Great White: A Chevy K10 Build

Ouiwee

Observer
I wish my tow rig had that much power!

How much fuel capacity are you going to have?
I'll have 58 gallons (220 liters) in total. I kept the rear tank small (18 gallons) to keep a decent departure angle, room for bash plates, and space for a large battery in front of the tank.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
Here is the valve switch box thing. The switch on the left chooses between inputs (primary or one of the two auxiliary tanks). The second valve chooses between which auxiliary tank, given the primary is not chosen.

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I kept it simple with ordinary fuel line and worm clamps just in case it needs serviced at some inconvenient point in time.

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Installed with fuel lines. The heat shield on the bottom is worth noting.

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I used some hefty thermal sleeve just for good measure. Here is the rear tank set-up.



I filled the tank yesterday to the brim and...low and behold...no leaks!

I got started on the wiring harness today and should have the exterior portion in hand tomorrow.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
As an update, the fuel system is working well. I drove from KY to home (500+ miles) without stopping for fuel and had about 10 gallons left in the third tank.

I had a bulb in the front go again (xenon, or some such). So, I thought about getting LED lights and found a set of replacement LED lights on Amazon for a song. I had to swap pins in the lower plugs, but otherwise plug and play. The reviews were very good on them and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised.



They also have provision for running lights (small ones on the sides of each).

I finally got around to building the storage boxes for the bed rack.






I'll send them out to paint this coming week. I've plans to install a Propex heater in the one side for a nice heated tent.

I have the components collected for a front sway bar. I think I have a plan for how to pull it off, which isn't all that obvious given all the stuff going on. I will document the results here if I can get it all to work.

I ordered a replacement drag link and Panhard bar cut from 7075 aluminum to save weight and add some strength.

I am still toying with the idea of using the army truck to build an extended cab square body. I think it would be a fun project.
 

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Ouiwee

Observer
I finally got round to fabricating a skid plate for the rear fuel tank out of 1/4" 6061 aluminum. I think it turned out fine, but time and impacts will tell.

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I bored a hole so that the tank can be drained without removing the bash plate.

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From the front.

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And rear. One can see the air frame bolts I used to secure the bumper.

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It has 1/4" rubber pads between the plate and frame (same as the tank). I would have preferred 7075, but it cannot be welded and costs a small fortune. I figure the 1/4" 6061 should take a good amount of abuse. The bottom of the tank is made from 0.120" material, which should help. There is roughly 3/4" gap between the bash plate and the tank.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
I got the 7075 links made and installed--Summit Machine in UT makes them for less than I can by the raw material. They are solid (not hollow), as strong as mild steel, and bend like mad while returning to the original shape.

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I was able to go with a smaller diameter on the panhard bar, which allows for more clearance with the diff as well as the mounting point on the right. I changed the pitman arm as well to less drop. The drag link and panhard bar are very close to parallel and are equal in length. The tie rod is 1.5" in diameter.

A solid rod of 7075 aluminum is much lighter than 1/4 wall DOM steel, so the weight of the rear tank bash plate is offset by the aluminum links.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
I got the 7075 links made and installed--Summit Machine in UT makes them for less than I can by the raw material. They are solid (not hollow), as strong as mild steel, and bend like mad while returning to the original shape.

View attachment 581554

I was able to go with a smaller diameter on the panhard bar, which allows for more clearance with the diff as well as the mounting point on the right. I changed the pitman arm as well to less drop. The drag link and panhard bar are very close to parallel and are equal in length. The tie rod is 1.5" in diameter.

A solid rod of 7075 aluminum is much lighter than 1/4 wall DOM steel, so the weight of the rear tank bash plate is offset by the aluminum links.
If you haven't already.....a little silicone grease will prevent the dissimilar metals from corroding like crazy.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
If you haven't already.....a little silicone grease will prevent the dissimilar metals from corroding like crazy.
I use anti-seize on all threads and have had no trouble so far.

What I have seen is road salt that soaks all the way back into chassis and driveline bolts. It is hard to believe until you see it first hand. It would sure be nice to live in a western state without the worry of road salt and perpetual humidity.
 

Adventurous

Explorer
I use anti-seize on all threads and have had no trouble so far.

What I have seen is road salt that soaks all the way back into chassis and driveline bolts. It is hard to believe until you see it first hand. It would sure be nice to live in a western state without the worry of road salt and perpetual humidity.
Ugh, tell me about it. After growing up in New England I was spoiled working on cars in CO. Just moved back and was unpleasantly reminded what I was missing when a simple sway bar end link swap required the angle grinder.

Antiseize on all bolts in this house too. Fluid film on the underside and inside rockers, tailgate, and fenders. Going to stay out in the front of the rust this time around.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
I use anti-seize on all threads and have had no trouble so far.

What I have seen is road salt that soaks all the way back into chassis and driveline bolts. It is hard to believe until you see it first hand. It would sure be nice to live in a western state without the worry of road salt and perpetual humidity.
Years ago I used anti-seize on aluminum but I'd find that shortly things would be seized together....... at some point I was told the copper/zinc in it increases corrosion between aluminum and steel.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
I got the side storage lockers painted and installed. I'll be sticking the bed rack on there soon for a trip coming up.

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I took some time to work over the radiator overflow tank. I changed the location and shape to free up some space.



The bosses on the side are to mount a fuse block.




I ordered a vintage air unit to replace the factory AC and heater. The unit fits completely inside the cab, so I'll have the firewall open to mount fuse boxes and the ECU.

I'm attempting to make room for a second battery that will go in the stock location. The plan is to rework the electrics once I have the vintage air unit installed.

I'll post some pictures here along the way once I get started.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
The stock AC is removed and the new Vintage Air unit is installed. Here is how the firewall looks without the 'suitcase' and blower motor.

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A test fit and mark up of the panel using two stock bolts to locate.

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It's about time to rebuild the King shocks. They have begun to creak slightly and it has been 30k miles or so.

The kit comes with some sheet metal screws, but I installed stainless rivnuts instead so I could use stainless M6 bolts.

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Since I was by my lonesome to install this thing, I used thread stock rather than bolts from the engine compartment. This way, I could get the unit into proper position from the inside and prop it up. Then I installed nuts on the firewall to secure the unit.

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The instructions mention removing two bolts on the side to provide more room to slide the unit in from the bottom...I'm not sure it will go in there with the bolts installed.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
The room provided by the swap is prodigious.

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I have yet to relocate the ground strap that attaches to the engine. Connecting the refrigerant lines should not be too much fuss. The wiring is straightforward, but I need to determine how to wire the trinary switch with the ability to turn off fans and the compressor when/if doing a water crossing.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
The AC is installed and wiring completed. It works well at least in low 90's temperatures.

I've had some time to work on a front sway bar. It isn't obvious how to do it given all that is going on under there.

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Sorting out where the brackets would go on the axle was the tricky part. I haven't yet finish welded them on, but testing indicates all is good.




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A PDF of the brackets is attached in the case that someone out there might be interested in this solution.
 

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Ouiwee

Observer
Pull the pin and the sway bar disconnects. I'm going to weld the bolt on the axle bracket and have a quick release pin on the bottom as well. Then, I can just use a velcro strap or something to pull the bar up out of the way if I need to do some serious wheeling.


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The only issue I can see is that when the wheel is turned to the left just right and the pitman arm is in just the right place and the left wheel is stuffed, the rod end on the sway bar link could hit the pitman arm. The trouble is that the sway bar is fighting the wheel being stuffed and rolls the truck out of the way. If a hump was hit by the left wheel when turning left just right, compression of the suspension on that side could cause an impact. Outside of an accident scenario, I'll just stop and pull the pins to disconnect the sway bar.

The truck drove well without the sway bar, but would rock left and right. The sway bar has made a tremendous improvement in the ride quality on the road. Oddly enough, it seems to require far less steering input as well for some reason.

I'm thinking about doing something similar in the rear since it would be so much easier. I think it might matter once I get the bed rack on there with more weight up high in the rocking back and forth.

I've got about 35k miles on the engine so far. I haven't had so much as a hiccup or any form of issue. It has been perfectly reliable. I'm considering adding an ethanol sensor so that I could run a wider range of fuel...and get maybe 50 more horses or so.
 

Ouiwee

Observer
I've been out and about some lately. Here is how driving through a train tunnel in Red River Gorge Kentucky looks.

Nada Tunnel

I stayed at the Cave Run Lake campground, which is a nice and convenient place to stay.



I managed to find some reasonably challenging off road trails not far from Indian Creek. There were a couple of places where I had to throttle through the ruts, which explains the large chunk of mud on the front diff.



I left the front sway bar on without any difficulty.

And for no good reason at all, here is what baby buzzards look like.




I'm off to Assateague State Park tomorrow for some beach side action.
 
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