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1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#1 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:48 am

Hello everyone. I thought I would start a build thread on my 1983 280GE BM10.

I purchased the truck from an ad here on ClubG
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=11763

The seller was in Montreal and had sourced and imported the G into Canada. The vehicle was still on Dubai plates, but had proper Canadian import documents. I had the car inspected by the very knowledgeable Warren T in Montreal.who gave it a two thumbs up. The car had been advertised on various private dealer sites in the NE United States for a while at an inflated price. I had been looking for a LWB 461 for at least ten years and had come close to a purchase a couple of times. I was excited that this car was not ex-military green, not 24 volt, was a petrol powered 280GE and had some desireable options. I closed the deal with the seller and had the vehicle rail freighted to Vancouver and went to pick it up this Fall. As many of you know, The infamous "Autonovice" is currently based in Vancouver and he was gracious enough to host me overnight.
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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#2 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:09 pm

The car is titled as a 1983 with a build date of November 1982 and production serial number of 027565. As such, it was easy to bring it across then border and no need to involve a registered importer.

The 280GE in-line 6 cylinder motor is a nice power plant with lots of power that unfortunuately is not very fuel efficient. Given my expected use of the vehicle, the fuel economy is not a huge concern. Getting up to free way speeds and hauling ass in the dunes will be easy to accomplish though, compared to the less freeway friendly 5 cylinder diesel versions or the 230 4 cyl gasser. I would have actually preferred an automatic transmission, but the 4 speed on the floor was kind of an interesting old school feature and suits it well.

It also is equipped with a PTO transfer case which I have seen a few times, but never had the opportunity to test or use. This is not currently hooked up to anything, but it provides options for future use.

A couple other nice 461 features that I really wanted on a LWB open top were on this vehicle as well. These include the folding windshield, extended filler neck, front floor drain holes, and spare fuel canister holder. Standard 460 features that were present and are sometimes missing include the front tow pin bumper, split rear bumper, and towing set up. Super psyched to have it set up with factory AC as well.

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Winston
Posts: 1394

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#3 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:15 pm

So what sort of “building” are you planning to do? Are you keeping it stock and just refreshing the usual parts that have worn out?
1990 250GD 461.401
2000 G500 463.241
2006 G500 463.249

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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#4 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:44 pm

There were a couple of original items on the VIN data card that were missing or never installed. These include a weapon stand, longitudinal rear bench seats, front Rotzler 12v winch, and rear 2nd row single seats.

The car was originally special ordered by the Saudi royals as a hunting vehicle which explains the gun rack and nice rear seats.

When I received the car, the gun rack was long gone as was the original winch. A rear bench seat was in place of any original single seats and the interior could be characterized as "tired" but otherwise relatively original. The bonus is that the car is indeed totally rust free which is pretty nice for a 35 year old vehicle. It is apparent that the car has sat around in the desert as many small rubber wear items seem dessicated and will require replacement

This was also clearly not a collected car that had been stored with other high end vehicles, but it had seen occasional use with regular maintenance and was in pretty good overall used condition.

Here are a few pics after getting it home in September
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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#5 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:56 pm

Seeing as there was a general lack of decent interior parts available cheap and with a significant restoration task ahead of me, I decided to buy a rusty non-running 300GD from a forum member as a donor vehicle. It arrived without incident and spent its first few weeks on the street with occasional trips down to pull the interior and cut/drill out rusty bolts.

Now the 300GD is up in the gararge for a more aggressive parts removal prior to moving into long term storage. I figure that the axles, transfer case and drive train make the rest of it worth saving rather than just getting rid of it. I have a central Oregon low cost storage available to me where it will go this Spring.
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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#6 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:55 pm

Winston wrote:So what sort of “building” are you planning to do? Are you keeping it stock and just refreshing the usual parts that have worn out?

Well, right now just looking to set things right. Definitly not going for a the hard core off-roader route.

I have made some "improvements" already. Since the car did not come to me bone stock, I feel I have some leeway without ruining any originality related value.

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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#7 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:03 pm

First off was to get the top on right side out as it came to me with the top inside out. I guess they liked the tan color better. I have seen a really similar original white 461 LWB soft top in Australia with a tan top, but the top was aftermarket. That car was also a 1982 production.
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DesertStar
Posts: 1357

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#8 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:13 pm

Pretty cool. I think those models really look neat with the 460 alloys wheels and flares. Thanks for sharing your "build".

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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#9 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:24 pm

It didn't take long to get the interior out of the 300GD and into the 280 GE.
The original seats had been not much to write home about, 3 layers of upholstery on the front seats, 2 layers on the rear seat. Condition was decent but out they came anyways. Good news was that the donor truck also had longitudinal rear seats like the Data card specified.

The black front seat covers look brand new and should come in handy to someone.

Here are the original seats
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Otiswesty
Posts: 3902

Re: 1983 280GE BM10 build and restoration

Post#10 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:31 pm

The new interior included a nice set of Recaro 460 front seats and matching grey check on the other seats and door panels. I prefer cloth over vinyl or leather am hoping to keep this out of continuous sun and/or rain. So it should be okay
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