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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've been working on the motor quite a bit, too. The original engine was long gone when I got the truck, so I decided to use a 350 that I had set aside for another project. It's an '89 350 that I got for free a number of years ago. It was only a short block, and the engine had spun a rod bearing. It was a low-mile engine (80K) that was replaced by another GM factory short block. I got a new crank and freshened up the bottom end. The heads are Vortecs that I cut down the guides for added cam lift, opened the spring pockets for bigger springs, and did a bunch of port work in the bowl area. I left the runners alone to keep the velocity up. Brad re-assembled them for me, installing the new valve seals, springs, and retainers. The lifters are new, as is the roller rockers (1.5 ratio). The compression ratio wound up being right 9.65-1. The block is a factory hydraulic roller, and with the depletion of zinc in today's oil, I wanted to keep it as a roller motor. The cam is a GM Performance ZZ383 cam (part#846) that I got from a guy on Craigslist. It was brand-new, never ran, for $100. The specs are: 220/228 @ .050, .509/.528 lift on a 112 lobe center. I should have decent vacuum with a 112 lobe center, good torque with the lift numbers it has, and a slight lope with the duration it has. I think it'll work very well. The intake is an Air-Gap, the distributor is an HEI with all the MSD internals, and the carb is a 750 vacuum secondary.

    I wanted simplicity because I plan to drive this truck all the time. I wanted to have it where if something breaks, I can go to the local parts place in any town and get a replacement part. One of the areas that I spent some extra time on this was the serpentine set-up. I bought a complete system from a guy on Craigslist for $80. It was off of a 1990 Chevy truck, and it needed to be freshened up. I cut off the mount for the smog pump, and had Brad run them through his buddy's ceramic tumbler. They turned out great. I changed all of the bearings for the idler wheels, got a brand new A/C compressor (Craigslist....$80!), a rebuilt alternator and a new P/S pump. I'm now good to go:
    [​IMG]
    Here's a view from the top. The valve covers still need to be polished, and the areas between the fins will be painted Chevy Orange. Still haven't decided on an air cleaner yet. I am going to try the adapters that allow you to use the old style valve covers on the Vortec (they use center-bolt covers) heads. I have heard nothing but bad about them, but I am going to figure them out. I've got a an idea on how to make them work. The intake is just sitting on the engine right now. The valves still need to be adjusted.
    [​IMG]
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  2. Not a whole lot of pictures to show, but for the past two days, I have been doing the lovely task of cleaning and scraping the bottom of the cab so it can be undercoated. I had been procrastinating this job for months, but because the engine is going in soon, it had to get done. What a nasty, messy job. I was fighting the high winds (35mph), so masking it all off seemed to take forever. Well, it's finally done. I never want to do that again......
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Still going hot and heavy on the A/C box. I don't want to post anything until it's time to start putting it together for the last time. I'm also rebuilding the steering column, too. I'll post up pictures in a few days. Busy, busy!!
     
  3. I've been busy working on some of the smaller stuff that has to be done before the motor and trans can go in. The steering column is almost finished (pictures coming soon), the heater control is now restored, and I've been working out the small details on the A/C, namely the evaporator box. I'm a real stickler about weird stuff like wiring and hose routing, and the evaporator fittings protruding through the firewall was one of those cases. I didn't want a gaping hole with a small line running through it, so when I welded up the firewall, I did a test fit of the evaporator and adjusted the hole sizes to fit. Instead of a big hole with tar tape wrapped around the line, I wanted bulkhead grommets for a nice, clean look. After having the evaporator in and out dozens of times, I finalized the hole sizes, and then it was time to weld on the receptacles that are compatible with the Parker Beadlock A/C fittings.

    This was a bit more tricky than I expected. I knew that I was going to have to cut up some new fittings or go to the wrecking yard and find something that would work. On my evaporator, the low pressure side was aluminum, and the high pressure side was steel. I had a fitting I could use for the aluminum, so I hit the "yard" and found a steel fitting from a '76 Chevy truck, so I cut it off the hose and it cost me a whopping $2. I had my buddy Mike Jones weld them up for me:
    [​IMG]
    You can also see the new Throttle Suction valve in that picture. I wrapped the fins in cardboard because they are SUPER fragile and will bend with hardly any pressure. If someone wanted to do this mod for hardly any money, here's the info. For the larger line, use the fitting from a mid-90s Ford Explorer. It's on the accumulator, and you'll need a hacksaw to saw it off. For the smaller line, find a '73-'79 Chevy or GMC truck with A/C and get the fitting from the line that goes between the evaporator and the condenser. It's easy to spot. The line is more like a hard plastic than a flexible rubber. Use a razor blade and cut the hose and take the fitting. A word of caution: Make sure the A/C is discharged before you go cutting. Most all of the self-service yards mandate that all fluids and gasses be drained, but it's best to unscrew the service ports and use a small screwdriver and depress the valve core and see if it hisses.

    While the A/C stuff was being sorted out, I decided to Peel and Seal the inside of the firewall where the evaporator box will reside. That stuff is cheap, easy to get (Lowes) and it works great.
    [​IMG]

    I'll have a lot more pictures soon. The little stuff is starting to finally come home, and I'm getting the itch to drop in the engine and trans!!
     
  4. In the evenings, I have been able to get some stuff done on the '64 while the wife is watching "her shows". I got the last few parts I was needing, and I finished restoring the evaporator box.

    I got the duct manifold, coupling, and trap door blasted,painted, and installed.
    [​IMG]

    I spent a lot of time cleaning and straightening the fins on the evaporator. I used a few bottles of mag wheel cleaner, but it cleaned up pretty good. I also installed a new throttle/suction valve. This was the final fit-check of the evaporator, so I did the final torque on all the lines and called it good.
    [​IMG]

    I came to the conclusion that it was easier to bolt the evaporator to the lid and install it all as one unit. The lid was blasted and painted, and it got a new thermostat (Old Air), blower motor resistor (Old Air), and relay (Napa).
    [​IMG]

    And here it is, all assembled and ready to install. I plan on finding a grommet for the thermostat thermocouple to seal off the top of the box. I couldn't find a compressor switch that exactly matched the one I had, so I did a continuity check and it was good, and I cleaned and painted my original one. I blasted the return spring and gave it a coat of dull aluminum spray.
    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, here's a "before" picture:
    [​IMG]

    I also finished restoring the heater control, and I'll post pictures later. Right now, I'm working on all the harnesses. My original was in surprisingly good condition, but I have a couple of spare harnesses that I'm using for parts. So far, it's turning out nicely.
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  5. finished restoring the heater control tonight. I wound up swapping in a new fan switch because the original one was really stiff and felt like it was going to break. I spend a lot of time getting the levers nice and free, and they work and feel great. I did not want to respray the face because I want to leave the interior sheet metal in it's slightly-pantina'd condition.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I am working on a slight twist to the normal operation of the heater control. The issue I have always had with the design of the A/C system on these trucks is the fact that the heater core is always at the coolant temperature (180 degrees+) and the outside fresh air supply has to go past the heater to get inside the inside air box. I want to use the second post on the "Temp" lever to actuate a cable to shut off the water supply to the heater. So when the lever is at the coldest setting, the cable will shut the water valve on the heater hose in the engine compartment, and coolant is no longer flowing to the heater core. I have a feeling that it might make a difference when the A/C is running. We'll see......
     
    timmy2times likes this.
  6. Because I've been working on the interior stuff lately, I have really been thinking about what steering wheel I want to use. I've got a couple of Deluxe wheels, but I'm not crazy about the huge diameter and the thin rim, especially with the power steering I'm using. I don't like over-assisted steering with big steering wheels, so I went through my stash of old wheels to see if there was something that would work. I was originally going to use a mid-60s Vette 3-spoke wheel because I love the way they look, but they are the same diameter as the stock truck wheel. So, I looked a little deeper in the stash and found an old grungy wood-rimmed wheel that I bought at the Hot Rod Reunion swap meet a few years ago. It was nasty, and it looked like the guy who owned it worked as a mechanic because the wood was black (seriously). I paid $15 for it, and the seller looked at me like I was crazy for wanting it. I think it's either a Superior or a Grant, and probably late '60s vintage. Wood wheels in excellent shape go for a pretty good amount of money on ebay, so for $15, I couldn't go wrong.

    After a few hours of scrubbing it with a red scotchbrite and acetone, the wood finally cleaned up. I didn't try to fill the gouges or other blemishes because I wasn't going for perfection. The chrome is in really bad shape, with a lot of thin spots and pits. Once I got the wood where I wanted it, I shot it with a satin polyurethane clear. It got a total of 6 coats, and after every 2 coats (fully dried), I worked it over with 0000 steel wool. Well, the old nasty wheel turned out pretty good:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The horn button is an old one that Brad had in his stash. I have a new one, but the chrome is too nice compared to the chrome on the steering wheel. The jury is still out on this wheel, but it does what I'm looking for: a smaller diameter, it's almost completely flat for extra room inside the cab, and the rim is a nice and thick. I won't know until I get it bolted up in the truck.
     
  7. I worked on the yard for most of the day yesterday, but after dinner, I decided to tackle the voltmeter conversion. I'm not a fan of ammeters, and I've been wanting to do this for a while. Fortunately, there have been threads showing how some of the guys on the site have done theirs, and that gave me a bit of confidence.

    I started with a voltmeter out of a 1979 Chevy truck. I carefully ground the rivets that attach the faceplate and removed it. I had to determine where the needle was going to sit in relation to the adjacent gauge, and when I got that figured, I used a 1.25" hole saw and opened up the gauge holder. With a little work with a die grinder, I opened the 1.25" hole to the O.D. of the gauge, 1.35". With the O.D. of the gauge housing figured out, I started searching for something that I could use as a spacer. I searched through my spare parts and found that the lower bearing retainer for a '67-'72 steering column would work. I had to grind the inside to match the gauge diameter, and after some measuring, I determined that it had to be .5" tall. I made a very simple retainer at the rear using some scrap sheet metal. I wound up using little grommets to isolate the terminal posts from the bracket. I did a fit test inside the gauge cluster and determined that I would have to shave some of the spacer so it would fit. I wound up using a couple of dabs of quick-set epoxy and securing the faceplate. After a little primer and paint, and a gauge overlay decal, here it is:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I haven't determined exactly where the needle needs to be placed on the gauge, but I'm going to take it to work and hook it up to a power supply and set it at 13.5 and then put the needle at dead center on the gauge.
     
  8. I had some time today, so I decided to finally install the A/C evaporator box and the heater box. I was rapidly running out of space on my workbench, so I really needed to start installing the parts I had restored. Both parts went in really well, no issues at all. If you recall in an earlier post, I spent a lot of time on my firewall getting the evaporator line feedthru holes sized so I could use a bulkhead grommet for a cleaner look. After seeing it all together, I think it turned out really nice and clean:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    here's an inside shot of the top of the evaporator box, looking from the glovebox. I spent a lot of time on the cables, cleaning and oiling them, and getting them routed with no binding, and they operate so easy now.
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, I plan on final installing the heater box, installing the heater control panel and cables, installing the A/C center bezel, cutting off the clutch pedal, and continuing to install the sound deadener.

    A big thanks to Brad (hotrod49) for picking up the grommets while he was in L.A. doing a striping job on an ultra-secret project. Seriously, it's a hush-hush thing that he'll tell everybody about later.
     
  9. It's been awhile since I've posted on this thread, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been getting anything done on the '64. Quite the opposite, actually. I have been working on the brake system, and there is a design issue with the '60-'66 trucks that has always bugged me and I decided to do something about it. I have never liked the brake pedal height (way too high) and I have always thought that the trucks that have had the disc brake conversion have the wrong pedal ratio. There's too much brake pedal travel. After some thought, research, and fabrication, I may have come up with the answer.

    I'm not a fan of buying expensive aftermarket parts because I try to stretch my "project money" as far as possible. I was adamant that this mod had to be inexpensive and utilize as many factory parts as possible.

    First of all, let's talk about brake pedal ratio. Instead of going through a long discussion about theory, here's a link that explains it easily:
    http://www.piratejack.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=21
    I calculated the pedal ratio of the stock, manual brake pedal on my '64 and came up with 6.8-1. That's just fine for manual brakes, but wrong for power brakes. After some calculation, I determined that if you move the linkage attach point on the pedal down 1.5", you can get a brake ratio of 4.1-1, perfect for power brakes. So, I got a 3/8" drill bit and drilled the new hole. I mocked everything up, but I didn't like what I saw. Now, the linkage from the pedal to the booster would be going up at a steep angle to depress the plunger in the booster. I didn't like this at all:
    [​IMG]

    I have one of Capt. Fab's booster adapter brackets (HIGHLY recommended) and have a 1996 S-10 booster. The biggest issue (at least to me) about using a late model booster is what to do with the eyelet on the end of the booster rod. A lot of guys will chop them off and re-thread the rod for a clevis or a heim joint. I actually LIKE the eyelet, but just couldn't figure out how to integrate it into my linkage. The only way for it to work was that it had to be supported so the booster rod would stay in a stationary arc. I pulled the pedal/clutch pedal assembly out of the truck and noticed that there was an unused hole about 3" back from the brake pedal hinge pin. It was obviously used on another truck application, probably the C60 and up models. I measured the i.d. of the hole, and came to the conclusion that it was the exact same size hole as the brake pedal hinge pin. Thank You, GM!!
    [​IMG]

    Now, I knew how I was going to support the booster eyelet. I went to the wrecking yard and got another brake pedal and hinge pin. I wound up getting the entire assembly for $12.50. In this picture, you can see the pin slid into the previously un-used hole, and the attach bolt lined right up.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the trial run mock-up. I did a quick chop on the extra brake pedal and basically turned it into a bellcrank. The existing hole in the brake pedal for the factory brake linkage worked out fine. You can see that the clevis on the brake pedal (the pedal painted black) will now attach to the tab on the chopped pedal.
    [​IMG]

    Here's what the chopped pedal looks like after a little grinding and some paint. I want this to look 100% factory.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of the set-up mocked in place. You can see how the bellcrank now supports the eyelet. You can also see the reinforcement pieces around the penetration holes for the hinge pin on the rear pin. I drilled out the spot welds on the piece I got from the wrecking yard and spot-welded the plates to the pedal support in order to make it all look factory. The issue now is how to attach the bellcrank to the stock brake pedal.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It had to be a clevis of some sort, preferably one that captured both sides of the bellcrank/booster rod connection. Brad was at the bolt shop and they had the perfect clevis. It's about 2.5" long, and the span of the jaw was .500", and it was a whopping $5. I measured the total width of the booster eyelet and the bellcrank tab, and it was .585", so the jaw was opened up slightly. The clevis is threaded on the end to accept a 7/16-20 fine thread bolt, just like the factory linkage. The only goofy thing about the clevis is that the eyelet holes are 7/16", so the factory hole in the brake pedal (which is now the bellcrank) needed to be opened up to 7/16". The eyelet in the booster is .640", which means that you will need to find or fab a bushing with an outer diameter of .640 and have an inner diameter of .437 (7/16"). I found a bronze bushing at Lowes with an o.d. of 5/8" (.625) and an i.d. of 3/8" (.375)., and it cost $3.88. The o.d. would work, but I opened the i.d. to 7/16" and chopped the total end to end length to .275. It worked perfectly. The linkage rod is merely a 2.5" 7/16-20 set screw, and it cost $1.80. The through bolt is a Grade 8, 2" long. The bolt head had to be ground down to about .250" tall in order to clear the side of the structure when the brake pedal is depressed. After all of the attach points were greased, the linkage works like butter, and the booster rod depresses the plunger with very little change in height. Another thing that this mod did was move the brake pedal closer to the floor. No longer will you have to lift your leg completely off of the seat to push the brake. Mission accomplished!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Sorry for the long explanation, but I think that this mod will help anybody wanting to make their brakes work better and have vastly improved ergonomics. Plus, it was cheap, and I like that!!
     
  10. Tin Indian
    Joined: Jul 8, 2007
    Posts: 207

    Tin Indian
    Member

    Wow. This is one hell of C10 thread. I feel like an lazy ass just throwing new springs under mine.
     
  11. Finally, this thread is now up to date and current. The last postings were about 18 months worth of stuff.

    From now on, all postings on this thread will be as they happen....
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  12. 1964countrysedan
    Joined: Apr 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,131

    1964countrysedan
    Member
    from Texas

    Good work and great job on your thread. Thanks
     
  13. FANTM58
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 403

    FANTM58
    Member

    Dang !
    Your doing a great job ,
    You make me feel like a total slacker !!!
     
  14. rodknocker
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 2,267

    rodknocker

    x2!
     
  15. All of those postings equated to about 18 months of work. The project has been kind of slow due to my crazy work schedule. I get to work on it about 8 hours a week.

    Things are starting to come together, though. I'm slowing starting to see open spaces appear on the work bench, and all of the boxes of parts are slowly starting to disappear, which means that stuff is getting installed.

    Thanks for all of the comments, guys.
     
  16. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Dude! Thanks! Gives me some ideas as I hopelessly muddle my way through Grants truck. Learning an entirely different subset of the automotive world is a bit of a challenge, and I just wanted to say thanks for answering some dumb assed questions lately!
     
  17. lomonte
    Joined: Oct 7, 2011
    Posts: 142

    lomonte
    Member
    from Indep., MO

    Great. Just great. Now I gotta keep up in 2 different forums! Thanks a lot, Alex. Still love this truck.
     
  18. very nice! great job
     
  19. Chip-
    Like I was always taught, "The only dumb question is one that never gets asked". I'm happy to help you on Grant's truck in any way I can. This project has been one of the most fun ones I've ever done because it's been a culmination of 25 years of ideas that I always wanted to try.

    Chip-
    Ha Ha! I will promise you that when I post on the '67-'72, I will do a copy/paste onto this thread as well. I have a feeling that the next phase of the build will appeal a little more to the HAMB crowd, versus the Truck Site crowd. The exterior and interior stuff that's coming up will give the truck it's true identity.

    Thanks, Paul!
     
  20. great thread!great truck.
     
  21. endlessearth
    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 192

    endlessearth
    Member

    Wow. Being that I am the aforementioned "Grant" I am really excited to have you as a resource for my own 1964 C20 project. That is amazing work you have done on yours.

    - Grant
     
  22. Thanks, Grant!
    Any question you have, please let me know. If I don't know the answer, I'll find it and we'll both learn something new.

    When Chip told me about your truck, I became very interested. From what I've seen, it looks like you're having a ball with it, and that's the way it should be. After many years of being forgotten, the 1960-1966 Chevy/GMC trucks have finally caught fire. People are finding out now that they were very well engineered trucks, and when built correctly, they ride and drive amazing.
     
  23. lomonte
    Joined: Oct 7, 2011
    Posts: 142

    lomonte
    Member
    from Indep., MO

    Is there a link to Grants Truck? We wanna see!
     
  24. Flat and low my buddy had a suburban front end in his 62 pu and it rode like a caddy so nice a smooth its almost a bolt in
     
  25. Man now I am missing my 66 wish i still had it or at least its 292 drove that sucker 14 years never open the motor up justreplaceed a water pump in all that time and some rear wheel seals that truck never let me down and i work it hardall those years. Good luck with the build i like the factory ac on the dash cant wait to see it done
     
  26. endlessearth
    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 192

    endlessearth
    Member

    For me, it was a situation where I never noticed them and then all of a sudden I couldn't keep my eyes off them. I was on the net all the time and looking at Craigslist. When I first saw the one that I ended up buying in person I was immediately taken in by the curves and lines on the hood and the grill. Pictures of them don't convey the same feeling of substance that you get when you see one in person.
     
  27. endlessearth
    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 192

    endlessearth
    Member

    I don't have a build thread started yet but there are pics of it in the "official 60-66 Chevy truck pics" thread. If you search the forum using my handle you will find them easily.
     
  28. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member


    Check out the "'60-'66 Chevy C10 thread and there are several pictures of Grant's truck on the last couple of pages.
     
  29. Looks sweet. Great build, but I got lost when you cut the front frame rails to move them up??? Was this do just to lower the body? I know there are 2" and 3" drop spindles available for these trucks. Wouldn't the spindles give the same overall effect? Anyways, thanks for sharing. Love looking at others builds.
     
  30. I put the truck all together with 1 coil cut from the stock springs and a pair of Belltech drop spindles with a 3" drop. This combination gave me about a 5" total drop. It looked great, but the issue with the 1963 thru 1989 GM trucks is that once you get them nice and low, the issue becomes ground clearance between the lower control arms and the ground. I had about 2" of clearance, and that just wasn't going to fly because I would have banged the lower control arms off of everything in the road. There are some expensive alternatives to gain ground clearance, but I wanted to keep my budget in check. Since the dawn of Kustoms, guys have "Z'd" their frames to get their cars down low. The nice thing about a "Z" is that when it's done right, it gives you close to stock ground clearance, even at a slammed ride height. The other thing that made "Z'ing" so appealing for my application is that whenever you lower the '63-'89 GM trucks, the front wheel inherently moves slightly rearward in the wheel openings. Take a look at one that's been lowered over 4" in the front and you'll see what I mean. Once you notice it, it stands out like a sore thumb.

    So in a nutshell, the frame was Z'd 2" up and moved 1" forward, which gained 2 additional inches of ground clearance and centered the front wheels in the wheel openings. Cost: About $25 in 1/8" steel plate for the gussets and boxing plates.
     

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