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My Chevy project

833 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  itsabullitt
I"ve been working on my '79 Chevy pickup for the past couple of months. I sold my 71 C10 to buy this one from a friend's dad. I liked the truck because it was the opposite of my 71. It's a 4X4 shortbed that didn't need hardly any body work. My 71 was a two wheel drive longbed that needed plenty of body work. Shortly after I found out the transfer case doesn't work so the four wheel drive didn't work. My friend's dad only had it a short time before I bought it and he didn't know it didn't work. He's an honest man I've known my whole life and he wouldn't lie to me. Then the clearcoat started peeling like a bad sunburn. (see how this is getting better?) A few months go by and it starts to give me some mechanical issues. Passenger side brake caliper started locking up,burning oil like crazy, saggy suspension etc. I started saving and bought all new rotors, calipers, hub lockouts, a 4" lift kit, and a trans/transfercase combo. Had the the turbo 350 rebuilt with some stronger internals and a shift kit. Had a 2500 stall converter built to match the new motor. The motor is a 355 small block from my '71. It had a recent rebuild, so just swapped out the old heads for a set of Vortec heads. Had them gone through with a valve job, screw in studs, and Harland Sharp roller rockers. Had to get a new intake for the new heads, so went with the performer RPM Air-gap. I went with a comp cam to match the intake and stall converter. Should spin up to about 6500 rpm without any trouble.

Anyway, with alot of help from my brother, the new drive train is in and the lift kit is on. I ran out of money, so it's time to start saving up for a new rear driveshaft, tires, and guages. It at least starts and moves under it's own power now Probably next year for paint.

Here's some pics:

Before. People used to tell me it would be a perfect truck if it was a 4X4. Shouldn't hear that too much now.

The old motor. I promise it's in there somewhere

Old motor, trans and transfer case out

New motor

New motor in

And the lift kit installed

I'll keep eveyone updated on the project. It will hopefully be finished in the next 2 months. It's my winter vehicle while the Bullitt gets parked.
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wow, certainly a vast improvement on what you started with!

The paint looks decent too, you should be able to buff out those blemishes no problem...

Home Depot has clear coat in a aerosol can, buy a dozen and you'll be home free...
The truck had recently been repainted. The trim on the rear quarters is all uneven, the doors don't line up right, and the clearcoat JUST started peeling shortly after I bought it. I took it to a friend that does body work and he said it was just a crappy paintjob. He quoted me $3500.00 to completely redo it. Pull the bed and all the glass, pull the trim and fill in the holes, and repaint. The plus is the body panels are all pretty straight and there's only some minor surface rust near the wheel wells. I'm just not decided on what I want to do with the paint yet. I'm thinking a flat black, or at least some sort of body protection like a rhino liner for the lower quarter panels since I'll be doing some four wheeling with it. I'm not too worried about the paint at the moment. I just want it to be drivable with the upcoming winter.
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I forgot to mention that I bought a 1973 Cheyenne Super brand new. It had crappy paint, the trim was falling off within a month, it split the rocker arms in three months, broke the A/C compressor bracket by 5K miles and in general was the biggest POS I ever attempted to own. Try as I might, it truly owned me...

And that was not funny!

So I have to say, your truck is probably just being a normal GM truck from the 70s'.
Back from the dead. Finally getting the truck painted. Will be stripping it down this Sunday and it'll be off to the painters next weekend. Got the driveshaft and tires done a while back. I'll get some more pics posted up once the paint is done. All I need now is gears, guages and a roll bar and it'll be set for a while until I get the big block built. Came a cross a free tall deck 427, but I'll need to upgrade axels and trans before I get that built.
Another update. New paint, body bushings, cab corners, windshield, door hinges and latches.

Also picked this up a week ago. Now off to the powdercoater.

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damn, you really turned that truck around!

Looks slick! Good stuff!
Thanks man. It's finally getting close to where I want it. Probably be "done" next year. Next up is rear bumper, new wheels, and hopefully tires by winter. I really hate running these polished aluminum wheels in the snow/salt. Then next year will be gears and lockers and a roll bar. Then it'll be set to go wheeling. Been a long road, but worth it.
too bad it has the bowtie of death on the front.
:clap: That is an awesome ride dude, you did a great job. :cool:
Forgot to update this thread. More progress. New 33x12.5 BFG Mud Terrain KM2's, got the lower part of the body covered in rhino liner, and finally the front bumper installed.

Not sure where to go next with it. I've got a new set of rear gears, but still need gears for the front, and differentials for both. I'd also like to either get a FAST fuel injection setup, or go with a newer injected 6.0 LS based engine. I don't think I'll ever get totally done with this. I keep thinking how much more money I need to spend on it to have it where I want it, and it makes me want to sell it and get a newer truck.
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Aaaaaaaand done!!! It only took 7 years, but I believe the truck is done. (until something breaks) Gears, locker, roll bar installed. Decided to switch out the trans for a 700r4. Turns out not too many people have run a 700r4 trans with an np205 transfer case, so that was a bit more expensive and time consuming than I hoped. It all came together and I got to take it on it's first wheeling trip.

Even got her stuck!!!

A couple vids from the trip.

Feel free to change the settings to 720p. It defaults to 360p.
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Congratulations on the completion of your Chevy project~ Good Job! Years ago I bought a new '76 Camper Special 2wd with a BB 454 the last year you could get one without 'Cats' here in Ca. I never put a camper on it, but had to buy that model to get a 454. I was quite a truck, but rode hard and sure burned a lot of GAS loaded or not! BTY ~I have had three Chevy trucks all together, besides the '76 a '90 Ext cab short bed (lowered) and now have a '11 RC short bed WT just to get around in. For some reason just couldn't bring myself to buy a Ford F-150. :wink:
Thank you. This is my second Chevy truck. My first was my first vehicle I ever bought, a '71 C10 long bed two wheel drive. As much of a bucket as that thing was, I miss it every time I see a 67-72 chevy. Especially when I see how much those things are selling for now. I'd love a newer F-150, or even an earlier model Ford pickup, but I just don't have room or a budget to have this truck and another. And I'm not willing to sell this one to get another one now that it's finally done.
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