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Old 03-24-2019, 10:34 AM   #1
FLYNAVY30
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1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Hey guys, I've been a member/lurker on here since May of 2013 when I picked up my 1972 C20, so I figured it was about time I tried to contribute some content.

I purchased the truck with the intent of using it as a daily driver, while also using it as an educational opportunity. I've worked on cars most of my life, but have never had the opportunity to rebuild entire systems on a vehicle. To that end, follow along as I post the past 6 years of ownership, upgrades, and adventures...hopefully in the next few weeks I'll have this caught up to the present.

As purchased in May 2013....1972 C20....paid $9500. Overall, a very nice example that was mostly stock, with one repaint. There is some rust in the typical spots (driver rear quarter, wheel well, etc), but nothing that I'm overly concerned with at the moment. When I retire from the Navy in 4 years and move to Texas, Ill probably pull the body off the frame and send it out to have the metal and paint work done, then reassemble myself. In the time being, I'm just enjoying tinkering and driving!
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

First summer of use in 2013....
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Nice intro, FLYNAVY30...I'll be following intently! Your project seems very similar to where I'm starting (but yours seems a little nicer to begin with). Mine is a 1972 C/10 nine passenger which I have learned came with 3/4 ton suspension, but I'm still not clear on how else my C/10 differs from a C/20? Mine was originally powered by a 350 but had a brand new 454 installed in 1989 and also has front and rear air (but dealer installed)...both are involved stories that I'll share some day (if I start to make progress and do my own thread)! Thanks for starting your build thread as I really need the motivation!
Woody
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Hey Woody, happy to help! I'd post more pics, but the internet out here is super slow at the moment. Mine was a factory two row truck with front and rear a/c along with the 402.

Greg
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:03 PM   #5
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

These are the first modifications I made to the truck, as well as some local parts sourcing for what I had hoped would be a relatively vanilla 5.7L LS and 4L60E swap....

The tires that came on the truck were pretty dry rotted. I decided that while I was buying new tires, I'd go up two sizes in order to better fill out the wheel wells while not making it look like a jacked up monster. I got a set of the 8 inch wide Ford steal wheels that accepted the factory hub caps. I painted them black for a little more subdued look as I always thought the white wheels looked too much like and ice cream truck.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:13 PM   #6
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

The first real road trip in the new ride was August of 2013. I drove the truck from Norfolk VA up to Sebago ME for my buddy's wedding. I knew I was asking for trouble, but I brought tools and with the exception of a fuel pump change in Maine, and some under performing brakes, the truck did well. That being said, I was knocking down a solid 8 MPG from the tired 402. The looks I got stuck in traffic on the George Washington bridge going through NYC were priceless!
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:20 PM   #7
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Count me in!
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An Average Joe and His 'Burb:
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:59 PM   #8
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

I really like the tire/rim size change as I did the same as you for the same reasons...Rotted tires and fill the wheel well! I went with 17x8 Ridlers wearing Goodyear Wrangler A/T Adventures.
Woody
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:09 PM   #9
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Greg,
Family trips are what Suburbans are all about! I haven't had our's more than two hours from home-base yet...but I just retired, so I hope to do the same and put some distance experience on the odometer!
Woody
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:44 PM   #10
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

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Greg,
Family trips are what Suburbans are all about! I haven't had our's more than two hours from home-base yet...but I just retired, so I hope to do the same and put some distance experience on the odometer!
Woody
It really is the perfect road trip car. After I get out of the Navy in May 2023, my wife and I are going to take a 2-3 month "brake" and drive it from San Diego up to Vancouver with no real plan or itinerary....just exploring as we go. Then we'll drive back down to Austin and figure out the rest of our lives.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:53 PM   #11
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

I started the initial tear down of the drivetrain in the fall of 2013. The goal was to have the LS/4L60E swap up and running, with a new wiring harness and functional A/C in time to drive it from Norfolk VA to Austin TX for our wedding in SEP 2014. It seamed like a reasonable goal...until a 6-month deployment to Korea popped up in December of 2013....

The initial plan was to use an aluminum 5.7L motor and 4L60E transmission I had found on Craigslist. To keep it simple, I used a Holley 650 carb, MSD ignition box, and FAST transmission controller. The new fuel system was all Holley stuff, while reusing the stock tank, which looked extremely clean and had probably been replaced at some point. The new wiring harness was from Painless, along with a vintage A/C unit and a giant Entropy radiator with dual fans to ensure no overheating issues in the future.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:05 AM   #12
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Anyone know how to rotate pictures??
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:34 PM   #13
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Greg...I'm hoping you get an answer from someone with more computer knowledge than me, but I've been trying to rotate some of my photos as well! I have not found a "rotate button" even in the "advanced" section for posting. There is an "edit" feature for changing your post, but it still doesn't have a rotate feature that I could find. I tried posting a photo of mine that when I preview my post, the photo is upside-down...even though it shows correctly in my home album. I can rotate the photos from those albums so I rotated it to the upside-down position and tried to post it again. Same thing happened...when I previewed my post, it was still upside-down! DOH!!!
Woody
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:03 PM   #14
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYNAVY30 View Post
The first real road trip in the new ride was August of 2013. I drove the truck from Norfolk VA up to Sebago ME for my buddy's wedding. I knew I was asking for trouble, but I brought tools and with the exception of a fuel pump change in Maine, and some under performing brakes, the truck did well. That being said, I was knocking down a solid 8 MPG from the tired 402. The looks I got stuck in traffic on the George Washington bridge going through NYC were priceless!
Love the Braves cap!
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:08 PM   #15
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Like this?
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:13 PM   #16
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Thanks! How'd you do that?!?
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:15 PM   #17
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Quote:
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Love the Braves cap!
My buddy's kid.....I'm from Boston
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:41 PM   #18
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

I really like the tire and wheel combo. Surprisingly (to me) the black wheels really look great. Im usually an ice cream truck wheel guy lol!
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:11 PM   #19
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Quote:
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Anyone know how to rotate pictures??
Greg...richard2717 helped me out with regards to this issue. It seems that photos taken with an IPhone commonly have these problems where photos taken with other cameras don't. As my home computer is a MAC, Richard couldn't walk me through anything specific, but he suggested that after I correctly rotated the problem photos, try saving them in a different location/album...then try to attach them to a post. It worked! Here is the photo I tried to share before that always posted upside-down. Rims are 17x8 Ridlers with 265/70R/17 Goodyear Wrangler A/T Adventures (31.6" tall). They fill the wheel-wells up similar to yours. I hope Richard's suggestion works for you as well!
Woody
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:34 AM   #20
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Thanks Woody, I did see your other post. Now that I'm back in the states, and have a decent internet connection, Ill try to get some more progress posts up.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:16 PM   #21
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Glad you saw the post...and welcome back! My Nephew just left for Japan...also Navy. He has about 7 more good years to do, then on to the Sheriff's Department...if he follows suit with the rest of the family!
Woody
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:34 PM   #22
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Very nice, love the dog too.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:57 AM   #23
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

More pics of the engine swap....
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:58 AM   #24
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

Wife was super helpful.....
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:03 AM   #25
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Re: 1972 C20 build and adventure thread

V1.0 of the engine swap all buttoned up.... The unfortunate part is that shortly after getting the truck up and running, the bypass valve in the oil pump seized, bypassing oil back to the pan, resulting in multiple spun bearings. This was in the summer of 2014, shortly before we were to drive to Austin for our wedding.

At that point I was just frustrated, so I parked the truck and we headed to Austin.
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