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Old 09-23-2009, 07:38 PM   #1
Number21
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70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

As I understand it they kept the square body on the 1 ton trucks until 1991, right? I'm curious what the differences and upgrades might be between the 73-80 style truck and a 1991 model? Did the frame ever change?

I'm starting to restore my '79 1 ton, but I'm thinking I might be better off starting with the newest one I can find. I know people like to swap the early 90s front end onto the older trucks, but I prefer the 73-80 body style. Would it be just as easy to swap an old front end onto the newer truck?
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
Robert1970C20rstbukt
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

The only big differences(to me) other than obvious body and grille changes in the newer trucks is in 1985 GM started using a hydraulic slave clutch instead of the mechanical linkage used on 1973-1984, and in 1987 TBI(throttle body injection) came out and replaced carburetors. I don't believe the frame itself changed, just different length wheelbases.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

It really depends on what your goals and priorities are. If you can find a clean late model 1 ton you might save a lot of time and money.

You will need the entire front clip, core support, and frame horns to do the 73-80 conversion.

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Old 09-23-2009, 10:58 PM   #4
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

Older one tons are cooler; but the newer models feature extended cabs..... which are nice for families.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:02 PM   #5
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

While GM continued to make 4 door square body trucks until 91 the 1988 model year was the last year for 2 door square body pickups and this was in 4 wheel drive only.


Here is a pic of my 1988 V30 2 door regular cab pickup built in May 1988.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:38 AM   #6
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

also got the 4l80e on the last year
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:06 AM   #7
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooley View Post
While GM continued to make 4 door square body trucks until 91 the 1988 model year was the last year for 2 door square body pickups and this was in 4 wheel drive only.
Ahhh...poop. I was hoping I could find a 2 door 2WD '91 on craigslist. Just hoping for something that hasn't been sitting out in a field for quite as long as mine has. My '79 is still a pretty good starter for a restoration though. I plan on buying a few more old junkers and parting them out to get everything I want...
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:53 AM   #8
Keith Seymore
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooley View Post
While GM continued to make 4 door square body trucks until 91 the 1988 model year was the last year for 2 door square body pickups and this was in 4 wheel drive only.


Here is a pic of my 1988 V30 2 door regular cab pickup built in May 1988.

Dooley - is your truck VIN'd and registered as a 1988 model year vehicle? Does it have 1988 (or 1987) model year literature in the glove box?

I thought 1987 was the last model year for 2 door R/V pickups.

Everybody - there were no (significant) frame changes between '73 and '91 for the C/K/R/V models, btw.

K
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:42 AM   #9
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

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Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Dooley - is your truck VIN'd and registered as a 1988 model year vehicle? Does it have 1988 (or 1987) model year literature in the glove box?

I thought 1987 was the last model year for 2 door R/V pickups.

Everybody - there were no (significant) frame changes between '73 and '91 for the C/K/R/V models, btw.

K
My 1988 V30 2 dr regular cab pickup is just that, a 1988 V30. It has 1988 in the Vin, in the glovebox, on the title, on the build tag, on the EPA sticker, and the door id. It was built in May 1988 and is mentioned in the 1988 R/V model literature.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:30 AM   #10
Keith Seymore
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

Ah - I think it's coming back to me now.

Maybe the breakpoint was not 2 door vs 4 door, but the last 1/2 or 1/2 and 3/4 tons were in '87 and we continued the "heavy duty" R/V trucks into 1988.

It's all a bit fuzzy. That was 20 years ago!

K
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:03 AM   #11
Dooley
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Ah - I think it's coming back to me now.

Maybe the breakpoint was not 2 door vs 4 door, but the last 1/2 or 1/2 and 3/4 tons were in '87 and we continued the "heavy duty" R/V trucks into 1988.

It's all a bit fuzzy. That was 20 years ago!

K
My truck was built in Janesville. Here's a page from 1988 GMC R/V literature. It mentions the V series regular cab and that 4x4 and dual rear wheels were standard.
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Last edited by Dooley; 09-28-2009 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:23 AM   #12
Keith Seymore
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Re: 70's 1 ton VS early 90s 1 ton trucks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooley View Post
My truck was built in Janesville. Here's a page from 1988 GMC R/V literature. It mentions the V series regular cab and that 4x4 and dual rear wheels were standard.

Thanks. I remember now. It was the dual wheels that was significant.

So - '87 was the last year for R/V two door pickups with the exception of dual wheeled vehicles (GMT400 "LD" pickups introduced in 1988). The R/V Suburban and Blazer, and 4 door pickups carried on through '91 with the GMT400 versions being introduced in 1992.

Makes sense (...well, not really...).

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