Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
This site Sucks
Joined
·
831 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What mods should I do to my 79 Chevy 4x4 to make the ultimate bug out vehicle? It has a freshly built 350hp small block 350, the body is just normal for the year, mechanically it is sound. I have dual tanks on it and have a 35 gal tank from under a refridgerated semi trailer in the bed (use it for kerosene storage) and I have an old aluminum camper shell Ican throw on it if needed. Gimme some useful suggestions that don't cost a fortune.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Id probly start with throwing the camper shell on so if needed you can sleep in the back and be out of the weather. Then you need to figure out how much gas it takes you to get to you bug out and always have that much gas in or stored on the vehical. Ofcoarse you know where your bugging out to and have multiple route to that location already figured out and the time it takes to get there. Right ?

Now your chevy has a solid front axle if i recall correctly. So a suspension lift is cheap and easily installed check all the major suspension places superlift and all them. Dont get stupid and think you need 44" tires a couple inches of lift will do 31"-33" is all you need to give you some good ground clearance and not attract alot of attention. Tires are very important get a set of mud terrain tires and steel rims ( aluminum and mag break easier). That should give you a start aside from the odvious food and water storage and space blankets and such.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,012 Posts
my vote is 3-4" lift, 33 inch tires. brush guard, extra lights, better reverse lights. good full size spare tire. good tool kit. have an extra distributor from an older 60's small block with points for emp. CB radio. a winch is nice but pricey. you'd want at least an 8000 lb, 10,000 lb is better. tow hooks, tow ropes. axes shovels crowbars.
if this chevy needs to be a real off road machine you need at least a rear locker. high lift jack? the list goes on and on..................
 

·
I travel light
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
You could find useful an air compressor, just in case for a quick fix on a flat tire. Some of the liquid products intended for that, inflate again and there you go!.
 

·
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
Joined
·
8,248 Posts
Q beam lights mounted on the driver and passenger sides.

Oil coolers and transmision fluid coolers installed.

Run flat tires

Gel Battery

locking gas caps
 

·
Locked and Loaded
Joined
·
53 Posts
Gps, power inverters, lock boxes for ammo or gun storage under the seat. bigger alternator for any other accessories. the list can go on
 

·
This site Sucks
Joined
·
831 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the tips, the alternator is the biggest i can get for it. I used to have a 1956 chevy apache p/u tha some one used an old a/c compressor to make an aircompressor that ran off the engine, I thought about researching that. The truck already has 33's on stock rims but they a worn out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I had my F-150 lifted a long time ago and if I had to do it over again I would have skipped the suspension lift and cut the wheel wells out first and put new flares around them if I thought it had to look "pretty".

My second choice for tire clearance would be a body lift.

My third choice would be a suspension lift because it just throws too many things off and weakens the most critical components.

But that's just my two cents.

P.S. I had a line on some armored helicopter seats from an old UH-1 Huey I was going to mount in the cab but lost the truck before I could to the install. That was going to compliment an internal roll cage with aluminum sheets bolted in critical places.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
See the only down side to virtual lift ( cutting fenders) and body lift is you dont gain but maybe and inch or so from the bigger tires in ground clearance and thats what i think matters in a bad situation just make sure which ever way you go you do it right the first time you dont wanna be bugging out and remember you didnt upgrade a certain part and have it break Check out pirate4x4.com and go to the expidition vehical section theyre basically bovs with a diffrent name
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
See the only down side to virtual lift ( cutting fenders) and body lift is you dont gain but maybe and inch or so from the bigger tires in ground clearance and thats what i think matters in a bad situation just make sure which ever way you go you do it right the first time you dont wanna be bugging out and remember you didnt upgrade a certain part and have it break Check out pirate4x4.com and go to the expidition vehical section theyre basically bovs with a diffrent name
If you're going with only 31"-33" tires why do you need a suspension lift?

The axles are only going to clear so much with those tires. A suspension lift will only get the frame up a little higher.

I would only look for clearing the new tires so they don't wreck your body panels or cut themselve up on the fenders. That would require a fender cut or body lift.

Maybe you're thinking of something I'm not thinking of. Help me out.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,012 Posts
the only thing that actually gets you more ground clearance is bigger tires. anything you do to get the truck up in the air is to put on bigger tires therefore getting added ground clearance. cut out fender flares are a cool way to go but at $250 front $250 back its as much if not more than a suspension lift. if your wheel wells are already rusty a cut out fender flare set is nice 2 birds with one stone. you keep a lower center of gravity too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
the only thing that actually gets you more ground clearance is bigger tires. anything you do to get the truck up in the air is to put on bigger tires therefore getting added ground clearance. cut out fender flares are a cool way to go but at $250 front $250 back its as much if not more than a suspension lift. if your wheel wells are already rusty a cut out fender flare set is nice 2 birds with one stone. you keep a lower center of gravity too.

That's what I'm talking about. Maintaining a lower center of gravity! A suspension lift will get the frame higher off the ground but won't necessarilly help clear your tires enough. I know! My old F-150 had a rediculous 10" of lift with 40" Ground Hawgs. I didn't cut out my wheel wells and I had crumpled sheet metal where the Hawgs impacted with them.

That's why I say, #1 cut out wheel wells, #2 body lift, #3 last resort, suspension lift.

If your 31" - 33" tires never beat against your body panels you don't need to make any mods at all except to look cool. I'm done with cool. Too expensive.
 

·
This site Sucks
Joined
·
831 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
my truck sits good with 33's right now but i need to get some new skins. Not sure what kind to get yet but i like the super swamper boggers. Pricey i know but aggressive. I rarely drive this truck on the road since my sister gave me a 2000 explorer 4 dr awd. This is why I am making mods to it solely for my BOV. I have gotten a lot of good ideas here. I am an ASE Master collision repair/ refinish technician So doing the mods is not an issue it's just figuring out the most beneficial ones. I got a cb radio just need a good antenna. I carry lots of spare parts with me, and have a great tool kit together. keep the ideas comingand i will try to figure out how to put some pics on here. (Not real good with computers!)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,012 Posts
boggers are cool but they are VERY expensive, and wear EXTREMELY fast. also very loud on pavement, i mean you can hear a truck with boggers from 2 miles away loud.

here is a link to a company that does modern retreads. i have bought at least 3 sets of mud tires from them and had very good luck. they wear as good as any new mud tire and work great off road. http://treadwright.com/

modern glues and proccesses do not get hot and come apart like retreads from the 70's did, i can already hear the flaming now. they are on average HALF the price of cheap new tires.
 

·
This site Sucks
Joined
·
831 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Anybody got any info on hooking up solar panels/charger to my camper shell for 12v power? I thought this might be handy If I could rig it up I could charge 12v deepcycle batteries and have them ready since my cabin is wired for 12v. This would save me from packing batteries from the garage to the truck and if i wasn't home they would still be with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,886 Posts
Off roading has been a long term hobby of mine. Big tires put unneeded stress on the front axle. GM 10 bolts do have weaker front axle shafts than dana 44's. they snap at splines in the diff. Let's cover the generic 4x4 spares out there.

Full set of fluids for entire vehicles
spare belt, spare ignition module (or spare distributor).
Spare u-joints. Ideally spare rear drivehshaft and spare front diff shafts.
Spare brakes hoses. Even more so if you add lift.
Radiator leak stop and a generic flexible rad hose.
Typical recovery with a good lift-lift jack and boards for jack.
full sized spare.
Spare locking hub.
spare front steering parts.
Spare starter solenoid on GM's is a good idea.
-spare valave stems, tire sealant, patches, and a good tire spoon to unbead tires for repair. a small spray of starter fluid will seat the bead.

For more severe off-roading, that camper is going to make your center of gravity high. Your alot morely likely to flip.

Good modifications:
(1)Rear locker, Give you more traction than adding tougher tires typically. Detriot locker is best. Drop in locker to open diff's are not ideal, but ok. Particuarly depending on what rear diff you have. ($300-700)
(4)Front diff gaurd. Prevent a rock from busting your diff cover open. Homemade ones are fine. ($100-150 purchased)
(4)Transfer case gaurd. (homemade is OK). Possible gas tank gaurd.
(5)Transmission and power steering coolers. Oil cooler is optional, Best money spent is a large capacity aftermarket radiator and fan shroud for it. Copper ones are more durable and longer lasting than aluminum. Make sure you keep a AC condensor in front to prevent small rocks from hitting the radiator and making it leak. ($75 for trans, $40-50 for steering cooler (small trans one), oil cooler with good hoses $200-$350.
(6)electrical fan. Switch operated is OK.
(3)Aftermarket drivehaft(s). This those chevy's have slip yokes. The old yoke spline wear out.
(7)Winch is nice, but that hi-lift jack and some good steel cable or a quality come-along or chain fall will also do the job.
(2)Tires. BFG mud terrain are great for the price. However, if you drive on the street alot. BFG all terrains are much better in highway speed rain and a ton better on the typical snowy and slushy roads. mud terrains are the worst thing you can put on a truck on snowy roads, but deep snow, they do good. Stick with 31x10.5. The bigger tires put more stain on axles and bearings. Also, if needed 6-lug 31x10.5 tire/rims can be found rather easily. (chevy, toyota, some ford/dodges, even mitsbishi monteros). That locker will do alot more for you than tires can. My 2003 blazer with 32's can outdo jeeps and blazer with 35's and no locker on mud and wet rocks. Very important, If you commonly ride over sand, agressive tires hurt you alot. the best thing for sand is plain all season tires. Those agressive lug push the sand out of the way, causing your tire to sink easier and making your drivetrain work harder to move.
(3)also, beef up the power steering mount to the frame on your chevy. The ps box common breaks out of the frame making you stranded. With older offroad vehicles, examine the entire frame and do any repairs necesary.
(2)onboard air. Best traction aid is 15 psi or so air down tires. Typical agressive all season tires and all terrain tires outperform mud terrains tires that aren't aired down. If you can't fill it back up, you won't want to air it down.
(3)Make your diffs trans and transfer case waterproof. Make sure you have a vent hose attached so water does not go in. Also, typical inner axle seals on dana 44's and corporate gm 10 bolts can leak in water. Make sure your axle bearings ans seals are in good shape.
(8)Lighting. A ton of overheads lights are nice, but not needed. Your camper truck and my blazer are tough to backup. A good backup light is good. 1 fog light hooked up to a relay is fine. For front lights, make sure you have good wiring to your stock lights and replace the bulbs. Replacing that old light swithc will make them more reliable and brighter. This may do the same job as a set of fog lights. I also, have 1 cop car search light. I think this is better than a ton of overheard lights. Besides do you need to see that far going 5 mph?
(4)Quality rebuilt alternator and large capacity battery, or 2 regular batteries. One with a diode hooked so you only recharge the battery. right to the battery, hook up one accesory like the radio, electric fan, aftermarket light etc.. This keeps the battery in good condition. If your car battery dies, just swap the two. There are fancier stuff to swap standby batteries. Good clean grounds and good wires are needed with a winch.

The order is overall the level of importance of these mods. also, if you haven't done your exhaust use smaller sized mufflers for dual exhaust or a nicely designed free-flowinf single exhaust. The conservative system will help produce smooth flow in the exhaust which helps remove gases from the cylinder better at lower rpms for more torque and throttle response.


Also, you did not explain where you are riding this. Deep mud, rocks, sand, snow, extreme climates, etc.. Which may effect what you should do.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top