Here we go... 1969/70 Chevy C10/K20 projects

Greg

Starting Over
Admin
One of my wife's friends is helping her grandparents cleanup their property, they have a handful of old vehicles that broke down and were parked 30+ years ago.

I was interested in the 1970 C10 2WD longbed, so we hooked up the trailer and headed to the property. We spent some time checking out the truck and taking it all in. It's actually decently straight, has a 350 under the hood and 4 speed w/ granny gear (SM465).

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While I was checking this one out, the friend mentioned another truck that's for sale.... so we wander back into the woods and find this beautiful 1969 Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 longbed (K20). It's also been sitting for years, but the patina is killer and may be saveable.

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We ended up making a package deal for both trucks! :oops: They have titles and I just couldn't pass them up. I have a loose plan, probably going to fix up the 2WD, lower it a bit, add some modern wheels & tires, disc brakes, fix up the interior & do a quick paint job after a little body work.

As far as the 1969 K20, I'd like to make it a daily driver... I'd love to LS swap with a 6.2 & 6L90E 6 speed auto, probably modern 1 ton axles with disc brakes. A little lift, maybe 35's on some classy wheels. A/C, good heater and a really nice seats & interior would be killer. I'd love to clean up the body, straighten it out and clear coat the old blue paint. The bed has wood planks, so new sealed wood, etc.
 

Greg

Starting Over
Admin
Back to the C10... I aired up the tires, 3 out of 4 held air and dragged it out of it's home for the last 4 decades.... the winch on the trailer was super helpful, but had to load it on backwards. Got it tied down and took it home.

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After unloading it, I popped the hood to see what I was dealing with. Missing battery, a wire broken at the coil, the ignition switch had been pulled and was apparently problematic. I hooked up a battery I had laying around and jumped the starter after topping off the oil. It turns over! Sounds like it's not getting spark though.... I have power to the coil, so I'm thinking the coil is dead. I'll pick one up tonight. ;)



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85CUCVKRAWLER

Active Member
Location
Tooele
the 70 2wd is a beauty. I would never paint it, the patina is too cool.

Personally, i would LS swap it and get rid of the 465. Even though i love the 465, its a drag to drive with on the street and will limit your top speed.

I would just go pick up a good 5.3 LS with a 2WD 4L60E from the junkyard and pop that sucker in. Then i would pull a disk brake 14 bolt while i was at the junkyard. Then refesh the front axle components, swap to disk brakes, upgrade the master and booster to vacuum assist (or hydro assist, your choice) then call it a day.

Here is a FB group that has a literal mountain of information to do the LS swap. Just check their files section before asking any questions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/267895843406925
 

Greg

Starting Over
Admin
I need to come up with a build plan for the C10, I'm going to build it to sell once it's done. That said, I want it to be pretty simple, something people will be interested in and want to drive. That means straight forward mods that don't take up tons of time, done with a budget in mind.

Engine & Trans - Either a SBC with Vortec heads and a roller cam OR LS swap. Need to break down costs for both engine options, I think they'll be pretty similar when it's all said & done. I could buy a SBC crate engine or use a junkyard engine if I go with a LS and freshen it up. Seems like the LS would make it more desirable since it's the hot thing and be more reliable. I do have a Gen IV LC9 aluminum 5.3 in the shop, which was going into the Pontiac Bonneville.

Far as the transmission, the big question is auto to manual. I think if someone is going to cruise this thing, an auto is the preferred choice. The next question is overdrive or not. OD means running down the freeway at reasonable RPM. If I do a LS swap I can easily do a 4L60E or 6L90E 6 speed and have the engine computer control the trans, making it easy. I used a Summit Racing upgraded and rebuilt 4L60E in the El Camino and it was a good price and worked great.

Suspension - I was looking at a 3/5" drop kit, Speedway Motors has one that looks pretty complete, springs, shocks, rear track bar, etc. - https://www.speedwaymotors.com/1965...Kit-3-Inch-Front-5-Inch-Rear-Drop,457189.html Combine that with some big anti-sway bars F & R and it would corner like it's on rails.

I believe I'd need to notch the rear frame for a 5" drop (there are kits that are pretty cheap - https://www.speedwaymotors.com/1963...6372&msclkid=92c7b703f65b1d6c3cc0d56696d4c940 )

Brakes - I'd like to ditch the drums and do disc brakes all the way around. The front wouldn't be too difficult, I could either swap factory parts off a newer truck or buy a kit to convert it. I'd like to ditch the factory odd-ball 6 lug bolt pattern at the same time and run the more common GM 5 x 4.75" bolt pattern for more common wheel options. The rear gets a little tricky, there are kits to replace the axle shafts with 5 lug though. I'd need a disc/disc master cyl and probably a new bootser to make it all look good. I believe the brake push rod needs to be changed out too.

Wheels & Tires - This could go a few different ways, but I'd like some 17-18" wheels, 8-9" wide on all 4 corners. Some low profile, sporty tires to go with the wheels. Something like a 255/45/17-18

Interior - Bucket seats would be nice and make it feel more modern, a pair of nice factory manual leather seats would be great. Add a good looking center console to tie it together. It'll need a new dash pad, probably upgrade the gauge cluster too. Clean it all up, add some sound deadening to the firewall, floor, doors and back of the cab. Not sure if I'd keep the tank behind the seat or add a new one under the bed.

Body & Paint - The patina is a bit rough, this truck was originally Green, but was painted Blue, with a Red primer in between. So it's currently 3 different colors and looks a bit mismatched. It seems like a lot of guys are taking trucks like this and leaving the current patina, but I'm not sure that this one looks good as it sits. I could just clean it up and clear coat the current look? A full paint job will be a big project and lots of time & money.
 

Greg

Starting Over
Admin
the 70 2wd is a beauty. I would never paint it, the patina is too cool.

Personally, i would LS swap it and get rid of the 465. Even though i love the 465, its a drag to drive with on the street and will limit your top speed.

I would just go pick up a good 5.3 LS with a 2WD 4L60E from the junkyard and pop that sucker in. Then i would pull a disk brake 14 bolt while i was at the junkyard. Then refesh the front axle components, swap to disk brakes, upgrade the master and booster to vacuum assist (or hydro assist, your choice) then call it a day.

Here is a FB group that has a literal mountain of information to do the LS swap. Just check their files section before asking any questions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/267895843406925

I think we're on the same page... I was writing out my reply and build plans when you wrote that! Totally agree about the 465. It actually has vacuum assist brakes! I was surprised at that, so easy to upgrade to a disc master cyl.
 

85CUCVKRAWLER

Active Member
Location
Tooele
Personally, i think the C10 is going to be tough to "flip". there alot of body damage to it in places you dont want there to be. If your goal is to flip it, i would keep your expenses low while making it the most widely desirable.

So, again junkyard LS swap, cheap two stage cam, stand alone harness, 4l60e, new summit gauges. I would keep it 6 lugs, not waste time on a drop, pick up some cheap wheels off FB.

Then I would take it down to a locally owned body shop and ask the guy what he would want for a paint job. Not a super nice job, dont do the jams or anything else, just the outside and ask what you could do to reduce costs. He will probably tell you to ditch all the trim and dont touch the dents. He might do the whole thing for $800 and youll still get a good paint job out of it.
 

Greg

Starting Over
Admin
Personally, i think the C10 is going to be tough to "flip". there alot of body damage to it in places you dont want there to be. If your goal is to flip it, i would keep your expenses low while making it the most widely desirable.

So, again junkyard LS swap, cheap two stage cam, stand alone harness, 4l60e, new summit gauges. I would keep it 6 lugs, not waste time on a drop, pick up some cheap wheels off FB.

Then I would take it down to a locally owned body shop and ask the guy what he would want for a paint job. Not a super nice job, dont do the jams or anything else, just the outside and ask what you could do to reduce costs. He will probably tell you to ditch all the trim and dont touch the dents. He might do the whole thing for $800 and youll still get a good paint job out of it.

I disagree, I think if the C10 is built right, with the right parts it will be quite valuable and have good potential for a flip. There are plenty of guys out there that want something they can just hop in, turn the key and start cruising around... and they'll pay, for the right truck. I'm not building it for Barrett Jackson by any means, but making it a nice, sporty street truck that looks decent and had plenty of character.

The body damage is quite minimal, the biggest dent is the bedside and I think it could be knocked out with minimal effort. The hood doesn't sit right because one of the hinges bound up and bent. Already have new hinges on the way. There are one or two other small dents, but it's quite straight.

I considered doing the body prep work and paying someone for a cheap, decent spray job. Thats probably best for this thing. I'd pull the hood, fenders and bed so it's half decent. I've got plenty of body work experience and have painted vehicles in the past. I'm not against spraying it myself.
 

Rot Box

Diesel and Dust
Location
Smithfield Utah
Hope it’s ok to dump a pic on your build thread…. Here’s my 67 when I was in high school. Small back window no side markers. Bought it thinking it had a 327 but the small balancer gave it away as it turns out it was a 307 with a TH400. Still had a lot of fun with it.

I wouldn’t touch the body on that 70 it would be a crime lol.

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Greg

Starting Over
Admin
We hauled home the K20 today, used the Zeon 10S winch on the Gladiator to pull it onto the trailer, which made it a quick & painless operation. I had to bolt a wheel on to the drivers front and aired up all 4 tires. They all hold air and really helped it roll onto the trailer.

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My wife was wandering around the property and found a '63 Chevy II buried back even further. It's a 4 door unfortunately, but she fell in love with it. So apparently we'll be bringing it home too and turning it into a fun cruiser, in my free time. :rolleyes:

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rholbrook

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville, Ut
I have done two ground up restorations on these. One was a 71 4wd Short bed with a 4 spd. Loved it but I wanted an auto with factory air. When I found it, I sold my 71 to finance the build of the 72 which was a Cheyenne Super. It had factory air and factory tilt which was pretty much loaded back then. Both had really good running 350s, both got 202 heads and Z28 intakes and good pistons and cranks. They were both fast as hell but I had a lot of money in the motors on both of them. I used to go race them on State Street back in the day. When I restored them, the 71 still had the tank behind the seat so I when I did the 72, I took the tank out and put a Blazer tank between the rails in the rear and put a saddle tank in the drivers side under the bed. I then walked every wrecking yard to find me a gas tank door that fit the shape of the bed side. I came up with gas tank doors out of an Audi. Found two of them and had them put in the bed side on the same side like the Fords were. They fit perfect, looked like it came from the factory like that. I was only getting about 10 mpg in the 71 so I wanted the extra fuel capacity. I wanted a factory tach too so while in the wrecking yards I found an old 10 wheeler that had the factory tach in it. I replaced all the wood grain molding both inside and out. I had the upper molding removed because I didn't want to two tone it. It was orange and white. I loved these trucks, I have been looking for a 2wd shortbed to put an LS in it. They are hard to find so I have been thinking about a 2wd long bed and shortening it. Her is the 71 and it wasn't near as nice as the 72. I got asked to sell it all the time. I sure wish I still had the 72. I spent a ton of money on OE molding, grill, grill bezzle, etc etc. It was done right. The passenger side front bedside molding was the only wood grain piece you couldnt get at the time. I got for a long bed and shortened it. I wish the picture was clear, you could see the SideWinder winch coming through the front bumper.
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Greg

Starting Over
Admin
I have done two ground up restorations on these. One was a 71 4wd Short bed with a 4 spd. Loved it but I wanted an auto with factory air. When I found it, I sold my 71 to finance the build of the 72 which was a Cheyenne Super. It had factory air and factory tilt which was pretty much loaded back then. Both had really good running 350s, both got 202 heads and Z28 intakes and good pistons and cranks. They were both fast as hell but I had a lot of money in the motors on both of them. I used to go race them on State Street back in the day. When I restored them, the 71 still had the tank behind the seat so I when I did the 72, I took the tank out and put a Blazer tank between the rails in the rear and put a saddle tank in the drivers side under the bed. I then walked every wrecking yard to find me a gas tank door that fit the shape of the bed side. I came up with gas tank doors out of an Audi. Found two of them and had them put in the bed side on the same side like the Fords were. They fit perfect, looked like it came from the factory like that. I was only getting about 10 mpg in the 71 so I wanted the extra fuel capacity. I wanted a factory tach too so while in the wrecking yards I found an old 10 wheeler that had the factory tach in it. I replaced all the wood grain molding both inside and out. I had the upper molding removed because I didn't want to two tone it. It was orange and white. I loved these trucks, I have been looking for a 2wd shortbed to put an LS in it. They are hard to find so I have been thinking about a 2wd long bed and shortening it. Her is the 71 and it wasn't near as nice as the 72. I got asked to sell it all the time. I sure wish I still had the 72. I spent a ton of money on OE molding, grill, grill bezzle, etc etc. It was done right. The passenger side front bedside molding was the only wood grain piece you couldnt get at the time. I got for a long bed and shortened it. I wish the picture was clear, you could see the SideWinder winch coming through the front bumper.
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That's a beautiful truck, Russ! Sounds like you had plenty of fun with your trucks, I bet those 350's were pretty nasty with those parts. 😈

I'll keep the Blazer tank idea in mind, sounds like you did it right!
 
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