Author Topic: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder  (Read 24810 times)

Offline Mike Phillips

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1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« on: August 23, 2011, 08:47:19 PM »
1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder


Thought I would document this project from start to finish as some of the issues I come up against I'll look to the forum members for help. Also, things learned during this project might helps others into the future...
 
This projects starts early Sunday morning, August 21st, 2011 with a trip to the gas station. My good friend David is helping me to bring the truck home and will also be helping to do some custom welding to redo some of the previous suspension and steering modifications.
 
The truck we're driving is called Behemoth, it's a 2004 Custom Kodiak Truck, custom build by David as he's a welder/fabricator. He started with a Kodiak Cab and grafted in the center section of a 1996 Chevy Van between the front and rear of cab portions to create a custom stretched truck cab.

  • 6.6 Duramax Diesel Engine.
  • Allison 1000 Series Transmission.
  • New Process 273 Transfercase.
  • 15000 Ramsey Winch - Front.
  • 10000 Winch - Rear.
  • 3 Fuel Tanks, Two 60 Gallon Tanks and One 50 Gallon Tank.
  • Rear Bed is 2007 Chevrolet Dually Pickup Bed - this is a Dump Bed and a Roll-back Bed.
I met David when I detailed Behemoth and we've been friends ever since.
 

 
David has added a full size camper in the last month so when he hauls  Monster Trucks to the Triple Canopy Ranch for Mudfest events there's a place to hang out, eat dinner, etc.
 

 

 
 
We drove from Stuart, Florida to West Palm Beach to meet the owner Tom and after backing the trailer into the driveway, Tom drove my new-to-me Chevy up onto the trailer. I would have done it myself but because I have an artificial leg I cannot drive, or at least I cannot safely drive a manual transmission.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
All chained down and ready for the ride home...

 
 
:)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 10:57:16 AM by Mike Phillips »

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 08:51:51 PM »
1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder Continued...
 
 
Before we left I took a shot of what looks like the truck that started the whole 4x4 Monster Truck craze and that's Big Foot from the movie,
 
Take this job and shove it
 

 
 
From the movie,

 

 
 
 
After we left West Palm Beach the rain started, this is what it looks like driving North on I-95 from inside Behemoth...

 
 
Rain stopped and we stopped to get a bite to eat so I snapped these pictures... The 1978 Chevy Truck is by all standards a full-size truck but Behemoth makes it look small...

 

 

 
 
The wheels on my 1978 Chevy Truck are UGLY and I'm working on another set of aluminum slotted mags, kidney bean style. Anyone reading this that knows where a set of 8-lug, 16.5 by 12" wide get a hold of me.

 
 
The truck has a 454 and it and the engine compartment are also ugly...

 

 
 
The truck came with factory AC and I'm going to rebuild all of this...

 
 
Here's the rear-end, it needs cleaning. The front and rear axles are supposed to be out of a 1986 Military Suburban.

 
 
Here's the Dana 60 front-end...

 
 
 
:)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 09:26:17 PM by Mike Phillips »

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 08:53:59 PM »
1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder Continued...
 
Rear drum brakes and missing cable for the emergency brake, need to get this and any of the other missing hardware. I own a boat and it's nice to have an emergency brake for emergencies but also for launching boats at the boat launch.
 

 
 
Back of transfercase...

 
 
Turbo 350 mated to a NP208 Transfercase that's going in after it's cleaned up and gets some new seals, filter, fluids etc.

 
 
Front disc brakes, rusty shocks are being disposed of... I need to do some rust removal, anyone with a "wonder" product that can be sprayed on and pressure washed off please chime in...

 
 
Rusty headers are going to be replaced with some coated headers...

 
 
Looks like a homemade steering arm, I'll let David either warm it over or we'll replace it.

 
 
Steering gearbox, I'm installing a 2-wheel driver replacement and bracing the frame...

 
 
Here's where the truck is sitting right now...



I did a tune-up on the engine and now it starts and idles pretty good. Saturday morning I'm going to do a compression check and also pull the valve covers off and watch the valve train for any obvious problems if there's a discrepancy in the compression between cylinders.
 
After that the truck is coming off the trailer and the motor, transmission and transfercase are coming out and the cleaning begins...
 
 
That's it for now...
 
 
:)

Offline big bear

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 09:10:24 PM »
awesome man.....i love project threads and the stories with them.   behemoth is a  beast wow    what a slick setup. and i love your new toy. cant wait for the build

Offline 1979C20

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 04:54:10 AM »
Both of those trucks are gorgeous. The 78 looks like a great starting point. If you were closer to me id see if you were interested in selling me that 4 speed! Haha. Good luck with the project.
1979 SCLB C20 Q-jet 350 SM465 14b F.F. 4.10 G80
1989 GMC Suburban V2500 TBI350 TH400 4in lift 35's 14b SF

Offline 70fastback

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 05:38:28 AM »
Alright Mike, that does it!!!  You shine cars like no other, and now you are going to have my dream truck.  Why don't you just run me over with Behemoth...LOL.  Cant wait to see where you take this.  I assume this is the replacement for the Blazer?

Offline bake74

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 10:04:38 AM »
     very nice start.  I love lifted trucks personally, so I am all for this project.
#1: The easiest and most obvious solution to any problem is 99% of the time correct.
#2: There is no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer.
  74 k10, 77k10    Tom

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 05:08:20 PM »

  I assume this is the replacement for the Blazer?


Actually... once this 3/4 ton is on the road it will make my Jimmy my "economical driver", that is the Jimmy will get better gas mileage than the 3/4 ton truck so I figure I better keep it for gas savings.

The Jimmy is also my "Airport Car" as it fits under the concrete ceiling for short term parking at the West Palm Beach Airport.  It just barely fits.  The top of the windshield frame  is about an inch away from the concrete ceiling beams in the airport parking structure.  It's kind of freaky driving into the structure as you hear this wind noise as you pass by each concrete beam as the truck is a full convertible.

So at this time I'm going to keep the Jimmy.  I'm actually thinking about pulling all the running gear out of the Jimmy since it's "new" and proven and swap in the other running gear and engine not being used for the 3/4 ton.  The engine is the Jimmy is a Mark VI Roller Cam 454 that's only 2 years old with a 700R4 built by Dana Sniff.

Still thinking about my options...

:)
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 06:15:14 AM by Mike Phillips »

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2011, 06:22:39 AM »
Did a compression check on the engine last night, compression on all 8 cylinders averaged 145 to 150 pounds.  After the compression check I removed the valve covers and watched the valve trains operate as the motor was turning over and valve opening and closing all looked normal, no sigh of a flat cam lobe, broken rockers or bent pushrods etc.

Decided to remove the engine, transmission and transfercase out of the Jimmy and install it into the 3/4 ton





Before I start taking apart the drivetrain on the 3/4 ton I'm going to go through the brakes and get them all rebuilt, this will start this Saturday. 

:)





Offline big bear

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2011, 06:04:47 PM »
i like those valve covers. those custom, or you buy them ?  they just look agressive and clean to me. its the 454 jumping out that i like haha

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2011, 10:49:38 AM »
Yesterday, (Saturday, August 27th), we drove the truck off the trailer to it's new home for the next couple of months.  I removed the tires, they're 42" Super Swampers but they look small next to these tires tractor tires on the 2.5 ton Rockwell axles.  (Dave's Buggy project)



Next up I removed all the wheel hubs, rotors and brakes,


This is scary looking...  I'll post a picture of the bearings for the front passenger side later, it looks even worse...



Today is cleaning day, going to start pressure washing and degreasing... ugh... this is the part that's never any fun.  It' hotter than heck outside today too...

:)

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 10:54:22 AM »

i like those valve covers. those custom, or you buy them ? 

These are Ansen Valve covers, about $200.00+ to buy new.  I picked them up from a guy that one two separate eBay bids for identical valve covers so I picked his spare set up for $125.00

Now days, many people have no idea what a 454 is let a long the thrill of driving a daily driver with a big block Chevy.  To tell someone that's not into cars you have a 454 in your truck doesn't mean anything to them.  When you pop the hood and the see the numbers, 454 on the valve cover they can put it together

454 = big engine = big power

My son things they're pretty cool too...


:)

Offline Mike Phillips

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 11:04:01 AM »
Here are the colors I considering for the paintwork after the mechanicals are all finished... these are PPG colors for Lamborghini's




:)

Online fitz

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2011, 01:26:39 PM »
Mike, great write up on a cool project. As far as the axle go, what gears do they have? As far as I know chevy didn't make any Military CUCV Suburbans. Lots of trucks with 4.56 gears are assumed to have Military axles (Military pick ups had 4.56's, the blazers had 3.08's) to put the 1 ton rear axle under your truck means they had to change the spring hangers. If you measure the spring perches on the axle we can figure out if it's a 1 ton or 3/4 ton unit.                   Just trying to make sure you get the correct brake parts. Great project, looking forward to the build.

Offline big bear

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Re: 1978 Chevy 3/4 Ton 4x4 Project Pavement Pounder
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2011, 07:03:53 PM »
kool man,,thanks for the info on the valve covers. i dig them.  i cant wait to have my big block in my daily. your right, lots of people just have no clue these days.  killer truck man

 


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