Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 43

Thread: Lil Red - Duramax 6600/Allison 1000 Conversion & OBS/NBS Dash Conversion

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile 11-10-2022 - First time in the snow!



    We had about 6 inches of snowfall the past couple of days, and I hadn't moved the snow blower out of the garage yet... So, I had to first move Lil Red to get to the snow blower that was against the far wall of the garage... Was a bright beautiful day, so I thought I'd get a photo.

    Before driving Lil Red to where you see it here, I first had to make sure the 4WD was working... Would have been "inconvenient" if the truck had gotten stuck and 4WD wouldn't engage... The only other time the 4WD had been used prior to this was at the 1/4-mile track some years ago. Fortunately, the 4WD system worked just fine today.

    Since I've been asked before, I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about the 4WD system used in this 1989 Chevy K1500... The HD 263 push-button transfer case I used is the same one the first-gen factory Duramax/Allison powered trucks used. To allow the transfer case and front axle to work together in this truck I simply wired it in the same as the newer trucks. I studied the electrical wiring diagrams at the time this truck came together, and discovered that the older and newer trucks both used similar technology and methodology - it's just that the electrical connectors were different at the axle. As mentioned in an earlier post here in this thread, for Lil Red's Duramax/Allison conversion I used the factory engine/transmission and front axle wiring harnesses made for a 2001-2004 4WD Duramax/Allison powered 2500HD truck. I also use the factory push-button panel on the new dash. A few simple weather-sealed solder splices (original 1989 front axle harness connectors spliced onto the new 2001-2004 front axle harness) allow the original 1989 front axle and 4x4 actuator to function normally with the new push-button NVG-263 transfer case. It was all a simple plug-n-play operation once the harness connectors at the axle end had been transferred. This turned out to be one of the simpler parts of the conversion.

    The truck never slipped a wheel while moving it back into the garage after this photo was taken. Since this truck has never seen winter road de-icer, it won't be driven on the highway now till spring. Edit- 5/24/2023 - Given the 2022/23 winter we had, becoming an Arizona snow bird doesn't sound too bad right about now...
    Last edited by More Power; 11-27-2023 at 16:29.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Arlington,MA U.S.
    Posts
    1,666

    Default

    Glad to see you still have this truck after all this time.
    1998 6.5 2500 4X4 dynatrac pro 60, ARB, 35"BFG's
    06 D Max Express 5"MBRP EFI live

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile 3-15-2023

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyD View Post
    Glad to see you still have this truck after all this time.
    Glad to see you still check in once in a while! You've been part of this forum since 2000... since the beginning!

    I made the decision some years ago that I would keep the truck, for a variety of reasons, including comments like yours. I appreciate it.
    Last edited by More Power; 03-17-2023 at 21:47.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile 4/11/2023 - More Dash Conversion Details

    Photos from late 2003/early 2004 - There's always been an interest in the dash conversion that Lil Red received. I talked to a GMT-400 (OBS - Old Body Style) 1988-98 full-size 1500-3500) owner a couple of weeks ago who had purchased our Duramax Conversion Guide primarily for the dash conversion info it contained. He was using an LS gas engine for his conversion, not a Duramax. One of the things he mentioned was that other than our Guide, he could not locate any help for a dash conversion. As a consequence, we talked about the dash conversion a good while during that phone call. These photos help to illustrate a portion of the dash install that he had questions about.

    The following two images illustrate how I attached the steel upper dash support brackets to the upper cowl of the firewall. I don't remember exactly, but I seem to recall that there were 4-6 attach points across the width of the dash. This is just one of those attach points.



    I made a pair of "L" brackets to attach the shortened steel dash bracket to the cowl, and I used blue thread locker on all of the associated hardware. So far, none of the screws have worked loose - since early 2004 and about 14k miles - though the angle tabs could be tacked in using a MIG welder if you're concerned about them working loose. A pair of "L" brackets at each location made it possible to use a nut-driver (or long extension + socket/ratchet) from the rear during the final install.



    As mentioned earlier, the dash conversion usually gets more attention than does the clean OE install of the Duramax at truck/diesel events and the few car shows I've attended with this truck. Maybe they thought that this truck came with the Duramax from the factory, and believed that just the dash was new. Just a theory...
    Last edited by More Power; 05-24-2023 at 19:58. Reason: add to & stuff

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile 4/23/2023 - First Start of 2023!

    Was a nice day here in Montana (we've had an unusually cool and snowy spring so far), so I jumped in the truck and rolled it back out of the garage. This was the first time the truck's been out of the garage since the snow pic day in November 2022 shown earlier.

    I keep the batteries charged during the winter using a trickle charger, so it cranked and started as well as though I'd started it the day before. The Duramax has always started fast even after sitting all winter without being started, some 5-6 months... every spring since 2005 - though it is on its second set of maintenance-free batteries in 20 years. I had topped off the fuel tank with summer #2 diesel fuel just prior to parking it last fall. Since this truck has the original steel fuel tank, keeping the tank full of diesel fuel over the winter helps to keep the inside of the tank in good shape. I also use Power Service fuel treatment with every tank of fuel, if that helps...

    There were too many other projects going on yesterday to drive it any distance, but I did take the time to lube the door hinges, hood hinges and the hood latch mechanism. I use motorcycle chain lube for this (spray can with small ID applicator tube). The lubricant is diluted with solvent, which allows it to penetrate and then evaporate quickly, leaving a tacky super lube behind that won't run. Though I try to not overdo it during the application, I finish the process by wiping off any excess with a clean shop towel and maybe a little alcohol.

    I'll be changing the engine oil in the next week or two. It's been about 4,000 miles and 18 months since the last oil/filter change. The current oil is still very clean looking, but this will be the second change since the head gasket replacement project in September of 2021... At present, I'm using Shell 15W-40 petroleum diesel-rated engine oil (white jugs) and ACDelco PF-2232 oil filters. The inside of the engine looked pristine during the head gasket replacement project, so it appears the oil choice and service intervals are doing the job.
    Last edited by More Power; 10-06-2023 at 22:07.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Post May 15, 2023 - More Dash Information

    Here are a couple of photos showing what the basic differences were between the two instrument panels and dashes.




    The above is a comparison showing the differences between the two instrument gauge panels. Overall width was similar, but height was more of a consideration. I believe the original dash could have been made to work with the new instrument panel using a custom fiberglass gauge panel surround and a little creativity. Ultimately, what made the final push for the dash swap was both appearance and functionality - this truck would attend a few car shows in the near term as well as a number of diesel events for the next few years. And... in for a penny, in for a pound...



    Another shot of the dash assemblies. Lots of measurements had already been taken at this point, as well as many in/out trial fits. The perspective in this photo doesn't show that the dash width was a concern.

    Incidentally, the new dash didn't come with an airbag on the passenger side. They're expensive; so I cut a 1/4" thick plywood panel the right size, then covered it with foam, vinyl imitation leather and then used spray dye to color-match the panel to the rest of the dash. Once attached using hidden hardware, the panel does a good job simulating the factory airbag. I'm happy.

    Post here, or use the "Contact" link in my signature if you have any questions or need more information.
    Jim
    Last edited by More Power; 02-08-2024 at 17:12. Reason: add stuff & words

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile 6-12-2023 Como Lake - Western Montana



    A friend and I drove Lil Red to a popular local lake on Saturday. We found the lake to be at full pool and quite crowded. This photo was taken just 30 yards from the only boat ramp on the lake, and it was tough to get a photo without other people in it. This was a scenic spot for a pic, even though it was sloped down rather sharply. This outing was just a 110 mile day in total, but still a great time to be out. Montana is beautiful in June... The reward for surviving too many months of cold and snow...

    My friend and I talked about hot-rods and classic cars for most of this drive. He owns both a '55 and '57 Chevy that he is currently restoring. I even volunteered to help with the sheet metal repairs... hoping to spur him on... What was I thinking?
    Jim
    Last edited by More Power; 06-20-2023 at 11:29.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Ft. Wayne, In.
    Posts
    535

    Default

    Sure looks good for it's age Jim!
    I enjoy all of these posts you've been making. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Keep 'em coming!
    Dave
    Dave, N9LOV
    Member #242
    Dave's Diesels:
    Sold June, 07 '82 1/2 ton 4X4;340k miles
    '97 2 Dr Tahoe, Intercooled,
    Kennedy ECM, 4" Exhaust
    '02 GMC

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDavy View Post
    Sure looks good for it's age Jim!
    I enjoy all of these posts you've been making. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Keep 'em coming!
    Dave
    Thanks Dave.

    Daughter Sarah and I drove Lil Red into Missoula (medium sized town about 25 miles north via a 4-lane highway) a few days ago. A guy in a new all black F150 sport truck came up behind us in the passing lane (4 lane highway). We were in the right side driving lane doing the speed limit. I could see that the F150 was gaining on us, so I slowly increased the speed to keep pace. Can't resist... Then he really got after it, and went by us at about 100-mph. I had already backed off to the speed limit (70), but caught up to him a couple of miles further on at a stoplight. As luck would have it, we wound up side by side, with us on his driver's side this time. He quickly buzzed down his tinted driver window and began gesturing with his arm/hand and saying something, so I rolled down Sarah's side window (she was a little horrified at first , not knowing what to expect)... Turns out he just wanted to know what year it (Lil Red) was, and then said that it was a beautiful truck. We thanked him and exchanged smiles and waves, and then each went on our way. I get that a lot... Usually, the first question is "what year truck is it?"
    Jim
    Last edited by More Power; 01-26-2024 at 11:22. Reason: add to

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Knoxville,Tennessee
    Posts
    2,632

    Default

    Makes me think of Little Nash Rambler Beepbeep Beepbeep
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Granby, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    3,077

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by a5150nut View Post
    Makes me think of Little Nash Rambler Beepbeep Beepbeep
    LOL! I hadn't thought of that song in years! Thanks for reminding me of it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayTJtVzHOLs

    Casey
    Last edited by arveetek; 06-21-2023 at 11:19.
    1995 K1500 Tahoe 2 door, 6.5LTD, 4L80E, NP241, 3.42's, 285/75R16 BFG K02's; 1997 506 block; Kennedy OPS harness, gauges, Quick Heat plugs, and TD-Max chip; Dtech FSD on FSD Cooler; vacuum pump deleted, HX35 turbo, Turbo Master, 3.5" Kennedy exhaust, F code intake; dual t/stats, HO water pump, Champion radiator; Racor fuel filter

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by a5150nut View Post
    Makes me think of Little Nash Rambler Beepbeep Beepbeep
    I don't remember hearing that tune back in the day. It's cute... beep beep...

    Nowadays, with engine/powertrain conversions so popular... I can imagine the fun one could have with a '50s Nash Rambler equipped a supercharged LSA (Chevy 6.2L aluminum 4th-gen V-8) and a 6-speed (556 hp @ 6100).

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Arrow Update: 6-26-2023 - More Info on Lil Red's Tonneau Cover

    A couple of questions came up recently about the CheckMate hard tonneau cover I used on Lil Red. So, here are three archive photos that were taken soon after the truck first hit the street, along with some additional information. First, as a way of introduction, this was a hard tonneau (fiberglass top/bottom surface, foam core and aluminum perimeter frame) made by a company called Checker Products, from Benton KY. Unfortunately, Checker ended production some time ago.

    A hard tonneau was part of the project because it was needed to complete the look, make the truck more aerodynamic for better fuel economy and performance, and provide more security/weather protection for anything we might haul in the truck bed. Standard cab trucks just don't have a lot of excess room in the cab... Numerous aerodynamic studies have been performed through the years concerning pickup trucks and bed covers. All of them show a significant and worthwhile gain in drag reduction and fuel efficiency improvements.



    The tonneau model shown here was their flush style fiberglass cover sized for our short-bed Sportside Chevy, and which cost $350 in 2004 plus a modest delivery fee. These were available at the time in either white or black gel-coat, that could be left as is or painted (by the owner) to match the color of the truck. I received this tonneau just before the truck went to the body shop for its makeover in April of 2004, which made it easy to get everything painted all at once. The gel-coat finish was a little wavy/textured, so I asked the body shop to spray on a heavy coat of sand-able primer in an effort to get a smooth finish - before spraying on the red base and clear coat. They resisted at first, but in the end, they chose to put some time into the project to make the tonneau finish smoother. Maybe they got some encouragement as their work on the truck progressed and they got a better sense for how the finished project would look. I think they did a great job.



    A variety of options were also available at the time - like quick release hinges (used here), carpeted under-surface, exterior locks, tailgate handle lock, courtesy light, grab handle - and more (that I didn't get). For those who like the bed-liner look, you could have ordered your hard tonneau with a sprayed-on polyurethane finish similar to that used for sprayed-on bed-liners.

    The gas-charged lift-struts raise the cover high enough to allow easy access to the bed. Plus, the strut ends disconnect easily, allowing the entire tonneau cover to be lifted off the truck in just minutes. A hollow rubber perimeter seal keeps the weather out and cushions contact with the painted surfaces of the bed rails.

    The pair of angled metal tongues mounted to the front of the tonneau slip into cleats screwed onto the truck bed's headboard, providing both a hinge and front mount. With the lift struts removed, simply lift the tonneau to something greater than 45°, then slide the tonneau back and out of the front mounts.

    The lower end of each lift strut is mounted to a convenient location in the bed. Instructions were a little fuzzy about strut mount location, but determining where to put the mounts just required closing the lid, and positioning a collapsed strut to mark the mounting location. I used a dab of red silicone sealant on each screw hole and under each bracket to seal out moisture and to add durability to the assembly.

    In addition to the included nylon quick-release straps (that are used here to secure the aft end of the cover), Checker also offered optional key locks as a way to secure the rear of the tonneau. I thought that I might eventually install the key locks, but the straps have been doing a good enough job. And, I could also install an aftermarket tailgate lock, which would provide additional security.



    This photo was taken at the end of May 2004 at the first car show Lil Red attended, showing just how flush the cover sits on the bed rails. Notice that the bed rail pockets had been eliminated during the paint/body work. Judging from the reflection, Lil Red appears to have been in good company at this car show!

    The top two photos were taken in May 2005, about a year after installing the CheckMate tonneau. Even today (June 2023), some 18 years since, I'm still impressed with the look, the quality and functionality.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.

    Jim
    Last edited by More Power; 07-10-2023 at 09:34. Reason: add stuff

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Smile Update August 21, 2023 - Early Magazine Coverage of Lil Red

    As mentioned before, Lil Red and its Duramax/Allison conversion have appeared in at least 8 separate magazines during the first few years after the truck first became drive-able. Shown here are images of the title pages for Part I and Part II of an article I wrote for Truck Trend Magazine in late 2004 and early 2005, which discussed some of the performance features that had been added to the truck.





    This next image of Lil Red was included in the January 2006 issue of "Diesel Power" magazine - covering the September 2005 "Weekend on the Edge" event that took place in Salt Lake City, where Lil Red attended.



    This next photo shows the best time that the truck produced at the racetrack during the 2005 "Weekend on the Edge" in SLC. The numbers shown here were produced when the truck dyno'ed 500-RWHP. The truck did produce better times here in Montana using a GTech Pro performance system to measure 1/4-mile times once the RWHP had been bumped up to 632. Exciting times!

    Last edited by More Power; 01-03-2024 at 16:09. Reason: add

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Post 9-14-2023 - Fuel Economy?

    I took this photo yesterday in the parking lot of our local Post Office. As luck would have it, a newer GMC crew cab Duramax/Allison powered truck was parked alongside Lil Red.



    Both trucks are powered by a Duramax 6600 and Allison transmission. Both trucks have identical overall final gearing. One truck produces mid teens for fuel economy and one produces 22-24-mpg at 85-mph. Some of why is apparent.

    I wish there was more emphasis on fuel economy for the new Duramax 6600 powered trucks.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    13,568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by More Power View Post
    ....I wish there was more emphasis on fuel economy for the new Duramax 6600 powered trucks.
    There was. Until the EPA/CARB got in the way. Burning 25% more fuel for 5% improved emissions never made sense to me. It started in the 70's.

    Nice looking post office.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DmaxMaverick View Post
    There was. Until the EPA/CARB got in the way. Burning 25% more fuel for 5% improved emissions never made sense to me. It started in the 70's.

    Nice looking post office.
    Yes, emissions compliance is a big part of it. So is the "big-n-tall" trend.

    Back in 2017 I drove a Ford Budget box truck that had a loaded 16' enclosed box (furniture and household goods) and towed a car dolly with a Malibu on it from Montana to Tucson - about 1300 miles. That Budget truck was equipped with Ford's 5.3L (if I remember correctly), which produced an impressive 11-mpg for the trip. It never overheated and the A/C worked perfectly even with the baking temps we saw along the way - it was late August. At the time, I thought that that level of fuel economy, with that load, makes it hard to justify buying a diesel on a fuel economy argument alone.

    Now, in defense of diesel - I wish my 2001 GMC had had its head gaskets replaced before this 2017 Tucson trip. I would have driven my crew cab Duramax and towed as large a box trailer as U-Haul/Budget offered. Sarah would have had to drive her Malibu, but the trip would have been more comfortable and relaxing. Hills and the Interstate would have been an easy run, and the GMC would have produced better fuel economy. But... there are many reasons (that most diesel owners are familiar with), beyond fuel economy, that make a diesel pickup a better choice for hauling/towing.
    Last edited by More Power; 11-09-2023 at 13:22. Reason: add to

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Arrow 10-16-2023 Update - Motor Mounts Info

    One topic I'm often asked about concerns the Duramax Conversion Mounts designed here - at TheDieselPage.com. This photo shows the very first passenger side (right side) mount - that's still in use today.



    This photo was taken in late 2002 during the final phase of the motor mount development. The front clip was still off the truck, and work on the truck's interior and exterior had only just begun. This degree of access provided a great opportunity to get a series of photos showing the Duramax 6600 setting in the chassis - on the new conversion mounts. The pictured passenger side mount (and the driver's side mount) were derived from a set of cardboard facsimiles I produced over a few days with lots of trial fittings and time spent weighing options. There's so much to consider with regard to engine placement: like transmission tunnel clearance, front differential/mount clearance, fan clearance behind the radiator, fan clearance within the fan shroud, firewall clearance, hood clearance, drive-train angle (calculated U-joint angles), as well as aesthetics, engineering and reproducibility.

    You can read more about the newest mounts in the link(s) included below. Incidentally, these mounts have been tested with up to 632-hp and 1219 lb-ft of torque without any problems... The power/tq figures are mentioned here in response to a question I received just last week about whether these mounts would handle more than stock power.

    Before the Duramax was lowered into the chassis for the last time, I installed a set of new GM 1988-98 GMT-400 factory lower mounts (part with the rubber) to replace the tired originals. I had considered installing an aftermarket set of urethane mounts, but didn't want to add variables that could lead to more complications (potential for more engine vibration transmitted into the chassis)... It's been more than 20 years since this photo was taken, and I think I made the right call.

    The Duramax Conversion Guide contains a set of full-size drawings for both the original passenger side mount (shown above) and the driver's side mount (they are different from one another). However, we're now on our third gen Duramax Conversion Mounts that have been refined in appearance, function and design. The metal pieces are all cut on a CNC water jet with locking tabs that provide perfect jig alignment before welding. Then the best welder I know puts his MIG to good use. Even through Covid, supply chain disruptions and inflation we (my welder, metal supplier and I) have been able to hold the line on cost - for the time being. There's very little margin in selling these mounts. I do it more to help people involved in a conversion. I know how exciting that first drive is... What little margin there is goes back into keeping this forum/web site online, answering your questions and keeping the lights on.

    By the way... The welder I mentioned did a number of fabrication jobs for me when Lil Red's Duramax conversion was being put together. So, he's very familiar with this and other TDP projects completed through the years. He drives a Dodge, but he's still a great welder/fabricator...

    Let me know if you have any questions.
    Jim

    Want to share this forum topic thread with others or help us to get the word out about Duramax conversions? Copy the following link and paste it into another forum post, email, text message or social media site:
    thedieselpageforums.com/tdpforum/showthread.php?35210
    Last edited by More Power; 12-12-2023 at 11:00. Reason: add stuff

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Exclamation Update 11-08-2023 - Added a 2005 video - Duramax Diesel Conversion - Nitrous Backfire



    This video short was of Lil Red at the Salt Lake City 1/4-mile track in September of 2005. Too much nitrous oxide too soon put the fire out during launch - nitrous is really-really cold. The nitrous was switched off just moments later, followed by a backfire. You can see the white smoke (fuel vapor) stream out the exhaust during launch as the engine spooled down, followed by a "pop" sound in the video (fire relit on its own before the engine rpms dropped to zero). You may need to replay it a couple of times to identify the pop.

    Does it appear to you that after the bad start, Lil Red was gaining on the other truck about 2/3 of the way down the track?

    I don't know why the track announcer sounds like he's related to Charlie Brown's parents. The trucks sound more or less normal. This was at a time when cell phone cameras were not as good at taking videos as they are now. Still, I'm glad I have this video. It was taken by a fellow TDP member that evening...

    The backfire caused 2 head bolts near cylinder 8 to loosen ever so slightly, and combustion pressure began finding its way past cylinder 8's LB7 injector cup seal, as evidenced by a carbon track appearing at the juncture where the small end of the injector cup passed through the cylinder head deck. This resulted in pressure ever so gradually building in the cooling system over time as the engine ran, to a point of cooling system leaks and cooling system overflow. The truck was still drive-able, though the excess pressure became a nuisance.

    Not long after this SLC event, Lil Red posted its highest HP/Tq at a Montana diesel dyno event, even with the "problem" (there's a video of that dyno pull earlier in this forum topic thread). The various engine parts were carefully inspected at tear-down during the head gasket replacement process in 2021. I couldn't see that any additional damage had occurred as a result of not fixing the problem soon after it happened. This excess cooling system pressure could have caused the water pump seal to wear and begin leaking, but the truck simply wasn't driven enough to get to that point. So, the engine is still running with engine's original factory-installed water pump.

    As of the time this post was made, it had been more than 2 years since installing new head gaskets and resealing the injector cups (in late summer of 2021), and by November 2023 the truck has accumulated an additional ~5000 miles without generating any excess pressure in the cooling system. Installing new head gaskets, installing new factory TTY head bolts and resealing all eight injector cups have definitely solved the problem. It's a good feeling to have that problem behind me. The truck is reliable enough now that I'm confident it could be driven from Montana to Miami and back without a problem.

    I have another video (without sound) of a big smokey burnout, that was taken back in the day, before smoke became taboo and before vendors had learned how to produce power programs/products that didn't result in smoke. The video is similar to what any automotive program on cable TV (or Youtube) might produce today (street demo). Haven't done one of these since then... Let me know if you want to see it.
    Last edited by More Power; 01-26-2024 at 11:43. Reason: add stuff

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    11,373

    Post 12/18/2023 Update - Body Work and Paint



    You've seen in earlier photos how the truck looked when I received it and how it looked after the body work and paint had been completed. Here are a few photos showing the process of getting from tired to shiny... The above photo was taken because the right side bed rail had a big dent in it along with an associated crack in the fiberglass wheel-flare when I received the truck. This photo shows the body work had corrected the problem and was now ready for paint. Also, I had the shop fill the stake pockets in the bed rails.

    The bed-side/wheel flares are made from fiberglass, while the bed rails and box are made from steel. The body shop needed to unbolt/remove the fiberglass bed-side to do a good job.



    Here, the body man is at work on the bed rail - with the bedside removed. He spent quite a bit of time on the truck overall. He let me watch some of it. Auto body work is something I wish I'd learned more about when I was a kid. Nowadays, I think about how great it would have been if a talented adult had mentored teenagers in our small town when I was just getting into the car hobby. I actually painted a couple of cars when I was a teen... The reality was that there wasn't much of an improvement... But, it did keep the soon-to-be Chevy classics (a long list of 1955-1964 Chevy cars) I had at the time out of the crusher.



    The above shows the passenger side of the truck after it had been worked and primed. I bought the cowl induction hood and had it painted the final color you see here the year before, so I could begin some early promotion. In black primer, the hood cost $500 - painting it red added another $500.



    The rear lower corners of the bed-sides were custom fiberglass additions - that allowed removal of the original factory flare-outs. I guess GM wanted to make the Sport-Side bed width match the width of the Fleetside beds - so they could use the same width factory bumper. I always thought those corner flare-outs made the rear look fat... The above is how it should have been designed.

    Also, you can see that the new fiberglass roll pan is being fit into place. The body shop made the roll-pan fit and then painted it, but I actually completed the final installation in my shop. Maybe they didn't want to screw the fiberglass to the bed. No fear here! I used about a half dozen button head screws along the top and two on each side (inside lips). I also used an automotive semi-flexible adhesive, in combination with the screws, to secure the roll pan. Hasn't worked loose yet! By the way... the spots appearing in the above image are the result of camera flash and sanding dust.

    Incidentally, in the above photo you can see that the truck's light-duty original 10-bolt GM rear axle is still under the truck. At this point in time I was probably working on the new replacement axle, a GM Corporate 14-bolt 9-1/2" 6-lug rear axle with rear disc brake conversion, when these photos were taken. And, the yellow Bilstein shocks were likely still in a box at home.



    The final red paint used by this shop is the truck's original factory color. I like this red, and using the same color meant we didn't have to paint the inside details of the doors/cab - or remove the box. Once painted red, it was shot with a couple coats of clear-coat. I wasn't there to see the cut-n-buff, but wish I had been. I'm always amazed by talented body work and paint. It's as much art as it is anything. Jim

    PS... Final cost for the body work and paint shown here was nearly $5k in the spring of 2004. This total does not include the cost of the custom cowl-induction hood, custom fiberglass bed mod parts (gray parts in the above photos), new painted factory front bumper, new painted grille, late 1990's C/K model factory mirrors, or the bed's tonneau cover mentioned earlier in this thread.

    And by the way... I had already completed the Duramax/Allison and dash conversion by the time these body shop photos were taken, but the seats, door panels and carpet/headliner were still waiting for me at home. A few years earlier I had a bad experience with a different body shop leaving the windows down on a project truck of mine as they did some paint/body work for me, which left the interior covered in a thick layer of sanding dust. So, this time, I took no chances, and simply left most of the interior out of the truck. That said, this auto body shop was different, in that they covered the dash and everything else to keep the sanding dust and any paint over-spray out of the interior and engine compartment. Lesson here... the lowest price quote isn't always the best deal.

    To get the stance I was looking for I added a 2" lowering kit to the rear leaf springs once I got the truck home. This helps with fuel economy, performance, road handling and the overall build design I was going for.



    Shiny!
    Last edited by More Power; 01-26-2024 at 12:46.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •