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Old 03-10-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
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'72 Chevy K/30 Cummins

I am cross posting this, but figured a few of you all here might appricate it. It is my current project that is going to become a tow vehicle for my future airstream.

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This build has been a long time coming. This truck is very special to me, and there are more than a few reasons why.
The first of which starts with a 6lb ball of fluff.

I named him Palex, The back story is ever since I was a little kid I had wanted a German Shepherd, my parents put a dog that I had down and agreed to get me one, but never did.
When I was 25 I bought palex after doing some research and finding a breeder that seemed to have a good offering that was born into what I would also consider a good enviroment, definately a puppy mill by no means.
I paid a good deal of money because I wanted a dog that was smart, healthy, who could live a good long happy life. I feel as though that is what I got.
Fast forward a few years the pup and I wound up out on the road trucking, we visited about 46 states, traveled about 110,000 miles, and had some very interesting experinces. Because I was able to spend so much time with Palex, he was a very well behaved well trained dog, when I got off the road I still continued to take him almost everywhere with me and I never had an issue.
Somwhere along the way I flew out to Arizona and I bought this truck.

the truck is awesome, its a 72, has over a million miles on it, and came with a pretty built 454 in it.
Eventually I would convert it into a welding rig, and I would make some money with it doing a few jobs building gates and trailers and about what ever else came my way.

I did a few other modifications as well, I installed a NV4500 to help with the fuel mileage, and removed the spoiler that was glassed into the back of the cab.

This is one of the last photos I have of Palex, sadly November 12th 2008 some one killed him when he chased a cat out into the street early in the morning. The man was traveling over twice the speed limit (50mph)
It was pretty hard, and kind of silly in a way, but after he died I couldnt look at the truck for a long while.
It didnt help that a guy going down the freeway infront of me lost a piece of steel out of the back of his truck and I ran it over, my front left tire exploded, tore the floorboard out from under my feet, and caused me to take a ride down through the barrow pit.
Lots and lots of miles, and being tossed in the ditch at 65 mph with a welding rig on the back was too much for the truck, the frame tweaked pretty bad.
I took it apart to start fixing it, I was going to rebuild the frame, but as it was, I just couldnt go around the truck with out thinking about my dog.
It is funny how a pet can become such a big part of your life.
Anyways it has been 2 1/2 years and I recenltly sold my daily driver, so now I am needing to get another truck going for myself. I have a lot of parts that I collected over the last couple of years, I now have a Dana 60 front, dana 80 rear, NV4500, NP205, and the Cremdelacrem, a Cummins 12 valve.
I am going to start by constructing a brand new frame from 2x6x.250 rectangular tubing, I will then get the cab stripped down, fix the floors and replace the cab mounts and rockers, then get it all put togeather, plumbed up, wired up and running over the next few months.
The hope is that I will be able to take it from this:

to a 4x4 with a flatbed.
I am also planning on running the 10 lug equipment, and putting 19.5's on it.
The cool thing is, my instructor at school is letting me build many components for the truck for credit, so I can use my school time to work on the truck.
All said and done I think it is going to be a pretty cool rig, probably sunday I will have it in the shop and start pluggin away on it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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Just a mini update, went out to the place I have my truck stored and drug the frame back to the shop, in a couple of days me and a buddy are going to go get the cab and front clip.

Should start seeing some progress now!
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
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Well the good news is...

I went out and started measuring the frame, and it is not tweaked like I thought it was.

You can see in this picture here how the bed was not square to the cab, I though the frame had been tweaked, luckily it had not! So I am very happy about this.
Instead of building a brand new frame, I am going to box this one, Fill all of the unessacary holes, and build all new cross members which will be one heck of a lot easier than trying to build a new frame from scratch.
I am going to go do a little cleanup on the shop, and then I am going to bring the frame inside, tear it down and get solid plans togeather to get the 4x4 conversion done, and then when I get the steel next week I will start boxing it in.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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More playing with Autocad, I got my front cross member designed, need it for the 2wd to 4x4 conversion.

Going to run 73-87 Leafs. With how I have it setup right now it will provide about 2 1/2" of lift over where a stock 4x4 1 ton would be.
From where the truck was setup, it will be going up about 10"!!!!
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Well I got home, got busy with it, started getting this built

[/IMG]
Tonight at school I will be diving in and trying to get the rest of the pieces for it cut, then tomorrow hopefully by the end of the day I can have it welded up and under the truck.
I am also going to machine 2 plates that will go behind the frame and that will have multiple holes tapped into them so I have something solid to mount the front bumper to.
I also need to get some tubeing for reinforcing all the bolt holes, I have decided that every through hole in the frame will be made from a piece of tube welded in so as that I can keep the maximum ammount of streingth possible.
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Getting a little further: I finished cutting the pieces at school tonight.

Tomorrow I need to modify one part slightly to clear the steering box, and then I will test fit it, and burn it all togeather.
Then I will be cutting the old 2wd cross member out, and rolling the dana 60 under and start work on getting it mounted up.
Right now I figure it is going to have about 2 1/2" of lift, and I am figuring on buying 2 1/2" springs for a total of 5" of lift, I figure with the weight of the Cummins it will actually be about 4.
Considering the truck was lowered 5-6" in the front, its going to mean lifting it around 10 inches from where it was when I got it.

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Got it in and test fitted. It looks damn good!

I am starting to get excited.

I loaded the Dana 60 up on my wrecker, and I am going to take it over to a shop here in town that makes U bolts and get a new set made.

When I get back from doing that and getting a little lunch I am going to finish welding the front cross member, and I am going to cut out the old front cross member so as that I dont have to clearence it for the cummins, and I am going to remove the 2wd front cross member and all the stuff that goes with it.
Then I will bolt the 4wd steering box on the frame, install the leafs and the Dana 60 and see how it all looks.
Tomorrow myself and a friend of mine are going out to get the cab and front clip, then we will be bringing them back here.
I ordered a new set of body mount bushings and bolts from ORD they will be here next week, Once I have those in hand I will be able to set the cab on the frame and get busy with getting the cross member to mount the Cummins built.
The goal is by the end of next week to have the engine set in the frame, and to be able to start making a list of what will be needed to get my NV4500 in there, as well as finish off the transmission to transfer case adapter I am working on.
I definately have plenty to do, but it is taking shape really fast.
Also tonight I need to make a rig for lifting my truck cab with the engine hoist so as that I do not damage it while moving it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBeast View Post
Sometimes in life you reach milestones you have been waiting for for a long time, Today I reached one such mile stone with this project.
I have been waiting almost 3 years to get this axle under my truck and to get it back on all fours, that is how long it has been wounded laying around not even able to roll on its own tires.

Well today it was able to roll out the shop door on its own wheels, and man it was a good feeling.

Tomorrow myself and a friend are going to get the cab, and over the weekend I am going to start getting the frame boxed, trussed, and hopefully by the end of next week the truck will have a cummins sitting between the frame rails with the cab bolted down.
Things on it should start moving pretty quickly now.
And now you are all caught up!
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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That should be some beast when your are done. Please send us more pictures.
Thanks
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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Well today was another milestone day. I went out to the old place with my friend kirk and we got it loaded up.

This is where it had sat for the last 3 years, makes me really sad thinking about it, but at the same time I am very happy to have my truck home now.


The rear end is a P-30 14 bolt out of a 87 step van.
I have a few decisions to make now, the 14 bolt has 4.11 gears, the dana 60 has 4.56'es.
I am probably going to be running a BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 255/85R16
With the 4.11's the truck will cruise 70 MPH in 5th gear at 1982 RPM
With the 4.56'es it will run 2199 RPM.
The 4.11's will max out at 115 MPH @ 3500 RPM, the 4.56'es will be 103.44
Not quite sure what im going to do yet.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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Today's progress:


THE CAB IS BACK ON THE FRAME!!!
This makes me very happy, they have been apart for a long long time now.
I made a rig on my cherry picker this morning, worked amazingly well for pulling the cab.
It can pivot 360* and it picks the cab up with ease.


I am waiting on my cab mount kit that I ordered from ORD to show up so I can get the cab bolted down, and I need the rear spring pivot bushings that I ordered from ORD as well, when I get those I will be able to get the frame welded up and boxed, then I can start working on getting the Cummins mounted.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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I hear you about how much love we can share with our dogs. Our grown children refer to our dog as the 'replacement kid'. I have to imagine Palex is wagging his tail watching over ya and hoping the best.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:45 PM   #9
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Great!! I always enjoy reading conversions and other skilled DIY on truck forums as well as here. The future life of these great old trailers is, IMO, much in the hands of those willing to develop the skills, and building a TV is part and parcel of that future (however it may be configured) as work and play -- life in general -- come closer together. Less separation of spheres.

Found your website. Look forward to meeting some day. There are several AIR participants in this area.

Can you link us to the original thread elsewhere?

Thanks

.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Great!! I always enjoy reading conversions and other skilled DIY on truck forums as well as here. The future life of these great old trailers is, IMO, much in the hands of those willing to develop the skills, and building a TV is part and parcel of that future (however it may be configured) as work and play -- life in general -- come closer together. Less separation of spheres.

Found your website. Look forward to meeting some day. There are several AIR participants in this area.

Can you link us to the original thread elsewhere?

Thanks

.

The Boss Hoss, 72 C/30, 454, DUALLY! - The 1947 - Present Chevrolet & GMC Truck Message Board Network
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:38 PM   #11
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Thanks. Another good read.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:48 PM   #12
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So got some work done on the truck this weekend.
Friday night I pulled the truck outside and sand blasted the front frame clean...


100lb bag of black beauty right there, but it worked great, at a cost of 14.00 I think it was money well spent.

Next I threw the cab back on, and let me tell you, the cab dolly is now a permanent fixture on my cherry picker, it works extremly well. It is a wee bit occuard with the doors still on the truck, but it still is just about as slick as can be. Sure beats the 4 friends meathod!
I rolled the cummins over, and before long I had it stuffed between the frame rails so I could pull some measurements off of it so as that I can get the motor mounts built.

Hopefully with in the next few days the engine will be in and mounted and the front frame will be boxed in, and I can begin working my way back.
Tonight I was pretty tired so didnt get a lot done, I cut pieces to weld in where the old 2wd suspension used to mount up, there were some large holes that were taking a lot of streingth out of the frame, and I figure since the Cummins weighs about 300 lbs more than the 454 I might want all I can get.

I also trimmed the frame flange next to the steering box so as that that side of the frame can be boxed.

Hows that for a free hand cut with the torch?
anyhow, hopefully I will have more updates tomorrow or tuesday.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:50 PM   #13
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Oh and the new pup was supervising all day (except when I was welding I put him inside)



It is crazy how much Dexter looks like my old dog Palex.

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Old 03-21-2011, 09:50 PM   #14
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Tonight I got busy on boxing the frame.


Once I had the first piece tack welded in place I was able to drill the holes for the front shackle bushings.


Then I welded them to a piece of 1" box tube and test fit them, everything ligned up within 1/16 of an inch. A little grinding and it will be less than 1/32"
I am eating some dinner then I will be back out there hard at it, I would really like to have the engine mounts built and have it hanging in the frame tonight, but that is a pretty tall order so we will see.
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