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Old 06-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

1982 GMC Crew Cab Long Bed - 4x4, 454, Automatic

I've been wanting to start this thread for sooo long. Saturday I finally bought a crew cab. I've been searching craigslist every day for about 20 months. Crew cabs are not as hard to find as some people think but just recently things in my life worked out so I was able to buy one. The seller was literally using the truck as a storage unit. It's a four wheel drive with a 454, TH400 trans, Dana 60 front axle, GM 14 bolt full floater rear axle, and NP205 transfer case. It definitely has its share of issues but its not too bad. This is just going to be a fun project truck and I'll use it to keep wear and tear off of my main vehicle. We canoe and camp at the river often and alot of the scratches and dents on my other truck have come from there. Anyway, here are some pictures from when I first got it home.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

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Old 06-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

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Old 06-10-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Saturday and Sunday I worked a little on getting it cleaned out and fixing a few small issues. When I test drove it and on the way home it took a half turn of the steering wheel before the truck would start turning. Three steering box bolts were loose and one was missing. It steers much better now and isn't so scary.... I plan on doing the Jeep steering shaft mod sometime soon. I cleaned all of the leaves and trash out of the bed and removed the 5th wheel. The rear windows had bubbled and peeling tint so I scraped that off. The bumperettes and running boards came off and that cleaned up the look. Removed some stuff that was screwed into the dash: CB, cup holder, etc.... Replaced a broken cab light lens. Just having fun getting to know the truck.

Without the running boards:
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:48 PM   #5
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Looking great, i'm a bit jealous of the 14ff. What are the plans for her, 18" lift? lol
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:05 PM   #6
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Nice start. Jealous of your hubcaps and wheels. Hit me up if you want to trade something for them...
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Thanks guys. I'm having fun with the truck. I've been changing engine/trans/transfercase fluids, fixing small things, seeing what things work and what doesn't.... I'm planning on a 4" lift with 35s or possibly 37s. JJ, I'll keep you in mind for the wheels/hubcaps. I'm probably going to hang on to them for right now even though it looks like some H2 rims with 33s will be finding their way onto the truck sometime soon.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Sounds good. I have some 10 hole aluminum 16x8's that , when I was younger, ran some 36" Swampers on and really liked them but I am getting on in years and kinda like the white steel rims with maybe some 35's. Keep me in mind.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:00 PM   #9
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

I've been working on the truck quite a bit. Still checking things out since this is my first square body. I took out the dash pad and cluster trying to find out why my fuel gauge and dash lights don't work. Tonight I put on some new wipers, uninstalled an old brake controller, discovered some "interesting" wiring from the previous owner and...... Put on these H2 rims with 285/70-17 Hankook MTs. I think it looks pretty good with the silver wheels and silver paint. There may be a very slight amount of rubbing in the front but nothing serious. My front springs look like they are sagging a ton. They are actually bow the opposite way that a spring should. In order to run these wheels I bought "conversion" lug nuts that fit the newer wheels but have the older 9/16-18 internal thread. They also have the external threads if I even want to run a center cap.
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1982 GMC Crew Cab 4x4 - "River Truck" build thread

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Old 06-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

How-to find a crew cab (or whatever truck you're looking for):

Some people may not find this interesting but it may be helpful to others. In my experience, newspaper classifieds are basically dead. Usually (not always) trucks on ebay are priced high and could be anywhere in the US. Craigslist.org is the place to look for used trucks. It's free so sellers are more apt to use it and you can search areas that are close to you. Some people seem to think that crew cabs are hard to find but I don't really think that is the case. At least not in my part of the country. In my crew cab search I looked at craigslist for 678 days and found 337 crew cabs. That's right at one new crew cab truck listed for sale every two days. I was searching in about a 3 hour radius from me.

1. A huge time saver will be a craigslist browsing app for your smart phone. I use cPro or CraigsPro. There may be programs for your computer too. These let you search multiple areas fast, save searches (important), bookmark ads, hide ads that reoccur and waste your time, etc.

2. Get on craigslist and figure out what cities you are willing to drive to in order to buy a truck. Keep in mind that you might not end up buying a truck after looking at it and you will have wasted all of that drive time. Only search those cites/areas.

3. Search in the correct section on craigslist. The correct section is "For Sale" and then "Cars+Trucks". Searching from dealers and owners will let you find slightly more crew cabs but the dealer ads can take forever to go through, especially in a large city. In that case I only look at owner listings.

4. You can't just search for "crew cab" and expect to find alot of these trucks. Keep in mind that MOST people who use craigslist are TERRIBLE at writing an advertisement. Probably 2/3 or the crew cabs I found did not have the words "crew cab" in the listing. My search terms were "chevy", "gmc", "crew cab", crewcab", and "chevrolet". Almost all sellers refer to these trucks as Chevy instead of Chevrolet. It takes alot of time to search these keywords in multiple areas but that's where the special software from #1 helps.

5. If you search for "Chevy" in the auto section, you will get TONS of irrelevant results. We want to see just trucks from 1973-1991 (crew cabs ran to 1991, so did Blazers and Suburbans). In order to filter out the newer cars, type something like this: "
chevy -(2015) -(2014) -(2013) -(2012) -(2011) -(2010) -(2009) -(2008) -(2007) -(2006) -(2005) -(2004) -(2003) -(2002) -(2001) -(2000) -(1999) -(1998) -(1997) -(1996) -(1995) -(1994) -(1993) -(1992) ". The first word or words in the string is what you are searching for. Everything that is in the parenthesis will be taken out of your search results. So, for example, any add that has "2013" in it, will not be shown in the search results. It saves a ton of time by doing this.

6. Whenever possible, if your software allows it, hide listings that aren't what you are looking for so that you won't waste time looking at them again.

After I found a crew cab for sale, I would put some of the details (year,engine,4wd/2wd,trans,dually?,etc) in a spreadsheet so I could compare the trucks and narrow down trucks to look at. I used the last four digits of their phone number to help search for trucks in the spreadsheet to see if I already had them written down. I also printed off a sheet with the whole ad on it so I could look at it later on. Craigslist ads expire pretty quickly and then you can't look them up again.


Like I said before, I was able to find 337 1973-1991 crew cabs in 678 days. That's one truck every two days. Here are some other interesting stats (I was bored during the search and have a little bit of nerd in me):

Average asking price was $3012
Median asking price was $2500

4WD - 51 trucks (15%)
2WD - 96 trucks (28%)
Unlisted - 187 trucks (56%) BAD AD WRITING!!!!

Single rear wheel - 89 trucks (26%)
Dually - 215 trucks (64%)
Unlisted - 33 trucks (10%) I was able to tell by pictures even if it was not listed in the text.

Manual trans - 65 trucks ((19%)
Automatic Trans 169 trucks (50%)
Unlisted - 91 trucks (27%) BAD AD WRITING!!!!
No trans - 6 trucks (2%)
TH350 - 6 trucks (2%) Could have been a mistake by the seller

454 - 201 trucks (60%)
350 - 57 trucks (17%)
6.2 Diesel - 10 trucks (3%)
No engine - 15 trucks (4%)
Unlisted - 42 trucks (12%)
Other engine - 12 trucks (4%)

14% of sellers did not list a phone number and I have found craigslist emails only get through about half of the time....

GMC - 68 trucks (20%)
Chevy - 258 trucks (77%)
brand not listed - 11 trucks (3%)

Year brake down:
Year - # of Trucks
1973 - 2
1974 - 4
1975 - 4
1976 - 6
1977 - 16
1978 - 9
1979 - 14
1980 - 5
1981 - 8
1982 - 28
1983 - 16
1984 - 29
1985 - 19
1986 - 55
1987 - 23
1988 - 39
1989 - 34
1990 - 11
1991 - 13
Year not listed - 2


Ok, back to the build....
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1982 GMC Crew Cab 4x4 - "River Truck" build thread

1973-1987(91) Chevy/GMC How-To Videos

Last edited by arrover; 06-19-2013 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:37 PM   #11
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Wow, you really did your homework! I basically had to do the same thing searching craigslist. It definitely helps to search different words, I found a ton of trucks by searching "mud"!

As for your front springs, it is normal for these trucks' factory front springs to bow upside down.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:16 AM   #12
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by 91V3500 View Post
As for your front springs, it is normal for these trucks' factory front springs to bow upside down.
Thats really interesting. Thanks for the info. I was just shocked to see inverted springs. I'm hoping to replace the fronts sometime with a mild lift.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:27 AM   #13
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Tonight I started working on reattaching one of my rear windows to the window sash so I can roll it up and down again.

Then I finished this up. I took out the ashtray and cut off the ash screen at the top and cigarette holder at the bottom of the opening. At least I think that's what those parts are... I'm not a smoker and so I won't be using the ashtray in that way. I scrubbed the inside of the ashtray and then sprayed it with Plasti Dip. Now it's a perfect place to put my phone (or whatever else). Plasti Dip is an cool product that leaves a rubberlike coating that can be pealed off if you ever want to get rid of it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:26 AM   #14
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

I like the plastidip ashtray idea. I'm going to borrow it and it will help keep the change from rattling around in mine. Thank you!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:23 PM   #15
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Worked some more tonight on small things. I found a small stash of PEX tubing that I have.... so I tried the tubing on the door strikers trick and it really works well. It makes the doors so much easy to close. I also discovered how worn my strikers are and also the coresponding door parts. At least one of my doors also needs the hinges rebuilt.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:25 PM   #16
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

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Old 06-21-2013, 06:09 PM   #17
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Subscribed! Sweet truck! And fun approach!
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #18
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Wow, your truck cleaned up really nice! Those wheels totally change the look of the truck! Very nice!
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:52 PM   #19
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Like it!! Will follow this thread. I am in Farmington, just west of Fayetteville. Where are you at?

If you have not done a hinge repair on one of these it's pretty easy.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:19 PM   #20
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Thank you guys for your interest in my project. I'm having a good time with it. Sodell, I'm near Eureka Springs so we aren't very far apart. Thanks for the info on the hinge repair. I've seen the kits and I recently saw them do a hinge repair on one of the Power Block type TV shows. I'll tackle that project sooner or later.

No pictures tonight but I'm excited because MY GAS GAUGE IS FIXED! I traced the wires from the tanks and selector valve. Wow are they nasty. So much road grime that I had to clean the wires in spots just to be able to tell what color they were. At the front of the truck near the firewall there was a spot on a wire where the insulation was worn through and grounding on the cab. The tank selector also works now. The end of the oil pressure sensor wire was disconnected and frayed so I fixed that as well. A productive night.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #21
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Awesome project. In for more!

Love the data you collected and appreciate the time it took.

Are you an engineer by chance? LOL
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #22
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

whats the jeep steering shaft mod? it might interest me
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:32 PM   #23
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

No, not an engineer. It just gave me something to do when I was dreaming about buying a crew cab.

The Jeep steering mod uses the steering shaft from a Jeep Cherokee (XJ model I think from around 85 to 94???) to replace the steering shaft in our trucks. The Jeep shaft eliminates the rag joint and tightens up the steering. It is almost a bolt in modification but you should read up on it because there are some year steering columns that it won't work with and possibly some different steering boxes.
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1982 GMC Crew Cab 4x4 - "River Truck" build thread

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Old 06-24-2013, 10:46 PM   #24
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Nice! I love the CL search info, awesome!

Does Milwaukee make a pex crimper too? Or just the cutter?
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #25
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Re: Project "River Truck" - CCLB 4x4

Thanks man. I was using a Milwaukee cordless PVC cutter just because I have access to one. It makes clean, easy cuts but is way overkill for this job. Most guys just use a hacksaw or utility knife to cut the PEX I believe. I'm not sure if Milwaukee makes a PEX crimper but that would be a cool tool.
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