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Old 05-22-2010, 10:49 PM   #26
Beelzeburb
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Beelzeburb: Part 12

I still had to overcome the radiator hose situation, replace the hose that connected the intake to the water pump, then find another hose that channeled coolant to under the throttle body and locate a serpentine belt that'd work with my engine. Around this time I discovered the NATC forums over at 454ss.com. They have since been indispensable as a source of information about my engine and popular modifications / adaptations for them. For instance, I was able to find part numbers for a shorter serpentine belt and determine which narrowband O2 sensor would work best on my setup. I ordered a heated O2 sensor and adapter wiring from the local Chevy dealership and placed an order for the special bolts which fit the oil cooler sandwich adapter (GM p/n 9421634 in case you were wondering) at the same time.
A local parts store had the 97.5" belt my engine needed. I found the original radiator hoses from my grandfather's rolled truck, and the upper hose would work with some wiggling despite its smaller ID.



You can see where some of the fragile original plastic vacuum lines had to be replaced. Others were blocked off because this engine no longer had the A.I.R. system or vacuum canister. I had also bolted in the special throttle bracket Edelbrock recommends with their aluminum TBI intake manifold. The throttle cable was already on order at this point.

The intake manifold rear coolant outlet that would have lead to the heater core would need to be either blocked off or re-routed to the radiator until an aftermarket A/C unit was sourced.

The old lower radiator hose from when my Suburban had the SBC seemed to fit and contour pretty well. It looked like it might need some sheathing where the hose rested on the frame to help prevent excessive rubbing.



I ordered a power steering pressure hose from another auto parts store in town, then filled the pump and had it circulating in short order. I had to bend and flare my own return hose, but it was relatively easy to do because I had the Blazer to use as reference.




I experienced a self inflicted minor disaster when routing the serpentine belt. While prying up on the belt tensioner with a long bar in one hand and reaching for the belt with the other the prybar slipped. The force of the tensioner springing back into position broke its locator tab on the back clean off.



A new one from the parts counter would have run upwards of $45 which I did not want to spend for such a simple mistake on my part. Instead I drilled and tapped the backside of the tensioner to accept a bolt. Clocked over a few degrees it became a little less strenuous to slip the shorter belt in place.



I had cut the smog pump mount off of the accessory bracket with a sawzall. To take up slack in that long stretch of belt between the crank pulley and A/C compressor I bolted a smooth pulley to what was left of the bracket with a spacer that let it sit out far enough to be in the middle of the belt. That was probably why my belt seemed a little tighter than it needed to be in the first place.

The good guys at the local parts counter found a replacement for that goofy little hose which ran from the water pump to the intake.



Having a pre-bent angle to the hose really helped installation compared with wrestling a straight hose into position like a previous mechanic had obviously done.

My parts came in at the Chevy dealership too.

Special oil filter sandwich adapter bolts:


Heated O2 sensor and 3 wire adapter (the engine harness only has one wire and this made it easier to run power and a ground to the sensor):


I was mocking up the Innovate Motorsports O2 bung placement before drilling a hole and welding it on. I had ordered the spare bung when I installed a wideband on my Z car.

Finally, some progress was happening with all of these little niggling tasks.


Then I was made aware that the u-joints in my front Dana 44 were disintegrating.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
Datsun 240Z, 510 2 door and an old Honda motorcycle

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Old 05-23-2010, 12:50 AM   #27
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Dang it! Quit stopping in the middle of the story.

Sorry to hear about your dad. I lost mine 2 years ago. We spent alot of time working in the garage together.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #28
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Subscribed!
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:34 PM   #29
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Very cool build thread. Thanks for sharing so far and looking forward to the updates!
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:57 PM   #30
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Great thread. I've got those same valve covers and having trouble finding a push in breather like you are using. Do you recall where you got yours?
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:03 PM   #31
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Beelzeburb: Part 13 - The mini-update

The valve cover breather actually came with the K&N air filter kit. I went out to look at it, and while it is a K&N part, the number on the top of it didn't seem to match up with any numbers on their website.
The crankcase vent filters are on the K&N website under the Performance Products section and you can find them by size, so hopefully that helps.

To help appease low'n slow here's a tiny little smidgen more of the story before my next update about the front axle. I promise the front axle bit will be a large post.

If you were paying attention (remember, there may be a pop quiz later) my brake booster was partially coated with POR-15 in the dusty shot of the engine bay. I took some time to remove it, separate the booster from the MC and throw it in the blast cabinet. After some hand sanding of tricky areas, both the booster and master cylinder got two fresh coats of POR-15 BlackCote.




Much better. Mini update over.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
Datsun 240Z, 510 2 door and an old Honda motorcycle

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:26 AM   #32
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

That does help - was able to locate it, 62-1140 should do the trick. Booster and master looks great!
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:52 PM   #33
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Beelzeburb: Part 14

I debated with a wise circle of capybaras about making this post its own thread. The Council of Squeaky Ones (their choice of name, not mine) and I have decided to present it here in full.
If the admins want it as an FAQ or anything then let me know and we can break it off into a separate entity.

Peering through the steering knuckles on my Dana 44 it was clear that my front u-joints were shot. A couple of the caps had even fragmented and were missing important looking chunks of metal. Replacement was in order.

This is a '77-'79 Dana 44 (the BOM # was completely illegible, but the axle tubes had a 3” OD). Take note of the 44 stamped on the lower right side of the pumpkin:



This is the later style 10 bolt front axle that was in my Suburban for a short time. Note the round cover and lack of a 44 cast into the housing:



Some parts are interchangeable between these assemblies, as I found out. The 10 bolt had been lying outside, neglected until I brought it in and picked it over.

Before removing the axleshafts we must first remove the wheel:



Removal of the Allen bolts securing the outer hub assembly is next:



Then the outer snap ring:



Then the inner snap ring:



Next you can screw two of the Allen bolts in a few threads to wiggle out the splined section of the locking hub:



Inside you'll see a special kind of nut, which needs a special kind of hub socket:



Be warned that this is a messy job.



Next you'll find a special washer, then a second nut:



Make sure to unbolt your brake caliper and secure it out of the way. Don't just let it dangle by the hose.
Then the disc brake rotor / hub can be pulled away:



Six nuts retain the backing plate:



The inner spindle will come off after a little persuasion. I tapped all the way around mine with a chisel:



Mmmm, crusty 20 year old seals:



Just pull the entire axle shaft out:



The axleshaft seals tight at the carrier side before removal, so the only thing you're likely to find in the axle tube would be dirt.
Now you can replace the u-joints at your leisure.
Here's a side by side comparison of my new Spicer 5-760X u-joints with the dry and rusty ones they replaced. My local parts guy assured me the 5-760X are the same as Spicer 5-297X.



Here's one of the seal and bearing kits I purchased:



The bearings press-fit into the back of the spindle. I used a socket and hammer to put the new ones in:



I had to quite effectively destroy the old ones to get them out:



The seals ride on the stub shaft:



Everything goes back together in reverse order, but with fresh, clean grease. This would be an excellent time to replace and/or repack your wheel bearings as well. Be sure to refer to a service manual for your vehicle to find the correct torque specifications for each fastener on reassembly.

I was able to mix and match a bit with mine. One of the spindles on the 10 bolt was in better condition than what came off of my Dana 44 (the bearing ride surfaces had been beat on repeatedly with a hammer by a previous owner). I also robbed some less worn caliper bolts from the 10 bolt as well as liberating its 9/10 rotation Warn brass locking hubs. Everything went together slicker-n-snot.



Ignore the tweaked washer, I stole one from the 10 bolt to replace that too. A lapse of attention led to me accidentally mangling it with the giant hub socket.

Here's a fun thing to discover when you're in the middle of a project with a serious time limit:



This was the passenger side rotor. A previous owner or shop had obviously replaced the pads after the rotor had already been grooved. Ugh.
Again, I was lucky and the rotors and pads on the 10 bolt were the same spec so one of each replaced the groovy pieces.

There are also plenty of other parts that won't interchange between these front axles. The only interchangeable bits are from the knuckles out. Here's a comparison of the long side axleshafts for instance. The D44 is on the right, coated with new grease.



I couldn't manually change the focus on my point and shoot, so sorry about the blurriness.

Here's one last shot with my new SX8000 shocks, ORD Heavy Duty Greaseable shackles and Skyjacker FBL18 braided stainless steel flexible brake lines.

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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
Datsun 240Z, 510 2 door and an old Honda motorcycle

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Old 05-25-2010, 09:29 PM   #34
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Excellent post, sir! Very detailed!
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:48 PM   #35
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Beelzeburb: Part 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by foamypirate View Post
Excellent post, sir! Very detailed!
Thanks. I'm hoping some of this will prove helpful to others if they find themselves with conundrums similar to my own.

To continue:

You may have noticed a front driveshaft (propshaft for you non-Yanks) in that last photo. All in all I rounded up four shafts from around the shop. Two were identical front shafts in case one was in better condition than the other, and two were rear shafts. One rear shaft was aluminum and had the correct splined slip yoke while the other was the original shaft from my Suburban which I held on to in case some day I would want to install a SYE on the NP241, or a 203/205 doubler. Here's a picture of the finished products after handing both driveshafts off to my local Six States Distributors where they were shortened and balanced:



With the driveshafts in place I set my sights on double checking each of the brake fitting connections. To match the front brake lines, a Skyjacker RBL20 rear flexible DOT approved line was installed. This kit is labeled as fitting '73-'87 trucks. I had been under the impression that my rear axle came from a newer truck when I ordered it. The new flexible line hooked up to the original brass distribution block that is bolted directly to a bracket on the rear axle housing on one end, and to the SS rear hard line at the frame side with the help of a brass adapter.



I took advantage of having the vehicle on a lift to drain, inspect and refill each axle. Nothing out of the ordinary with either. The abuses to the front u-joints, rotor and spindle had left me skeptical but there wasn't any abnormal wear or excessive metal on the drain magnet. I also had the opportunity to check the ring and pinion tooth counts stamped into each ring gear to confirm what I already knew, 4.10:1 ratios. The rear axle shafts were of particular interest to me as this rearend came from a ¾ ton '71-'72 Chevy or GMC and I counted them myself to make sure it didn't have a goofy 17 spline setup. No worries there because they counted out to the extremely common 30 splines. They weren't the sooper dooper Dana 60 HD 35 spline variety, but I later learned that an upgrade is possible. In short, both my front and rear axleshaft diameters are 1.31” Not the strongest thing, but they would probably be sufficient until I started pushing it hard / abusing it offroad.
If mostly stock with an overdrive transmission was Stage I, BBC w/ beefy trans and ¾ ton axles might be considered Stage II. Upgraded rear shafts, front Dana 60, lockers and a doubler might be considered a possible future Stage III.

I found the starter for my motor in a crate full of starters, cleaned it up and put it in it's place unsure if shimming would be necessary later. The flywheel cover had been floating around inside the Suburban and was thrown on with some new bolts. The Skyjacker 7055 steering stabilizer I'd ordered from Summit Racing arrived at the shop, took only a few minutes to put on and came with some nice red poly bushings. It bolted directly to the stock mounting locations unlike the universal steering stabilizer I had originally purchased from Six States and later returned.



The next pieces of the puzzle to sort out involved putting finishing touches on the brake system. At this point all of the hard lines were run and secured while the flexible lines were hooked up and tight. For some reason I was missing a banjo bolt for one of the calipers and had to wander a junkyard or two to find the one I needed. With the POR-15 on the booster and master cylinder dry, back into the engine bay they went.



Somewhere over the years that had transpired since this project began, one of the pivot pins went missing. I made an acceptable replacement from a long shouldered bolt of the same diameter and length. The brake pedal functioned as designed, the hard lines were attached to the master cylinder, fluid was added and the great bleed began.

It wasn't really all that eventful. I had learned to bleed brakes and a clutch with my 240Z. Eventually we got most of the air out of the system even though I hadn't bench bled the MC (it went on my to-do list). The brakes worked passably, so with the help of a friend or two and a winch the Suburban was loaded onto a flat bed trailer and towed home so I could concentrate full time on having the shop ready to vacate.

I didn't take any pictures of it on the way home so you'll have to make do with some pics showing a pair of Ram Horn manifolds I discovered in the shop while cleaning up.



They didn't look too bad until closer inspection of the usual trouble spots:



Into the growing scrap heap they went.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
Datsun 240Z, 510 2 door and an old Honda motorcycle

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Old 06-01-2010, 02:02 PM   #36
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Beelzeburb: Part 16

I briefly mentioned the ORD Front Heavy Duty Greaseable Shackles a couple of posts ago. I purchased and installed those puppies hoping to gain some clearance between the rear spring eye and frame. If you remember, my dad had some longer springs from another GM product lying around and stuck them in the front when we shackle flipped the rear. Aside from some added beef, the ORD shackles are also ½” longer than stock but it didn't help my problem much. The eyes still touched frame. I didn't want to make the jump to a FGB52 kit from DIY4x4, so it was time for some proper leaf springs to lift the front end.

The ones I decided on were 4” Tuff Country HD 18461 springs. The HD were picked because I didn't want them sagging under the weight of that big block (and planned winch / bumper combo), while holding out hope they would still flex reasonably well.
Here's the side-by-side comparison between the stock springs, the springs of unknown origin and the new lift springs:




I had also ordered the longer u-bolt kit for the thicker spring pack:



I needed to remove the greaseable bushings from the old springs in order to reinstall them in the new ones. That was a bit of a pain.

Here's the before / after shot of the rear shackle angle:



You can also see the first unintended side effect of adding the proper lift spring, it moved the front axle forward. The splines on my new front driveshaft barely reached their counterpart.

Here's the other unintended side effect of doing things correctly:



Whereas the Suburban had sat level before, it now sagged significantly in the rear.

I had added 4.25” of front suspension lift and 5” of rear suspension lift. Something wasn't right and its name was saggy stock rear leaf springs.
Oh, and the passenger side rear shackle bolt still hit the header.

Sigh.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
Datsun 240Z, 510 2 door and an old Honda motorcycle

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:12 AM   #37
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Great write up on the axle joint replacements! I'd enjoy seeing that level of detail of a post on upper and lower ball joint replacement as my 3/4 ton Dana 44 in my K5 is in need of that repair - I never seem to get those type of detailed pics when I get into a repair so hats off to you. I definitely think your info needs to go into a separate FAQ post!
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:30 AM   #38
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Beelzeburb: Part 17

Thanks Yukon Jack. As soon as the Suburban is driveable I get to ascertain if anything else in the steering or suspension feels worn or loose. Only time will tell if I'll need to replace my ball joints too.

So.... A year ago, while figuring out what to do about my saggy rear end (See what I did there? Ha ha!) it was time to take care of a few things under the hood.

Here are the final locations of both my transmission fluid cooler (left) and engine oil cooler (right):


The engine oil cooler was mounted directly to the A/C condenser and a little bit of creative bracket fabrication was needed to securely mount the impressively large tranny cooler. It is a 28,000 lb Tru-Cool unit, very beefy. I had always planned on using this Suburban as my DD, occasional tow rig and off road fun machine. In short it had to be big, beefy and reliable in most every situation. At least that's what I'd deluded myself to believe.

The oil pressure sending unit and tee were found in a box of parts from the '88 C3500.



The oil pressure sender was confusing because it had been wrapped around to the other side of the engine bay and the threaded oil galley hole had had a plug in it.



I'd been wondering how the whole assembly worked until I did a little research online and in the service manual.



In this picture you can also see the spacers I fabricated out of ½” thick plate steel to raise the engine up a bit and help the stock oil pan on the big block better clear my crossmember. It was still a tight fit, but less so than before. You may also notice that the power steering pump had a slow leak but I didn't yet know why.

Before I'm done with this entry I'll tell you a funny thing that happened back at the shop when I had my Suburban up on a lift. I had tightened down the radiator hoses and filled the radiator to the top with a 50/50 mix. Everything was holding well except for the water pump seals and some of the core plugs which had a bit of a weep to them. I had been looking the block over closely and doing research on which threaded holes might still need to be plugged, or if any small bits bolted to them. There was a small threaded hole on the passenger side of the block, directly under the dipstick support and it had been left empty.



I wasn't sure where exactly it lead, but on closer inspection with a shop light it appeared to be packed with dirt. I grabbed a pick from the tool cart and jabbed it into the dirt. Before I knew what was going on a stream of coolant was soaking me and everything in the immediate vicinity. Shoving a thumb over the hole temporarily stopped the flow, but I still didn't have anything on hand to plug it with. Luckily a clean 5 gallon bucket was barely within reach of my foot. While all the coolant was draining out of the radiator I'd just filled, I ran to the opposite side of the shop, grabbed a coffee can full of assorted plugs and then tried to find one that would fit while coolant was still streaming out at a heady rate. Then I realized I didn't have any thread sealant on hand either. I got it taken care of eventually, then wringed out my socks.

When I rebuilt the engine in my Z car there were a number of tips and tricks I'd acquired. The 454 was the first engine I'd ever rebuilt and didn't benefit from the experience I had gained in the intervening 4 years. I'd bolted the water pump and coolant outlet neck to the engine without any sort of sealant, just dry gaskets. I guess the service manual I had been using didn't mention this little detail. Since half of my engine's coolant had drained onto me, or into a 5 gallon bucket, it seemed like a good time to pop the water pump off and seal it up right. This turned out to be a relatively simple affair and went down without a hitch. I also sealed up the coolant neck and attached the two ground wires to their respective studs.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:30 AM   #39
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

nice pics and hilarious story...
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:54 AM   #40
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Beelzeburb: Part 18

Glad you liked it VA72C10. Coolant is one of my least favorite automotive fluids to have to deal with because it simply takes forever to evaporate if it isn't washed off immediately and when it does dry it leaves a white deposit behind. I just replaced the heater core in my Z this last week and had to deal with it all over the passenger side floorboard.

Back to the rear suspension. After doing a bit more research I'd decided to order a pair of ORD HD Rear Super Shackles. I purchased the 6” length with greasable poly bushings to help maximize lift as well as flex. Installation was fairly straightforward, but I did run into a snag on the passenger side.
The spare tire well on my Suburban was nestled very close to the shackle bolt on one side ,and the Blazer fuel tank pinned it in on the other.



My solution was to grind the heads off of the carriage bolts holding the spare tire well in place (they simply spun when I put a wrench on the nuts underneath) to let me slide the new shackle bolt in. This would also give me access to the zerk fitting in the future. Since my plan was to run 35” tires, there was no need for a small spare tire well and I intended to eventually delete the entire stock setup.

The new shackles certainly were a great deal heftier than the originals:


Since the OEM shackles measured 4” long these 6” ORD beauties were going to gain me an extra inch of height in the rear. Even with the extra inch of lift the rear still sagged. I was now up to 4.25 inches of suspension lift front, 6 inches of suspension lift rear and it was still a little droopy.

I started looking at ordering a pair of Tuff Country 19270 rear 2” lift springs. Re-arching the original spring pack was out of the question based on a cost / benefit analysis. Aside from some variety of add-a-leaf (which would raise the rear and possibly add some weight capacity but probably stiffen the ride) the only other option to consider would have been trying to find some stock 52” eye to eye springs with less sag and / or extra arch to try and level my Suburban. Another research item was added to my to-do list.

Here's a comparison of before and after the rear shackles:


As it sat in those pictures, all of the interior as well as many spare parts were in the back of the Suburban, it didn't have the bumpers I planned to run or a heavy winch in the front. I hoped things would level out more as it neared completion. The front springs hadn't been broken in yet either, so there was still a possibility that they would relax some.

I decided to hold off on measuring the pinion angles or purchasing any more suspension components until all the height issues were better settled (literally and figuratively).

In the meantime I'd noticed another item that was going to need some attention. This vehicle came from the factory with a SBC and a Turbo 350 trans. Now with the BBC and 4L80E the shift linkage didn't reach. I made the decision to ditch the rods and pivots that comprised the old linkage in favor of something I discovered in an issue of 4WOR (my dad had been a subscriber since 1996 and I have every issue from then until the present day). They had installed an Ididit cable shift system on the Ultimate K10. The product description didn't mention it being compatible with a 4L80E transmission, so I called Ididit directly. Their technician assured me a couple of times that it would fit fine.
Here are the parts all laid out:



Imagine my surprise upon reading through the instructions and not finding any mention of the 4L80E. I examined the bracket which was meant to mount on the transmission pan and confirmed my suspicions, it wouldn't be a straight bolt on. After a little modification this is what I came up with:



A couple of ¼” longer bolts were fished out of my collection to compensate for the spacers. With the transmission end mocked up it came time to dig into the steering column. As night began to fall I realized that the column I had been trying to fit the horseshoe and bracket to was the wrong one. The plan had been to take the van tilt column back out of the Blazer and put it in the Suburban where it had always been destined to reside. With a LED headlamp on I removed the columns from both vehicles and called it a night.

Mmmmm, original medium green steering column...
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Datsun 240Z, 510 2 door and an old Honda motorcycle
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:34 PM   #41
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Beelzeburb: Part 19

The next day I had a preliminary fit with the parts on my van tilt column.



Just one problem though, the van column was a full 3” longer than either my Suburban column or the old 3 on the tree column from the Blazer. This wasn't going to leave room in the engine bay to clear that fancy cable shift mechanism.



Well that explained why the steering wheel felt too close when driving the Blazer.
I didn't realize that the intermediate shaft could be collapsed, but did find some mention of others sectioning the primary shaft and welding it back together.

Before:

After:


My MIG was cranked up to its highest voltage setting to get the most weld penetration possible. I felt very confident in it's torsional rigidity. I did contemplate welding on a piece of tubing over the outside like some of our other forum members here, but there wasn't much room between the weld and the bottom bearing on the column. I sometimes make scrap metal sculptures and I know exactly what happens to bearings and races that are overheated due to close proximity welding.

In fact, here's one of my creations from 2009:



He's called Überbird.

The column bolted into the Suburban very easily. After tightening down all of the nuts and bolts the cable adjustment was a straight forward affair.



After having only shifted the transmission by hand with a wrench it was very satisfying to click my way through each gear, P – N – R – OD – 3..... come on....
Turned out that my bracket modification left the tranny end of the cable a little far back. The column end was adjusted correctly and could run through its full movement, but the tranny end would need some further modification if I were to get all the way down to 2 and 1.

As a side-note, I finally took care of the dripping power steering pump at this time. All of the fluid had leaked out, so I detached the fittings from the pressure side to inspect why it wasn't sealing. Turned out I had assumed the adapter was NPT tapered thread when in fact it was straight. I made my own SAE O-Ring Pilot style of seal with an appropriately sized o-ring from my collection. This let my '70 design hose fit the '88 design pump and stopped the dripping.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:13 AM   #42
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Nice work....especially on Überbird....that is SWEET!
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:26 PM   #43
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Funny story about the coolant! Better to discover that on the lift, than on the side of the road after the dirt melted away in that hole.

I like Überbird! That guy would look awesome in my garage guarding my stuff!
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:12 PM   #44
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

very cool story! I just spent all day friday with my dad and t=both brothers working on one brother's 71 chevelle. I really love those days and was sorry to read about your dad's passing.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:29 PM   #45
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Beelzeburb: Part 20

Thanks for all the replies and support guys!

If my welding shield gas tank wasn't empty I'd be working on another metal sculpture that I've had sitting unfinished on the bench for a while.

Well, leaving the shifter cable install aside for a moment (It's entirely possible I have undiagnosed ADD and it... oh hey, look, a squirrel!). Let's move over to the gauge cluster modifications.

The stock cluster wasn't going to cut it. I now had a VSS signal, not a spinning speedometer cable. The oil pressure didn't receive its signal through a thin copper tube but a wire instead. By this point I had eaten through most of my Suburban funds and could only afford the most necessary instruments. The others would have to wait until later. I had decided years ago to eventually install AutoMeter Phantom series gauges, but apparently forgot and instead ordered from the Ultra-Lite series. They still looked good, so I wasn't upset. Although, if I had had the budget to order a second set then these aluminum faced gauges would have found their way into another of my project vehicles instead.

Here is the 4498 tachometer, as well as the short sweep electric 4437 water temp and 4427 oil pressure gauges:



The old cluster served as my test bed before final mods would be performed on a fresh, new bezel.
You can see that the original speedo needle fell off and I had unhooked the speedometer cable at 95K miles. As it sits right now my Suburban has yet to travel 100,000 miles over its 40 year existence.

This was the back of the cluster before deconstruction:



Look at all the pretty fried circuits! Remember that gas gauge short I mentioned a while back? Seems like it made some friends. This also explained why my dad had installed an aftermarket coolant temperature gauge under the dash years ago.

Here are most of the internals after disassembly:



These were the only parts I'd be reusing:



In case you were wondering, yes, you can remove the aluminum bezel from your Ultra-Lite gauge with enough patience and some small flat bladed screwdrivers. I wanted to see what their appearance would be sitting closer to the instrument cluster bezel, but the two didn't match up at all.



Cutting wheel in the angle grinder? Check. Metal bit in the Dremel? Check. Tin snips? Check.
It took a little patience to make a nice clean, tight fit for the gauges. Eventually everything started to go together without binding.



Lots of grinding later:



And that was just the back plate.
More trimming, cutting, pounding flat and grinding later:



Finally:



Now I just needed to save up an extra $400 and purchase the rest of the gauges. In the meantime a spacer would have to be used on the speedo side of the cluster to let everything sit even. I reasoned that with these basic gauges in place I would at least be able to break the engine in properly.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:05 AM   #46
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

great build and story thanks for sharing
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:36 AM   #47
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Glad you like it so far MAK.

On a side note, I just found my measurement for the weight of the stock 454 cast iron TBI intake manifold.
51.9 lbs. bare
It was on a sticky note in the back of my FSM along with:
Left side exhaust manifold w/ A.I.R. tubing = 22.2 lbs.
Right side exhaust manifold w/ A.I.R. tubing = 24.6 lbs.
I bought a couple of high quality scales a year or so ago just for the purpose of weighing car parts and I happened to have them at the shop before I threw these pieces in with the rest of the scrap.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:59 PM   #48
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Beelzeburb: Part 21

This entry is the last that I had written when I started posting about the story of my Suburban. Looks like I'll have to write some more.

As it stood where I left off, now that I'd set up some basic instruments and had the ability to shift my transmission, it seemed like a good idea to have a working accelerator pedal. I'd pulled the old pedal linkage out from a box of parts and began inspecting it. The original pivot point mounted on the engine bay side of the firewall and attached to an adjustable rod which moved the butterflies on the carb. This wouldn't fly anymore with my new engine setup. My BBC sat much too close to the firewall to seriously contemplate shoving a throttle linkage in between them.

Luckily for me I stumbled upon LFD's gas pedal adapter here on the 67-72chevytrucks forums.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=371099

It came as a kit which was meant to allow '67-'70 C/K owners to swap in a '71–'72 throttle pedal. The later trucks came with a pedal and linkage which sat inside the cab and pulled on a cable instead of the early style which had the pedal linkage passing through to the other side of the firewall. Sounded just right to me. I already had the '88 style throttle cable on hand and had been looking for a way to properly use it.

This was what I received a short while after sending my money off through PayPal:



Not pictured is the easy to follow instruction sheet.

Because I didn't have much money to throw around at the time, I hatched a scheme to modify the '70 pedal linkage I already owned to let it function like the '71-'72 linkage.

Step 1: Place linkage in vise, chop both 'arms' off



Steps 2-4: Swap the arms around, reposition them at appropriate angles and butt weld back on. Make sure to compensate for the fact that the adapter plate moves the whole assembly a couple of inches closer to the driver's side of the vehicle. Grind down plastic pivot retainer to clear new arm position. Drill and tap two new holes in steel plate for proper mounting of plastic pivot retainer.



Step 5: Chop end of upper arm off (the one that connects to the throttle cable), rotate 90º, weld back on.



Step 6: Secure, then remove the linkage multiple times to clearance this, bend that, smooth this, etc...

Step 7: Notch, then enlarge stock hole on upper arm to let the end of the throttle cable securely fit

Step 8: Done!



I wouldn't have had to go through all of this trouble if only I'd ponied up the $30 for someone's used '71-'72 pedal assembly, but my way worked even if it did involve quite a bit more labor.

Also, in that last photo the modifications to the firewall necessary to clear that 454 head and valve cover are visibly obvious. This picture was taken after fabricating a new patch piece to cover the section I'd chopped out when my father and I had fit the body back onto the frame.
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'70 K10 Suburban - TBI 454, 4L80E, NP241C, Dana 60 & 44 - The 10+ Year Project Thread
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:14 AM   #49
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

You'll really like the gauges, I've got the Phantom gauges in my 69 K20 and really enjoy them - beats the heck out of the stock stuff!
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:03 AM   #50
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Beelzeburb: Part 22

I'm very much looking forward to seeing all of those gauges jump to life for the first time Yukon Jack.

My posts might be a little sporadic for a bit because I'm in the middle of prepping my Z for paint right now.

Here's a little bit about everyone's worst enemy, Rust!

Not pictured in the last installment was the hole behind the gas pedal which I welded shut. Seeing as I was in the mood to fuse metal, it seemed like a good time to start in on the rust repairs my Suburban would need. Luckily this SUV had spent its life in the western United States. As far as I can tell it was manufactured in California, originally sold in Idaho and then made its way to Utah with a possible stop in Nevada along the way. The rust that did exist was only in the “usual” areas. Bottom of the quarter panels, the front corners of the floors, kick panels, floor supports. bottom corners of the doors and the little bit that I had already repaired in the fresh air boxes. Before anyone from the rust belt complains, yes, I know that my rust is minimal compared to some others.

Before any cutting began things really didn't look that bad on the surface. This is a view of the passenger side floor pan:



Here's the driver's side:



To begin, a few easy patch panels for the thin areas of the p-side.





I happened to have a fender from a '78 DeVille laying around. The thin old piece of floor was used as a pattern so I could trace the outline for a new one on the Cadillac fender.



And then another piece following the same pattern.



Years ago I had ordered brand new dogleg patch panels so I went ahead and cut the old one out to see how hard it was going to be to get the new piece in place.



It spent quite some time looking back and forth between the hole I had made, the shape of the dogleg patch panel and the rusty bottom section of the old dogleg. After deliberating and contemplating a while I theorized that the area I was looking to replace really comprised multiple layers of metal that fit together in a tight overlap. In order for me to recreate this layered effect some more metal was going to have to be excised to create an access hole. The innermost of these layers was the floor panel. At its edge the floor pan folded over and integrated into the inner rocker panel. Next layer in was the dogleg itself. The piece of the dogleg that is visible from inside the cab extends down a ways and folds between the other two layers. The outermost piece of the puzzle is the bottom of the door support / front A pillar. I wasn't sure about this layering effect until everything was sliced apart though.
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