CUCVii Suburban Clone Build

Spot_ll

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Hello all, I’m Joey Hunt. I’ve made a couple of post regarding a CUCV I did some repair and paint work for @patracy ‘s M1008, so I’m fairly new to the site. Now that his truck is complete, it’s time for me to introduce my project, and see if I can’t get some information and knowledge along the process of this project.

I’ve had a love for MV for a long time.The only one I’ve ever owned was a 1977 Dodge M880. Owning that truck absolutely grew my love towards MV, especially the CUCV size and style of MV. I sold the M880 a few years back, mainly due to the rust in the channel above the windshield and doors. Since I got rid of it I’ve wanted another MV, and I’ve especially wanted what some consider the unicorn of CUCVs, The CUCV-II Suburban. As I redid Andrew’s truck, he and I talked about my want for a CUCV-II Suburban. Having recently purchased a 1997 K2500 Suburban, he encouraged me to clone it to a CUCV-II. So that’s what I’m doing.

My intent with this suburban is to clone it to a CUCV-II as close as I can, to how the military converted them. I’ve read here a lot and seen that the suvs especially wasn’t really a standard, as several different ones were bought with different options. I hope some of the owners and experts here on the CUCV-IIs will share your knowing me as I do this conversation. With that said here are the specs of the truck, and what I’ve got done so far:

It’s a 1997 GMC Suburban K2500. Powered by a 7.4/4L80e (smiles per gallon I know). 141,810 miles. Original Black with Neutral Tan Leather interior.

So far the interior carpet was trash. I’ve already removed all the interior, and plan to replace with Black rubber floor mat. The original GMC grill was busted all up already, so I order a new complete W/T grill and components to convert to single 5”x7” headlights. I’ve already got a Blackout Light bracket for the grill, and all the rear tie down brackets for the rear from a CUCV. Andrew has already donated me a newer style antenna bracket (from what I find used in HMMWVs). I plan to put all the blackout lights/switch’s in it and have it all working(haven’t decided if I’m going to do the 24v converter they ca

I had found a Tahoe on google (turns out to belong to @amgeneral72 after searching here) that inspired me to paint mine 686 tan.

So far that’s about got you all up to speed on where I’m at. I look forward to sharing this project with you. Here are some pictures of where I’m at currently.


Truck the day I bought it
E3C046A2-DC2A-4826-BC26-0AA6704519CD.jpeg

Truck as it is now
DB3EFE02-3EE8-47C7-AB13-FF23F8D09CC6.jpeg
10063F7F-E987-48CD-8AB8-13814785921C.jpeg45D19691-1F9A-4094-B298-82A1E6BC9537.jpegDA2B30BC-DDF8-42CE-BD7D-1218CE3D3DEE.jpeg

the rear cargo area I’ve already bed lined
08B27DF5-3BE2-44EE-A801-B640CFEE91E8.jpeg

the antenna bracket I have with shield

78B802F2-9A59-4B3B-981A-047B0C49B745.jpeg

new grill mocked up
908B2ACC-2402-43A3-B8F5-82F4DBF1C76E.jpeg

the truck that inspires me (owner tagged above)

1E2E0B44-4C25-4BBD-847B-A2C28E707BDA.jpeg

well that about has it for now. I know I’ve still got to source some parts (bumpers and ect), and build some stuff (brushguard, front tie downs ect), but my hope, like I’ve said, is when I’m done it’s as close to a military conversation as can be. Thank you all for enduring the novel I just wrote, and I appreciate any thoughts, comments, and help along the way!
 

WWRD99

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Hello all, I’m Joey Hunt. I’ve made a couple of post regarding a CUCV I did some repair and paint work for @patracy ‘s M1008, so I’m fairly new to the site. Now that his truck is complete, it’s time for me to introduce my project, and see if I can’t get some information and knowledge along the process of this project.

I’ve had a love for MV for a long time.The only one I’ve ever owned was a 1977 Dodge M880. Owning that truck absolutely grew my love towards MV, especially the CUCV size and style of MV. I sold the M880 a few years back, mainly due to the rust in the channel above the windshield and doors. Since I got rid of it I’ve wanted another MV, and I’ve especially wanted what some consider the unicorn of CUCVs, The CUCV-II Suburban. As I redid Andrew’s truck, he and I talked about my want for a CUCV-II Suburban. Having recently purchased a 1997 K2500 Suburban, he encouraged me to clone it to a CUCV-II. So that’s what I’m doing.

My intent with this suburban is to clone it to a CUCV-II as close as I can, to how the military converted them. I’ve read here a lot and seen that the suvs especially wasn’t really a standard, as several different ones were bought with different options. I hope some of the owners and experts here on the CUCV-IIs will share your knowing me as I do this conversation. With that said here are the specs of the truck, and what I’ve got done so far:

It’s a 1997 GMC Suburban K2500. Powered by a 7.4/4L80e (smiles per gallon I know). 141,810 miles. Original Black with Neutral Tan Leather interior.

So far the interior carpet was trash. I’ve already removed all the interior, and plan to replace with Black rubber floor mat. The original GMC grill was busted all up already, so I order a new complete W/T grill and components to convert to single 5”x7” headlights. I’ve already got a Blackout Light bracket for the grill, and all the rear tie down brackets for the rear from a CUCV. Andrew has already donated me a newer style antenna bracket (from what I find used in HMMWVs). I plan to put all the blackout lights/switch’s in it and have it all working(haven’t decided if I’m going to do the 24v converter they ca

I had found a Tahoe on google (turns out to belong to @amgeneral72 after searching here) that inspired me to paint mine 686 tan.

So far that’s about got you all up to speed on where I’m at. I look forward to sharing this project with you. Here are some pictures of where I’m at currently.


Truck the day I bought it
View attachment 848146

Truck as it is now
View attachment 848147
View attachment 848148View attachment 848149View attachment 848150

the rear cargo area I’ve already bed lined
View attachment 848151

the antenna bracket I have with shield

View attachment 848152

new grill mocked up
View attachment 848153

the truck that inspires me (owner tagged above)

View attachment 848154

well that about has it for now. I know I’ve still got to source some parts (bumpers and ect), and build some stuff (brushguard, front tie downs ect), but my hope, like I’ve said, is when I’m done it’s as close to a military conversation as can be. Thank you all for enduring the novel I just wrote, and I appreciate any thoughts, comments, and help along the way!
looks like you have a great burb to start with...very nice looking plus 3/4 ton is a good combo.
 

Spot_ll

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looks like you have a great burb to start with...very nice looking plus 3/4 ton is a good combo.
Appreciate it. Over all the body is straight and rust free. There is one member here who has a CUCV-II Burb, and it’s 3/4 ton. Going off that, I think what few where made, most were probably 3/4 ton. I have seen an old armslist picture of a CUCV-II burb that was half ton, but I don’t know if it was a clone or not. Maybe another member here has some infor regarding the burbs..
 

Skinny

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If you dont want to go military could always go presidential or CIA. All white with some flat metal hub caps. Jack Ryan themed.

Don't let the big block get you down. Even at 3.50 a gallon the 8.1 still makes me smile. Parents don't grab their children when a Prius goes by 🤣

MV5BMTA1NzAzOTg5NzZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDEzMDc1OTEx._V1_.jpg
 

WWRD99

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Appreciate it. Over all the body is straight and rust free. There is one member here who has a CUCV-II Burb, and it’s 3/4 ton. Going off that, I think what few where made, most were probably 3/4 ton. I have seen an old armslist picture of a CUCV-II burb that was half ton, but I don’t know if it was a clone or not. Maybe another member here has some infor regarding the burbs..
I wouldn't want one half ton...things ride to smooth...or loose....I think the front grill guard looks like the square body cucv with the exception of how it mounts to the bumper...have you checked out hillbilly wizard up here in Pa...they are making weld together kits that you could probably make the front mounts yourself to bolt on the different bumper...worth a shot if you can make it work.
 

Spot_ll

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Spot_ll

Active member
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Location
Buchanan Ga
I wouldn't want one half ton...things ride to smooth...or loose....I think the front grill guard looks like the square body cucv with the exception of how it mounts to the bumper...have you checked out hillbilly wizard up here in Pa...they are making weld together kits that you could probably make the front mounts yourself to bolt on the different bumper...worth a shot if you can make it work.
The brushguards on Gen 1 and 2 are similar, but different. I’ve read a couple of posts where folks claim it’s easier to make one from scratch than modify a Gen 1.. if I came into a Gen one cheap enough, I’d see how much different they are to cut and modify.
 

Spot_ll

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If you dont want to go military could always go presidential or CIA. All white with some flat metal hub caps. Jack Ryan themed.

Don't let the big block get you down. Even at 3.50 a gallon the 8.1 still makes me smile. Parents don't grab their children when a Prius goes by 🤣

View attachment 848183
I had thought about the secret service variant, but I honestly wouldn’t have been as happy.

side note: funny you mention Jack Ryan, I’m a big Tom Clancy book fan, I’ve read all of the Jack Ryan books. I stopped and didn’t read after the Jack Jr stuff. The Harrison Ford movies are great, the rest are meh in my opinion.
 

Skinny

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Everytime I see a white Suburban of that era I think of that movie and the scene where they get shot at.

Clear and Present Danger
Patriot Games
Hunt for Red October
Sum of all Fears

That's my order. The rest are meh, I agree.

Watch your back Jack!
 

kubotaman

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@hrbergeron reproduction and was selling the brushguards on FB and Ebay. PM him and he may have some left. He also does ship IIRC.

For shackle mounts, you can go with these if you want

I have had a few 88-98 series GM trucks and used to go to junkyards a lot for them. Let me know if you need anything. I think I do have a few of the smooth front bumpers for a gas truck/burb.

Nice build!
 

WWRD99

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The brushguards on Gen 1 and 2 are similar, but different. I’ve read a couple of posts where folks claim it’s easier to make one from scratch than modify a Gen 1.. if I came into a Gen one cheap enough, I’d see how much different they are to cut and modify.
I bet it would be hard to change one that's welded together already but these are kits that are not welded yet...would have to press bend the top bar and angle cut the middle ones to get the bend...the 2 mounts wouldn't take much to make since they are straight parts of steel.
 

Spot_ll

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I bet it would be hard to change one that's welded together already but these are kits that are not welded yet...would have to press bend the top bar and angle cut the middle ones to get the bend...the 2 mounts wouldn't take much to make since they are straight parts of steel.
I’ll look into that then. I’ve got plenty of metal working stuff, and don’t mind making parts.
 

Spot_ll

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I'm hoping to move mine in and start disassembly and work this winter.
Nice! I’d love to find a Tahoe that was in service someday also. I’ll be looking for you progress!

I don’t know why I’m drawn to the Suburban so much. Since I can’t find one of the few made, I decided to make one. I looked at it like this, if the military can convert regular civi trucks, I guess I can too. Only difference is I don’t think I’m gonna run 24v. I know they used a converter to get 24v (which is easier than 2 alternators), but I literally have nothing that uses 24v. So all the blackout lights, and accessories will be 12v for simplicity and practicality.
 

bikeman

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Nice! I’d love to find a Tahoe that was in service someday also. I’ll be looking for you progress!

I don’t know why I’m drawn to the Suburban so much. Since I can’t find one of the few made, I decided to make one. I looked at it like this, if the military can convert regular civi trucks, I guess I can too. Only difference is I don’t think I’m gonna run 24v. I know they used a converter to get 24v (which is easier than 2 alternators), but I literally have nothing that uses 24v. So all the blackout lights, and accessories will be 12v for simplicity and practicality.
Mine is 12v. It's also a gasser... it was, at some time, 24v, but definitely converted. Probably by the Air National Guard for reliability and normalcy and not to fry any of their civilian comms gear and emergency lights.

I'll be posting a thread, probably posting a lot on instagram @Big_Es_motorpool. There is a lot of rust, so, that will be jobbed out.
 

Spot_ll

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Mine is 12v. It's also a gasser... it was, at some time, 24v, but definitely converted. Probably by the Air National Guard for reliability and normalcy and not to fry any of their civilian comms gear and emergency lights.

I'll be posting a thread, probably posting a lot on instagram @Big_Es_motorpool. There is a lot of rust, so, that will be jobbed out.
My understanding they came either way, be it gas or diesel. There are a lot of good threads I’ve been reading thru on these. @Stonepicker1 has a thread with some info on the 24v side and some other info related, where he restored a pickup, if you choose to go back with it during the restoration. From what I gather it’s just an inverter that supplies 24v. I don’t have a need for 24v, so I’ll buy 12v blackouts lights, radios, ect. I’ll follow along on your Instagram also.
 

Spot_ll

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427F999D-ECDC-49F7-B902-AED234196DAD.jpeg
Got a few more things in today for the build thanks to @HillbillyWizard ’s website. I know the Gen 1 slave bracket isn’t the same, and I’ll have to make a bracket to work with the GMT400 core support.

The blackout switches are in nice shape and will service that part of the build nicely.
 
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Spot_ll

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So it’s been a few weeks since I’ve got to work on my Suburban. I found some time to get the front end converted and fitted to the sealed beam style front. Now I’ve got to gather up a blackout light to go with the mount I have so I can get it and the slave plug fitted and the grill cut out.
I also got a Jerry can holder I acquired from @patracy, mounted to the rear door. It’s coming together a little at a time.

I’ve also been studying how I’m going to wire the Service/Blackout and Intermediate switches in. If anyone has any wiring diagrams related to the CUCV II’s, I’d be much obliged if I could study them. I don’t plan on running 24v, as I have no need for it. I plan to buy 12v blackout lights to run, but I want to wire them as close to as GI as possible. Be it using relays or whatever. I have ideas on this also, that may be tidier and cleaner by using another fuse/relay box I have from this body truck as a stand alone. It’s all just ideas at this point.


48F91F17-E926-4A26-AB00-C5FA9881FD9A.jpegBFD1661D-5898-4A57-AE66-79D97AE46663.jpegB8CD911E-57AC-4216-B6F6-15EF4C86C983.jpeg
 
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