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Old 05-12-2016, 04:41 AM   #1
Nick_R_23
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Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Starting off with a little background, one of my neighbors gave me this truck when I was about 12 years old. I messed around with it to the best of my abilities back then, but ultimately I ended up working on other projects and letting this one sit for the last 13 years! I'm 25 now and hopefully will be getting this poor truck in better shape and back on the road where it belongs.

It's a 1978 Chevy Cheyenne C10 2WD Stepside with a 350/350 originally. As you can see, it came optioned with plenty of rust and more than a few part deletes. My dad tried to convince me back then to convert it to 4WD, which I didn't really want, and the furthest I got was swapping the rear axle and removing the front crossmember and staging the front axle and springs pulled out of a scrapped Suburban. Luckily enough I saved everything (smart kid, right?! LOL), all the nuts and bolts were even still hanging out in the old Corvette valve cover I stashed them in over a decade ago!

The ultimate goal for this panty dropper is to just make it a fun, driveable, and enjoyable truck again. Fun factor and low budget rule here (Can we say Alaskan Muscle Truck!) as I have a Pro Touring '67 Camaro project as my main car project. I'm going to try and get the body as nice as possible without spending too much, but I may try and source a cleaner cab, as mine has pretty heavy rust. It's really unfortunate that it has as much rust as it does, as the body is incredibly straight. Engine and transmission are still up in the air, and will likely be whatever I can find for a reasonable cost that puts out decent power. I'm not a huge big block fan, but a BBC/TH400 with 4:10s may end up fitting my bill. It will definitely be lowered. From my research I think I want drop spindles, cut the springs a little, and an axle flip in the rear, which should put me at 4/6 I believe. It will also probably sit on truck rally's. Other than that, we'll see what happens!

Here is where she has waited patiently all this time in my grandparent's fenced in yard. Pretty sad I cleared all the brush around it too, it was barely visible with everything that had grown around it!









I custom built this column for this truck. I think I used the original column, a Corvette column, and a mid-late 80's column too. It fits the 70's body truck, has tilt steering, and is setup for a 700R4. Also, Factory Tach!



This is how far in it sat. We had to move quite a few things to even be able to get to it.



Since the front suspension was removed, I strapped a welding trailer under the front portion of the frame to roll it around. You can spot the tongue sticking out from the front. Unfortunately the truck slid off the block when we were moving it around for a better angle and damaged the front bumper. It wasn't straight to begin with, but I didn't want it any worse!



And here it is loaded up and brought over to my house. Let the real fun begin!

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Old 05-12-2016, 04:59 AM   #2
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

The first step in any real project is to scour Craigslist in hopes of finding some cheap parts you can use. I scored this near pristine hood for $40. It has one small ding and one very minor rust spot. I also picked up a brand new repro drivers fender for $75 as well. Also have some phone numbers for parts leads on other things I may need.



Next is to get the truck jacked up safely to reinstall the front suspension. Well, at least the illusion of safety is there...



Front suspension staged



Getting everything lined up







Chased all the threads on the nuts and bolts and antiseized everything. Bolted together like it was factory!



And here it is finally back on four wheels! I also removed the camper shell, thank god for Craigslist's free section.







And that's it for now! This is something I'll be working on in my spare time in between other projects, or as I find good deals on parts I need. Hopefully before too long she'll be back on the road!
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:04 PM   #3
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

off to a good start.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Made some progress last night. It's officially back to 2WD! Pulled a rear axle from an 86 Suburban. I was hoping for 3.73 or 4.10 gears, but ended up with 3.42's, which are better than 3.08's anyway. This axle is in great shape where water has been sitting in my old axle.





Also picked up the set of Rally wheels that were on it!











Next up, ordering new suspension bushings and the lowering kit!
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:26 PM   #5
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Ordered up the lowering kit a few days ago. Spindles are from Early Classic Enterprises (highly recommended!), McGaughy's flip kit, and Energy Suspension bushings.





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Old 05-27-2016, 12:06 PM   #6
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

I picked up a pair of 235/60R15 Cooper Cobras for the front of the truck. They're like new (<500mi according to the guy) and were only $25 each!!



Also picked up some hardware....



....to do this!



And with the bed out of the way, time to prep the frame. Undoing the axle u-bolts.



With the axle out, wire brushing and cleaning the frame. Removed the bump stops and cleaned up the welds from the monstrous hitch.



Painted!





I'm bringing the leaf springs and hangers with me to work to press out the old bushings. I'll be removing the overload springs and cleaning and painting those as well.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

This reminds me a lot of my truck when I started. 80 K20 Scottsdale. Same color and just about the same amount of rust. Will keep my eye on this thread.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Sweet truck and awesome story!
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:33 PM   #9
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

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Originally Posted by willem445 View Post
This reminds me a lot of my truck when I started. 80 K20 Scottsdale. Same color and just about the same amount of rust. Will keep my eye on this thread.
I checked yours out and they are pretty similar. Good luck on your build!

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Sweet truck and awesome story!
Thank you!

I forgot to post these last night too, but here's the insane hitch I removed.





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Old 05-28-2016, 04:38 AM   #10
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Work smarter not harder

It took 10 tons (20,000 lbs) of force to remove the rubber bushings. No wonder you can't pound these suckers out, LOL.



Springs and hangers cleaned and painted



ECE Spindles also painted





And Energy Suspension bushings waiting for the leaf springs when they dry!

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Old 05-28-2016, 05:34 PM   #11
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Your off to a hell of good start!!!
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:14 PM   #12
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Cool rig. Glad you kept it.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:32 PM   #13
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Reminds me of my rusty junk. Lol. Cool truck and I'll be watching for sure. I'm all about a low buck build.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:14 PM   #14
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Thank you for the kind words, guys!

I finished getting the bushings installed in the leaf springs and shackles this morning. I also had to run into town (100 mile round trip!) just for new hanger bolts. Plus I forgot to pick up new axle U-bolts, so I'll be making another trip tonight...



Installed one side and left the other hanging to ease the axle install.



Axle painted to match!



Just FYI this freaking sucks to do by yourself!



And finally we're in! McGaughy's axle flip kit is installed on the axle and the springs are in place!



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Old 05-29-2016, 10:37 AM   #15
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Off to a good start. the back half of the frame looks good.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:15 AM   #16
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Love the ratchet strap bed hoist - way to think outside the box.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:28 AM   #17
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

I added you to my low buck builds thread. If it's low budget I'm always following. Great progress.
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:30 PM   #18
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Thank you all!

Here's a price breakdown of what I've spent on this so far, including where it was purchased at and if shipping was included. I'm kind of curious myself to see what I end up having into this. So far I'm into it just over $1,000, which includes many of the large/heavy suspension parts. A new cab, engine, and transmission will likely be my main costs here. I have a line on a cab for $500 and possibly a free 350 Vortec that needs a crankshaft. I'd like to keep the total cost under $5,000, lets see if that happens! I'll keep this list updated throughout the build.

C10 cost sheet

Truck (Free from Neighbor) ---------------$0
Hood (CL) --------------------------------$40
Fender, driver (CL) -----------------------$75
Rear axle (junkyard) -------------------$150
Rally wheels 15x8 (junkyard) ----------$100
Spindles 2.5" drop (ECE w/sh) ---------$350
Axle flip (McGaughy/Ebay w/sh) -------$126
Full Bushing kit (E.S./EBay w/sh) -----$188
Cooper Cobra 235/60R15 front (CL) ---$50
Rear axle brake line (Napa) -------------$11
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:43 PM   #19
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Lookin good man keep it up!
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:50 AM   #20
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

Thank you!

Picked up a pair of 275/60R15 Cooper Cobras for the rear today, $305.



I might also have a major progress step this weekend. I don't want to spill the beans in case it falls through, but I'll post up what happens this weekend!
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:44 AM   #21
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

What paint are you using on the frame and axles?
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:07 AM   #22
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

I'm using Rustoleum Rust Preventative Enamel. I got mine from Walmart and its lasted me several years. I think it was around $40 for a gallon. I like it for frames as it's a cheap alternative for powder coating and holds up better than spray painting. Plus, the frame doesn't have to be sandblasted, just clean off all the dirt and scuff all the surfaces with a wire brush. It can either be thinned and sprayed with a gun, or simply brushed on right out of the can, which is what I do. It's certainly not show quality or nearly as tough as actual powdercoating, but it's perfect for a budget build and also allows me to tear only half of my truck apart at one time, and protects better than nothing or having to touch up spray paint weekly.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:20 AM   #23
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

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I'm using Rustoleum Rust Preventative Enamel. I got mine from Walmart and its lasted me several years. I think it was around $40 for a gallon. I like it for frames as it's a cheap alternative for powder coating and holds up better than spray painting. Plus, the frame doesn't have to be sandblasted, just clean off all the dirt and scuff all the surfaces with a wire brush. It can either be thinned and sprayed with a gun, or simply brushed on right out of the can, which is what I do. It's certainly not show quality or nearly as tough as actual powdercoating, but it's perfect for a budget build and also allows me to tear only half of my truck apart at one time, and protects better than nothing or having to touch up spray paint weekly.
Ill have to look into that. I like the idea of just being able to brush it on. I did my rear end with rustoleum spray paint. I think my finger hurt for a month holding down the nozzle painting that whole thing lol.
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:06 PM   #24
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

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What paint are you using on the frame and axles?
I'm using Chassis Saver, but I haven't owned anything long enough afterwards to know if it's really more effective than Rustoleum. I know it dry's like a hard plastic coating.
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:44 PM   #25
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Re: Project "You thought yours was bad!" '78 C10 Stepside

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Originally Posted by Jrgunn5150 View Post
I'm using Chassis Saver, but I haven't owned anything long enough afterwards to know if it's really more effective than Rustoleum. I know it dry's like a hard plastic coating.
Yep, I looked at chassis saver as well but the price difference between the two has me leaning heavily towards the rusoleum. Ive had good luck with rusoleum spray paint on other projects so I figure this would be no different.
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