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Boaty's '79 King Cab

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Woo! After months and months of waiting, I finally found my truck! Popped up on good old Craigslist, went and checked it out - and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to pick it up. The price is right, there's no rust hardly at all (surface rust in exposed areas) and was exactly what I have been on the lookout for. A 78/79 King Cab, that isn't rusted out, and doesn't need much body work, and doesn't have an engine - for a reasonable fee.


It's a '79, unfortunately it has a 4-speed which if I can find a good truck 5-speed, it's gonna be one of the first major things I get done. I hate 4-speeds and I am not sure I could cope without a 5 speed. I have my L20B that I ripped out of the 510 when I started the KA24DE swap, sitting on an engine stand just collecting dust and rust all the bad stuff it must. So it finally has a new home!


I purchased it out of Selma, OR, but it apparently was parked and pretty much abandoned back in 2005 or 2006 because they threw a rod through the block. The previous owner ripped it apart, lost interest, and never got around to putting it back together. I've never seen a hole in the side of an L-block before. I've seen all sorts of carnage dozens of times from broken rods, holed pistons, blown out cylinder skirts, one broken crank, tore up guts, but never once have I seen a hole in the side of one. Especially, right behind the engine mount on the driver's side. Nuts.


Anyways long story short, I picked this baby up for $300. It has minimal dents in the bed, no rust, the cab is solid as a rock, all the glass is there and in 90% shape. I believe I'll be putting in a rear slider, since I BELIEVE I have one sitting in the parts heap still from a long long ago project that I forgot about until right now. Hah. Everything is there. Center console is in okay shape, the dash is cracked in the usual places but isn't falling apart and cleaned up nicely enough. Even came with a carpet dash mat, which is probably the first on a list of things to buy anyways. Saved myself a few bucks. Woo!


Like I said it's a 4-speed and has the usual worn all to hell bushings, so that'll be getting fixed as soon as my L20B gets slapped in. The interior isn't perfect, but it's in decent shape. Just needs some tender loving care and a lot of elbow grease. The previous drivers were obviously heavy smokers, since there's smoke stains on the dash above the full-of-butts ashtray. This truck even has Air Conditioning! Or... did. The condensor is still installed in front, and the under-dash A/C unit is installed still. Not sure if anything works, but, I don't think it'll be cost effective to try and make everything run again. Never dealt with A/C before and I'm not sure that I want to. The glove box 'hinge' is also destroyed.. I assume it was just pressed out plastic like a 510? I'll figure out a fix for that some day.


I have a short list of things I need to look into buying to get this back on the road. Nothing major. But I'm going to need to find a radiator, an ignition assembly (my brother's truck he picked up today had a new-in-box ignition switch/cylinder, but no key... I need the assembly that actually goes around the column.) I'm gonna need to figure out the shift boot thing, and how the center consoles mount up.


Food for thought, but I'm confident that a 510 carpet kit would PROBABLY work in a king cab with a few more cuts. I'll have to measure and see. Might not fit perfect but sure beats the hell out of non-carpet floors! The stock seats are pretty worn out, and since my brother's is a driver at the moment and had crap seats from.. a minivan? Or something? We just ripped my seats out and put them in his for the time being. Definitely need to get some more seats!


Anyways. Too much typing not enough pictures. So here you go. Updates to come in due time!










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I thought only '79 had that chrome trim package only. Oh Well. Thats a great find. Did he still have all the A/C stuff? Also, I sold a 5 speed to Jerry a few years ago and I thought he said he doesnt need it or decided something else. So you might want to talk to him.


Ill have to come over soon. My days are pretty free.



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I purchased it out of Selma, OR, but it apparently was parked and pretty much abandoned back in 2005 or 2006 because they threw a rod through the block. The previous owner ripped it apart, lost interest, and never got around to putting it back together. I've never seen a hole in the side of an L-block before. I've seen all sorts of carnage dozens of times from broken rods, holed pistons, blown out cylinder skirts, one broken crank, tore up guts, but never once have I seen a hole in the side of one. Especially, right behind the engine mount on the driver's side. Nuts.


I had the same thing on a Jeep Cherokee 2.5L from a broken piston rod exact same place to.


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good score dude! i moved down to the rogue valley last year- i still can't believe how much awesome stuff people have parked in pastures around here. there is a b210 hatchback sitting in a field out toward selma that i keep seeing, i need to stop and check it out. i've got a bunch of random dash knobs and relays for a 78, if you need anything you can have it. i haven't made it to the medford meet yet, but if you are coming out let me know i will drag my lazy ass over to sonic.

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Well, Farmer - you nailed it. It's actually a '79 according to the DMV.

Funny little story to go along with it so I'll share.


I bought the truck in Selma. That guy bought it a few years ago from somebody but never transferred the title or had any paperwork. The guy HE bought it from, failed to do so as well. Well, he is the one that blew the engine and parked the truck never to be touched again until I came around. Well I went to the DMV so I could get the ball rolling on the paperwork. Had a bill of sale, all the info I needed - only to find out the notarized affidavit I filed isn't even required, all I needed was the bill of sale I was given from the most recent posessor. Well the DMV gave me the info needed so I could send the bill of sale and release of interest form, along with the replacement title application. Since the guy was semi-local (last registered owner), my brother and I decided to take a drive out to Cave Junction so I could see if I could just have him sign the forms in person and avoid the snail mail waiting game.


Well we got out there, to be greeted by two armed hippies! The old man (previous owner) was super sketch at first, and walked up all funny like. What I assume was his son or brother, was in the house in the window with a double barreled smooth bore. The old man ended up being the last owner, looked like he was possibly disabled and wore a sling made from an old t-shirt. He was wearing a leather vest, and had an old miner's hat with long straight salt and pepper hair down to his ass. My brother and I concluded he was an anorexic Charlie effin' Daniels. Once he came up to the gate, I explained the situation and he was more than happy to sign the papers - and was actually really, really nice. So, I don't have to wait for any snail mail processing and such, he was more than willing to sign everything over and explain what happened with the truck. He sold it 6 or 7 years ago, and said it was running and driving when he sold it. So the next guy must have been the one to blow the engine.


Didn't get a lot of history on the truck, but long story short - met a pretty cool old guy that likes Datto's and that's just freakin' cool.

So I just have to go to the DMV and turn in the paper work and pay the $77 for a new title transfer, and once the title comes in the mail - it'll be 100% official!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, over the years I've heard of LOTS of people just ditching vehicles and sending them in for body and paint because their paint is just too far gone. It's 'haggard' and 'dull' and no amount of washing or waxing will fix it.


Well mine looked like it was pretty close but, I had faith.

So, have some faith people. I did this by hand, and still have one more compound to go - and of course sealant and wax will go over the top of it.


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looks great! do you have a mobile service? :D


Kind of, I don't do it a lot and I usually end up doing it in my yard. But it's sub-par since I live on a hideous granite driveway (see my 510 thread).

It shined up really nice, lots better than I expected. But the rest of the truck has yet to show it's true colors just yet. I'm not expecting it to come out that nice over the entire truck, but the cab is in decent shape. It'll take a *lot* of elbow grease to get it all out like this. And there are lots of paint flaws here and there where it's bubbling up.. it's a repaint over the original color.


But yeah, I'll get to working on it over the next few weeks here and there.


Thanks ^_^

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  • 1 month later...

So this project has been sitting on the back burner and such, waiting for me to get my L20B installed and such.

Going to grab a gasket kit and fix the leaks on my L20B since I have to swap oil pans anyways. It'll get a new timing cover set, rear main seal, and obviously a new oil pan gasket.


Running into a few issues here and there, though. Such as - I'd really like to find the linkage kit(s) for using SU's in a 620 without coming up with some fancy linkage set up. Having not seen anybody elses up close and personal, it makes it really hard not having a fab shop or anywhere to really come up with something - plus I have never had to do it before. The LOKAR cable set up seems to be the choice of everybody not using the stock linkage, but it doesn't help me figure out the linkage pieces between the SU Carburettor's. I have a feeling I'll never find the 620/SU linkage bits... I haven't seen anybody talking about them before.


If somebody has these bits sitting around, let me know! I'd like to buy the set up if possible, and if they aren't for sale - I'd like to at least get a good look at them so I can come up with my own. It's really the only thing holding me back at the moment. Kind of hoping I don't lose all my motivation to make this work and end up with a Weber or something. I really don't want to go that route as I love my SU's dearly! They were a part of my dime during it's build and it's gonna be a part of my truck now, if I can make it work!

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I have the 510 setup still (this is the engine that's out of my 510 when I yanked it for the KA/DE swap.)

I'd like to avoid using the stock linkage and get the right stuff. I'm anal.


BUT that being said, Jon - I actually thought about doing just that. Just go grab a cable cam off of <whatever> at the junkyard, weld it to the stock 510 rod, make a bracket for the cable (probably able to use a stock bracket off of something) and then use the rod going TO the firewall from the carb's with the cable cam. That was the first method I thought about, if I can't find the appropriate linkage. I may end up using a different cable of course, but honestly that's not a HUGE Deal. I can still use a Lokar cable if need-be.


All in due time, all in due time.


On a brighter note, yanked the flywheel off the L20B today, drained the oil, and went and bought some bits. New oil pan gasket (have to swap oil pans/pickups), timing cover gasket set, and a new rear main. Flywheel was rusty as hell but cleans up nice with a scotch brite pad so I'm just going to hit it with sand paper to clean it up. Even went so far as to buy a can of satin black engine enamel. =D

Next week in my spare time, I'll get to sanding and buffing the timing cover and valve cover, and maybe even the intake manifold (since it's been polished before, just needs to be hit with compound again).


Gettin' motivated!


Also installed a new steering column surround and ignition switch in the truck, going to put in the seats from a parts truck in soon and find some seat covers, and I am going to fat-mat and insulate the all living shit out of the cab. I thought a 510 was bad, you thwack a body panel in a 620 and it's like the inside of a dry tuna can. Absolutely unacceptable.


Oh - something to ask.. anybody have some pictures of an L16/18 early exhaust manifold in a 620? I have two styles of downpipes and two manifolds. I have an early mani with the ribs but no air injection (early) with the short y-pipe, and I have the one that came out of my car which is a divorced air-injection manifold (plugged, of course). I'm seeing that it looks to be a really, really tight fit with the long Y-pipe, and would like to get some pictures to bring to my exhaust guy when the time comes. No rush though. But I don't want to use the shorty y-pipe if possible, and the long-Y downpipe I had on the 510 has a brand new flange. Would like to re-use it, even if the exhaust guy has to re-design everything from the flange down.


Still going to run 2" all the way back like in the 510.

Already have the resonator I had in the dime from before the KA swap. So most everything is there already.


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Sure is a pretty L motor! And yes I have that exact manifold and was wanting to use it. Pride and joy mani that I just never got around to putting on. I even thought about sending it off to get extrude honed just for fun!


I actually went out after I posted before, and ripped off the timing cover and oil pan to take a look.. nice and clean. Thank you Royal Purple & Mobil1, for keeping my baby nice and squeaky clean. Just a little black in the bottom of the oil pan. And... I found the tip of a fly rod in the oil pan as well. What the hell?? No clue about that one haha.


Tomorrow going to buy a bucket of ChemDip for all the bolts, figure out what needs chased and helicoiled, etc - and start cleaning things up to put it back together. I want a leak free L-motor, damnit. Been a while since I got to experience that!

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Well the L20B is down to the long block now. Going to find time tomorrow to clean up and swap oil pans, and prep and paint the block. I think I am going to swap over to my ribbed smogless manifold, since I have it - I may as well use it. Painting it would be a waste of time since it's cast and I've NEVER had paint actually last on one before. I even used that fancy shmacny brush-on bright silver 1600F ceramic paint stuff, lasted about a month and went back to the standard rusty looking exhaust manifold color.


Block is going VHT Satin Black. Gloss stays cleaner and is easier TO clean but it doesn't show leaks as well, and flat paint just fades and turns chalky. I am debating on whether or not I want to put new soft plugs in. I have galvanized ones right now. None of them leak, but it's down this far I may as well?


Flywheel cleaned up nice with a palm sander and 220 grit. Just had surface rust, much better than I thought it was. Gave it a nice fresh coat of satin black as well. Flywheel looks all pretty - shame it's going to get hidden behind a plate and a bell housing. I rather like looking at it on the table.


No pics yet, I'll do that tomorrow.

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