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Old 03-17-2017, 12:02 PM   #1
MrK5
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1966 C20 project

I'm the happy new owner of a mostly original '66 C20.



My first vehicle was a '64 C10. My wife and I started dating in that truck 25 years ago. We'd been looking for something similar and ended up buying this '66.









It is mostly primer gray because as surface rust appeared we would sand it and spray the primer over it.

The person we bought it from had owned it since 1972. I don't really think he was a "hot rod" guy; he just took good care of it and fixed things when they needed it and kept it mostly original.






The actual mileage is 100,000 plus that odometer reading.

He used it to haul a camper and a few years after he purchased it they had to replace the rear axle. Apparently he was on a trip out of state and the bearings burnt up and the only way he could get it fixed was to just swap out the axle.

You can see above it has the dealer installed AC option. I even found the receipt for it in the glove box.



It still works and he recently recharged it.

There were lots of neat things in the glove box.











I found receipts for just about everything done to the truck. Motor was rebuilt in 1990 and has about 15000 miles since.



First thing I've done to it is replace the front tires. They were worn out bias ply tires and I'm pretty sure I found the receipt for them dated from 1987. It's amazing the difference the new tires make.

Needless to say we're excited about owning this truck.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: 1966 C20 project

nice score!
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Solid! Looks pretty clean too. And no heel hole worn in the floor mat!
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Congrats
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:09 AM   #5
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Welcome to the forum

Wow! that is an excellent find.

What are your plans for it?
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Congrats on the truck!
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:50 PM   #7
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Thanks all for the compliments and welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oem4me View Post
Solid! Looks pretty clean too. And no heel hole worn in the floor mat!
Haha! Funny you mention that, I was thinking about getting something down to prevent that because my work boots have hard heels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainfab View Post
Welcome to the forum

Wow! that is an excellent find.

What are your plans for it?
Want to keep it mostly original but still a driver. So I'm going to put in an electronic distributor. Still on the fence about the carb; keep the original and try to rebuild it, buy an already refurbished 4g, buy a newer carb with electric choke, or go all out and do a basic FiTech setup. This is a decision I'm hoping to get help with from the board here reading up on what others have done.

We'd like to get some paint on it soon. We're planning to paint it the original turquoise. I have access to a simple spray booth at our business so I'll probably paint it myself. Just want a good preservation paint job not so nice we're afraid to drive it.

Also need to do something with gearing. Since the rear axle is not original, we may swap out the entire axle. By my maths it must have something aroumd 4.56 gears; I'd like something closer to 3.73.

Biggest objective is to get it reliable so we can jump in it and go whenever we feel the desire, but especially on date nights.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:41 AM   #8
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Re: 1966 C20 project

The most common gear ratio in the Eaton HO52's is the 4.57 gears. To get 3.73 gears you will have to go with either a 14 bolt or a Dana 60. In the '68-'72 trucks with a big block the Dana 60 was available with 3.54 gears. That would be a direct bolt in. If you end up with a 14 bolt or a different Dana 60, I do make the trailing arm mounts for those.

An HEI upgrade is not only a good reliable distributor but will give you about a 1 mpg increase. A good free flowing dual exhaust will help also. At some point you will likely want to address the brakes.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:33 AM   #9
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Re: 1966 C20 project

I think I have seen a thread with someone using your trailing arm mounts and they look pretty slick. I was thinking 14 bolt because I've messed with those axles a good deal including gear swaps and disc brake conversions.

That being said, I did wonder about a Dana 60 rearend as I do feel a 14 bolt is a bit overkill. Plus if the 3.54 gears are more readily available, that's a bonus. I was thinking 3.73 only because I know that's the tallest gear I'm likely to find in a 14 bolt. A 3.54 would be even better tho.

In regards to disk brakes, I've also been wondering if I'd be better off looking at stepping back to 6-lug half ton stuff. But I haven't done any research on that topic yet. I would kinda like to keep the 8 lug tho.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:45 AM   #10
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Today my oldest son helped me do some maintenance on the 66. Some of it routine, changed the engine oil, changed out the trans oil, and greased the front suspension (there are a lot of zircs up there).

I was also having a problem with the 66 not starting. Twice drained the battery trying to get it to start. Both times it happened after driving the truck for some time and then letting it sit for about an hour. Any other time I haven't had trouble starting the truck.

Checked the battery and it was still good. However I discovered it was a "recycled" battery and decided to install a Deka Intimidator AGM battery as I've had great experience with them on other vehicles.

Since the "recycled" battery did test good, I decided to change the starter. Part of the reason for this is because I found receipts from the previous owner for just about everything except a starter. You'd think after having done a starter swap several times, I wouldn't still be surprised by the results but it still amazes how much quicker a motor spins with a new starter.

I had refilled the oil pan and just reached in to crank the motor a bit to fill the oil filter and I was surprised when the motor started right up.

This was also my first oil change with a canister type filter. Wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. I like that it has the larger capacity but I wish it was possible to fill it before reinstalling.

If anyone is curious, I used a Wix filter, Amsoil 10W-30 Z-rod oil, and Amsoil Sever Gear gear oil in the trans.

All the paperwork I've found says my truck has the "Chevrolet 4 speed" transmission. Is this an SM420 then?
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:47 AM   #11
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Also since this was the longest time I've spent under the truck since we bought it, I noticed the patch/repair job the previous owner did on the rear, lower section of the front quarters will need to be redone at some point.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:13 AM   #12
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Yes your trans would be a SM420.

Here is a thread on swapping the Eaton HO52 for a 14 bolt.

http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=624445
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Hydroboost Mounting Plates HERE
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:37 AM   #13
MrK5
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Re: 1966 C20 project

I'll check that out, thanks.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:59 PM   #14
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Re: 1966 C20 project

The 66 has a horrible vibration thru the shifter so I decided to perform the classic fix for this.

I started out welding the half sphere, stick, and collar together.



You will notice the picture is taken after some grinding. The welds were quite ugly with the oil contamination. I suppose the ideal would be to give the stick a good cleaning and drying before welding.

I also pulled out the stub that engages the shift rails. You can see there were nylon rings in there to help dampen vibration but they are all busted up.



I replaced them with 2 oring in each slot. 2 orings because I didn't have one that was thick enough to do the by itself.



Made a big difference in the noise as in eliminated it. Also tightened up the stick. Glad I did it and really didn't take much more than an hour all said and done.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:01 PM   #15
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Re: 1966 C20 project

Do you remember the first time you crawled under your dash and found all the wonderful wiring the previous owner did? Mine was this weekend.

I imagine at some point this was covered with electrical tape that has since fallen off.



Anyone know what this wire connects to? I'm referring to the twisted together green wire off the right side of the fuse block.

And this one I have no earthly idea what it's for.

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