Project "Simple Green" - Turbo LS 1965 C10

zghorner

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sup yall. Starting a BIG project on converting my 1965 C10 into a turbo LS driven street terror and decided to share my progress as well as reach out for help and advice in this thread.

History: my grandpa gave the truck to my dad who did his best to hotrod it in the 80's. It got parked in our driveway in the early 90’s and thats where it sat nearly my entire childhood...except when it snowed he would fire it up and take us kids to an empty parking lot for some donuts haha. Anywho, my dad gave it to me about 8 years ago and I got it running and driving…it’s a ton of fun, 283 sbc and a 4 speed Saginaw transmission out of a camaro. I blew out reverse one winter and it has been parked now for around 5 years. I recently sold my ’87 buick grand national and (1) I miss having a fast toy, (2) its been a long time coming to get this truck back on the road.

Goal: To have a mustang eating beast that is capable of 10 sec 1/4 mile passes and can also hop on the highway and cruise for an hour without any troubles. I want a nice quiet interior and I want to clear coat the outside to seal off that natural patina and prevent more rust.

Challenges: The illusion or trick is that it is cheap to make 700 reliable horse power out of a turbo LS (compared to most performance setups)...but the other things are what adds up fast...brakes, suspension, trans work, converter, rear end set up, wheels, tires, gauges, fuel cell/tank, pump and lines, shifter, seats, seat belts/harness, steering components, etc...I am not wealthy by any means so every decision I make will be "budget minded". I want it fixed right but if i can buy something used for less and it accomplishes the same task vs ordering new off summit racing...used every time :)

#1 The cab floor and rocker panels have a lot of rust that needs fixed. I want to completely strip the body off of this thing and inspect/repair and structural corrosion or damage as well.
#2 I need to locate a wrecked 2005 or newer GM Truck, SUV, or van with a good 6.0 and 4L80E Transmission. And have them built accordingly.
#3 Either order a bolt on disk brake conversion OR switch out the complete front suspension/crossmember with an '87 or older truck to gain disk brakes and power steering. Time vs money here, i am undecided at this point.
#4 Have a rear end and suspension built that can support 600+ HP to the wheels in a heavy vehicle that hooks on the street.
#5 Interior: Make it quiet, make it comfortable, make it SHARP. Working gauges, working heat at least...might add AC but unsure at this point, decent stereo system. The interior has always been more important to me than the exterior on a vehicle. It is what I will be surrounded with and see most of the time. A fancy pants exterior with big shiny wheels are (IMO) for everyone else to ogle at. I want the truck to be all GO and little SHOW.
#6 The small stuff: battery relocation, fuel tank/cell, fuel pump and lines to run enough E85 for my desired power level, and tons more little things that will be driving me crazy when the time comes.

Below are some pictures i took yesterday while dragging this thing out of storage. Lots of work ahead of me but i think it will be really cool. guy and gals chime in if you know of any parts for sell i might be looking for or have any advice or questions. Thanks for looking OSA

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i1135.photobucket.com_albums_m627_zghorner_13128944_10101813958509841_352579750_o.jpg


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O4L

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The last big project like this that I worked on, we just swapped the truck body onto a newer frame to get the upgraded suspension and drive train. I don't know if that would help you out any on this build but you might want to look into it.
 

Glocktogo

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Great body style and there's tons of interest in the C10 world these days. They even have their own forum, which I'm sure would be a trove of information on OEM swaps vs. aftermarket mods. I realize it would add to the cost of your build, but have you thought about going with a 6L90E trans? That should get you off the line quicker and allow a lower gear ratio without overdriving the motor at highway speeds.

Here's a 6.0L, 6L90 trans and what looks like a 12 bolt rear end in a 2010 van chassis for $3K:

6.0L L96 2010 Chevy Van Cab and Chassis with 6L90 transmission
 
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zghorner

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Mr. Phart, Not a bad suggestion on the body swap. I could see that being an easier route especially if it would bolt up to something that came factory with the drivetrain im wanting. As of right now id like to keep what I have but I'm going to look into it some before I start ordering parts. thanks for the tip.

The biggest bummer of this project so far is the lack of junkyard upgrades...it doesn't seem that any parts from newer trucks will just bolt right in and be ready to rock and roll. On my buick you could rob parts from a jeep and an s10 blazer and they would more or less bolt right up and be an improvement over what you had.

A 6L90 would be pretty dang cool I hadn't even considered in. I think I will take whatever I can find a deal on as long as its a complete vehicle. The front clip is coming off today hopefully and the motor/tranny this weekend.

Many a cuss words were flying yesterday as I struggled to get the bumper off...rusty carriage bolts will be my biggest foe with this project, I can already tell.
 

zghorner

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yea man i just removed a few things yesterday and can easily see how a body swap would be challenging...especially onto a new setup like that. risk vs reward i guess...itd be bad to the bone if done right...but the risk is with my limited amount of knowledge, tools, and equipment the chances of it looking like garbage are high lol.

Ive never taken on a vehicle project even close to this big so having all the mounting holes and what not line up when assembling is more my speed. All nuts and bolts are going in labelled zip lock baggies and put up, and all wires/cable (not that their are very many on the ol gal) are getting taped and labelled.

slow and steady wins the race me thinks.
 

Glocktogo

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Mr. Phart, Not a bad suggestion on the body swap. I could see that being an easier route especially if it would bolt up to something that came factory with the drivetrain im wanting. As of right now id like to keep what I have but I'm going to look into it some before I start ordering parts. thanks for the tip.

The biggest bummer of this project so far is the lack of junkyard upgrades...it doesn't seem that any parts from newer trucks will just bolt right in and be ready to rock and roll. On my buick you could rob parts from a jeep and an s10 blazer and they would more or less bolt right up and be an improvement over what you had.

A 6L90 would be pretty dang cool I hadn't even considered in. I think I will take whatever I can find a deal on as long as its a complete vehicle. The front clip is coming off today hopefully and the motor/tranny this weekend.

Many a cuss words were flying yesterday as I struggled to get the bumper off...rusty carriage bolts will be my biggest foe with this project, I can already tell.

Kroil penetrating oil will be your friend! LOL
 

O4L

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It's not quite like they show on the Powerblock TV series where everything comes apart or back together in thirty minutes, is it. [emoji3]
 

RidgeHunter

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Random thoughts:

1. Man after my own heart. My first ride was a '65 longbed fleetside, 283,2 barrel, 3 on the tree. Became a built 283,4bbl TH350. $1,000 bucks from the second owner when I was 14. Still have it and still drive it.

2. Go Early Classic Enterprises on the disc conversion. Why hassle? With a frame and a cab you can build these trucks through the mail. LMC truck is your friend. Why body swap? 63-72 frames are pretty modern and all kinds of drivetrains have been put in them.

3. 10 second strip beast that cruises all day is a tall order for a C-10. Power is easy. Getting it to hook is another. Also...heavy. 12-13 second truck seems more realistic.

4. 67-72chevytrucks.com is a great resource for 60-66 rigs too.

5. There's an Oklahoma FB group for 60-66 Chevs that has parts listings. CL has junk all the time too.

6. Please don't go bigger than 17s on it. Please.

7. Here's my junk. Needs a lot of time and money, but I'd drive it anywhere without fear of it breaking down. Hasn't left me stranded since 2004. Straight truck, minimal rust issues.

i-btTvNQ9-L.jpg
 
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