1968 Chevy C-20 3/4-Ton Short Bed Dually
From Tim :
These new gauges are from Classic Instruments. [ Here's a larger view ] The three on top are all electric. The bottom row are (from left to right) a boost / vacuum mechanical gauge. I don't need the boost, but the vacuum is handy and was an alternative to a clock.
The next is an air gauge. The green needle monitors the rear air bags, and the red one will read the front bags when they're installed.
To the right of the column is the fuel gauge and oil pressure.
On the upper right of the cluster is another light switch installed under the choke knob.
Driving in the fog at night with the cab lights on is like driving around inside a pumpkin, and it seemed to me it would be a good thing to be able to turn them off. I could have put in a toggle switch, but the truck has driving lights, too so the switch seemed like a natural.
As it's set up now, the first notch (parking light position) is the cab lights, and the second notch (headlight position) is cab lights and driving lights.
In the middle of the cluster, immediately above the volt / temp gauge, is a tiny dot. This dot is the end of a fiber optic which all but disappears when not on. This is the high-beam indicator when the headlights are on. It's not real bright, and if I have to take the cluster out, I'm going to go to 1/8" next time. It was an experiment that worked well, it just needs a little refining. Here's a picture of the gauges from a little farther away.
If anyone is interested in the fiber optic thingy, I could share a few things I discovered. I don't think I'll drill a bunch of tiny holes in the roof and create a starlit ceiling, although it would be cool in a '60 Chev 2 door hardtop chick magnet! (Did I really say that?)
Wow, excellent write-up, Tim. Such detail. Incredible. Hehehehe. For those of you who don't know (and didn't read the April News page!), Tim is one of our Gallery Sleuths. He has been helping us gather intel on the Gallery submissions that are usually two sentences long. We are "information junkies" ... so Tim's been helping with our habit. So, this was good practice for him. Plus the gauges are as beautiful as his truck. Now, we know they are more than just pretty a face ... what a cool set up! Thanks Tim! ~~ Editor
14 August 2007
From Tim :
Dear Grand Poohbah, et al. I thought it was about time I sent in a couple of pics of my humble ride. It's a 1968 Chevy C-20 (3/4-ton) factory rack body short bed dually. Phew, the description is longer than the truck.
The truck is a C-20 factory dually that I bought three years ago in Oxford, Maine. It was ordered from the factory with the dual rear axle to do orchard work and had a 292 Inline six (I have "six appeal" , with the 4 speed and the granny low. I believe it would have climbed trees, but on the highway the engine was used up at about 55 mph.
I have rebuilt the body with new varnished oak floors, sills, fences, and "headache" board. I kept the 292 I6 because it seemed that every hood I looked under at shows had a short block or big block V8. Plus, there was nothing wrong with the 292 that a T5 trans didn't fix. Wanting to be a little different, I thought "why not 'Hot Rod' the six a little and build an unusual truck, keeping the dually aspect and decking out the interior." So, this is the result. I'm building a still to mount on the back, and have a couple of other ideas that I'm working on. Needless to say it's an on-going project.
The picture above shows the truck with the full fences, but I rarely run the truck with them on. Most of the time, I run it just the "headache" board. Here's a nice grille shot of her, just lurking. Love those Alcoa's !
The interior took two cow hides to do and all it included was the sunvisors, dash pad, door panels, and seat. I think there's enough left over to sew up a shifter boot. If that works out I'll have the boot ring plated to nickel and call it good.
Here is the original build sticker on the glove-box door. When I bought the truck, the original bill of sale from the first owner came with it! Truck price - $3260.00. State tax - $79.61. Total cash price after a couple of incidental charges - $3366.13 and drive away!
Here is the T5 tranny in place. I had to modify the first segment of the driveshaft by shortening it 1 1/4" and welding on the front yoke from a Sonoma driveshaft, utilizing the Sonoma universal and trans-yoke.
I bagged the rear of the truck to be able to control the ride height and had an air gauge and switch hanging under the dash. This worked just fine. Someone put this instrument panel up on ebay and I won it. Cool! A built-in air gauge, a tach, and gauges instead of to-late-lights. A little mod here, a little there, and mount this piece of art. Now, the dash looks a little shabby -- so we fix up the dash. Now the rest of the interior looks bad. Redo the interior and the cab looks tacky. And on, and on, and on.
Here's a view of the right side of 292 In-line 6 dressed up a little. And, of course, a view from the left side! Check the Langdon headers, Offy intake, 500 CFM Edelbrock. A marked improvement in drivability with just bolt-on components. Two home made brackets to support the 43" throttle cable that routes between the rocker cover and carb then does a "U" turn to the carb linkage. Not even a hint of bind.
We had hoped to meet up with the Stovebolters at Macungie, Pennsylvania but something got in the way. I thought I was going to get down to Stovebolt HQ sometime this summer and here it is mid-August already! Don't know where the time goes! We'll shoot for the Winchester Gabfest in September!