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Old 12-31-2016, 04:23 AM   #151
Super_Dave
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Monday rolled around and I headed down to Tony's shop. He wasn't in the best of moods.

I explained all the issues we had getting as far as we did, and he mellowed out a bit. However, he was still bent out of shape over what his Shop Monkey Helper didn't do while he was hunting. Tony asked how man hours I used him to help on the truck and I handed him the time sheet I kept, and it totaled 10.5 hours. Well... seems the shop monkey turned in 22 hours helping me on the truck!! Long story short, Tony needs a new Shop Monkey.

Tony and I sat down and worked up a schedule to get the truck done. Unfortunately, any savings I was going to gain by doing a lot of work myself, went out the window, as I had popped a tendon on my right elbow trying to bust loose one of the cab mounts a week earlier... and my elbow was now in a brace and I could not even lift a cup of coffee. Dollar signs started flying from my wallet and into Tony's.

Tony sic'd his crew onto the remaining disassembly and reassembly, while he tackled the AAW wiring harness. The powder coated parts were ready by Wednesday that week, and major progress was made. The truck started coming back together by leaps and bounds... not so much for the wiring though.

(The photos were taken after driving the truck a couple weeks and there is road dirt on the powder coated sheetmetal from our recent snow storm. But take mu word for it... it turned out GREAT!)
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:32 AM   #152
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

We used hundreds of new bolts, nuts, washers, clamps, etc... many don't show, but I know they are there!

The AAW Harness was truck specific... sort of. The schematics left a lot to be desired. Several pages were "mirrored" so unless you turned them upside down and looked from behind, they made little sense.

Hours were spent shortening wires, crimping and soldering connections, deciphering the schematic... in the end, I will never pay that much money for another AAW kit. My next wiring job will be a Painless kit instead. The AAW kit was over priced, poorly documented and harder to install than it should have been.

In the end, Tony achieved what I asked him to do and that was clean up the engine bay and make it neat without going the full meal deal wire tuck. I am pleased and the wiring works well.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:42 AM   #153
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Other touches included installing a 6mm Blue LED High Beam Indicator in the dash bezel between the speedo and tach. It is one of the coolest additions we installed. It's small, flush, unobtrusive, and shines perfectly when the high beams are on... and the color matches the lighting of the Speedhut gauges. I will have to post a night shot... they are pretty sweet. https://www.oznium.com/led-bolt

One issue I will have to address, is that the Speedhut gauges are blocked a bit by the top of the steering wheel. Coupled with the fact that my 6'3" frame needs more room between me and the steering wheel, I need to add a tilt column. This will solve my space needs and the visibility of the top of the gauges.

The electronic speedo was easy to calibrate, as was the fuel gauge.

The AMP gauge reads fine, but it has been bouncing around and maxing out under acceleration, which doesn't seem right to me. It's calm under idle and cruising, but any gas pedal and it goes all the way to 18 AMPS... needs looking into.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:48 AM   #154
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

I took the dash trim off and painted it satin black to keep with the black theme of the truck. Upholstery looks like it will be Black leather with grey tweed inserts. Same on the doors and kick panels and black or gray carpets.

I like the two courtesy lights when the doors are open. The cab really lights up.

I also put on a temporary seat cover until the money for upholstery magically appears.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:59 AM   #155
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

The replacement front bumper and new rear bumper (got rid of the industrial bumper for $100) look great. The Original hood was nice and straight but the inner skin across the nose was showing bad rust and it was cheaper ($50) to replace the hood with a gold one I got from a guy in Oregon City. The fit is outstanding and once it's blasted underneath and painted, it will be better than when it was new.

The headlights are 300% brighter than factory sealed beams and really work well! My wife yells at me at night when I flash other drivers to dim their lights... too much fun!

A new dome light and lens and license plate light were installed. I also installed new tail lights and swapped over the chrome trim. Huge improvement. Pictures suck... Oregon weather at midday!

Not seen, except for the hole showing in the side of the bed, is the deleted second saddle tank (was actually an aftermarket tank that the previous owner said leaked and was never used...).

Also not seen, was the deleted spare tire carrier (soon to go up for sale) that will make room between the frame rails for the new Blazer tank and sending unit. Then the remaining saddle tank will be removed.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:15 AM   #156
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

So, the truck is a blast to drive, and as it sits now, I am pleased with the final outcome to date with a few exceptions:

1. The 700r4 works well and makes cruising with 3:73's a blast. However, mileage is still where it was before... 12MPG, which is disappointing, as I was expecting mid teens. We will scope the engine next week and see if we can identify why the OD transmission is not impacting mileage at all. The speedometer and fuel gauge are calibrated perfectly and the taller tires are not impacting the electronic speedometer at all, so they are a non issue.

2. The fluttering AMP gauge is worrisome and needs attention.

3. The etched billet accessories and ceramic headers are ugly to look at, but I fully expect to polish them up just fine during the painting phase.

4. I wish I had payed closer attention to the dash bezel I bought on EBay, as I feel I had to compromise too much to get the Speedhut gauges into the OEM bezel and keep the project on schedule.

Upcoming things:

1. The ugly Can-O-Pee can't go away too soon, in favor of a hard tonneau cover made just for square bodies. It will also hide the gas filler that will be recessed into the bed rail when the blazer tank is installed.

2. A trip to U-Pull-It, as a couple of trucks have arrived and I need to check out a windshield and some sheetmetal that may save me time and money on bodywork...

3. A trip to Manuel to talk about bodywork and paint.

4. Dropped spindles and lowering shackles and spring perches to get me 2.5 in the front and 4 in the rear. When the bed is removed and reinstalled after painting, I will have about a half inch clearance on both sides for the 12" wide tires... besides, it will never see off road, haul heavy loads or tow anything again.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:04 PM   #157
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Nice work coming along awsome
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:25 PM   #158
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

I've got my engine all apart at the moment and will start polishing my billet accessories now. It didn't work very well doing it by hand. Had I known it was going to be so hard to keep them looking nice I'd have gone with black powder coated ones.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:52 PM   #159
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkatation View Post
I've got my engine all apart at the moment and will start polishing my billet accessories now. It didn't work very well doing it by hand. Had I known it was going to be so hard to keep them looking nice I'd have gone with black powder coated ones.
I know there is a clear coat just for polished aluminum but I can't remember what it is at the moment. My powder coater has a "chrome" powder that could be used on the billet as well. Then there is triple plated chrome...

It's a shame to spend a lot of money on Billet and then have to cover it in something... I think I need to install some inner fender skirts to help with keeping the road grime out of the engine bay as much as possible. Parking outside doesn't help either.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:58 PM   #160
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

One decorative feature that is still up in the air, is what to do about the dash badge and fender badges.

Initially we were going with the whole Baba Yaga thing, but that has faded for a host of reasons, so we are thrashing out other ideas. Once we decide, I will mill up an aluminum dash badge to go in the trim panel recess and larger copies to go on the front fenders.

We talked about GO ROGUE a year or so ago... but then the Star Wars movie came out... so not sure about that idea.
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:43 PM   #161
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Well... I was able to solve part of the Voltage gauge fluttering between 15.5 and 18 and the Stereo and Climate Control working intermittently.

The new Alternator from SUMMIT was bad. That's the third new part from SUMMIT that was a piece of crap. $141 later, a new NAPA alternator is in and I am pulling 14.5 steadily.

The intermittent stereo and cc was traced to a bad (new SUMMIT part) ignition switch module on the column... which was replaced in the wiring harness install a few weeks ago. We adjusted the ignition switch enough for the stereo and cc to work but starting the engine became nearly impossible. Backing off the adjustment made starting easier, but we lose the stereo and cc fan... so, a new NAPA ignition switch is on order.

Lastly, after installing the new, warmed over 700r4 OD transmission, and hoping to go from 12 mpg to the mid-high teens, has proved disastrous. I was getting 12 mpg with the TH350... and my last tank with the 700r4 netted me a whopping 7.91 mpg! Well worth the $2,500 investment, right ?!

We have checked everything fuel related... no leaks anywhere, timing is 12°, idle 750rpm, 3:73 rear gears should be optimal with the .67 OD final ratio... should have me in about 2.50 at cruising speed...

So, I am at a complete loss as to where the mileage is going. Speedometer and tach are spot on, so I know my numbers are accurate. At this rate, it would take me about 5 tanks of gas, or $200+ to go from Portland to the California border. Hardly worth the effort to take it out to even go to the post office.
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:34 PM   #162
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Well. . . finally making headway.

1. The new NAPA Alternator nearly burned the '74 to the ground! Stunk up the whole neighborhood. Got it warrantied out and got the project running again.

2. Sold the can-o-pee in preparation for a hard tonneau cover.

3. Took a couple steps back, when a neighbor, driving his girlfriends BMW, decided my new chrome bumper, brackets and license plate holder/light, would look better on the front of his car, than the back of my truck. Still arguing with their insurance company on the settlement.
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:53 PM   #163
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

continuing. . .

4. Purchased a tilt column and will have it painted when the truck gets painted this Spring.

5. Found a '77 Square about 90 miles from me, that had all the sheet metal I needed to smooth out, plus some I didn't need. So, I closed a deal on all the parts I needed and some I wanted, only because they were new parts and already painted Black (one of the two colors I was considering.)

These parts will save a lot on body work and paint prep and application. I got a complete bed (all new except the floor and wheel-wells), Hood (already had a perfect hod but this one is already BLACK, so I will keep my Gold one as a spare.) both front fenders (new and in primer), BLACK front valance. . .

Another plus: The bed doesn't have any provisions for a gas cap on either side, so it was perfect since I am putting a tank in the back between the rails. No holes to fill and smooth out!

Another plus: Both front fenders do not have provisions for the emblems, which I was removing anyway, so again no holes to fill and smooth out!

The '74 was going to be driven down to the location for the swap this week, but the insurance numbskull's are making me drive to their remote assessment location on Jan. 3rd. so I am losing two more weeks.

While visiting the Bob, who is selling me the parts, I got to see his collection, and what a collection it is! While drooling over his collection, he mentioned that his brother, who lives two houses away, did all the body and paint.

Well, one thing led to another and I asked if he would be interested in possibly doing my truck. So, we ambled down to Larry's place and after a short discussion, agreed to a price and time frame.

So, after the insurance slow dance on the 3rd, I will be driving the '74 the 90 miles and leaving it there for Bob and Larry to work on. It will be a bed swap, hood swap, valance swap, fender paint then swap. . . and the real body work will be replacing the rockers on both sides and then massage the doors and cab, prime and paint it BLACK.

Finding this '77 will make the whole process happen a lot sooner. . . and I should be able to have the upholstery and carpets done, all for a LOT less than the body and paint from the other shop I was talking to.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:00 PM   #164
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

As part of the Gas Tank relocation, I was looking at doing a pop-up Harley cap on top of the back bed rail. Then my son, who works for Gundie's, got me this.

Now I am rethinking the Harley cap. I need to see if we can use it without having to do major reworking of the nice, new, black bed.

It's wet and dirty, but in excellent condition.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:18 PM   #165
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

continuing. . .

While the bed is off, the frame will get cleaned and coated with POR15. Same with the front when the fenders come off for the swap. I think I can do the area under the cab, from under the truck without too much trouble.

Here is some of Bob's collection:

1. 1957 2DR HT. Belaire with over 500 HP. . . and 5 speed.
2. 1930 Chevy Pickup - Old style wishbone suspension and 450 HP SBC.
3. 1953 Sedan Delivery - 500 HP 396 BBC
4. 1956? Chevy Pickup - 550 HP
5. 1955 Chevy is Larry's car.

The photos are not the best, but trust me, these rides are really, really nice!

Bob and Larry did all the body work and Larry painted all these vehicles. Bob is 78 and Larry is mid 70's. I think my truck is in good hands. They can work at their pace and I get a great deal.

So far, I am pretty pleased with how things are turning out. . . especially when a month ago, I was going to keep all my expensive parts and sell the '74 when it seems that every step forward was followed with two or three steps backwards.

Bob also does stainless trim restoration on the side. He has quite the setup.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:28 PM   #166
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

I will soon have to make a decision about the grill. I am torn between keeping the stock stainless headlight trim or replacing it with the slightly newer '79-80 version that wraps down around the turn signals and back under the grill.

I really like the integrated look over the stand-alone turn signals. Opinions?
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:17 AM   #167
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

We made good progress the last couple of days.

I got the '74 delivered this past Saturday, to the guy who sold me the Black Bed and other sheet metal. By late afternoon, the gas tank was dropped and the bed was ready to slide off.

Sunday, my brother and I drove the 90 miles to the shop, and loaded the bed onto his mobile dolley and strapped it to his tandem axle trailer. I traded the bed and tool box for shop work to be determined later.

In the interim, the bed is out of the way and Bob and I can get to work detailing the frame and swapping Gloss Black sheet metal!

Good to finally be getting some serious work done.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:34 AM   #168
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

I will be making the 90 mile drive on Tuesday, to prep the frame and apply POR15 to everything front and rear. No plans to jack up the cab, so will try to get POR15 as far as I can reach with the cab in place.

I will be ordering the vented pop-up weldable gas cap Monday. Measured the bed rail width and the 2.625" steel welding bung will fit like a glove. It will go in the drivers side rear bed rail, just ahead of the stake pocket.

An "L"" shaped housing will encase the filler tube that will connect to the neck on the new gas tank.

Pro Line will spray in the bed liner and the aluminum gas cap will be painted black, so the entire filler will be virtually hidden. Plans call for a Gaylord Hard Tonneau cover, so access to the pop-up gas cap will be impossible for ner-do-wells to get to.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:48 AM   #169
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

No photos, but here is the progress to date (more photos next week):

Parts:

Summit:
1. Top Door Seals from Soffseal

Brothers:
1. Fuel Tank Straps
2. Hood Hinge Braces

Top Banana:
1. Drivers Side Cab Outer Floor Section
2. Passengers Side Cab Outer Floor Section
3. Drivers Side Kick Panel
4. Passengers Side Kick Panel
5. Drivers Side Outer Rocker Panel
6. Passengers Side Outer Rocker Panel
7. Drivers Side Rocker Panel Backing Plate (Inner Rocker)
8. Passengers Side Rocker Panel Backing Plate (Inner Rocker)
9. Chrome Rear Bumper and Rear Bumper Bracket Kit

Other parts will be ordered closer to the time we will need them or after the truck is “done” and I can install them back at my shop.

We pulled the doors, heater, wiper motor, brake booster and master, and repaired rusted spot around heater. Working on painting brake booster and master.

Will tear doors completely down and bring the wing windows back here to clean off corrosion and/or replace parts and rubber seals.

Next week, we should make good progress on installing the pop-up gas cap and rear mounted gas tank. We should be able to mount the pop-up cap on the back corner of the bed rail; bring the fill tube down the inside of the bed side, which will be closed in with an "L" shaped door.

We can then route the fill tube through the gap between the rear frame rail and the bottom of the bed. Seems there is about 3" +/- of space there. We can secure the fill tube with rubber encased clamps bolted to the frame.

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The last thing to fab, is making a 90° elbow for the neck on the tank, allowing us to bring the fill tube in from the back of the tank and not the side. There is a remote chance that the neck will be just fine and will line up with the gap between the frame and bottom of the bed. I should know more after my next 180 mile trip.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:41 AM   #170
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Nice list of parts. Have you had good luck with Top Banana parts before? I’m going to be looking into some replacement pieces before long. Looking good.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:10 PM   #171
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty76 View Post
Nice list of parts. Have you had good luck with Top Banana parts before? I’m going to be looking into some replacement pieces before long. Looking good.
I have never purchased from Top Banana before. From what I was able to determine, Top Banana was a joint venture between a couple of companies, at least one of which was a company founded by a member of the forum.

In discussions with the people at Top Banana, they only buy from the best manufacturers of reproduction parts. Their quality has been supported by other forum members who have purchased parts both before and after the joint venture. So, we will see.

As an aside, I had a discussion with AMD about their parts and was told that the quality of parts in the 73-87 segment are not as good as the 72 and older segment. . . regardless of who manufacturers them.

I suspect there may be some semblance of truth to that assertion, given the enormous amount of parts for the pre-73 group compared to those available to the 73-87 crowd. I suspect "demand dictates quality" in terms of tooling investment, etc.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:28 PM   #172
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

I see that several 60-66 guys use their parts and never knew they offered anything for the 73-87 guys. Just good to know of other suppliers. Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:59 AM   #173
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Worked on the '74 today.

Both doors are stripped and in surprisingly good shape. The drivers door shows signs of having been worked on previously.
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The cab is stripped of fenders, doors, hinges, seat. . . engine bay lost the brake booster and master cylinder which has been painted gloss black. All hinges were rebuilt and sandblasted.
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We had to cut one of the hinge pins to get it out, as it had gotten seriously bent. One thing we ran into, was some of hinge pins we received, had two different knurled profiles under the head of the pin. One had a shoulder and the knurl was straight up and down. The other had a tapered knurl area that was flush with the pin body. If you find that your new hinge pins will NOT go into the bushing that last 1/2 inch. . . it's because of the straight, shouldered knurled design. You need the tapered style.
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I had always thought that the passenger fender was aftermarket, due to a bump-n-run (there was a missing hole for the center rubber hood bumper). Well, that suspicion was driven home, as you can see on the cowl. Pretty serious dent. Didn't hurt the heater or affect the door jamb or hinges. Seems it was a pretty concise impact by something. In any event, I will not be repairing that part of the cowl right now, for financial reasons and because it will be out of fight under the fender. Later, funds allowing, I may get if fixed.
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The Top Banana sheetmetal has yet to arrive, so it's sand the cab and get it ready for primer.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:06 AM   #174
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

The gas tank is still somewhat undecided.

We were initially dropping down through the bed rail, then come under the bed and over the frame rail (as seen with the 2x4). This approach, which is doable, will require cutting the filler neck on the tank and rotating it 90° to point it toward the back. This will require one or two 90° elbows to go from the neck to the fill tube in the bed side. It's a lot more work, but in the end, it may be our only choice.

However, since the tank is square, we are looking at rotating the tank 90° and coming out through the rear frame cross rail and behind the license plate. It will require a small notch in the cross rail. This choice will be a direct, straight line fill tube to the neck. . . maybe. The tank flanges will require running the tank straps side to side and connect them to the lower part of the frame rails. This is perfect, as it won't require making any additional cross members for the tank. The part of the tank below the neck, fits nice and snug below the lip of the rear cross rail.

Again, it depends on the location of the bumper and flip-down license plate holder in relation to the neck. Once the new rear bumper arrives, we will double and triple check the tank neck location to see if we still get the downward angle we need and still keep the gas tank neck away from the bed floor.

We can go lower with the tank if needed, but there is a point of no return, where the tank is too low and will not only show too much, but risk being damaged. If that's the case, it's back to plan A.

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Old 01-18-2018, 12:27 AM   #175
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Re: 1974 C20 Soon to become a project...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty76 View Post
I see that several 60-66 guys use their parts and never knew they offered anything for the 73-87 guys. Just good to know of other suppliers. Thanks for the input.
Well, so far, here is my experience with Top Banana:

1. Ordered repair panels on the 12th.

2. Ordered a complete rear bumper and bracket assembly on the 12th.

3. I received an Order Conformation listing the bumper as ordered NOT back ordered

4. EVERYTHING was listed as "In Stock" on their website.

5. Six (6) days later, no confirmation email that the order has shipped and no tracking number(s).

6. Called the Top Banana Support line and was told the parts shipped on the 15th.

7. Asked why I never received a Tracking Number as promised and was told to contact UPS for a tracking number and to check my Spam Folder. End of conversation.

8. UPS says to get the tracking number from the seller (which I already knew but humored TB anyway.)

9. Emailed TB Support for the tracking numbers and let them know what UPS said.

10. Received an email with two tracking numbers and a notification that the rear bumper was on back order.

11. Called TB Support and asked about the Back Ordered Bumper and why it was listed as "In Stock" and when they expected a shipment. Was told that the shipment would not arrive until the end of the month, making it three (3) plus more weeks before I see the bumper. No explanation about the "In Stock" status.

12. Not happy about the back order, I responded to TB Support via email, regarding the bumper being listed as "In Stock" at the time of the order.

13. I also stated that if I knew from the beginning that the bumper was a Back Order Item taking four (4) weeks from my order date to arrive, I would have gone with another vendor who sells the same parts from the same manufacturers. As it is, the bumper is holding up half of our custom work we needed to get done. Expressed my disappointment in their service.

14. I asked if they were able to expedite the shipment to me once they received their order and that I didn't want to be charged for the expedited delivery since their website is in error and they failed miserably to communicate with me.

15. I further stated that, if they could not expedite, was it possible to cancel the order so I could order from another supplier.

16. I received an email stating they do not do expedited shipping and that they canceled the back order and would refund the price back to my card, along with an adjustment in the shipping.

So. . . now I am back to ordering the bumper from another comparable supplier. . . to see if we can get this project back under steam.

Word to the wise: When communication breaks down early, like it did with Top Banana, stay on top of the vendor like white on rice. If you don't and you are under the gun like we are, you will lose a lot of valuable time!
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