Nice to see a young man doing the dirty work on old iron.
My first vehicle was a 1963 Chevy C10 Longbed Fleetside. I got that when I was still 15 years old and paid $500 for it. It was a rolling basket case, but it ran. It was also that same baby blue as your truck, except for the front right fender and grill surround, they were bright orange. I used the time I had from when I got it until I turned 16 to go through it and get it up to speed mechanically. When I turned 16, I had a reliable vehicle to get to work and go to school in. At that time, it wasn't much to look at, but it got me where I needed to go. It had the original 283 V8 and Powerglide 2 speed automatic. Over the years, I did a lot of work to it, including paint and various power train combinations. When I finally had to sell it, (I was getting married and needed money more than I needed 2 trucks and 2 motorcycles) it has the dark blue metal flake in the pictures below and had a 400 SBC and TH400 3 speed. I was 19 years old in those photos.
During the years I had it, it went through a lot of changes. Just about everything on it was repaired or replaced. I figured out later that the only things left on the truck from when I bought it to when I sold it were the rear window, the drive shaft, and the sheet metal in the cab. Everything else had been replaced at one time or another. Even the frame and suspension were from a 1965.
I treasure the time I spent working on that old truck with my Father. He taught me a lot during that time. Now, I am doing the same thing with my daughter on a 1962 C10 Shortbed Stepside, only this time, I am the teacher, not the student.
It sounds like you are doing the same thing with your Grandfather. It's all time well spent.
Like others have already said, there is a wealth of knowledge on this site. Feel free to ask. There are no stupid questions, except the ones left unasked.
Yes, seeing the younger generation tapping in with us is a good sign. I see more and more young'uns around here doing the same thing. There is one young man who works at Chic-fil-a that is trying to get an old jeep on the road. Needless to say, I am helping and encouraging him when I visit CFA....which is every day!
Stick, that picture of you and your dad is priceless. Enlarge it and hang it in your special place...... .my dad died when I was 15 but, like you, I had my daughter helping me along the way. Priceless memories for sure.
I was looking at your album of photos and noticed you have the full gauge cluster in that C70 cab. That's a major score. You'll want to refurbish that and use it in your C10. A factory original tach is hard to come by and the aftermarket replacements are expensive. There are a few minor wiring changes to be made, but you'll like having the full instrumentation over the standard "Idiot Lights".
Edit: The Tach may not work on your 250. Those tachs were designed to work with the V8s. I'm not sure if it can be changed to work on an I6.
Last edited by 62Stick; Wed Jan 24 2018 03:57 AM. Reason: Added tach info.
I made a little bit of progress today, so I thought I would post a quick update. Thanks stick for pointing out that I could use that gauge cluster in my truck. That hadn't occurred to me. I was thinking about the tachometer, there was a black box (excuse the lack of technical language :)) in the engine compartment that was wired to the tach, I assume this was the actual "gauge" and the needle in the dash is just a readout. Would it be possible to get one of those black boxes from another truck, maybe a 67-72 model, they could be optioned with tachs I believe, or a big truck from my era that had a tach and a 292? I haven't done any research on it yet, so I'm just throwing ideas around.
I brought the a arms, springs and trailing arms to my house, and picked up a quart of POR-15. I wire wheeled them today, tomorrow I plan on cleaning them with TSP and putting on a coat of the POR. This will be sort of a practice round before I do the frame. I also started making the patches for the cab mounts. I'll try to post another update tomorrow to say how it goes.
Well, it took me a little longer than I expected, but I got the A-arms, trailing arms, springs, and axle crossmember painted with POR-15. I have some black chassis paint that I bought at NAPA that I will put over it for UV protection. It went very well, except for the first coat on the inside of the axle crossmember. I wasn't planning ahead, and painted the outside first, and then got paint all over my arm trying to paint the inside. Oh well, It's mostly gone now. We discovered some asphalt and tar remover that actually took it off pretty well, with a lot of scrubbing, as long as the POR was still tacky. It turned out alright though, and I am pleased with the outcome. I am going to use it on my frame and axle as well. Before I paint the frame, I am going to weld some patches on the cab mount brackets. I made them by taking some steel plate and marking out the holes for the cab mounting bolts, and then drilling around the perimeter of the holes with a 1/4" bit. I knocked out the centers and finishing them with a half-round file. I got the dimensions from a set of plans I found on the internet and measuring the intact mounts on my spare frame.
I think, after a long slump, things are finally moving again!
After I get the frame and suspension reassembled, I am going to reinstall the drive train. I plan on painting the engine (Instead of red, though, I think I will paint it the blue that the original engine would have been painted), and breaking into the transmission, just to check for any excessive wear and to replace anything perishable. I was thinking I would reinstall the radiator and core support, exhaust system, brake lines, and tail light wiring before I start working on the body. I may even run the engine. I would like to clean out the crud under the valve cover, if I can figure out a way to do that without a full tear-down. One thing I noticed was that I have a very odd oil fill cap. It's basically just a rubber plug, but all the ones that I can think of that I have seen are the metal, vented type. I need to replace it, the rubber is dried out, making it loose in the hole. I have not seen this style of fill cap for sale anywhere, and I like the vented style better anyway, so I'll probably install one of these, unless there is something special about my engine that prevents me from using one. I'll be looking into that. I am also starting to think about the wiring harness. The one I have now is a mix of the butchered and deteriorating original harness, and jury-rigged additions and modifications (I swear the headlights are wired with an old electrical cord!). I think I will replace the whole thing, but I am unsure what supplier to use. I am also unsure what supplier to use for the exhaust. I noticed that NAPA has the complete system for a reasonable price, but I am not sure how well it would fit. If any one has ever replaced any of this, I would appreciate any advice.
After I finish the chassis, I believe I will start with the bed, instead of the cab, as the body work will be easier and good practice for the cab and front sheet metal. one of the few modifications I would like to do to the truck is add a side mounted spare tire. I haven't decided yet whether to buy a fender with a cutout, or fabricate my own cutout, or just fabricate my own mount and forget about the fender cutout altogether (I have checked the dimensions with my current tires, and they will fit between the fender and the cab). My first choice would be to buy a fender, since the one I have now is pretty beat up (but not irrepairable), but they do seem to be expensive, so I guess I'll keep my eye out, and cross that bridge when I come to it. I did found out this week that there is a difference between fenders for an 8-ft and 6 1/2-ft beds, which I did not realize. Good to know. I am somewhat surprised that no one seems to make kit to install a cutout on a regular fender. It doesn't seem like it would be all that hard to do, but maybe I am underestimating the difficulty.
Anyway, that's my update for now, I'll try to be better about posting more often. I hope to get the patches welded on this week and get a coat or two of POR on during the brief warm spell that's coming through.
There was a fairly major development with my project over the weekend, I am going to be using a different frame. I got the patches welded on to my frame, my first real welding job. They turned out pretty well I thought (1st two pics, the frame was upside down when I took them, so the background is the ceiling of the shop if anyone was wondering). Unfortunately, about the time I finished, I happened to notice a fairly major rust issue that I had somehow previously overlooked. Just ahead of the frame cross-member that sits directly over the rear axle, there is a small section of the frame rails that are reinforced with a second layer of steel. I had noticed that this second layer didn't sit tight to the frame rail, but I just thought that it was supposed to be that way. However, upon closer inspection, I found that they had been pushed apart by a large amount of expanding rust! (3rd pic)
Once I realized this, I could see that the whole reinforced area was badly eaten away from the inside out, and there was a noticeable bulge on the outside of the frame rail where the rust was expanding. I decided that, since that was the only area of the frame that Chevrolet decided to reinforce, that area must pretty critical, so I had better do something about it. I am very fortunate that, despite my attempts to sell it, I still have the spare frame that I bought for the trailing arms. It is a 1965 long bed half ton frame that is missing the parking brake and transmission support cross-members, and the rear cab mounts. It had a crudely fabricated cross-member that was designed to support the tail shaft of a TH400 and two steel plates welded to the to of the frame rails and the front axle cross-member to serve as motor mounts for a Oldsmobile 350. Modifications aside, It is in very good shape, better than my original frame, in fact. There is a lot less pitting, and of course that rust issue with the reinforcing plates is not present. I had actually thought about using it earlier, but I didn't think my original frame was all that bad, and I wanted to keep as many original components on the truck as possible. So far there are 4 different VINs associated with my truck! I spent some time yesterday and today removing the brake lines, rear springs, front axle suspension, and steering gear (with a nifty little ball joint separator I picked up at harbor freight) from the '65 frame. I also got a good start on grinding off the homemade motor mounts before I ran out of daylight (This frame is at my house, and not my grandpa's, where the rest of the truck is, because I was originally planning to sell it, which is easier to do from my place). I hope to get the '65 frame wire-wheeled and cleaned, and get a coat of POR on it by the end of this week. I will then transfer the two missing cross-members and the rear cab mounts over from the '63 frame. At least I get to use some of the welding I did! I am not sure whether I should use bolts or rivets to attach the missing cross-members, I believe bolts don't hold as firmly, but I'm not sure how one goes about installing such monstrous rivets. I could probably get by with bolt on the parking brake cross-member and the cab mounts (I noticed in the LMC truck catalog you can buy repro rear cab mounts, which are installed with bolts) but I'm not so sure about the transmission support cross-member.
I am not sure what I'll do with the rest of the '63 frame. I don't think it's completely irreparable, but it's beyond my current abilities. I guess if anyone is interested in it they can PM me, but I'm thinking it's just going to be scrap metal. I wouldn't mind hanging on to it until I have the time and skill to repair it, but I don't think it's really worth storing, as it would probably be at least 3 or 4 years until I could get to it. As it turned out, even though I spent a great deal of time doing a partial sandblasting job, I really didn't loose more than a few days by switching frames, as I was going to use POR-15 rather than finish the sandblasting anyway. That stuff is the greatest thing since sliced bread!
Well that's all for now, hopefully I'll have some pictures of a fully painted frame by the end of the week!
When I had my old '63 C10 longbed, I bent the frame when I backed into a telephone pole at about 35mph. I hydroplaned on a wet road and spun out.
I replaced it with a '65 frame and all was good. One thing you need to look at is the way the track bar under the bed connects. '65 is different from '63. It's not hard to make it work, but it is something to consider. When I moved the transmission crossmember rearward to switch from the Powerglide to the TH400, I reattached it with bolts.
I drove that truck for another 6 years before I sold it and I know the new owner drove it for at least another 3 years before he sold it. There were never any issues with the frame or crossmember. I used grade 5 bolts when I did it. Stronger than standard grade 3, but not as brittle as grade 8 when the frame flexes.
I'm glad you caught the rust issue before you finished the frame and installed the body. It's a lot easier to do the switch at this point.
Thank you for telling me about the track bar 62Stick, that's good to know. I looked at it, and the mount seems to be missing altogether. I'll probably remove the bracket from my frame and put it on the new one, I'll have to do some research and find out if that will work. Doug, It's neat that you and I are at the same point, it'll be fun to follow along with each other.
I got most of the frame wire wheeled today, I would have had it done sooner but this big wind slowed things down a bit. I found a whole lot of numbers stamped on the frame, and have no idea what any of them mean. It also appears to have 2 VIN numbers!? The first is in the normal spot, top of the left frame rail about 20" from the end, but whoever stamped it seems to have had a problem with the last digit. I think it's a 6. In addition, the VIN is repeated on the same frame rail, about were the cab sits EXCEPT that the last digit is a 5, not a six. Very interesting. There was also a long string of numbers on the side of both rails, right behind the front cab mount, and "S-17" on both rails, right in front of the core support brackets. I'm going to do some research and try to find out what these mean.
anyway, just thought I'd share what I got done today.