95 K2500 454/NV4500 slow restoration

2blue4you

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Hi all, I'm new to this forum, although I've been an occasional lurker for several years now. I'm starting this thread because I plan on keeping this truck forever and want to document my progress in the hope I can read through this years from now. I'm 21 and this is the first vehicle I have ever purchased. I've never worked on a car before(except for brake pads and installing a sub) so I welcome all knowledge I can get.
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I learned to drive in one of my grandpas k2500s when I was 12. My dad has owned a 98 K2500 since 2003 which I drove all through highschool. Now that I am actually making a little bit of money, I was able to purchase this 95 K2500 from my grandpa. It's only got 174000 miles and it made the 800 mile trip home with no problem, although 10.5 mpg means I spent more in fuel getting back than I did on my plane tickets out. My plan is to drive and slowly restore this truck over however many years I am able to keep it. Right now it's only going to be used to haul dirt bikes and occasional light off-roading. In the future I hope to be able to use more of its capability.

The truck has mostly been sitting for the past several years and it definitely needs some attention. I have no maintenance records and want to make sure I have a clean start to my ownership experience. Here is a list of everything that I have noticed so far. It's going into the shop next week for a complete inspection so I am sure this list will grow.

Needs:
-Needs four(or five) new tires. Good tread on the Geolanders it's sitting on, but they are from 2011 and 3/4 have slow leaks. Hopefully from age and not corrosion on the wheels. Have a quote for 4 Goodyear Duratracs for $1040 installed. 265/75/16. I may just go with a cheap highway tire though. Will get an alignment with new tires.
-ABS light is on(have not tested abs)
-Various fluid leaks. The front suspension is soaked. The truck is leaking transmission fluid and coolant. Also has a distinct oil smell.
-Want to check all fluids and rubbers.
-Failed DEQ due to high Hydrocarbons. Assuming this is because the exhaust is rusted out.
-Wipers seem to get stuck in light rain. New wiper motors?

Wants:
-Interior is covered in a film of ash and dirt. Not a fan of the blue interior and I'm leaning toward tearing it all out for something custom. Radio only seems to pick up AM. The speakers work but not well. I want a non touch screen Bluetooth headunit with some basic speakers in the doors.
-Paint on the hood and roof is not in good shape. The look is growing on me but really not a fan of blue. Will probably paint the truck in the future. Thinking of a happy color like a light cream yellow/burnt orange/coral pink. Maybe a deep red or purple.
-Want a tool box for the bed. Would be nice to get one with an auxiliary fuel tank.
-Windshield is cracked
-Kill switch. Was going to install using fuel relay but it looks like its missing/bypassed?

Other:
-Sometimes doesn't want to go into R without a little bit of grinding
-Front tires have some slight cupping on inside edge. Worn suspension components? Which ones?
-Electric mirrors don't work
-Needs tailgate handle
-Hood release lever is missing but not a big deal to just pull cable.

Only thing I've done so far is put some screws into the diamond plate on the bed rails and purchase a kill switch and wire(not installed yet).

Total Cost as of 4/9/22, Including Plane tickets+fuel, is approxitely $2300. I am keeping a journal and tracking all expenses so I will try to keep that info up to date here as well.
 

HotWheelsBurban

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Tire cupping can be from bad ball joints. Wiper issue could just be that it needs new blades and/or the windshield is not wet enough to keep them from skipping.
But you have the right idea, getting into it to see what needs to be fixed. These trucks are great, and good to learn on. I started wrenching on square body Burbs, and when we got into the newer ones, have continued to work on them. My dad taught me a lot, and I learn new stuff all the time....
Welcome to the forum,you are in the right place for anything you want to know about these trucks!
 

xXxPARAGONxXx

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I like the fact that it has the original paint. That's awesome, even if it is aged. It just means that you don't have to worry if someone has tried to cover up something with fresh paint (i.e., lipstick on a pig). Pretty much any 20+-year old vehicle will need a paint job by that time. I would recommend keeping the same OEM color (your truck, of course).

I would probably buy that truck off you if I could. Yours, being a diesel 2500, must have a nice 14-bolt full-float rear end.

800 mile trip...I know what that's like. I picked my truck up the same way. Plane trip to the owner and 700+ mile trip home. I bet you were happy to make it home.

Subscribed to your thread. Can't wait to see you wrench on the truck.

Welcome to the forum!
 
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Erik the Awful

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Have a quote for 4 Goodyear Duratracs for $1040 installed. 265/75/16. I may just go with a cheap highway tire though. Will get an alignment with new tires...
-Front tires have some slight cupping on inside edge. Worn suspension components? Which ones?
Fix the cupping and any other front end wear before you buy an alignment and tires.

Not a fan of the blue interior and I'm leaning toward tearing it all out for something custom.
I redid my '89 in black, and now I'm in the middle of doing the same on my '88.

I do recommend putting a layer of flat black on the top surface of the dash to prevent glare.

Radio only seems to pick up AM. The speakers work but not well. I want a non touch screen Bluetooth headunit with some basic speakers in the doors.
Yesterday I installed a Kenwood KMM-BT328U based on recommendations here.
 

DonYukon

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Tire cupping can be from bad ball joints. Wiper issue could just be that it needs new blades and/or the windshield is not wet enough to keep them from skipping.
But you have the right idea, getting into it to see what needs to be fixed. These trucks are great, and good to learn on. I started wrenching on square body Burbs, and when we got into the newer ones, have continued to work on them. My dad taught me a lot, and I learn new stuff all the time....
Welcome to the forum,you are in the right place for anything you want to know about these trucks!

THIS , Get a full list like you have and prioritize. no sense putting new tires on to cut there life from bad steering/suspension parts.
 

2blue4you

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Hey thanks for the info and welcome!

My dad picked up a hood release latch, tailgate latch, and some relays and fuses at the local pick 'n pull. Dropped truck off for inspection so when I hear back from the shop I'll decide what I want them to do.
Wiper issue could just be that it needs new blades and/or the windshield is not wet enough to keep them from skipping.
I drove some more in the rain with some new blades. It doesn't seem like they are sticking. They just stop moving in the middle of their stroke, but adjusting the wiper speed gets them moving again. Also a couple times they seemed to get locked onto a certain speed and weren't responding to input. Maybe electrical?
I would probably buy that truck off you if I could. Yours, being a diesel 2500, must have a nice 14-bolt full-float rear end.
It has the 7.4L gas motor. Not sure on the axle, will check that next weekend.

This is normal with a non-synchronized reverse, not a big deal.
Aah okay that explains it.

Fix the cupping and any other front end wear before you buy an alignment and tires.


I redid my '89 in black, and now I'm in the middle of doing the same on my '88.

I do recommend putting a layer of flat black on the top surface of the dash to prevent glare.


Yesterday I installed a Kenwood KMM-BT328U based on recommendations here.
Have any pictures? Painting cloth seats seems like a bad idea, but if I could pain the dash and door cards it would save me some money.
 

Erik the Awful

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Have any pictures? Painting cloth seats seems like a bad idea, but if I could pain the dash and door cards it would save me some money.
My interior is pieced together from parts from about ten other trucks, all of varying colors. I need to take some more recent pictures. I didn't color the seats - I have '95 Cadillac STS tan leather seats in it. I used black because it's the one color that is always available at the parts stores, and it looks classy. It also wasn't ever an option on our trucks, so it's distinctive.

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2blue4you

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Today I got the truck back from the mechanic.

"Needs tune up Misfiring / power mirrors in-operative, oil leaks at transmission / engine oil leaks rocker covers and oil filter housing, oil cooler lines leaking, front differential leaks all seals and gaskets, coolant level low Soft plug seaping coolant, brakes good at 80 front and rear, tires good tread, front wheel bearing bad / muffler, brake fluid flush, possible transmission rebuild needed, noisy bearing"

I had everything done except for the transmission. $800 for reseal or $3500 for a new rebuilt tranny. Decided to hold off and get to drive the truck a bit before I decide whether to reseal it.

Grand total $2672.86

I also bought a crossover toolbox off craigslist for $200 and installed that. It needs new weather stripping and one of the latches has a failed weld. I'll get that taken care of eventually but for right now it closes tight and that's fine.

Instilled a new tailgate latch but I broke one of the plastic retainers so using zipties as temporary fix.

Tomorrow the goal is to get it through DEQ, registered, and then install my new headunit and speakers. I have a cheap alpine unit with a set of rockford fosgate component speakers. Payed $235 for that off crutchfield.

Total Cost as of 5/3/22:
$5400

Pics tomorrow.
 
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