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  #1  
Old 09-14-2020, 04:41 PM
Agreen Agreen is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Feb 08, 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 6
'81 J10 fire means restoration!

A couple years ago I bought an 81 J10 in non-running condition. At $1000, the price was right and it became mine. I even stopped at a Chinese restaurant on the way to get it (1.5 hour drive one way) and got the most awesome fortune cookie. It was meant to be.


I started on it right away. The engine didn't run and the carter BBD had such big pits in the aluminum that I figured it was done. I bought a Motorcraft 2150 and dabbed up an adapter plate, tinkered with it until I got it right. It just needed a better power valve, and she was running great... after I changed out the distributor cap, rotor, plug wires, brake booster, master cylinder, ignition module, all ignition related connectors, and flushed literally every fluid on it that I possibly could. We were really getting somewhere with this thing. It was just fun to drive around in, and it didn't matter that I got wet when it rained or that there were holes in the floor pans!







Unfortunately, on December 10th of 2019, it caught fire. My best guess is that it was from the plastic fuel inlet fitting on the Chinese knockoff carb I bought from eBay.
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:45 PM
Agreen Agreen is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Feb 08, 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 6
The damage was limited to pretty much the engine bay.











Needless to say, I was devastated. All those new parts. All that work. Gone. It took the fire department 15 minutes to respond. I now carry a marine fire extinguisher in all my vehicles. A hard lesson to learn, but it's been learned.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2020, 04:52 PM
Agreen Agreen is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Feb 08, 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 6
So, I decided to move forward. I couldn't just scrap it.

A friend of mine "traded" a 95 S10 to a dealership. It didn't drive, and it sat in his front yard for 6 months. So I grabbed everything from it to make TBI work on my truck. I figured they had a similar displacement and the crank trigger was the exact same, so why wouldn't it work?











I snagged a new distributor and put it all together (very sloppily) with some wire nuts JUST to see if it ran. I jumped power to the fuel pump, powered up the ECU, fired it up and it coughed to life! It ran... AMAZINGLY well. I've only ran it momentarily in the driveway so far, but it does run well. It also revs freely so much better than it did with the carb. I guess once the body work is all done we'll see how it drives.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2020, 05:00 PM
Agreen Agreen is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Feb 08, 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 6
I'm also going to be doing some upgrades. Since the brakes weren't the best and I have 33" mud tires on it, and the booster also burned up in the fire, I found a junkyard score on an old Astro van.


I also got a brand new master cylinder from a 96 k3500. It has the right size threads for the brake lines and bolts up to the hydrobooster.

Since the dash caught a little of the fire, I figured I'll give the foam pad a break and weld all the holes in the metal part of the dash shut.



And thus begins the rust removal. The floor pans on both sides are rotted beyond my own belief. A previous owner layed a sheet of metal over the rusty floors and put about 2 gallons of bondo over it. It was about 3/4" thick, and took forever to cut out.



But I finally got it!



I also got a little excited and ahead of myself, so I bought a full set of body gaskets from BJ's. I was worried it wouldn't be available for as long as this project is probably going to take me, so I jumped the gun.

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  #5  
Old 09-14-2020, 05:34 PM
Agreen Agreen is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Feb 08, 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Here are the first start videos:

https://youtu.be/RNZSQdpac3g

https://youtu.be/2l6HEZhLkqw


So the project stalled a few months ago. I really only just got back into it last week. Now it's sitting in the garage and I can start pulling body panels off without fear of leaving the engine exposed to the elements.

And here it is as of today. Well, not really. The passenger door, rear window, and passenger fender are off too. It's essentially stripped. Now to get the cab off and get it blasted!

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  #6  
Old 09-14-2020, 05:44 PM
offthebeatenpath's Avatar
offthebeatenpath offthebeatenpath is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: May 31, 2019
Location: MT
Posts: 82
Shoot! That sucks!
But glad to see it's getting a facelift in the process!
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2020, 05:55 PM
Agreen Agreen is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Feb 08, 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by offthebeatenpath
Shoot! That sucks!
But glad to see it's getting a facelift in the process!

Thanks bud. She's getting more than a facelift. The full treatment is in order from Brazilian booty lift to hair extensions. I'm working on getting to the frame right now. Once the cab and bed are off I'm rolling the chassis out for a degreaser bath and blasting. Then POR15 and some suspension work.
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2020, 08:03 AM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Jul 25, 2016
Location: Benson. NC
Posts: 1,244
another j-10 saved,.....

making progress, keep us posted.

dave in NC
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SOLSAKS - dave
1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
1982 J-10 Fleetside
1988 grand wagoneer
2004 RUBICON jeep
Benson, NC
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