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Long term K-35 project started

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by 75, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I've had most of the parts for a while now, I've finally decided it's time to get motivated and build the K-35 (1-ton 4x4) I've been thinking of for a long time.

    Although the parts truck in the pic is a crewcab, I'm going with the 131.5" wheelbase. Original plan was to shorten that frame, but looking at the rust and other damage in the rear portion of the frame I decided to use the back half of a C-35 (2wd) frame I had. (Around here at least, 1-ton 4x4 stuff is hard to find and $$$ if you do find it) That means swapping spring hangers, but that's easy - torch the rivets off and use 7/16" bolts to re-attach.

    Horse-trading with a friend who's also "into" trucks got me the dually axles I'm going to use - he had a set for his project truck but preferred to build a SRW one.

    Frame is spliced now, today I'm working on fish-plating the splice and strengthening any other potential problem areas such as around the steering box.

    Undecided right now as to whether this will be a second truck, or if I swap my '75 onto this frame. Lots of time to decide that - this is a l-o-n-g term project!

    k35 parts truck.jpg
  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Good luck Rob.
  3. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Why not keep the crew cab, and just make a short bed out of the rear. Nothing like plenty of cab room.
  4. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    one day when i learn enough mechanical skills to build a project truck , and find a garage or something around here (no room to work on projects in my garage) mayb i'll custom build a snowplowing truck or something. this project build up interests me. just think rob, a 4wd truck you could plow with and expand your business. if u didn't want a crew cab could u shorten it to be a supercab shortbed?

    keep us updated,

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2001
  5. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Good suggestions on the crewcab, but that cab was "lunched" anyway - I have a regular cab from an '81 4x4 that's already off the truck and ready to use.

    The more I think about it, the more I plan on putting this frame under the deck/front clip/etc I have now and stick with just having 1 truck: the way my '75 is configured now with the winch/wrecker/fifth wheel attachment it does pretty well everything I want it to. The 4x4 will just make it that much more versatile for the snow work.
  6. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Chev/GMC interchangability is a great thing for projects like this. The "basket case" truck shown here is one I picked up a few years ago (if I had known a bit more about 4x4's then I wouldn't have bought it!) and used as a beater yard truck for one winter.

    It's since gone on to the big parking lot in the sky, but the cab, engine and transmission will be used for the one I'm building. Transfer case is one part I still have to come up with - this truck had a chain drive but I prefer the gear drive for my application.

    basket case.jpg
  7. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    Find an old Mack B-61 cab for it.

  8. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Starting my own K35 Project soon

    Just agreed to buy a running K35 DRW cab and chassis for $500
    as a matter of fact, its the same truck that I wanted to buy last year, without the s.s. spreader and the 9' plow.

    I havent picked it up yet, but will soon. since they have to remove the water tank and spray rig from it.

    I cant wait to get started on it. I don't intend to rush this project, but I am hoping that it will be done for next winter.

    And YES, snow, when I get it, you can come and take some before shots, unless Santa brings me a digital cam.
  9. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    Jeff, now you'll have something worth me taking photos of ;). if u want me to snap some pix of it before, give me a PM or email. I'm off thursday and friday if your availible then.

  10. MTCK

    MTCK Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Rob- I'm green w/ envy!! Man that looks fun. Want to take my finals and I'll play with your truck project? So are you going to run a box or flat bed on it? Motorvation? Regular cab, with a standard length frame right? I saw a chevy pickup in a mag a few years ago, mid 80's with a custom made extended cab. Not a crew cab, and it looked nice. It was bright yellow and sorta show trucked out, so that was too bad. Good idea though. I always loved the way the late 70's Fords with the extended cabs looked. Keep us up to speed! Thanks

  11. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    MTCK - I'm pretty well settled on swapping my '75 stuff onto the 4x4 frame, so it'll have a similar (wrecker style) deck on it. Regular cab/131.5" wheelbase is the plan, and I also saw a club cab conversion on like you describe a Chev pickup this summer. It was well done and looked "factory", but since I prefer working with "heavy metal" as opposed to body metal, I'm going to limit my bodywork to cab corner/rocker/floor repairs - all the rest of the sheet metal is a simple bolt-on operation.

    I have a 350/4 spd on hand right now, just have to track down a gear-drive transfer case. Suspension is going to be pretty much stock, with the exception of some added leaves, and a 2" lift on the body.

    Biggest problem I have? Time or lack thereof. Fingers crossed, there will be time to do a bunch of fabbing on the frame over the new year weekend.
  12. stslawncare

    stslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    sounds like a project. good luck!!!!
  13. GMC4x4

    GMC4x4 Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    <<<I saw a chevy pickup in a mag a few years ago, mid 80's with a custom made extended cab. Not a crew cab, and it looked nice. It was bright yellow and sorta show trucked out, so that was too bad. Good idea though. I always loved the way the late 70's Fords with the extended cabs looked.>>>

    i remember a few years ago there was a guy who used to drive around in a mid 70's ford truck. he had two extended cabs on it. one facing forward and one facing backward. no matter which way it was going it always looked like it was coming at you. it was painted yellow and the guy had done a pretty good job on it, when it was sitting still you had to get right up to it to even tell which end was actually the front! pretty crazy looking truck.
  14. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Was burnin' today!

    Not literally (although I did come close a couple times :eek: ) but on the 4x4 project: front springs are off and on their way to the spring shop where the pros can put new life in them - bushings and add/replace leaves as required.

    With them out of the way the work of double-framing (adding another layer of plate to the web) is underway. Cardboard patterns are cut & fit, then the outline traced onto 3/16" plate and torch cut. For the most part, it's a "freehand to the line" operation cutting them since the frame has plenty of subtle curves, especially at the front end where I was working today.

    Once the pieces are cleaned up, they get clamped on & tack-welded in numerous places. Then "weld all around" - I'm using the stick machine and 6013 for this job.

    It's a bit of a tedious operation so I just tackle it in managable doses, right now it's about 1/3 completed.

    LOT of work to do yet but it's progress. :)
  15. MTCK

    MTCK Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Sweeeeeeet! Still have the camera rolling? I'm following most of what you're saying, but you know what they say about a picture..... :) Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing.
  16. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Been taking photos, but............

    ........................since I still use a camera that requires film (remember that stuff? ;) ) they aren't ready yet.

    More progress today though: As of now the double-frame work is complete from the middle of the cab up to the front of the frame. Steering box is bolted back on, as is the front crossmember (I took it off to make the double-framing easier)

    Need to get new engine mounts, but the mounting brackets for them are bolted back onto the frame now too.

    Things like the front crossmember, which were riveted from the factory, I remove by torching the rivet head off close to the surface - careful not to gouge the frame! :eek: - and grinding it down flush. Then drive it out with a tapered pin and decent-size hammer. To re-install, drill the holes out to 7/16" and use Grade 8 hardware.

    Still to be done is the rest of the double-framing on the back half, then I have to start "disassembling" another one of the donor trucks for some components.
  17. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Good plan Rob. Better to use bolts over welding. You want it to be removable and even though you want a stiff frame you need to allow for a little flex. Can't wait to see the progress.
  18. RTallday

    RTallday Member
    Messages: 79


    Good luck with the K-35. Looks good and sounds like itll be great when its done. Glad you are using the DRW setup.

  19. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Hi Rich - been a while since I saw you "on-line"! ;)

    Bit by bit, getting closer to being a truck: Front springs back on and some more 3/16" plate has found it's way onto the frame.

    After finding out what they cost ($270/side for the mains, $70/side for the helpers, Cdn $ of course :( ) I've pretty well decided to go with all brand new for the rear springs as opposed to rebush/rebuild what I've got now.
  20. RTallday

    RTallday Member
    Messages: 79

    Hi there, just wanted to share some stuff about the 30 series trucks. A friend of mine sold one over the summer, a 77 2wd with a 454, TH400 factory air, crew cab, long bed. It was the camper special. Was in great shape when he sold it. Also had all vynal interior with power windows. Nice shape. Another friend of mine recently finished one, was origionally a 78 i THINK, but he put the front clip from a 90 pickup on it, and made it 4wd, with a 4 speed 350 motor. If i can get a pic scanned, ill send it to you. Also, i guess the first guys truck the 77, his name is Rich also, would be a C-30, and the second, which is owned by Brad, would now be a K-30? Just making sure im with the program. Thanks