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Old 09-29-2018, 10:27 AM   #1
85square
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85 K10 Build

Hello from central NY. Long time viewer but never been much of a contributor on this site.

So to start off, in high school i bought my first truck, an 85 K10. I looked for a very long time to find one that fit my budget and was worth fixing up. Most of you probably know how bad our vehicles rust up here and how hard it is to find a decent older truck. Eventually i found a truck about 150 miles away down in the catskill mountains and struck a deal. The previous owners were a nice young couple who lived in PA and were interior designers. They bought the truck from an old man because they thought it would be "cute" to drive around. I ended up paying $2500 for it all said and done. It looked all original and had a 305/700r4/208. I got it home and ended up having to replace a head on the gutless 305, no big deal. I then drove it like that throughout the rest of high school. Right after i graduated i swapped out the 700r4 for an sm465, i just had to have a stick. I drove it like that for a while then other things got in the way and its been on the back burner ever since. The good news is i always put it away in the winter so i didn't have to drive it in the salt and i got a daily driver.

While in college i bought a duramax and just finished building that up the way i wanted so I'm hoping i can make my square more of a priority now. This might not be the most active or exciting build as I'm still on a college budget, but i will try my best to keep it updated for whoever follows along or checks in. Im building this to be a good, fun driver, not a show truck by any means.

Below ill add pictures of how it was when i bought it, how it sits now, and the parts I've accumulated for the build throughout the years.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Here's how it was the day i bought it.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:52 AM   #3
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Re: 85 K10 Build

When i got it home.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:57 AM   #4
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Re: 85 K10 Build

How it sits now. The only things I did to it besides regular maintenance was headers/duals, sm465 swap, put 2" blocks in the back, and a set of 32x11.50 bfg.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:59 AM   #5
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Still figuring out photo sharing on here.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: 85 K10 Build

SM465 swap. 32 spline sm465 with a hydraulic clutch out of a late 80's blazer.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: 85 K10 Build

So that brings me to where i am today. The truck looks pretty good but there is some rust. One cab corner has a small bubble, the inner fenders have rust, and the drivers side floor is pretty bad. No big deal, still a nice truck for NY and definitely workable. My plans are to build a chassis for it, then do the body work, then just place the body on my freshly rebuild chassis.

A couple years back i bought a rolling 82 chassis from a guy not too far away. Looked really clean until i got it home and realized that it had previously cracked at the rear shock mount and was welded very poorly, causing the whole frame to sit crooked. Rookie mistake, but I've since learned that they like to crack at the shock mounts and sometimes at the gear box. I only paid $200 for the chassis and I'm going to be using the 8 lug axles so it wasn't a huge deal. The rear end is a 14 bolt FF and i believe the front is a heavy duty 10 bolt. I could be wrong.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:27 AM   #8
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Re: 85 K10 Build

So this past week i lucked out and found an extremely nice guy, not much older than me 20 miles away selling a 78 k10 chassis. The frame is about as good as it gets for upstate NY. No rot, no cracks, just some rust scale that will be fixed with a little blasting.

My plans with this project are to strip the new chassis, get the frame blasted, paint it, and then put my 8 lug axles under it with a 4" lift. I plan to go through both axles before putting them in. After that ill finish the rest of the chassis and put the driveline in.

I still haven't decided on a driveline yet. I know I'm going to keep running my sm465 but i would like to find a 32 spline 205 tcase. Im not sure why, because i don't offroad really, i just like having the most heavy duty/bulletproof option possible. Ill probably end up sticking with my 208 because 32 spline 205s are hard to find around here and expensive when you do find one.

For an engine i haven't decided yet. I bought a 350 last year for the project but haven't decided which direction i want to go. Im thinking 383 stroker.
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Old 09-29-2018, 12:04 PM   #9
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Nice plan for truck.
I'm subbed for the build.
That 208 will probably be your best bet since you said you don't go off-road much.
I would really look at Stainless Steel brake lines for your build.
I put a complete set on a 78 chevy 4wd I built years ago.
They really looked good against the painted frame
(not that anybody ever looked at them)
also the piece of mind knowing all
the spliced lines from the PO's were gone.
I had 14 bolt FF also.
Will your put Disc on the Rear?
I always wanted to but never did.
The drum brakes work fine with no issues thou.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:50 PM   #10
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Well my build fell on the back burner once again and I havenít touched it in about a year but Iíve really got the itch again to build it so Iíve been collecting parts and started tearing into it the past couple weeks.

Hereís the chassis that will be stripped down and blasted as soon as the bipolar upstate NY weather permits. This is a very clean chassis for my area.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:51 PM   #11
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Sorry about the sideways photos, Iím posting from my iPhone and donít think I can rotate them on here.
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:00 PM   #12
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Re: 85 K10 Build

My first plan of action will be to drop the k20 axles from the other junk frame that I have. Iím going to replace all the ball joints, tie rod ends, and brakes then paint them up and get them ready for when the frame is done. I have a 4Ē spring lift being delivered in the next couple days so Iím installing a raised steering arm too.

Hereís the axles after I removed them. 14 bolt rear ends are definitely not light!
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:18 PM   #13
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A little success getting the steering arm off. I know these can be a pain but this one came off in about 20 minutes with a little heat.
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:46 PM   #14
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Re: 85 K10 Build

While cleaning the front end up I found out it was a Dana 44. I originally thought it was a mid 80s 10 bolt. The axles must be older than I thought, I think the last year of the GM Dana 44 was 78, someone correct me if Iím wrong.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:22 PM   #15
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Re: 85 K10 Build

I stopped posting here because it didn't seem like many people were following along, but if by some chance someone was watching i will post where I'm at now. Ive got pics throughout the whole build but it would probably take me a whole day to post them all.

I stripped the chassis down to a bare frame and had it sandblasted, then painted it with chassis saver. Installed the lift, got it rolling, then built a 406 SBC to drop in it. Most recently i put the cab on and am close to being ready for the rest of the body. I just have small odds and ends left.

Here are some pics of the engine my father and i built and how the truck sits now. If anyone is interested in seeing pictures of the whole build let me know and i can post a few each night.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:43 PM   #16
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Re: 85 K10 Build

I am still watching
Keep posting.
Everybody loves pictures.

That is going to be a Great Truck.













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Old 08-20-2020, 10:16 PM   #17
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Nice work. This is going to be a cool truck!
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Old 08-21-2020, 03:00 PM   #18
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Re: 85 K10 Build

You've done a ton of work. It takes awhile before most people get into your build and post comments. If you get your pictures on here and tell us the story, that will get us involved. We're all looking to see someone moving their project ahead.

Last edited by LT7A; 08-25-2020 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:43 PM   #19
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Well sense i know a few people are following along, ill post up to where i am today. I actually got the truck moving under its own power for the first time tonight.

I rebuilt the front axle with all new components, but i did not touch the gears. The steering arm is fun to get off! Here it is after cleaning it up and painting it.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:48 PM   #20
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Im not sure why i didn't take more pictures of the rear end, but i freshened up the 14 bolt with new seals and all new brakes. I decided to stay with drums for this.

Heres the only picture i have from disassembly. Whoever had this axle before me didn't put the spreader bar back in so i had to get a new one of those too.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:49 PM   #21
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Sorry about the sideways pics earlier, I think i figured it out now.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:57 PM   #22
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Heres where things started to get fun. I stripped the k10 chassis i had down to a bare frame and sent it to get sandblasted. As soon as i got it back i sprayed it with chassis saver. Luckily we had very good weather here that week.
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:01 PM   #23
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Nice Progress








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Old 08-24-2020, 10:08 PM   #24
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Re: 85 K10 Build

flip for ya.
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Views: 155
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Views: 153
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:52 AM   #25
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Re: 85 K10 Build

Good work! Now that the frame's ready, it's all forward progress.
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