85 Chevy P/U – the initial strip down

This post highlights the initial strip down of my 85 Chevy P/U Short-Box, Step-Side Restoration Project.

Strip down – The front end…

Today I started ripping off the body panels and box — leaving just the cab, motor/tranny and frame.

I started with the hood…

85pu_hood_01 85pu_hood_02

Next to come off was the front fenders…

85pu_fenders_01 85pu_fenders_02

The headlights and grill were removed, along with the passenger side outer-fender… and then the front clip…

85pu_grill 85pu_front_clip

Strip down – The rear end…

Next, I started stripping stuff from the rear end. The first thing to go was the box, which was easy enough — cut off the eight bolts that hold the box to the frame and lift it off! (I like to simply cut the old bolts off… I’ve done it a couple of times before and wasted alot of time trying to remove the bolts with heat/penetrating fluid/etc. Besides, I also like to put new stainless bolts back in.)

85pu_box_removal 85pu_spare_tire

The shocks were removed, the u-joint for the driveshaft was unbolted and the driveshaft removed…

85pu_driveshaft_01 85pu_rear_shocks 85pu_driveshaft_02

Links to other parts in the series;

9 comments on “85 Chevy P/U – the initial strip down

  1. Excellent photos of the restoration process. They give me an idea on how I should go about with my own restoration project.

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hey Jeremy!

    I’m glad that I’ve helped inspire you to get on your own project! Now… if I could only get back at mine! LOL!

    I have taken a break from it for a while… I’ve just been so busy doing other things… but my brother just moved back from out west and wants to get back at her… we’ll see!

    Thanks for your comments.


  2. Hey Kyle,

    I see I’m not alone in this world. My wife will be glad too.

    I have a 76 step side I picked up last year and last month I got an 81 c20 with a 454 and th400, dual exhaust w/headers and A/C. I plan to swap the cab, engine, tranny, and exhaust over to the step side this coming summer and winter.
    So good luck with your project. I’ll keep in touch.


    Kyle’s reply: Hey Mike;

    Wow! Sounds like a lot of fun! 😀

    I can’t wait… the warmer weather is almost upon us! It’s just so hard to “get in the mood” for working on the truck during the winter.

    Send me pics of your project any time and I’ll be glad to post them!


  3. I love the look of the shortbox stepside. Have been a big fan for a many of year. Does anyone know where I can find a stepside box in descent shape ?

    Kyle’s reply;

    You’re about a month too late… I just sold the stepside I had been working on, as well as most of the surplus parts I had saved.


  4. I have a 91 Chev pickup that I would like to fix up. When it comes to the frame what minimum thickness do you look for to see if it’s worth while restoring?

    Kyle’s reply; Hello Guest;

    Hmmmmm… that’s a question that I have never been asked! However, I’ve never really thought of it by means of numbers. What I mean is, I wouldn’t even think about measuring thicknesses and stuff like that. I crawl under it and have a look — if I like what I see, I buy it. :)

    The frames on the old Chevys are pretty good frames. They have one inherent weakness that I have found, and that is they rot at the spring mount on the drivers side (as can been seen in this post) — if that area is good, the frame is pretty much mint, IMO.

    Of course, I’m talking about trucks found in Southern Ontario — frames from out west (Alberta, etc.) or the southern US (South Carolina, Georgia, etc.) are usually perfect — but you’ll usually pay a little more for them as well.

    I just picked up a cab and a step-side box from South Carolina — man, you have a look under the cab and the ORIGINAL paint is still mint! And every single bolt came out of the box, with very little effort — try that with an Ontario box! :)

    Thank you for your comments.


  5. I have a 1976 swb truck and a friend gave me a 1991 K10 blazer. Will th front clip work on the 1976 truck?

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hello Guest;

    Unfortunately, no — a ’91 clip will not interchange with the ’76 — years, AFAIK, are as follows;

    1973 – 1980 are the same
    1981 – 1987 are the same
    1988 – ???? are the same


  6. Actually doors from 77-87 trucks are the same and with blazers and suburbans it goes up to 91 if your truck had been a 77 up it would fit

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Jake;

    Thanks for the info!


  7. yes it should work, the blazer suburban a crew cabs keep the same body thru 91

    Kyle’s reply;

    Thanks for the information, Theo!


  8. I need a new frame for my 1976 c10 p/u and I need to no what years will fit.

    Kyle’s reply;

    I’m not a 100% as I have never really researched frame years — but I believe it would be the same as posted above — ’73 through ’80 should fit (I say that with pretty good confidence — what I don’t know i if the newer years frames will fit — they may, but I cannot give you that information. Usually you start with a frame and find out what fits that frame, not the other way ’round).


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