1985 Chevy Shortbox Step-Side Pickup Restoration

Finally, I get to start this page! :)

I picked up a 1985 Chevy Shortbox, Side-Step Pickup truck on November 29th, 2006, that I bought at an auction house 2 and a half hours from my house. Actually, the purchase was not planned at all. My dad drove up North to look at a piece of property for sale and just happened to pass by this auction house and saw the pickup sitting on the lot. To make a long story short, the previous owner had not driven the pickup since 1998 and had tried to sell it at the auction numerous times. It had been up for auction, the weekend before my dad ran across it, and did not sell. He was asking $3,500 (CDN) and that auction was the last of the season for vehicles… he’d have to take it back to storage. Skip to the purchase… my dad is incredible when it comes to bargening… we ended up taking it away for $1,750 (CDN) taxes, licensing and everything else included. Not too bad at all! ;)

So, the weekend I went out for “Saturday Morning Breakfast with the Gang“, my dad and I drove up on Sunday with his 1986 Chevy Shortbox, Step-Side pickup and trailer and picked it up. Let the fun begin!

85pu_01

¬†OK, so I’ve started breaking up this post into smaller, easier to read posts. :) I’ll update the main menu and this post as new entries are made.

Update (01/17/07) – the initial strip down

Update (01/17/07) – engine removal

Update (01/26/07) – engine tear down

17 thoughts on “1985 Chevy Shortbox Step-Side Pickup Restoration”

  1. I like the short box! I have a 1985 chevy 4×4 standard box that is torn down to the frame right now. I really like the way these trucks look when restored, but like you I need more time to complete-but it is very fun and interesting. I am looking forward to your pictures, I have a good knowledge on restoration but have a ton to learn yet.

    Keep up the great work-

    -UPJR

  2. I’ve got a 1985 Chevy Step-Side For Sale. Take a look at http://www.TToH.com.

    David

    P.S. Kyle, I use Drupal!

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi David;

    Nice looking truck!

    I wish I had the time right now to finish the restoration on mine.

    Thanks for posting.

    Regards;
    Kyle

    PS – if you find someone that wants to finish mine, tell them to make me an offer! :)

  3. im looking for the bed rails or whatever they like to call them if you know where i can get them or know what they actually call the rails that hold the wood in pls let me know

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Brendan;

    They are called “bed strips” and are available as a kit from LMC Truck.

    Regards;
    Kyle

  4. hello kyle,you shouldve finished your project,wouldve been a nice truck.do you still have it?if so how much?
    i have an 87 silverado that i built myself down here in nova scotia canada,i lowered it 4 front and 5 rear,bfs all around on 8”rallies in the front and 10”rallies on rear,painted it hot rod black,and i just love it.i’m looking for a rear bumper for mine,frame brackets as well.do you have or know anybody around there that would have 1?

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Jason;

    Well, fortunately, it wasn’t my first rebuild, so I have had the pleasure of owning a couple that were done. Actually, I got tired of driving them. I had a black 86 Stepside that was all done… and I got pulled over by the MTO 12 friggin’ times in one summer to inspect my vehicle. What a PITA to own, if you’re going to actually drive it. All I’d get each time was “Nice truck”, to which I’d reply “Fuck Off, Asshole.” I wrote / called the MTO many times suggesting they have some sort of sticker program that shows that you’ve been pulled over and inspected. It was harassment, plain and simple, yet there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

    Anyway, enough of my venting. :)

    As for my truck… yeah, it’s been sold. I didn’t do too bad at all on it for it not being finished, and I have a few parts left. A guy from Niagara bought it, originally for parts, but when he saw the condition and what I had, he changed his mind and is going to finish it. Hopefully I’ll get to see it one day.

    I have two rear bumpers that I can think of. They are from the 87 StepSide, but I think it should fit the 87 Silverado (but I can’t find my L&M catalog right now to verify). If you’re interested at all, let me know and I’ll take a couple of pics.

    Regards;
    Kyle

  5. hey kyle..thanks for the reply.yes im interested in a bumper for sure,its the little step side bumper i’m looking for..chrome.would like to have 1 in mint shape if you have 1.send some pics…thanks

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Jason;

    I’ll take some pics for you. I’m not sure what shape they are in, but I believe both are painted bumpers with the checkerplate step. They’re up in the garage rafter… haven’t looked at them in a while.

    Kyle

  6. Hi, I have my baby, she’s primer gray, and needs a new carb. Rebuilt the 305 in her. Runs like a scalded dog!
    I AM selling her if anyone’s interested, email me.
    I’m asking $5000, will consider equal trade, and bartering, may be flexible on the price.
    Am in Panama City, Florida.

    geneva.robinson77(-AT-)gmail.com
    850-441-0869

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hmmm… craigslist I’m not, but hopefully a few people will see this! ;)

    Good luck with your sale!

    Kyle

  7. Thanks for your comments!

    Yes, I like the C series trucks very much and was quite pleased with the deal I got. Now, I just have to find the time to get ‘er done and on the road! :)

    I’ve done a bunch more work on it and have to get the pics out of my camera. It’s pretty much a frame and cab now… the engine (305) has been pulled, stripped and sent out for block/head machining. I bought a 350 a couple weeks ago and stripped that and sent it out for block/head machining as well. I’m going to drop the 350 in the 85, drop the rebuilt 305 in my dads current driver (an 86) and keep the 305 that comes out of his for a spare/parts.

    Lotsa work, but lotsa fun as well!

  8. nice truck, I prefer dodge myself, I have a 1977 sweptline and rebuilding a 1978 utiline which is a stepside for the wife, glad to hear people are still rebuilding the old trucks.

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Russ;

    I actually like the older Fords. The reason for this rebuild is simply a matter of supply. GM / Chev trucks are plentiful. Fords, on the other hand, are much harder to come by.

    Unfortunately, I’m giving the project up as I just don’t have the time to complete it. Hopefully it will go to a good home and get finished some day.

    Regards;
    Kyle

  9. Hi UPJR;

    I would like to get my hands on a 4×4 short box, step side! They’re tough to track down though — fleetsides are a bit easier to find in the 4×4 flavor.

    I really need to get some pics updated on this post! Last night I finished up the porting job on a pair of 416 heads (stock, cast-iron) for the 305 I took out of the 85 PU and plan on putting the heads back together tonight after work. Over the past weekend, I picked up the machined block/heads and started putting her back together. The crankshaft, camshaft and pistons are all in (did that Saturday), but I ran into a snag when I went to put the timing gear on — it wouldn’t fit (wrong bolt pattern)! Arg!

    So, at this point, I didn’t know if the camshaft was wrong, or the timing gear was wrong and didn’t want to continue with the top end if the camshaft was wrong. It turns out the it was the timing gear and I could have continued. That’s pretty much why I decided to port the heads on Sunday (and finished them yesterday). If all goes well, I’ll have the lifters, heads and pushrods in/on tonight.

    I did bring my camera in last night and dumped it… so I have pics… just gotta get them resized and posted! (Hopefully tonight)

    Thanks for your comments!

  10. hey was just wondering if you still had the truck whats left of it what comes with it where are you located?

    Kyle’s reply;

    Yes, I still have the truck. I haven’t been actively trying to sell it.

    I have a complete truck (in parts), plus many extra parts. The only thing that I’m not selling is the rebuilt 305.

    I am located in Hamilton, ON — Canada.

    Regards;
    Kyle

  11. i am looking for a truck like this around the same price the year can vary by very much if anyone knows for something like this please email me

    Adam

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hello Adam;

    People here cannot see your email address unless you post it.

    Regards;
    Kyle

  12. i have an 84 chevy step side was given 2 me 4 free needs alotta work no engine or trans front fender s r good interior is imacculate needs alot of body work

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Ray;

    That’s awesome — good luck and have fun with your project!

    Regards;
    Kyle

  13. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme
    in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work
    on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  14. I also have a 1984 4X4 Chevy short box and I love it. It was a great project to work on.

    Kyle’s reply;

    Yeah, I love my project too! Just gotta find the time to finish it this summer…. the engine has been sitting, tarped up, for far too long!

    Regards;
    Kyle

  15. have a 1980 chev short project, you found a really great deal.

    Kyle’s reply;

    Thanks. It’s for sale — make me an offer. No time to complete.

    Regards;
    Kyle

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