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1972 GMC Sprint, 400c.i. w/aftermarket cam, manifold, carb and headers. LS swap planned for 2023!
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!
I joined the forum not long ago and wanted to start documenting what I'm doing with my '72 Sprint. Long-term goal is to build a fun daily driver that I can also autocross and/or run time trials with. Here is the overview of my starting point and short-term (12-months) goals:
- 400c.i. w/Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, mild cam, Patriot mid-length headers. Goal: swap out for a blown LS with 500-600 rwhp.
- TH400 is in place now...but it fills my drip pan with fluid weekly. Goal: swap out for a built 4L60e.
- Came with 17" Torque Thrust II wheels, bone stock suspension. Goals: modernize with hi-perf, modern suspension, brakes, and larger wheels/hi-perf tires. Lower by 2".
- Exterior is Olive Green, serviceable, and has no mods. Goals: maximize existing paint and trim using elbow grease. ("Go" is more important than "show" in this 1st pass.)
- Interior is black and 100% stock. Goals: add console and floor shifter to floor, put in functional/comfortable bucket seats, replace original A/C w/Vintage Air, replace analog gauges with Dakota Digital gauges, replace/refresh the rest as needed.
- Electrical is stock, but messy. Goal: rewire for safety, upgrade headlights.

I bought the car last October and retired this April, so just now really able to make some progress. (My Durango got relegated to living on the driveway while the Sprint takes up two garage bays, so I'm motivated to get the Sprint on all four wheels again soon.) That said, here is what's been accomplished since October:

- Cleaned up under the hood:
- Replaced air cleaner w/Edelbrock components
- Replaced fuel filter and fuel lines
- Removed valve covers, replaced leaking gaskets and reassembled with new valve covers. (The original valve covers were high-profile and didn't need to be.)
- Replaced driver's side header gasket (exhaust leak)
- Attempted carb rebuild, but a previous owner appeared to have drilled through carb body trying to remove a jet. (That explains the puddle of gas on the intake manifold!) Replaced it with an Edelbrock 600CFM Performer carb and it's running pretty good!

- Removed ALL of the original suspension, brakes, steering components, inner fenders and stock 10-bolt rear

- Front end:

- Installed UMI Performance Upper Control Arms & Lower Control Arms (w/Delrin bushings)
- Installed Viking Warrior 2-Way Adjustable coil-overs w/450# springs
- Installed Baer 14" Pro+ brakes
- Installed new rag joint, Lee Power Steering quick-ratio power steering gearbox (12:1), and Proforged end-to-end steering linkage

- Rear end:
- Installed frame braces
- Attached new UMI Performance upper control arms (with roto-joints), lower trailing arms, and Viking 2-way coil-overs (with 150# springs) in preparation for mounting Moser rear end

- Other
- Replaced original brake hard lines with new
- Replaced original master cylinder with the Baer "ReMaster" unit
- Replaced original brake proportioning valve with new junction for rear brakes and added the Baer adjustable proportioning valve
- Replaced various worn hoses and belts
- Repaired passenger-side door handle latch
- Polished chrome to see what I really had (most of it is in very good condition, but some pieces will get re-chromed or replaced).
- Cleaned up things as I went through the removal/replacement of parts. For instance, the steering shaft got stripped down to bare metal and received a few coats of Clear coat before it was put back in. Same for the stainless power steering lines.

I'm waiting for a few parts, but by the end of this month I hope to:
- Mount the new 12-bolt Moser rear end (also w/Baer 14" Pro+ brakes)
- Measure for wheels/tires and order them
- Measure to see if the drive shaft needs to be shortened or replaced and take action as necessary
- Install new (and massive!) front and rear UMI Performance sway bars
- Nut-and-bolt all of my work to ensure I didn't miss anything

...and before Hot August Nights:
- Mount new rims/tires
- Torque everything to spec while at ride height
- Get a four-wheel alignment (and have pinion angle adjusted to spec)
- Repair transmission leak
- Maintenance: oil and filter change, flush radiator
- Color sand and then buff the entire exterior
- Take a few local test drives

Adding some pics and looking forward to your comments and suggestions!

Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Land vehicle Car
Tire Wheel Crankset Vehicle Automotive tire
Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Automotive lighting
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Vehicle Car
 

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Registered
1972 GMC Sprint, 400c.i. w/aftermarket cam, manifold, carb and headers. LS swap planned for 2023!
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Rick! I'm enjoying the journey even more than expected. 🙂 Satisfying when you overcome challenges.
 

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Registered
1972 GMC Sprint, 400c.i. w/aftermarket cam, manifold, carb and headers. LS swap planned for 2023!
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree, you are doing great work and it’s looking awesome.
Thanks much, @78 Elk . Sorry I didn't respond sooner.

Update:
It's been two months since I last posted. Since then, I did make some progress on the "to-do" list, but didn't get enough stuff done in time to go to Hot August Nights. (heavy sigh...)

These are the things that were on my June list (and here we are in August!):
  • Mount the new 12-bolt Moser rear end (also w/Baer 14" Pro+ brakes) DONE!
  • Measure for wheels/tires and order them IN PROCESS (asked for help in another thread to confirm my thoughts before placing the order)
  • Measure to see if the drive shaft needs to be shortened or replaced and take action as necessary NEED Wheels/Tires 1st!
  • Install new (and massive!) front and rear UMI Performance sway bars FRONT IS IN PLACE, REAR IS NEXT
  • Nut-and-bolt all of my work to ensure I didn't miss anything DONE...for the stuff that's installed to date


In addition to unfinished business above, I'm targeting to complete this list by the end of the summer:

  • Get some wheels and tires on this beast!
  • Drop the car on all fours and:
- Check stance, adjust suspension as required for that perfect look, and ensure there is enough clearance everywhere to drive the car without damaging anything
- Set pinion angle after installing new/shortened drive shaft
- Torque down all suspension components to spec inc. rear upper/lower control arms, end links, etc.
- Road test paying special attention to the brakes (safety first!)
- Get the car professionally aligned

After this thing is actually rolling around safely, I need to perform some typical maintenance items (oil/filter change, flush the radiator, etc.), fix a transmission leak, and reapply truck bed liner to some areas of the frame where I either scratched it or melted it off (!) with brake fluid.

I have the car ten months now and am a bit behind on what I expected to have done, but am happy with the progress so far. I've learned a lot and learn something new pretty much every time I get under the car!

Some key lessons learned:
  • Be patient and do your best to do things right the first time or there's likely to be a second (or third) effort required
  • Some things can't be learned by watching YouTube videos; don't be shy about asking for help
  • Previous owners may not have done things right; inspect everything and expect to do some remediation
  • Everything will take more time and/or more money to complete than what you thought
  • "Budget" is just a fantasy

Here are a few pics:

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive lighting
Vehicle Wheel Aircraft Aviation Tire


Hope your summer is full of fun in the sun!

Jeff
 

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5,904 Posts
Before trying to fit max tire in rear, can you check to see if the body is centered? Sometimes they get off about 1/2 to 1 inch.
That can let a tire fit one side but not the other. Possibly use a plum bob and mark the rotor and the inside lip of fender. Measure both sides and compare results.
 

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Registered
1972 GMC Sprint, 400c.i. w/aftermarket cam, manifold, carb and headers. LS swap planned for 2023!
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Before trying to fit max tire in rear, can you check to see if the body is centered? Sometimes they get off about 1/2 to 1 inch.
That can let a tire fit one side but not the other. Possibly use a plum bob and mark the rotor and the inside lip of fender. Measure both sides and compare results.
Hmmm...good point. Using your method, the passenger side measures 5-3/4" and the driver side measures 6-1/8", so 3/8" difference side-to-side. (FYI, both fender wells when measured lip-to-inner fender at the middle of the rotor are at 13 3/4". Does that sound right?)

Given that situation, what are your thoughts? I'm open to stepping down to a 10" wheel in back; I can still fit that 295 on there (and actually gain a little sidewall protection against wheel rash!).

Thanks again!
Jeff
 

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Registered
1972 GMC Sprint, 400c.i. w/aftermarket cam, manifold, carb and headers. LS swap planned for 2023!
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, sir. Original equipment still in place. Whenever I get around to a frame off body restoration, that'll get done.
 

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There is a possibility that things may have shifted on the rearward body mounts. Possibly bolt holes come out of round, Maybe rubber collapsed allowing some shifting.
 
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