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Old 10-23-2015, 11:31 AM   #1
DblTrbl
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My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

I have a thread going over on the C10 forum, but things seem a little slow over there, so I'll drop this here...

I picked up this 83' back in February and have been slowly making progress on it. It was in rough shape, but it was a government vehicle, only had 70k original miles and a stack of every maintenance record ever done to it...and the government does maintenance regularly whether the vehicle is being used or not, so I knew it was mechanically solid. Secondly, 2wd trucks are quite hard to come by in Montana.



First things first...the rusty steelies had to go. I had a set of true Alcoas that I'd saved when I sold my 96' Dodge. I spent an entire weekend wet sanding and polishing them to bring them back to their former glory. Then I ordered up a set of spike lug covers from Iowa80.com.





Then, boating season happened and not much progress....



I added some LED lights...









I finally collected all of the parts that I needed to static drop the truck and went to work. I used 3" drop spindles up front and a flip kit for the rear. Of course flipping the axle on these requires a notch, but I expected to eventually bag it anyhow, so I went to work building a step notch and bridge.

Pulling the bed with limited help was interesting...















I still intend to tow my 25' boat, so I boxed and fishplated everything for strength.







Much better...



Added a little bling to the interior...



I searched and searched for some decent replacement fenders, but it seems that these are made of unobtanium, so I decided to just repair this really poor attempt at fixing this previously.



I started by building a cardboard buck. Then I liberally filled it with great stuff. The trick to using this stuff as a form is to mist water into it as you fill. Moisture is the catylist (thank you YouTube!)







Then I carved it with a loose hack saw blade until I had the form I needed.



And covered it with fiberglass mat and resin...



A little additional build up with kitty hair and filler and it came together.





A couple weeks ago I got a little crazy and ordered a bunch of this ****...



I'm just getting started today on my front end. I grabbed some 8 5/8" schedule 40 pipe and burned some 1/4" plate to the bottom. I'll be dropping the lower arms out shortly to cup them.



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Old 10-23-2015, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

I accomplished a little more today; got my lower arms measured up and welded in the cups.



A little weld porn:



Now I need to do a little clean up and soften the edges of the cups a little. My fittings should be here tomorrow, so if I'm feeling especially motivated, I may see if I can get everything mounted up after work. I'm still waiting on my parallel 4-link from ThorBros, so I can't get too crazy yet.

I did, however, locate a donor...

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Old 10-23-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

I got a little done lastnight. These arms take longer than I'd expected. I really hate grinding. Really...



Probably overkill, but that shock mount isn't going anywhere now.


Coated with Hammerite.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project



https://youtu.be/tmj3nya6QbY

The front is back together and moves with the shop compressor. I'll try to get the air management hooked up to it tomorrow. I'm enjoying hitting a small milestone right now...[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:42 AM   #5
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

It's like Christmas!



Gonna pull the bed back off, yard the saddle tanks and start measuring up to get this installed. I'm told that the tank in my donor burb should be a match for fitting between the rails out back. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:16 PM   #6
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Keep the pics coming!! I'm building an 83 4dr dually also. Nice work on that fender
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Cool build!
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:30 AM   #8
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Looks good, I'm waiting on a lot of parts to show up from thorbros also.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:47 AM   #9
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Sweet truck.

I like your avitar. I'm watching Ancient Aliens right now lol
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:42 AM   #10
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Sweet build. I'm wishing I'd tried fixing my fender. I took it in and had to fork out a good amount to get it done.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:54 PM   #11
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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Originally Posted by ruffrida2005 View Post
Looks good, I'm waiting on a lot of parts to show up from thorbros also.
It takes a while to get the stuff that Jason builds, but the quality is tops notch. I'd rather fab everything up myself but I don't have access to a press brake that will bend 3/8's and my plasma cutter is just by hand. The money spent with them was worth the wait.

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Sweet build. I'm wishing I'd tried fixing my fender. I took it in and had to fork out a good amount to get it done.
Thanks. I really didn't know how it would turn out. I've done my share of bodywork, but I'd never tried foam forming. I didn't take pics of my first failed attempt where the foam "puked" out everywhere. It was a learning process for sure! If I had to do it again, I'd coat the foam with kitty hair BEFORE I layed up the mat. These fenders seem to be the only thing on these trucks that you can't get aftermarket.
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:52 PM   #12
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Round two...

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Old 10-24-2015, 10:55 PM   #13
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Nice work! I will be following this one too.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:41 AM   #14
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Well, I'm a little disheartened. When I originally did my step frame, I hadn't made any plans to do any kind of SFBD, which I've been seriously considering since I have about six months of snow to look forward to. But, after disconnecting my rear shackles, I can see that my notch is about 4" short of where it needs to be.



So...do I go ahead and do the four-link then lop the frame forward of the axle and just scratch build everything back...or try to modify the step notch? I'm open to ideas.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #15
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Cool rig and nice work to date. I know exactly nothing about lowering these things so I will let others chime in on that. What is the suburban donating?
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #16
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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Cool rig and nice work to date. I know exactly nothing about lowering these things so I will let others chime in on that. What is the suburban donating?
Front clip, all four doors, most of the interior and possibly the gas tank. The Dually is the budget/econo version; power nothing, no trim and rubber floors.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:54 AM   #17
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

I would swap the sub rear end also, it will narrow it some, so then you wont have to widen the fender as much.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:33 AM   #18
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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I would swap the sub rear end also, it will narrow it some, so then you wont have to widen the fender as much.
The sub is a 1/2 ton. Widen the fenders? I must be missing something here...my rear already tucks.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:04 PM   #19
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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The sub is a 1/2 ton. Widen the fenders? I must be missing something here...my rear already tucks.
If you swapped to the cut down 22's (big truck wheels) that are popular these days, they won't tuck. You would need a narrower rear housing or the fenders would need to be widened 3".

Not an issue w/the steel 16's.
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:58 PM   #20
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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If you swapped to the cut down 22's (big truck wheels) that are popular these days, they won't tuck. You would need a narrower rear housing or the fenders would need to be widened 3".

Not an issue w/the steel 16's.
Gotcha. Well I'm not able to drop $4k on a set of wheels at this point, so I won't worry about it until I get there. BTW - I've searched for the adapters to run those wheel and the cheapest I've found is $800. Is there a more reasonable alternative? I can do fab, but I'm no machinist nor do I have access to the equipment.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:44 PM   #21
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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Gotcha. Well I'm not able to drop $4k on a set of wheels at this point, so I won't worry about it until I get there. BTW - I've searched for the adapters to run those wheel and the cheapest I've found is $800. Is there a more reasonable alternative? I can do fab, but I'm no machinist nor do I have access to the equipment.
$800 is about the cheapest I've seen but this is an area where cheaper isn't necessarily better.
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like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

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Old 10-26-2015, 09:35 PM   #22
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

I read on another forum about a guy that made his adapters for a stud pilot wheel. I think it was 3/4 or 1" plate, drilled and tapped for 3/4 bolts. Pretty cool idea.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:50 PM   #23
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Nice progress. Ive been sitting on my crew dually for a year now. I took the bad 454 out for a04 ls and been stuck. Now thinking about pulling it for another carb motor. Ive got all power inside and thinking about pulling everything out and starting over with a complete new harness. .how big was ur notch and how big do u think u should go to?
Im going with the 22 alcoa semi wheels. Where did u find the adapters for 800? Ive only found 900 and above.
ill be watching to see how u get this done. Might sell my projector part it out and buy another running truck and start over.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:38 PM   #24
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

Nice project you have going on. I have seen the 'burb tank used in the rear also. I think 75dually used one on his build on here.

BTW, here is a link to aftermarket dually fenders. PN GM-201R and GM-201L
http://up22.com/chevytruck.htm#GM-201R/L
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:10 PM   #25
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Re: My 83' Crew Cab Dually project

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I read on another forum about a guy that made his adapters for a stud pilot wheel. I think it was 3/4 or 1" plate, drilled and tapped for 3/4 bolts. Pretty cool idea.
I'd think that I'd still need a lathe to make sure it's perfectly round. I may check with a local machinist. $800 just seems really steep for what they are. I'm not in a hurry to run the big wheels just yet. There's so much more to do and the 16's don't look terrible. I'll probably rock these for at least the first year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlinman View Post
Nice progress. Ive been sitting on my crew dually for a year now. I took the bad 454 out for a04 ls and been stuck. Now thinking about pulling it for another carb motor. Ive got all power inside and thinking about pulling everything out and starting over with a complete new harness. .how big was ur notch and how big do u think u should go to?
Im going with the 22 alcoa semi wheels. Where did u find the adapters for 800? Ive only found 900 and above.
ill be watching to see how u get this done. Might sell my projector part it out and buy another running truck and start over.
I'm not even sweating the power plant right now. It has a strong small block and seeing that I have a 50 mile round trip commute, it's relatively easy on the wallet. I like to "try" to stay focused on one thing at a time or I'll get overwhelmed by the whole project. Suspension, body, power train.

My notch was 7". To be honest, I didn't do much research prior to doing it and I come from the old school of channeling to do any kind of body drop. Recently, I looked into the SFBD that seems to be the thing now, and I'm regretting that I hadn't looked closer. 7" will get it to set on the frame squarely. So, I'm roughly 4" short of where it should be "if" I do the SFBD. At this point, I'm seriously considering just doing a traditional body drop or channeling as we used to call it. (Am I showing my age? Haha)

I saw the adapters on eBay for $800...of course there's $100 shipping with that, so $900 is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aggie91 View Post
Nice project you have going on. I have seen the 'burb tank used in the rear also. I think 75dually used one on his build on here.

BTW, here is a link to aftermarket dually fenders. PN GM-201R and GM-201L
http://up22.com/chevytruck.htm#GM-201R/L
The donor is right outside the shop, but it's been raining like hell and I hate wrenching in the rain! If it clears up at all, I'm going to pull it and see how it fits up.

I can't believe I never saw those fenders. Oh well. It was only a days work to do the fix and I learned something new from it so not all is lost.

Now, if I can just find some time to get back out and get the links tacked in. I was able to get the axle set at ride height and remove the leaf packs and mounts. BTW - those spring perches on the axle are a MOTHER to cut off!
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