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Old 03-13-2010, 01:36 AM   #1
Driveway Dreams
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The Toybox

Ok, after over a year on this awesome forum, I have decided to start a "build" thread on my truck, I call it "The Toybox". It will mostly start out as a history lesson of sorts. But I do have some things upcoming for it that I will be sure to post up as progress.

I bought it in September of 2007. When you go back 2 cars prior, I got it really cheap. Long story made short I bought a 95 Exploder at a local dealership during their $5 sale. (They actually sell about 3 cars for $5 once a year. At this sale.) I quickly sold it for $1,200 and bought an 89 Cherokee lifted 2" on 31's for $1,000. Keeping tallies here? I am up $200 and in a way cooler rig within a matter of a couple months. Than after a year or so traded the Cherokee and $500 for the truck. My wife...not so thrilled with me for this one.

The Toybox started life as a V6, Forest Service truck. It was even the mint green! At some point in it's life, somebody swapped a 350 in. Cool? Maybe once, but it is worn out now. And the way some of the stuff had been hacked together would make a hillbilly cry. So, my goal was to clean stuff up & dress it up along the way.

Due to a growing family and a very tight budget, I kept it stock as a daily driver for the first 6-8 months. Looked like here.
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Last edited by Driveway Dreams; 03-13-2010 at 01:46 AM. Reason: more pics
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:14 AM   #2
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Re: The Toybox

I blew the 10 bolt apart one day in the parking lot at work. (Not just blew up, BLEW IT THE HECK UP! Sheared the right axle shaft to be specific.) So, I needed to replace that. So...12 bolt. And while swapping rearends, why leave it stock height? So, flip kit.

I had to let the truck sit with a completely non functional rearend while I gathered parts. I had to drop the front at the same time you know. Finally got it all together. A used 12 bolt from a 77 Burb. And the drop as advised by 2 of my good mechanic friends: I ordered some generic 3" spring perches, 3" drop springs, and 2" drop shackles from Summit; 2.5" drop spindles from AIM.

We installed it all in a few hours one day with the 2 of them working on it and me "helping". When it come to mechanical stuff, I make a good gopher for those two guys who wrench for a living. Here it is after the drop still on the big tires. And a picture of the notch we did too.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:15 AM   #3
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Re: The Toybox

After the drop I had to get new tires. Well, it needed those anyway. I found an almost new set of Cooper Cobra 245/60/15 on my local CL. Went and bought them for a whopping $80. My buddy mounted and balanced them for me and did the alignment too. Which he cussed me up and down for afterward. Before getting the new rubber, I painted my wheels a bronze color. I did my center caps and trim rings in white at the same time. All to set the truck apart a little more. And yes, I painted right over the valve stems and sprayed some on the old tires. (Just didn't care though.)

On the first test drive after the new tires, I got about 3/4 of the way around the block and the fuel pump crapped out. So, I pulled it back to the house with my wife's current 01 Cherokee, yes I replaced her other one. Pushed (by hand) it up the driveway and into the garage again. I upgraded the bad Holley in-line electronic pump with a new one from the parts store. And I bypassed the switching valve and the right side tank that has been bone dry since the guy I got it from got the truck. Who knows what is wrong with it if anything but I am not about to risk screwing stuff up to find out.
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Last edited by Driveway Dreams; 03-20-2010 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Added new info.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:17 AM   #4
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Re: The Toybox

After doing the shorter tires and drop I had to change my exhaust. The hillbilly engineering shown through again, wires holding up true duals with cherry-bombs, about 4 different sized pipes and chrome tips that must have been 24" long, and I am pretty sure the bend up over the axle was irrigation pipe. Thanks to the rearend wanting to be a little more friendly with my exhaust and about 2 or 3 little drives I broke the right side off. I had ordered a set of sidepipes from Speedway Motors. But after they came in I learned that I do not have the clearance to run them. So I went to my local muffler shop and got a couple lengths of pipe cut and bent. I took those pipes, 2 new Raptor mufflers, and my new rectangular "stainless" tips to my buddies shop and welded up my new exhaust in a couple hours. Came out well, and sounded really good now too. I am very happy with the Raptors.

The next thing I did was my front clip swap. I found a Suburban on CL and went and bought all the things needed to swap over. Before I switched out the parts, I found out a friend of a friend had a Jimmy that he was parting out. I got the fenders, inners, hood, radiator support, new GMC grill, new lenses, and everything else needed to complete the swap. So, now I had 2 of everything. I decided to put the GMC grill on to be a little more different, because I liked it better, and because it was new. I sold off the fenders and hood and still have all the stuff needed to switch to a Chevy Suburban grill sitting in the garage. My daughter (3 1/2 at the time) helped me turn wrenches and pull the clip apart.

Here is my brief version of an 89-91 front clip swap how to (assuming you have the parts):
1) Remove your front bumper, filler panel, grill ends, and unplug everything.
2) Remove the radiator support from the inner fenders and the frame horns. I didn't need to remove the radiator for this.
3) Replace the radiator support with the one from the 89-91 and bolt into place.
4) Mount the grill, bezels, and lights to your newly updated front end.
5) Plug in and begin to route your "new" harness. By doing this you will find a good place to cut & splice the 2 harnesses together.
5.5) Splice all wires of matching colors to complete your new "hybrid" harness. Stagger the connections to help them to fit back in the split loom.
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Last edited by Driveway Dreams; 03-14-2010 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:33 AM   #5
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Re: The Toybox

Haha I so can't wait to see them all! "Waits tell tomorrow"
Subscribed xD
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:38 AM   #6
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Re: The Toybox

nice start bro. i was hoping you would share some background of the truck. answered a few questions... so you actually bought your truck for $300!!!! heck of a deal!

i cant wait to hear what the final plans are
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:36 PM   #7
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Re: The Toybox

Its about darn time boi
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:07 AM   #8
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Re: The Toybox

Post 3 & 4 are now updated. I think I got everything up to date.

Now for the short term plans...
-I bought the 355 from Bob that Fred had prior to the 5.3 swap. As soon as I get a couple more bucks together to get the top end stuff for it, that 355 will replace the worn out 350 that it has now. Got the parts, just need time to swap it.
-I have a handful of stereo pieces to go in in the next few weeks. It hasn't had a stereo since I have owned it. It is getting a 10" sub, some 4 way 6x9s, and a CD player. Talk about an upgrade!! Adam, Cochino12, is installing it for me in trade for some work on his Blazer. DONE
-Thanks to Adam this week, I have an early sport bumper to put on as well. DONE
-Blazer fuel tank with in tank pump.
-Gauges

And the long term plans:
-An NV3500 5 speed manual. (as soon as I find one I can afford)
-Body work, both straightening and custom work. Paint will be a 2-tone to include a deep bronze & a cream color.
-Hand build some interior pieces.
-Reupholster the seat
-Full suspension upgrades to help the truck handle better.
-17", 18" or 20" wheels. Still deciding on size.
-New glass (& add tint)
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Last edited by Driveway Dreams; 10-27-2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: New changes
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:44 AM   #9
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Re: The Toybox

cant wait to see this one get some more done to it!! i have always liked your truck!!
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Re: The Toybox

Awesome, glad to see a build thread on this thing finally!
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:30 PM   #11
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Re: The Toybox

Thanks everyone for your comments! I have thought about starting this thing quite a few times before, but thanks to some "encouragement" from guys like ummm too many to list...here it is. It may not be that exciting very often. But I will be sure to keep it up to date as I do things.
**Feel free to make any comments you want.
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Last edited by Driveway Dreams; 03-14-2010 at 11:33 PM. Reason: made it sound more edumacated
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:39 PM   #12
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Re: The Toybox

I was told there would be some pics of a sport bumper installed this weekend
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:33 AM   #13
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Re: The Toybox

Quote:
Originally Posted by menace121978 View Post
... so you actually bought your truck for $300!!!!
$305

Nice li'l truck you got there!
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:19 AM   #14
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Re: The Toybox

smart @ss!
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:13 PM   #15
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Re: The Toybox

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochino12 View Post
I was told there would be some pics of a sport bumper installed this weekend
I believe you were told an effort would be made. But I spent all Saturday at the zoo, and Sunday went to NE. I will try ASAP!!! I want it on there. Thanks again man! You rock!
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #16
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Re: The Toybox

Quote:
Originally Posted by GruntMoanCough View Post
$305

Nice li'l truck you got there!
Thank you! And good catch on the initial investment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by menace121978 View Post
smart @ss!
He made a very good point. But even I didn't catch it before.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:19 AM   #17
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Re: The Toybox

Nice truck, can't wait to see what you do next.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #18
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Re: The Toybox

Nice deal! My SWB was also a forest ranger truck with the mint green when I bought it.... that was until I rolled it when I was 17 and had to replace the cab, bedside and 2 fenders. Somehow the doors made it untouched.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:23 PM   #19
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Re: The Toybox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driveway Dreams View Post
**Feel free to make any comments you want.
OK.

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:37 PM   #20
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Re: The Toybox

Now that's funny! I almost spit out my lunch! that was great Bob. Thank you all for the kind words.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:42 PM   #21
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Re: The Toybox

Gerald, nice to see you started your own build thread.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:04 AM   #22
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Re: The Toybox

Nice to finally see the build thread going Gerald. Looking forward to the updates on your progress with it.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:59 AM   #23
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Re: The Toybox

Well, pending this snow storm that is supposed to hit us tonight/tomorrow...I am gonna try to get the sport bumper on and take the truck to Adam on Sunday to have him build the stereo. Wait and see what the storm does or doesn't do. We could really use a good snow for work, but the nice weather would be nice personally as well.

-On a side note...my wife has a phone interview tomorrow for the job she has been working on!!!
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:17 AM   #24
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Re: The Toybox

Good luck with the weather looming on your workday. It's supposed to be here Saturday.


Good luck to the wife. Pass our thoughts, and fingers being crossed for her!
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:53 AM   #25
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Re: The Toybox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driveway Dreams View Post
Well, pending this snow storm that is supposed to hit us tonight/tomorrow...I am gonna try to get the sport bumper on and take the truck to Adam on Sunday to have him build the stereo. Wait and see what the storm does or doesn't do. We could really use a good snow for work, but the nice weather would be nice personally as well.

-On a side note...my wife has a phone interview tomorrow for the job she has been working on!!!
Looks like I should have plenty of time for the stereo because this storm looks like a DUD.

Tell the wife good luck!
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