New Member and new owner of a 1976 K20

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legend57

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Posts
31
Reaction score
82
Location
San Jose, CA
First Name
Rob
Truck Year
1976
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
400
Greetings all,

Good to be here. Earlier this year, I purchased a 1976 K20 after a long search for one with a VIN combination I was looking for, and one that was a good candidate for restoration. Man, it was sure an ugly turd when it arrived, but I've spent the last 6 months getting rid of all of the ugly that was done to it. Here is a summary of the build so far:

Had the frame sand blasted and I've painted using Eastwood products. Turned out nice. Before sandblasting, I had to grind away a bunch of crap the previous owner(s) had creatively welded. Thankfully, nothing a sawsall and grinder couldn't fix and make disappear.

I had both the front and rear axles gone through and it was good I did. Again, some previous owner had hacked up the front axle splines and those needed replacement. The rest of the hardware was in good shape. Just replaced bearings, seals, and rebuild the brakes.

I purchased a 2" lift suspension kit from Tuff Country. No blocks. 4 new springs, shocks, rubber, etc.. Nice kit.

Had the power steering box rebuilt and ready to go back in. Someone had converted the brakes to hydroboost, which I really like, so I'm leaving that in. Just got it rebuilt and bought a new disc/drum master, correct for a '76 K20.

The truck VIN said it had a 400 small block, but a previous owner had dropped in a crate 350. I sold that and was lucky enough to find a correct 1976 400 out of a K20 in Central California. Never rebuilt, the thing was like new. What a find. I got that rebuild, but I did fix a few of the factory deficiencies. Since I'm in California, I have to pass smog, so everything (just about) that I've changed are CARB compliant, including the AFR heads, new intake manifold, Edelbrock Carb, and headers (yes, with the AIR tubes). I also put in a roller cam, but it is mild and the specs closely match a CARB compliant version of a flat tappet version. Since the truck has the heavy duty emissions, it has the EVAP, Smog Pump/AIR tubes, and PVC valve. No CATS or EGR valve. I picked up an HEI from FAST. i'll use the factory air cleaner, of course. Front accessories are all factory, except I've converted from factory air to Vintage Air. I know factory is better, but for me, the time to piece it back together just wasn't going to happen. I've been happy with Vintage Air in my classic cars.

For the transmission, I've ditched the TH350 and am replacing it with a 700R4 from GearStar (Level3). I'm not going to tow anything heavy and I'm not rock crawling. It'll be just fine. I'll have to have the drive shaft lengths changed, move the trans/t-case mount back 2", and "stretch" the 4x4 shift rods. No big deal.

I'll be painting it the two-tone green and white, original colors. Interior will be the original Jade Green. I've got the Dakota Digital Retro gage set that looks factory. Other than that, interior is all factory.

I'll post some updates as the build progresses. I have most everything described above. Now I just need to start the assembly process. I look forward to learning more about your trucks/builds.

-Rob
 

Tank6x2

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
837
Reaction score
705
Location
Edmonton Alberta Canada
First Name
Kurt
Truck Year
79/86
Truck Model
C30
Engine Size
350, TH400.4:10 gears 2WD
Hey Legend, WELCOME! from the great white north!, you know the place above the States, if you can do it in a short period of time and your not all worried about the paint giver er bubba! Look forward to seeing what you do with her, I’m 6 years going, 2 years in limbo waiting on tires though. We like pictures! ;)
 

Tank6x2

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
837
Reaction score
705
Location
Edmonton Alberta Canada
First Name
Kurt
Truck Year
79/86
Truck Model
C30
Engine Size
350, TH400.4:10 gears 2WD
Greetings all,

Good to be here. Earlier this year, I purchased a 1976 K20 after a long search for one with a VIN combination I was looking for, and one that was a good candidate for restoration. Man, it was sure an ugly turd when it arrived, but I've spent the last 6 months getting rid of all of the ugly that was done to it. Here is a summary of the build so far:

Had the frame sand blasted and I've painted using Eastwood products. Turned out nice. Before sandblasting, I had to grind away a bunch of crap the previous owner(s) had creatively welded. Thankfully, nothing a sawsall and grinder couldn't fix and make disappear.

I had both the front and rear axles gone through and it was good I did. Again, some previous owner had hacked up the front axle splines and those needed replacement. The rest of the hardware was in good shape. Just replaced bearings, seals, and rebuild the brakes.

I purchased a 2" lift suspension kit from Tuff Country. No blocks. 4 new springs, shocks, rubber, etc.. Nice kit.

Had the power steering box rebuilt and ready to go back in. Someone had converted the brakes to hydroboost, which I really like, so I'm leaving that in. Just got it rebuilt and bought a new disc/drum master, correct for a '76 K20.

The truck VIN said it had a 400 small block, but a previous owner had dropped in a crate 350. I sold that and was lucky enough to find a correct 1976 400 out of a K20 in Central California. Never rebuilt, the thing was like new. What a find. I got that rebuild, but I did fix a few of the factory deficiencies. Since I'm in California, I have to pass smog, so everything (just about) that I've changed are CARB compliant, including the AFR heads, new intake manifold, Edelbrock Carb, and headers (yes, with the AIR tubes). I also put in a roller cam, but it is mild and the specs closely match a CARB compliant version of a flat tappet version. Since the truck has the heavy duty emissions, it has the EVAP, Smog Pump/AIR tubes, and PVC valve. No CATS or EGR valve. I picked up an HEI from FAST. i'll use the factory air cleaner, of course. Front accessories are all factory, except I've converted from factory air to Vintage Air. I know factory is better, but for me, the time to piece it back together just wasn't going to happen. I've been happy with Vintage Air in my classic cars.

For the transmission, I've ditched the TH350 and am replacing it with a 700R4 from GearStar (Level3). I'm not going to tow anything heavy and I'm not rock crawling. It'll be just fine. I'll have to have the drive shaft lengths changed, move the trans/t-case mount back 2", and "stretch" the 4x4 shift rods. No big deal.

I'll be painting it the two-tone green and white, original colors. Interior will be the original Jade Green. I've got the Dakota Digital Retro gage set that looks factory. Other than that, interior is all factory.

I'll post some updates as the build progresses. I have most everything described above. Now I just need to start the assembly process. I look forward to learning more about your trucks/builds.

-Rob
 

scrap--metal

Full Access Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Posts
678
Reaction score
1,266
Location
MN
First Name
Calvin
Truck Year
'85, '81
Truck Model
K10, K20
Engine Size
305, 350
Welcome!

Now where are the pictures??? It sounds like a lot has been accomplished already.
 

Craig Nedrow

NADAR UNDER THE RADAR
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Posts
837
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Washington State
First Name
Craig
Truck Year
1973 (have two), 1985
Truck Model
K10, K20, C20
Engine Size
350, 454, 6.2 Detroit
Welcome from central Wa. St. This is a great forum, lots of help, but caution don't piss off Rusty Nail....Post some pics.
 

Snoots

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Posts
8,179
Reaction score
16,010
Location
Georgia
First Name
Roger
Truck Year
1973
Truck Model
Jimmy Sierra
Engine Size
350
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Very nize truck. I think. WTF?! You butter us up with it but NO PIX?! Wake up and smell the coffee! Dayum.
 

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