Author Topic: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build  (Read 11911 times)

Offline 79SierraGrande

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1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« on: April 14, 2015, 02:29:23 AM »
Hi all,

I'm new to the forums. I'm currently collecting all the parts I need to do my truck build. I've been reading a lot of great threads on here from some of you and there's a wealth of knowledge I'd love to tap into in the near future, especially on the LS engines and mating to a manual such as the NV 4500.

This truck means a lot to me. It was the truck my father owned and drove daily all throughout my childhood. And now he has given it to me recently. Sadly, I wrecked it when I was 14 years old driving to school up here in Montana my first time driving in snow. It didn't get hurt too bad but she's quite ugly and still not fixed up 25 years later. But that's about to change.

I'm planning on doing a frame-off restoration and trading out the 96' Vortec 350 I have in her now to an LS3 engine, Chevy part #19301326 (430 HP, 424 TQ). I just picked up a Dana 60 front axle and a Corporate 14-bolt rear with disc brakes already on it, as well as an NV 4500 5-speed manual transmission. And since my baby has quite a bit of rust I am fairly well stocked with NOS GM body parts for what's to come during surgery. Only thing I am planing on buying that I don't have yet for body parts are some doors. I found some brand new in the box NOS GM doors nearby but they sold literally five minutes before I called the guy for only $250. Yep, I was bummed... But that seller did give me his best friend's number who he claims has over 100 73-87 trucks down in Wyoming where my best friend currently lives. Talk about crazy.

Anyway, attached are a few pictures of what Old Yeller looks like now, and one picture from 1986 when she was in good health. I look forward to speaking with you all soon!

- Jeremy
Jeremy

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 02:33:19 AM »
I forgot to ask, does anyone know if an LS 5.3L is the same outside dimensions as the LS 6.2L?

I also just got an LS 5.3L for free that I wanted to tear down just to the heads and block and use it to do a mock up and see how everything fits. But if the outside dimensions aren't the same it wouldn't make sense to do so.
Jeremy

Offline illinoisk30

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 04:48:39 AM »
Welcome from Northern Illinois. I don't know to much about the LS engine swap but other people on here do. Great truck to start with and with all the NOS parts it sounds like you are going in the right direction with your build. It will be interesting to watch your progress. I have a Sierra Grande as well.
1977 Chevy K10 LWB Supercharged 406 TH350
1977 Chevy K30 DRW 400 TH400
1978 GMC K35 SRW 454 TH400
1979 GMC K35 SRW 400 TH400
1980 Chevy K30 SRW 350 SM465

Offline LTZ C20

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 10:02:30 AM »
Welcome from California. LS engines are like small blocks. Block size is the same, bore and stroke is different depending on displacement.
LTZ Cheyenne C20

Offline Jason S

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 11:23:25 AM »
Howdy from Kansas.  Sounds like an interesting project.
1973 GMC K2500, Super Custom, Camper Special, 350, TH350, NP203, 4.10's
1974 Chevrolet K10, Custom Deluxe, 350, SM465, NP203, 3.73's

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Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 12:04:50 PM »
Welcome from Northern Illinois. I don't know to much about the LS engine swap but other people on here do. Great truck to start with and with all the NOS parts it sounds like you are going in the right direction with your build. It will be interesting to watch your progress. I have a Sierra Grande as well.

Thanks, illinoisk30. I love the Sierra Grande trucks! I used to have a 1971 GMC Sierra Grande also. Heavy half-ton with Dana 44 front axle and Corp. 14-bolt rear and a 454 BBC. Say, if you ever run across some NOS Sierra Grande front fender emblems that look like the ones I attached, let me know. I'd love some NOS ones like those because mine aren't in that great of shape. Going to have my friend's wife see if she restore them but if that doesn't work I'll keep looking around.

Thanks for the warm welcome!
Jeremy

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2015, 12:06:34 PM »
Welcome from California. LS engines are like small blocks. Block size is the same, bore and stroke is different depending on displacement.

Thanks, LTZ C20! That's what I was thinking but since I don't have the LS3 crate engine yet to compare I wasn't 100% sure. Makes perfect sense though. Thank you for welcoming me to the forums.
Jeremy

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2015, 12:10:44 PM »
Howdy from Kansas.  Sounds like an interesting project.

Thanks, Jason S! It sure will be. I can guarantee that. I wish I had learned the skill of paint and body work well enough to do the entire project all on my own like some of the very talented people on here but since I don't, my body and paint guy lives up north in Kalispell, MT, so I'll be taking it up to him eventually. I did the work on my hood but that's about all I feel confident doing. Engines, transmissions and all the rest is where I feel comfortable. I just haven't messed with these LS engines yet so still learning what's all interchangeable or the same throughout the LS lineup.
Jeremy

Offline LTZ C20

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2015, 01:30:46 PM »
Your welcome.
LTZ Cheyenne C20

Offline Colby

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2015, 04:04:00 PM »
Welcome from CO.

Should be a fun project.  Where are you in MT?  I went to school at Rocky in Billings and my wife is from Eastern MT.

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2015, 04:59:18 PM »
Welcome from CO.

Should be a fun project.  Where are you in MT?  I went to school at Rocky in Billings and my wife is from Eastern MT.

Thanks for the warm welcome, Colby. I'm from Billings where you went to school at Rocky. Small world. I live just a few blocks from there.
Jeremy

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2015, 05:12:35 PM »
Finally got my Dana 60 and Corp. 14-bolt off the back of the flatbead and onto some pallets so I can take them all apart. The battery on the tractor was dead and wouldn't charge so had to fix that first. And I wasn't feeling like a Strongest Man in the Word contestant either so... Once I get them torn down both will be sandblasted and powdercoated semi-gloss black. Both have 4.56 gears and the rear has a factory Gov lock but I'm going to swap them out for 4.10's because I'm not putting a huge lift or giant tires on the truck. Not into that. Just going with a 2.5-inch lift all the way around with some 33's or so.

Another pic is of the 5.3L LS engine I got for free that I want to use to do that mock-up I was talking about in my earlier posting. And one of Cody dog kitty, as my father calls him, keeping an eye on me to make sure I stay out of trouble.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 04:34:51 AM by 79SierraGrande »
Jeremy

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2015, 05:28:23 PM »
P.S. Now it's snowing here! That's Montana for you. Yesterday it was 81 degrees, and now it's snowing and 37 degrees!
Jeremy

Offline fitz

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2015, 06:36:24 PM »
I'm a huge fan of trucks with a cool family history behind them.
This will be a great project to follow.
What kind of rims did it have back in 1986?

Offline 79SierraGrande

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Re: 1979 GMC Sierra Grande 4x4 truck build
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2015, 08:56:34 PM »
I'm a huge fan of trucks with a cool family history behind them.
This will be a great project to follow.
What kind of rims did it have back in 1986?

Thanks, Fitz! Back when I was a kid it just some 15-inch steel rims with the old school GMC 4x4 hubcaps that covered the whole rim kind of like the picture below but GMC. Not the rally's it has on it now. When it's getting to that point on this build I will be putting 17-inch rims on it of some kind. I thought about calling Foose to ask if they might be down for making me a 17-inch version of the old 4x4 rally's it has now and also making me the center caps so I can buy the orange and yellow 4x4 stickers to put on them. Now that would be awesome!
Jeremy