn't want that truck inside of the building. This was the middle of October 2015 which thankfully was a very nice weekend and I cut the whole truck up in 2 days and got it out of there. I sadly didn't take any pics of that truck because I was in such a hurry to get it gone. It was a 79 GMC heavy half.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:48 AM   #19
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So the 79 parts truck solved some issues for me without cutting up my plow truck before winter started last year. Had to make it through 2015/16 winter with the rusty patched truck.
I cut out the cowl pieces, rear window piece and the guess what? this parts truck the fuel filler was on the passenger side so that also solved the problem with the new body fuel filler pieces I needed.
I started cutting the cowl on the 82 cab to remove the hinge pockets and make it look like it was a 73-80 style cowl. What do you think? it was a few hours of work that most people will never see but it makes it look right in my IMO.
Any questions or comments?
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:10 PM   #20
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Nice work, looking really good!
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:37 PM   #21
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

That OCD can really cause a guy a lot of work. It is worth it in the end to know it is done right.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:26 PM   #22
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

C.S.Hades, thanks for bringing us in on the story. This'll be fun to watch.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:44 PM   #23
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Moving right along. it was time finally to start going forward with the body work. As most of you know square body trucks have a lot of closed areas and seams for all that nice salt and whatever else they decide to spread on the roads these days. So I decided I was going to do my best to stop or at least majorly slow down the process. So what I did was start by spraying the cab with an epoxy primer. I sprayed the bottom, outside and inside the cab. Then I seam sealed every seam, edge and made plates to close in the rear of the rockers. Then I poured por15 into every cab body crossmember, body mount and rocker. I kept rotating the body on the rotisserie until I had por15 running out any holes or any of the seams that were not completely sealed. It did make a bit of a mess on the shop floor but I wanted to make sure I had everything coated. I then used a product called Lizard skin on the floor under the cab and inside the cab. I had decided a while back that I wasn't going to run carpet or mats in this cab to hopefully keep the floors dry, even after getting in with wet boots I can just wipe the water up with a towel. The black is the lizard skin which is a ceramic product, there is a heat product and a sound product. I used both in this project and all of the other ones I have done.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:19 PM   #24
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Extra post for MTCK today. To move things along here are the pics from painting the cab and cab floors. After reviewing the pics it looks like I painted the outside before the floor Lizard skin pics, but you get the idea. I had the local NAPA store mix the paint. The colors are Holly green and buckskin. I think the green is a little bit darker than the original that was on the truck but I like it. It is a base coat-clear coat. The floors were recoated with epoxy over the Lizard skin then painted. I am hoping with all the seam sealer, epoxy primer and base and clear it will keep the rust devil at bay for a long time. Plus I always like the look of body color on the bottom of something, It looks like real effort was put in compared to just spraying it black. What do you think?
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:52 PM   #25
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Hahaha thanks! Great progress and I love the colors. That is going to look great when it's done and hopefully will last a long time. Are you going to do some sort of conduit for your interior wires? Might consider running them down the trans hump instead of tripping over them along the driver's door jamb?
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
2017 Yukon XL SLT
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