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The Blue Ballad (re)Build

Discussion in '4wd Pick-Ups K/V 20 2500 K/V 30 3500' started by Sonders, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Location:
    Southern, IN
    First Name:
    Brad
    Truck Year:
    1978
    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350
    Hey guys, been lurking for a few years and thought I’d post as I’m getting ready to start refreshing my 1978 K20. A little background on the truck: my parents bought it new and it is still the only vehicle they have ever bought brand new. I basically grew up in the truck. It was given the name Ol’ Blue like I’ve seen another members truck on here, so I thought I’d change the Thread title a little. Fast forward to 3 yrs ago on my birthday my parents handed me the keys and title to it as I didn’t currently own a truck. I graciously accepted and drove it home to its new home in my garage.
    Truck when new
    [​IMG]
    Me in the truck when little
    [​IMG]

    It sits in the garage most of the time now and is only used occasionally for hauling wood and so on. It had a tough life on the farm and it shows. I plan to slowly go through it and show it some love. A few weeks ago I brought home a fairly straight 74’ C10 that I plan to use bed and doors off of. Bonus on the 74’ once I hauled it home and put a battery in it, a little carb clean up and fresh gas and it started up and runs like a champ. Brakes work good and everything. Originally planned to just part it out, but I may clean it up and throw a flatbed on it and turn around and resell it with old doors off blue truck.
    In its new home
    [​IMG]
    Current status
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    My daughter posing
    [​IMG]

    Parts truck
    [​IMG]

    This will be a long slow rebuild as I have several irons in the fire including a home remodel. I just thought it was time to post up for when I have questions while digging into it. I’m going to start on back half with replacing the bed as it’s in pretty rough shape dented and rusted. Will probably go with Por15 or something like that for the frame and so on. Thanks for looking.
     
    DoubleDingo, Shorty81 and Preston like this.
  2. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Southern, IN
    First Name:
    Brad
    Truck Year:
    1978
    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350
    Question for you guys. When I install the doors off white truck I’m wanting to change mirrors to this style:
    [​IMG]

    I know I’ll have holes in the door from the other mirrors that will have to be filled. What is involved in installing the above style mirrors?

    **disregard, I found another post talking about these mirrors. Looks like I need support brace and will have to drill all new holes**
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  3. 1987 GMC Jimmy

    1987 GMC Jimmy Automobile Hoarder

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    Location:
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    First Name:
    Jesse
    Truck Year:
    1987
    Truck Model:
    V1500 Jimmy
    Engine Size:
    350
  4. donnieray

    donnieray Talks to dogs and trucks. Supporting Member

    Age:
    58
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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Roanoke Rapids NC
    First Name:
    Donnie
    Truck Year:
    84,85,86.
    Truck Model:
    86 C10, 84 K10 MM7 NP833 option truck, 85 K10.
    Engine Size:
    350,355;350.
    Nice truck and cool story. It has to be full of memories. And I'm sure your daughter will love it as well. She looks good in it. You were an ugly kid though, geez.
     
  5. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
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    First Name:
    Craig
    Truck Year:
    1985
    Truck Model:
    K30 SRW
    Engine Size:
    454/TH-400/NP205
    I recently purchased a set of D45 stainless mirrors from LMC. They seem to be a good quality, but the hardware I did not like and will be reusing some of my originals. The mirror kits come with plastic inserts for the doors. I had put a factory set on a K5 back in the early 90's and recalled the factory used jack nuts instead. I believe GM used the coated ones pictured.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    Location:
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    First Name:
    Brad
    Truck Year:
    1978
    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350
    Haha, yeah I was a fat little shit. Ordered new bed mounting kit from LMC earlier. Hopefully within the next few weekends I can get time to pull old bed off of Blue and begin cleaning up the frame. Crawled underneath it lastnight to take a look at what I had to look forward too, and just as I suspected the nuts on the bed bolts look like shit; shall be fun removing them.

    Jesse, thanks for the link to the mirror guide. That'll help a bunch, and thanks Craig for the info on the hardware.
     
  7. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Southern, IN
    First Name:
    Brad
    Truck Year:
    1978
    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350
    No real progress has been made on the truck unfortunately. I did find a good deal on a set of H2 wheels and tires. It was time to get rid of the old 16.5” steelies that the tires were about done for. The H2’s currently have 285/70/17’s mounted. I bought a set of gm center caps to go on them, but haven’t had time to cut out center of the fronts to go over hubs.
    [​IMG]

    Plan to remove the bed in next few weekends and then get to work on cleaning the read end up and getting some fresh paint on it to get ready for replacement bed to go on. When I swap the doors over from 74’ donor truck, are there any differences for door panel installation? The 74 panels are definitely different than the 78’s, but they both have manual crank windows so no difference there atleast.
     
  8. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350
    I also picked up an oem 74 grille recently that I'm considering installing to change the front end up a bit. I always liked the set back appearance of the 73-74 grille and unfortunately the one on parts truck is damaged and not an oem grille anyways. I remember when I was a little kid, the original 78 grille was busted out by a barn owl that flew out across the road in front of us going down the road one night. Dad didn't like the plastic grille being able to break so easily so he replaced it with the metal tube grille instead and that's how it's remained ever since. The current grille is solid and still looks fine, I just want to stick with a blue/silver color scheme on the truck so silver grille will tie in with the headlight bezels and trim better. Thinking of going with gray on the door panels and dash cover to tie the silver/gray into the interior as well to break up some of the blue. May also have the metal tube grille powdercaoted silver as a backup option.
     
    Shorty81 likes this.
  9. GXPWeasel

    GXPWeasel Member

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    Location:
    Kansas
    First Name:
    Greg
    Truck Year:
    1982 | 2015
    Truck Model:
    Sierra C15 | Silverado Z71
    Engine Size:
    5.0 | 5.3
    Cool story, and a cool truck!
    I'm looking forward to the progress you will make on this farm truck restoration. :)
     
    Shorty81 likes this.
  10. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
    454/TH-400/NP205
    The 77-91 door look like this (disregard the red box). The 73-76 does not have the mounting holes for the door panel in the mid/lower section of the door.

    77-91door.jpg
     
  11. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350

    Craig, does this mean I will need to find 73-76 door panels to use on the 74 doors? Or can drill/cut mounting holes in the door for my 78 panels to fit correctly?
     
  12. TubeTruck

    TubeTruck I like anything fast enough to do something stupid

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    Location:
    Northern IL
    First Name:
    Denis
    Truck Year:
    1978, 1975
    Truck Model:
    Suburban K10, GMC K15
    Engine Size:
    400ci, 350ci
    Yes. The mounting holes are the 3 sideways T's at the bottom of the panel (mid door), and one square at the corner. You can cut them but I think it would work but probably easier to find 77+ doors.

    When swapping to the 73-74 grille you'll need the correct mounts and hood latch bracing. Make sure you take that out of your donor truck. Because the grille set in farther the brackets are not as deep.
     
  13. Sonders

    Sonders Full Access Member

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    First Name:
    Brad
    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    K20
    Engine Size:
    350

    Thanks for the info Denis. I'll see what happens with the doors; might just keep an eye out for earlier door panels to use on the 74 doors as they are in great shape. I will however have to get all new weatherstripping and felts for the doors as they are pretty well shot as to be expected. I've already read up on the grille swap and have the bracing set aside off the 74 to go with the grille, so should be good there.
     
  14. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    Truck Model:
    K30 SRW
    Engine Size:
    454/TH-400/NP205
    The early door panels fit within the yellow lines. You would have to add the holes outside of it for the required clips and screw retainers fro the later door panels.

    77-91door (2).jpg
     
  15. TubeTruck

    TubeTruck I like anything fast enough to do something stupid

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    Truck Year:
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    Engine Size:
    400ci, 350ci
    @Sonders the '74 C10 you have as a parts truck..if you don't resell it would you part with the steering box? I need a 2wd steering box for my crossover setup

    and like @Craig 85 said, the door will look like this...
    20191206_110310.jpg
     

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