88GMCtruck's never ending 88 GMC build thread

Discussion in 'Under Construction' started by 88GMCtruck, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Here we go yet again!

    For those of you who follow my 98 dually thread or have seen elsewhere TLDR to the end. For those who are in the dark, I also have an 88 GMC K1500. 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. There are a couple build threads on other not to-be mentioned forums, under the title "88GMCtruck's SAS Build Thread" for those interested enough to use google.
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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. Some of you have seen it's build thread elsewhere I'm sure, it was quite the project all in it's own. After towing it awhile, I finally did a much needed gear upgrade from 3.73s to 4.56s.
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    In early 2011 the 88 took a year long break from most use when I bought a 99 6.5L K2500 5-speed truck. It was a cool truck but in early March 2012 I sold it. At this time I was once again concentrating on this truck. It had at this point 200k on it, and was going back to trailer towing duties. I ended up converting it to 8-lug with hubs up front and a detroit locked SRW Corporate 14FF axle from a CUCV, and received a heart transplant in the form of a cammed Gen 6 Vortec 454 with a TBI on top of it.
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    The almost 2 years of trailer towing took it's toll on the truck. By this time the combination of the 454's power and the weight of the trailer destroyed the springs, shocks and engine mounts. Combine this with the fact the original paint was really starting to show it's age, and reality of using a lifted standard cab truck to haul quads and go camping it just wasn't panning out anymore. In late 2013, my lifestyle prompted me to purchase the 98 Dually most of you should be familiar with at this point. I had basically stopped using the 88 as it needed so much to get back to being a fun driver again. I parked it in a carport in my back yard and it sat most of the time, I started it up and drove it every once in awhile but not near often enough. The carport kept the rain and pine needles off it but the moisture was still present and it didn't do the truck any favors, particularly on the aluminum parts.
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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  2. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    So, here we are, present day.

    I have been formulating a plan to re-build the truck for a long time. Some of you may have caught this in my dually's build, but part of my plan was me selling my 02 GMC a month or so back. I hardly used it, and it was basically holding me back in the time/space/money department from concentrating on the 88. It's sale though prompted this parts rig: 98 K2500 Suburban.
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    If you didn't read it in my dually thread, I picked this up "not running right" for $700. 285k on the clock and a fairly trashed interior, it was exactly what I wanted for parts - 97+, 454, 4L80E, 14FF (w/4.10s and a G80), Black body and grey interior. It's actually going to be parted into multiple vehicles (engine going to a friend, trans to another, driver's door and fender onto the dually) but many things will be used on the 88. The goal here is to swap the entire truck over to the 98 interior, wiring, MPFI and all engine accessories. I'm going to put a 0411 in it as well. Anyway, after tinkering with it some It ended up being a loose dist. cap, 3 unplugged plug wires and a bad MAF, so it actually runs fine.
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    Last night I also picked up a set of really, really good condition PY0 wheels for $100, i'm considering running them on the truck and keeping it 8-lug.
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    So, here I go as I start to actually rebuild the truck. Progress might be slower to start as I collect parts, and eventually tear the suburban up. Having a single 2-car garage is going to limit how long it can be apart, so this might happen in stages. But, here is the overall goal:

    -Rebuild everything that needs it.....
    -Convert engine to full vortec 454 injection, wiring, and accessories. Convert AC to Sanden and R134a. 0411 PCM swap.
    -Convert interior to full 98 dash/doors/etc.
    -Pull bed, cab, etc. New springs/shocks/engine mounts. Undercoat frame. Install 98 fuel tank and pump.
    -Convert NV4500 top over to newer style.
    -Decide between 6-lug or 8-lug. Swap rear axle with either 14SF or 14FF. Get rid of the CUCV axle because the 13" drums suck and the detroit locker does as well.
    -Replace bedsides, both doors. Eventually repaint.

    There you have it. I'm going to be bouncing ideas around and making a good game plan to accomplish this. The goal is to fix a bunch of issues and eventually make this into a more or less restored nice truck to drive around, and lightly offroad (where it wont get scratched to hell).

    For record, as she sits now, from one of my recent summer drive's with the truck.
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  3. GeoffSFAs10

    GeoffSFAs10 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,835
    hell yes!!! I love your build threads.

    I would be tempted to keep it 8 lug if youre going to keep wheeling it. if youre going to do light wheeling and driving around town, 6 lug might be better for the weight savings youd get.
     
  4. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Well up front nothing changes strengthwise with the D44, so really it's just in the rear. If I go back to 6-lug it would be a 14SF which should be plenty strong for this truck, although the 14FF doesn't hurt anything either....
     
  5. GeoffSFAs10

    GeoffSFAs10 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,835
    I feel theres better options for axles, wheels etc for 8 lug when it comes to wheeling parts. Maybe thats just me though
     
  6. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Wheels I would say is negligible, 14FF is a common and strong axle for sure, and pretty cheap to build. It's just heavy and large. Besides most of the time it'll be a run to town truck more than wheeler, I have the quads for that anyway.
     
  7. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Welp, trying to get this project rolling, going to start out doing some of the things I can without tearing the truck down and rendering it unusable just yet. Particularly I don't want to rip the suburban apart till I can have the truck apart and ready, cause once I take things apart I have to store parts and it's a boat anchor to move.

    Anyway, during all this, I was researching new tires, measuring offsets, looking into axle combinations between 6 and 8 lug... for the time being I settled on the PY0s and 8-lug. So I decided instead of tripping around the PY0s I would play around with them, did a bunch of measurements etc, and got out the stripper and have a little party.
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    Got the clearcoat off them and gave them a nice hand polish. Damn I love me some polished aluminum.
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    Now with the wheels ready to go, I figured new tires were a good idea, so I could pull the old wheels and tires off and craigslist them to re-coup some cash... Was doing my research and low and behold, they were on sale... Stay tuned!
     
  8. Ginger

    Ginger Bubbles

    Messages:
    24,054
    claws? lol, i love me some claws.
     
  9. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Love the look of claws, but they seem to run fairly expensive and aren't quite as versatile as i'd like.

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    Got all 4 shined up last night.
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    Then spent some time with the tire spoons scooping these bad boys on the wheels. I decided to get the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro in 315/75R16. Read a decent amount and they seem to have good reviews.
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    New tires VS old tires. The Mickey Thompson MTZs served me well. I managed to get about 55k miles out of them. I probably would have ran them a second time but I've started growing fond of coopers after running the Discoverer ST Maxx on the dually.
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    And, yes, they are on the truck. It was 10PM when I finished, so you'll have to wait for daylight picts :lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  10. Ginger

    Ginger Bubbles

    Messages:
    24,054
    nice the STT's are a great tire. gotta get them balanced im assuming?
     
  11. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    I did Dynabeads actually, worked really well.
     
  12. Tylers88

    Tylers88 3 GM's and a Jeep

    Messages:
    6,631
    I liked my STTs on the Jeep, even being that light of a vehicle and E rated tires it still rode pretty good and those are the nicest looking PYOs I've ever seen.
     
  13. Ginger

    Ginger Bubbles

    Messages:
    24,054
    i used balance bags before. worked really well with my heavy hankooks, my claws they are lighter and the bags put them out of balance.
     
  14. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Thanks! I got super lucky. Guy had them on his truck 5k miles, and removed the wheel weights when he bought the truck new. And were $100. like....... damn. Couldn't pass up.

    Yeah these didn't seem all that heavy to me, they ride nice with the media in them.

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    Alright, now that I'm done being an adult for the day, I managed to snap some picts before the sun went down.

    Narrow wheels, tires under the fender, and a slightly different design makes it look much taller. I'm pleased.

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  15. Tylers88

    Tylers88 3 GM's and a Jeep

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    6,631
    I be so fckn jelly of that last pic, not because tint or shiny wheels or SAS on dirty fives or even that it's all one color but that the cab and bed line up, mine haven't since like 05. Iowa DOT in all their wisdom put 312 ton of salt per mile and my cab mounts are like gone.
     
  16. GeoffSFAs10

    GeoffSFAs10 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,835
    holy rake!!! :p

    Looks really good with the PYOs, i have always been a fan of those wheels with meaty tires.
     
  17. 88GMCtruck

    88GMCtruck Woooo Boost!

    Messages:
    179
    Yeah, i'm SO glad our state doesn't do that. My truck really doesn't have any rust, frame is solid.... and those are the original mounts.

    Yeah, the 454 plus spring sag has taken it's toll :p
     
  18. Ginger

    Ginger Bubbles

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    24,054
    i was gonna say they same thing man is has some rake currently.
     
  19. Tylers88

    Tylers88 3 GM's and a Jeep

    Messages:
    6,631
    I'd just bring the back down to match the front
     
  20. Ginger

    Ginger Bubbles

    Messages:
    24,054
    he offroads a lot, gotta keep the room for the flex
     

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