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Old 04-25-2018, 10:07 AM   #1
Knight72
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Big Rhonda long term build thread

I am starting a build thread to keep me on task over the next few years for the restore on my 72 lwb. I bought Rhonda for $1500 in Talladega a year or so back. Dropped it off in the garage with plans to chop the fram, make a swb stepper, and drop an old 350 in to putt around in. On the surface she looked great, but after digging in there are some problems I couldn't just gloss over. So my slap it together project and drive went out the window. There's nothing special about my truck, but I have a some sentimental attachment after spending the last year seeing it sit with flat tires looking ragged out and tired. So I am doing a long term build that will probably be a full frame off restoration. The plans also shifted on the drive train. Current plans:

454 (mild build) with Tremec TKO
New complete wiring from AAW
Replace rusted inner cowl, rockers, cab corners, and kick panels.
Replace the rusted sections of bed floor.
Clean and POR15 the frame.
Either a static 2/4 drop or bag system.
Relocate gas tank to under bed
Replace rusty radiator support and fenders.
Paint black with Detroit steel artillery style wheels.
Upgrade rear drums to disc
Power steering and brakes.

Timeline is 3-5 years. Goal is to cut my teeth on the restore doing all of it I possibly can myself. I've rebuilt a Cherokee 4x4 but nothing to this scope. A majority of my time will be practicing with body work and painting old panels. I've got a mig, most tools I'll need, and a plasma cutter. Other stuff will be purchased along the way.

Pictures are how she looked coming home last year. I'll update today or tomorrow with how she currently sits.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 04-27-2018, 01:23 AM   #2
kingNothing
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

I remember seeing this truck when I was looking for a 72. You know if its from Talladega it will go fast..lol. Sounds like you have a good plan in place. It should make a very cool truck.I'll be following along
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:14 PM   #3
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Appreciate it King. I was impressed with the truck for $1500.

So I had some time in the garage and finished stripping my cab. I've got some areas to fix, but I don't think the cab is too far gone. I'll definitely need rockers and cab corners. I've got the metal but foolishly got rid of the old fenders. I thought they were gone and didn't want them taking up space. So no rocker install until I get fender repops for line up, sucks because I have the metal sitting on the shelf. Cut out the rusty radiator support and meticulously pulled all the dash components and vintage air without breaking it all. The areas I've sanded and stripped look okay. Some pitting in the floor. Cab supports are solid, back half of the cab is solid. Pretty happy so far

Cut the center out of the Reese hitch since some doofus welded it to the frame, I'll have to wait til I pull the bed and cut it out with the plasma cutter. Gotta hit the hardware store for a plug to wire it up.

Also Decided to stick with the 350 for budget sake especially since I have it on the stand and all parts minus the new heads. One day I'll have that 454. I've got it stripped to the long block. Going to hang out there until I finish working my way through my rebuild book.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:17 AM   #4
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Some progress today. Pulled the bed and the Frame is solid just super rusty. Plans are gaining clarity and solidifying on where I want this truck to go. Frame off restoration is probably not the most accurate description. I have seen some amazing full restorations on the site and it's not fair to put my build on that level. I am definitely pulling the cab and bed. So technically it's a frame off, but I am building a driver that's gonna work like a truck and hopefully look good. However I won't be cutting corners and all of the rusted metal will be cut from cab and replaced with new. I am debating on power washing the gunk and wire wheeling the frame, then two coats por15 and a top coat. Southern winters are mild with no salt. I am hoping this is the best course, but I'm still scouring the paint and body subsection. I don't have a compressor up to the task of spraying... Yet. It's on the list. So a roller or spray bomb option is my plan for the frame. Bed floor has some serious issues. It will be the next section to tackle looks to be the left and right sections at the header panel end need to be replaced. I will be marking and cutting those sections and hopefully welding replacements in by late May/early June. I am also planning on bed lining the bed and associated areas due to the expectations of loading tons of stuff in the truck over the next few years. Not sure if I should power wash and por15 it before hitting it with bed liner. Also I decided I am going with solid black paint with a dark saddle interior.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:52 PM   #5
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Pulled the cab, transmission, driveshaft, and emergency brake lines today. Managed to not break anything. Tomorrow I'm going to push it behind the shop and soak her down with some biodegradable degreaser and pressure wash the gunk and dirt dobber nests. On a side note looks like I might have a 12 bolt posi with 3.73 gears. I'll know for sure when I pull the diff cover, but all signs are positive. I think I might have a small bend in the frame up front, might need to heat it and correct it with a bfh.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:27 AM   #6
72 tigger
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Looks good- you’re doing it right
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:50 PM   #7
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Thanks Tigger, I'm working at it slowly.

I pushed the frame out behind the shop and soaked it down with some krudkutter. Then hit it with the pressure washer for a couple hours. Cleaned up pretty well especially the control arms and steering linkages. I'll start hitting the surface rust tomorrow to prepare it for the por15. Also pulled the diff cover and confirmed I have a posi rear-end. Pretty pumped about that. Scouring the forum and reading today made me change my mind on moving the gas tank from the cab. One small step at a time
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Did some rust removal today on the frame and removed the brake and fuel lines. My wife even wanted to jump in today and help. Still have to remove the subframe and rear end, and hit the inside of the frame. Probably will take a few weekends to get it cleaned up properly.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:36 PM   #9
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Not much done over the last week. Busy at work and at home. I did make time to run the emergency brake assembly and the clutch/brake assembly through the electrolysis tank. Awesome stuff. Those are all gussied up and curing until cab re-assembly.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:19 PM   #10
68Gold/white
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

What are possible negative points about moving gas tank out of cab?

Not trying to be a Beavis here, just wondering...
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:17 PM   #11
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Gold/white View Post
What are possible negative points about moving gas tank out of cab?

Not trying to be a Beavis here, just wondering...
Is this what you are referring to?
"Scouring the forum and reading today made me change my mind on moving the gas tank from the cab"


Definitely no negatives to moving it, other than losing the spare tire space, and cost. What I decided was that there aren't as many negatives to leaving it where it's at, as I initially thought. Sloshing and fumes can be reduced and solved. And I don't need the storage behind the seat.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:46 PM   #12
hotwls13
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Gold/white View Post
What are possible negative points about moving gas tank out of cab?

Not trying to be a Beavis here, just wondering...
It’s kind of pain in the you know what. The so called “kits” from places like LMC truck are really about half a kit. They have no provisions for dealing with the bed crossmember that is in the way of the top of the tank. They also provide zero solutions to getting the fuel to the tank. You have to piece together something yourself. And then good luck dealing with the odd filler size of 1 3/8” on the “blazer tanks”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent “upgrade” and I’ll be happy with my rear tank when it’s done. Just some things to think about when looking at the swap like it’s just a bolt in easy peasy thing.

If I was to do it again, I would either go with a nicer tank, or a tank with the filler going straight up into bed, or relocate and resize the filler on a new blazer tank.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:47 PM   #13
68Gold/white
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight72 View Post
Is this what you are referring to?
"Scouring the forum and reading today made me change my mind on moving the gas tank from the cab"


Definitely no negatives to moving it, other than losing the spare tire space, and cost. What I decided was that there aren't as many negatives to leaving it where it's at, as I initially thought. Sloshing and fumes can be reduced and solved. And I don't need the storage behind the seat.
I was just wondering what your thoughts were. I have a 67 C10, LWB I will be in "economy" spending mode to get it back on the road for a while. I will be leaving tank in cab for a while, also. Costs of new rear tank and fuel system are why I'll leave tank in cab for a year or two. I will be thrilled just to have mine on the street. I plan to upgrade it while still driving it, over time periods of a weekend or week. Tearing something apart and having it not run for YEARS is not a good thing.....

Thanks
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:59 PM   #14
Knight72
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Re: Big Rhonda long term build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Gold/white View Post
I was just wondering what your thoughts were. I have a 67 C10, LWB I will be in "economy" spending mode to get it back on the road for a while. I will be leaving tank in cab for a while, also. Costs of new rear tank and fuel system are why I'll leave tank in cab for a year or two. I will be thrilled just to have mine on the street. I plan to upgrade it while still driving it, over time periods of a weekend or week. Tearing something apart and having it not run for YEARS is not a good thing.....

Thanks
No worries, man. I was really leaning to going all out initially, but I'm being very flexible to try and save a few bucks here and there, while not cutting corners. Reading the forum every day is giving me a lot of perspective and insight into the c10 platform, and I'm being swayed by different info and gaining clarity on where I want my build to go. I'm trying to incorporate as much of the original truck and gm design as possible due to it being almost 100% original when I purchased. Everybody has their own personal way to do things. I like to tinker and repair. It's a lot of fun to me, so I don't mind the blown apart and not driving for a couple years. Different strokes and all that. I am looking forward to hoping in and cruising one day though. I appreciate the questions and replies too, helps keep me on task and gives another perspective on things I'm doing as well.
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72 C10 lwb fleetside aka Big Rhonda.

"If you don't lose that tool you just had a minute ago, can you say you are even really working on your truck? " - Aristotle

Build thread:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...42#post8247142
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