1986 GMC S-15

Andrew_S

Observer
Quick update on the exterior progress.

Badges mounted and looking awesome.


Something that's always bugged me about the camper is the back window (see green line).
I mounted it 6" to high, no real reason, it was an honest mistake. I also hate that it it's not tinted like the side windows.


Well I stubbornly got tired shaking my head and fixed it. The wife constantly reminded me the entire time how this was a colossal waste of time.
Honestly Sikaflex on it's own would be more then strong enough. You can see in the corner I was tearing the aluminum sheet (0.050!) before the sika detached.


I had to cut and fit in another cross member for the handle. Mocking it up in this photo to make sure I could get the window low enough.


I went with slightly thicker sheet on the back this time (0.060) because I found myself regularly backing the truck into tree branches when turning around on bush roads. It's definitely overkill but it's on there now.




New rubber hinge


Fully committed now,


Doesn't really look like I did anything because this is the way I should have done it in the first place.


Can't wait to get out and enjoy this last round of improvements


I decided to forgo the blue air stream vinyl stripe for now. I couldn't decide on a design or colours that I liked and honestly it's expensive ($500+). Until I make up my mind the exterior will stay like this for a long time.
 
It’s the small things like having the windows line up that make it look professionally done. The wife may have considered it a waste of time but I bet a lot of us on here disagree. I think it flows much better now and looks great! You do some fantastic work Andrew.


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ITTOG

Well-known member
It’s the small things like having the windows line up that make it look professionally done. The wife may have considered it a waste of time but I bet a lot of us on here disagree. I think it flows much better now and looks great! You do some fantastic work Andrew.


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I agree completely. Well said.
 

Darkrider

Adventurer
Finally got up to date on this. Looks like you have made a fair bit of progress over the past year or so. Ended up getting rid of pretty much all my 4wd projects (Blazer and Jeep) only to end up with a '78 F150 from my father in law and buying back my old '99 Astro AWD. The Jimmy in my avatar isn't even a complete truck anymore as the friend who got my Jeep got it from me awhile before that and replaced the K5 body with a '56 Belair 4 door body. I do believe he sold the tub or gave it to someone who was building a K5.
 

Andrew_S

Observer
It’s the small things like having the windows line up that make it look professionally done. The wife may have considered it a waste of time but I bet a lot of us on here disagree. I think it flows much better now and looks great! You do some fantastic work Andrew.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I agree completely. Well said.
Often its the invisible work, that makes things look like they should have been that way in the first place, that count for the most in the final product. Well done.
^ Amen to the above. Thanks gentlemen.



Finally got up to date on this. Looks like you have made a fair bit of progress over the past year or so. Ended up getting rid of pretty much all my 4wd projects (Blazer and Jeep) only to end up with a '78 F150 from my father in law and buying back my old '99 Astro AWD. The Jimmy in my avatar isn't even a complete truck anymore as the friend who got my Jeep got it from me awhile before that and replaced the K5 body with a '56 Belair 4 door body. I do believe he sold the tub or gave it to someone who was building a K5.
78 F-150 and the astro sound like some awesome projects. That K5 w/ belair body must have been pretty unique haha.

On a slightly different note I got started on the frame swap for the '84.


Dropped it off at the blasters and 2 hours later this is what I had. Also did the rear axle for the '86.




This has been a dream for almost 15 years. So awesome to see it finally coming to fruition.




We've had family visiting for the past month, some random shots of outings with them.













The wife finished up her pizza oven and I've been getting fat.




Might be a total jinx but summers are on the 4runner and the '84 is back on the road.


Been working on cleaning up the frame a bit more. Grinding down any weld splatter from the factory & sharp edges.


Did a test piece with the Por15. Such nice stuff. Only the 1st coat!
 

Andrew_S

Observer
One of the driving mechanisms behind building the camper for 4 seasons was to be able to do this:


Bacon in the parking lot and fresh snow!


Got a front row seat watching the groomers do their thing.


So nice to wake up and not rush to get to the hill. It was almost surreal to just hang out and wait for the lifts to start spinning.






Later in the day a group of people set up camp around us. Some really nice looking rigs.


How's this for lift lines!




Love seeing old iron like this still running


This old chalet had a ton of character


Back down to the desert


To do some more of this




Awesome three day trip, friggin love getting out camping this early.
 

Andrew_S

Observer
I am wondering the same thing. I am kinda hoping this is going to be an AWD upgrade but I can’t tell by the photos on my phone.


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Bingo!
I’ve got the borg Warner 4472 t-case and all the bits and pieces on the bench.
Working towards an LSawd with some really nice suspension bits.
The 4wd platform has much better suspension geometry, it’s nearly fully boxed and a much better starting point. The old 2wd frame experienced 30 years of Ontario winters and is showing it’s age (rust).
 

N.Penley

Member
I am seriously considering the same setup. What trans do you plan to run? Are you using the Astro or Bravada axles? 65-35 bias like the Sy/Ty or something closer to 50-50? I can’t wait for this build thread.

I want a manual but there is not much info on AWD LS 6spd builds. Headers, oil pans, & steering components almost always require heavy fab work. From Andrew’s previous posts he probably has the ability to make it all work well.

I am extremely jealous of this project and know it will probably be on the road and track before I even get my truck drivable in stock trim. I have a couple kids and other hobbies (wake boat & stand up jet skis) that seem to consume most of my time, money, & energy.


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Andrew_S

Observer
[QUOTE="N.Penley, post: 3006565, member: 239922"
I am seriously considering the same setup. What trans do you plan to run? Are you using the Astro or Bravada axles? 65-35 bias like the Sy/Ty or something closer to 50-50? I can’t wait for this build thread. I'm torn on the trans. I would love to run a t56 but $$$$.... There is a few billet adapter offerings but I'll likely end up running a 6l80e. I've got the awd housing and axle on the bench with the 4472 viscous coupling t-case. IIRC it's a 35/65 split.

I want a manual but there is not much info on AWD LS 6spd builds. Headers, oil pans, & steering components almost always require heavy fab work. From Andrew’s previous posts he probably has the ability to make it all work well. It's been a minute since I looked but I believe headers/steering and oil pans has all been resolved, little to no fab work required. Unless you are trying to drop and move the engine further back.

I am extremely jealous of this project and know it will probably be on the road and track before I even get my truck drivable in stock trim. I have a couple kids and other hobbies (wake boat & stand up jet skis) that seem to consume most of my time, money, & energy. This project has been in the works for over 15 years... I made some serious moves about 12 years ago, built a frame table, collected a bunch of parts and then it got shelved because - life. So happy to kickstart it again.

fasterproms on youtube did a pretty radical twin turbo ls awd build. Check it out if you get a chance.
[/QUOTE]
 
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Andrew_S

Observer
Started fixing the two rotten cab mounts




Have to mark/cut out the old mount and stitch the new ones in next.


And some SAS motivation. What the truck would look like with no lift and 35's. As long as I don't want to steer, I'm good!
In all seriousness, I wanted a visual. Confirmed 33's & black steelies will likely be in this trucks future.

 

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