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Old 01-17-2021, 05:08 PM   #1
Osker
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K20 basket case resurrection

What's up everybody,

Here it goes.....While parts hunting on Craigslist I came across a í72 K20. I had always wanted a K series and a few weeks before seeing this ad I had actually almost bought a K10 that was down the road from me. It was a running truck, but the price was too high for the condition in my opinion, and the seller wouldnít budge so I moved on. In the meantime, I had sold my motorcycle a Suzuki SV650 and increased my available budget. The K20 showed up and I decided to take a look and ended up buying it. There was no one sane reason for buying it except that these trucks are cool, the price was right, and why not? That's three great reasons.

The last time was registered was in 2001. The truck had been disassembled about 11 years ago. All the major parts were still ďthereĒ and most of the smaller items bagged and boxed and had been stored in the previous ownerís (POís) shop. The truck came with the engine, trans and transfer case. Only major part missing was the windshield because PO said he broke it when taking it out. The truck had sat outside for a couple of winters and the PO decided it was time to let it go since he was interested in some other projects. The truck had been his fathers-in-law at one point, and he had bought it from him.

The cab was decent on initial inspection. First once over showed it needing driver side rocker and cab corner and floor panels. Passenger side was ďcompletedĒ by the PO and looked OK. The overall value for me was in the running gear and the frame. The fenders were in good shape and the bedsides were not too bad either. The bed floor was rusty and so was the tailgate. I liked the fact that the tuck was stripped down, and the parts boxed up. I realized there could be little things missing as I work through the project, but the PO appeared organized with the teardown and storing of the parts. I paid the PO, we signed the title and set a date to return the next weekend to pick up the truck. I took as many boxes as possible and totes worth of parts that I could and would get the rest next weekend along with the rolling hulk.

All the boxes and totes I brought home I inventoried and wrote down what I had. I figured if did that I could refer to the list later and help figure out what I needed to find that was missing as I got to the point in time when whatever it is, Iím looking for needs to get back on the truck. Parts will sit in boxes for a long time and I will forget what I saw before I stash it away again.

My goal is to get back into running condition as a capable daily driver and use it as a truck. It will stay blue and maybe a slight lift, wood bed and stock wheels unless I find something I really like. Since itís a basket case Iím not going to be a purist. Iíll keep it within the realm of possibility for the era, but I am not opposed to building it like I want it to be. Iím decent with and turning a wrench. I have had a C10 in the past and have another one now, but they were/are running trucks. I have not undertaken a project of this magnitude like this ever, but I am willing.

This board has been a great resource to me that I wanted to contribute to the content and document the journey. Maybe something I show will help someone else just like all the posts here have helped me. In addition, I will appreciate some advice and wisdom from those that have prior experience to keep me motivated and learning.
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:48 AM   #2
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Love it!!!

In to see it put back into service.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:23 PM   #3
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Looks like a nice project
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Heck yea! Looks like a solid start! If the tow hooks are still there you’ve got it made. Come visit us in 4x4 land sometime! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:35 PM   #5
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Thank you for the interest gentlemen. Unfortunately, the tow hooks were not included.

Despite how eager I was to start wrenching and working on the truck it was a couple of weeks before anything significant happened. I shuffled parts around since I had crammed everything into the garage. I thought about my approach. I gave the hood which was beyond repair to my friend Ike. He used it to cover up firewood. The grill surround was really beat up too but it's close to 50 years old.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:01 PM   #6
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

I took the bed off which was loosely bolted on from the POís prior efforts. I built a jig out of 2x4ís, some eyebolts and chain to hook to the engine hoist. I found several variations of the same general idea here on the forum and from searching the net. I spent too much time getting fancy with the angled brackets for the cross members. I have no idea why I thought that was necessary. Simple upright brackets would have been fine in the first place to hold the 2x4 cross members.

Full disclosure Ė I started to lift the bed and I had about two feet of rear end of the truck still in the garage. I almost got it high enough before the lift arm started hitting the garage door. I had to lower it, align it and set it Ė used some blocking, then move the truck out farther and start all over. Great practice. Good learning point.

I was doing this by myself so it is possible but not optimum. 4 eyes and hands could help out a lot better in this type of situation so I put on my safety glasses and a pair of gloves.

The bed lifted almost level when raised, the jig was limited in how far deep into the bed towards the cab that it could go by the jack piston housing contacting the rear bumper. I was a bit skeptical this would work out but it did.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:15 PM   #7
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

The jig worked great and the end of the center beam rested against the engine hoist arm and was very stable, a kind of unexpected surprise outcome. I put the bed on some sawhorses that rested on top of a dolly I built a few months earlier for another project. The dolly was lower than the height of the hoist legs so I had to block it up and then lower it then use a jack to lift up the dolly...you get the idea.

With the bed off I got my first real good look at a prior patch job on the back passenger side of the cab. I know it will be hidden when the bed is on but it bugs me and I will have to dig into it later to see whatís going on.
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:07 PM   #8
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

I’ll jump aboard for the ride. Nice buy and good luck with the build. The rear end should be an HO52 with 4.10 gears - not the easiest to get parts for but they are available. I’m presently hoarding spare parts for mine.
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Before I bought my truck I wanted a K series but I realized I would never (ever) have my restored truck in a situation to use the 4x4.

The PO did some work to the cab with the bed off, which in my experience shows some dedication. The PO of my truck did cab corners without taking off the bed or removing any of the rusted remnants of the original cab corner.

Looks like a cool project.
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Old 01-26-2021, 11:09 AM   #10
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Jumping in to watch.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:09 PM   #11
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Quote:
Originally Posted by May70 View Post
Before I bought my truck I wanted a K series but I realized I would never (ever) have my restored truck in a situation to use the 4x4.

The PO did some work to the cab with the bed off, which in my experience shows some dedication. The PO of my truck did cab corners without taking off the bed or removing any of the rusted remnants of the original cab corner.

Looks like a cool project.
I totally understand. I don't think I will ever be in a spot where I need to use the 4x4. The closest might be some forest service roads but highly unlikely I will need 4WD. I only picked it up because the price was right, time will tell how I feel about that!

Watching your videos and seeing your level of dedication and skill soon your truck will be right as rain.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:12 PM   #12
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadheadNM View Post
Iíll jump aboard for the ride. Nice buy and good luck with the build. The rear end should be an HO52 with 4.10 gears - not the easiest to get parts for but they are available. Iím presently hoarding spare parts for mine.
Thanks Deadhead. It's turning out to be an adventure. How do I confirm that it's a HO52 without opening it up?
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:42 PM   #13
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

It's been awhile. This happened a few months ago......Next was to get the bed taken apart. Grinding the bed bolts off was a long task but easier than drilling them out. I didnít have decent drill bits and the ones I did use I ended up breaking, so it was the grinder that did the job for me.

The bed floor was decent in spots and wasted in others. It looked like it had a liner in it at one point trapping some water so it rusted heavily in spots. The rear sill was swiss cheese or baklava depending on your preference, maybe a croissant with a light flaky crust. At this point I decided on going with a wood bed in the future mainly because the shipping is outrageous on the steel bed floor. I put the steel floor on CL and someone bought it because they were converting from wood to steel.

After watching Craigslist someone ended up selling all the wood bed supports. I showed up for the supports and for the price of the supports I ended up taking home two decent bedsides and a tailgate the guy threw in the deal. The guy was putting a steel bed floor. He had a nice project going in his garage.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:54 PM   #14
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

The truck sat for awhile as I was busy with other things and I finally got back to it and started to look at the cab and what to do. The cab was decent for Northeast project material. I priced panels for everything that it looked like it would need replacing and based on my low skill level with welding it was out of budget in both the skills and money department.
I kept an eye on Craigslist and a decent 72 AC cab appeared that was a good compromise. I picked that up and brought it home and tucked it away into the ever shrinking space available in the garage.

I'm hoping these pics are rights side up this time...I fixed with the edit, Thanks Richard!
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:09 AM   #15
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Meanwhile I decided to practice welding on the blue cab. The PO had cut out the driverís side floor and the rocker was missing. If I were to lift the blue cab off the frame, I was afraid I would flex the cab out of alignment, and it would be a pain to get back into shape for someone else if I decided to let it go.

Before I post any more pics I need to find out how to get them right side up. They are saved on the computer right side up.
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:55 AM   #16
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Looks like a fun project. Keep at the welding practice is what it takes. For your pics. If using windows, right click on pic (file) then click "open with" paint. I usually reduce view to 50% so I can see the whole thing. You can rotate if needed, resize, crop etc. Leave alone if happy with it. Even if pic did not need to be rotated or edited click save. After uploading to post you can use preview to see if it turned out okay. You should be able to edit your posts and add the corrected photos if you want.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:55 AM   #17
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Very nice project truck you have there! The K trucks are my favorite and I'd rather have one and not use the 4wd than have a 2wd. I'm not sure why, that's just how it's been since I saw my very first one as a kid.

Very nice cab! It is getting super hard to find a decent cab for these trucks.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:26 AM   #18
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Looks like a fun project. Keep at the welding practice is what it takes. For your pics. If using windows, right click on pic (file) then click "open with" paint. I usually reduce view to 50% so I can see the whole thing. You can rotate if needed, resize, crop etc. Leave alone if happy with it. Even if pic did not need to be rotated or edited click save. After uploading to post you can use preview to see if it turned out okay. You should be able to edit your posts and add the corrected photos if you want.
I'm determined to get better at the welding, definitely hours and patience.

Thanks for the info on the pics, I got it to work.
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:42 PM   #19
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

I braced the cab on the driverís side. When the door was shut it lined up decently and I checked it against my C10 door gaps for reference.

Satisfied with the gap tolerances I shut the door, placed a clamp from the gas filler hole to the door to draw it in slightly more and the crawled inside and welded some square tubing across the door opening to keep it aligned. This was the first thing I welded on the truck.

I started with driverís side kick panel and I think for my first attempt it at cutting and welding a body panel it came out decent.

Keep in mind I have not done this type of work before. I just wanted to learn and get some experience.
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:57 PM   #20
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

I soon learned that the POís inside rocker patch job was about a half inch short of where it needed to be, meaning the outside edge was a half inch too short from where it needed to be.

I had an idea that it was off when I was test fitting the rocker a while back, the PO had one attached with sheet metal screws for mock up but the gap was off in the channel between the rocker and the floor edge.

I checked and rechecked this dozens of times by measuring my C10 from the seat mounting holes and some other reference points.

I chopped of his work and started on my own journey. The replacement panel was originally intended for the C10 but it volunteered for practice.
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Old 04-26-2021, 12:13 AM   #21
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Re: K20 basket case resurrection

I got it in and tacked up. The rear portion of the floor was really thin and had so many welds and patches from the PO that I ended up putting in some intermittent patches.

I knew full well this was not going to be final and since I had the patch panels on hand, I decided that the learning was worth it and all the measuring, cutting, grinding welding, grinding, welding, grinding, welding, and more grinding would be a good learning experience even if just to get the blue cab in a more rigid state before moving it.

Suffice to say I learned a lot and I realize I still have a lot more to learn. Of particular interest to me is the gap between panels prior to welding. The gap with the panel clamps almost seems too big to me, it might be my beginnerís technique but I think a closer gap would get better results. I had lots of gaps to fill after grinding.

I was even doing little circle patches. Why not. It was good practice.
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