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Remove Lift and Figure out what I have....

Discussion in 'Garage' started by Jim Adcox, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Jim Adcox

    Jim Adcox Junior Member

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    I purchased what I believe to be a 1980 GMC 1/2 ton C Series pickup.

    I'm not really sure this is what I got... Ok, you can stop laughing now..

    I've found numerous different so called VIN identifiers online and have gotten a few different variances of what I bought.

    my VIN is TCZ14A....

    T: GMC
    C: 106"
    Z: 5.7L Diesel
    1: 1/2 ton
    4: 2wd Pickup
    A: 1980

    However, my truck is...

    GMC 106" long, 454 Big Block gas, 1/2 ton, 4x4

    My first goal is to truly figure out what I have

    My second goal is to remove the 8" homemade lift kit that someone put on it..

    My big questions if any one know (other than a good VIN decoder) if I remove this lift, what should I expect to have to do with the front and rear driveshafts?

    I've been searching YouTube for some time and have not found anyone who talks about "removing" a lift...

    Rear.jpeg

    Rear Under.jpeg

    Front Under.jpeg

    Front.jpeg

    Side.jpeg
     
  2. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sweet baby Jesus, that "lift" has to go!!! Like Ralph Nader would say, that's unsafe at any speed.

    Looks like stock type springs above those chunks of square tube.
     
  3. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, and what is the 106" you are referring to? That's a 131.5" wheelbase. And 3/4 ton.
     
  4. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    Sweet truck!!
    Yeah the see thru lift has to go... but I’d get a real lift to bolt back in when you take it apart.

    Appears you have a 1980 half ton diesel cab on a 3/4 ton 4x4 chassis. It’s not a 1 ton.
    Either way, it’s a bad ass truck!
     
  5. Rusty Nail

    Rusty Nail Victim of Culture

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    Yeah too bad about that door huh
    ?

    Did anyone else notice that Bucket just invoked the name of Jesus and Ralph Nader in the next sentence? That's weird, right? It's not only me :nono:

    o_O see it up there?

    Not any Jesus mind you.... El Cubo calls upon the almighty SWEET BABY JESUS :confused:
    not the normal, regular Jesus..
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  6. DanMcG

    DanMcG Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The vin is telling you what the cab use to be on, to figure out what the rest of it is you'll have to find the partial vin on the frame rail, the motor id would tell ya too, if it was the original that came with the frame.

    Here's how I read it,
    taken from http://www.usa1industries.com/1973-1980-chevy-gmc-truck-vin-decoder-chart.html
    T: GMC
    C:2 wheel drive
    Z: could be diesel or 454 if the cab was 73-75
    1: 10, half ton
    4: pick up
    A: assembly plant Lakewood Ga.
    7th number/letter is year
    then the last 6 digits are the serial numbers

    There isn't a 106" wheel base only 117 and 131
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  7. Jim Adcox

    Jim Adcox Junior Member

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    Thank you all! I'll go dig around on the frame to figure out what I have them..

    And heck ya, that lift has to go!

    I was think either back to stock, or like a nice 2" lift.

    A good paint job would not do any harm when it is all said and done..
     
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  8. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    The C designation is conventional cab designation (not vans, Luvs or P chassis), “including” 106” wheelbase vehicles (Blazer/Jimmy).
     
  9. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    To your question about removing the lift.
    It’s almost as straight forward as it seems. 90% unbolt what’s there and re-install something else in its place.
    Few considerations, especially if you’re going back to stock or near stock height.
    -shocks “should be” too long for lowering it back down. Replace.
    -Pittman arm or drag link should have an appropriate drop for the lift. Wont work with small/no lift. Replace.
    -Brake lines should be currently extended to get that much lift. Might work without replacing but make sure they’re not too long and kink or get pinched when you lower it.
    -From the pics, front springs look pooched. Replace front springs even if going back to stock height, from their appearance.
    -Make sure the front spring rear shackles aren’t binding up when you redo the front suspension. Who knows what’s on the truck, although based on the previous owners budget, they’re probably stock configuration.
    -Consider re-bushing any springs you’re going to re-use. Depending on condition. Even if they’re tight and don’t look too degraded, they’re likely froze up.
    -Consider new u bolts even if the ones you have have enough thread on them. Anyone who installs a lift like that probably isn’t smart enough to not over torque them.
    -Never use blocks (or tubing, lol) to lift the front suspension. And go slap the person who did!

    That is a clean lookin truck though, and straight!

    Edit: It’s got a drop Pittman arm so the drag link can be reused if it’s good. And the front springs actually look good I going for stock height look.
     
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  10. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    I would first determine what the gears are in the diffs, and then you'll know what size tires you should be running. And THEN consider how much lift you want.
    Also, an honest review of what you intend to do with thew truck. Like how deep off road do you want to go?
     
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  11. eskimomann209

    eskimomann209 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Wow. Lift blocks in the front. I have heard of people doing this but never seen it.
    That’s a huge NoNo. Good thing you’re already smart enough to take it off.
     
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  12. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    We don't need no stinking lift springs, or safety, or brains..
     
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  13. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The only real big issue I can see in the pics that will need dealt with to lower it back down some, is the front shock brackets on the axle. Those will need cut off and new shock tabs welded on if the originals are no longer there.
     
  14. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    The drive shaft issue is pretty easy when lowering. A good shop can shorten it using the parts you have as long as they're good. You definitely have a 4WD frame based on the rear spring hangers. Based on the VIN someone probably changed the cab. Your headlight buckets are for a 79-80 truck. Also, the 78-80 diesel (Oldsmobile) was only available in a 2WD 1/2 ton I believe.

    The front axle is a Dana 44. The bolt on front hubs, were available from 73-78? on 3/4 tons. Someone added the extra (3rd) leaf on the stock front springs.

    I got this VIN break down from LMC Truck.

    T - GMC
    C - 2 Wheel Drive
    Z - 350 Diesel (1978-80 Model year)
    1 - GMC 15 Series 1/2 ton
    4 - Pickup
    A - 1980

    To give you a reference on height to compare, this was my previous truck, '79 K15 with an axle swap. The front had 4" Tuff Country EZ Ride springs with a stock 52" 6 leaf rear spring and a 4" block. The upper horizontal body was 32" to the center of the axles.

    79 GMC 19.JPG
     
  15. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ^ It looks to be a factory 3-leaf front spring from here.
     

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