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'84 GMC C2500 Sierra Classic Crew Cab 454 SM465 Build

Discussion in '2wd Pick-Ups C/R 20 2500 C/R 30 3500' started by OkieFishMan, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    Location:
    Enid, OK
    First Name:
    OkieFishMan
    Truck Year:
    1984
    Truck Model:
    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    I pickup up this rig May 20th, and immediately started tearing it down on the inside. My plan is to make it a nice camping/tow wagon to pull my small 28ft 5th wheel. The 454 is solid and runs great, and the tranny feels very fresh, so my initial effort has been to get the interior squared away. Long term plans include a fresh 454 that is built to tow, a gear vendor overdrive, and lastly taking care of the paint and body work.

    Here is a pic of the rig once I got it home. I drove it 300 miles home. Stopped about 20 miles into my journey to replace the fuel filter in the carb, after that it ran absolutely awesome.

    Truck As I Got It.JPG

    So I stripped everything out of the interior to get a good look at the floorpans. They felt real solid and looked good underneath when I bought it, and I was happy to find only surface rust. 30 minutes with a wire wheel and a good cleaning, then I put down two coats of brush on Eastwood Rust Encapsulator.
    Floorpan.JPG

    Then it was on to figure out why the gauges wouldn't work. Cleaned the connections on the printed circuit, cleaned the gauge terminals, oiled the speedo cable, and reattached a broken ground wire. Cleaned up the gauges and reinstalled. They all work great now (temp sending unit unplugged in pic).
    Gauges Redone.JPG

    Next I started on the new vinyl floor. I really like the vinyl, but to say it is vacuum formed to the floor is very misleading. I spent several hours trimming, fitting, heat gunning, and using colorful language to finally get it to fit decently. Overall I am happy with it, and I am sure it will look better as the summer heat helps it contour to the floor.
    New Vinyl Floor.JPG

    In between working on all the previously mentioned items, I have been refinishing every bit of trim and the door panels. I even used vinyl paint/dye to refinish the carpet panels and the inserts on the door panels. Overall I am very pleased with the look of the door panels, dash, and trim. Best part is I am only in about $100 to refinish the door panels, dash, trim, and seat trim. Here is a pic of a rear door panel I just installed tonight.
    First Door Panel Redone.JPG

    I am picking up my seats tomorrow from the upholstery shop and all new seat belts I had made at seatbeltplanet.com here in Oklahoma. I'm very anxious to see the seats and belts. The truck came with only lab belts in the back, but I am upgrading to shoulder belts since my kids will be riding back there. I still have a long way to go, but I intend to get the interior part of this build done this summer. Engine, overdrive, and paint will probably wait a while so I can save up funds again. I should have more pics to post by sunday evening. Hopefully you guys will enjoy this build. And feel free to ask questions should you want to know anything. I may be new to this forum, but I'm not new to square bodies.
     
    henrym likes this.
  2. Half Assed

    Half Assed Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
    1987, 1988
    Truck Model:
    R20 3+3, V20 Suburban
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    'bout tree fiddy
    What color dye did you use? Looks like a gray.
     
  3. animal

    animal Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    c10 silverado
    Engine Size:
    350ish
    Looks like a really nice project :waytogo:
     
  4. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    First Name:
    OkieFishMan
    Truck Year:
    1984
    Truck Model:
    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    The picture of the door panel was in the dark and the colors look terrible. The panel is blue and the cloth insert and carpet panel are both gray. I used the duplicolor vinyl paint/dye rattle can in charcoal. I'll get some better pics up this weekend.
     
  5. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    HotRod
    Truck Year:
    85 K20 LWB / 86 K5
    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    Great Project !!! I'm glad it's in OK. I've met a guy from Carrier, OK that has some C20 frame and suspension parts to a Standard Cab Long Bed and he might have a few other things if you need them. Although, in case you don't know, a Crew Cab C20/2500 is built on a 1 ton Crew Cab frame. Difference between your truck and a C3500 is the springs and not much else.

    I think I mentioned it on your into thread, only thing I'd consider different in your plan would be a 4L80-E transmission swap instead of the gear vendor. Though being a 2wd and a long ass chassis that you have, the gear vendor is a bit more friendlier than trying to get it into a 4x4 shorter chassis standard cab. I only suggest it because the gear vendor is usually quite expensive, then with all the mods that go along with it, the 4L80-E swap can be cheaper and alot less labor in the long run.
     
    Jrgunn5150 likes this.
  6. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    OkieFishMan
    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    Thanks for the info on the frame, I did not know that. Nice to know I have a super stout foundation since I plan to use this rig as a camping/towing rig to haul my family and pull our 5th wheel with. New pickups are just so expensive, and not anywhere near as cool as these square crews.

    As for the tranny, I thought about swapping to the automatic, but I really like having a manual. Adding a gear vendor will also give me essentially 7 gears, which will be awesome for towing.

    I had my seats redone at Sonny's Auto Trim in Midwest City. I picked them up today, and they look really good. I hope to get them install this weekend and then I'll get some pics up.
     
  7. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    Oh yeah, I forgot all about the manual transmission it has. I was thinking it was a Th400 truck. So yeah the Gear Vendor is not a bad option. Past that, then your next option to have an Overdrive and stay manual would be the NV4500 or even the 6 speed NV6500 I think it is. Both still have the crawl ratio 1st gear and then overdrive. Maybe you can find a good deal on a lightly used Gear Vendor commonly found in older RV's behind Turbo 400's. Even if the gear vendor is from a Ford or Dodge powertrain RV, if it's a divorced unit, then brand doesn't matter.
     
  8. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    Truck Model:
    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    Alright, update time.......first off, the rain here on Saturday really slowed me down, but I still got a lot done. Truck won't fit in my garage, so I'm at the mercy of mother nature.

    Friday I picked up my seats from the upholstery shop. I love them, they turned out awesome!
    New Upholstery.JPG

    I also picked up my brand new set of seat belts. So the next item on my list was to get all my stereo and speakers taken care of. I bought the custom kick panel speaker pods and the metal 6x9 brackets for the rear corners (can't remember if those are from someone here on this forum or not). I got them all painted up and installed. I also went ahead and plugged in the head unit just to test everything, and let me tell you, the system rocks (gotta have my tunes for long drives, lol). I really like both the kick panel pods and rear speaker brackets.

    Here is the kick panel speaker pods installed.
    Kick Panel Speaker.JPG

    And here is the rear speaker bracket installed with my new seat belt, which now gives the rear occupant shoulder and lap belts instead of just a lap belt (makes me feel better about putting my 5 year old and almost 3 year old back there).
    Rear Speaker and Shoulder Belt.JPG

    It's coming together. I hope to wrap up the stereo and bezel tomorrow, then get the headliner put back in and finally install the seats. Then install the new steering wheel and get my trailer brake controller installed. Then its on to the mechanical side of things (new radiator, cap, rotor, wires, plugs, thermostat, fan clutch, hoses, belts, brakes, tranny fluid change, rear end fluid change, etc. I could keep going. lol). I've done a lot, but still a long way to go...........
     
  9. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    I'd love to find a used GV overdrive, but they are fairly rare, or so it seems. I have yet to find one that wasn't ridiculously priced. If I have to pay full price for a new GV Overdrive, I'm okay with that. I'll get lots of good use out of it.
     
  10. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    Truck Model:
    Silverado / Silverado
    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    Yes, they are pricey when trying to buy one even used when you do find it. That's why I mentioned the secret about an RV. Sometimes you can find a rotted out parked RV that has sat for many years, been leaked in and it's a total POS and someone is selling it for $1000-$2000. Buy it, take the powertrain cores, scrap the RV, then the big block is usually low mileage and you can sell that, then the Th400 is sought after by street racers cuz of the straight cut planetaries that come in RV Th400's. By the time you part it out and scrap it out, the Gear Vendor is almost FREE.
     
  11. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    That's looking great. So how about the front driver side speaker pod? Does it get in the way of the parking brake being able to be used? I've seen several of those and you couldn't use the park brake.
     
  12. 74 Shortbed

    74 Shortbed Full Access Member

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    Project is coming along great, and go with a Gear Vendor you'll love it..
     
    OkieFishMan likes this.
  13. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    I haven't checked to see if it will clear, but there does seem to be enough movement that if you had the brake adjusted properly that it should engage before hitting the speaker pod. I'll know better once I get done on the interior and move on to the mechanicals of the rig.
     
  14. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Certified Camping and Fishing Nut

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    Truck Model:
    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    I finished up the stereo install tonight, and am now working on installing all the new seat belts. I also put the cleaned up headliner back in so that once I get this thing done I can drive it down to the upholstery shop and have them redo the headliner. I hope to finish the seat belts tomorrow and install the last of the door panels, then install the seats on Wednesday. If only I could afford to not have to work, then I could work on this thing all day...............lol
     
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  15. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    Engine Size:
    454 - Turbo 400 - 3.73 350 - 700R4 - 4.10
    It's coming along great. Just be thankful you get to work on it and call it good. You're making great progress in a short amount of time compared to many of us so live with it.

    I hope you do find one of those Gear Vendors for a good price. The idea of the manaul 4 speed with a Gear Vendor is going to be great. Some forget, Gear Vendor is more than just an OD. It's also an underdrive too. What gear ratio you got in the rear end of this truck?
     

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