The never ending build of my '89 stepside

Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#1
after checking out a bunch of the builds in this thread i thought i'd talk about what i've done to my truck

i bought my '89 back in 1997. it was in pretty good shape so i didn't do too much to it for quite a while

this pic was taken shortly after i bought my truck. the only things i had done at that time were headlight/taillight covers (which, thanks to the police, i found out were illegal to have on... but i only got a warning!), a roll up cover for the box and i had added some bumperettes to the front bumper....




the first 'major' expense on the truck was the transmission... not really becuz i wanted to, but becuz it basically died. i just replaced it with a stock chevy transmission


there weren't any major changes to the truck for a while... just minor ones - like putting in updated mirrors, adding the third brake light to the back of the cab, k&n filter, stuff like that


then in the summer of 2005 i decided to have the engine rebuilt. i didn't go crazy with it, but it did have a bit more power when i got it back :cool:


i started to get 'the bug' to start making changes to the truck in 2006.....
 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#2
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

so august of 2006.... time to get bigger!!!

i added 6" of lift, 18" rims and 35" bfg mud tires


here's my truck just before it went in...




and then a couple days later....




i absolutely LOVED the lift - not too much, not too little.... just right!


i wanted to do a bunch more but financially it would not have been a wise move at the time.... so for the next while i did more smaller things...

- driving lights under the front bumper
- set-up bars
- seat covers
- stereo
- new mudflaps
- replaced some of the trim/molding

 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#3
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

i had some big plans for my truck for last year, but there were a couple major wrenches thrown into those plans....

first... my engine decided to commit suicide in the spring when i was driving home after a fun night of hockey. a hole large enough to put my hand thru was in the side of the block.... so that's not good! after wondering if it was worth it to replace the engine or just start looking for a new vehicle, i decided to fix the truck i love. nothing crazy with the engine - just a stock crate 350 from chevy. i also had a ton of stuff under the hood replaced. i basically told my mechanic that if it's a pain to get to when the engine is in i want to replace it.

the second wrench....
my wife and i were heading back home after being out of town to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. we were on the trans canada highway (hwy 1) going from alberta back to b.c. we were coming down a hill, over a bridge and this freaking tire rim shoots off the back of a flatbed being hauled by a semi. i did everything i could but just couldn't avoid it - i was going right around 90 km/h and i'm assuming the semi (and the rim) were also going about 90.

it took out 3 tires, 2 rims, skid plate, gas tank, the gas sending unit and the plastic piece that's under my bumper - i was just glad my wife and i were fine.


this is what flew off the flat deck of the semi....


this is what was left of my front rim/tire...


my truck on the side of the road...


and the crazy skid i was in after the rim smoked me (at one point we were going sideways down the highway, passenger side first. the tow truck driver couldn't believe that the truck didn't flip and roll!)



so after what seemed like forever i got my truck back and then it was time to start having fun (it's amazing how much less 'are you really sure you want to spend THAT much on your tuck' i got from my wife after the accident. i guess she figured that it was the reason we were still alive, so i got the green light!! ... but on a serious note - it did save our lives. the rim from the semi went under my truck. had we been in my wife's car the rim most likely would have shot right up the hood and decapitated whoever was driving)
 
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Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#4
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

one of the first things i wanted to do (once i got the green light) was to put the 94-98 grill on the front end. i've always loved that look - so i went to a wreckers and found one that was in really good shape.

i also picked up new head lights, turn lights, brake lights


the new headlights were a bit of a pain as the wiring harnesses were different, but a quick trip to one of the local autoparts stores and i was good to go!

the headlights and taillight were from IPCW (i think) and the turn lights were from Anzo






then it was onto the interior.....
 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#5
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

the first major change i did to my interior was the gauges

i ordered a digital dash from dakota digital. it's was fairly easy to install. there were a couple of 'what the??' moments, but nothing too serious

i wish i had a before pic, but i never thought to take one

here is the new dash....


you can also see the police scanner i had built into where the glorious old stock am/fm radio used to be (ha!)

**i need to figure out how to change the colour of the lighting in the climate control console. i was reading about it in another thread and that green has definitely got to go! i'm not sure if it's possible to modify the colour of the scanner display


i didn't do too much more to my interior (just swapped out standard bulbs for LED's) until this spring.... that's when i had it reupholstered!!!
 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#6
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

i think i'll preface this post with this... there are certain perks to being in the embroidery industry! i've owned my own embroidery company for over a decade and i do work for a number of local upholsters. i've become pretty good friends with one of them so that is naturally where i took my truck.

the coolest part was that they let me be part of the build!

the first thing i did was go on the hunt for some 'new' seats. i found some buckets out of a wrecked '94. they were in great shape, but the colours didn't work with what i had planned - so they got recovered (oh... and i'm adding heating pads to them this summer... nothing beats heated seats during our cold canadian winters!)

so i took the buckets to my buddy's shop and let him get them recovered before the big day...



in preparation of the big interior overhaul, i got all the embroidery done...


this piece is for the bottom of the doors...





this piece is for up around the door handle....





and this piece will go down by the 4x4 shifter. it's the exact same logo that's on my seats, but i used a different material. this material is actually what we used for the piping in the seats...






the night before the big day i gutted everything in my interior. when i drove to the upholstery shop all i had in my truck was my drivers seat and seat belt - everything else was out.




it took us 3-4 hours to do everything.... here are some before/afters:


my drivers side arm rest was gross so i was able to replace that too....










the ceiling in the truck was all hanging down and gross and it still had the stock seats in it that were well past their prime....












so that was it for the interior upholstery. what a difference it makes - it looks just awesome!


i also added a sub-woofer behind the passenger's seat. the crappy part was that the plastic piece that runs behind both seats that is a 'storage unit' would have to come out. after thinking about it for a day, i called up my buddy at the upholstery place and asked him if he still had any of the left over carpet that we used for my interior - he did - so i picked that up and went to town. i cut the end of the plastic thing off so it would fit behind the driver's seat, console and the first part of the passenger's seat. then i wrapped it in the left over carpet. aside from my truck stinking like contact cement for a few days it worked great!
 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#7
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

the most recent modification was to the front end - nothing too major...

i swapped out the stock chevy emblem for a chrome one and i replaced the orange corner markers with clear/white ones

even though it was just a small mod, i think it made a big change to how the front of the truck looks




i also replaced my stock steering wheel with a Grant steering wheel - again, nothing crazy, but i really like the new look!

 
Jun 10, 2008
797
0
16
36
St. Charles, MI
#10
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

Nice looking truck!! I'm actually surprised you didn't roll it when you put her sideways on the highway. Looks like its come a long ways since you first bought it. Do you have anything done to the exhaust or is it just stock?
 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#11
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

^^ right now the exhaust is stock, but i'm hoping that will change this summer

part of me wants to go with some crazy gnarly muffler so you could really hear me coming, but then the grown-up inside of me wants something a bit quieter : )


my 'to-do' list for this summer is....
- paint the truck
- linex the box
- custom exhaust so i can hopefully put a 35" spare tire where the stock spare now sits
 
Jun 6, 2006
524
0
0
kelowna, bc, canada
#16
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

well it feels like christmas came early... or maybe late?? i got a bunch of stuff this week....

first is the street scene speed grille - i might have time this weekend to install it, we'll see...


i also got some stuff that will be installed when i get my truck painted (hopefully in july!!)

...dee zee stainless steel rocker panels. right now they look lie this


but once installed they look something like this (but for my truck of course)



i also picked up a new hood - i think this will look pretty sweet...
the boring in the box pic....


and what the hood actually looks like



i've gotta say something too... if you live in the States you are soooooo lucky. truck parts cost sooooooo much less. i'm just glad it's under two hours to the washington state border and for companies that let us canadians ship stuff to them and then go pick it up. i've saved hundreds of dollars doing that!
 
May 13, 2012
206
0
0
JBER, AK
#20
Re: The never ending build of my '89 stepside

Do you have any links or anything for the all the lights you have up front? Im wanting to do pretty much that same setup in my 97 K1500.