So I have been looking for a decent square body for some time now. Didn't really have my eyes on anything in particular, but the frame and body needed to be in as good of shape as I could find.
Last week I came across this beast on marketplace up in Massachusetts. It's a 1986 Chevy M1031. Which is the military CUCV service truck.
It is I'm great shape. Frame is rock solid, and the cab has very, very little rust. It is also mechanically sound. A couple little leaks, but that's to be expected.
It has the 6.2 diesel, th400 trans, np205 t case, king pin Dana 60 front axle with a limited slip, 14 BFF rear with locker, and 4.56 gears. The service body is all aluminum. It used to have a PTO driven generator and air compressor, but those have since been removed. The PTO is still on the t case though.
My plans are to keep it fairly original, but add a few creature comforts to suit me better.
Grabbed a pic of the body lights. Got them all done this past weekend.
Ordered some wiper blades and a washer pump for it along with some belts. I got the wipers and motor today and belts should be here Friday.
I replaced two of the fuel return lines on the drivers side tonight (the ones that were leaking). I still need to do the rest of them. I'm off Friday so I plan to change the oil, belts, fuel return lines, and hit the frame and cab with some fluid film.
My radio and speakers came in the other day. I had planned to install them this past Friday since I had off work, but that didn't happen thanks to Thursday night lolol.
But I changed the oil today and changed the belts on the motor. Glad I ordered them and had them ready since the one alternator belt shredded itself on Thursday night on the way home. Started to get ready for the radio install as well.
Got the dash pad off and planned on removing the cluster to clean it up and change the bulbs. I can't get the speedo cable off though so I just did the bulbs that I can get to for now. I'll have to persuade the ol lady to see if she can get her hand back there and pop it off for me. My hands are just too big to be able to turn it. I can feel it, just can't move it haha.
I may try and fiberglass the dash pad instead of buying a new one. Worst comes to worse I need to buy a new one anyway lol.
Cycled through the 4wd system today as well. Hubs lock and unlock smoothly and it goes into 4low and 4 high. Need to lube the shift mechanism a bit since coming out of 4 low needs a rather firm pull. Also need to get a new 4wd indicator switch. The wires corroded off the switch under the cab. Doesn't affect operation, just prevents the light on the dash from coming on to show when it's in 4wd.
But with the limited slip up front, you know full well when it's in 4wd lol.
Ended up getting around 4" or so. Took the snowmobile out this morning to test it out. But the plow works great. Did my driveway and a little bit of the parking lot at work. Truck drives pretty good in the snow. Tires seem to bite pretty good for an MT. Can definitely tell the difference with having a real locker in the back and the limited slip up front compared to the G80 out back and a open diff in the front.
Lol. I do that all the time. Plan on doing something, and can even walk right past and completely forget haha. Too much stuff on the mind I suppose lol.
I almost pulled the trigger on a 4l80e trans for it yesterday, but I figured I'd wait and do all the other stuff I want first before doing the swap. Save my money.
My buddy out in Ohio has basically two complete turbo setups off a 6.5 I may pick up though. If I do, I'd likely keep it very conservative at around 5-6 psi and just try and get a little bit of bump on the top end. Don't want to go wild and smoke the motor lol. I already got an animal, so a nice relaxed driver is plenty haha.
Yeah just for overdrive. Besides that, the 4l80 is basically just an electronically controlled th400 with overdrive.
It's a pretty straightforward swap. Just need to modify the shift linkage a bit, and then shorten the rear shaft and lengthen the front shaft.
And if I knew the motor could handle more boost, I'd do it, but I know that the 6.2s, and even the 6.5 doesn't like boost. They snap cranks and break the webbing out of the blocks. Plus the N/A motors like mine, have too high of a compression ratio to handle boost reliably.
Picked up the last 2 shackles I needed for the truck. These happen to be originals. Found a guy on one of the Facebook groups had some to sell.
Also bought a block heater for the truck. Might install it this weekend if I have time after work. Supposed to go down to the single digits this weekend so it'd be nice to have. Haven't had any issues starting the truck yet, but I'd rather keep it warm rather than let it suffer lol.
Also take the opportunity to change the coolant since I'll have the block basically drained to do the block heater.
Also ordered some parts to put CB radios back in my trucks. Me and some buddies have gotten the itch to get back into it with the CBs again. I still have my old radio out of my 01 and I order a nice cobra 29LX for either this truck or my 15. Haven't decided which radio I want to put in which truck yet though.
Got shackles painted up after sandblasting them. Ran out of paint so only got like 1 decent coat on them, then a light coat, but it should be sufficient.
I also ordered some headlights for the truck. I was going to get the retro-bright lights, to retain the classic sealed beam look, but have better performance, but decided to try something that I normally am not a fan of for headlights, some cheap Amazon lights.
They were around $90 for the set and are full led. They have turn signals in them too, but I'm not going to be wiring those in.
I installed them real quick tonight and let me tell you, I am more than impressed at this moment. Time will tell how they hold up, but they have an outstandingly clean cutoff and very nice beam pattern. They project very far out and wide, while easily being aimed correctly. I would say they are on par, or better, than the headlights in my 2015.
Highbeams are also excellent and throw exceedingly far. Will grab some pics in the daytime of the lights and then some night shots of the output.
Still haven't found the time to install my block heater. But the truck has been starting without issue. This morning was the coldest I've started it at around 5⁰. Fired right up with the normal amount of cranking (for an IDI diesel lol).
Also took it on the highway the other day and it actually wasn't bad at all. Tracks like a dream, and I could do 55-60 no problem. Granted that's about as fast as I wanted to go due to the RPM, and not having a tach to see exactly where it was at, but I'd estimate around 3000-3100ish. Maybe a little higher. Definitely screaming, but not crazy enough to be worried. Tires definitely helped bring the rpm down a bit. Not sure I'd want to take it on any long highway trips at that rpm for hours on end, but it boosted my confidence in the truck at least lol.
A forum community dedicated to Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about performance, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!