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#4651469 - 01/30/18 06:44 PM '88 GMC from some guy's backyard
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
It was almost exactly one year ago that I got this barely running pile of truck out of some guy's backyard. I actually drove it 30 miles home, despite having no TV cable, a broken accessory drive bracket, no exhaust system, and an engine that would idle fine but wouldn't do much else other than smoke.



The original window sticker was folded up with the owner's manual. It suggests that it has lived its entire life in and around this town. Old registrations show that the first owner was a paper comapny for at least the first ten years of its life. The odometer reads 109K, and I almost believe it, but it doesn't really matter.



It passed to at least two other owners before I got it, and they negleted it pretty badly.
For example, these are the U-bolts that were holding the rear axle on:



I have worked on it nearly every weekend, and it is finally what I would say is mechanically sound and reliable. The major components were okay, but nearly every sensor, electrical circuit, and fluid needed attention. Everything on the TBI unit, the fuel pump, and the entire steering linkage was bad.
Now that it is reliable, I have finally been able to work on other things, such as throwing a mini-spool in the rear end and painting it red (very important). I also threw on some 1.5" lift blocks when I replaced the scary U-bolts, and leveled the front torsion bars to match. Nothing crazy here.



It is a truck for the woods. I have several acres of wooded land that need work, and this is the land truck. I need it to be reliable and not get stuck in the mud out there. Next on the list is finishing the exhaust system with a complete tailpipe, a new set of mud tires on a second set of freshly painted steel wheels, and a new tool box for the bed. Believe it or not, I even did an R134a conversion and had the A/C working, but then it all leaked out the front compressor seal. So it will get a new compressor before this summer. Land truck. cool
_________________________
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh

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#4651475 - 01/30/18 06:51 PM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
That's awesome! That's a real truck. Glad to see it get another lease on life, keep posting pics please!
_________________________
15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)

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#4651491 - 01/30/18 07:08 PM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
Bottom_Feeder Offline


Registered: 12/07/08
Posts: 3013
Loc: Occupied Virginia
That body style is a future classic. Very clean. Love the short bed and 4WD.

Perfect candidate for a junkyard LS/LQ swap... wink

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#4651565 - 01/30/18 08:42 PM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5526
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Tall skinny tires that can dig down through a mud layer to find traction laugh Naturals on that truck (16" rims right?).

Now that you have three wheeled drive any time you want it, it should not get stuck (much) ... Mud is afraid of red dif covers laugh

I like tool boxes along the sides over the wheel wells. Easy to load the heavy stuff like cables and chains in the rear of the box where they do the most to help keep going smile

Also like good D rings on both bumpers and plenty of hitch options. I like Hidden Hitch brand receivers because they are tucked in pretty well and don't get hung up on as much laugh smile
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4651571 - 01/30/18 08:47 PM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: Bottom_Feeder]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Bottom_Feeder
That body style is a future classic. Very clean. Love the short bed and 4WD.

Perfect candidate for a junkyard LS/LQ swap... wink


If the 4.3 ever gives up, of course it will be replaced by a V8. But which one? Anything could happen. Junkyard LS motors are pretty cheap these days. grin
_________________________
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh

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#4651575 - 01/30/18 08:51 PM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: BrocLuno]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
Tall skinny tires that can dig down through a mud layer to find traction laugh Naturals on that truck (16" rims right?).

Now that you have three wheeled drive any time you want it, it should not get stuck (much) ... Mud is afraid of red dif covers laugh

I like tool boxes along the sides over the wheel wells. Easy to load the heavy stuff like cables and chains in the rear of the box where they do the most to help keep going smile

Also like good D rings on both bumpers and plenty of hitch options. I like Hidden Hitch brand receivers because they are tucked in pretty well and don't get hung up on as much laugh smile


I already got the tool box. It's a big jobsite box, so not easy to get into from the ground. I was playing around with the idea of building a flatbed, but that is a long way off. I'll wait until at least one more bed mount rots off.


Bumpers? It only has a front bumper. Were rear bumpers optional in '88? It's not on the window sticker. But it has a good rear hitch receiver.

As for tires, I was considering LT235/85R16. Tall and skinny.


Edited by eyeofthetiger (01/30/18 08:53 PM)
_________________________
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh

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#4651655 - 01/30/18 11:56 PM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 16981
Loc: Michigan
Very cool!
_________________________
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford

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#4651658 - 01/31/18 12:00 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10129
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: eyeofthetiger
Bumpers? It only has a front bumper. Were rear bumpers optional in '88? It's not on the window sticker. But it has a good rear hitch receiver. .
Lol you're joking right?
_________________________
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 79k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 228k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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#4651659 - 01/31/18 12:01 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
NothingNew Offline


Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 139
Loc: WA state, USA
Originally Posted By: eyeofthetiger

Bumpers? It only has a front bumper. Were rear bumpers optional in '88? It's not on the window sticker. But it has a good rear hitch receiver.



The rear bumper was optional in 1988 if it's the same as the Chevrolet pickup. Kind of interesting: https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm...rolet-Truck.pdf

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#4651679 - 01/31/18 01:47 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: Nick1994]
c502cid Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1003
Loc: Elizabeth. Colorado
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Originally Posted By: eyeofthetiger
Bumpers? It only has a front bumper. Were rear bumpers optional in '88? It's not on the window sticker. But it has a good rear hitch receiver. .
Lol you're joking right?


Yes they were optional until the late 80's. I sold rear aftermarket step bumpers for pickups from 1985-1989 and thought I was a pretty good salesman until all the manufacturers came out with the steering wheel, tires, and rear bumper package. I wasn't such a good salesman after that...lol


Edited by c502cid (01/31/18 01:47 AM)
_________________________
17 SuperDuty 6.2 4x4
15 Chev Trax AWD
02 GMC 3500 8.1/Allison 4x4
00 Blazer 4x4
97/98 Civic's
84 Chev K30 454EFI 4x4
71 GMC Jimmy 502 RamJet

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#4651696 - 01/31/18 03:14 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
Chris B. Offline


Registered: 03/16/03
Posts: 3459
Loc: Colorado
Awesome truck!!! If you take car of them(which you obviously do) they last forever. Here is mine which is a few years newer and has 85,000 total miles:






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#4651756 - 01/31/18 07:18 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: Chris B.]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5257
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
The parking ramp in the OP's first photo is what kept that truck alive, I'm told. Parking on bare earth would've prompted rust.
LOVE the $14,000 sticker total.

REALLY LOVE the blue truck's color. Nice stuff both.

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#4651846 - 01/31/18 09:13 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: eyeofthetiger]
WyrTwister Offline


Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1532
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: eyeofthetiger
It was almost exactly one year ago that I got this barely running pile of truck out of some guy's backyard. I actually drove it 30 miles home, despite having no TV cable, a broken accessory drive bracket, no exhaust system, and an engine that would idle fine but wouldn't do much else other than smoke.



The original window sticker was folded up with the owner's manual. It suggests that it has lived its entire life in and around this town. Old registrations show that the first owner was a paper comapny for at least the first ten years of its life. The odometer reads 109K, and I almost believe it, but it doesn't really matter.



Just replace the seal yourself .

It passed to at least two other owners before I got it, and they negleted it pretty badly.
For example, these are the U-bolts that were holding the rear axle on:



I have worked on it nearly every weekend, and it is finally what I would say is mechanically sound and reliable. The major components were okay, but nearly every sensor, electrical circuit, and fluid needed attention. Everything on the TBI unit, the fuel pump, and the entire steering linkage was bad.
Now that it is reliable, I have finally been able to work on other things, such as throwing a mini-spool in the rear end and painting it red (very important). I also threw on some 1.5" lift blocks when I replaced the scary U-bolts, and leveled the front torsion bars to match. Nothing crazy here.



It is a truck for the woods. I have several acres of wooded land that need work, and this is the land truck. I need it to be reliable and not get stuck in the mud out there. Next on the list is finishing the exhaust system with a complete tailpipe, a new set of mud tires on a second set of freshly painted steel wheels, and a new tool box for the bed. Believe it or not, I even did an R134a conversion and had the A/C working, but then it all leaked out the front compressor seal. So it will get a new compressor before this summer. Land truck. cool
_________________________
Wyr
God bless

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#4651925 - 01/31/18 10:05 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: Chris B.]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Chris B.
Awesome truck!!! If you take car of them(which you obviously do) they last forever. Here is mine which is a few years newer and has 85,000 total miles:







I don't know if mine will ever look that clean again, but I will at least keep it running well.
_________________________
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh

Top
#4651938 - 01/31/18 10:13 AM Re: '88 GMC from some guy's backyard [Re: WyrTwister]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: WyrTwister
Originally Posted By: eyeofthetiger
It was almost exactly one year ago that I got this barely running pile of truck out of some guy's backyard. I actually drove it 30 miles home, despite having no TV cable, a broken accessory drive bracket, no exhaust system, and an engine that would idle fine but wouldn't do much else other than smoke.



The original window sticker was folded up with the owner's manual. It suggests that it has lived its entire life in and around this town. Old registrations show that the first owner was a paper comapny for at least the first ten years of its life. The odometer reads 109K, and I almost believe it, but it doesn't really matter.



Just replace the seal yourself .

It passed to at least two other owners before I got it, and they negleted it pretty badly.
For example, these are the U-bolts that were holding the rear axle on:



I have worked on it nearly every weekend, and it is finally what I would say is mechanically sound and reliable. The major components were okay, but nearly every sensor, electrical circuit, and fluid needed attention. Everything on the TBI unit, the fuel pump, and the entire steering linkage was bad.
Now that it is reliable, I have finally been able to work on other things, such as throwing a mini-spool in the rear end and painting it red (very important). I also threw on some 1.5" lift blocks when I replaced the scary U-bolts, and leveled the front torsion bars to match. Nothing crazy here.



It is a truck for the woods. I have several acres of wooded land that need work, and this is the land truck. I need it to be reliable and not get stuck in the mud out there. Next on the list is finishing the exhaust system with a complete tailpipe, a new set of mud tires on a second set of freshly painted steel wheels, and a new tool box for the bed. Believe it or not, I even did an R134a conversion and had the A/C working, but then it all leaked out the front compressor seal. So it will get a new compressor before this summer. Land truck. cool


The compressor seal? Well, that's not the only thing wrong with it. The clutch is sticky and the pulley bearing is rough. If I get that deep into it, I'll probably end up tearing the whole thing apart. Maybe I can save it and do a rebuild on it later, but a new compressor is about $150.
_________________________
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh

Top
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