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Old 10-24-2009, 11:32 AM   #1
OKGMC4
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Yet another GMC build

I've been reading on here for 10 months now but only now registered because I have to say there's tons of inspiration and great ideas on this board. I'd like to share some of my 56' GMC ideas and get feedback.

First of all, I am extremely cheap so I try to find ways to get that great end result without blowing the bank...frankly I don't have it to spend. I appreciate 100K show trucks but could never build one.

That being said I got my 56 last December for $500, 99% rust free, 90% complete, and with a current title and black tag. Still floored about that! It was disassembled and had been sitting for 9 years in a back yard. It took one trailer and two bed loads to get all the parts home. I already had some suspension and engine parts I wanted to use from a failed Chevelle attempt that my heart was never in, so I felt ahead of the game plan.

Pics from the first day make it look rough but it's more solid than it looks. Cab corners, floors, cowl... they are all good. Half the truck lived on my back porch for a couple months
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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Re: Yet another GMC build

OK so I already had a C4 front and rear end and to me, how else can you get a light IRS, light IFS, rack steering, and four wheel disc brakes for $2000? Not by using Fatman or Baer, that's fo sho!

The hardest part was removing the I beam front and 12 bolt rear. You can carry the Vette stuff by yourself all day long but the stock stuff is heavy. I've seen the Progressive Automotive kits but can't see spending all the cash on brackets I can make myself so I did it with lots of measuring and careful planning. BTW, I moved the front axle centerline forward to make the front and rear set equal in the fender wells.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Nice find.
Looks like you are off to a good start,and for a nice price tag.
What are your plans for motor and trans?
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: Yet another GMC build

welcome aboard. good lookin truck, and a great price.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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Re: Yet another GMC build

I also had an 01' 5.3l I got for $1200 complete with wiring and tranny. Not a barn stormer but great reliable engine with EFI and overdrive that should push this pickup around quite nicely. If you look athe engine close I am using a set of 99 Vette exhaust manifolds. They look and flow better than the cast iron parts , are stainless so I can polish them later if I like, and only cost $50 Try getting shorty headers for that! Started making an engine cover for it. I always like how LT1 engines had that strip of aluminum up the center. May not use it but it's a start.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Re: Yet another GMC build

love those vette headers, don't know where to get another set do you?
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:00 PM   #7
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Re: Yet another GMC build

The dash has to be something interesting. I just know I'll spend lots of time looking at it in the future. I also know how so many people really hate the GMC dash vs. the Chevy. In this respect I have to give credit to CAL58's dash. I also hated the inserts for the jimmy dash and his truck pushed me in a different direction. I elected to smooth the dash completely but I had my father-in-law the CNC operator make a gauge insert for me so I would have something really different. He also made the floor mount and column drop for me. Great to have friends! The column is a modified GM tilt. When you take all the crap off and replace the bottom body with an appropriate piece of exhaust tubing it looks just like an IDIDIT but for about $25 rather than $400. It's going to be body colored just like the rest of the interior.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Yet another GMC build

"love those vette headers, don't know where to get another set do you?"

Ebay is your friend! That's where I got mine. The wheels too. I picked up a set of 99 Vette' wheels for $150. They were the painted variety that nobody wants and they practically give them away. Several hours of stripping, sanding, and polishing plus a set of chrome center caps for $100 (from Ebay!) and I now have 17" and 18" rims for $250. I think the squared spokes will look tough on a truck. The spacing was WAY off for the C4 suspension, but when you know a CNC guy wheel spacers are no big deal.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Good Choice for IFS, Keep up the good work.............
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Lately I've been on little projects. Skipping around kind of sucks but it keeps you from getting frustrated with one particular part. I rounded the bed corners with a U bent exhaust piece and I'm also working on the insert for the hood grill. Mine will be a hybrid front end with a 56' Chevy billet grill insert and park lights but I want to retain the GMC hood so I'm making a matching insert. Thinking of pancaking the hood but not sure. I have one bedside straight and about 75% of the cab bodywork done now. I decided to smooth and fill the cowl area last week so that's a setback, but a nice one. I don't want to paint anything until I can sucessfully call the bodywork done and the body assembled and gap checked. Too many times I've painted a part and then had to drill that "one extra hole" that I missed. I don't have anymore great pics, just some so-so ones. I'm going to try and get some better pics of the rear with the under bed tank now that bed is off for a spell and post them later. Thanks to everyone. If I can be of some help with your own project, just ask.
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:49 PM   #11
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Re: Yet another GMC build

OK...little better pic of the rear suspension. It's a mostly bolt in affair with no frame cutting. More extensive work could get the truck lower but I know the truck will traverse speed bumps some day and I have no plans whatsoever for air bags (more money) so it has to be liveable. No coilovers here. It was simple math ($$$) that made me retain the transverse spring and Monroe shocks. The pinion brace is out at the moment. On the front I modified the stock C4 brace to help support the frame. I notched the heck out of it for the rack AND sway bar. It's WAY reinforced inside there but better safe than sorry.
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:54 PM   #12
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Things are getting smoother...didn't like the seam in the cab and even though I'm putting the battery and booster on the firewall it still looks better than when I found it.
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:06 PM   #13
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Neat project. Thanks for sharing the pics.
And, welcome to the board. Always great to have another 47-59 guy here.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
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Re: Yet another GMC build

I like this build, especially the bed corner treatment. What year and model is you steering column, you got me thinking about simplifying mine?
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:45 PM   #15
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Nice progress.
Really like the work on the bed.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:12 PM   #16
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrrieG View Post
I like this build, especially the bed corner treatment. What year and model is you steering column, you got me thinking about simplifying mine?
Not sure. It came with the truck. I already had a 79 TA tilt column but decided to use the other because it is a column shift. If I had to guess I'd say it is a mid to late 70's full size car column. It was the same length as the TA tilt column and I think the truck versions are longer. Based on the diameter of the pipe it would be the same operation and the tilt heads are interchangeable. You'll have to make some tools to get the thing apart but if you can manage it, it is alot cheaper. I would suggest practice with a junker column first and get a good copy of an exploded diagram from a factory GM manual. These things have about a billion parts in them.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:39 PM   #17
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Re: Yet another GMC build

I can see this will be a nice one.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:32 PM   #18
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Spent this morning installing hidden latches in my new MAR K tailgate. (There's a company on Ebay selling those latches for $35. Cheapest I've found) My old gate was trashed - not just dents but warped, as well as some spot welds actually ripped loose top and bottom. Must have been hit by a train. The MAR K gate is brand new and requires no searching and no repairing for $150. The GMC stamped version is like $400 but I could paint this one to look like a stamped gate OR I could use these really cool billet emblems I had cut for a more late model look. I was going to use them as fender emblems but the fender is radiused and these things don't match up, being flat. Who votes painted and who votes emblems?
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:54 PM   #19
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Re: Yet another GMC build

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Originally Posted by OKGMC4 View Post
Spent this morning installing hidden latches in my new MAR K tailgate. (There's a company on Ebay selling those latches for $35. Cheapest I've found) My old gate was trashed - not just dents but warped, as well as some spot welds actually ripped loose top and bottom. Must have been hit by a train. The MAR K gate is brand new and requires no searching and no repairing for $150. The GMC stamped version is like $400 but I could paint this one to look like a stamped gate OR I could use these really cool billet emblems I had cut for a more late model look. I was going to use them as fender emblems but the fender is radiused and these things don't match up, being flat. Who votes painted and who votes emblems?
Cool project. I like the emblem.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:56 PM   #20
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Re: Yet another GMC build

looks like your off to a good start. i'm going to be checking on this thread to see how is goes. but i vote paint, i always prefer the shaved look of no emblems
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:39 PM   #21
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Thanks for the reply on the column, I have already been in mine once to change out the lock cylinder and do not want to take the guts apart again so I will stick with original plan. Also, thanks for the infor on CCP latches, I needed some and just bought the same item. I have noticed that Schucks has replacement cable and flat bar type gate supports for much less than the aftermarket places. They are in the misc replacement parts aisle. I like the look of the original hood emblem myself.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:39 PM   #22
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Re: Yet another GMC build

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKGMC4 View Post
Spent this morning installing hidden latches in my new MAR K tailgate. (There's a company on Ebay selling those latches for $35. Cheapest I've found) My old gate was trashed - not just dents but warped, as well as some spot welds actually ripped loose top and bottom. Must have been hit by a train. The MAR K gate is brand new and requires no searching and no repairing for $150. The GMC stamped version is like $400 but I could paint this one to look like a stamped gate OR I could use these really cool billet emblems I had cut for a more late model look. I was going to use them as fender emblems but the fender is radiused and these things don't match up, being flat. Who votes painted and who votes emblems?
I would go for the emblem, that looks cool.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:31 PM   #23
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Re: Yet another GMC build

[paint this one to look like a stamped gate OR I could use these really cool billet emblems I had cut for a more late model look. I was going to use them as fender emblems but the fender is radiused and these things don't match up, being flat. Who votes painted and who votes emblems?[/QUOTE]

..... So why not supersize that emblem to the same size as the G M C script and have it cut out of say 3/16" aluminum and round the edges for a paint, polish or chrome for the tailgate or maybe the front bed panel.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:39 PM   #24
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Re: Yet another GMC build

^^^^^^^^ I like that idea ^^^^^^^
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:42 PM   #25
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Re: Yet another GMC build

I've looked and looked and I believe I want to use a roll pan rather than a bumper. What I want isn't being made. I could buy one and modify it but I have a ton of 18 gauge steel laying around so I'm goint to try and make it. I made a template with cardboard first, then I cut it apart carefully and traced the pieces onto steel. I built a wooden buck out of pieces of 2x6 and 1x4 and have the steel stretched over and screwed to it. I'm welding it up right now and hopefully will have something useful soon. I realize now that those cool exhaust cutouts will have to go because of my rear mounted tank. It would cause too many 90 degree bends in the exhaust to get it there. Instead I think I may get an extra set of front park lights and mount them on either side of the plate as backup lights. Any other ideas, anyone?
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