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Old 06-08-2011, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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ORD Ultimate Adventure truck prep - '99 K2500 shortbed

Last friday:


Now the only thing left in the truck is the long block.
We actually shopped a little for this truck, we wanted the 88-98 type body style with the big block and after our recent headaches with 4L80's we really wanted the NV4500. Plus I've never wheeled a properly set up truck (low geared) with a manual so it'll be fun driving something different. We wanted a running driving truck so that we wouldn't be building an engine and transmission and we kind of achieved that.


Turns out the 454 had the standard manifold leaks and some exhaust leaks so we're fixing that. At least it's easy to just fix stuff and put it back where we found it rather than building from scratch. We are resisting the urge to add a cam, headers and custom exhaust since we have about 3 weeks to put this thing back on the road.

The trans and clutch were OK but it's hard to not put in new stuff when the trans is held in with a few bolts. Seems the throwout bearing/slave system is a problem on these trucks too so we'll just put a new one in with the new clutch.

That's about the end of the stock mechanical stuff. The 241 is hitting the road and we have our GM203/Ford205 Doubler ready to bolt to the trans. Front axle is a 79 ford D60 and rear will be the stock 14 bolt housing. They're now empty housings waiting on the ARBs and Reid knuckles to assemble. We have the rest of the goodies:

They're 5.13's and we'll put some CTMs in shafts so it'll be pretty tough.


There's a spy shot of the ORD SAS kit we just got into production which we'll need since this pile of poo is laying on the ground now:
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sweet! I've always wanted one of these trucks built up.

It's hard to beat the TBI and manual trans for "drive home" simplicity/reliability.

EDIT: just realized it's a 99 and a Vortec instead of TBI. Either way, the electronics are simple and cheap and most parts stores carry replacement everything (even ECMs)

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Old 06-08-2011, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice!

One question though, why not Crane for the steering?
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We happen to have a spare ECM here that we might take with us. Anybody with ideas on spare motor parts to carry should feel free to post them up, I've never played with the Vortec motor other than driving this one around for a while.

Don't need to wait on the ARBs anymore:


That just added to the workload a little bit.

Suspension is going to be leaves front and rear using our ORD custom packs. Fronts are a 3"-ish lift for a heavier 73-87 truck and the rear is a 65" long custom pack. We're leaving the tension shackle setup in the rear to pick up a little more travel and so the tail of the spring isn't the bumper. Fronts could have used our brackets for a 52" spring but I don't like losing the approach angle and I think the 48.5" will flex plenty. We generally use up all of a 14" travel shock in articulation so it'll be fine.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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waiting... lets see more pics!
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Nice!

One question though, why not Crane for the steering?
Tie rod might be staying in the stock location and Crane doesn't have a stock location!
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sooner or later someone is going to wonder about the "shortbed" part:

Here's what it looked like before, at least the frame part:


Here's what it looks like after yesterday's fun:


It's missing 15" now, which should put the wheelbase in the 117" range. Maybe a bit more since our SAS brackets will move the axle forward a bit.

Here's the splice under the cab, it'll have a diamond shaped reinforcing patch when it's finished.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like it will be a cool build. Look forward to following this!
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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We happen to have a spare ECM here that we might take with us. Anybody with ideas on spare motor parts to carry should feel free to post them up, I've never played with the Vortec motor other than driving this one around for a while.
Go ahead and swap out the Ignition Control Module and the Crank Position Sensor while you are building. Both are known to go bad pretty commonly.

Might as well carry the ECM as well. I just had one burn up on my 96 454 (although that may have been user error )

Let me know if you need any diagrams or anything. I have Alldata for mine and it comes in handy ALOT.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sweet!

Always look forward to the UA!
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Stephen, is the hydraulic throw out bearing setup unique to the GM NV4500s?
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is this truck going to be used as a rolling testbed for your SAS kits? Also, do you eventually plan on making a SAS kit similar to this one but for the '01-2010 GM HD trucks at all?

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Old 06-08-2011, 02:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I may or may not have my hands on your "secret squirrel" SAS kit. If I did...err didn't, what steering set up would one need? ie: pitman arm arm drop and drag link length ect.

I may or may not be requesting details when you get to that point.

Dustin

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Old 06-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I may or may not have my hands on your "secret squirrel" SAS kit. If I did...err didn't, what steering set up would one need? ie: pitman arm arm drop and drag link length ect.

I may or may not be requesting details when you get to that point.

Dustin

We already have all the details ironed out for the 88-98 Chevy crossover steering, give us a call when you get there
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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We already have all the details ironed out for the 88-98 Chevy crossover steering, give us a call when you get there
Thanks Chris
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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cool build up man!! Know get to work so you make the event.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Lowdown: I'm not sure if the slave/throwout is unique to this trans or not, what are you wondering about?

We do have plans for a '00+ SAS but it's going to be a bit since we're tied up with this thing and some other R&D projects for the next couple months.

I also have this fun stuff to work around:




Crashed my motorcycle crossing a down tree and it's still pretty sore. X-rays say not broken luckily since it sucks to drive with the boot. I got through the Rock Junction trip last week but the foot wasn't awesome. Not so much a problem in the day since I'm usually in the office but I haven't really tried building anything yet...
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Sooner or later someone is going to wonder about the "shortbed" part:

Here's what it looked like before, at least the frame part:


Here's what it looks like after yesterday's fun:


It's missing 15" now, which should put the wheelbase in the 117" range. Maybe a bit more since our SAS brackets will move the axle forward a bit.

Here's the splice under the cab, it'll have a diamond shaped reinforcing patch when it's finished.
Looks like a good start. Why shorten the frame under the cab vs sliding the mounts forward and chopping off the rear section?
I want to shorten my ex cab short bed and was going to move the mounts forward which would also lower the front mount, use your shackle flip in the back and run a flatter spring.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Looks like a good start. Why shorten the frame under the cab vs sliding the mounts forward and chopping off the rear section?
I want to shorten my ex cab short bed and was going to move the mounts forward which would also lower the front mount, use your shackle flip in the back and run a flatter spring.
Was wondering the same thing. Would thing not cutting/splicing frame would have left more flat bottom frame under rig for skid or whatever.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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We debated how to do it, the cut/splice won out since the frame tapers to the rear and moving the hangers would change the perch width a little. We have a chance to use the rear axle without messing with perches so we spliced. That long straight section of frame sure made it look enticing to just move them forward though. The problem with the earlier trucks is that the shackle bracket always ends up in the raised section of the frame which is a pain, these get away from that frame hump.

We're running a custom rear pack that already has a little longer shackle designed into the system so dropping the main eye would make the pinion angle worse too.

It's not much to look at but tonight we're painting brackets and cleaning up frame details on the front so we can bolt the brackets on tomorrow. Since the trans is out we're going to do the drilling for the shackle mount while there's nothing in the way. Then it's drivetrain install time then re-work the exhaust. I want to at least make the motor run again by this weekend even if it's not hooked to the axles.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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after our recent headaches with 4L80's we really wanted the NV4500. Plus I've never wheeled a properly set up truck (low geared) with a manual so it'll be fun driving something different.
that right there is funny

Looks good, can't wait to see the rest of it


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Old 06-08-2011, 08:34 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I always wondered if the same scenario shortening the wheelbase w/o cutting the frame and just moving everything forward if you could drill a hole through the frame for the springs bolt then make a bracket to box the spring eye off the frame instead of using a spring hanger. Never measured one but was a thought.

Gonna have this rig at Blazer Bash?
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:48 AM   #23 (permalink)
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after our recent headaches with 4L80's we really wanted the NV4500. Plus I've never wheeled a properly set up truck (low geared) with a manual so it'll be fun driving something different.
Watch out or you will get hooked on it! Be fun watching this build, it's a lot like what I started out with.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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that right there is funny

Looks good, can't wait to see the rest of it


Jeremy
Little weird huh? Dad's old dually had 4.56's with a 465/205 and only ran 32" tires so I guess technically it had pretty deep gears. But we never really wheeled it. Our cheap truck now has a 465/205 with 4.10's and 37's and it did great on the hole in the rock trail but that's not really very technical. I ran my wife's stock '97 tacoma on hole in the rock with a 5 speed and it brought some suck in a few places, similar trips with the family '84 S-10 did the same. This will be fun.

I like your main eye idea norby, it might even work out to run a heavy wall sleeve all the way through the frame for the bolt. We didn't think that much about it. I think it's a marine corp motto, "a good plan now is better than a perfect plan later", or something like that. We're using some of that ideology now.

Today we started with the rough cut frame looking like this:


And ended with it looking like this:


There is a LOT of cleanup involved with this process, holy cow. We went a little far with it maybe, the front crossmember looks like this now:


In other news today, the ARB is in the front housing, then we realized we didn't add plug welds to it like we usually do so we have that problem to address. The dash is loose in the truck so we can run the cage through the front of it and I think that's about it. We have the new PSC box in there now so we can place some new crossmember parts and we might call it a night a bit early.
Now that the heavy grinding is done we can start bolting brackets on and finish assembling the front of the motor and move back with the drivetrain. Material for the bed showed up today too so it's time to bend the B pillar and start working from there on the bed and the interior cage. Holy cow there's a lot going on!
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:30 PM   #25 (permalink)
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is that a 4x4 front crossmember?? lol
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