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Old 07-05-2010, 12:39 AM   #51
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

I keep going back to Überbird...
Dude, if you are interested in an adoption process on that bad boy.. Let me know!
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:42 PM   #52
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Ok, time for another update. The suspense is killing me.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:55 PM   #53
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Quote:
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I keep going back to Überbird...
Dude, if you are interested in an adoption process on that bad boy.. Let me know!
I might just have enough parts to make another one that could go up for sale. The one that's already built has a home right now though. Back in post #20, just behind the bare frame of my Suburban you can see many large boxes full of clean used parts. My dad had been collecting interesting looking bits and pieces for a while, but most of it had to be scrapped so now I'm down to a couple of smaller boxes to build creatures with.



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Ok, time for another update. The suspense is killing me.
Hang in there for a minute and I'll have one up shortly. I've taken the day off from breathing body filler from the Z so all I've gotta' do is edit down the picture sizes.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:12 PM   #54
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Beelzeburb: Part 23

During the course of this repair I wound up removing half of the floor support, a chunk of the floor, part of the inner rocker panel and, of course, the remains of the bottom of the dogleg panel.

I tried to drill out the floor support spot welds as closely as I could but wound up chiseling out bits of some of them. That red oxidation stuff made it tricky to spot where dead center was supposed to be on each one. Some later hammer and dolly work put the floor back in shape.



This was the view from underneath with that rusty old floor support out of the way:



The inner rocker was sound all the way to the back door, but that one hidden spot behind the floor support had been eaten away quite effectively.

I took the time to carefully trim away the rusty edge of the floorpan where it met up with the dogleg and inner rocker panel. Only then could I finally see how that goofy dogleg panel was supposed to fit in place.



And what had been out of sight behind the old one:



Mmmmmm.... corroded A-pillar base. This gave me a tricky decision to make. Either I could order a new A-pillar base, re-remove the outer rocker panel in order to replace it and then weld everything back in again or leave it be. After some more hemming and hawing I decided against digging any deeper into this repair. Since the outer rocker was new and I was already repairing everything else in the vicinity, the A-pillar base was welded, ground and patched as best as could be done with my current access hole then treated to a few healthy coats of POR-15. I don't think I was lost anything structurally significant and with those precautions it should hold firm for a long time hence.

Here's the trimmed dogleg and part of the floor panel that I had to chop out. You can see some of the layering effect I referenced earlier.



Pieces of the old floor support (cut out in three chunks) and the new one side by side:



Somehow I trimmed the dogleg a little short, so after tacking it in I had to cut some thin little gap fillers. You can also see that piece of the floor from earlier was back in its place in this photo.



I like to drill holes in the new panels for where the original spot welds were and then plug weld them shut again. You can also see where I laid down the first layer or two of POR-15 on part of the floor and of course on the metal behind the dogleg.

Same view, but from underneath:



That hole in the middle was mostly gone and I had to make an entirely new piece to fill it with:



Then of course, it got popped in place:



Just a couple more small patch pieces were left to make and then the new floor support could be put in place. Back up top I buttoned up the dogleg.



Floor support mockup:




Starting in on the plug and butt welds:



Lots of welding, grinding, sanding, cleaning, etc... later and I laid down some POR-15 over the entire passenger side:



The repair was hardly noticeable anymore. My future plans include covering the whole dogleg panel with a speaker pod anyway. Now I just needed to replace the seam sealer I'd chiseled out and lay down a second coat of the POR-15. Well, that and clean up the mess I'd made. This was only about half of the rust and dirt that fell out during this affair:

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Old 08-02-2010, 12:40 AM   #55
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Beelzeburb: Part 24

While we're on the subject of welding, I had also been doing some research on Vintage Air A/C systems and found out that I wouldn't need those gaping holes in my passenger side firewall anymore. Time for some home-fab patch panels.

Gaping holes:



I took plain printer paper and tapped it with my hand around the existing ridge at the back of the holes to create accurate templates. Paper cutout and freshly sliced DeVille fender patch:



Handy magnet:



Aaaah, I do so love the welding blankets I bought years ago, well, except for the fact that this one is made of itchy fiberglass:



I should have slowed down a bit after that, but I did manage to later beat back most of the heat warp I created on one side. The next hole over was going to be a little trickier because I'd run the engine computer's wiring harness through it. In the '88 C3500 there were a few relays that sat on the engine bay side of the firewall alongside a power distribution block and were all covered with a plastic panel while another large loom ran inside the cab and to the engine computer which sat above the blower motor. I really wanted to smooth out the firewall, move the relays inside the cab and basically have one hole through the firewall for all of the wiring to pass through. One problem was that the engine wiring harness ran through a big goofy rectangular glob of resin which sealed tight on an equally big rectangular hole in the firewall. I trimmed that down as much of the resin as I could but it still wouldn't fit through a reasonably sized round hole where I could mount a regular rubber grommet. My solution to this particular problem was to simply cut a chunk of the firewall out, squeeze the engine wiring loom to an existing hole and then weld everything back up. It sounds a little convoluted, but I already had all of my metal working tools out anyway.



Yes, I really went through all of that work to move the wiring harness over a few more inches. Here's the 'smoothed' firewall before any real finish work took place.



I still had to fill in the old blower motor hole anyway. Plus, as I did more research, I held off smoothing and painting this portion until the A/C unit was placed and braced because more welding would inevitably be involved.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:15 PM   #56
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Nice work. Keep at it!!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:14 PM   #57
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

What's your plan with the AC and heat?
Rear air?
Or is there something new out there for burbs as far as aftermarket AC?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:27 AM   #58
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Beelzeburb: The A/C Chronicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by VA72C10 View Post
Nice work. Keep at it!!!
Thanks! I've only taken a break from it to paint one of my other vehicles, but I'm planning on having the Suburban driveable before it gets cold outside again.

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What's your plan with the AC and heat?
Rear air?
Or is there something new out there for burbs as far as aftermarket AC?
Okay, the plan for the A/C involves utilizing Vintage Air components in conjunction with the stock pieces I have to make a hodge-podge of sorts. It'll be front A/C only until I come up with a way to get a good system in the back.

For one, I'm not a fan of the current SureFit for 67-72 trucks. Those plastic covers for the firewall and leg vents don't sit well with me. My burb had rear A/C originally but unfortunately I threw the whole thing in a dumpster a long, long time ago. The only stock pieces I still have from that system are the condenser and receiver / dryer as well as the long lines snaking to the back. I also have a Harrison R4 compressor mounted to the serpentine belt setup on my '88 EFI engine. The SureFit systems are for trucks that didn't have a condenser or compressor, and aren't designed for an engine with a serpentine belt either. If I ordered one of their kits then I'd be left with extra pieces and wouldn't be quite satisfied with a funny bump coming out of my firewall either, not to mention being unable to properly mount the Sanden compressor which is supplied in their kit.

Instead I will be making use of their Gen IV Magnum unit. It comes with the evaporator, mounting brackets, heater valve, drain kit and ducting. I recently purchased new original style hard lines for my condenser and installed them.



My originals had been cut by a previous owner and were no longer serviceable.

Sometime in years past I pulled the side A/C ball vents from a junkyard cab too. Just recently I pulled them out of a dusty box and gave 'em a good scrubbing. They'll only need adapters for use with the Gen IV magnum which has four A/C outlets unlike the Gen II unit in the SureFit kit which only has three. I might route the fourth one down to the floor in my setup.

Among other parts I'll need will be the universal hose kit which I'll cut to length, mark fitting orientation and then have a local shop beadlock crimp them. Then it'll need a 4-way inline bulkhead for the A/C and heater lines to pass through the firewall, bulkhead fitting kit, the electronic control panel for the unit itself, new drier with binary safety switch, original style middle dash vent and the compressor adapter block to let the Vintage Air lines properly and securely fit my existing R4 compressor.

Because this isn't a pre-packaged setup it will involve some fabrication to mount the unit on the inside of the firewall. That's why I'm not planning on smoothing or painting the outside of the firewall yet because any filler or paint would only burn off again once the sparks started to fly.

Here's a writeup from Custom Classic Trucks magazine where they installed this same unit in a 67-72 project truck of theirs:
http://www.customclassictrucks.com/t...ing/index.html

I spent plenty of time researching the components needed to put this system together and from what I can see I've got it all figured out on paper. Here's the hard part though: It's expensive, even if I already have a compressor and condenser as well as a couple of other miscellaneous tid-bits. Yes, insert little violin playing guy here:

Due to the vicissitudes of life I am now very seriously contemplating selling the Blazer in part to fund my other project vehicles. The main reason I'd sell it though is that I simply don't have the time to give it the attention it deserves. Even if I was slaving full time on my project vehicles it'd probably be another full year until I could have the time to start work on it in earnest. I expect to become a premium member here shortly to sell some small stuff and the Blazer will probably find its way into the classifieds here as well. You can't keep 'em all I guess.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:20 AM   #59
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Beelzeburb: Part 25

There was another small problem that had been at the back of my mind since I'd had to remove the Suburban from the shop. From dead center I could rotate the steering wheel 2 ½ turns to the left but only 1 ¾ turns to the right. Making a left hand turn was a breeze, but not so much the other way. After doing some research it looked like a simple enough fix. From what I'd read, I could just pop the pitman arm off of the bottom of the steering box, rotate the steering wheel a bit and pop it back on. Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. As it turns out, the 4wd power steering box is a bit different than the 2wd version. Whereas the 2wd box has a bottom steering shaft which is splined all the way around, the 4wd shaft is only splined on roughly ¼ of its surface. The pitman arm itself is unique in the same way with ¾ of the inner surface smooth while ¼ of it is splined. There went that plan.

Here's what I'm talking about:



I closely inspected the rest of the steering system looking for some way to make adjustments to it. The steering wheel and intermediate shafts were fixed as far as their orientation to each other and the steering box. The power steering box itself isn't really adjustable to compensate for this sort of thing either. The steering arm is bolted directly to the steering knuckle and I knew better than to play with the tie rod. With the pitman arm sitting fixed to the bottom of the power steering box shaft the only component left was the drag link. Hmm.... that drag link looked adjustable too....

Out came the big pickle fork.



With the retaining bolts out and plenty of lubrication sprayed on the threads I could start lengthening or shortening the draglink itself. My logic was backward at first so I made it shorter which only exacerbated the problem. Back out it came and into the bench vise so I could get a good grip with some Channellock Big Azz pliers and lengthen it out again. After re-mounting it on the vehicle, and some more testing and tweaking I was able to get it near perfect, 2 ¼ turns left and 2 1/8 turns right.

One more item scratched off of my to-do list.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:15 PM   #60
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Re: Beelzeburb: Part 25

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One more item scratched off of my to-do list.
I know that feeling! Keep at it!
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #61
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Subscribed!

Not only is this build interesting, it's informative as well. Thanks for sharing and keep it coming...

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Old 08-24-2010, 04:48 PM   #62
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Killer story I just spent all morning reading it keep up the great work..
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:36 AM   #63
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

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Killer story I just spent all morning reading it keep up the great work..
Thanks! It is a bit odd to see a couple of paragraphs here and there add up to three pages so far. Still plenty to go though and I'll post up a little something about the gauge cluster later in the week.

Just as a heads up, I did post my Blazer for sale.
Here's the link for any parties that might be interested:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/c...ct=4645&cat=12
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:45 AM   #64
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Beelzeburb: Part 26

Hooray for tax refunds! Of course, I suppose I could have just reformulated how much of my paycheck went to the federal government, but then I wouldn't have that pleasant surprise in May. With part of my 2009 fiscal year refund I bought the last of the gauges I would need for the Autometer conversion in my 'burb.

If you recall, this was where we'd left off:



I bought my 4491 Voltmeter, 4414 fuel level gauge (0-90 ohm) and 4489 programmable electronic speedometer from Summit. After debating for a while, I decided to hold off on purchasing a transmission temperature gauge, mostly because at 2 5/8” it would look goofy in the 3 3/8” center opening, but also because I had another plan in mind for that center opening. My devious scheme involves taking a new VDO transmission temp gauge I already had, having a machine shop make me a 3 3/8 bezel out of aluminum and screen printing a custom gauge face on thin brushed aluminum so that the whole cluster looks the same. I'd also need a custom cut piece of round glass to protect it and a longer gauge needle. Then I'd probably want to integrate the check engine light into it as a simple LED too. It's a project to worry about at a later date.

I'd already cut the holes for the small gauges, but out came the tinsnips and dremel to let that 5” speedo slide into place.



With this intermediate plate fully modified I could finally secure all of the gauges with of their provided hardware and then slide the back plate over them to hold it in place. At the same time, Brothers was having their spring sale, so one of the things I ordered was a new gauge face plate. In order for the tach and speedo to fit properly the back side needed a little notching.



Oooh, all put together it was starting to look real good.



For comparison's sake I threw together a factory tach cluster real quick using parts that are meant to go on the Blazer.



They've certainly both got their charms.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:03 AM   #65
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Nice job on the autometer set-up looks killer
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:36 PM   #66
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Beelzeburb: Vintage Air teaser pics

Teaser pics, *Spoiler Alert*







Look what showed up on my doorstop today.....





A nice shiny Gen IV Magnum unit!

We are finally up to current time with no more posts explaining the back story. Every update from this point on will be based upon how much time I can allocate to this project to get it running before winter.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:51 PM   #67
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

I'm really interested to see how your new A/C works out for you on the burb.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:48 PM   #68
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Re: Beelzeburb: Part 14

Love the detailed instructions and pictures. Your explanation of the spindle bearing replacement is exactly what I was looking for. How exactly did you get your old bearings out? By the look of the old ones, it looks like it was a chore.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:15 PM   #69
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Glad to be of service. To remove the old bearings I took a hammer and chisel then gingerly beat / cut through them, cautiously avoiding marring the interior surface of the spindle itself.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:14 PM   #70
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:20 AM   #71
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Beelzeburb: Part 27

Just got around to installing my birthday present, a hidden receiver hitch from ECE.



It is the Suburban specific kit, complete with license plate flip up and everything. I still don't have a rear bumper so I had to leave the plate flipperdoodle off for now. I ran into a slight snag when I first tried bench pressing the receiver into place though, it was too narrow. Or actually, my framerails were too wide. I had cut out the rivets on the rearmost crossmember and moved it back to accommodate my EFI Blazer fuel tank. In the process I'd apparently widened the space between the rear frame horns a smidge.

After loosening the bolts on the crossmember, removing the bumper extension mounts and also loosening the rearmost body mounts I used a large ratcheting strap to pull them back together again.



The receiver slipped into place much more easily this way. It still did require a bit of prodding with my big green dead blow hammer to line up just so. On the passenger side I had to pull up that spare tire well that keeps finding ways to try and block my access in this area. This was the only way I could get my air drill lined up straight to make the two holes on that side.



After drilling all of the four new 1/2" holes and tightening the six supplied bolts it was in.



Should look decently stealthy once I actually get a bumper back there.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:59 PM   #72
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

Very interesting! Thanks for posting this about the hidden hitch, since I want to put one on my burb someday.

What did the hitch kit cost you, and what size holes did you have to drill into the frame?
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:47 PM   #73
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

The hitch kit is listed on their website at $219, or it can be purchased sans ball mount and flip up frame for $169. I have no idea how much shipping was as mine was a gift.

The two rearmost holes on each side line up with the existing ones for the bumper support extensions. Four new holes (two per side) are drilled ahead of those and they are done with a 1/2" bit. I used the half incher to start the hole and then switched to a smaller bit to punch it through. I finished it off by opening it all the way with the 1/2" bit again. Pretty quick operation.

On a side note, I can finally fully close my driver side door again. I somehow got it misalligned years ago and today finally got around to prising the fender back and loosening the lowest hinge to pull it up / back. It's kinda nice being able to close and lock that side once more. This afternoon I also performed the Bi-Annual cowl leaf mucking out with a ShopVac. Once I finish another metal project (intake airbox) I might start on making a smooth cowl out of a spare I happen to have. I don't want to deal with leaves and other organic debris sitting damply in that area again.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:25 AM   #74
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Re: Beelzeburb, The Story More Than a Decade in the Making

I know what you mean about the trash in the cowl, and installed a trash guard and it now keeps out all the leaves. I got mine in black, but they sell them in stainless.

No mods required, just sandwich it between the body and the louvered cowl cover.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:05 AM   #75
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Beelzeburb: Part 28

Well, I've been busy over the last couple of months, but most of my work has been on my other vehicles. I finally painted my 240Z (after hundreds of hours of prep work) and it's now up and running, just needs a couple of last electrical connections made. I also re-acquired the original drivetrain for my Datsun 510 and put it back in the car. I started that motor up for the first time in 20 years yesterday. That car has kept me well occupied as I try to get it street legal once more.

As far as the Suburban goes, it's been gathering some dust, and parts. I now have almost all of the A/C system pieces I need.



The only bits still on my to-order list are the hose kit and a new drier. I did finally get a new rear bumper too. It's only been what, 10 or 11 years without one? I'm holding off on slappin' that new chrome goodness on the backside because I've also got a rear quarter patch panel I need to weld in one of these days. This Suburban had been in a bit of a fender bender once, and the driver side rear quarter got bashed. The body shop that did the last work on it just slathered a bunch of metal fill and body putty in place then sculpted that into shape. After so many years, much of their work has cracked or flaked off and the rust is showing underneath. I like to do things right, so the whole panel is going to be replaced. If the nice weather (high fourties!) holds out I might just get around to some of this stuff soon.
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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

Last edited by Beelzeburb; 01-21-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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