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Builds and Journals This is where the magic happens. Photograph & document your GMC build progress for posterity.
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  #11  
Old October 26th, 2019, 05:45 AM
LordNatedawg LordNatedawg is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

It's been almost two weeks. Time for a progress update? I surely think so!

First off, I tried to remove the old crossmember about a week ago. Got all the bolts out; most of them were not even torqued down. Kinda scary. After removing the bolts and brake lines, it was time to drop the crossmember. I jacked up the truck, put jack stands under the frame, removed the tires, then lowered the jack. The idea was that the crossmember would fall out now that the tires weren't holding it up. That didn't happen. Instead, my engine sagged. The previous owner got the motor mounts backwards. Instead of fixing his mistake, he made it permanent. He welded the motor mounts to the old crossmember. Took a week to cut and break those welds. Not a lot of room to work with, and I couldn't use a grinder or dremel near the passenger side mount. The fuel pump is in close proximity and mine has a slight leak from a cracked hose. (I still need to swap the motor mounts)

After getting the welds broken, the crossmember finally came out. Putting in the new one proved to be challenging by myself. Ended up calling my brother to help out. Once it was in, however, it was smooth sailing. All new control arms, all new wheel bearings, new slotted and drilled rotors, brand new spindles, new coil springs and shock absobers. This front suspension is 100% new. Only one issue is left to solve: My bottom bolts for my shock absorbers don't work with the new lower control arms. The nut doesn't sit deep enough in the recess for the bolt to feed through. And the bolt is a little too long. What I'll probably end up doing is grinding down the nut until it fits and getting a shorter bolt (or use a lock+flat washer).

Question: The driver's side shock stud was loose. From my research, I believe that is a common issue with these trucks. It will work itself loose or crack the frame. Is there a "fix" for that?
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  #12  
Old October 26th, 2019, 09:38 PM
James James is offline
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Truck: 1964 GMC 1500 2wd
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Quote:
Question: The driver's side shock stud was loose. From my research, I believe that is a common issue with these trucks. It will work itself loose or crack the frame. Is there a "fix" for that?
If I'm not mistaken the original shocks came with the stud made on the shocks. When they were replaced the first time you had to installed the studs then the shocks. The problem is that when the studs get installed they did not properly tighten the nuts (due to lack of access to the nut). This resulting in elongating the mounting holes and or cracking the holes.

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Might had been the same person that installed the shocks also installed the engine mounts (welded)/crossmember (loose bolts). I also found the studs was loose on my 1979 pickup (the other company that we won't mention that has a similar body style) when I had the engine out, I made sure they were tight.
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  #13  
Old October 28th, 2019, 08:59 PM
LordNatedawg LordNatedawg is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Quote:
If I'm not mistaken the original shocks came with the stud made on the shocks. When they were replaced the first time you had to installed the studs then the shocks. The problem is that when the studs get installed they did not properly tighten the nuts (due to lack of access to the nut).
You're correct on all of this. Did some more research. Original shocks did have the studs built into them. As for changing them....it is extremely difficult to reach the nut. I got the driver's side torqued to 70ish ft-lbs. Passenger side is less than 60 ft-lbs. Both need to be 140 ft-lbs. Very tight working space and I'm pushing the torque wrench above my head.

Not sure how I'm gonna get those torqued to spec.
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  #14  
Old October 29th, 2019, 01:54 AM
James James is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Quote:
You're correct on all of this. Did some more research. Original shocks did have the studs built into them. As for changing them....it is extremely difficult to reach the nut. I got the driver's side torqued to 70ish ft-lbs. Passenger side is less than 60 ft-lbs. Both need to be 140 ft-lbs. Very tight working space and I'm pushing the torque wrench above my head.

Not sure how I'm gonna get those torqued to spec.
What you need is to rent/borrow a torque multiplier. The one I have has a 4:1 ratio. I have use it alot on torquing the pinion nut on the rear axle. To buy one your putting out over $250.00.

Here is a video on how to use one (this is the type I have).


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The only thing I can add to the video is to be sure the torque multiplier is anchor to the frame to prevent it from moving, I use a chain to hold it.
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  #15  
Old October 29th, 2019, 07:31 AM
WE7X WE7X is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

140 Ft. Lbs. torque seems like an awful lot for a shock absorber mounting bolt?? a that torque, it sounds like it would need to be at least a 9/16" or 5/8" bolt. Are they that big?
I think, from a somewhat suspicious memory, a 1/2" un-plated grade 8 bolt has a max spec of about 120 Ft. Lbs.
I have no specific reference for that bolt, but I would be sure that is the correct spec,, before torquing it to that level.
Most wheel studs are not more than 90-100 Ft. Lbs.
Rod Johnson
Issaquah, WA
1970 GMC RM-7500 401M
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  #16  
Old October 29th, 2019, 07:05 PM
LordNatedawg LordNatedawg is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Quote:
140 Ft. Lbs. torque seems like an awful lot for a shock absorber mounting bolt?? a that torque, it sounds like it would need to be at least a 9/16" or 5/8" bolt. Are they that big?
I think, from a somewhat suspicious memory, a 1/2" un-plated grade 8 bolt has a max spec of about 120 Ft. Lbs.
I have no specific reference for that bolt, but I would be sure that is the correct spec,, before torquing it to that level.
Most wheel studs are not more than 90-100 Ft. Lbs.
Rod Johnson
Issaquah, WA
1970 GMC RM-7500 401M
I would estimate the bolt to be at least 9/16". It is the stud that mounts to the frame. The nut that mounts the shock absorber to the stud is only torqued to 60ft-lbs (as well as the bolt that mounts the shock to the control arm).

I'll admit that these torque specs didn't come from my 60-66 factory manual. They came from my 1974 GMC service manual. The shock absorbers I ordered will fit my 66 1500 as well as 1974 2500s (according to Summit Racing), therefore it is safe to assume that the torque specs are the same. Again, this is the nut on the inside of the frame that is only for mounting the stud to the frame.

Quote:
What you need is to rent/borrow a torque multiplier. The one I have has a 4:1 ratio. I have use it alot on torquing the pinion nut on the rear axle. To buy one your putting out over $250.00.
I never even knew those existed, but I knew I wanted/needed one! Lol

Couldn't find anyplace online that seems to rent them. I'll start asking friends and neighbors. If I can't borrow one, $250 is not that much money for something like that. I know of a few future tasks that may require it.
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  #17  
Old October 30th, 2019, 01:30 AM
James James is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Quote:

I never even knew those existed, but I knew I wanted/needed one! Lol

Couldn't find anyplace online that seems to rent them. I'll start asking friends and neighbors. If I can't borrow one, $250 is not that much money for something like that. I know of a few future tasks that may require it.
Here one on amazon.com for $328.17.


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I had my Snap-On for over 25 years, man the price gone up dramatically. In my 64 GMC manual the torque for the upper nut is 130-150 ft-lbs.

Last edited by James; October 30th, 2019 at 01:34 AM. Reason: Adding info.
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  #18  
Old November 2nd, 2019, 03:06 AM
LordNatedawg LordNatedawg is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Got some good news and some bad news.

Good news first: I don't have to worry about the shock absorber stud. I went to my local auto shop (I know the owner) and asked if he knew where I could borrow a torque multiplier. He said that when I bring my truck in for an alignment, he would torque down everything that I tell him to. So that is covered. I'll save up for a multiplier though, because I still will need it in the future.

Bad news now: I started on my brakes. Got the old booster removed, and the new one doesn't line up with any of the holes. I swear, nothing can ever be "easy" on this truck. Lol.

I see a couple possible solutions to my problem.
1. I might be able to reuse the old brackets
2. I may be able to make my own brackets
3. I might be able to gut the new brake booster to repair the old one
4. I found a bracket on Ebay that may help....maybe.

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Hard to tell with just a picture of the bracket. Don't know if I want to gamble $40 to find out.

I'll probably go with option 2. I could copy the Ebay bracket, except I would be able to make sure it fits and I could do it for a lot cheaper.

When you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself. I like the idea of adding something to this truck that I made myself. Even if it's something as simple as a bracket.
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File Type: jpg 20191101_171129[1].jpg (2.48 MB, Multiple views, 6 clicks)
File Type: jpg 20191101_175319[1].jpg (3.18 MB, Multiple views, 3 clicks)
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Last edited by LordNatedawg; November 2nd, 2019 at 03:12 AM. Reason: Add link for reference
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  #19  
Old November 2nd, 2019, 01:51 PM
James James is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

Quote:
Got some good news and some bad news.

Good news first: I don't have to worry about the shock absorber stud. I went to my local auto shop (I know the owner) and asked if he knew where I could borrow a torque multiplier. He said that when I bring my truck in for an alignment, he would torque down everything that I tell him to. So that is covered. I'll save up for a multiplier though, because I still will need it in the future.

Bad news now: I started on my brakes. Got the old booster removed, and the new one doesn't line up with any of the holes. I swear, nothing can ever be "easy" on this truck. Lol.

I see a couple possible solutions to my problem.
1. I might be able to reuse the old brackets
2. I may be able to make my own brackets
3. I might be able to gut the new brake booster to repair the old one
4. I found a bracket on Ebay that may help....maybe.

To view some links or images in this forum your post count must be 1 or greater. You currently have 0 posts. Maybe you should introduce yourself with a new topic?


Hard to tell with just a picture of the bracket. Don't know if I want to gamble $40 to find out.

I'll probably go with option 2. I could copy the Ebay bracket, except I would be able to make sure it fits and I could do it for a lot cheaper.

When you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself. I like the idea of adding something to this truck that I made myself. Even if it's something as simple as a bracket.
When I converted from manual/drum brakes to disc/power brakes this is what I did:


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With our truck we sometime have to make some changes/mods to the auto part store parts to make it fit our truck.

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  #20  
Old November 2nd, 2019, 09:34 PM
snazzypig snazzypig is offline
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Default Re: "Papa Smurf" - 1966 GMC 1500 Custom

LordNatedawg, There is another forum called "The 1947-Present Chevrolet & Gmc Truck Message Board Network". A member there, Captainfab, fabricates all kinds of adapter brackets for master cylinders etc. He has a great reputation for making quality parts and is very reasonable. I would contact him first. He probably has what you need.
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