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Thread: The Camp 4x4 Bus - 1973 Suburban 8.1 Swap & Build

  1. #201
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    214
    Just a quick update post even though I haven't been doing a whole lot on it lately...

    The biggest hold up has been getting the NP205 rebuilt with the bigger bearing and input shaft. I had left it at a place to be machined and rebuilt, but they barely touched it for 3 months. Finally I found the time to get out there (they kept weird hours to boot) and get it back. Got it to another place that got it machine in a matter of days. I've just repainted it with Red Oxide Primer - btw, when did it turn to Brown Oxide Primer? Seriously, this is not the original color it should be but I can't find the proper color ROP anywhere - anyway, now that it's painted I'll be taking it to get rebuilt at the local transmission guy. I know I could DIY it, but I really want the drivetrain to be professionally built front to back. Once I get that built up and put on I can get to work on getting the transmission support in and moving on with other stuff... gas tank, fuel lines, mounting the fuel pump and regulator,

    Painted NP205


    In other news I keep killing the aux battery in my '87. So, I've decided to install a "shore power" charger that I can keep plugged in when the truck is sitting in the driveway for long periods. I figure it'll also be handy on the rare occasions I'm at a proper campground with power.

    Now, there's multiple ways to go about "shower power," but since water-proof is one of my requirements, and there really aren't any of the proper RV-style power systems that can feed appliances AND charge a battery that are ALSO waterproof I was kind of left going the route I went: a NOCO Genius on-board battery charger.

    Noco Genius


    This guy is going to be installed somewhere in the engine compartment and tie into both my aux and starter batteries. For now I'll just be keeping the power cord tucked away somewhere, but when I transfer it to the '73 I'll probably install an external plug to make it easier to plug in when parked.

    The one thing I have to see about is if this thing will freak out with the 12v fridge kicking on and off. I've ready the "smart" chargers don't like charging while the battery is also under load. Will have to see if that's true. If it is then I'll likely try to power the fridge with 110v when the shore power is plugged in, and only rely on the 12v when the shore power is unplugged and thus not charging the batteries.

    UPDATE: Though I haven't tested yet, the NOCO rep I chatted with today said the charger won't have any problem with a cycling-load while the charger is plugged in. They recommend nothing more than 1/5 of the rated amps (so 2a in the case of my unit, which is 10a/bank) so that may end up being the problem. The Edgestar fridge I have seems to run about 4a with a 5a start-up spike.
    UPDATE, UPDATE: Did some further testing tonight after work. The fridge had been off for a while so it was plenty warm. I plugged in the charger and the fridge, letting the fridge run non-stop on the "Fast Freeze" setting for an hour or so. The charger continued on without a hiccup.

    One interesting thing I noticed when I powered on the charger tonight is that after a handful of minutes my voltage sensing battery isolator turned on, meaning it thought the alternator was on. Now, this ties the batteries together in parallel meaning the capacity is increased. So I'll be curious if this has any effect on the charger.

    UPDATE: Looking at the charging steps my guess is this only happened for a short period of time while the charger was pushing some high voltage in during the "Opportunity" step.

    The model I got has 2x 10a outputs which can each be connected to a battery up to 250ah capacity. What connecting them both to essentially 1x Xah battery will do I'm not sure... might end up calling the company and asking their tech people their input.

    Long term the goal is to replace the 50ah "deep cycle" aux battery from Costco with a 250ah AGM, then put a couple 80W semi-flexible solar panels on the hood and have those feed in when out on the trail. I figure 160w should be just enough to power the fridge and float the batteries during the day.

    In other news I'm planning a week-long trip for Thanksgiving. My folks are coming out from Chicago and renting a pretty nicely outfitted 4Runner from Pacific Overlander. The plan is to cruise up to Amador and El Dorado counties to do some wine tasting the Monday before, camp off hwy 50 somewhere by Union Reservoir, then cruise up along Lake Tahoe to Johnsville and spend a few days on the back roads between there and La Porte. Obvious weather permitting... so I'm hoping the snow holds off 'til then.

    Here's the route I plan to take: https://drive.google.com/open?id=10s...VI&usp=sharing
    Last edited by aaronvogel; 10-19-2017 at 05:29 AM.

  2. #202
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Calistoga, CA
    Posts
    97
    Sweet Burb build! The father a buddy of mine from my Scouting days had a round light Burb like that, it was such a great road tripping car. I'm looking forward to seeing your build progress!
    I'm a backpacker with a wheeling problem. Or a wheeler with a backpacking problem, I can't really decide.

  3. #203
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Pueblo West, Colorado
    Posts
    1,662
    Looking good! Still beside myself as to why you would not use a TBI Suburban tank with a TBI sending unit and EP381 fuel pump and call it a day. Would have been less cost and more reliable being all OEM designed parts not to mention quieter too. A proven recipe that has been known to work and work flawlessly
    1978 Chevrolet K10, Vortec 8.1L, NV4500, NP205, Phoenix Camper
    1989 Chevrolet Suburban, V2500, Vortec 8.1L, NV4500, NP241
    2001 Chevrolet 2500HD 4x4, Vortec 8.1L, ZF S6-650 6-speed manual trans.

    Vortec 8.1L because life is too short to tolerate underpowered vehicles

  4. #204
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Cody, Wyoming
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry View Post
    Looking good! Still beside myself as to why you would not use a TBI Suburban tank with a TBI sending unit and EP381 fuel pump and call it a day. Would have been less cost and more reliable being all OEM designed parts not to mention quieter too. A proven recipe that has been known to work and work flawlessly
    Just to be clear, is this the EP 381 pump you are referring to Larry?

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ado-ep381

  5. #205
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    53
    Awesome build so far, those these old suburbans. Keep the pics coming.

  6. #206
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Scottsdale
    Posts
    6
    Has the build been paused?
    1997 LX450 - Locked, Slee'd, yada-yada
    2016 Power Wagon - In process

  7. #207
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by Oilbrnr View Post
    Has the build been paused?
    Not intentionally. LOL. But yeah, the last few months haven't really given me time to work on it. I also hit a bit of a mental road block with the floor holes. I'm REALLY not feeling up to that task after looking at what it'll take a bit closer.

    But... I've recently picked up on this again. January should see me spending a lot more time down there. The NP205 rebuild should get done this weekend, and the '87 is living down there permanently now so I can start swapping parts. A buddy and I are probably gonna do at least one axle Monday afternoon and then from there I'm hoping it'll be off to the races...

    I've have continued to pick up parts. I bought a Northwest Fabworks transfer case e-brake kit that I'm very excited about. Also bought a NWF cable shifter and returned the JB Custom Fab cable shifter since it was going to require a ton of fab work to make it fit. The NFW one is far better for my application. It sits perfectly on the trans tunnel without hardly any of it dropping below, so there's no clearance issues with the trans. Very happy about that. I was NOT looking forward to fabricating a mount for the JBFW one.

    I've also found that my plan to swap the door guts (power windows, locks, etc) from the '87 to the '73 won't work. So I picked up a set of "universal" power window and lock kits. Hopefully I can find a way to use the stock door switches from the '87 instead of the ugly kit ones.

    51ZYrA3jy+L.jpg

    Still working on the wiring diagram. It keeps changing as I add more electrical stuff like the windows. Oh well...

    I'm also still looking for a rear bumper. Gotta have a swing-out tire carrier at the minimum, and preferably low-profile. If anyone has ideas shoot 'em at me. Otherwise I'm looking at a custom build... :-/

  8. #208
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    left coast
    Posts
    266
    Was wondering about the build. Mine is on hold as other projects (house) take priority.

    I'm keeping the crank windows.
    2006 Duramax CCSB

    1991 V2500 Suburban Cummins Swap (in process)

    1987 Elky (LS1 swap-waiting its turn)

    1991 V1500 Suburban (for sale just 85K miles, cali truck, no rust)

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