My New Truck Project
by, 03-27-2009 at 09:26 PM (3675 Views)
I bought a running 1981 Chevy Crewcab dually a few months back for $350. The truck was a father son project that never went anywhere. It came with lots of new parts a 91 front clip, Billet grill insert, Goodmark steel 3" cowl induction hood, new rear fenders, tailgate, running boards, new window seals, new replacement fuel tanks, and various other parts.
Soon after starting the project they found it had corrosion on the frame and cab that was unrepairable and the project sat for 5 years until I bought it. I planned on scrapping the truck for the steel and selling the parts but havent got around to it, everytime my grandaughter comes over she wants me to take her for a ride in it, we usually tool around the neighborhood and shes happy.
My wife suggested I fix the truck up and make it street legal but theres too much wrong with it for this.
Last week I loaded it on the trailer to take it to the metal scrappers the wife and grandaughter stopped me and asked if there wasnt some way we could salvage the truck. After letting them know this truck really was a pile of junk we decided on a plan.
Were agreed on a $10,000 budget to build a GM dually Crewcab in 12 months.
Heres our wishlist for the project:
Body: 1973-1987 GM Crewcab dually
We'll be using the newer front clip and hood we have, remove all the door handles and exterior chrome, a simple two tone paint job (dark metalic grey top, pewter lower panels).
Drive train: basic 350 engine, 700R4 trans, factory rear end.
Suspension: Airbags on all 4 corners. This truck wont be able to drop and drag but it will have the abillity to sit lower while still being capable of hauling a gooseneck trailer, fifth wheel trailer, or bumper pull trailer. The bags we plan on using have a range of 6" from top to bottom. The rear suspension will be a 3 link bolt on system and the front will retain the wishbone style.
Interior: Front bucket seats, rear bench. If we can afford leather in the budget we'll use it, but I think it's gonna be tweed. AM/FM/CD with 6 speakers, if the budget can afford it we'll see about a DVD set-up.
Heres how the plans gonna work:
I have April and May to find a suitable candidate. We plan on spending no more than $2500 for a truck, running gear wont be a factor, but we want all the bodypanels, steering, glass, and electricals intact. Were keeping the rusted junk truck for now in case we need any parts from it.
June we'll strip the truck down to the frame and sandblast all the parts, but concentrate on the frame.
The Suspension shop will install the suspension, all 4 corners will cost $1500, they'll supply the new bags, new bushings, and rubber for the suspension. I have to supply and plumb the air compressor and reserve tank, also supply the steering gear and they'll install it. They get the frame for July and August.
The paint shop gets the body for August and September, for $1800 they'll spray 4 coats of color and two coats of clear, color sand, and buff. I have to have any body work and paint stripping done before dropping it off to them (removing chrome and filling holes, removing door handles and tailgate latch, straighten any panels).
We bought a remanned 350 and 700r4 from City Motor supply for $1050, I have to give them the core when I strip the truck down.
After I paint the frame I'll install the engine/trans. The rear axle in the truck I already have was rebuilt a few years ago. This should take place in September while the body's getting painted.
The body and frame should get put back together in October and November and we have 4 months to assemble everything else.
We're waiting on estimates from a couple of upholstery shops to see who we'll use. I hope to have that finalized by June so they can start on the interior pieces while the body's getting painted.
The shops were dealing with gave us discounts because were letting them have the truck a couple months at a time so they can work on it during their slow periods.
I expect to have a few cost overruns and surprises but most of the major components either are already payed for or will be payed for before we actually start the work.
We'll take pictures as the work progresses.