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Old 12-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #1
Cooper197
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Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

In July of 2013 I was looking around on craigslist and found a killer deal on a 1966 Chevy C-20 pickup. It was essentially a two owner truck that had been recently repainted and virtually everything mechanically had been rebuilt. I showed it to my dad, solely as a 'hey look at this cool truck' type of deal. As it turns out he had the keys to it a few days later. He never really said what the intention for it was, but it sat at my grandma's house for almost a year.

In May of 2014, my signed the truck over to me as a high school graduation present. Turns out that was his intention from the moment I showed him the ad, and he was able to keep it a secret for 10 months.

Shortly arriving back home in Bend, Oregon from picking up the truck in Port Townsend, WA.


My dad's 1966 GMC Suburban can be seen lurking in the background here


And his 1949 5 window is hiding here...





The 81,000 miles seems to be correct.


At this point it could be seen that some work had been done by the previous owner. The biggest thing that made a difference to me was the rear axle. Being that it was a C20, they had replaced the rear axle to allow for highway speeds to actually be reached with the old 250. The new axle was a 5 lug instead of 8 lug as the front was. I knew when I first got it that I wanted to lower it, and put different wheels on. I ultimately decided to use a McGaughy disc brake/2.5" drop spindle kit in the front which also converted it to 5 lug. At this point I picked up some Vision Legend 142's for my truck, as well as 3 inch rear drop springs.

18's up front and 20's in the back





The result stops very well and looks something like this










Also added LED tail lights


It had some junky 6x9's in the door when I got it, so I replaced them with some Infinity Kappa 6x9's with an amplifier under the seat. Sounds pretty impressive for 2 speakers


The wood bed is not in that great of shape, so while that is ultimately in the cards, I went with a cheaper solution to cover it up. Extang Black Max


Starting to come together and become what I was hoping for. Replaced the head lights with 7" KC lights meant for a Jeep, fit perfectly and are very bright, also have an H4 bulb so there is a ton of options for bulb replacement.


And finished off the lights with a set of LED parking lamps for the front


Just some shots of the truck I took








The seat that was in it was very nice and had been reupholstered well, however I did some damage to my spine while skiing and needed something that I could adjust a bit more and went higher up my back. After looking around a bit and making a few phone calls I found a set of seats I knew would work for me and they were only $100. I jumped on them and soon learned that they had aftermarket heated seats already installed in them. Those suckers work AWESOME.
Did some searching on eBay and found a jumpseat out of a newer Silverado that was a pullout which had never been used. Cost more than the other two seats, but ultimately came in at under $250 for the whole set.




I had been getting annoyed when using my truck at night by this point. The lights on it were great and while driving I could see very well, however getting in and out could be difficult to see, and if it was dark it was impossible to find anything under the tonneau cover. I set off the the junkyard to grab a few door pins and ordered an under rail LED bed light kit.


At about midnight outside




So now when you open the door of the truck, the dome light and the bed lights come on. Additionally the bed lights can be turned on by turning on the dome light.

Being 6'4" I was having a leg room issue. The seats actually helped this part a little bit, while they did take away from overall leg room, but whenever I was taking my foot off the clutch I kept getting my knee caught on the steering wheel. I also had to be careful when going from the gas to the brake with my right leg or the same thing would happen. Figured this was a bit of a safety problem, so I got a steering wheel with a little bit of a dish, which solved the problem perfectly! And, it looks good!
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:05 PM   #2
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

I like the steering wheel and the wheels. Is the steering wheel from LMC? They have a wood one I was thinking of ordering.
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

The wheel actually came from eBay. Turned out to be a little cheaper and included the steering wheel adapter kit with it. It's a little smaller than the factory wheel, so without power steering it is a bit more difficult, but it's not a huge difference.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:56 PM   #4
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Nice truck! Looks good!
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Great looking truck, like the changes
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:43 AM   #6
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Your truck just made me grin very madly.

Lovely !!
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Looks Good. Great gift.

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Old 12-16-2014, 04:18 AM   #8
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Thank you all for the kind words about my truck! I sure love this thing!
Got lots of use in this weekend, spent most of it running around to businesses collecting toys, making late night runs to fill missing tags, and finally delivering toys for the local Christmas for Children program. Finished off the day with a Christmas tree for myself in the back of it.

If I had a penny for every compliment, thumbs up, or comment made about my truck, I'd have enough money to do, well, whatever it is I want with my truck!
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:26 AM   #9
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Just stumbled across your truck and thread...

Congrats, that is an awesome gift...
Diggin' the changes and the wheels… Check out Bomp's thread… and if it's doable, maybe you can make his get-together this coming August...
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:17 PM   #10
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r"

Due to the fact that I've been off at college in a different state from my truck, I have not been able to do much with it in the last 6 months. I must say though, it is one of the things I miss the most about being home.
Other than just cleaning it up, I've only made two changes on the truck since I've been away at school, and one of them was hands down the best money I've ever spent on it.

I found a seller on eBay who had decals for the tailgate that were less than $10. I figured why not and went ahead and got them.



I think they look absolutely fantastic. I couldn't be more happy with how that little project turned out!

For the sake of comparison, here's what it looked like before.



That same day I washed the truck (first time since August, so that was nasty) and took it out for a nice long drive and wound up at my cousin's place where I snapped this shot.



I also installed a vintage style tach, but apparently I never actually took pictures of that.

Other than the tailgate letters and the tach I haven't been able to do anything with my truck than just enjoy the occasional cruise.
My dad seems to have enjoyed driving it enough while I've been away that I'm told there's a shiny orange '66 K-10 sitting in the driveway now as well, but more on that next week!
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:06 AM   #11
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Finally another update on this ol' truck. Generally just been driving it and enjoying the time behind the wheel. Drove it out to my friend's place a few nights back and got to talking to his dad about the truck. This led on to talk about the engine, and shortly after learning that it has the tired old I6 in it, he made me an offer I was just plain stupid to refuse.
For his company, he has a 1978 Chevy Beauville van with a 350 and a 4 barrel. It has roughly 85,000 miles on it and was just replaced with a late 90's Suburban. He decided he didn't want to go through the trouble of selling it, and it was worth such a small amount that he said I could just have it! He then went inside, signed the title and handed me the keys.

So, in a few days, I'm dropping off the truck and the van with a friend and will pick it up soon after with a fully rebuilt 350 in it, ultimately for just the cost of parts as the van has a freshly rebuilt transmission and the engine from my truck that are being used as trade.

Pretty sweet deal if I do say so myself!

Last edited by Cooper197; 07-14-2015 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #12
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Sweet deal indeed!
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #13
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Great graduation gift and looks like your off to a nice start making it yours!! Keep up the progress and pics!!
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:43 PM   #14
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

There has to be more to this story than meets the eye........


Free donor.....?


You must have done some pretty good stuff for other people, this is probably a perfect example of paying it forward.

Pleased for you.

Look forward to the next phase.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:23 PM   #15
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz1963 View Post
There has to be more to this story than meets the eye........


Free donor.....?


You must have done some pretty good stuff for other people, this is probably a perfect example of paying it forward.

Pleased for you.

Look forward to the next phase.
There's a little bit more to it, but it's really that simple.
Ultimately I agreed to wash and wax his Denali in trade for the Van, but I'd still consider that free.

He's always been super good to me and it seems like we've constantly bailed each other out of tough situations. At one point some things happened and his home was lit on fire. I took a few days from work to help him gut the few rooms that were burnt and redo all of the sheetrock and flooring. The van is ultimately his way of saying thank you.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:34 AM   #16
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

I finally got into town and picked up the donor today.
Without further ado, here it is, in all its ugliness!





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Old 07-16-2015, 09:58 AM   #17
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

That's awesome
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:00 PM   #18
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Dropped off the van tonight. Took all of 15 minutes for my buddy to decide to just cut the roof off the van and pull the engine straight up and out.

Pretty interested to see how it's going to be done, but should be very exciting!
Should have all the work done on the 350 and it in my truck within 10 days. Also he's throwing new rear shocks in it for me since one is blown and it bothers him much more than it bothers me!
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:14 PM   #19
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Wow! What a cool story, and now with V8 power. Excellent.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:31 AM   #20
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy




I do like these wheels even if they are 5 stud, and do hope someone can use them, along with other bits, like the steering column.

Of course my comments are from over here in the UK where we rarely see Chevy vans or trucks broken up, so spares are hard to find.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:11 PM   #21
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

The update here is a bit two sided. On the positive, the engine was pulled from the van and out of the truck, so just waiting on a few parts to put her all back together.
Should be done in a few days along with new shocks and a few other little things.



Unfortunately, Saturday night I was attempting to separate some frozen hamburgers for dinner...which I did with a knife knowing it was a stupid idea. 5 hours in the ER and surgery yesterday on the nerves and flexor tendon in my thumb, I'm left unable to bend my thumb and stuck in a splint for 6 weeks. This means that driving a stick shift with no power steering is out of the question.

Gonna be real hard to not wanna drive this thing...
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:02 PM   #22
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Ooooooopsss......

Sorry to hear that buddy.

Good recovery.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:19 AM   #23
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Prayers for a speedy recovery!
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:44 PM   #24
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Well I got my truck back just over a week ago and left for vacation an hour later.
After really getting a chance to look at it, I couldn't be happier. I gave a buddy of mine, who worked on a few SEMA rigs, $750 to pull the motor from the van, clean it up, redo all the seals and gaskets, replace the clutch and flywheel, paint the 350, and finally drop it in my truck and make the exhaust work. After he finished that, he replaced all four shocks and did a few other suspension related things.
That $750 included parts.
Deal was he also got to keep the van, which had a 700R4 with only 8,500 miles on it, and he kept the 250 from my truck.

I got brave yesterday and decided that even with one hand, I could find a way to do no power steering and a stick shift.
Got that truck out and drove it like I stole it for 120 miles yesterday and I swear I still gave that stupid grin stuck on my face. That $750 was by far the best money I've spent on not only that truck, but any of my vehicles.
This truck has always been fun and always made me smile the whole time I am in it, but this is just a whole different game.

Next step is to give it a little more power and make it do a two wheeled burn out instead of jut spinning one tire!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:21 AM   #25
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Re: Cooper's 1966 C-20 "Old Yell'r" - Picture Heavy

Well not much has happened in the last 9 months. The truck had stayed parked in a barn up at my folks place and finally a month ago I decided it was time to get it out, bring it down to Oregon and have some fun with it again.
Since then I've put a new aluminum radiator, thermostat, battery, voltage regulator and alternator in it.

A couple days ago, I was made a killer offer on a rare Jeep 5.9L that I had and ended up taking the money. So now I'm left with the truck as a daily driver, which it isn't perfect for.

I'd really like to have A/C, Power Steering, need the exhaust fixed, would love some more power and a T56 as well. After some talk with the guy who did my engine and has done some other work on my truck in the past, I've decided I'm going to take the money from my Jeep and just roll it into the truck.

Starting to order up some parts and June 1st I'm dropping it off and borrowing a rig from my parents for a month. When it comes back it should have 325hp, a few suspension issues worked out, A/C, power steering and a full exhaust system done.

Biggest question is if I can find a T56 within budget as well or not.

Either way, I'm excited to have some big changes and ultimately be able to enjoy the truck more than I have the last couple of years.
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