|08-13-2009, 11:37 AM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bakersfield, Ca.
'89 3/4T 'burb front-end swap to '66 C20
I look at the restoration of my truck as two main parts: Mechanical & Aesthetics. The mechanical part being everything that's under the body & bed boards while the aesthetics are well, the rest of the stuff that makes the truck pretty.
My plan is to complete the mechanical resto first, then worry about the paint & body part. The way I'm going about this is a little different, because I drive my truck every day.
Most normal people would buy their project truck, make a budget, and either buy all of the parts they're going to need up front, or tear down their truck first, then purchase the parts. Then sand blast, clean up, patch up, paint and re-assemble with new parts, engine, trans, drive line, diff, wheels exhaust cab, front clip, electrical, bed & bed wood - done! (not necessarily in that order)
My approach is different for 2 reasons:
1. I don't have shop big enough to store a stripped down frame off truck for a year or so until I can finish it.
2. I drive my truck every day.
The modified plan goes something like this:
I've broken the mechanical part down into 3 phases:
The Aesthetics part doesn't really break down into phases because I can do all of the work off-vehicle (with the exception of the bed because I don't have a spare one of those) and assemble it all at the final tear down.
Well it's been a long time coming, but with the engine, exhaust and transmission completed like I wanted it, the time is finally here to start phase 2 of the mechanical "restoration" of my truck!
My plan to upgrade my steering & brakes was to swap out a complete front suspension from a later model truck - cross member & all. Not only does this fit my modular approach to minimize down time, but it also makes it easier to avoid geometry issues and replacement parts later on. I can also sell my vintage "power assisted" steering parts at the swap meet as a complete package.
Some time ago (about 4 years ago) I purchased a front end out of an '89 3/4 ton Suburban:
After a not so brief intermission, (2 years recovering from a near fatal aortic aneurysm) I was finally able to complete the re-build:
Here’s most of the parts I'll need to complete the upgrade:
New calipers & pads, new outer tie rod ends, new dual mastercyl/brake booster kit adapted for a '66 Chevy truck, a re-manufactured p/s box from the '89 3/4 ton 'burb, new sway bar bushings, brackets, good used pitman arm (89 burb), good used inner tie rod ends, good used idler arm/center link and good used sway bar brackets for front cross-member.
The huge 1-1/4" sway bar, the re-man p/s pump and the REZ adapter kit aren't pictured. I still need to purchase p/s hoses, brake lines for the fronts, and some new dust covers for the inner tie rod ends.
The plan is to remove the front clip of my truck intact, jack up the frame, suspend the engine, remove the existing front-end (cross member & all) clean & POR-15 everything, then install the new cross-member, the master cylinder, p/s box, p/s pump and all the lines. Then put the "dog house" back on as it was - well, that is except for new isolators under the core support.