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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a pic of my 'Pops' '66 a few years back.


It was a Utah Forestry Service truck built by GM as a 4X4 and on a 3/4 ton frame right from the factory. Not the more common Naapco conversion. He bought it from the Ranger who used it and liked his service truck so much he bought it when he retired.

My Pops then dragged his girlfriend around camping in it in the 70's and 80's. They got married (for 40+ years now), had two very pretty daughters, and they all would go and off-road and camp in this truck for many years in the California desert.

It's a pretty neat truck! As I understand it, it's not a dealer 4X4 conversion. It looks to be an actual "factory" K truck. It is on a 3/4 ton frame, divorced t-case, and closed knuckle 10 bolt front axle.

During that time he took out the old 292 I-6, put in a 350, re-did the interior, swapped the SM420 for a SM465 out of a dumptruck, re-painted it with Imron (lol), and there it sat for the next 20 years:mad:

I've been very good friends with the whole family since the 90's, and consider him my dad:cool: He's mid-70's now and not in the best shape:( But getting better!

I am a capable mechanic, and very familiar with Chevys, so I took it upon myself to do this project for him. I need to undo some crazy old aircraft mechanic guy stuff:confused: and add some convenience things for him.
My goal is to make it pretty again and easy for him to drive around if he wishes, and do this poor awesome truck some justice!

The engine is in really good shape and runs very well. I have converted the Rochester 2jet to a Quadrajet and manifold (I know it's not a holley:p), and converted the old point distributor to an HEI, added a fan shroud and replaced the 'flex fan' with a factory fan and clutch which is MUCH quieter.

The 4 speed makes some gear noise in 2nd, but shifts and works well enough to leave it alone.

Awhile ago, I added a power booster and divorced master cylinder to the drum brakes and they work MUCH better but I still want to add disks in front.

I want to add power steering (conversion plate from 456chevytrucks, 605 saginaw box, P/s pump/hoses/brackets for the SBC). Ill need to set the caster back a few degrees (axle shims) and I'll need a smaller diameter steering wheel, hopefully I can find a stock looking wheel.

(Edit) On second thought a surplus D44 is a MUCH better choice for the complete disk brake, power steering, and 40 year updated ball joints, u-joints, axles, etc..

The bench seat is nice, but he had it done by a buddy who was a couch upholsterer, so its super comfy but way, way, too padded and domed up top. Needs to be form fit and thinned out about 8"!

I replaced the 35" tires in the pic with 33's and still need to fab up some little steps for the cab.

I'll add A/C (Vintage air)

Then send it to the body shop (same color) because theres some rust in the doors.

I'd like to chronicle the re-build on here and welcome any input you guys have!beer
 

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Cooter great project, glad you have joined here, as far as the disc assembly for the closed knuckle is beyond me....will have to do some searching....when you do the power steering the frame will need to be reinforced with a plate, two wheel trucks get one plate on the out side, I have read on the 4x4`s that guys were placing two one inside and one outside to keep the frame rails from cracking..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the well wishes and links! The first article is too funny, I've been off-roading with Verne before, he's hilariousbeer

Here's a pic from today:


I just hauled a fridge to a buddies house 50 miles away in it. She still gets thumbs up! The paint polishes out easily, but I won't bother.

It's got the 33" all-terrains and black steel wheels. Not sure if I'll keep the spare in the spare-spot, it blocks the side mirror a bit but I don't really want it in the bed to rot. Any ideas? Maybe mount a pulley thing under the bed?

I wanted to try and use the stock front axle for nostalgias sake, but I went ahead and committed to using the whole surplus Dana 44 I got. Just need to gear to 3.73 and maybe drop in a Lock-rite. Then everything is new under there:)

I'll need to plumb in a combo valve for the brakes too. Thanks 406, I'll do that with both plates....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I could start another thread but.... A friend has a 65 with the big back window and both the front and rear are busted.

I can find the glass if I google it but do you guys have a favorite forum sponsor, or good business to deal with? I'd rather throw the $ at someone who supports us.fahne19
 

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There`s Ecklers and or Classic industries, you can also get the glass thru Safelite....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ya, I'm close enough to Classic Ind, to pick it up and I saw that they (and Ecklers) were sponsors. I'll go that route:eek: Thanks 406beer

Gotta keep these on the road!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And back in the driveway. A happy ending to be sure.
YFkheT6ZQey4%AbUeZr34w by Cooter!, on Flickr

Once the brakes were bedded and the power steering bled, this old truck really has a new feel.
She feels light! She can keep up with LA drivers (oblivious A-holes in Priuses) and can stop before killing them with the bumper.

A re-upholstered seat, smaller steering wheel, and better stock rear taillights will be on the list, but for now it's on to the next new project.

+BdvSSmcQea59JHxhDOE8g by Cooter!, on Flickr

Wheres that tri-5 forum? lol....
 

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That`s one sweet ride Cooter, you gotta be proud....! beer
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks so much guys:p
It's very satisfying to get it done for him, and I seriously could not have done it without the good quality info I got off here. This info will only become more valuable as time moves on. Most of the parts I bought were right the very first time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's been about a year and a half and thought I'd report that everything still works well and he's still driving it a little bitbeer.

The P/s pump does whine a little, but I think I'll just chalk it up to a crappy re-build and try another one. It's all you can do now-a-days.
 
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