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Old 04-17-2017, 11:14 AM   #1
Bobzilla75
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My '78 build

So, y'all saw my thread bringing this critter home from Tucson. What I picked up was a clean 78 stepside 4-spd with no rust back home to Indiana. I'm an auto-x'er so this thing is going to turn into my race-truck. Something that goes like stink, looks decent and sounds amazing. Somethign that can turn, stop and GO!

So I picked up wheels on the cheap for it a few weeks back. 17x8.5's that will get wrapped in some 275/50's shortly.



Then I started going over it and realizing the wiring is just trashed under the dash, out back, up front..... everywhere. The rear drums were dragging, wheel cylinders were shot, etc so I went on a shopping spree.



Saturday I yankedthe axles, pulled the backing plates and all associated goodies and did this:


The weekend before I pulled the edelbrock and rebuilt it:


And that's where I am for now. This coming weekend we start with removal of all the old wiring.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:30 AM   #2
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

Got some more work done this weekend. I guess we can call this "progress".



Got the dash out, and all the old wiring out of the interior and the old fuse box.



Got into it and the cluster and found out why they put the ****ty trio guages in there. Half of them are out of action (burnt on the boards). Combine that with the new harness not having the same connector, I pulled the trigger on a new cluster assembly that incorporates the tach. Went with the Dakota Digital VHX cluster kit. Also found the ignition switch was original, as well as the wiper switch. Since I'm in there.....

I forgot how expensive old things got quickly.
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: My '78 build

Should be a cool build. I'll follow along.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:31 AM   #4
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

Cluster and switches showed up yesterday.



Amazing how much money something so small costs.... Oh well. Tires are also on their way. 275/55/17's to get me through the next 12 months.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

So, tires showed up a day early. Got the front light harness done, rear light harness 95% done, still trying to figure out the taillight socket issue. Went ahead and put her down on the new shoes.





275/55 on a 17x8.5. 4" BS and 2" spacer. Fit is (in my mind) perfect.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: My '78 build

Finally got the wiring in. Well, 95% in. Still have to run the blower wiring and plug in the cigarette lighter which I believe is toast anyway. Got the new Dakota Digital dash wired in. Hooked the battery up and hte gauges start up, go through their startup cycle then start clicking with the needles. Almost like a turn signal. I'll need to figure that one out.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: My '78 build

Time for some updates.....

While doing this:


Figured out the Edelbrock just doesn't like to turn. So I installed a Holley 650 double pumper. Throttle response was greatly improved, turning is now possible. YAY!

Also ran into this problem:


One tire fires. So I installed a Spartan lunchbox locker and fixed that problem. Well, sorta. Every bushing was 40 year old Arizona desert dry. Front springs had been cut with a torch, likely heated as well and the bumpstops were gone. Large bumps would smak the LCA on the crossmember.

So it all came out.


Sway bar bushings were worn clear through to touching the control arms. The control arm bushings turned to dust as I tried seperating things. Ball joints were toast. Idle arm and tie rods were sloppy. So it got all new.




McGuaghey's 4.5/6 drop kit. spindles and springs up front, flip kit in the rear. Bell tech shocks, Energy Suspension bushings, balljoints, tie rods and idler/pitman arm all new.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:51 AM   #8
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

Wife said "Since you'be already got it apart, might as well put the transmission in too."


So out comes the SM465, and we start fitting the TKO-600:


Yesterday I go the final holes drilled for the crossmember. new clutch installed and the bell housing than stabbed the new trans into it's home for the last time:


While we were at it, I went ahead and replaced the wood in the bed:


stained and sealed (just pine, but it's not really being used as a "Truck" anymore), new hardware and one new bed strip. Total cost: $83.

And that leaves me to today. All that is left to be on the road are the cab mounts, reinstall the bed and install the shortened driveshaft.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:51 PM   #9
Jaysonb
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Re: My '78 build

Nice work! That should be a blast to drive!
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:58 AM   #10
Jrgunn5150
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Re: My '78 build

Sweet truck! I really want to AutoX mine when done.
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Old 10-30-2017, 12:18 PM   #11
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

So, a friend of mine built me a shifter on Saturday.



Reused my old knob because I wanted to. Also got the bed back on and actually bolted down with all 8 bolts! Driveshaft installed, rear lights hooked back up. And now with more tire rub upfront. 1" spacers will be here weds. But I did takeit for a quick drive. 5 forward gears and 1 reverse! Threw rocks in 4 gears.

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Old 11-02-2017, 10:32 AM   #12
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

It's ALIVE! and protesting the whole way.
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:37 PM   #13
Bobzilla75
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Re: My '78 build

It made it to work:


Lots of new noises, less old noises. Gotta figure out why the trans is so damn noisy.
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