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02GMCtruck
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Discussion Starter #1
Time for another build thread! I have enjoyed the other build threads I have kept: the 78 Nomad trailer resto, and the 99 6.5L Towpig. Since the towpig is history, I'm concentrating on the 88 once again. Seeing as I have never kept a running build thread, I have decided it is time to actually make a build thread about my truck to document some of the progress, etc. Plus it's an excuse to post little updates that wouldn't otherwise be reason for a thread themselves.

We'll start with it's history. Grandparents bought the truck in 1988 brand new. It's a regular stepside K1500 350/700R4 truck in top of the line SLE Sierra trim inside and out. An off note, in 1988 the Z71 package didn't exist and the truck for whatever reason did not come with towhooks. What made the truck interesting is the RPO "Super Saver Package" that kept the truck as a SLE Sierra but stripped the interior down to the essentials: basic bench, AM/FM, AC and cruise. No tilt, no PWDL. In 2002 I received the truck with 88k on it (ironci!?).

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But it being stock didn't last long.

Being 16 the truck underwent many changes, a good amount of them cheap, free or made up by me being I couldn't afford much. A few were learning experiences, some stayed with the truck, and of course there were a few I am no longer proud of (such as altezza taillights and blue neon).

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Due to the miles/age of the truck, I replaced lots of small things, waterpump, radiator, alternator twice, starter a few more times, etc. Eventually larger things like the rear end went out, and a few years later the 700R4 gave up the ghost. By 2005 I was in college and the truck IMO was looking pretty good.

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Seeing as I lived in a very snowy climate at college, I also picked up a winter set of wheels that also served as a good wheelin set.
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At this point the truck ate through a second 10-bolt and the addition of a 14SF was added. I always was into 4x4ing and my truck, so there was already tons of ideas in my head. Eventually I started making good money in the summers and in 2008 I picked up the 02 GMC. The front suspension in the 88 at this time needed a full overhaul, so about a week after owning the new truck I decided that rebuilding the suspension meant it was time to install a Dana 44 front axle. The parts collection began. A little cut here, a grind over there and a few welds resulted in 3 hard weeks working with my dad as much as humanly possible between work and sleep to convert this thing.
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The result was 8" of lift while still being a very streetable, yet capable truck. Build: http://www.gmfullsize.com/forum/showthread.php?t=179653
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After a good deal of wheeling and driving later, this happened.
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The Automatic didn't like it very much but it survived another 6 months. Then came cablights and stock mirrors sometime in 2009
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My previous water incident ended up prompting this upgrade.
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The summer of 2010 I bought a 1978 trailer for camping. It's been a project all in it's own. Build: http://www.gmfullsize.com/forum/showthread.php?t=198887&highlight=1978+nomad After towing it awhile, I finally did a much needed gear upgrade from 3.73s to 4.56s.
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The 88 took a year long break from most use when I bought a 99 6.5L K2500 5-speed truck. Build: http://www.gmfullsize.com/forum/showthread.php?t=218448

But in the end I sold it and am once again concentrating on this truck. I just finished converting the truck to 8-lug with hubs up front and a detroit locked SRW Corporate 14FF axle from a CUCV.
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Next plans include a repower. The stock TBI350 is entirely original and is just about to roll 200k. It burns no oil and has great compression still, just lacking in the power department.
 

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David, I'm looking forward to meeting you. I'm moving to the Tacoma/McChord area in June. I'm hoping you have a very good feel/memory for your '99 6.5L as I'm curious to see how my '06 compares. What were the factory ratings on that truck? My truck was factory rated to 362hp @ 4750 rpm & 457lb/ft @ 3250 rpm. Mine also has the ZF-6, but bigger 295 tires. I'm also looking forward to wheeling with your '88 and taking my '03 to many of the same beautiful places.
 

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Truck has come a long way
 

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02GMCtruck
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Discussion Starter #9
thats really cool man! That truck prolly has so much sentimental value. I hope you keep it haha
keep that truck forever. It will be a classic soon enough
Never EVER going to get rid of this truck... Ever.

David, I'm looking forward to meeting you. I'm moving to the Tacoma/McChord area in June. I'm hoping you have a very good feel/memory for your '99 6.5L as I'm curious to see how my '06 compares. What were the factory ratings on that truck? My truck was factory rated to 362hp @ 4750 rpm & 457lb/ft @ 3250 rpm. Mine also has the ZF-6, but bigger 295 tires. I'm also looking forward to wheeling with your '88 and taking my '03 to many of the same beautiful places.
Yeah man let me know when you move up here, we can definitely meet up for some wheelin or something. I bet your F250 was a bit more powerful than my 6.5L, but i'm not familiar with fords HAHA.

nice job man! The RC Stepside from those to 98's are some of the best looking stepsides.
Agreed :D
 

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So what is the game plan for the repower? Do you have something in mind?
I thought I heard rumblings of bigblock....
Gonna keep the TBI?
 

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02GMCtruck
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Discussion Starter #11
Really thinking about a tbi454. Just for the simplicity and cost of it.
 

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02GMCtruck
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1,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
IF i do a LS motor, it'll be a 6.0L or 6.2L
 

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02GMCtruck
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Discussion Starter #15

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IF i do a LS motor, it'll be a 6.0L or 6.2L
While a LS swap would be sweet.....I've never been able to shift a NV4500 very quickly. Wouldn't huge torque be a better deal with this trans?

It'd be cool to see you work over a TBI 454 (cam, ported heads/intake & headers) and tune it well with EBL.

Although, a 6.0 or 6.2 probably makes the same torque as the 454, just at a higher RPM.....
 

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02GMCtruck
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1,282 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Have had a busy week! Lots of things going on at work, and on the project front for me.

Well, the answer to my motor swap came a bit quicker than expected....

Motor came into a friend's junkyard.... 1990 TBI 454 with 76k on it. Motor compression tested 160PSI in all cylinders. It'll be pulled soon and will be going into the 88 in a few weeks. Along with that the transmission is getting a freshening up, and new exhaust will be in the works as well.

I did do a bit of work on it. Saturday I pulled the pinion & carrier and put new bearings in it. Super easy job, had everything apart in 30 mins. :D After re-installing, I gutted the passenger door and put a new door on the truck. Color is a bit more faded, but it's better than dented.
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I also picked up another project this weekend.... 3 Suzuki LT250R quads, complete with a metric ton of spare parts.
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TEAM FUEL MOTORSPORTS
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Very nice find on the low mileage 454!!! And, the Suzuki LTs too!!!
 

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Awesome score on the motor and quads! I had a LT250R when i was a kid, it was a hell of a lot of fun!! I've tried to buy another one....but everyone around here thinks they're made of solid gold!

Gonna do anything to the 454? Or just drop it in as is?
Lunati makes some interesting cams that they claim are TBI compatible....
http://www.lunatipower.com/Product.aspx?id=2148&gid=287
http://www.lunatipower.com/Product.aspx?id=2149&gid=287

It'd be a shame to not crank it up a little while its sitting right there on the stand....
 

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02GMCtruck
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Discussion Starter #20
It's time. Well, almost time.
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Picked it up last Sunday. Well, actually pulled it, but yeah. 1990 Chassis Cab 454 TBI with 76k on it. I even got to drive the donor truck. Looks a little rough, but it was actually spotless inside and the motor was WELL taken care of. Fluids looks proper, and the filters were all wix brand. Here she is. I have the motor with all the accessories, harness, ECM, 34" radiator and shroud.
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While I was up at the yard the tires got switched around. 35s are back in place, now she looks proper again.
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And put the 6-lug Racelines on the 285/75R16 Cooper ST, likely will be going on the yellow truck tonight.
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