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Projects Father/Son 63 Chevy C10 SWB Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by guthriesmith, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Well, since we all like a build thread it seems and my buddy Bret (bchrismer) just started one about his 40 panel truck, it prompted me to do the same about a project I am currently working on with my oldest son. This will actually be his 3rd official vehicle and he isn't quite 16 (but will be in June of this year). He started with a 59 2-door Biscayne when he was 5 (but that was mainly so I didn't have to call that one mine as far as my wife was concerned), although he never really liked it much. The Biscayne was free to me (and him) so anything he could get out of it became profit. He decided to sell it, got $2500 out of it, and then bought a real kool chopped 50 Ford tudor project that was going to be a great sled. But, his taste was more expensive than his budget which then led him to sell it as well and then buy this latest (and last until after it is finished) project pickup. The third time really is going to be the charm if he wants something to drive when he turns 16 soon. :D

    What helped him want a pickup like this was the fact that I also drive one. He wanted mine actually, and I thought about selling it to him. But, then a buddy of mine, Brandon Aitken (solow50F1) mentioned selling one that he had owned for the past 25 or so years so we went to check it out Christmas day of 2018. This one wasn't an old man long bed like mine, but a short wide. It had been sitting for probably 20 years so is basically in need of lots of love. My buddy had planned on doing a few things to it years ago so it came with a few extra parts as well to do those things. The extra parts included the front section of a 73-87 Chevy C10 to be able to swap the front crossmember and a 71/72 rear axle to make the rear matching 5-lug once the front was swapped. Oh, and it came with a spare short wide bed. This got him his own pickup and let me keep mine too. So as not to bore everyone before I actually get started on the build progress, now is probably a good time to start adding a few pics.

    We ended up making the deal on the pickup the last day of 2018, but two days after that I left the country on a two week mission trip in Uganda. So, he had to wait until I got back in mid-January to actually go pick it up.
    IMG_6340.JPG IMG_6341.JPG
    Started with a needed bath since it sat under some trees for the majority of it's 20 year or so slumber.
    IMG_6386.JPG IMG_6387.JPG
    That helped at least a little before we took it home and starting tearing into it.
    IMG_6388.JPG IMG_6389.JPG IMG_6390.JPG IMG_6391.JPG

    Started by pulling off the bed so we could start lowering it and clean up the frame, rebuild the brakes, etc. We were initially planning to just leave all the 6-lug stuff under it and use a set of painted steel wheels. That is until he decided he HAD to have chrome OE style wheels that no one seems to make in 6-lug. So, that is the point that we decided to make an upgrade not originally planned on but will give it better bushings and disk brakes which will ultimately be a good thing for a 16-year-old and a daily driver.
    Someone made a huge mess of the bed by tacking some sheetmetal on top of the wood although I am sure it was out of necessity to use it as a truck since the wood was rotten as usual. When we got all this pulled out, we found that the bottom edge of all the panels that touched the wood were pretty much rusted off... Appears that it must have sat outside with lots of crap in the bed rotting even before it was painted white since all the rust was painted over. Even all the cross braces under the wood were rotted through. :( Lots of work to fix the inside of the bed, but the outside is pretty nice so definitely worth fixing. More on that later.
    IMG_6426.JPG IMG_6428.JPG

    Next step, install the c-notch pieces from Speedway. My son wanted this truck to be on bags and lay frame when we started, but he is coming around to the more traditional way of building it with just a nice static drop that will go anywhere he needs to go since it will be a daily. :D
    IMG_6429.JPG IMG_6825.JPG IMG_6829.JPG IMG_6830.JPG IMG_6831.JPG

    After getting one side cut and the c-notch installed, we pulled it outside to try to get some of the dirt and rust off the frame so we didn't have to breathe so much of it while working on it. It actually had no springs in at that point, so sat pretty low with the axle sitting up inside the c-notch. Not practical obviously, but helped with motivation.

    The gasser stance...
    Dragging it around the yard with my beater.
    IMG_7008.JPG IMG_7011.JPG IMG_7012.JPG
    Had to modify the c-notch on the driver's side to clear the bracket that mounts the panhard bar.
    IMG_7080.JPG IMG_7081.JPG
    And, to be continued since this is already a long post...
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  2. Once we got the frame in the rear done, we installed the 6" drop springs for starters. Since we had already made plans to swap the rear axle (and because I hadn't yet finished making the drop blocks), we stopped there on the rear for a while after cleaning it up and getting it painted black.
    IMG_7083.JPG IMG_7084.JPG IMG_7085.JPG IMG_7086.JPG IMG_7259.JPG

    While it sat for a while, we started collecting a few more parts along the way. We needed several parts for just the bed as well as other misc. stuff and I always like to have a parts vehicle if possible. While driving around the town I work in, I spotted a possible parts truck and ended up making a deal on it.
    IMG_7150.JPG IMG_7164.JPG IMG_7226.JPG IMG_7229.JPG

    A good friend and fellow HAMBer Bruce Kimbrough (mow too much) gave us a SBC that came out of his 37 Ford coupe he was working on as well and that is now going together as the engine for this. It needed pretty much no machine work, is a 4-bolt and had a standard steel crank in it.
    May have to continue this more tomorrow....4:00 am comes early in the morning...

    Hopefully, I am not boring everyone too much yet on this thread.
  3. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,271

    oldiron 440

    I like father son projects even on Chevys!
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  4. So, one thing I failed to mention in the beginning was the overall plan for this project as well as a little background on my son. First of all, my son has grown up in this traditional hot rod and kustom world since he was little. I think his first LSRU was when he was 2 and first HAMB drags maybe that same year. He has gone to the StrayKat 500 as well as most of our Hot Rod Hundred events for most of his life and somewhat lives and breathes this stuff. He has read most of my old car magazines and has had his own subscription to the Rodder's Journal for 3 years now. Oh, and he has been somewhat ruined by multiple friends that have taken him for rides in their old cars almost all of which are traditional hot rods or kustoms including many members here. He also works part time for my good friend Sid Drapal at Nostalgia Sid's that many here are also familiar with. So, we have tried to bombard him with the traditional scene for his whole life and it seems to have worked. :D He is also a great football player which takes up quite a bit of his time outside of school so a reason this project has gone slower than intended. Since he is now in the off season, it should go much quicker as we race toward the deadline and goal of having it done enough for an initial shakedown at the SWMO Hot Rod Hundred Easter weekend and then the StrayKat 500 in Dewey in May.

    Anyway, the overall plan is to build a truck that could have been a cool hot rod in the mid-60's shortly after it was new. Other than the updated front suspension, everything else on the truck is going to be from the 60's as best we can do that within a budget. The other main goal is to do this on a budget similar to the way most of us probably started building stuff (or maybe still do in some cases). He is quickly learning that this stuff costs what he calls a lot of money which is also a good lesson so far. We are using some of the old parts I have had for probably 30 years along with trying to scrounge up other good stuff along the way.

    A few months back, I had a friend, Alan Childers draw up a rendering of this truck with the plan my son has. Alan works at Steve Cook Creations and I have come to be friends with him over the past several years through mutual friends. Anyway, here is the rendering to help tell the story. IMG_8875.JPG
    The plan is just a simple overall look likely in silver and maybe white top and stripe in the trim. It will have chrome bumpers, aluminum grille, the chrome OE wheels he had to have, skinny whitewalls, and as much static drop as can make sense to drive daily. Since our deadline is quickly approaching, it may start in primer for a while as we work out the bugs, then blow it apart at some point to paint it.

    So, with that vision, the parts collecting continued. We went to a small swap meet down in Duncan, Oklahoma which was the first swap meet I have been to in years. Apparently that whole deal has changed some since I quit going probably 20 years ago. From what I remember, you had to show up at daylight to get the good deals. Anyway, that is what we did and then walked around looking at tarps for an hour and a half to two hours before the vendors started showing up and selling stuff... My son was not impressed with my keen swap meet skills at first. The trip ended up worth it when we found a near perfect aluminum grille for the project. Being a one year only grille, the chances of tripping across a nice one like it were pretty slim. But, we were thankful to find it.

    The only other thing we picked up for this project was a set of valve covers. Now, I think he has decided he would rather use a set of old Edelbrock ones I had picked up for my pickup instead of these, but we will see.
    Right before the swap meet, I had bought a set of 291 casting heads to use on my truck. Well, that plan has changed too and we will be using them on his engine and are the ones in this pic.
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  5. liliysdad
    Joined: Apr 1, 2013
    Posts: 62

    from Oklahoma

    The Duncan meet is a pretty decent little hometown swap meet. Its stolen a lot of business from the Chickasha meet, which used to be huge.
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  6. So, my kid may also be a little strange in that he wants this pickup to have 3 pedals on the floor. I taught him how to drive a standard a couple years ago in a 38 Ford with a flathead and a 3 speed. He also likes driving my pickup with the 3 on the column, so that is what he decided he wants in his truck for now too. I had another buddy fixing to move and was somewhat a collector of old 3 speed OD transmissions that needed to get rid of some. I went to buy one or maybe two GM 3 speed OD's and ended up loading up 3 of those along with 3 Ford T85's and a half dozen Chevy bellhousings for what one transmission should have cost.

    We did take the block, crank, and heads to a friend of mine's machine shop that has done a lot of machine work for me over the years. As mentioned previously, the block only needed some cleanup, honed, and new freeze plugs and cam bearings. He polished the crank and did a little touch up on the valves and seats and we were good to go. So far, we have only installed the crankshaft as it is going back together, but will get back on it soon. We need to clean up the pistons before making much more progress. Oh, and he just learned that he has to spend all his Christmas money to buy a cam and lifters which we also need. Sorry, no pictures on the engine stuff but is is also just a belly button SBC, so you guys know what all that looks like anyway.

    Next project is what we chose to spend Black Friday on. Seemed like a much better idea to me than fighting crowds for junk we don't need anyway. So, we started early in the day getting ready to swap out the front crossmember. I have never actually done this myself but hear it is an easy swap. I did own a 65 swb years ago that someone else had done with the 73-87 crossmember, but I didn't do it myself.

    We started with dragging in the frame section that had the crossmember we needed and took it apart.
    IMG_9277.JPG IMG_9279.JPG

    Then, we decided to pull the front clip off to make the job a little easier and help make access to clean stuff up some too.
    IMG_9280.JPG IMG_9281.JPG IMG_9283.JPG IMG_9285.JPG IMG_9288.JPG
    Hoped to spend quite a bit of time over the Christmas break from school getting more stuff done, but he and I were both sick for most of that. We did spend new year's eve afternoon out in the shop after spending the morning at a friends NAPA open house for motivation. Napa.jpg

    We were able to finish cleaning up the frame and get it painted. Next step will be to get the crossmember cleaned up and get it painted and installed as well.
    IMG_9361.JPG IMG_9362.JPG

    That pretty much catches up with where we are now. Hoping to order a cam and lifters either today or early next week and get back to work on the engine build as well as continue making progress getting it rolling again fairly soon.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  7. That is what I understand as well. I used to always go to Chickasha, but haven't been in a long time. That is where most of my memories of showing up at daylight are from. Oh, and I failed to mention one more thing I drug home from the swap meet. My wife loves old convertibles and the price tag on one for sale there caught my attention. It seemed like a decent deal and when I sent pics to my wife, she really liked it. So, I ended up dragging it home too. But, I have since also regretted it so it will soon be for sale to help fund both this project and my other son's project as well.
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  8. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,799


    I see most of the dirty work is out of the way! This should be a Fun project for both of you, Enjoy.
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  9. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 373


    Always loved those first gen C10s, and this one looks like its well on its way! Cool that its a father-son project and your keeping it reined in a bit, especially with all of the stuff coming out for c10s lately, its easy to get carried away, ( coming from someone who got carried away with their squarebody c10 :rolleyes:)
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  10. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,271

    oldiron 440

    There is so many life lessons in the works here, very cool!
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  11. JUNK ROD
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 371


    Nice truck! I'll be following, thanks for sharing!
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  12. Yea, I can't lie that this is a dream come true for me as a father. I did the same with my dad when I was 12 and learned not only about rebuilding a car, but also how to manage money, patience, hard work, priorities, etc. I get to do this same thing with my other son as well that is only 6 months younger, so my 2020 is going to be busy to say the least. My younger son has a bigger project of a pickup in a 51 Chevy but he is also my son that loves just spending time together no matter what we are doing. I will probably do a build thread on it too and it will also be a real traditional build.

    Thanks for the comments.
  13. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 819


    Jumping in to follow along!

    I also am working on a C10 project with my son who is 14... we are currently at almost the exact same point you are on his build. We ordered brake/steering/suspension parts yesterday. Not to clutter your thread, but here's a pic of his day of conquest! Kevin Green.jpg

    Your a good dad for taking the time to teach him this stuff!
  14. Very cool! Sounds like you are also a good dad for teaching this stuff. And, you aren't cluttering up the thread at all. I am doing a good job of cluttering it up myself. Thanks for the comments and good luck with your son too. I know it is OT for this place, but looks like your son has a pretty early square 75ish looking at the hubcaps and trim? Appears to be a great start at least from that pic. Your son looks happy too.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  15. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,893

    from oregon

    Nowadays, finding one of those early aluminum grilles in any condition would be difficult.
    That one is a really nice one!
    guthriesmith likes this.
  16. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,271

    oldiron 440

    I'm razing my 8 year old grandson so he may not realize that I have been setting him up to be a gear head but I have. Fords, Mopars, motorcycle's and dragracing all sence he was two. He is extremely competitive, loves football, wrestling and soccer. He's the fastest runner in his grade and is great at the academics.
    The thing about young people they need that role model in there life to show them how to navigate their priorities.
    My grandson want's a drag bike, a sport bike and a dirt bike at age 16 and I can help him get what he wants but he will need to work for it, sacrifice for it, just as I did, that's life.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  17. Oh...and even though it will be a little bit before we get this on the road, I did find a nice 63 plate in an antique store in town that we will run on the truck once it is going. We can run YOM tags here in Oklahoma for $20 a year so I figured why not since this one is nice.
  18. A few more pics while I am thinking about it. This will actually be the third 63 Chevy SWB that I have had around. I built one when I was a senior in high school in the late 80's and also had another one since my son has been with us. He has always loved "driving" the old cars around the yard, etc. so I have several similar pics of him in misc. old stuff that has come and gone over the years. Just ended up a little ironic that he ended up with basically the same pickup as the one he was "driving" in the yard when he was 3...

    My $200 start in high school.
    Back when I had much more time and energy to finish it in just a few months in that signature 80's styling...

    Silas "driving" at age 3. 100_2534.JPG
  19. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 819


    His truck is a 74, and he is the second owner. It came with a GMAC branded title, which was pretty cool, and appears to be very original so far. It is far from cherry, but is what he could afford. We are doing a very off-topic build, so I won't say much more other than it is his truck so we're following his dreams.

    I look forward to following along as you work on the 63. I have a soft spot for this era of Chevy, as I grew up with, and owned quite a few in my past. Tell him I'm jealous of that killer score on that grille... those are as rare as it gets!
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  20. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,271

    oldiron 440

    Once removed
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  21. Tall t 26
    Joined: Oct 6, 2017
    Posts: 199

    Tall t 26

    Awesome project. It will be a keeper packed full of great memories down the road.
  22. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 899


    @guthriesmith, love the project. This line in your post cracks me up, "Oh, and he just learned that he has to spend all his Christmas money to buy a cam and lifters which we also need."

    When I was in high school building my car I couldn't wait to spend any money I made or received on my car.
    My order of spending money was pretty much this:
    1. Car parts
    2. Gas
    3. Car shows
    4. Burgers/pizza

    All the best on the truck, I love yours, so I'm sure your son's will be very cool as well.
  23. Lol...I had the same priority list. Cars is why I worked and all I cared about when I was his age. His list may still start with food, but lack of progress on his project based on funds is changing the priority as he learns I am not just funding the whole deal without his involvement.

    Thanks for the comments and encouragement.
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  24. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,110

    Okie Pete

    Enjoying the updates
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  25. Small update today... We mainly spent the day trying to straighten the shop some. But, we did finish the short block for them most part. We got the cam and lifters this week so had some motivation. It is just a 350 but will have a lumpy cam and has a set of 291 casting heads, so should run decent anyway. This s a pretty low buck build overall. It didn’t need any machine work at all. So, it is mainly just rings, bearings and gaskets on the build.

    17E81008-9842-4294-9D99-5F600A5361A2.jpeg 6F460C8B-C581-4163-9B6D-037544C79CE4.jpeg 1F8912E2-ED7A-4D88-BC80-304B7E63A9B5.jpeg

    Just need to get some rocker studs and guide plates and we should have the long block finished up. He does have an old Edelbrock C3BX intake to put on it and we will run an old Holley from my pile of parts.

    Heads are just sitting on it for tonight until I go find a set of head bolts in my stash and get them cleaned up. I did throw one bolt in per side in case you were thinking the heads might fall off and that we weren’t considering that. ;)
  26. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,893

    from oregon

  27. Tall t 26
    Joined: Oct 6, 2017
    Posts: 199

    Tall t 26

    Still watching. Coming along nicely. Keep it up. And keep the pics. Coming.
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  28. Billy_Bottle_Caps
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 239


    Following along, great father/son build
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  29. Great project. I think you will like the 73-87 front suspension swap. Nothing wrong with making your son put in the money and sweat equity, he will appreciate the truck more. You are a good father for him and younger son as well with helping their trucks. Enjoy the time together and building a nice truck.

    Sent from dumb operator on a smart phone
  30. Thanks for all the comments guys. This really is a blast to do this with my son.

    A little more progress today. We found a set of head bolts, cleaned them up, and got the heads bolted on for good. Also set the intake and valve covers on for looks.

    We also pulled out all the parts for the engine I need to put together for my own 66 C10 soon. Mine regularly fouls #8 plug with oil and is what he is currently driving while he has a permit. So, next we need to build a motor for mine too. :cool:

    6C3E0F91-329C-46A3-8834-FBAFA2F99486.jpeg 019DB491-F564-4F2D-A668-672C238F6811.jpeg
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