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 Post subject: 72 GMC project
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Its time to fix up my old 72 GMC and get it back on the road again, I am seeking
advice from others experiences I am looking for the best prices and hoping to
avoid the scammers and making common mistakes people make when restoring
a truck like mine, this is not a project truck like you see on TV where people
throw thousands of dollars into it, I want to bring the mechanical end up to
snuff then start fixing up the body....

A brief history on this truck, my dad bought it in 1978 from the original owner,
it was owned by a guy that had a gas station/automotive repair shop, it
came from the dealer with a snow plow on it and was used to plow snow
in the winter, not commercially but it seen alot of use, the snow plow is long
gone... Its a 3/4 ton 4x4, has factory a/c tach, cloth seat (bad shape) it had
all the chrome trim and was originally green and white, my dad added a
tilt wheel from a 72 Blazer, mom gave me the truck when my dad passed away
I havent driven it very much but that is going to change, the original Engine had
about 90k miles and needed rebuilt so I built up a SB 400 as a replacement,
the factory TH350 trans started leaking oil into the transfer case so I did the
700R4 swap in hopes of squeezing another 2-3 mpg out of the truck and
so it would cruse nicely at 70-75 mph with the 4:10 gears.


I am currently going to do a Engine swap, the current Engine is a SB 400 bored .
030 over 9.5:1 flat tops crane HMV 272 cam bla bla bla, it averages 6-8 mpg with
todays gas prices its time to swap it out for a stock 350 I already have, its left over
from my 86 Suburban part out., the 400 is fun to drive but really don't need
the extra power, I am looking to get the mpg up in the 12-14 mpg range,
I already installed a 700R4 trans and transfer case out of a 87 Suburban.

After I do the Engine swap next on the list is to replace is the suspension, it needs
shocks and all new bushings so my thoughts are while I am into the suspension
I will go ahead and upgrade to all new springs by getting a 4" 'soft ride' lift kit,
new springs, shocks, bushings, U bolts the works.

Other things on the list are as follows

Rust free 8' bed.

Rubber floor mat (I hate carpet)

New exhaust , I need suggestions on what works well and is durable

Convert the a/c to 134a freon, anybody have tips on this? I have converted newer
systems nothing this old...

New rear drive shaft or at least get the current one balanced after 700R4 swap.

Here is a page I started last year when I did the trans and transfer case swap.
http://pilotodyssey.com/GMC.htm

So now you have a idea what I want to do any help suggestions links would be greatly
appreciated thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Springs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:06 pm
Posts: 1412
Location: San Diego
I've got some 12" Superlift springs left over from my old monster Toyota days. They're meant for a 73-88, but should work, probably only good for 6-8" now since I took two middle leafs out of each spring pack for the cruiser's lift.

On second thought, it's probably not worth the shipping......

Best body GM ever came up with!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:43 pm
Posts: 1368
Location: Colorado
Way back when, early 60's, I had a big block Chevy in a 61 Ragtop, tri-power and 4 speed.

I used to switch between 4:10. and (I think)3:36. The power and acceleration with the 4:10's was tremendous. With the lower ratios, the power wasn't near as good, but they got a lot better mileage. And, since the price of gas had skyrocketed from the high teens and low 20's to the high 20's and low 30's, the cost was something a lot of people were thinking about!!

I don't know how much you could pick up a set of gears for these days, but you could try it with the rear only first and see how it works out for you, if it is good, then go ahead and change out the front. Also, I don't know anymore what ratios are available, but maybe even something like very low 3's, 3:06 seems to ring a bell.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 10:38 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Knoxville, TN
For some reason I was thinking the truck was yellow. Good luck on the restoration, and better luck finding a rust free bed! I'll keep my eyes open for you down here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:48 pm
Posts: 1037
Location: CT
When you do your A/C conversion be sure to change all your o-rings at all the connections. Remove your evaporator core and condensor and flush it well. I would recommend a new compressor. The seals don't last to long after a retorfit on the original. THe hoses are a 50/50 shot. Sometimes the 134 molecules will actually leak through the hose over time. Definatly don't waste you money on those kits you buy at walmart and kmart. Make sure you remove ALL the old oil. Many of the oils are not compatable.

I'm not sure what you are running for an ignition system, but would say to upgrade it to at least what came with the suburban donor.

Replace all seals on the Engine and front pump seal on the trans

Go with 3:55 gears. It will greatly increase you gas mileage and still give you a low enough gear with your transfer case in low gear for off roading, jocking a trailer, or even plowing.

Replace ALL brake lines even iff they are not rusted. Brake lines rust from the inside out.

There are some web sites that will help you calculate Engine RPM based on tire size and axle ratios. Take this data and compare it to other GM models with the same Engine and different gearing to figure out where your mpg is.

Good luck with your resto.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:31 pm
Posts: 5540
Location: New Jersey
Hoser, those soft ride kits arent the best-the rear srpings usually sag after a spell-try just the normal Rnacho 4" lift that are sold in the back of 4 wheeler mag, etc, they are better, you don't need the total rear spring kit, get the kit with the rear blocks, longer u bolts, it is easier and the ride wont really be effected that much.Get the gas charged shocks,not the normal 5000's, etc that Rancho sells to, they have adjustable settings on them to soften the ride, some kits come with everything.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:04 am
Posts: 465
Location: Springfield Ohio
Your brave switching to the TH400-R4. I have a little experience with the TH400-R4, bad experience. I have gone threw 3 of them in my ’86 Chevy van w/ 6.5 diesel. I have noticed that some people swear at them, some swear by them so I figured that there must be some secret I did not know. It would seam that setting up the TV cable is not like the old kick down cable.

Poking around the net I found this:

http://www.tvmadeez.com/article/index.html

This seams to be a fairly comprehensive discussion about what the TV cable dose as well as how to set it up. When the tranny in the van gives out next time I am going to go to one of the shops that rebuilds for hot rods & towing applications. Then I will go over the TV cable set up very carefully.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
The 700R4 don't scare me so far I have had good luck with them, the trans I put in the 72 GMC
has about 190k miles on it and never shown any signs of problems but time will tell,
thanks for the link I will add it to my 700R4 page http://pilotodyssey.com/700R4.htm

The 700R4 behind a diesel is the problem so I have been told, I had a diesel blazer and
it cracked the converter by one of the studs they weld on so you can bolt it to the flywheel,
when I was buying a rebuilt converter from a trans guy I know he said the 700R4 is good
for about 85k miles behind the diesel then expect problems, he claimed it was the vibration,
not knowing that much about them IMO if vibration was the problem then a non lock up
converter should help?

Check out the mega raptor 700R4 http://transmissionhead.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:48 pm
Posts: 1037
Location: CT
The 700R4 is a decent tranny when it is stock. There are numerous upgrades that can be done to make it very reliable for towing. Deal with a real tranmission guy, not a chain shop, and get good parts and you will be fine. The 700r4 also has the cable that needs to be checked for proper adjustment. If you take the time to set them up right you won't have a problem with unoticed slippage that creates heat and ultimalty premature failure. Also spend the money on synthetic ATF, it makes a world of difference on the longevity of the parts. Every trans has a weak point that everybody points a finger at, but they all have updates from the aftermarket to prevent the problem from happening again. I've built ford 4r100 transmissions that were good for 900hp with mostly ford oem parts and raybestos cluthes. You just have to wonder why the oem doesn't spend the little extra money to increase the reliability.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 5:15 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Orland Park, IL
hoser wrote:
Check out the mega raptor 700R4 http://transmissionhead.com


I have heard of a few people tear through the Raptor 200-4R trannys, so I don't know how much confidence I would have in their 700-R4. CK performance is the best trans guy IMO. I get all my 200-4R stuff from him...

Put a good shift kit in a lot of the transmissions and a trans cooler and their lifespan will increase a ton. The shift kit will keep the trans from excessive slip between gears...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Update:


Removing the old 400


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File comment: The replacement, a 350 from a 86 Surburban
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Another update, I took the bed off to do some maintenance to the frame, repair one shock mount, 4 of the bed mounts on the bed are broke and need welding , time to remove and replace the rear bumper, some skillbilly welded on some channel iron to the frame so they could mount a bumper hah


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
WOW
I havent done a update in a while so might as well.

UPS just dropped off some parts I ordered.

New seat cover

4 new shocks

New rubber floor mat with factory like jute padding. (I hate carpet)

New fan switch for A/C

I converted the ac from R-12 to R-134 but after a few hours of operation the clutch started slipping so I need to pull the clutch and swap out with another one I have hope to get this done this weekend...

My son will be busy with the seat cover and new flooring, he is currently sanding a Chevy tail gate I have that will be a temp gate until I get a better box, we will fill in the lettering and make it all smooth then prime.

Pics in a few days as things happen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Anybody know who makes custom drive shafts, I might need one made for the rear of the GMC, I installed a trans and transfer case out of a 86 Suburban so the stocker don't work I modified the stock Suburban to work I want to upgrade to something better.

Just want to weigh my options while I am searching for someone local.

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:06 pm
Posts: 1412
Location: San Diego
Last ones I had made were by Arizona Driveline in Phoenix, back in '89. Guy did excellent work, put double cardin joints on both ends of the monster toyota's drive shafts.

With 18" total lift and 44" tires I never had the slightest driveline vibration or binding.

He made both shafts in and hour for 150 each.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:31 pm
Posts: 5540
Location: New Jersey
Ody_Stable wrote:
Last ones I had made were by Arizona Driveline in Phoenix, back in '89. Guy did excellent work, put double cardin joints on both ends of the monster toyota's drive shafts.

With 18" total lift and 44" tires I never had the slightest driveline vibration or binding.

He made both shafts in and hour for 150 each.


Hoser, I to used Arizona Driveline for my Chevy mudbog truck, I had converted the front rear to a 60 from a corporate 10 bolt and I used the larger joints in my shafts, they were excellent on pricing, custom made me exactly what I wanted and I highly recommend them as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Time for an update...

The kid has been messing with this truck for a few years now he really has not done anyhting special mostly keeping up with maintenance, I sold him my 90 Suburban (his idea) so I have decided to make a daily driver out of the GMC..

A 2-1/2" lift kit is on the way, when I swap out the springs I am also swapping out the 3/4 ton axles with the 4.10 gears and installing the 1/2 ton axles out of my 82 Blazer with 3.08 gears, the rear axle is actually a 12 bolt out of a 76 Chevy 'Heavy half" truck.

I will need to modify the rear drive shaft.

I will be installing some vintage 80's 'turbine' style aluminum rims and some new tires.

Next will be the body, I NEED A COMPLETE RUST FREE TRUCK or something close to rust free 67-72 long bed, Chevy or GMC seen one let me know if I cant find something then I need to replace both front fenders, inner fender wells, radiator support, all cab mounts, both inner and outer rockers, at least one cab corner, some patches will need welded in the lower door panels.

Until then she has a full tank of gas and is ready for the SNOW!


Hopefully we will get enough I can get her back into the field for more FUN! Maybe I will get some 'dash cam' video this time heh.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhH7kNzlGdM

Snow leve so far.....
Pics taken 10 min ago.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:52 pm
Posts: 511
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
That will be a nice truck when you are done with it.
Now I want to work on my 72 chevy, It needs alot of work but it was only $350 so I don't mind putting a few $$ into it


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
badbob66 wrote:
That will be a nice truck when you are done with it.
Now I want to work on my 72 chevy, It needs alot of work but it was only $350 so I don't mind putting a few $$ into it


Great find for 350 bux, any more pics?

What options does your have?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Truck is getting a 2.5" lift kit

Kids removing the old shocks and springs on the 72 GMC so we can install a 2.5" lift kit

Next is 4 new tires probably 9.50 16.5's unless I can find a sweet tire rim combo that has 16" rims NOT 16.5"

After the lift and tires are done new fenders, inner fender wells radiator core support, one cab corner, 4 cab supports, still gotta find a better bed..


Image


Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Found out the old rear leaf springs have broken leafs on both sides, ordered new rear 2.5" lift springs for the rear, also spring "anchor plates" were rusted out got NEW from GM documenting the parts numbers here because I went through HELL getting right numbers, GM discontinued the plates for the 72 Chevy and GMC but used the same thing on the 76 1 ton 2wd crew cab with the SINGLE AXLE the dually had a DIFFERENT number.

They are getting painted the replacements will last longer than the originals when I get done heh


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:40 pm
Posts: 22133
Location: Chicago
Rear axle waiting on new springs.

9000 lb axle out of a 76 Chevy 3/4 ton 2wd crew cab 3+3 their is a LONG story about what happen to the old axle and the truck the donor axle came from some day I will type it all out... lets just say get out the map and look for Circle City Alaska this axle has been their and back,, in 1976 when only 80 miles of the Alaskan hwy was paved and the rest was potholes :shock: I remember the 3000 MILES of gravel roads as if it was yesterday...


Brakes are 2-3 x bigger than 1/2 ton


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