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Old 01-25-2019, 02:51 PM   #1
EagleChief
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EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Hello all! I have a “new member” thread that I had started for my truck search, but now that I have found the truck, I figured I’d start my build thread so I could keep track of my progress and have a question/answer area so I’m not filling up the main page with all of my noob questions that I’ll be asking.

I guess I should start out with a few pics of our truck: 1971 C10 Deluxe in Hugger Orange/White.
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:54 PM   #2
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

I bought it on Jan 19, 2019 from a gentleman south of Tyler, TX. It was a 5 hr drive down there. Hauled it back on a U-Haul trailer and it took about 6-6.5 hrs on the way back. I left my house at 7:00am and crawled into bed at about 1:00am. It’s a running /driving truck. The owner I bought it from had purchased it from another older gentleman that had retired. During that time it was used as a daily driver, about 40-50 miles per day. The original 350 motor was swapped out for a SBC from a 1988 Suburban. The transmission is a 700r with overdrive.

I looked the truck over, we took it for a test drive, and everything checked out ok. It’s missing one of the bed side trim pieces and has a couple of small rust spots in the rockers. He included replacements for those. The front passenger fender has a spot right behind the bumper that is slightly bent with some rust, like it was bumped at some point. The bumper was replaced, but the fender was left as it was. He gave me a replacement fender to swap it out, or use for patch parts.

Now, I went into this knowing that there were things to fix, obviously. First things were all cosmetic – wheels & tires, seat, steering wheel, rocker panels, fender, trim pieces. Now that I’ve had it almost a week, there’s a lot more to go through and fix. So, here’s my initial list of things to fix:

1) Water pump
2) Temperature sensor/sending unit
3) Transmission leak – maybe rear seal.
4) Transmission shifting – Hard to shift into Reverse/Park. Neutral, Drive, L1, L2 are fine.
5) Door locks – working with LockDoc about that now.
6) Wheels & Tires
7) Seat – Eventually recover, probably get a temporary cover for the time being.
8) Rocker panels
9) Front fender
10) Grill insert – ok for now, but could use a replacement
11) Figure out all of the wiring under the dash – someone added gauges, switches, choke knob, light knob, and some sort of push button for something. Probably pull all of that out.
12) Stereo – has aftermarket with blue tooth and added speakers. May pull all of that out and find a OEM style replacement at some point (not high on the list).
13) Lower the ride height - Suspension drop of some sort. Never tried it before, so huge learning curve here.
14) Speedometer doesn't work - Probably due to transmission swap to a 700r, but no idea.

**EDIT** - adding things to my list.

Last edited by EagleChief; 01-25-2019 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:00 PM   #3
Lanman1972
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Welcome! Nice looking project. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

I figured out the water pump was bad just yesterday. I was taking my son around the neighborhood because, according to him, it's "my truck". Which, eventually & hopefully, one day it will be his truck. Anyway, I was backing into the driveway, and noticed a trail of water/coolant in the road and driveway. It was leaking like crazy.

This was supposed to be a driving, working truck that we could immediately enjoy on the road - I could drive it 30 miles to work if I wanted to. Now, the wife is ticked off because I already am putting money into it to make it drive-able. She's not happy that I convinced her this was a good buy.

So, picked up a replacement CarQuest new water pump a few minutes ago from Advanced Auto. Also picked up a temp sensor/sending unit. The temperature gauge in the dash isn't working, but also there is a temp gauge/oil pressure gauge under the dash. The temperature isn't reading on it, either. While I was at it, went ahead and got a new thermostat, and some coolant.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:04 PM   #5
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Well, I must say it looks like a nice solid truck. What strikes me is that it could be the twin of our '72 C20.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:07 PM   #6
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Nice! I like that!

New suspension parts and dropping the elevation should've been on that initial list as well. I can't believe I forgot to add that. I'd like to lower it a little to give it a better stance. I'm thinking rally wheels to go along with it. Have a chance at a set that consists of (2) 15x8's and (2) 15x7's for $100.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:34 PM   #7
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

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Nice! I like that!

New suspension parts and dropping the elevation should've been on that initial list as well. I can't believe I forgot to add that. I'd like to lower it a little to give it a better stance. I'm thinking rally wheels to go along with it. Have a chance at a set that consists of (2) 15x8's and (2) 15x7's for $100.
That's a great price and a good combo on the wheels. Our steelies came off of our Brother-N-Law's '88 3/4 ton 4X4 Suburban. I intend to go with 8" wide wheels in the rear. We are keeping the hub caps as our Brother-N-Law passed unexpectedly Nov. of '18. We rebuilt the entire front end and have been working on the rear axle, suspension, and c-notch. Strange, but I've always preferred the long beds over the short beds. Then I decided I wanted a C20, as you don't see them as much at the old car gatherings. We did add air helpers to the rear for trailering and hauling duties. I took this pic when the front end work was finished. The rear was just quickly thrown together to get the ride height and stance correct. Our goal is low and still useful. Good luck with your build. I'll be watching it with interest.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. I like that your keeping the hubcaps for him... a nice tribute.

I had a '70 long bed in high school. It doesn't really bother me being a long bed, or a short bed. So, I'm not sure which way I'll go with this one. The brother's conversion kit seems to make it pretty simple to do, frame-wise anyway.

I'll probably get the rally's. I'm going to sandblast them here at work, then paint them. Just need to figure out what color I want them. I like the silver/stock look. But, I've thought about going with some kind of gray, too... gunmetal, light gray, etc.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:26 PM   #9
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Nice trucks,love the orange and white trucks.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

So, my first "noob" question - Is there a way that I can figure out exactly what motor and transmission I have? It would sure make it easier when I'm trying to order parts online. Most of the parts stores want a year, make, and model when searching for parts. I'm hoping the water pump I picked up today will work. I ordered it using the inputs of a '88 Suburban. When I looked for a pump for a '71 C10, it was completely different.

I wish I could search online just by going off of the motor (SBC 350, for example), instead of "year, make, model, trim level".
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:28 PM   #11
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleChief View Post
So, my first "noob" question - Is there a way that I can figure out exactly what motor and transmission I have? It would sure make it easier when I'm trying to order parts online. Most of the parts stores want a year, make, and model when searching for parts. I'm hoping the water pump I picked up today will work. I ordered it using the inputs of a '88 Suburban. When I looked for a pump for a '71 C10, it was completely different.

I wish I could search online just by going off of the motor (SBC 350, for example), instead of "year, make, model, trim level".
Without knowing if it’s been swapped you can check the casting number on the block. That said as far as the water pump goes they really only come in three varieties,short or long nose or reverse,your engine definitely doesn’t have the original belt system as it’s serpentine style,and MAY be a reverse flow pump as well. Oh and please get rid of that plastic fuel filter right over the header,that’s a fire waiting to happen.

Last edited by trac209; 01-25-2019 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:42 PM   #12
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

[QUOTE=EagleChief;

This was supposed to be a driving, working truck that we could immediately enjoy on the road - I could drive it 30 miles to work if I wanted to. Now, the wife is ticked off because I already am putting money into it to make it drive-able. She's not happy that I convinced her this was a good buy.


Welcome to the world of 50-year-old vehicles! Likely you'll make a pretty good punch list of things to do to make her truly reliable for the day-to-day world. And even then, well, things are likely to fail here in there as you put miles on. It's actually kind of fun to bring the vehicle up to your liking and enjoy accomplishing it. Looks like you have a list ready to go already! Enjoy your new truck and the adventures that come with it!

Steve weim55 Colorado

Last edited by weim55; 01-26-2019 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:06 AM   #13
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Is that a cruse control box behind your brake booster?
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:02 AM   #14
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Looks like a nice truck- glad your son likes it
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:43 AM   #15
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

[quote=weim55;8451033][QUOTE=EagleChief;


Welcome to the world of 50-year-old vehicles! Likely you'll make a pretty good punch list of things to do to make her truly reliable for the day-to-day world. And even then, well, things are likely to fail here in there as you put miles on. It's actually kind of fun to bring the vehicle up to your liking and enjoy accomplishing it. Looks like you have a list ready to go already! Enjoy your new truck and the adventures that come with it!

Steve weim55 Colorado[/quote]

Oh, I get it. My wife hasn't fully grassped that concept, though. She thinks it should function like her 2013 SUV - just get in and go. It's going to be fun, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to making it my own, and going through everything to make sure it's all good.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:47 AM   #16
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

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Is that a cruse control box behind your brake booster?
Good eye! It is, but it is not hooked up.

More than likely, I'll pull it out of there at some point. I do not foresee needing it with this truck. Heck, I barely use cruise control in our daily drivers. I'm guessing it may lead to some of the extra wires and stuff under the dash that I want to get rid of.
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:41 AM   #17
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

quick way for tranny ID is to take a look at the pan shape ,
that will tell you
https://www.google.com/search?q=GM+t...Yzn1Zb3uVOA_M:
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:48 AM   #18
EagleChief
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Thanks bigmac! That will definitely help. I'm hoping to get it into the garage today and work on it. If I can, I'll definitely use that reference to figure it out.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:55 AM   #19
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

So, I didn't get the truck moved into the garage. Other things to take care of. But, I did slide under the truck for a few seconds to look at the transmission pan and see if I could tell where the leak was coming from. It's definitely a 700r4 transmission. So, I got that figured out. The down side, since I have that transmission, it looks like I'm going to have to pull it out of the truck to even get the pan off of it. The front side of the pan, and the bolts on the front, are completely sandwiched up behind the cross-brace that is attached to the frame. So, if I wanted to replace the gasket, I can't - there's no way to get to the front side bolts. Grrr!
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:05 PM   #20
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Got a chance last night to play musical trucks. But, didn't have time to do anything with the truck. First of all, we have a family dinner night on Mondays, so there was that. Secondly, even though I was supposed to be able to go work on the truck, it was down in the 20's last night, so the garage was COLD. Then, there's the whole new baby thing that takes precedent over anything else... which, I don't mind at all.

But, our other old truck ('73 F100 - Wife's grandfather bought new) is out in the driveway, and the C10 is in the garage ready to get the water pump swapped out.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:30 PM   #21
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Subscribed.
We need more pictures, interior, bed, rear, etc.
Its priceless that your son already calls it his truck, you two are going to build a lifetime of good memories, and your wife will buy-in before too long.
Sending you a PM.

P.S. save those Cruise Control parts and pieces, someone on the Parts Board will want them.
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:08 PM   #22
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Thanks! It is fun watching my son around the trucks. He loves "helping" me. He wants to get into the engine bay with me, or he'll crawl under the truck on his back and grab a tool and "screw in some bolts" while I'm doing the same. I can't lie... it makes Daddy happy!

The interior is going to need some work, seat recovered or replaced. I want to go through everything in the dash and clean up the wiring, etc. My temp adjustment on for the air will work from cold to the middle, but when I push it over the Heat, it won't hold on that side and moves back to the middle of the adjustment.

I'll definitely hold on to the cruise components for now. It will probably be a while before I start removing things. My spare time is pretty scarce for the next few months.

Here are a few more pics that I have for now...
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:15 PM   #23
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Welcome aboard the experience ! C20’s are cool ! Just wish I had power steering to go along with the incredible power disc brakes on mine. Love the color combo
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:16 PM   #24
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Door latch question - My driver door does not always fully catch on the striker plate. The latch on the door side, seems as if the mechanism is worn out or loose. It will close tight, but only if I hold the door shut when I close it, if that makes sense. When I shut the door, I have to keep pressure on it for it to actually lock in place. If I don't, the door will stay closed, but be loose where it feels like it wants to open.

Do you guys know if that is an adjustment, or is it just worn out and needs to be replaced. I seem some replacements on PartsGeek, Classic Industries, etc. going for $30-$50. Any recommendations?

I'm replacing the door locks this weekend, so I'll be inside the door already. Thanks to LockDoc for the replacements!!
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:27 PM   #25
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Lift up the door from the lock side see if the hinges are tight, the gear lock mechanism does wear out, but sometimes with bad hinges the door sags.
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