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Truck Tech Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
Corbeau Baja RS Suspension Seats
Summit Racing
Corbeau Sliding Seat Bracket DS
Summit Racing
Corbeau Sliding Seat Bracket PS
Summit Racing
Dayco No Slack Automatic Belt Tensioner
Summit Racing
Dayco No Slack Idler Pulley
Summit Racing
Earl's Performance Analog Fuel Pressure Gauge
Summit Racing
Holley LS Engine Accessory Drive Kit
Summit Racing
Rugged Ridge Ultimate Locking Console
Summit Racing
Summit Racing® Alternator
Summit Racing
Tanks Inc. GM LS Fuel Line Kit
Summit Racing
Walbro Electric In-Tank Fuel Pump
Matco Tools
Matco Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to Truck Tech
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, and Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Narrator)>> Why call our '88 K-1500 project "RedTide"? Because we tied all four wheels together making it an all-wheel drive traction monster. Today the five-three LS gets topped off, including an upgraded fuel system. Plus we'll introduce you to the newest member of our team.

♪ ♪

(LT)>> Welcome to the shop. Today we're gonna be working on "Project RedTide". Now we're smack dab in the middle of an LS swap and we just finished up a conversion to all-wheel drive, making this '88 K-1500 truly a unique build. Now it has a 400 horsepower five point three sitting in between the frame rails but we haven't heard it run yet. So today that's what I'm gonna focus on. I need to finish up some plumbing, and then get some accessories bolted onto the front end of this engine, and then just maybe we'll hear it run. Our truck came equipped with a t-b-i style fuel system that put out around 12 pounds of fuel pressure, which just isn't gonna cut it for that five point three. So basically we're starting over. I grabbed a factory style in tank fuel pump assembly, and the only reason I did that is because our stock lines on the outside are actually fairly rusty, and I didn't want to risk it. And that's the same case for the hard lines that run down the frame. Now this pump again isn't gonna cut it. So I'm replacing it with a Walbro 255 liter per hour in tank electric fuel pump. Then the next stop that the fuel's gonna make is to this GM fuel pressure regulator and filter assembly that we got in a kit from Summit Racing that comes with hose and push locked fittings that we need to complete the installation. Next up we need a way to drive the accessories on the front of the engine. So I grabbed another kit from Summit Racing that came with everything we need, like an air conditioning compressor, passenger side brackets, tensioners, idlers, power steering reservoir, driver's side brackets, power steering pump, and the alternator, and we're gonna get our installation started on the driver's side of the engine. This accessory drive will work with many different LS engines, and the spacer you need depends on your water pump and harmonic balancer. Both of ours are from a truck application. The bracket for the power steering reservoir goes on with the top two bolts. Now the power steering pump bolts into the lower portion of the bracket, and a smooth idler pulley goes on. Next the alternator slides into place, and their reservoir and hose for the power steering system now slide in, and a spring clamp holds it in place. The passenger's side bracket goes on with two long bolts and a short Allen head screw. [ drill spinning ] ♪ ♪

(LT)>> With a small spacer the spring loaded belt tensioner goes on, followed by the a/c compressor, and a grooved idler pulley finishes up the accessory drive. ♪ ♪ Now we'll install some O-rings and attach the original a/c line to the back with the pump. We'll attach a five-eighths and three quarter inch hose to the heater core, mark for length, trim the hose, and attach the other end to the LS water pump. ♪ ♪ When you're shopping for all the small parts that you'll need to complete your engine swap it can be very tempting to go out and get some custom one off parts because they usually look great and function even better. Now I always like to think about servicing the vehicle later on. Let's say for example you have an upper radiator hose that's made from a-n line and fittings. You're on a road trim and that hose springs a leak? Well it can be very difficult to get the parts that you need in a hurry and get back on the road, but if you chose an upper radiator hose for example that fits an '02 Silverado I can guarantee you almost every parts store in the country is gonna have one of these sitting on the shelf, and it's not gonna cost you that much money. And the same thing holds true for all the other components that we put on this engine. The air conditioning compressor for example is actually the original style for this truck. The tensioner and idler pulleys are all readily available sizes, and the same thing holds for the water pump, power steering pump, alternator, ignition coils, and even the idle air control motor and the throttle position sensor. It's all about readily available parts to get you back on the road in a hurry.

(Narrator)>> Next fuel for the fire.

(LT)>> Hey guys welcome back to the shop. We're getting ready to start the fuel system on "RedTide", our '88 Chevy K-1500, and we're starting out back at the tank. It may seem very drastic to pull the bed off of a pickup truck just to gain access to the fuel tank, but there's a few reasons why it's actually easier in the long run. Number one, this tank is nearly full of fuel, so it's very heavy. And number two all these connections would be very difficult to access with the bed on the truck because you've got to reach your hand up between the bedside and over the frame to undo all these fittings. So it's much easier in the long run just to do it with the bed off the truck. The old fuel lines unscrew, followed by the vent tubes and some electrical connections. To prevent any chance of sparks I always use a brass punch when removing a fuel pump retainer. ♪ ♪ Looks the same to me. Let's get to work. We'll start by removing the lower pressure t-b-i fuel pump from the new hanger. ♪ ♪ And unclip the pre-filter. ♪ ♪ The new pump gets a rubber isolator... ♪ ♪ ...slides into the hanger, and a new filter sock clicks into place. This rubber fuel line is specifically formulated to be submerged in fuel and work at a higher pressure. Regular e-f-i fuel line won't work inside a tank. With the provided harness adapter plugged in the pump is ready to go into the fuel tank, and it installs just like the old one came out. Now we'll get the truck up in the air and start removing the old lines from inside the frame rail. The fuel filter comes out. Then the front braided flex lines and the rear hard lines unclip and get removed. That right there, rusty lines and the old rubber is why these are getting replaced. I had originally planned to start our fuel system with a factory style hard line but the return side is too long and it would mount the regulator and filter assembly too far up on the frame rail. So instead I'm gonna make the whole thing out of this push lock style hose. I'll start up at the fuel pump by using these O-ring to dash six a-n style adapters. From there all I have to do is push the fittings into the hose and I've got a pretty cool tool to make that happen. ♪ ♪ A little lube is applied to the fitting and the hose gets clamped into the other end. Then the tool simply pushes the hose onto the barbed fitting, which makes push lock hose much easier to work with. ♪ ♪ Remember, this style of hose connection requires no clamp. With it cut to length we can push on the other barb. ♪ ♪ Back at the tank the O-ring adapters screw onto the lines and get tightened down. ♪ ♪ The feed and return lines are fished into the frame rail and attached to the pump outlet. Then the vent and wiring are reconnected in their original location. Back underneath the truck the quick connect adapters are attached to the hose ends. Always make sure to connect the feed and return lines to the proper ports on the filter regulator. Now we'll mark and drill a quarter inch hole in the frame and bolt the filter in place. The front feed lines get clicked in, and up top the other end attaches to the back of the passenger side fuel rail. On the front I'm attaching a small fuel pressure gauge, and a Holley crossover tube finishes up the installation of this fuel system. A quick test of the pump verifies the required pressure and that we have no leaks. ♪ ♪

(Narrator)>> Next we meet the new guy!

(LT)>> We're back on Truck Tech, almost ready to fire up the 400 horse five point three LS in "Project RedTide". With a battery in place we can attach the power and ground cable. Connect the power and main wiring harness to the Holley computer. And finally we'll top her off with some engine oil. Now obviously none of this wiring is permanently installed. I just wanted to take some time, get it thrown on there, and start the engine up just so I can make sure everything runs like it should and that we don't have any leaks. Plus it's not like you need an excuse to hear an engine run with open headers. Let's see if she fires. [ engine starting and idling ]

(LT)>> You just can't beat the sound of a V-eight with a nice healthy cam in it. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> Oh I love it. Can't wait to get this thing out on the road. Now onto something completely different. Our custom driveshaft is still on order. So I asked a few friends to help move "RedTide" out from the lift.

(Jeremy)>> Oh yeah, that's good.

(LT)>> This is the fastest this truck's gone in a long time.

(Jeremy)>> Does it steer alright LT?

(LT)>> Oh it's awful.

(Pat)>> Is that seat comfortable?

(LT)>> Should have hooked up the power steering. Alright I think this is the first time we've had everybody from Powernation in the same studio. Guys say hello Austin Lafore, the newest member of Truck Tech.

(Eliza)>> Hey welcome to the Powernation family.

(Marc)>> Welcome aboard.

(Mike)>> Welcome to the show.

(Austin)>> Excited to be here.

(Jeremy)>> I like your hair but you need more white in there. You'll catch up. It looks good.

(Pat)>> Welcome aboard.

(Austin)>> Nice to meet you.

(Pat)>> Nice to meet you man.

(LT)>> So Austin tell us a little bit about yourself.

(Austin)>> Well I've just showed up, get a nice introduction. I am originally from south of New Orleans, a little town called Cut Off, Louisiana. Kinda grew up working on trucks, hot rods, race cars. More of a metal fab, body work, paint type of stuff, gears.

(Pat)>> That makes LT very happy. I can already tell that.

(Austin)>> So I hear, So I hear. But yeah willing to lend a helping hand here man, and let's get to work, I'm excited. One quick question. Who can give me a little advice working this fella LT over here?

(Tommy)>> First step, don't get his accent.

(Austin)>> So mine's better. Alright, I'll take it.

(Jeremy)>> Stay away from diesels. LT I think you've got that covered.

(LT)>> That's bad advice.

(Austin)>> Okay.

(Eliza)>> 42 inch tires are bigger.

(Austin)>> Alright got some work to do there.

(Mike)>> If you need something he never comes up with it.

(Austin)>> How do I get as tall as LT? That's what I really want to know.

(Mike)>> He comes over, wants fittings and everything, and we always come through for him. I come over and need one little zip tie and he doesn't have it.

(Pat)>> And don't adopt that "hey".

(LT)>> I feel like this is deteriorating. I don't know guys.

(Pat)>> Come over and say hey, you got that engine running. I'll be tightening main bearings. Hey you got that engine running? Don't let him put any pressure on you.

(Austin)>> All noted.

(LT)>> I sound like a real pleasure to work with.

(Austin)>> LT I'm excited man.

(LT)>> I'm glad to have you.

(Austin)>> I wouldn't listen to what any of these guys said.

(LT)>> It's been lonely by myself here.

(Pat)>> I don't know how I'd take that one.

(Jeremy)>> Well I don't know about you guys but we should probably get something done today. We can leave these at it huh?

(Austin)>> Absolutely, pleasure to meet all of y'all, and it looks like me and LT got some work to do.

(LT)>> Well thanks for the horsepower guys, appreciate it.

(Mike)>> If you need something we're right next door.

(Jeremy)>> We're down the hallway.

(Pat)>> We've got a date with a dyno.

(Austin)>> If you need something we won't be here.

(LT)>> Next we want to clean up the interior of the truck a little bit. So we'll get to work by first unbolting and removing the seats. Man we gave you the hard job first day huh?

(Austin)>> Yeah let's yank them out. ♪ ♪ [ drill spinning ]

(LT)>> The seatbelt anchors, kick panels, door seals, and a few other trim panels come out, and finally the nasty 30 year old carpet can get tossed in the dumpster.

(Austin)>> Since the transfer case swap this truck no longer requires the use of a shifter assembly to access four wheel drive. Therefore we're gonna take it out, make a delete plate to block that off. It starts with a cardboard template using the shifter plate as a guide. It gets transferred over to some inexpensive aluminum plate, which gets trimmed on the band saw. Now I could weld in a steel patch panel, but doing it this way makes the delete removable just in case the next owner of "RedTide" wants to convert it back to four wheel drive someday. [ drill spinning ]

(Narrator)>> Next, freshening up your interior.

♪ ♪

(LT)>> Every vehicle on the road is held together with thousands and thousands of fasteners. Whether it's something small and insignificant, like a screw holding a door panel on, or something as important as a connecting rod bolt, each fastener has its own specific function and purpose. For the majority of things that you tighten up on your vehicle you don't need to take any special steps. Just tighten it down and go, whether it be an alternator or a fender, but there are certain fasteners that need to have an additional chemical compound applied to the threads to help that fastener do its job. Whether that be preventing a leak or stopping it from backing out. So today we're gonna go over some of those common chemicals that get applied to threads. A lot of times you'll have a fastener that's in a very difficult to reach place or has lots of vibration, like the hardware that holds a flex plate onto the back of the crankshaft. So you can apply a thread locking compound that goes on the threads and prevents it from backing out over time. Now there are many many different types, but there's two basic kinds that I always keep around, medium strength and high strength liquid thread locker. Now this stuff is very easy to apply. A few drops on the thread is all you'll need to prevent the fastener from backing out. One thing to keep in mind with the red though is you will need heat or special tools to take it apart. Certain critical fasteners inside your engine require a very specific torque value to be applied when they get tightened down. For something like a cylinder head stud or a main bearing bolt inside your engine. Now if you tighten these fasteners down dry they can actually bind up and cause a false torque reading, which could lead to failure of a part. So special lubricants have been developed to go on the threads of the fastener. So when you tighten it down you get a very accurate reading. A little bit of lubricant gets applied to the nut side of the stud, both sides of the washer, and only one side of the nut. A lot of times you'll have a bolt that's in a highly corrosive environment, or on a part like an exhaust manifold that sees a lot of heat cycles. That constant expansion and contraction can actually cause the hardware to sort of freeze up, and if you try to unscrew it it could actually twist off or break and if that happens you're in for a lot of work. One step that can help you is to apply some penetrating lubricant on the threads a little while before you do the job. When you put a fastener back into something like a manifold I always like to use an anti-seize compound, which is a bit of a preventative measure to keep it from sticking in the first place. Every fluid fitting is a little different. AN style flare and O-ring fittings require no sealant at all, but a tapered pipe thread fitting needs something, whether it's Teflon tape, Teflon paste, or a Teflon paste with a thread locker built in. Those are the most popular chemicals that you'd apply on threads in an automotive application. With its new lower stance and much more powerful engine "Project RedTide" is gonna handle the corners much better than it could when it was jacked up in the air. Now we want to update the looks and function of the interior. So we went to Summit Racing and picked up a pair of Corbeau Baja RS reclining suspenison seats. Now normally you'd find these in an off road style rig, but their design makes them very comfortable to use every single day, and the extra bolstering in the shoulder and hip area will keep us planted in those seats when we're slinging the truck around the corners. We also picked up a pair of mount brackets that are designed for the '88 to '98 GM full size trucks, and they also have adjustment sliders built in. To fill in the gap between the seats and give us some extra storage we also picked up a center console, and we'll get started by making some holes for the brackets. Depending on how your truck was equipped from the factory you might have to drill a few holes into the floor to mount the bucket seats. Since our truck had a split bench with the longer part on the passenger side all we have to do is drill the two inside holes into the floor. Alright man this ought to dress it up.

(Austin)>> Definitely! This carpet's gonna lay down nice in here.

(LT)>> To replace the faded red carpet we went to Classic Industries and picked up a new black carpet, which comes molded to fit the floor pans of the truck.

(Austin)>> So the nice thing about installing new carpet is they always give you excess so you can trim to fit. So we'll measure, mark, cut, and hope you don't cut too much cause it don't grow back.

(LT)>> It has a heel pad bonded in. It's made from top quality nylon and has sound deadening material on the back. Plus it's 50 percent heavier than standard cut pile for more durability and a more luxurious feel.

(Austin)>> Making progress.

(LT)>> Once all the trimming is done we can make some holes for the fasteners to pass through, bolt the seat brackets to the floor, re-install all the original trim, and finally bolt the new seats onto the sliders. We need to fill that space in between the two front seats and a console is the perfect thing to do that because it gives extra storage, a place to put your drink, and a spot to organize all that change you found underneath the carpet. Now I looked around trying to find a factory center console but they're very hard to come in decent shape. So this is the next best thing. It's actually designed to fit in a late model Jeep, but we took some measurements and it's a perfect fit for our truck. We'll start by drilling four holes into the base of the console. Position it between the seats, take some measurements and center it up, and secure it to the floor using some self-drilling screws, which completes the makeover of "Project RedTide's" interior.

(Austin)>> Man LT, this interior cleaned up real nice. It's amazing what a few little cosmetic upgrades will do to transform the whole look.

(LT)>> And one more thing checked off the list. We got that five point three fired up for the first time, which is a major milestone on a project like this.

(Austin)>> Yes, absolutely and the list of things to do is getting short. So we're almost there. A few cosmetic upgrades to the exterior we'll be wrapped up.

(LT)>> And we appreciate you guys watching. For more information on "Project RedTide" or any of our other builds be sure to check out Powernation TV dot com. You gonna take of all this for me?

(Austin)>> Absolutely!
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