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Old 12-19-2016, 11:10 AM   #26
CSHADES
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So moving along to the box. As I said before the plow truck has dual tanks and the new box only had a tank on the drivers side. I called around a couple of junk yards to see if anyone had a box that I could get the filler door I needed but all of them told me that they had scrapped all of that old stuff. So I lucked out with the acquiring of the 79 parts truck because it had the filler door on the right side. I just cut a big area out of the box around the filler door area and then trimmed as needed to install it in the new box. I measured it about 5 times before I started cutting, it came out good. I welded in the new door, hammering and pulling as necessary to keep it as flat as possible. I painted and seam sealed the back of the panel and skim coated the outside, primed and painted.
I started on the doors after that, cleaning all the edges and welding the holes shut from the little mirrors that were on the truck. I drilled the mount holes for the bigger mirrors that came with the 77. Epoxy primed, primed, sanded, sanded some more and then finally painted.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:26 AM   #27
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Here are some pics with the paint on the box.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:29 AM   #28
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

here is some of one of the doors. Any questions or comments?
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:40 AM   #29
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Looking great. Do you plow commercially or just your own stuff? What year did the gas fillers get doors? I recall my '77 didn't have them.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:06 PM   #30
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I only plow my business property downtown which is 2 parking lots and front door areas, my driveway at home and a couple of the neighbors driveways which are more like roads back into the woods. I did at one time plow commercially, I would spend up to 19 hours in this truck at times. I finally had enough of that about 16 years ago and got rid of all my accounts.
As far as the fuel filler doors, the 77 had the fuel caps without doors, when we redid the truck in 92 the new box sides only came with filler doors. The 82 also had filler doors so I just stayed with that. It actually was interesting to get all of the pieces together for the right side filler necks, hoses and vent tubes. Everything was a different size, so I ended up making an adapter from exhaust tubing to get the 79 filler neck to work with the 77 90 degree filler hose on the tank. I used everything on the left side fuel system from the 82 so all that worked without any adapting.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:00 PM   #31
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Super nice work!!! How many miles on the truck? Sounds like it has earned its keep!
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:44 PM   #32
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I don't know how many miles are on the truck at this point because of the body swap back in 1989 and I have replaced the speedo once or twice since then because of noise etc. Plus when you are plowing a lot of the miles are in reverse which actually takes miles off the odometer. The engine, trans and transfer case have all been rebuilt at one time or another. I have never done anything with the differentials. The front axle shafts and u-joints have been replaced a few times. I just keep fixing what goes wrong. I have bought other trucks in the past to replace this one, but I always go back to this truck. I know its faults and I know what it will and wont do in most situations. Its like that old pair of comfy shoes that you just cant part with.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:56 PM   #33
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

That's pretty cool! In a modern day of disposable everything it's nice to see old vehicles being used well and fixed up as needed. This certainly will be one nice plot truck! I get a lot of compliments on my rusty old 83 3/4 ton people just love that it's still in use.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #34
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

OK so next up. I don't know how many of you guys have had one of these trucks completely apart, but I can tell you they take up a lot of room. So I decided next on the agenda was to get the frame done and get the drivetrain back in the frame so it wasn't spread all over the shop floor. I believe that I sandblasted and painted the frame in mid june. I usually have a sandblast party in October every year but this was a special situation that I wanted done asap. I can tell you sandblasting in the summer time is no picnic.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:40 AM   #35
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So after sandblasting I used KBS coatings on the frame. It is like POR15. I blasted the frame, treated with their rustblaster and brushed the coatings on. When everything was dry after about a week, I bent new copper/nickel lines for the fuel and brake systems. I also replaced all of the engine/trans mounts with energy suspension poly mounts. I replaced all of the rubber hoses on the brake and fuel systems. I also replaced the shocks while I was at it. I had replaced the springs on all 4 corners about 10 years ago, everything looked good there so I left well enough alone. I also bent up new heat shields for the fuel valve, exhaust pipe passenger side and the fuel hose shield on the drivers side from 16 gauge stainless steel with stainless bolts holding them on. I used all stainless clamps and bolts on the lines so hopefully nothing gets crusty again.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:37 AM   #36
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

After sandblasting and painting the frame. I reassembled the drivetrain in the frame as stated above. The thing I hate worse than the parts all over the shop, is having to push a project around by hand. So I decided my next step before I painted anything else was to reassemble the truck enough that it could be moved around under its own power.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:59 AM   #37
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I had put the glass in the body before putting the cab back on the frame. That way I could do it on the ground without working on a ladder and working around the engine. I am very glad I did it that way. The new rubber is a hand full to get and keep in place before you install the glass. Then I had to figure out how to put in the windshield and rear window lock strips. I searched on this site and found enough info that I got it handled with just a bit of swearing and fighting. I also want to mention the body mounts. I got new energy suspension poly body mounts(I used the mounts for a 1977). I looked every where for rubber ones but had no luck finding them. I also had to rebuild some of the really rusty washer/spacers for the mounts. I used 1/2 inch pipe and welded them into the washer after blasting all the pieces. I painted everything and greased everything as I was putting it together. I also want to mention the difference in the box mounting from a 77 to a 82. The only problem I ran into was the 2nd bolt hole on the drivers side was in different spot. I drilled the frame to match the box and everything bolted down nicely. I also wanted to say that I used the wiring from the 82 cab. I usually always install a new wiring harness in any project that I am doing but this one looked perfect and used ATO fuses instead of the glass fuses and worn out wiring that was in the 77. The box went on nicely with the help of my hoist. I just used a block of wood and rags to cushion it. It balanced perfectly and I just backed the truck under the box and set it down. I was a little nervous doing it on my own for fear of the box tipping off the hoist but it stayed exactly where I put it. Any questions so far?
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:03 AM   #38
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

If you need/want any NEW body harnesses, lemme know! I've got most of what you'll need to install-I currently don't have dash harnesses available but I have everything else.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:05 AM   #39
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I also wanted to say that it is interesting to move a truck around while sitting on the floor. The seats were out to the upholstery guy getting redone. It wasn't to bad moving the truck around without the doors, but after putting the doors back on, it was much more difficult to see where I was going backing into the shop. It was also interesting without the box on the rear and high idle kicking in. Believe me these trucks do great burnouts with no effort not having weight on the rear.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:12 AM   #40
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

What does a harness cost? We redid a guys 85 in the shop that brought us a Painless kit. I wasn't really impressed with the gauge of wire and some of the circuits that were lacking and we had to make up. It also didn't have any of the factory style connectors with it. Somebody else had tried to wire his truck and had thrown away all of the factory harness so we had really nothing at that point. Luckily I was working on my truck at the time so we used some of my old connectors to finish his wiring. I usually use Ron Francis wiring kits for the hot rod wiring jobs we do in the shop. The Francis' kits are also pretty generic.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:55 PM   #41
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSHADES View Post
What does a harness cost? We redid a guys 85 in the shop that brought us a Painless kit. I wasn't really impressed with the gauge of wire and some of the circuits that were lacking and we had to make up. It also didn't have any of the factory style connectors with it. Somebody else had tried to wire his truck and had thrown away all of the factory harness so we had really nothing at that point. Luckily I was working on my truck at the time so we used some of my old connectors to finish his wiring. I usually use Ron Francis wiring kits for the hot rod wiring jobs we do in the shop. The Francis' kits are also pretty generic.


I understand exactly where you're coming from-I build my harnesses as complete plug n play as close to GM as you can find. I also incorporate later model features nobody else offers. I spend a lot of time sourcing OEM/NOs obsolete terminals and connectors as well as maintain a pretty healthy inventory of electrical parts in general. Engine harnesses for example typically run $169, climate control harness (2 sections-underdash to firewall and firewall to compressor) are $139 and $39 to give you an idea.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:06 PM   #42
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmachinz View Post
I understand exactly where you're coming from-I build my harnesses as complete plug n play as close to GM as you can find. I also incorporate later model features nobody else offers. I spend a lot of time sourcing OEM/NOs obsolete terminals and connectors as well as maintain a pretty healthy inventory of electrical parts in general. Engine harnesses for example typically run $169, climate control harness (2 sections-underdash to firewall and firewall to compressor) are $139 and $39 to give you an idea.
I will keep you in mind the next time we have one come through the door that needs wiring. What else are you adding to update the harness?
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:12 AM   #43
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

After getting the truck running and moving under its own power I decided to work on some of the odd little details that needed to be done. I also wanted to get some more of the parts out of the way. I started with the wheels. I sandblasted them when I was doing the frame as you can see in previous pics. I didn't remove the left rear wheel from the truck for blasting because that wheel was bent a little when I changed over from 16.5 wheels to 16 wheels back in the 90's. The left rear was the only used wheel I put on the truck. So I had gotten some other used wheels from my brother. I blasted the best looking one out of the 4 he gave me and painted all the 3 straight ones and the one from him. Got them mounted and balanced and wouldn't you know it the one I used from him was bent. So right now the bent one will stay on the truck until I can find a straight wheel top replace it. I also worked on the rear bumper, I wanted to replace this one with a new one but everything I looked at seemed to be Taiwan chrome step bumpers. We all know how long Taiwan chrome holds up to salt don't we? So I cut the top plate off the old bumper, used it for a pattern for a new plate and had the local steel place bend the back edge for me. I don't have pics of the redone bumper right now but I will get them on here at the end. I also wanted to get the center hump in the cab done so I could get the inside of the cab finished with the plow controls and everything else that goes around the center hump. Just so any one that is looking to do this type of cab swap the center hump from a 73-80 4x4 is different than the one from 81-87. I was planning on using the one out of my original truck(copper colored one) but that didn't work out. Luckily I had saved the one out of the cab that I had purchased from my friend that I had talked about in my first post on this truck. I had sold that cab right after I had bought this cab. The center hump that I used needed some work because it must of been in a 4 speed truck originally and some one had used blue silicone to glue a piece of sheetmetal over the hole. The shift hole for a 81-87 shifter was also in a different position than the 77 shifter was, so I ended up welding metal into that hole and cutting a new shifter hole. So hopefully this info helps someone who is looking at doing this type of swap. Any questions so far?
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:42 PM   #44
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Next it is on to the front fenders. I had put brand new GM fenders and doors on this truck back when we repainted it in 1992. I thought about buying new fenders for it this time but all that seemed to show up with searching was Taiwan fenders. When we redid the truck in 92 I had used Taiwan box sides, rockers and cab corners. The parts that looked the best after the last 24 years of abuse was the GM parts. I had looked at some used fenders at the swap meets over the summer, but everything I saw was either about the same as what I had or banged up and still needing body work. So I decided to repair the ones that were on the truck. What do you think?
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Old 12-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #45
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I think it looks like a lot of work but will be nicer than the imported stuff available when it's done.
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1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
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Old 12-23-2016, 04:24 PM   #46
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

I had a hell of a time trying to find an NOS RH fender for 81-up that wasn't gonna hit on shipping as much as the damn fender itself so I found a mostly rust free one-it has a little rot on the inner brace area but I planned to use the Taiwan fender for patches anyway so I could salvage an otherwise super nice GM fender....sad days that GM fenders are pretty much dried up.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:54 AM   #47
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So after working on the rusty fenders for a few nights, I got to work one morning and I am whining to my brother how much I hate repairing rust. He is a craigslist junkie. He tells me there is always some southern used fenders on craigslist, so I go on craigslist and there they are. 2 brand new old stock GM fenders in the box. They are not cheap at $300 a piece, but I am at this point really fed up with repairing rust and also stripping old paint. So the fenders are about a hour away so I got my gf to run the office and I went and bought them on Fri. I scuffed them, primed and painted them that weekend. Good deal right? Not so fast, take a guess what happens next? Stay tuned because you are not going to believe it, I didn't at first.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:01 AM   #48
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

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Old 12-28-2016, 10:03 AM   #49
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

So I paint the fenders and while I am at it I decided to finish sand and paint the tailgate. I wanted it on the truck and out of the way. So the fenders and the tail gate are hanging on my hoist after being painted. I run a tap through all the mount holes on the tail gate and put the truninons and latches on. I put the tail gate on the truck. Then I bumped the hoist arm and the left fender falls off the hoist and on the floor, taking the 1 inch square tube it was hanging on with it. The tube lands on the fender and dents it and the back bottom fender is bent from where it landed on the floor. So I got to repair some dents and repaint the buckskin part of the fender. I told you there was going to be some pitfalls. Yes I do know the tail gate is chevy but I have a nice GMC trim band to cover it up.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:42 AM   #50
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Re: Rebuilding my 1977 plow truck

Aww damn...that sucks! I was painting an SS Monte once and a freakin Jurassic age mosquito decided to land on my clear just as I passed over him!! Luckily tho I already laid 2 clear coats down prior so I was able to color sand him 100% out of it! Sometimes **** just happens.
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