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Thread: 1986 GMC S-15

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    Next up I addressed the oil leaking coming from the distributor,

    Easy to see how oil made it right passed the flattened o-ring on the left

    Also cleaned up the cap and rotor while I had it off

    Then I added 1" wheel spacers to the rear end so it would track better in deep snow. This aligned the front and rear perfectly.

    I also turned up the front torsion bars slightly to add another 1.5" of lift to the front of the truck.

    Then took it for an alignment,

    I got a nasty surprise though once it was up on their rack. The mechanic quickly pointed out to me that both lower ball joints, inner tie rods and the pitman arm were all in very bad shape. Tons of play in them all making an alignment a waste of time. So they dropped it back down and didn't charge me anything which was nice. I then went and bought all new moog stuff, upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, and a pitman arm. I couldn't believe the bill, it was like $600 even with my 45% discount at lordco. The parts were junk too, the balljoints were so tight you could barely move them with a snipe. and the tie rods were just some junky threads.

    So I returned them and ordered some proforged parts. They've got a million mile warranty on their stuff. I run their full linkage on my '84 and have dealt with their warranty system before and it's totally painless. You email a picture of the failure, in my case a boot, and they send out an entirely new part at no cost to you.

    I ended up getting a better product, upgraded billet aluminum tie rod sleeves, a throttle body rebuild kit and a smaller pulley for the roots blower on the '84. All for $75 less than the moog crap I originally purchased.

    My hats off to proforged. It's definitely not the same quality as say Howe, but for the price it's good stuff.

    old crusty ball joints out,

    new in, also wire wheeled and painted what I could underneath as well while I was at it.

    old steering linkage out.

    Only issue I had with the entire kit was the zirc fittings for the lower balljoints. The threads were just all messed up from the factory so I just went out and grabbed some new ones.

    After everything was done I borrowed the electric grease gun I use for equipment at work and gave everything a good hit of the red stuff.

    another trip in the middle of it all in the booger

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    The next thing I needed to address was the fuel tank. For two reasons; 1 being that it was 30 years old and the truck had sat a lot of it's life; 2 being that the current tank was a mere 13 gallons.

    So I purchased a new 20 gallon tank for it.

    There's two ways to do this. You try and undo the fuel lines from atop the tank which is crammed under the bed and then drop the tank, or you just pull the bed and make life a lot easier.

    So off came the canopy for the first time ever.

    Love how the truck looks sans grandpa topper

    Called a buddy over to give me a hand,

    To give you an idea of how tiny the tank really was. This combined with a very large gas gauge on the dash equated to actually being to see the marker dropping on the fuel gauge as you were driving.

    Much to my own dismay I reused the old in tank fuel pump. It still seem to be working great and nothing looked baked or crusty on it. I hope I don't regret that choice in the near future. A new pump was $180.

    Only hiccup I had with the install was the crap tank strap threads that just peeled right off... Another returned part and delay.

    then my landlord called me out and told me since I had the bed off I had to wire wheel and paint the frame. I wasn't going to but since the tank strap stripped and the store was closed I obliged.

    in progress

    It's mostly just superficial. I'm curious to see how long it holds up.

    I ended up going right under the cab all the way to the front end. I have to say it does clean up the look of the truck as the frames are quite low slung and visible as is.

    Next up I fitted up my new to me hitch with new gr 8 hardware as well

    Made up some aluminum spacers to get the fitment just right,

    The new fuel tank came with a couple issues. I need a different skid plate for it and some slightly different brackets as well.
    Picked them up at the yard in really nice shape too.

    Finally got around to getting the v-belts swapped out.

    Somewhere in the middle of all this we did out a trip back out to Ontario,

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    Not that this will ever be a show truck but I do like some shiny things, picked up this air cleaner lid from the yard

    Also picked up this old timing light for like $5 and made sure the timing was dialed into 10*

    At this point I had been driving the truck around town to do the odd errand here and there and was starting to gain a little faith in it. Hunting season was starting up so we started using it for that.

    Nice little bonus the truck came with an old school gun rack behind the seat.

    first trip out we came home with supper

    Found some burial cable at work from a demo job that I would save to later wire up the winch plug.

    another trip, this one was around the kootenays

    blaeberry falls outside of golden

    A goal I had in the back of my mind for the truck all along was to get collector plates for it. There are pretty strict requirements involved in the application process but the truck almost fully filled them. Aside from the rear bumper having a big rust hole in it.

    I came up on this one from a part out for $30

    Much better

    At this point my list was dwindling down to the more expensive not so necessary things, so we just used it quite a bit during hunting season

    Then I started school in the fall. I worked full time and went to school full time. Which meant the truck sat idle for just over months.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Elkins, West Virginia, United States
    Great build and pictures of adventures, keep it coming.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    West Virginia
    Great seeing this truck getting freshened up. I look forward to more updates.
    2010 Chevrolet Colorado V8 - Lots of mods. Nobody's a Colorado.

    I built and owned a Colorado ZR2 before it was cool.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    Thanks gentlemen.

    Next up was wiring up the winch. As I previously mentioned I came up on a good bit of underground burial cable from work.

    It was plenty for what I needed.

    I reused the heavy steel loom with the rubberized coating. It worked out quite nicely.
    The wire is aluminum which isn't ideal as it fatigues with movement but it's 2 gauge which is great for the long run, and free.
    For how little movement the wire will ever see it should suffice for now.

    I then addressed the fuel system. Starting with the filter.

    I would guess original to the truck

    Next up I rebuilt the throttle body. First time doing this and I have to say it's a super easy job.

    Cleaned up real nice. Installed new injectors as well.

    I keep getting constantly surprised at how cheap this truck is to work on. Had a headlight burn out and a tail light as well.

    It's not often you can fix your trucks problems for the less than what a cup of coffee costs. Everything above for $2.50

    At some point I picked up a hawse fairlead for the winch. Plan to switch to synthetic as it's quite cumbersome to lift out of the truck.
    Any lb's I can shave may save my back in the future.

    I was having an issue with water getting into the canopy. So I resealed the windows with some silicone. Worked out perfect.

    During christmas break from school we took the truck ice fishing nearly everyday so here's a bunch of pics from that.

    Our set-up

    A huge passion of mine is getting out ice fishing in the winter. Hitting the freshly covered snow roads, the trees are all white.
    Also there are so few people out at this time of year. Plus the fishing is usually great. I wish I could just take winters off work and do this everyday.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    Now that I was using the truck a bunch I was quickly learning it's limitations. The biggest being the current tires. They are a Nokian all season that are 10+ years old. So not only do they lack clearance and bite, they rubber is getting quite hard. I have a set of cheap cable chains and I ended up using them a few times in the deeper snow when the tires would just spin an ice slick.

    This was a big stepping stone for my faith in the truck. In this pic we are roughly 60 km's back into the bush on an fsr that doesn't get plowed or see any traffic. If something happened here it would have been a long walk back.

    I've been stuck enough times in the past to know a good set of chains are worth their weight in gold. We were venturing out far enough that I became weary of the dinky little cable chains I was using. So I decided to upgrade. I had set these aside a couple years ago. They are some tandem axle truck chains for plowing in the winter. They were being thrown away and I knew I would make use of them one day.

    The chains were clearly far to large currently as they were designed to fit a 40" tandem tire. My dinky little 27" nokians meant I need to completely disassemble and rebuild.

    I had enough links so I decided to turn them into double duty chains.

    After making one I did a trial fit, made some adjustments and made the others.

    These are seriously beefy. I don't think I'll ever have to worry about them in the future.

    Installed. No bungies as I was just checking the fitment and clearance, hence they look loose. When I strap them down though, they are solid.
    It's like a little tank in 4lo in the snow now.

    Love having the long box, never could have done this with my sierra's stupid 5'8" box.

    Still stoked on the rear leafs. This is close to 600lbs of gear in the back of the truck and it barely sags.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    I picked up some more recovery stuff. Made this chain up and an 80' winch extension.

    Should have brought a set of chains this trip.

    Now we we're getting close to school ending and it was time to start seriously consider using this for camping this spring/summer.

    Started reading a lot on different builds. Random post wash picture.

    So we really needed only two more things. A rack for the canoe, and ideally somewhere to sleep as we camp a lot in bear country and we were tired of being soft shelled tacos.

    First up was the rack. Picked up some aluminium stock.

    Cut out and fitted up my uprights.

    All cut up and ready for welding. The White plastic is HDPE that I thought would work nice for sliding the canoe on and off.

    I took it all from there to a friend of a friend and had him tig weld it up for me. Total cost of material and labour for the rack was $210

    Next up was where do we sleep? I had contemplated a RTT for a few mins but the logistics of having the canoe on the rack as well and setting up the tent every night just wasn't working out for us. So we decided to build a false floor under the canopy for sleeping.

    We looked at a ton of different super elaborate designs. Ones with multiple slide outs and cupboards and on and on. Very cool but not what we were looking for.

    We decided on this very simple 3 piece design, that I have to give the credit to Nicole for, it was her idea.

    The whole thing pops out in under two mins. The end towards the tailgate is supported by our cooler when we are sleeping. It's made out 3/4" aspen.

    Later on I routered all the edges and give it a bunch of coats of stain.

    Late spring snow

    A little too ambitious for the current all season tires.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    Well at this point school was just finishing and I we were ready. So we set out on our first trip to see what we had.

    Our very first trip was just under 3000 km's during may long weekend. We met up in Golden (wife works in calgary) and then set out.

    This was the second half of the trip.

    It was such a great adventure.

    This is moose or Alces Lake, beautiful camp spot.

    Temps dipped down to 0* C but we were very warm and comfortable. We actually ended up sleeping with the back hatch open all night and a nice fresh breeze.

    The only issue we had all trip was the new canopy clamps I purchased were junk and kept rattling loose on the backroads. A frustrating number of times I had to pull out our gear and retighten them down. After this trip I returned them and went back to the old school ones that worked perfectly fine previously. The old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" held true.

    A lot of guys I work with share a similar interest in camping but hate going out on long weekends because they say it's too crowded. Well we quickly discovered the really great thing about our new rig was we took up such a small footprint we could go to a lot of places and set up where many others could not. This is white Swan Lake, we did not stay here. Very busy place.

    Nicole is a big mushroom fan and we stumbled across this little crop of Morels while waiting for the Galena Bay Ferry.

    Second night was beautiful. Temps got down to -5*C but we were still super warm.

    Nothing like having to turn around because of a fresh landslide but finding $20 on the ground made it ok for Nicole.

    This was at Beaver Lake just outside of Nakusp. Absolutely beautiful paddle.

    We had to make a lot of changes to our plans due to avalanches, mudslides, impassable snow, and washed roads this trip.
    This pack was about 30' across and just solid ice.

    Wilson Falls, tough to get a good pic here.

    Next stop was Esplanade bay on Kinbasket lake. We lucked out and had the entire rec site to ourselves.

    What was really neat about this time of year is the lake was down nearly 20 meters from normal.

    One of the nicer spots in the site,

    Same spot during normal water levels,

    This wrapped up our may long trip. Couldn't have asked for better weather, fishing and sights to see.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Kelowna BC
    One afternoon we did a "quick" backroads trip to scout out new lakes for ice fishing this winter.

    Our second big trip was on July Long weekend. We met up in the Kootenays again.
    We ended up doing roughly 1200kms.

    Our first night we spent camping at Summit lake just outside of Parson. Beautiful one truck spot right on the lake. Panoramic views of the mountains.

    I convinced Nicole to pose for a super cheeseball photo with the big paddle, I want to say around Canal Flats.

    Next stop was Marion Lake,

    We didn't stay here but talk about a site with a view. Wapta Falls below, incredible.

    Spent the night right on the kicking horse River.

    Quick hike at wapta Falls

    Natural Bridge just outside Field.

    I used to have a bad habit of letting other people ruin these destinations for me. By that I mean these large tourist traps where people just pile off the buses and your bumping shoulders with people who just want to take selfies. I let it ruin the beauty of the attractions for me. This summer I found as soon as we hiked a little ways off the beaten trail and got away from the crowds it was very easy to enjoy these places we used to avoid.

    If you ever visit the Natural Bridge, Hike down stream a few hundred meters and you will get to see some beautiful rock gorges and waterfalls 99% of the people visiting miss.

    Next stop was Emerald Lake. Once we got the canoe on the water and paddled across the lake it was easy to relax and enjoy the beatiful mountains and blue water.

    The truck was running great at this point. The only modification I had to make in 4000 km's was a new rad cap because the old one started to weep slightly

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