1st WIP - Topkick: Update 05/28/13 She's Complete

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Well here goes nothing. I've been a long time lurker here with the occassional model posted in under glass. With all I've learned from everyone here I've built up the nerve to post a couple of WIP's. My first is a custom GMC Topkick extended cab pickup. I picked up a Topkick cab, Silverado dually and a Ford Louisville short hauler on ebay. I've severed the cabs from their respective front clips and shaved down the Topkick hood to align with the Silverado cab. Next I've started rebuilding the cowling area and firewall. I have some ideas on the paint scheme and wheel/tire combos, but I'll know more when I get the body and chassis mocked up. I plan on having a tilt hood and a fully detailed engine compartment with a gm fuel injected engine.

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Comments, suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Edited by dougp

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Posted · Report post

go big or go home get six 44 superswamper bogger and lift is sucker up high full 4wd set up :wub:

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Posted · Report post

this looks like its gunna get interesting :rolleyes:

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Posted · Report post

Great start i have been wanting to do this same thing so i will keeping an eye on this one

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Thanks for the comments.

I still working on the firewall/cowling area and have assemble the basic frame. I'm waiting on some parts so I can proceed on shorting the frame. In the mean time I have a couple of questions for you truck experts.

  1. I'm thinking about using the fuel injected engine out of the 99 Silverado kit or building a bb chevy for it. Is the auto trans with the Silverado kit suitable for the build or does someone a suggestion for a transmission better suit for this type of truck, maybe an aftermarket Allison trans.
  2. The engine in the Ford Louisville donor kit is mounted to the frame at the front of the block, directly below and inline with the water pump and at the transmission. Can anyone advise how the Topkick gasoline engines where mounted. I can't seem to find any reference pics on this topic.
  3. In the reference pics I've collected I've notice a couple of items. First, the fan/water pump appear to mounted higher on the 366 engine than a car/light duty truck. Is this correct? If so, is there an easy way to replicate this in my build. I know the radiator and mounting configuration is different on the Ford Louisville donor and it will need to be modified. Second, there appears to be only two or three leafs in the front springs compared to the multiple found on the Ford Louisville. Is this correct?
  4. I'm thinking about making this a 4X4 using a front drive axle from ATI Truck Models. If I go this route, any suggestions on a suitable transfer case?

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

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Posted · Report post

look for a monster truck kit and one of them would get u a nice tc for it and maybe front axle too

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We used to used gas powered Topkicks at work with the 366 and 454 engines and both had the fan mounted off the water pump. The radiators are tall though. The transmission from the stock silverado won't cut it but you could add the Louisville transmission to a 454. Our Topkicks only had two front leafs per side but they were about three quarters of an inch thick each, the Ford is a heavier weight truck than the Topkicks are. To make it four wheel drive you can used the transfer case out of the old AMT Ford F-350 or the old Bigfoot kits, it won't be exactly right but it's not wrong as in too light weight. The lighter duty Topkicks like the 5500 use an NV273 transfer case which is the same one from an F-350 or Excursion.

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We used to used gas powered Topkicks at work with the 366 and 454 engines and both had the fan mounted off the water pump. The radiators are tall though.

Thanks Brian, I see the fan is mounted off the water pump, but the pump itself appears to be mounted higher on the engine. Where the pump on a passenger car/light truck is usually mounted to the front of the block and heads, the Topkick pump appears to be located higher to place the fan higher on the radiator. The picture shows what I'm talking about. The pump appears to set level with the throttle plate.

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I know this seems like a stupid question since this is a custom, but I'm trying to keep some of the details authentic. Thanks again for the help.

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Thats how ours looked, it looks like the runners where the pump attaches to the block are longer than on the rugular engine. I will talk to our machanic and see what was going on.

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Update 10/29/12

Well it seems like its been a slow week. Don't feel like I got much done. Got the basic firewall/cowling into place and shaped up. The DG Productions Topkick hood plastic was thicker on the passenger's side and needed to thinned and shaped to match the cab. I had to add some strip styrene to the drivers side so the hood was square with the cab. Still need to fill in the along the front edge of the cowling. Will add more detail and shape to the firewall once I get the frame, suspension and engine mocked up for placement of the cab and tilting hood hinges.

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Once I have everything squared up, I have to figure out how to make the z-cut in the fenders like the 1:1 for the tilt hood.I would like to attach the lower end of the fenders to the cab first, but haven't figured out how to make the cut without breaking them loose. I'm afraid if I cut them before attaching them it will throw the cab/hood alignment out of wack. If anyone has a suggestion it would be greatly appreciated.

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I've made a little progress on the engine and frame. I going to mock up two engines, the first picture is the bbc out of the AMT 57 Corvette Street Machine. I will use it to copy the 454 throttle body injected engines used in the Topkicks. I have it attached to the Ford Louisville trans and may moded to look like an Allison auto. The second engine will be a custom 427 tunnel ram injected engine from the AMT 67 Impala Street machine. I have an Allison auto on order from American Industrial Truck Models for it. Once I get them together, I will see how each looks in the frame and then decide.

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The frame is together and waiting for the suspension. I thinking about using the axles out of an early Big Foot kit, Not sure because they aren't quite as meaty as the Ford Louisvile axle. So I've order up a front drive axle from AITM and will mock up both sets before deciding. If I go with the Big Foot axles I'll have to cleam up the extra detail and remove the hydraulic steering arms and rams.

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I going to use the AITM 16X20 hi float tires/wheels (HF-1) http://www.aitruckmo...lsandtires.html for this build. The wheels will be painted to match the lower body color which is going to be a dark charcoal or gun metal metallic. The upper body color is going to be a bright green, blue or purple. Once I have it mocked up I'll decide.

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i like the hf8 16x20 . they run them on alot of jack up trucks there in fla but im a fan of super swamper boggers 54s theres a dodge up the road thats siting on some 54 by 20s he had some 47 by 20 hf8 on rockstars rims :wub:

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Posted · Report post

cool...ill be watching!

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Posted · Report post

Neat!!

Good luck! You're off to a great start.

B)

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Updated 11/8/12

The parts I ordered arrived. My thanks to AITMs for his quick shipping during Sandy. The Allison auto trans was too big for my build so changes were made to the kit trans. Using the AITM's trans as a reference for the mods, I cut the tail shaft off and attached a parts box air cleaner to the rear of the trans. I then re-attached the tail shaft.

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Detail was added to the trans body using styrene strips and rods.

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The trans was finished in Model Masters magnesium.

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Work on the cab, hood and frame continue. First horizontal cuts were made to each fender in prep to vertical cuts to be made after the entire assembly is located on the frame.

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The lower part of the fenders that will remain attached to the cab were reinforced and glued to the cab. vertical cuts will be made along the edge of the reinforcements. The fenders were then trimmed even to the bottom of the cab.

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The short fender extentions seen in the 1:1 pics will be added after the vertical cuts are made.

Next, work on the interior tub has started. The hole created by the center console is filled with strip styrene.

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To even out and level the floor pan for the frame mounts, sheet styrene was added.

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The front of the interior tub will be reworked to fill in the blank space between it and the firewall. Work on the cab mounts continues on the frame. Once the interior tub is complete, it can be placed and aligned on the frame. Once it's in place I can determine how much the frame needs to be shortened for the pickup's wheelbase.

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Posted · Report post

Looking good!!

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Posted · Report post

Pretty cool,anymore updates?

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Just last Thursday I saw a REAL version of this truck! It was or LOOKED like an extended cab 4 dr Chevy with a Top Kick front end with a dually bed! It was home made, and it looked like it, but the IDEA was pretty cool! It DID look good. Granted the guy coulda done a better job of it, but what he DID do, looked pretty cool! Too bad GMC never thought of this. It DID look pretty cool from 20 feet!

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Update 11/15/12

Its been a good week for the Topkick. Finally got everything aligned and shortened the frame by 2" to match the truck's wheelbase.

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I tacked the frame in place with white glue. Black paint was applied to mark the position of the frame in case it broke lose while I drilling holes through the front body mounts to the interior tub for the alignment pins.

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Next the frame behind the rear suspension was shortened to match the truck length.

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Open rear frame rails are capped off.

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Edited by dougp

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Now the first mock up of the hood, cab and bed together on the shortened frame.

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With frame shortened and aligned I can start on the hood hinges. Once I get them in place I can make the vertical cuts on the lower fenders for the tilt hood.

Work has started on the rear roll pan. I filled in the area with strip styrene. Once it dries I will use some fine strip styrene to fill the gaps and shape the end caps. I haven’t decided on a bumper yet. I’ve seen a lot 1:1s use just the frame end cap and some with custom bumpers. Either way a trailer hitch will be added.

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Thanks for looking...

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Posted · Report post

nice job, starting to come together great !!!!!!

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Looks good !!I need to get back to building my lifted Chevy!!!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On our work trucks the pintle mounts on the frame end cap, for lighter duty applications than ours you can get a combination hitch that combines a ball and pintle and mounts to a flat plate like you have there.

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Edited by Fat Brian

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Update 11/23/12

Everything finally seems to be coming together. With everything in place and aligned I started built the hinges for the tilting hood. I attached two small pieces of strip styrene to the front frame rails to support the tube styrene for the hinges. I attached a length of tube styrene to the front frame rails and supports.

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Next I reattached and aligned the hood and cab to the frame. I used Plastruck liquid weld to attach each end of the tube styrene to the leading edge of the hood. Using a piece of scrap styrene as reinforcement I welded the center section of the tube styrene to the leading edge of the hood.

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I let the assembly set up for several hours and then cut tube styrene on each side of the center reinforcement. I inserted a piece of styrene rod through the cut tube assembly. I made the vertical cuts in the lower fenders and the hood tilts forward like the 1:1.

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