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Old 08-24-2010, 01:48 AM   #1
MTCK
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Project Daily Driver 77 K10

The company I work for was recently bought out and it appears that our work vehicles for personal use are on the way out. My wife is in grad school so the last thing I need is another payment. Logic would say go buy a $500 beater with a heater and suck it up for two years until we have two incomes again.... but.... I would much rather drive around my 77 K10 and could actually take that to a construction site, haul some survey gear etc.

I bought the truck as a backup rig / camping / weekend cruiser / hunting rig and it is already pretty mechanically sound. The previous owner did a half assed restoration on it - lots of repop pannels, not great fit and finish, new floor pans screwed over the old ones... stuff like that. Mechanically it is pretty sweet though. Dealership installed (like 3k!) GM goodwrench 4-bolt 350 about 3 years ago, new clutch, brakes, hubs, ball joints and tie rod ends, new 32" BFG all terrains, stock suspension, new wheels. It has 3.08 gears, open diffs front and rear, and the usual SM465 / 205 combo. I put mobil 1 synthetic in all of the gear boxes and it doesn't leak or use a drop of oil.

Upgrades I have made include some thick aluminum valve covers to stop leaks, rebuilt the quadrajet, rebuilt the dizzy, edelbrock performer intake, autometer gauges, new stereo, painless dual battery isolator, new battery cables all around, second battery, hedman elite headers, dual 2.5" with h-pipe to 50 series flowmasters, fixed the dome / dash lights, and replaced the master cylinder.

There area few things I would need to replace / upgrade if I was going to drive this every day. The junk in the back would need a permanent home in a tool box. The carb is still not 100% despite my best efforts. There is a float sticking or something and it occasionally DUMPS fuel into the motor. I had it happen on a cruise back from the woods and it was scary how fast the fuel gauge was moving. That trip would have about paid for a new carb in fuel alone. The seatbelts always lock the lap belt and ratchet in - not a huge deal but a major distraction on long drives on our crappy roads up here. The previous owner removed a lot of the ductwork from under the dash. No matter what position you put the selector on it just sort of burbles out of everywhere. this is something I'm going to have to fix to drive the truck when it's -40 in the winter. The PS pump is starting to get a little weak and protests often. The rest of the steering is in good shape. The carb would need to go if I am going to drive the truck year round and get decent mileage. We have 150 degrees of temperature swing here and I don't want to be under the hood every few weeks getting it tuned just right.

I am on the fence when it comes to the fuel injection. I've been looking at the holley projection two injector system and the commander 950 four injection system. I'd like an O2 sensor to run it closed loop and tuneability for the timing would be nice also. Some day I'd like to put a 383 in this truck with a little more pop and I think the commander system would support that type of expansion. A few months ago I bought a 91 suburban with a blown tranny and 120k on the clock with the intention of rebuilding the engine / transmission / tcase and dropping it in my 83 but that is too much work for right now. I think the suburban may just provide its serpentine system and HVAC controls to the 77 to help make it my driver. The TBI swap from the burban is also more than I want to bite off now since I don't have an EGR, electronic speed sensor / speedo or fuel injection tanks on the truck.

So what do you think? Does anybody have experience with either of the holley systems? I'm hoping for 12 MPG in mixed driving and think that should be attainable with either system. Has anybody messed with swapping HVAC parts between the newer and older square bodies? I haven't had a chance to look at the suburban too closely but will I have any issues with swapping over the accesories? I'll post up a few pictures on the next post. Thanks in advance for any input.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:58 AM   #2
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Here's a couple shots...
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Parts are on the way. Holley Commander 950 EFI, electric fan and controller, electronic advance distributor. I looked at a few used cars this past week and it just doesn't pencil out. I'd be buying something with >150k miles and once I figure in the extra insurance cost it would take a long time to pay down the cost of the car with the gas savings. The tipping point was realizing that the set of studded tires for my wife's tacoma (currently in OR) will fit the truck so I won't have to buy another set of rubber. Pics / progress reports to follow...
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

The parts fairy arrived on Wednesday, but I left town Thursday and haven't had a chance to do any work. I read the manual for the commander 950 system while on the plane and had a question regarding my fuel return lines.

The selector valve in the truck has a total of six ports: two from each tank and two feeding the engine. The smaller of the two feeding the engine (I assumed return line) is capped. Could it be that the return line was removed when a different fuel pump was installed or is this the tank vent line? I would think that both tanks would need ventilation all the time and therefor would not go through the selector valve? I am hoping that I only need the return line from the motor to the selector valve and don't have to plumb return lines to both tanks.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

looks nice.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

looks solid
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:50 AM   #7
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Thanks fellas.

Well I'm finally going to do a little bit of wrenching on the truck this weekend. Tomorrow will by my first day off in town in about 3 weeks. My goal for tomorrow is to get some video of my parts suburban running and then start parting it out. I want to get the serpentine system taken off, cleaned up and moved over to the '77 and also get the electric fan installed.

Issues I have noted are:

Must switch over the condensor and all the A/C lines from the sub.
Need to swap a heater hose from the water pump to the radiator (it has a blocked off port just waiting for this to happen)
Need to trim the alternator brace to clear the header
Rewire the alternator

This last one is puzzling me a little bit. Both alternators are the three-wire type, but the two plug connectors are different. I did a little searching and have found conflicting reports about whether or not I need to add an inline resistor to supply the new style (CS130) alternator with 35-350 ohms on its excitor.

Any ideas on which wire goes to which wire and if I need to add some resistance? Pictures attached.
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-Marcus

1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

This project is going at a snails pace, but I finally made a little progress this past Sunday. I cleaned up all of the accessories off of the suburban and replaced the power steering pump's guts. After that put everything back together along with an electric fan. The threads on the probe that came with my wiring kit didn't match any off the bosses in the intake so I'm going to try something different and have the fan on a switch for the time being. Temp was 17 yesterday morning so overheating hasn't been a problem...

Also installed the tonneau cover, which fits well and seems to be keeping my crap dry. I attached a couple of pics that stink since they're from my phone, but you get the picture. Seat covers should be here in about a week so I need to get working on the suburban buckets so they can go right in. Also need to jump on the Holley TBI install, just have been running short on time.

Here is something helpful: Napa part # EC82 will plug into your SI alternator harness and allow the use of a CS130 alternator, with the required resistor built in. Very slick.

http://www.napaonline.com/Search/Det...82_0215724427#

Working on the DD isn't much fun since it has to be ready to run every morning to go to work!
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Close, but no cigar. I have the Holley Commander 950 TBI system all installed and found the weak link - the tank selector valve. Turned the key a second time to charge the system and it let go, internally. Maybe that's why the previous owner had all the return lines disconnected... One baffled tank, one low pressure transfer pump, and a bunch of -6 AN braided hose and fittings are headed this way. I wanted to get this done before I left town tomorrow but I guess it'll have to wait for my return. At least everything will be done right...
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Great project! I'm interested in hearing how you like that TBI system.

So you put the infamous Elite headers on a SM465 with manual clutch huh? I'd kicked around ordering those for my K5, but now that I'm going with an LS engine swap the point is moot. Though the my K20 might like them!

If you have a GM shop manual, I'd think you could track down your HVAC problems 'fairly' quick.

While not a priority now, I know I have sure enjoyed the new springs I put in the Blazer over a year ago. Such softer ride from the OEM fatigued (brittle) ones. Really helps on a DD even if you didn't do a lift.

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'66 C10 w/factory A/C
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:38 PM   #11
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

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Old 10-13-2010, 02:37 PM   #12
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Oilbrnr, I have definitely thought about the suspension upgrade. It rides like a tank! I also have a set of Rancho RS9000's from my 83 that fit a 2.5"-4" lift application sitting around. I'd love to get a 2.5" system from ORD with all the greasable bushings, swaybar disconnects, brake lines and steering arm (crossover some day). I'd like to run a 33" tire once that is done instead of the 32" I have now.

I got the HVAC working fine - just had to connect a few of the ducts behind the dash and work the vacuum motor back and forth a few times and it seems to cycle between all the settings just fine now.

And yep the headers work great. I've been very happy with them - they look good, are of quality construction, and clear the clutch linkage with room to spare. I would recommend them.

I'll be headed home on Friday and will hopefully get the EFI install done this weekend. The 206 is going in for annual next week so the hanger will be empty and I'll have room to work. I miss my garage! All the parts from Summit are already there and LMC was supposed to FINALLY ship my tank and sending units today. I will update with pics once I get back.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:05 PM   #13
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
I'd love to get a 2.5" system from ORD with all the greasable bushings, swaybar disconnects, brake lines and steering arm (crossover some day). I'd like to run a 33" tire once that is done instead of the 32" I have now.
That is exactly what I got from ORD though I did the shackle flip in the rear with 2.5" TC springs, 4" + 1" zero rate front. I also put in their beefier front shackles and steering box frame support. At some point I need to do the x-over too. I'd like to find a D60, but I'm not into rock crawling or real heavy off roading so the D44 will do for now. They used to have a decent sale at the end of the year. Don't know if that is still the case.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Love your project!
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:19 AM   #15
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Thanks guys.

I'd probably jump on the ORD lift sooner, but shipping just KILLS us up here with those heavier items. I'm about tired of working on this every night to be honest too!

I made a little progress this weekend after getting home saturday morning. I was on crack thinking that all the pipe thread fittings were the same size when I made my summit order. 4 different sizes, 2 NPT and 2 metric. Grrrr. Luckily this isn't holding me up since my tank from LMC is taking FOREVER to get here. Both should arrive Tuesday.

Since I wasn't plumbing fuel line I took the time to pull the interior out in preparation for my bucket seat install. I also went and grabbed the front inside seat mounts from my parts suburban. I picked up my seat covers when I was down in Oregon and put the one on the seat that doesn't need repairs. It fits well and looks pretty good too, I think. I'm looking forward to the seat heaters!

I also used LMC's 'colorbond' on the center console, painting it black to match the rest of the interior. Jury is still out on that stuff. I already scratched some off while replacing the latch on the console.

I am planning on mounting switches on the front of the console for my seat heaters, auxiliary lights and an override for my electric fan. It is also going to get a 12v power port on the front of it. The switch for my transfer pump is going in the stock fuel selector location.

Time to kiss all that stereo gear goodbye! I hope I can find some sort of shallow sub to put behind the center console that sounds decent. Here are some pictures.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:08 AM   #16
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

The UPS guy showed up this week with the gas tank and the rest of my pipe thread to AN fittings so I went to work in the evenings. I just finished all the plumbing tonight, so now all I have to finish is my electrical and bench seat install and I should be back on the road.

Special thanks to Larry for the idea on drilling my sending unit in the 87 tank to accept the fuel from the auxillary tank. I ended up doing that and using a 3/8 NPT elbow to a 3/8 hose barb. I fabbed up a little cross member for my transfer pump and plumbed the two tanks together.

I used some fuel injection application hose clamps to clamp the braided line onto the pickup and return lines out of the tank. This is the only part of the system I'm not 100% excited about. I read that the clamps should work fine with the braided steel lines, so I guess we'll find out. I got a different fuel filter (stock GM TBI application) so that I could have thread on fittings instead of more hose barbs. That took something crazy like a 16mm x 1.5 thread with o-ring to -6AN.

One snag I ran into is that the filler hole on the 87 tank is much larger diameter than the original one. I think I am going to have to run to the parts store tomorrow and get a different rubber hose to mate the parts correctly.

All in all I was very happy with the parts from summit. The quality of their in house stuff seems to be good and the price was right. I also attached some under hood pics showing the routing of the fuel lines as well as the pressure gauge.

Tomorrow's tasks include a bunch of electrical work, wiring both pumps, fans, seat heaters etc, clean up under the hood, install the filler hose and vent, put in the seats and gas it up and turn the key. Should be interesting.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:11 AM   #17
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Oops.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:13 AM   #18
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Last one.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #19
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Quick update:

The good news is the truck runs! The fuel delivery system works flawlessly, and the Holley Commander 950 is a very impressive engine management platform.

The bad news is the truck does not run well! The supplied narrow band O2 sensor does not like how cold it is in my exhaust and is giving erroneously low voltages (lean), which has made the truck about impossible to tune. I already ordered a wide band O2, but it will not be here until Monday.

I am not at all impressed with the instructions, tech support or completeness of the kit. A intake air temp sensor is referenced several places in the instructions, and default settings have a modifier entered for that value, but none was included. Also the narrow band O2 sensor is about useless, and should probably be a wide band right out of the box.

The initial settings were a little frustrating as well. Deep in a spark menu there was a field to adjust the timing by coolant temperature and it was set to -32 degrees across the temperature range. That one took me a while to figure out...

I think that the system will be great once I work out the bugs, and I will post up some pictures and videos of it running. The weather man is calling for cold temps so I hope the UPS guy is on time!

I also installed my LMC headlight relay kit and it is worth every penny. My lights are much brighter now. More soon...
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:25 PM   #20
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

I've been thinking about that relay kit since I saw it in the catalogue...please tell us how hard it was to install! Thanks!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:09 AM   #21
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

Piece of cake. They could not have made it any easier. Two wires to the batterys positive terminal, one ground at each light and the connectors plug right in. One male prong accepts the existing wiring harness and two female plugs go right to the lights. No splicing or anything. A great upgrade.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:36 PM   #22
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

One more plug: I got rid of the big subs and amp that I had because I had to move the seats forward for them to fit. I still wanted a nice sounding stereo, so I just took an existing 4-channel amp, put the front two channels to the MB Quart components in my doors and picked up this little 8" sub, bridged the rear channels to it and put it behind the passenger's seat. It sounds AMAZING. I've always been a fan of JL Audio gear, but this one really surprised me. I'm feeding it about 250 watts. I think it sound much better than the 10" infiniti's that it replaces, and I no longer need a capacitor to keep my lights from dimming. It is only 5.25" deep!

JL Audio CP108LG-W3v3

http://mobile.jlaudio.com/products_e...=8&prod_id=474
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-Marcus

1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck

Last edited by MTCK; 10-30-2010 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:16 AM   #23
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

The wide band O2 sensor and intake air temp sensor should be here tomorrow so I should be on the road then. Since I couldn't work on the motor today, I decided to finish up on the interior. A buddy welded up my broken seat frame yesterday with some bracing and I put the factory cover back on, and then the Wet Okole cover over that. While I had the seat apart, I decided to try putting some extra foam on the front of the bottom seat cushion. I know a lot of guys have built spacers to get the seat sitting at a more favorable angle, and I figured I'd try something different. I'm very happy with the results. It is hard to see when you're looking at it, but the extra support in the front gets rid of the feeling like the seat is trying to dump you out on the floor.

I also wired up the center console for the seat heaters and plugged everything in. I have a relay in the console that is switched on the accessory switch, so it will turn off with the truck. I've also left a couple of spots open in the power block for my 12v outlets when they get here. Pictures attacked with narrative on the next posting.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:26 AM   #24
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Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

The foam for the seat was from a "seat rebuild kit" from LMC. The seats didn't need rebuilding so I used a little of the foam to bolster the front of the seat cushion.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:34 AM   #25
MTCK
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 1,603
Re: Project Daily Driver 77 K10

I drilled three holes in the console for the wiring to run in and out, and then two more for the switches for the seat heaters. The front passenger side has a 12 gauge fused constant power source and a switched accessory source that turns the relay on. The relay powers a distribution block that feeds the seat heaters, and will also feed the 12v outlets when they finally show up. The two rear holes have weather pack connectors that go to the seat heaters.
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-Marcus

1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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