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1983 C20 - Michael's Slow Build Thread

Discussion in '2wd Pick-Ups C/R 20 2500 C/R 30 3500' started by mistaake, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. mistaake

    mistaake Full Access Member

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    First Name:
    Michael
    Truck Year:
    1999
    Truck Model:
    Crown Vic
    Engine Size:
    4.6
    So, in my quest to be cheap, I bought a 1983 C20 that's been sitting in a field for 15 years. It was supposed to be a very slow project but now it's expedited because my Yukon broke down and I gotta get to work somehow...

    Specs:
    -1983 C20 Regular Cab Long Bed Fleetside (Custom Deluxe?)
    -350 V8
    -Automatic Transmission (Turbo 400?)
    -Approximate 127K miles

    Amenities:
    -Power Steering
    -Radio
    -Manual Windows and Locks

    So far I've:
    -Replaced Starter
    -New Battery (well, right now I'm using a spare battery from something else, but I'll be using the almost brand new battery out of the Yukon)
    -Changed Oil+Filter

    Problems yet to resolve:
    -Blinkers don't work (when I use the little push button flasher on the steering colum the bulbs blink like they should, but when I push the blinker stick up and down nothing happens)
    -Windshield wipers don't work
    -Ignition switch doesn't work, plan on setting up a push button start (for now shorting the solenoid from the starter to the battery works to start it)
    -Since this is California, it's going to have to pass smog. That'll be fun :D
    -The hood doesn't close all the way. It latches so I can drive it without it flying open but it doesn't go the fully closed locked position.

    Other random stuff to do:
    -Coolant flush
    -Transmission service
    -Check rear diff fluid
    -Might need new tires, these ones are pretty old.
    -Brake service/inspection
    -Air intake tube is broken.
    -The locks don't work

    Plans:
    -Clean interior, exterior, and under the hood. It's disgusting! But the paint is actually in quite good condition under the moss, so it should look OK after some scrubbing.
    -Put in a toolbox like http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-70...C-_-NavPLPHorizontal1_rr-_-NA-_-203418355-_-N
    -Upgrade radio for aux input from my phone. Maybe a casette adapter will work?

    Here's a picture I took at time of purchase.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  2. Stewzer55

    Stewzer55 Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
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    Interesting front bumper
     
  3. mistaake

    mistaake Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
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    I assumed that was stock. Am I very wrong?
     
  4. CSFJ

    CSFJ ----------------- Supporting Member

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    Doesn't appear to be. Never seen one like it before.
     
  5. mistaake

    mistaake Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
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    The back bumper is kind of like that too. Will post more pics later. Guess it's a "speshul" bumper? :D
    Do you have any thoughts about the blinker not working? That is my primary issue right now.
    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  6. CSFJ

    CSFJ ----------------- Supporting Member

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    Start with the basics. Look for power and ground at the socket, work your way in from there.
     
  7. mistaake

    mistaake Full Access Member

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    OK I will check it out and try to fix it. Worst case I buy the switch its not very expensive. But maybe just a bad wire or fuse.

    Can I use the tires from a 96 Yukon on the he 83 c20? I know the wheels are different but getting 4 tires mounted from one set to wheels to another is cheaper than 4 new tires lol.

    Thanks!

    Ps: how about I put a big sign on the back that says my blinker doesn't work please watch for hand signals and put those useless hand signals they made sure I knew during the driving test to good use :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  8. CSFJ

    CSFJ ----------------- Supporting Member

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    If the rim diameter is the same and the tires are close to the same height, they should work.
     
  9. mistaake

    mistaake Full Access Member

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    So... would it be unsafe for me to drive the old truck from my office to my house? I'm mainly worried about the tires, but I'd can't really afford to take care of that right now.

    Also, dumb question... how do I know if the temp gauge is OK? I don't want to overheat it on the way home in case the thermostat is stuck or something... That's how I killed my old Ford van last year. I bought it and drove it for months overheating it not realizing the temp gauge was bad.

    Thanks!
     
  10. PrairieDrifter

    PrairieDrifter Full Access Member

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    unplug the wire to the temp sender and ground it out on the intake and see if the gauge pegs out thats the easiest way to tell but that doesn't mean the temp sender is good, the temp sender should be on the drivers side head right above the manifold and has a single wire to it.

    Easy way to check if the thermostat is opening is to let it run and feel the top radiator hose when the thermostat opens the hose should start getting warm.

    and as for driving with your tires, as long as you don't have to drive very fast I wouldn't be too worried about it just to get you by for a little bit. just make sure they aren't falling apart or the sidewall is cracked, take a spare with you just incase!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  11. mistaake

    mistaake Full Access Member

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    Well, I don't have a spare... I have other tires but different wheels. There is quite a stretch of highway in between that I'm worried about... I'd take it easy for sure, but gotta be able to do 55-65mph :) Maybe there will be terrible traffic the entire way home so I don't have to go fast... damn, never thought I'd want to get stuck in a traffic jam!!

    Great idea regarding the temp gauge, thank you! That's why I love this forum... creative, intelligent, SIMPLE solutions.

    By the way, what's the best way to make sure the parking brake is completely released? I think it's partially stuck.
     
  12. PrairieDrifter

    PrairieDrifter Full Access Member

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    I would make sure I have a spare(makes me feel safe lol) I bet you could find one with a decent tire on it for like 30 bucks, well up here in the north you could im not sure about cali haha.

    For the park brake, you would have to take the brake drum off which could be quite a challenge if the brake is engaged slightly since the shoes will hold the drum on. If the drum is stuck get a couple of prybars and put even pressure on opposite sides of the drum and try to wiggle it off, but the first thing you should do when you take the wheel off is give the drum a few good taps( don't get too crazy) on the face of it to loosen the rust and dirt that will also make it a bitch to get off and spray some pb blaster or whatever you prefer around the wheel studs.

    If all else fails and the brake is engaged theres a good chance your shoes and drum are toast, so just take a BFH and start going to town on the drum haha then get new brake parts, a little unethical? yes. will it work? most likely haha, an air hammer helps a lot sometimes too.

    I don't have good luck with parking brakes so I just cut the damn cables off and say the hell with it, but that's just me.
     
  13. CSFJ

    CSFJ ----------------- Supporting Member

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    Check to make sure there's not an opening in the backing plate to reach the adjuster for the brakes. I can't recall if these trucks have them or not. Some vehicles have a small perferated knock out for access. If there is one, you should be able to turn the adjuster in, to retract the brake shoes. Try to avoid going crazy with the pry bars and hammers, that tends to destroy the springs and retainers, and you'll want to be able to look at those to see how they re-install when you do the rear brakes.
     
  14. PrairieDrifter

    PrairieDrifter Full Access Member

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    Finess is good with brakes until you realize you cant get it off ha, I would just replace the springs and the rest of the hardware as they may be wore out anyways.
     
  15. CSFJ

    CSFJ ----------------- Supporting Member

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    That works as long as you know how to put the springs back on.
     

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