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Questions X Infinity = I'm Lost :)

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Nu24wd, May 25, 2001.

  1. Nu24wd

    Nu24wd Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 3

    At 28 years of life (16 of which was spent under cars), I finally bought a 4x4. I never thought I would own one, but my little 2wd got stuck 3 times last winter in places that I don't think I should have been stuck. So, I picked up a '76 3/4 GMC High Sierra 4x4 for $500.00.
    I replaced a shattered lockout on the driver's side (clipped by a city snowplow) with a brand new set of Warn's Premium, gave it a tune-up, and tomorrow it's getting a new set of 16 inch chrome spokes and 33 inch tires (local tire dealer gave me a credit card). As it sits right now, it has 3 different sized tires on it... all 16's, but range from 245 to 265's... bad combo... on stock steel wheels. Yes, it's a bit on the rusty side, but I didn't buy a show winner :)

    Anyway, since this is the first 4x4 I have owned, I don't know much about it. As of yet, I haven't even locked in the front wheels. I have the June issue of FourWheeler magazine that has a section that will help me identify the axles and the t-case, so that will help. My cousin tells me that it's a part time t-case, whereas, from what I have read (and I could be reading wrong), I feel that it's a full time. From dash to seat, the shift lever reads L Lock - L - N - H - H Lock. No 2's or 4's, just the letters. Who is right ?

    I am sure I will have a ton of questions as my work progresses on this truck, so I will apologize to anyone and everyone right now... some of my questions may sound completely off the wall. I thank you in advance for putting up with them and for any advice you offer.

    David M.
     
  2. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Well, you have a GM 14 bolt rear axle, and either a Dana 44 up front, or a GM 10 bolt axle. The transfer case is the fulltime NP 203, converted at some point, to part time. The truck came with 16.5" wheels most likely, and someone put on the 16's. With your VIN# you can figure out more about your truck. If there is still the options decal in the glove box, you can figure out even more.

    I have the VIN info, and some of the RPO (Regular Production Option) codes on my web pages.

    ~Chuck
    www.chuckschevytruckpages.com
     
  3. Nu24wd

    Nu24wd Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 3

    Updates

    Thanks for the insight Chuck. The rear is a 14-bolt. I counted them today while I was under it changing the speedo cable. The front has only 10 bolts and strongly resembles the Dana 44 picture in FourWheeler magazine. As for the transfer case, I will take your word for it... I forgot to look it over closely :)

    While I was watching them put on the new tires and rims today (which I didn't get the chrome spokes... too spendy, so I went with the white spokes to keep costs down), the tech mentioned that a 2" suspension lift had been installed. He also mentioned that the grille tag (400) was wrong. I already knew this though. Damper is too small to be a 400. Anyway, with new rubber, the ride sure has improved. It no longer wanders all over the road... and suprisingly enough, the tires I picked aren't really noisey at hiway speeds.

    When I changed the speedo cable today, I removed a small 'adapter' from the transfer case that was inline with the cable. Not only was the cable snapped in two, the 'adapter' had a broken peice, too. So I took it out and hooked the cable direct to the transfer case. Two questions about this... 1) What does that little thing do ? 2) After hooking it up direct and checking to see if the speedo worked, it does, but the needle bounces in a 10 mph range around the actual speed. Does that adapter have anything to do with this, or is the speedo head a problem ?

    I also went out to check on new shocks today... OUCH!!! A full set of Rancho 5000's (singles for a 0-2" lift) is over $150. And I thought buying shocks for my '79 3/4 ton 2wd was hard to handle. This 4x4 is going to break me :)

    In a couple years (ha ha ha) when all the mechanical is done, I might start working on making the body look good again, it's pretty rough right now. Someone got bondo happy on the doors, box sides, and cab roof!!! They laid it on pretty thick on the roof, doesn't even look like they prepped the metal very well.

    Okay, I'm done with the story now. Thanks again for the input.

    David M.
     
  4. Nu24wd

    Nu24wd Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 3

    Ooops...

    After taking a second look and closely examining the front axle... it does only have 10 bolts (like the Dana 44), but there a few differences to make me believe that is only the GM 10-bolt axle. Oh well, such is life.

    Also, I forgot to ask one question in the last post. When I am coming to a stop there is a slight clunk sound from somewhere in the passenger's side front. There are a lot of things up in that corner that I could suspect. My first thought was the brakes, but it doesn't happen when I apply the brakes, it's after I have and the truck is really slowed down, just before it actually stops. Could this be a U-joint or should I be looking further front at the joint at the end of the axle (sorry, don't have a clue what this is called)??

    And this question just came to me... something my cousin mentioned earlier today... He has an old later 70's 4x4 that got really messed up a couple years ago. Over the years, parts have been pulled and there just isn't much left of it. However, the t-case is still there. He tells me that he added "shift on the fly" to it and wants to trade me the t-case for a small 9" color TV I have (that I got for free). Does this sound like a good idea, or should I stick with what I have now?

    Thanks again... and again, and again, and again... :)

    David M.
     
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Actually, that NP 203 you have now, was shift on the fly. The decal on the top of the sun visor, with shifting instructions, says you can shift into 4wd H Loc at speeds below 55 MPH. This is in part due to the fact that there were no locking hubs on the truck. The front axle was always "locked" in. Shifting into 4wd on the fly is no benefit, if you have to get out and lock the hubs. It also makes no sense to drive around with the hubs locked.

    You don't have to come to a complete stop to shift into 4wd, but you must have the hubs locked before shifting into 4wd.

    As for that clunk, my 77 makes a similar sound, and I drove myself nuts trying to find it. I got to the point where I just live with it. I checked everything so many times, I have no idea what it can be. Keep in mind, what I have is a slight clunk, that could even be the body shifting slightly on the mounts. If yours is louder, then you might want to check everything over.

    If the speedo didn't bounce with the adapter installed, I'd suspect that is the problem. I have never had to replace an adapter, so I am unsure, but would suspect it. For some reason, my 77 Chevy with the NP 203 doesn't have the adapter, but my 80 GMC with the NP 205 does have the adapter. I don't know what determines the need for the adapter. Maybe John Di Martino knows something about this? John, are you reading all this? Alan? How about you?

    ~Chuck