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  #1  
Old January 20th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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Default Recreating 10254. (with lots of questions)

First of all, I'm new to M715 ownership -and M715s in general, in fact (I wasn't even aware of them until a few months ago.)

I've recently purchased my own, from a Zone member, serial #10254; referenced in .

My intention is to restore it to as close to its original visual appearance as possible while modifying it to serve as reasonable transportation - including highway/interstate use when necessary.

My M715 purchase included almost an entire truck in spares (minus only the frame and transmission, I think), so my plan is to service/rehab/exchange the spare parts while maintaining a functioning vehicle, to minimize downtime to the extent possible. Luckily, I live one mile from where I work and 3 miles from the grocery store - both well within stock Kaiser range, so I'm thinking I can pull this off.

In addition to returning it to its proper color; to keep it visually stock, I'd like to:
  • retain the original axles and wheels (and I am fond of XLs on M715s)
  • keep the cabin stock (all appropriate levers in original locations, stock seating, original gauges)
  • utilize as many of the stock systems as I can live with - 24v, vacuum wipers, etc. to maintain as much of the truck's soul as possible.
As I'm a novice pertaining to Kaisers and MVs in general, I have a LOT of questions.

For instance, at the outset I know I'm looking at re-gearing the axles to 4.56, and installing the NP205 that came with the truck's spares package to make this thing capable of sustained speeds above 50 or so. I suspect that I might need to consider a transmission upgrade as well (NV4500?) to get into the 60-65 cruising range without grenading engines?
However I'm not certain if I can retain the factory parking brake with the NP205. And, if I were to swap transmissions, I don't have any clue as to whether or not I could retain the original levers in their original locations?

Also, I know that there are disc conversion kits for the stock axles, and that a MC upgrade is in order for safety's sake - and that boosting is strongly advised, but am new to hydro-boosted braking systems. How are they preferable to vacuum-assisted brakes? More appropriate for a military-inspired vehicle?

Currently the truck is 12v. I'd like to return it to 24v, but will need 12v at least for towing purposes - How is this accomplished?
What are the real-world downsides to 24v? Upsides? Why was 24v used originally?

I'm immediately looking at rebuilding the original seats to replace the aftermarket ones that are in the truck - I believe there are multiple options out there for seat kits (same companies that make the soft tops?) - which if any are superior in fit and appearance? What other criteria is important for choosing a seat kit? Can the seat base be modified to replace the spring construction with a modern foam for improved comfort?

(I'll post photos when I figure out where I am hosting them; I've already hit my quota with the images in the M715 purchase thread.)

In any event, after 2 days of M715 ownership, this is my priority list:
  • Repair Driver's Window Regulator (window falls down when door is closed)
  • Restore Horn function
  • Restore Wiper function
  • Restore Turn Signal function
  • Restore Brake Light function (this should probably be closer to the top of the list...)
  • Restore Parking Brake function
  • Diagnose (and Correct) Brake Pull
  • Re-upholster and Install stock seats.
Thanks in advance for the community support and collective knowledge - I expect I'll benefit from both.
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  #2  
Old January 20th, 2013, 11:37 PM
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First of all, welcome. I only have time tonight to give my opinion on one of your guestions. You plan on upgrading for better driveability. I initially wanted the same for mine but it morphed. I thought to use my stock axles and did all the modifications to them, disc brake conversion, re-gear to 4:10's power lok both ends. I ended up with aftermarket wheels as well. It's been done, money has been spent. Now for my opinion, too much money! For my needs, after the fact I would have purchased a whole gm product parts truck with a big front brake dana 44. Use all the parts stick /auto whatever your preferance, t-case, rear end etc. Get it all in and rebuild as you go. You will never have a driver with that POS 230. So go with whatever the parts truck had. You will save money and a lot of headache this way. If only I did my research first..... You can easily purchase modern 8 bolt rims to fit your XL's and run a 24 volt starter and a GM Delco one wire alternator to keep your 24 volt system. Look on e-bay. But you might like that big 6 bolt rim??? I did, but..........
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Old January 21st, 2013, 04:43 AM
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Default Recreating 10254. (with lots of questions)

Thanks!
How did you do 4.10s?!?


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Old January 21st, 2013, 05:01 AM
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I changed the trans and transfer case in mine with minimal trimming for the trans, and used the stock levers for the 205 TC.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 05:15 AM
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Default Recreating 10254. (with lots of questions)

Flingarrows, what transmission are you using?


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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:33 AM
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From what I understand, putting 4.56 gears in these axles eliminates the transfer case overheating issue. For the xfer case whining, you can relocate the drive shaft and this goes away too.

Your build sounds similar to mine, I kept the stock axles, added hydroboost, Michelin XZL tires, etc. 4.56 gears are in the works and I am rebuilding a spare NP200 and relocating the driveshaft.

I kept the truck with stock appearance and added a few upgrades, 454 engine with an automatic transmission. I even kept the clutch pedal and the TH400 shifter comes out the stock hole at the stock length with the stock shifter knob.

Best thing I have done is add hydroboost, by far. This truck stops well... REALLY well. Vacuum brakes are OK but they don't compare. There is a reason heavy duty trucks (3/4 ton GM, Ford and Dodge trucks, Diesel trucks, 1 ton trucks) use them.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 06:39 AM
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Well, I'm not opposed to good brakes!

I'm doing a search, but what is the Hydroboost for Dummies short version? Can I retain my power steering? Does it affect MC selection outside the typical fluid displacement/volume calcs?
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Old January 21st, 2013, 08:13 AM
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Welcome to the Zone. I am not trying to sound cruel here, so please don't take it that way.

Everything you are asking about has been asked before and has been done before. The replies to this thread show that. You really would be well served to open up the modified forum, use the drop window at the bottom of the page to show threads since "beginning" and read every single one since the beginning. Same with the open and stock forums. It might mean a week or so of reading, but you will gain tremendous knowledge and probably have a better idea of what is right for you.

Members have driven totally stock trucks at 60 mph coast to coast. Many of us have modified them in some way and put thousands of miles on them. Many of us are also on our 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even 5th round of "making the truck like I want."

I personally would suggest you make the truck so it can be driven. Put a note book inside the truck and drive it. Drive it everywhere you go for a week. Write down every time you wanted more power, more speed, a cup holder, a heater, a defroster, less noise, more noise, better brakes, tunes, more storage space inside, a more comfortable seat, more visibility, ability to see the gauges at night, ability to see out the front windshield at night, a/c, etc....

Then, get it off road where it was actually designed to live. Spend at least a day on trails, up hills, down hills, in tight turns, running at idle in low range granny gear and doing obstacles a baby jeep would be scared of. You will be amazed at what a stock truck can do in the mud and dirt. They are truly amazing in that environment. Keep track of your likes and dislikes.

Everything you do in one of the paragraphs above will take away from something in the other. Only you can figure out what will work right for you.
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  #9  
Old January 21st, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Love the notebook idea Barrman!
Mine is stock. I feel no need or desire to change that. I want the challenge of driving it the way it was designed. That's just me though...
Welcome to the Zone and enjoy!!!!
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  #10  
Old January 21st, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Default Recreating 10254. (with lots of questions)

Thanks guys. I'm actually working my way through old threads, and bookmarking/subscribing as I go.

That being said, I'm also working on the truck and driving it at present.

Notebook is a good idea, I've got one in the battery box to list repair items as I discover them. Adding experiential info is an excellent suggestion.



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