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Old 09-05-2019, 09:17 AM   #1
65blackfleetside
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If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?



I thought this would be a good topic for all of those starting a build or half way through one.

What are you really happy about with your Build and glad that you spent the extra time and money on?

What would you have done differently?

Just finishing up my '51 on S10 frame and LS3.

I am glad that I decided to go crazy with danamat and carpet insulation. My truck is as quite as a mercedes inside with doors closed and my exhaust set up is no way quite.

I would have gone with an internal tank fuel pump instead of the external. Very loud outside of truck.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:08 AM   #2
jweb
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

What fuel pump do you have?
I installed a Walboro on the frame rail below the drivers door and I can't hear it.
On my '86 Cutlass LS swap I used a Tanks Inc. tank and internal fuel pump and it was really loud.

If I had to build my truck again I wouldn't buy any cheap parts. I think I have replaced everything I tried to "save money" on. I also would have started with an LS motor and not a junk Craigslist rebuilt 350.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:41 AM   #3
RyanPartridge
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I had a Carter electric fuel pump that buzzed loud enough to bother me. I lasted about a week or so before I installed a mechanical Carter fuel pump and never looked back.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:10 AM   #4
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I regret the day I decided to shave the handles on my '47 GMC and upgrade to bear claw latches. The bearclaws interfered with the window track requiring bumping out the latch assembly then cutting up the cab side to allow clearance. I hated to cut the cab and doors. Also, I'm getting better with my fab skills but still cannot look forward enough not to make issue down the road. Right now I welded myself into a corner being that I can't get into corners to grind the welds. Using a carbide burr and making progress.
90% finished with passenger side, solenoid and cable routing and door sill contacts work well. Good feeling of accomplishment but dread starting square one on drivers side.
Otherwise loving the truck and anticipating driving it. Just have to live long enough.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:42 PM   #5
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

While I was forced down the direction of an s10 swap because of the condition of the original frame. That I do not regret. I could have done a better job making the cab brackets, but otherwise this project is how I want it.

However I do wish I saved my 49 pedals verses completely fabricating under dash pedals.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:49 PM   #6
65blackfleetside
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

JWeb- The external fuel pump that I regret installing is a walbro. It sounds like a makita drill under my truck. I even put a piece of dynomat on the backside of the fender skirt/filler that mounts on top of the running board
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:08 PM   #7
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

Very VERY good theme for a thread! I have nothing to add right now, I am not even close to being done.

The only think I could say is I regret doing the build! I wish I would have left my truck together 25 years ago and still be driving it now! It was a finished truck, wish I would have left it together.

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Old 09-05-2019, 08:59 PM   #8
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I had an electric pump that came on my 57 Panel that was that way. Sounded like someone was using a planishing hammer in the back of the panel as you drove down the street.

The thing I regret most, running changes in my plans for the total build that kept it from ever getting completely finished.

I tore the truck down to make changes just about every winter for a number of years rather than stick to a simple plan.

Some of the things I wouldn't do again:
Install a sunroof in it when they were a fad in the late 70's early 80's.
Weld in a setup for a coil spring rear suspension out of a 66 Impala. I should just have cut the brackets off the 12 bolt and used my springs and been done with it. The guy who welded it did a pretty job but the long continuous beads warped the frame and it had a twist in it from then on. Truck drove great and rode great but the bed always leaned to one side.

I didn't study the whole picture when I did the suicide doors and the hinge straps that fasten to the door infringe in the area that the window wants to be in. No way to put windows that roll up and down. No one was selling suicide door hinges in 1981 when I did that.

I did learn a lot. I learned that you come up with a theme and a plan and stick to it and don't break away from that plan. I've got a shed full of parts that I bought and didn't use because I changed my mind and didn't use them.

I've also got 70% of the parts for the way I want to do it this time which will be the final time. I need to get my butt in gear and get the shop/shed built to work on it in but that should come together in the next few weeks.
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My ongoing truck projects:
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77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:20 PM   #9
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I have no regrets. Instead I'm happy about several things, mostly that I kept everything simple, inexpensive, and old school.

1) Happy I used a SBC instead of the LS that the seller was including with the truck.
2) Happy I didn't do air bags or any other gimmicky stuff that might be as outdated in 10 years as shag carpet and dingle balls.
3) Happy I kept it like a true old truck, with no street-rod luxuries - no AC, PW, tilt, cruise, etc. etc.
4) Happy I got it on the road relatively quickly, rather than toiling endless years and never finishing it.
5) Happy I didn't spend so much on it that I regretted it.

It was my plan to get it on the road ASAP, and from the frame up I had it driveable in about a year and a half. Everything fell together pretty nicely - except for the cracked head from the heat and force required to remove a sending unit adapter. I built it to be a daily driver, not to wow a bunch of strangers at shows who would just criticize it when my back was turned. I wanted my truck to be an obvious hot rod, yet still retain the character of an old truck, and I'm satisfied I accomplished that.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:42 PM   #10
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I wish I had left mine together ...my frame was rusted in two and I put the body on a 67 k20 frame...wish I never did that..
wish I had started building it some 20 yrs ago
but at least now I have a better vision of what I want to do to it
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:03 AM   #11
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I'm super happy with my truck, been on the road for 15 yrs. Had several changes to make it better. Shocks, gauges, EFI, cruise, etc. I wanted to add 3" in the doors for more leg room when I started, but didn't, wish I had. That's it...Jim
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:08 AM   #12
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

Would have completed ALL mechanical issues before ANY doing any really cosmetic work. Also Would have gone with a complete LS and tranny
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:22 AM   #13
dsraven
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

they say hindsight is 2020. I am so far behind in my build that I can't see the 2020 part without binoculars....it's ahead of me right now, lol.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:53 AM   #14
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman3 View Post
I'm super happy with my truck, been on the road for 15 yrs. Had several changes to make it better. Shocks, gauges, EFI, cruise, etc. I wanted to add 3" in the doors for more leg room when I started, but didn't, wish I had. That's it...Jim
I'll bet you regret hitting that deer :-(
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:38 AM   #15
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

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I'll bet you regret hitting that deer :-(
MPC, ok you got me on that one....Jim
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:22 PM   #16
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

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MPC, ok you got me on that one....Jim
LOLOLOL

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Old 09-06-2019, 02:13 PM   #17
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I've had the shell of a '59 short step sitting in my drive for over 8 years now. Originally I wanted to build it into a 4x4. My dad found me a '78 swb K15 to use as a donor chassis. I decided to restore the K15 instead of using it as a donor. I don't regret that, but I regret that I used up my plan for a 4x4 and have absolutely no idea what I want to do with the '59.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:29 PM   #18
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

Also...If I had to do over again i would not have gone to the trouble of installing power windows . The first set of generic hot rod motors just would not work. with the 49-54 curved doors. The second set were more like a stock regulator with bolt on motor were very $$ expensive.
Honestly this cab is so small its very easy to reach over and roll up or down the windows. These trucks are not big like modern trucks. I wasted dozens of hours and several hundred dollars wanting power windows.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:42 PM   #19
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I should have installed a trans with overdrive
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:42 AM   #20
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I'm really happy with my truck overall. It's stock with the exception of an electric fan, efi conversion, and a sway bar. My biggest mistake was using the stock tank for EFI. It's required several attempts to reduce the fuel smell in the cab over the years. It's good now, but the easiest answer would have been to move the tank under the bed.

I wish I had understood that I would not be "going back" after the EFI swap. I would have handled the harness and ecm placement differently.

If I'd realized that I would be keeping the truck for 30+ years I might have installed power steering and power brakes at the beginning. These days its tough to find time, money, and ambition together.

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Old 09-07-2019, 04:50 PM   #21
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

I wish I still had the 700r4 I had in storage. During a clean out the I sold it.

Now that the bulk of my truck is done I wish I had paid to sand blast it. I was thinking that again today when dealing with my fender. So much hidden bondo. At this point the cost would have been worth it.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:15 PM   #22
lv2tri2
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 65blackfleetside View Post
Also...If I had to do over again i would not have gone to the trouble of installing power windows . The first set of generic hot rod motors just would not work. with the 49-54 curved doors. The second set were more like a stock regulator with bolt on motor were very $$ expensive.
Honestly this cab is so small its very easy to reach over and roll up or down the windows. These trucks are not big like modern trucks. I wasted dozens of hours and several hundred dollars wanting power windows.
Thanks, I just changed my mind on power windows.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:35 PM   #23
vintovka
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 65blackfleetside View Post
Also...If I had to do over again i would not have gone to the trouble of installing power windows . The first set of generic hot rod motors just would not work. with the 49-54 curved doors. The second set were more like a stock regulator with bolt on motor were very $$ expensive.
Honestly this cab is so small its very easy to reach over and roll up or down the windows. These trucks are not big like modern trucks. I wasted dozens of hours and several hundred dollars wanting power windows.
Agreed on power windows but still thinking i shoulda gone with power door locks. May still do it if i can. FWIW had a passenger who wanted to open the window. Kept tapping the crank handle and was flat astounded when shown how to turn the handle.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:56 PM   #24
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

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FWIW had a passenger who wanted to open the window. Kept tapping the crank handle and was flat astounded when shown how to turn the handle.
Wow, that sure illustrates the generation gap. They probably have no idea how to operate a dial phone either.

In another illustration of the generation gap, I saw a political pundit on a TV talk show who said she wasn't alive when Ronald Reagan was President. OMG, the shortsighted historical perspective of the younger generations, yet here she is claiming to be an expert!
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:13 AM   #25
65blackfleetside
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Re: If I had to do Over Again.... What would I change On My Build?

"Agreed on power windows but still thinking i shoulda gone with power door locks. May still do it if i can."

I did install power locks with remote actuator/key FAb and am very Glad that I did. I kept the original door latches. Blocked off the stock lock mechanism. Installed a bolt mechanism made by autoloc along with very powerful actuators.

1. This works well for theft- (A thief would have no idea about the lower bolt to jam)
2.Safety for riders-when locked, Doors wont fly open with stock latches.
3. The ease of locking and unlocking is nice since there is only one key on passenger side.

I can start a separate thread with links if anyone is interested?
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