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Projects Flat-N-Low's '64 C-10 thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flat-N-Low, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. I'm about 70% finished with this project, but I thought that I would finally post up this build on the HAMB. A lot of this thread initially will be excerpts from my thread on the '67-'72 Chevy trucks website, but to get everybody up to speed, I'm going to rapid-fire posts so I can get this caught up to the current status.


    I have owned Chevy trucks for years, and have had most all of the styles except oddly enough, my favorite one, the 60-66 version. I've seen some nice ones but it always seemed like there was something around the house that needed my attention (and money) more, so I always passed. I've always been keeping an eye open for one, but because I have so many other projects, it had to be cheap and close by. I'm always looking through Craigslist for parts, and always look through the local area for Chevy trucks. Well, a while back, I stumbled on an ad that read, "1964-to1966 Chevy truck", and it was 8 miles from house and it was listed at $300. Needless to say, my Spidey Sense was tingling, and I had to go and look at it.

    The owner was a guy going to school full-time who had no money, and the truck was constantly being bounced from friend's house to friend's house because he had no place to keep it. It was at a cousin's house who was going to be evicted, so the seller was desperate. While I was looking at the truck, HE was knocking the price down. I stayed quiet and cordial, and finally he got down to $200 and I just reached over and shook his hand and said I would take it. He was a nice kid, and I wasn't going to let him whittle down his price anymore.

    The truck wound up being a 1964, 3/4 ton. The engine is missing, the 4-speed trans is still in it, and the interior is complete. The body has definately seen better days, but the thing that sealed the deal was the fact that it had factory in-dash air and tinted windows. I've never seen in-dash air on a '64 because I was always under the impression that the in-dash A/C option didn't come out until '65. This thing has all of the A/C-specific holes in the firewall so that leads me to believe that it's all original. I'm going to pick it up in a few hours, and after I get it home, I'm going to do some more investigation because the A/C has really got my interest. Anyway, enough of the BS. Here's the pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's also got 3 tanks and they are all still in the truck. For starters, it needs a new grille, marker lights, hood hinges, rear window, taillight lenses. It's also missing the A/C stuff on the firewall on the engine side.

    I have a '79 Suburban (454, th400, disc brakes, power steering, A/C) that is going to be the donor to get this truck back on the road.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
    timmy2times likes this.
  2. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a few gallons of Purple Power and fired up the pressure washer and went to work. The truck had dirt and grease caked so bad that it took multiple applications to get most of it off. I need to get a pressure washer with more psi, or get Brad's steam cleaner fixed. After cleaning it up, it was pretty obvious that this poor truck had been seriously abused by the previous owners.

    Underneath the hood, it went from this:
    [​IMG]

    To this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You can see the hack job on the A/C holes in the firewall that the dealership did back in '64. I was told that the A/C in the '64 trucks were not installed on the assembly line, but at the dealerships. Disregard the block-off plates. I found those (in white even!) at a local wrecking yard and they are merely serving the purpose of sealing the firewall from dust and critters.

    I'm going to keep plugging away and get more stuff done. Next step will be to install the new rear window glass and continue cleaning. The inside of that thing is NASTY.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  3. Pictures:
    Up on the patio and out of the dirt
    [​IMG]

    New rear glass installed
    [​IMG]

    Gutted all the nasty stuff out of the interior. It had sat without a rear window for probably 15 years and it had about 30lbs of dirt inside.
    [​IMG]

    Driver's side floor. A few tiny pinholes, but mostly surface rust from water being trapped under the floor mat.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
    timmy2times likes this.
  4. I worked on the 'ol '64 today with the intention of re-installing the tank. I went to Napa and bought a section of fuel hose for the filler neck only to find out the Chevy used a hose that is 2 different sizes on the ends. Oh well.....I didn't let that slow me down so I continued cleaning up the inside and decided to CLR the passenger side of the truck. I was amazed. See for yourself:

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    And After:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It looks like somebody shot him in the butt with some bird shot! Jealous husband perhaps?:lol:
    [​IMG]

    I did a real quickie CLR job, and I plan on finishing the rest of the truck and then going back and working all of the little areas. One thing I couldn't help noticing was all the little dents I found when I was doing this. This poor truck was was used and abused. Now, I have to think of what shop logo I'm going to go with. I have a few in mind.
     

  5. I had a little time to spare yesterday afternoon, so I did a few things to the '64. The bashed up grille always bothered me, and a I had a spare aluminum grille that I picked up for cheap because it was dented pretty badly. I worked out the majority of the dents (not as easy as it seems) and decided to bolt it up to see how it looked. I also bolted on my spare bumper, which is in better shape than the original. I even did a little CLR work behind the grille to get the surface rust off.
    BEFORE:
    [​IMG]

    AFTER:
    [​IMG]
    In this picture, you can see just how mangled the grille surround is. The previous owner had a motorcycle rack or possibly a spare tire holder mounted up front. Over a long period of time, it started tearing the sheetmetal, including the core support. I have an extra grille support that's cherry, but I may be committed to fixing the original one because I'll never be able to match the patina. When I fix the passenger fender, I'll yank the grille surround at the same time and stitch it all back together.
     
  6. I finished doing the CLR scrub on the roof today, so the majority of the rust removal is complete on the exterior. I also got around to installing the Custom cab pillar trim:
    [​IMG]
    Check out how many holes there are for all the mirrors the truck has had in it's lifetime. The dude obviously loved to drill holes!
    [​IMG]

    I pulled the gauge cluster out to give it a good cleaning and inspection. I had a good laugh. The truck had been sitting so long in the blazing desert heat with the windows closed that some of the numbers actually fell off the bezel! The picture doesn't show it very well, but there are a pile of numbers on the bottom of the cluster. So, I definitely need to get a bezel for sure. I would love to add a tach, but we'll see how the money situation is. I've been staying on my budget so far, and I don't want to get off-track.
    [​IMG]

    Next step: CLR the inside of the truck! That is going to suck..........
     
  7. I got busy on the interior last weekend, and got a bunch accomplished. First of all, I did the CLR and soft Scotchbrite all throughout the interior and took the majority of the surface rust out. Then, I waxed the painted areas. I re-installed the gas tank, installed the new dome light and fished the wiring through the cab, changed out the seat brackets, cleaned the dash, installed my Custom Cab steering wheel, and temporarily installed my gauge cluster. I say temporary because I am not done with the resto on it. I had to see what it would look like.
    The interior went from this:
    [​IMG]

    To this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I am definately keeping the cool rear window cover. The truck had a cab-over camper for a good part of it's life, and there was no window glass, and that was the "privacy curtain". I am actually trying to find a lot of the "old man" stuff that was in the truck before I got it. There are holes drilled everywhere, and after a bit of thinking, I figure that he had a fire extinguisher bolted to the right hand kick panel, a compass next to the rear view mirror, and an emergency flasher unit in the truck at one time. I am on the hunt to find those items. I hate seeing holes drilled for no purpose, so I want to ensure that you won't see them.

    The next step is to: replace the fuel filler hose, clean the floor, fix a small rust area in the left hand kick panel area, replace the firewall insulation, take a good look at the underdash wiring and fix what's bad, remove the clutch pedal and linkage, remove the transmission, and remove the exhaust.

    I'm getting real close to getting the '79 Suburban back to the house and start the suspension swap. It's going to be fun!!
     
  8. Well, a week or so ago I added some pictures showing the dash all cleaned up, along with the unfinished gauge cluster. In the left corner of the cluster, I had temporarily mounted a vacuum gauge from a '66 Oldsmobile 442, and promised that I would post up more shots when I had the vacuum gauge finished. Here's a step-by-step pictorial showing what I did:

    I love the look of the gauge clusters when they're fully optioned with the tach and vacuum gauges, but finding those gauges can be an expensive endeavor. As the title of the thread proudly proclaims, I'm building this truck on the cheap, so I had to put my thinking cap on to figure how I can duplicate this look without throwing down a lot of dough. I started going on ebay and looking at all the GM vacuum gauges, and the prices were all over the board. The Chevy truck gauge was seemingly impossible to find, and the car gauges were pretty spendy. The beauty of GM stuff is that a lot of it will interchange, and I was taking a gamble on whether it would all fit. On ebay, I started watching one gauge in particular, one from a '66 Olds 442. It was thrashed, and it seemed like nobody was interested. The seller proclaimed that it worked, and that was good enough for me, so I placed a bid with 20 seconds left in the auction, and got it for $28, which is a steal. The housing was nicked up, the chrome was flaking, somebody had put a prisma decal on it, the clear bezel was cracked, but I didn't care because I wasn't going to use any of that stuff. Here it is. Trust me, it looks nicer than it really is:
    [​IMG]

    Here it is all disassembled, pretty simple:
    [​IMG]

    I took the gauge itself and held it up to the truck's cluster and the mounting holes were identical to the ones in the truck's gauge cluster (gotta love GM!) and I bolted it in to see if it would work. It was about 1/2" too high and didn't look right. Plus the font wasn't identical and wasn't the sea-green color of the rest of the gauges:
    [​IMG]

    So I started researching what the factory gauge looked like, and lo and behold, I discovered that the faceplate of the vacuum gauge was exactly the same shape and size as the truck's block-off plate. Now I was on to something. If I could use the block-off plate as the gauge face, then a huge part of the puzzle could be solved.
    [​IMG]

    The block-off has two tiny rivets that secure it to a sheetmetal tab that bolts itself to the mounting plate. I made some measurements on the center-to-center spacing of those rivets and compared it to the tiny bolts that secured the faceplate on the Olds vacuum gauge, and they were identical. So I carefully drilled out the rivets and removed the tab from the block-off plate. I also made some measurements of where the hole needed to be for the needle to protrude through and drilled that with a 11/64" bit.
    [​IMG]

    Now came the tricky part, the fonts for the gauge. I had been in contact with a well-known gauge company and had sent them a pdf file showing the decal I wanted them to make. They agreed that they could make it, and I was about 5 minutes from pulling the trigger when I went on the site and saw the thread that Parklane410 posted concerning the gauge overlay kit he was selling. I immediately bought the overlay kit. It was like it was meant to be. Here's what Jason's kit looks like, minus a couple of the overlays for the little gauges that I already installed before I took this picture:
    [​IMG]

    Here's what the old cover plate looks like with the holes drilled and the overlay installed:
    [​IMG]

    Here it is installed to the truck's original mount plate, using the tiny faceplate mounting screws from the Olds gauge. I also removed the needle stop from the Olds gauge and drilled a tiny hole and super-glued in on the new faceplate. I also determined where zero Hg location was on the gauge and pressed the needle in place. I have yet to paint the needle, but it will be painted.
    [​IMG]

    Here it is, installed in the cluster. It looks 100% factory. I figure that I have about $33 invested in it when you consider the ebay price and the overlay price. I wound up overlaying all of the gauges, so the vacuum gauge overlay price was 1/7th of the total cost of the overlay set ($35). That's a heck of a lot cheaper than some of the $200 gauges I was seeing on ebay.
    [​IMG]

    Next step, tach! Stay tuned for more cheap-ass adventures!
     
  9. I haven't posted in a few weeks, but that doesn't mean that I haven't done anything on the truck. As I posted earlier, I have a '79 Suburban that I am using as a donor for suspension and whatever else. Well, last weekend, I started tearing it down. Some of the parts were ones I was going to keep, others were spoken for by friends, and I was able to post an ad here on the site and so far have had a lot of responses. It's going to donate a lot of parts, and I'm really excited about how it's going to benefit the '64.

    In parallel, I have been pulling the suspension out from under the '64. Here's a few shots with the front suspension removed:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The Donor:
    [​IMG]

    Next weekend: Pull the final 14 bolts holding the suspension into the Suburban, stream-clean it all, then start detailing the chassis in preparation for the suspension install. Gotta keep knocking things off the list!
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  10. Another good day today! I got the front suspension installed in the '64, did some more steam-cleaning and yanked the 12-bolt out of the Suburban.

    Here's the steam-cleaned front suspension ready to go into the '64.
    [​IMG]

    And here it is installed. It's definitely got a nose-up stance because there's no engine installed, and the suspension has big blocks springs in it. We'll fix that in the next few weeks. The swap went really well. The suspension is really heavy, and it can be a challenge to get it placed on the floor jack evenly. Once we got it in position, everything lined up. I had to slot one hole on each side and had to drill a new hole on each side as well. It went really quick. I still have to get a steering box bracket from Captain Fab and remove the sway bar frame mounts off of the Suburban chassis. This week, I am going to buy a set of spring perches and hopefully, they'll show up by next Saturday. I'll clean the shock mounts and old perches off of the 12-bolt, and if everything continues to plan, I'll get the rear end installed in the '64.
    [​IMG]
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  11. I got a lot of work done on the rear suspension in the last few weekends. First, I flipped the forward trailing arm brackets. Pretty straightforward, but you've got a bunch of those pesky GM rivets to remove. I wound up firing up the torch and heating them until they are cherry red, then hitting the trigger and melting the heads off, taking extra care not to torch the bracket. Then, grab the air chisel and knock what's left of the rivets out. When you flip the brackets, you have to drill 2 new holes per side. I wanted maximum strength, so I stepped up the holes to 7/16ths. A total of 16 fasteners, 32 flat washers and some red Locktite and you're done.

    The next step was pressing new bushings into the trailing arms. I fired up the torch and burned out the old rubber and removed the guts. Then, I cleaned up the receptacle in the arms with a barrel sander and knocked the new polyurethane bushings in.

    I painted the trailing arms and frame with chassis black (satin) paint. I bought a Super Track Bar Kit from Early Classic and CPP 5" drop rear coils and mocked up the rear end. I have still not welded the perches on because I have to mock up the engine/trans and carrier bearing in order to accurately get the pinion angle correct. I just wanted to see if there was anything I needed to address before I set the rear in place for the last time. Here is a picture of the rear suspension. Note: the rear axle is yet to be painted, the pinion angle is not set, the shocks are not installed, and the track bar is not installed. If you look close, you can see the new bolts on the forward trailing arm brackets that are now flipped.
    [​IMG]

    Here's where it should sit at ride height. The wheels are mock ups; the tires are 31x11.50-15 and are really tight inside the wheelwells. I want close to a 30" tall rear tire, and these are relatively close, just a bit too wide. The '79 rear end is 1.5" wider than the original rear end, and that's a bummer because I would love to have a 10" rear rim tucked inside. Not gonna happen, unfortunately. It looks like an 8" will be the widest wheel I can run with this rear axle.
    [​IMG]

    I have already started on doing some suspension mods on the front, but I'll refrain on posting pictures until the mod is done. Until then, hang tight!
     
  12. I was able to get on the truck for a few hours yesterday. It was really cold and windy, so that kept me from getting a whole lot done. I was able to drive out the lower control arm bushings with the air chisel, and while the lower control arm cross shafts were out, I blasted them clean.

    [​IMG]

    I am working on a mod to increase caster, so these cross shafts are going to a buddy's house so they can be machined. The intent is to move the lower control arm forward .75", thus tilting the spindle back, increasing caster. The machining will be very simple.

    In order to do this mod, you have to remove the saddles that are riveted to the center crossmember. There are four of them, two on each side. These saddles are what keeps the lower control arm in position, and are held in place with u-bolts. They are kept from spinning by a stud that locates itself in the spot-faced holes in the lower control arm shaft. Here, you can see a picture of the front crossmember showing the two bolt holes for the u-bolts and the rivet head for the locating stud I mentioned earlier. The stud side is not visible in this picture.
    [​IMG]

    In order to get the saddles removed, you have a few options. You can grind the heads off and drive out the rest of the rivet. Or, you can fire up the torch and melt the rivet heads off, then drive out the rest. I opted for the torch. I learned quickly that even with the head and tail of the rivet melted off, the rivet stems did not come out without a fight. I had to warm up the rivet stem with the torch and shoot them out with an air chisel. The rivets go through 4 layers of steel (doubler plate, saddle, and and 2 layers crossmember). Once you get them out, here's what the pieces look like after a few minutes in the blaster:
    [​IMG]

    Here's what you'll see when the saddles, doubler, and rivets are removed. I decided that I was going to use a 7/16 X 1.25 socket head cap screw as the new locating pin, so the center hole in this picture needed to get opened up to a 7/16 to ensure that bolt would fit nice and tight. The light area in the front is the lip on the crossmember, which will be cut away. Sorry for the dark picture, my lighting was a little goofy yesterday.
    [​IMG]

    Moving the control arm forward will cause the aft side of the control arm to get really close to the center crossmember, so I removed the lip and blended out the cut to eliminate any sharp edges that could cause a stress riser. You will only need to cut the lip back to where it meets the second metal layer.
    [​IMG]

    That's all I got done yesterday. After the shafts get machined, I put them in place and show you the difference.
     
  13. had a very productive last couple of days and got a lot done on the '64. I finished the caster mod I posted about earlier, so I'll continue where I left off:

    In my earlier post, I showed the portion of the mod where the locating pins (the factory rivets) needed to be removed and replaced with 7/16-20 x 1.5" long socket head cap screws. For added insurance, I used Loctite and a stover nut. Here's a shot of the finished installation:
    [​IMG]

    In this shot, you can see the head of the fastener, which will locate perfectly in the new spot face positions in the lower control arm cross bar.
    [​IMG]

    In this picture, you can see the difference between a stock crossbar and a modified crossbar. The upper bar is stock, and the lower bar is the modified bar with the newly-located spot faces.
    [​IMG]

    For an added bit of fluff, I primed and painted the front half of the chassis. I gave it a good shot with the steam cleaner and another last blast with the pressure washer, and then primed it. It's not a show vehicle, and the chassis isn't 1000% clean, but it'll suffice. It's a driver and it'll get abused.
    [​IMG]

    While the control arms were out, they got blasted and painted. New Energy Suspension bushings were installed and all the balljoints were replaced with Moog parts. Then the moment of truth arrived, and it was time to install the control arms and see if the caster mod was a success. Everything fit perfect. The clearances were excellent, and the locating pins lined up exactly as planned. Here is a shot of the driver's side control arm. You can see just how much the control arm moved forward.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a close-up shot of the back-side. If you recall, I had to clearance the crossmember. I now have plenty of room with the control arm at full up/down.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the front side. You can really the .75" difference in position from stock.
    [​IMG]

    Here's another trick I did to eliminate a huge shim stack in the upper control arm. On the half-tons, GM utilized spacers on the control arm bolts, along with the normal shims. Because I cut a coil from the stock spring, I knew that the alignment shop would have to add more shims to get the camber correct. So, I went to the wrecking yard and grabbed some other spacers(the fat ones) and added them to the mix. The original set-up was: 1 skinny spacer on the forward bolt, and one fat spacer on the rear bolt. The new set-up is: 1 fat spacer on the front, and 1 fat and 1 skinny spacer on the rear. Not much of a difference, but I don't like the look of a huge spacer stack on lowered vehicles.
    [​IMG]

    I finally got to set the truck on it's wheels. The engine and trans are not installed, so it'll come down a bunch when they finally get installed. The wheels and tires are from the donor Suburban, and they are NOT going to be what I am going to run. I am going to have a big/little wheel and tire combo, and I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to go with. In this shot, you can also see the rear height after the spring changeout. It's finally getting there!
    [​IMG]
     
  14. If you've seen my posts in the Wanted section for a tailgate, you'll know that I am been searching high and low for the "right" tailgate. If you recall, I already had a nice tailgate, but it was primered. I plan on keeping the natural patina of my paint, so a primered tailgate won't suffice. Even if I faked it, there's no way I could get it to look original. I had been looking on Craigslist as far away as St.Louis, and had even thought I had found one in Merced, only to have it sold before I could get the deal worked out. I even had a member, LostMy65, check on one in Oregon City, Oregon, but it was too beat up. On Thursday night, I was checking on Craigslist in the L.A. section, and there was an ad that said "60-66 tailgate" with no pictures. I shot the guy a text, and got nothing. On Friday, he texted me back with a picture, and I about had a cow. Yep, it was THE ONE. So, on Saturday, Brad and I headed out to East L.A. and got it. I paid a little more than what I wanted to pay, but after seeing the condition, I had to have it. The paint is original, the patina is perfect, the black lettering is original, and it is perfectly straight. Here it is:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The only issue is that the tailgate trunions are seized up in the tailgate, but I have been soaking them with penetrating oil. With a little CLR, the tailgate will match the rest of the truck perfectly. It took awhile, but I was patient and waited for the right one to show up. I almost bought a few of the ones I looked at, but something told me to wait.
     
  15. Had a little time today, so I decided to finish the cab mounts. My C-20, like most, had broken rear cab mounts. I'm usually 100% supportive of anything GM did back in the day, but whoever designed the rear cab mounts on the C-20 and heavier trucks really missed the mark. It's like they are designed to fail. I looked around and found out that you can send your mounts out to Steele Rubber and have then re-vulcanized, but like I said before, I'm not a fan of the design. Tony Smith makes a really nice retrofit kit that utilizes 1/2 ton-style mounts, but I didn't want to spend hardly any money. Brad came up with an idea that fit my plan perfectly. A modification that can be done at home for next to nothing.

    As you can see, my mounts were shot:
    [​IMG]

    The first thing to do was to separate the rubber from the mount. A hacksaw or a Sawzall (preferred) works great. Make sure you support the cab before you do this:
    [​IMG]

    Once you get the pieces separated, you have to do the lovely task of getting the rest of the rubber off. The only way to do this is to get your torch and burn it off. Yeah, it's a nasty job, but it's really the only way you can do it. Continue to heat the rubber until it can be scraped off. The remaining rubber can be wisked off with a large wire brush. Get the rubber hot, and then hit it with the brush while it's still molten. The mount has to be clean in order to weld on it, which will come later.

    After the "arm" of the mount is removed and cleaned, I placed it back into position and made a measurement of the gap where the rubber block used to reside. It winds up being around 1.5". I determined that the best way to secure the arm and the riveted mount on the frame was to replace the rubber with steel. I wound up going to my local steel yard and bought some scrap steel, 3" wide by 1.5" tall U-channel, .250 thick. I got them for $4 total. I welded the U-channel (flat side out) to the cleaned mount section that's riveted to the frame.

    You're probably wondering how I plan to cushion this mount. It's real easy, I bought an Energy Suspension Cab Mount Kit (part# 34137, around $50) for a HALF TON. The bushings that normally attach to the mounts on a half ton will now go into the modified C-20 mount. I took the front mounts and swapped them out (they are the same between the half ton and the three quarter ton). I took the bushings for the aft mount and placed it and the flat washer on top of the mount arm and determined where the arm needed to be located. It's going to sit lower than it was originally, due to the thickness of the bushing. Once I liked where it was positioned, I welded the "arm" to the u-channel. I order to bolt this all together, you have to do a few things. First, the 1/2" x 5" long bolt in the Energy Suspension kit will not work. The nutplate in the cab floor on the C-20s is a 7/16", so you have to go to the bolt shop and get a 7/16" coarse x 5" bolt. Get a Grade 8, it's good insurance. Secondly, the Energy Suspension kit has a steel sleeve that has to insert into the upper and lower bushing. Unfortunately, the attach hole in the C-20 mount is slotted and needs to be enlarged to fit the sleeve. A die grinder works great for this. Once it was all welded and the hole was enlarged, I trimmed off the extra steel for the arm (the curly-Q section) to make it look a little more aesthetic. Here it is all finished (please note that the bolt is not ran down tight in this picture):
    [​IMG]

    No more sagging!!!!
    [​IMG]

    So, all total, I re-bushed all the cab mounts and fixed the problematic aft mounts for $58 (bushing kit, steel, and new 7/16" bolts).
     
  16. It's been awhile since I've posted anything on the '64, but that doesn't mean that there isn't anything going on with it. Actually, quite the opposite. I have a bunch of stuff going on, but I have been hesitant to post anything that's half-done with no expected completion date. I've been working some long hours, but in my spare time, I have been able to complete a portion of the build that was pretty important. The wheels!!

    Because I converted the suspension to 1/2 ton, I now had the good fortune of being able to use a 5-lug wheel, which I prefer. The truck is being built with a mid-60s vibe, so naturally, a 5-spoke Torq-Thrust style wheel was what I had in mind. Finding an old Torq-Thrust style wheel in 5x5 was much more difficult than I expected. I did not want the later D-Spoke style wheels because I don't care for the curved spoke. They HAD to be the old straight-spoke style from the '60s. I found a pair of 15x8.5 ET Supers on the H.A.M.B., and I had a pair of 15x6 ETs in my parts stash, so the next step was to restore them to a '60s look.

    One of the rear wheels turned out to be cracked, so that meant it had to be fixed. The best way was to stop-drill the crack, then grind a "trench" and TIG weld it closed:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Because the wheel lips had some damage, it was a perfect opportunity to chuck them up in the lathe and true the lips and dress down the TIG weld at the same time. Next, the wheels were taped off and the centers were bead-blasted in preparation for paint. The fronts were already fully polished, so the blasting went really quick:
    [​IMG]

    When it came time to paint the centers, Brad (hotrod49) had some extra paint left over from some previous custom jobs he had done, so we took some charcoal metallic base color paint and kept dropping in some silver base to get the shade just right. We waited until we had a calm morning and shot the wheels before the winds kicked up:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The ET wheels had a really funky oval center cap back in the '60s, and I thought that they would be perfect for the wheels to enhance the '60s vibe. I had been looking for months, and found a guy on a VW site called the Samba who had a set of N.O.S. ET caps so I grabbed them.
    [​IMG]

    I haven't got the rear tires yet, but I hope to have them in the next few weeks. I have to get them first before I hammer out just how much I have to narrow the 12-bolt rear to get the wheels/tires to fit. I already have the Moser housing ends and a buddy who builds race cars owes me a favor and is going to do the narrowing as a payback.

    A BIG thanks to Brad for all of the help on painting the wheels, and the use of his awesome blast cabinet!!

    I've got lots of other stuff going on as well, and I'll post up the progress as I finish them.
     
  17. I was able to get a lot of stuff done on the truck this weekend. The 12-bolt was torn down and sent over to a buddy's shop (RJ Fabrication, on the web as www.rjfabrication.com) to have the housing narrowed 1.5" on each side. Rob and I trade work between each other, and he owed me for a bunch of wiring work I did for him a while back.

    So, while the rear end is being worked on, I spent the time doing a lot of cleaning, sandblasting, and painting. The driveshafts have been rebuilt with new yokes and u-joints. They have been blasted and painted with black primer, and I'll hit them with chassis black right before I install them for the last time.

    I had to build shims for the front motor mount stands because I used the ones from the '79 Suburban. I whipped them out of 3/8" aluminum plate. Also, because I wanted to get the engine perfectly level, I had to build shims for the trans crossmember. I wound up using a trans crossmember from a '70 Camaro because I had on laying around. I am a stickler for having the right pinion angle, so I even made a 3/8" shim for the carrier bearing to get all the angles right.

    While the rear end was out, I had to put the new wheel and tire in the opening to see how it was going to look. I am VERY happy with the results:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For those keeping score at home, the wheel is an ET II ('60s vintage) in 15x8.5 with a 3.0" backspace, and the tire is a BFG Long Trail Touring in 265/70-15. Fifteen inch tires are becoming increasingly more difficult to find in the larger sizes, and I had a heck of a time finding one that would give me the height and width I needed and still be an easily accessible tire to find if I needed to replace it.

    The next step is to get the exhaust up and situated while the rear end is out, paint the center of the frame, mock-up the master cylinder/booster and build brake lines, finish mounting the column and build the intermediate shaft, rebuild the steering linkage, replace the rear coil spring cups, paint the rear axle housing, and install the rear suspension for the last time. I want to get the suspension finished because I'm dying to get started on the motor and the exterior. You're going to flip when you see what we've got planned for the exterior.
     
  18. Had another good day today. Got a lot done on the '64!

    First, I did a final clean-up of the inside of the 12 bolt and torqued the main caps to 60ft/lbs and installed the cover for the last time. Did a little touch-up on the housing, and while it was drying, I replaced the upper and lower coil spring attach fittings because my originals had some hairline cracks. After that, the rear axle was set into place and the Super Track Bar brackets were installed. The rear shocks were some Rancho adjustables that Brad had that were left over from an old project, so I cleaned and painted them chassis black and installed new Energy Suspension eyelet bushings. I think that the adjustable feature of those shocks are really going to come in handy down the road.

    I finally remembered to take some pictures, but I waited until I was done.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I you remember, I did some trading with a buddy for the exhaust. I did a lot of cleaning and painting and it turned out really nice. The ONLY problem that I have is that the system was designed around my buddy's truck which has a factory panhard rod. Right now, the panhard bar for the Super Track Bar kit I have will not work until the passenger side tailpipe is modified. A bummer, but it won't be difficult to fix.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  19. The axles finally came from Strange on Tuesday, so I had to wait until today to install them. The axles fit perfectly, but we had to do a little grinding on the axle retainers that Rob had made to get them to fit the way I wanted. His measurements were a little "tight", so they had to be opened up just a little.
    The drum fit the axle ends perfectly. I like the Strange Engineering logo on the axle end, but unfortunately, it won't be seen when the wheels and center caps are on.
    [​IMG]

    Got the wheels bolted up, and had to made some adjustments to the track bar and also to the bed, which was way out of alignment. Once everything got aligned just right, the truck was lowered to the ground on it's wheels for the first time in a LONG time. Needless to say, I was very happy with the results. I was going to take some more shots of the rear wheels, but the batteries in the camera died.
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, I am going to finalize the rear brakes, and work on the front suspension. I would really like to have the front and rear wheels bolted on and the front end mocked up at ride height.
     
  20. As promised, I got the brakes situated and bolted up the front wheels and tires. We wound up pulling out the coils because there's no weight in the front. There is a bare aluminum block and a gutted 700r4 case sitting in the engine compartment, which is essentially no weight at all. The front tires are mock-ups, and after looking at the stance, I might go up one size to a 225/60-15 tire. I also bolted on the funky ET oval center caps. I'm really happy with the way it looks, but it's still sitting about 2" too high in the rear. I'll fix that later.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  21. All right...I've now that I've got a little time, I'll explain what's been happening lately on the '64. In my recent postings, I attached pictures of it at ride height, and although I was jazzed about the way it looked, the control arm clearance to the ground was about 1 3/4", and that just wasn't going to fly. I did a lot of research on Dropmembers, Z'ing frames, and sectioning crossmembers, and although each one had it pros/cons, I just needed a nudge to push me in that direction. Enter Kustombrad and Bob......

    I've known Brad since I was a G.I. in the Air Force back in the late '80s, and we've always thought alike when it comes to cars. Between us, we've had quite a few cool rides. For the last 20 years, Brad has always talked about wanting to "Z" a chassis on a '73-'87 truck. Once he saw how low the control arms were on my '64, he was on a mission........he was going to do his best to convince me that Z'ing the chassis on my '64 was the way to go. It took a little bit of convincing, because I wanted to carefully plan the job, but Brad already had the cutoff wheel spinning in his brain. Once I said Yes, it was headed over to Bob's house.

    A little about Bob.......he's about 60yrs old with the drive and passion of an 18yr old. He is an extremely talented metal man, and has chopped more tops than I can care to count. Nothing scares him, and he was 100% ready to do the job.

    Anyway, as soon as the truck was in the shop, it was carefully leveled and measured. The frame was jigged at ride height in front of and behind the crossmember.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The area directly under the crossmember was also jigged.
    [​IMG]

    It was determined that the frame would be Z'd 2" up higher, and forward 1" to center the wheel in the wheel opening. Once the jigs were in place, they determined where the best place to cut the frame would be. In the rear, the frame makes an inward taper, so you have to take that into account. Also, you want to ensure that you cut behind the upper shock stud. You want every bit of the crossmember, including steering and shocks to move up as a complete assembly.
    [​IMG]
    The front cuts have to be carefully planned out, because you have a few things to concern yourself with. First, the steering box. Everything in the steering box area starts to get tight, namely the radiator. You have to plan your cut where it's just forward of the steering box and just aft of the radiator saddles.
    [​IMG]
    In this shot, you can see how close the radiator is. You still have good clearance because the radiator is secured on the top and bottom.
    [​IMG]
     
    -Brent- and timmy2times like this.
  22. Now, once you're satisfied with the cuts, it's time to start stitching it all back together. The frame is going to be plated with 3/16ths steel plate on both sides of the frame rails, but the frame needed to be joined first. The cut gaps were measured, and small intersection plates were welded in place.
    [​IMG]

    After that, the boxing plates were cut and welded in place. Here is the passenger side outside plate. There is another place just like this welded to the inside of the frame rail as well. So, if you're keeping score, there's THREE pieces of 3/16's plate (two plates and the original frame) at every area where the frame was cut.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the boxing plate on the passenger side front frame rail. Again, there's another plate on the side of this area as well.
    [​IMG]

    Now that the frame was in place, it was time to address the engine. From the beginning, the plan was to leave the engine in it's original location and only bring the crossmember up. The reason for this is that you don't have to mess with the trans crossmember, and plus, I had already built all my shims to get my pinion angle where I wanted it. So, this meant that the motor mounts had to be relocated down 2" on the crossmember. This was one of the more challenging parts of the job. This meant that the engine mount stands had to be shortened. If you remember, I did an earlier mod to where I could use the engine mount stands from my '79 Suburban donor, which has the superior clamshell-style mounts. In this picture, you can see the surgery that had to be done. To help get the engine lower, the original bolt hole in the clamshell for the long attach bolt was moved up about an inch. The clamshells were also trimmed up, and this picture was taken before that was done. Also, because of the fact that the wheelbase was moved forward 1" to center the wheels in the fender openings, the motor mounts had to be moved 1" to the rear to keep the engine in it's original location. Disregard the groovy green clamshells, I got them from a guy who painted his entire engine engine that color. Yeah, it was ugly......
    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of the steering box bolted to check for fit and also to get the steering linkage positioned exactly where I wanted it.
    [​IMG]

    Speaking of steering linkage, I came to the conclusion that the '79 Suburban frame was taller than the '64's frame. I discovered this when I went to attach the drag link to the frame. I got the steering linkage leveled, and perfectly in-line with the tie rods, and the drag link was way too low. I remedied this by drilling another hole in the link and attaching it to the frame.
    [​IMG]

    Another area that needed a little bit of attention was the swaybar. The sway bar attach brackets that I got from Early Classic would not work because the rear attach hole was now hanging in the air because the area that it originally attached to was now 2" higher. Because the crossmember was moved forward 1", that was a very good thing, because the bar was now also 1" farther forward. I redrilled the front rails for the swaybar bushing fittings, and it'll now bolt directly to the frame. You can see it in this picture. You can also see that a new steering u-joint was installed to attach my column to the box.
    [​IMG]

    The chassis is now at the point of getting blown back apart and cleaned and painted chassis black. The inner fenders will also need to be trimmed, and I'll post up pictures when I get to that point.

    *****I have to give a HUGE thanks to Kustombrad and Bob for all of their hard work on this. I was away at work for 80% of the job, and those two maniacs deserve the credit for the work that was done. They did a great job. And oh yeah, it only took Brad 20 years to find out if his idea of Z'ing a chassis would turn out right!*****
     
  23. Not done yet.....

    While the truck was at Bob's, he couldn't help himself. Seeing all of those dents was driving him nuts, so he and Brad broke out the hammers and fixed a bunch of dents and then Bob installed the patch panel on the front fender.
    [​IMG]

    Also, I got a rear lower bedside patch panel from a member on the site (LT1 Burb), and Bob fitted it as well
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you notice, the ugly gaping holes where the fuel access doors used to be are gone, too!!
    [​IMG]

    That's enough for tonight. I'll post up more pictures soon. Still a lot more to do!
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  24. Did a lot more work this weekend, and it wasn't the fun kind, either. With all of the stuff under the hood that will get covered in chassis black along with the fresh Chevy Orange engine, I knew that the firewall was going to have to get painted. If you've ever done this before, you know that it's not fun work.

    My truck originally came with dealer-installed in-dash air. The '64 trucks had this option available, but it was installed at the dealership. The later '65 and '66 trucks had the A/C option installed during the assembly line process. My truck was missing most all of the A/C system with the exception of the dash vents and ducting, and the A/C -only ash tray. Weird...that's usually the FIRST stuff to go. Anyway, I found the rest of the parts and I needed to test-fit the evaporator to ensure that the holes in the firewall were drilled in the right place. The dealer had to hand-drill all of the holes, and some people can't read a schematic to save their lives. Here's an older picture of the beautiful job the dealer did (I'm kidding). In this old picture, I had an extra set of block-off plates, so I installed them to help keep the critters out.
    [​IMG]

    I wanted a nice firewall that was as air-tight as I could make it, so after the test fit of the high and low pressure fittings, I decided that they needed to be smaller and placed correctly. That meant a lot of cutting and fitting of patch panels. While we were at it, we filled a lot of the other unused holes in the firewall. There were a bunch. After a few rounds of filler, it was ready for metal etch primer:
    [​IMG]

    And then, it got a few good coats of filler primer. You can see that the original holes are in a slightly different place and much smaller than before. My intent is to have the tubes penetrate the firewall through rubber grommets, but we'll see when it's time to install the evaporator and heater box for the final time.
    [​IMG]

    The overspray area below the firewall will be sprayed with undercoating after the white paint is shot on. No reason to go crazy trying to mask that area off, as tape will not stick to the old asphalt-based undercoating.

    While I was toiling away on the firewall, Brad starting putting filler on the driver's side bed, being extra careful not to go too far out with the filler because these areas will be spotted in to blend in with the old, original paint.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All in all, a very productive weekend. A big thanks to Brad for guilting me into doing the firewall and for doing the bodywork!
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  25. Well, I finally got a day off of work, and instead of loafing around on the couch, I decided that the '64 needed some attention. The truck has sat since the chassis work was completed, and I hadn't had time to repaint the front suspension. After about 6 hours of grinding, sanding, wirewheeling, cleaning, and repainting, it's now done. I had been procrastinating this job for awhile, and it feels good to have it behind me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've been working on the engine in the evenings, and I'm hoping that in the next few weeks, it'll be ready to get bolted in the chassis. I still have to finish the restoration of the A/C and heater box and have the core support and inner fenders sandblasted and painted. Still a lot to do, but you've got to keep leaning forward!
     
    -Brent- likes this.
  26. I started working on a section of my project that I have been dreading: the inner fenders. If you recall, the frame on my '64 has been Z'd (2" up and moved 1" forward). Because of this mod, the stock inner fenders were now 2" too long and wouldn't fit. It wasn't as simple as chopping off 2" from the bottom and calling it a day. Nope, not that simple. The frame is now kicked up in areas of the "Z", and the bottoms of the inner fenders were going to have to be completely reshaped to follow the frame. Another area that was going to be tough to figure out was the inner fender mount bolt at the bottom of the firewall and the steering column cover piece. The location of those items didn't change, but everything else around them did.

    I laid out my cut line and cut the inner fender. I started to trim the cut section to clear the core support bracket and the upper control arm. I made a series of pie-cuts to allow me to reshape the bottom of the cut piece to match the contour of the frame rail. In factory form, the stock inner fenders have a lip on the bottom, which I will keep. One of the challenges was that the bottom of the inner fender makes a transition from the outside edge of the framerail and then goes above the rail adjacent to where the radiator mounts up. I didn't want that, so my plan was to re-form the bottom of the inner fender to follow the frame contour and have the lip stay on the outside of the framerail from front to back. You can see what I'm talking about in this shot. The area on the far right will be re-flanged.
    [​IMG]

    In this shot, you can see where it got tricky trying to make the inner fender still attach to the rear mount tab. I had to make a pie-cut and lay it way down in order to get it match the frame contour and still bolt up. At this time, I bolted in the column shaft cover. You can see that the bottom needs to be trimmed and the three lower bolt holes will have to be redrilled. The original 3 holes were lost when the 2" was removed from the inner fender.
    [​IMG]

    Now that the piece was located, it was now time to attach the sections. Because the pieces were overlapped, I had to make a cut line that matched my Cleco pattern. Once I made my line, I fired up the cut-off wheel and started cutting. Because I had Cleco'd the parts together, once I started making my cuts I needed to ensure that the panel stayed clamped, so after every 2" of cutting, I installed a panel clamp to keep everything lined up. After the cutting was complete, I removed all of the excess metal and was left with just the metal that was to be butt-welded together. In this picture, you can also see the area where I reflanged the forward edge of the part. Because it was on a curve, I had to make relief cuts in order to get it to bend. That will all get welded and finished.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the panel after a bunch of welding and sanding. It's got a factory appearance, and that's the look I was going for.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a side view that really shows just how much re-contouring had to be done on the rear of the panel. I'm not done with the part yet, I still need to redrill the bottom 3 holes of the steering shaft cover, weld up a bunch of unused holes, and send it out to the sandblaster. I'll do a little filler work on it to get it perfectly straight and then shoot it in chassis black.
    [​IMG]

    It's a bunch of work for something that most folks won't catch, but that's what I'm going for. I want people to look under the hood and not know that the chassis has been Z'd. Everything will look 100% factory. If you look hard enough, you'll figure it out, but at first glance you'll never know it.

    Today's plan: The passenger side inner fender, which will be a piece of cake compared to the driver's side.
     
  27. I did a quick test-fit of the modified inner fenders to see if there's any last things I need to do before they get sent to the blaster. Everything fit perfect.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was nervous that I was going to have to cut up the driver's side inner so the steering shaft would clear, but I was relieved to find out that cleared OK. I also mocked up the steering box and figured out how I wanted to route the power steering hoses. I will also need to put a dimple in the driver's side upper control arm to clear the steering shaft, and we've got a game plan on how that will get done.

    All in all, a good day. A lot of the things I was worried about turned out to be non-issues, and that's always a good thing!
     
  28. Now that Daylight Savings Time is here, I've been working on the '64 every night after work. I'm doing a bunch of the smaller things that need to be done. One of the things I just finished yesterday was the heater box. I totally disassembled, sandblasted, and reassembled it. I rigged up a device to pressure test the heater core, and it checked out good. The heater boxes for the A/C trucks is different than the non-A/C trucks due to the door in the back for the recirculating air. Nobody makes that gasket, so I had to make one. I'm pretty happy how it turned out:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  29. After the heater box was done, I decided to tackle the A/C box. I've got a couple of these, so I picked the nicer of the two. This box will definitely need to have some parts ordered, so the sooner I take it all apart, the sooner I'll know what I need. I have talked to the guys at Old Air Products in Ft. Worth, Texas, and they can get me the parts I need. I took lots of pictures during the disassembly to help me when I put it all back together. Actually, the box is pretty simple.
    Here's a view from the top. It's pretty ratty looking:
    [​IMG]

    The duct manifold is pretty beat up, but I have a spare:
    [​IMG]

    This is the rear of the box where it penetrates through the firewall:
    [​IMG]

    Here's what I found when I pulled the top off. Dust, dirt, sticks, acorns, stuffing. Bur NO mouse poo! That made me feel good.
    [​IMG]

    I've got some cleaning to do on the evaporator. The problem is that when the evaporator is operating, it sweats and all of that dust and dirt turns to mud and packs the fins, thereby affecting the efficiency of the evaporator. You have to make every attempt to get this as clean as possible:
    [​IMG]

    Here it is all disassembled. I did a quick clean-up of the evap with Pine Sol and water, but it still needs to be cleaned with mag wheel cleaner. The lower half of the box is plastic, so it'll get CLR'd. I trying to figure out what I'm going to do on the outside. I might wet sand it with 2000 grit paper and buff it out. The metal pieces were sandblasted yesterday, and I plan to prime them today. I am going to do a full continuity check on the harness and re-wrap it. I need to get a full list of all the components that need to be replaced and get with Old Air and order them.
    [​IMG]

    I'll be back to post more on this in a few weeks when the parts get here.
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  30. The truck is looking pretty good,,nice work. HRP
     

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