Build of my ‘88 RCSB C1500 owned for 20 years

Moparmat2000

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Look into getting a jeep cherokee steering shaft. It does away with the rag joint and what you end up with is actual small universal joints at either end. It really tightened up the steering on my 94. It's almost a direct bolt in too. I got mine from my local junkyard for $15. It's a direct fit on the steering box splines. The jeep cherokee uses a Saginaw box.

Only things you need to do to use it, is heat up the center to melt the plastic for the collapsible part to slide it apart. For the pickup it's a different length and this is what your adjusting it for. You also have to grind a slot in the end of your steering column shaft for the pinch bolt on the jeep shaft. What I did when I put it back together is I drilled and tapped 2 holes on the outer shaft and put 2 set screws to lightly pin it to the inner shaft. This way it doesnt slop around, and will still collapse in the event of an accident.
 
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alignman88

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I’ve heard of the Jeep part swap and also heard some shops won’t perform alignments on them due to a “possibility” it can get jammed or hung up somehow causing a safety concern so they don’t want the liability? Maybe I read it somewhere here, need to look into it further myself though. $15 is definitely better than the $175 from Borgeson, thanks for bringing it up!
 

Supercharged111

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I’ve heard of the Jeep part swap and also heard some shops won’t perform alignments on them due to a “possibility” it can get jammed or hung up somehow causing a safety concern so they don’t want the liability? Maybe I read it somewhere here, need to look into it further myself though. $15 is definitely better than the $175 from Borgeson, thanks for bringing it up!

Yours being an 88 won't have any issues with the Jeep shaft. The later trucks had more joints in the shaft assembly and can't use the Jeep shaft.
 

alignman88

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After getting everything straight and presentable I was able to put some paint on the inner fenders and core support this afternoon. Took the time this week to clean up around the top edges of core support where it’s pinch welded together, straightened the edges then ground them all all even where fitment during welding process was sloppy. Then straightened a few dings that show on fender wells and had everything prepped.

Sandblasted underside of fender wells and sprayed with, wait for it……Harbor Freight Iron Armor rubberized coating. Like $6.99 a can I bought one to try and it looked great to me so finished ‘em up and may use in the rear as well.

Paint was Excel brand Hot Rod Black satin finish. Quart of color and pint of activator just under $100 total. Pictures look more shiny, but it’s under 6 fluorescent lights.

First time I’ve shot this paint so once I had my spray gun -Sharpe T-1 Titanium HVLP- I found best layout with about 12psi at the gun and you need to lay it on pretty wet to flow out nice. A “light” coat would be a little grainy so I increased material flow and got decent results.
 

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Moparmat2000

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After getting everything straight and presentable I was able to put some paint on the inner fenders and core support this afternoon. Took the time this week to clean up around the top edges of core support where it’s pinch welded together, straightened the edges then ground them all all even where fitment during welding process was sloppy. Then straightened a few dings that show on fender wells and had everything prepped.

Sandblasted underside of fender wells and sprayed with, wait for it……Harbor Freight Iron Armor rubberized coating. Like $6.99 a can I bought one to try and it looked great to me so finished ‘em up and may use in the rear as well.

Paint was Excel brand Hot Rod Black satin finish. Quart of color and pint of activator just under $100 total. Pictures look more shiny, but it’s under 6 fluorescent lights.

First time I’ve shot this paint so once I had my spray gun -Sharpe T-1 Titanium HVLP- I found best layout with about 12psi at the gun and you need to lay it on pretty wet to flow out nice. A “light” coat would be a little grainy so I increased material flow and got decent results.
That looks fantastic!!!
 

alignman88

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Sprayed the firewall and I fenders today. Stayed with the original bright silver truck came with as a two tone silver/metallic black. Planned to use PPG as that’s what I am familiar with but WOW paint prices are crazy high! Just a quart of color and reducer was $235.00 and still would need the clear/activator. No way for this rednecks engine bay. Local paint shop has their “house brand” called Shop-Line. Quart of color, quart of JR506 reducer (1 to 1 mix), a quart of JC630 clear and pint of JH6370 activator (4 to 1 mix) only totaled $190.00.

I was skeptical that it would lay out as slick as the PPG but man was I wrong! I’m very pleased with the results and knew it would be good by halfway through first color coat. 4 coats of color and 3 coats of clear.

Was starting to make some panels to cover up all the holes in the fenders, but the old googler taught me that Slosh Tubz sells a pair of nice metal panels for our ‘88-98 trucks and not too bad priced at $150. Those will definitely be on the list before it’s rolling again. Here’s the link:

Underside of hood and the flat part of hinges that bolt to them still to be done. After market hood that’s been on there 20+ years was rusting between the pinch welded layers and the hinge was rusted because of the cheap old hood. Soaking the hinge in EvaporRust to get rid of that crud, and may not go back with the hood. I’ve been considering a fiberglass hood to go along with the other front end weight reductions from stock with aluminum heads and QA1 suspension. Anyone own or recommend a nice fiberglass hood? Thinking a 2” cowl would be cool.

Pictures don’t show well on a fine metallic silver but here’s a pic of this step done, and the products I used.
 

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Moparmat2000

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We have a "pre pak" type base coat at my local paint retailer. Its DuPont "Nason" brand. It works well, ditto for the clear. Nason has most of the popular colors pre mixed. They just run it thru the paint shaker before they sell it to you.
 

alignman88

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Inner fenders and hood hinges installed. Every single body bolt that was removed I soaked in Evapo-Rust for 24 hours, cleaned on a wire wheel then painted with VHT brake caliper ceramic paint. Tedious for sure but driving it through a couple of Missouri winters was rough on this previous southern truck. It had zero rust until about 2010 when it became a daily for a few years.

Couple little things others may find handy, I’m running the Holley Sniper Stealth with Hyperspark distributor and CDI box. It is said the trigger wires from the CDI box to coil and throttle body/ecm should be ran away from any other power or signal wires to mitigate RFI type issues. I placed the CDI box in the glove compartment, and ran the +\- power wires to battery out through the factory bulkhead that ECM wires pass through. Then for the trigger wires to coil and throttle body I unbolted the climate control relays on top of the air box, and you can have a straight shot to the firewall. Drilled two 3/8” holes through firewall, installed grommets, then made an aluminum plate with same size holes, and installed grommets in it. To mount the plate I drilled two more holes to accept 10-24 rivet nut inserts through firewall. I re-loomed the Hyperspark wires into smaller diameter loom that isn’t a split style loom, and used adhesive heat shrink to secure them to wires at either end. Once the factory power supply cover is installed those wires their bulkhead plate aren’t easily visible.

The original bulkhead connector to ECM I removed all the old potting with a heat gun, cut 1/3 of the wire separators making a larger spot for power wires from Hyperspark box to battery and gave it a coat of plastic paint to make it look new. I have unpinned any unused wires from ECM so that gave room for modification.

Here’s some pics, engine bay, the Sniper Hyperspark trigger wires coming through firewall, original bulkhead connector (still need to add potting to seal it up around wires, the Hyperspark in glove compartment and inner fenders with the Harbor Freight Iron Armor rubberized coating and those “refurbished” bolts that hold it all together.
 

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