94 2500 Build

Discussion in 'Street Build Threads' started by EC2012, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. EC2012

    EC2012 Newbie

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    Purchased a 94 GMC 1500 last night for cheap money; about as expected for a 370,000 mile truck. Has a few mechanical issues (simple fixes) and the bed is ugly, but outside is otherwise fine. Inside not too bad either. Last 94 I had my dad bought brand new and I bought it from him in 2001, kept it until 2010. That truck was completely used up and have been looking forward to another TBI truck.

    I am in an enviable position of also owning a parts truck 99 C2500 Suburban with a rebuilt L31. The plan is to rape everything off the Burb and convert my 1500 to a 2500. I also plan on pulling the Burbs tank and adding another 40+ gallons to the 1500. The L31 will be going to a local shop for a 383 build, and Harris Performance will be contacted about all the TBI parts needed (MPI is too complicated and expensive; I like simple). The 4L80 in the Burb was trashed when I bought it and will be sourcing a performance unit from somewhere. The Burb has buckets, GMC non-working and thrashed split bench; those will be going in during the interior phase.

    More later...
     
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  2. EC2012

    EC2012 Newbie

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    Truck stalled when AC running and truck idiling; IAC motor was damaged and broke off inside throttle body. Pulled it to remove broken threads, and decided to refresh the whole thing. This is a case of leave well enough alone. Put everything back together now truck won't start. Tested injectors, both click; however, one dribbles in KOEO condition and it has a narrow spray pattern. Ultrasoniced both injectors for about 30 minutes and will see how it goes tomorrow. Otherwise may need to inspect offending bore for wear or damage. If still no start looking at EBay remanned unit with balanced injectors.
     
  3. EC2012

    EC2012 Newbie

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    Bought another kit. Put the backup and oring in after the injectors, which caused leaks. Had to use flammable spray, but she sputtered then fired right up; still wants to stall with AC running in gear when stopped, but not as immediately as before. Greasing front end this morning and taking her out for a day.
     
  4. EC2012

    EC2012 Newbie

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    A few updates, raves, rants and assorted ideas.

    You gotta love parts trucks! I figured there has to be thousands of dollars in ready supply parts just waiting to be harvested or sold/traded. Example: at work yesterday my window decides to take a dump halfway, and there was no way I was leaving my window half down for an extended period. The regulator in the Burb had been replaced at some point, so extra bonus there. Bolted right in. The savings picture keeps getting brighter.

    She is definitely going 2500 spec. Nearly all parts are direct swaps; ball joints, tie rods, steering box, electrical parts, even the 9.5 SF will bolt to the 1500 springs. A ball joint and tire rod kit is less than $90 shipped. The box in the Burb is a GM part (Sierra has a cheapo aftermarket box with a ton of slop) and nearly factory tight. She's getting all bushings replaced with a poly master kit. I also found a vendor who has a complete rear disc conversion for the SF 9.5 for a few hundred $, which is well worth my time savings.

    Got tired of sitting on that nasty seat with the non-working power adjuster, so I grabbed the driver's seat out of the Burb; bolted right in and just need to get the connector out and wire it into the GMC harness. Another bonus; the 99 has lumbar, and the controls are on the side where God intended. Plus, the 95' and up material just looks so much nicer. The carpet is another story; a nice molded rubber floor from LMC is going in, along with either Lizard Skin or the insulation LMC sells with their kit.

    Next project is getting that gnarly electrical system handled. The Burb will be giving up all needed connectors, plus some extra to wire in power, heated tow mirrors at some point, which means door panels also get swapped. I just need to get the truck reliable for cheap right now; we may be moving 50 miles, or 500 miles, and don't need this thing stalling out during the trip, which it did twice Sunday coming home from work; no AC running and acted like it was running out of fuel. Not replacing any parts until the electrical issue is sorted.

    Heater hose has a shut off installed, and can only mean the core is gone. Pulling the core out of the Burb before winter.

    All the issues with the electrical, plus TBI is reliable but weak on power and economy, means a carb is in the works. First swap will be a 650 with a Vortec intake (pulling the stock heads of the L31). Transmission is up in the air, and I wish there were a better option than what GM offers; I don't like the gear spread between 1 and 2 on the 60/700 or first gear ratio in a stock 80, and updating any of them is a major hit to the budget. I can get a built 60 or 80 for under $1500, but need a $650 controller and harness, plus a Holly with TPS provision, to run it, but would keep reasonable fuel economy and adjustment free driving. A 350 or 400 is possible, but you loose lockup and OD. If I go complete analog the 400 gets the nod, and add a GVO for mileage.

    Still debating a complete interior swap, as the dashes suck either way, but the newer ones at least provide more function and look better. However, the 94 dash is so easy to pull I may just find one on EBay or somewhere. I also want the 99 steering wheel, but don't know right now if the electronics will swap over between both columns.

    At some point I'll post pics of both trucks, promise.
     
  5. EC2012

    EC2012 Newbie

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    I forgot just how easy an early 400 truck is to work on; I can even climb into the bay to work on any part of the engine, and it's not really that much of a climb (unlike my 2000 F250 4x4, on all counts). Though there are challenges owning a truck this old with who knows how many hack job repairs, that's part of the fun. Not only do I get to figure out how to correct those mistakes, it is extremely satisfying knowing I did it without a huge cash outlay. She still has a lot of miles left, and they are going to be good ones.
     
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