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Old 10-19-2017, 04:10 PM   #1
l_alvis
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'71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

So here's an old truck that's been around the farm awhile, but several years ago the old 350 went out with a bang (a few rods decided to peek out). After stockpiling whatever I came across for cheap/free all this time, I finally got it back on the road with a little more kick. It's an LQ4 6.0 with over 300k miles that I cleaned up and threw on a Holley 750 and LS6 cam. Runs very well and the bearings/cylinders were in excellent shape. Factory 4 speed, clutch linkage, and driveshaft. This poor SM465 has sat on the bed outdoors for nearly 5 years collecting rain and all I did before pairing it up was pull the drain plug and refill it; still works great! Up next is rebuilding the front end and swapping the rear end for something with a little less grunt.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

And here's some numbers I came across after first building the truck. Not too impressive, but I managed to surprise a few who believed it to be a factory farmtruck.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:55 PM   #3
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Nice truck .
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Cool truck! Love the C 30s. Spotlight is a cool touch on this truck. Look forward to seeing more pics along the way.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

So today I pulled the wheels off to get powdercoated and noticed the front lugs were different than the rear. The front studs are all 14mm while the rears are factory 9/16". I can only assume these rotors/hubs are for a much newer model truck, but not sure the exact year range. I had intended to swap the front end out for 73-87 setup anyways since most of the older parts are tough to come by.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:25 PM   #6
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Really like your truck project.
I've always had a thing for 67-72 duallys.
The LS swap makes it so much better.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:21 PM   #7
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Nice Truck! Been thinking of doing this swap in my 72 c30. My 350 is low on power and uses antifreeze. I'd be interested in seeing particulars on your swap. I too would retain the SM465 trans if I go through with it.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

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Nice Truck! Been thinking of doing this swap in my 72 c30. My 350 is low on power and uses antifreeze. I'd be interested in seeing particulars on your swap. I too would retain the SM465 trans if I go through with it.
I can take pictures of anything if you need it, but it truly wasn't as difficult as I had imagined it would be. Lots of parts were interchangeable and the lack of fuel injection made the wiring super easy. Off my head I recall using ICT Billet motor mount plate adapters along with the factory rubber bushings and the power steering line was OEM, just had to swap the adapter fitting on the back of the new pump with the old one. Clutch linkage was probably the most thought-intensive project and it would've made a bit more sense to go with a hydraulic setup, but I was being real cheap on this build.

The trans itself bolts right up with the exception of a missing bell housing bolt, but that's hardly a concern with this setup. Flywheel is for a 4.8 or 5.3 LS that came with a 5-speed and the clutch is what comes with these trucks from the factory.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:46 PM   #9
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Very nice.... Love it
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:09 PM   #10
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

I was wondering about the clutch linkage and flywheel. From the research I have done so far I figured that the clutch would be the toughest part. Flywheel sounds like thats the easy part, but the linkage not so much. The motor mounts, oil pan, and wiring looks to be all straightforward.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:16 PM   #11
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

The clutch I used was from Napa (1104064). It fit onto the Sachs 4.8/5.3 flywheel pretty much perfectly, a little bit of friction material hung off but no where near as bad as a 10" clutch would. The flywheel is so thick you don't need a crank spacer like you would with other setups. LS7 pilot bearing was used also.

Linkage will be subjective depending on exactly where you mount the engine. I originally bought the Scoggin-Dickey pivot ball adapter believing that would be the only thing I'd have to do. Of course, it became more involved than that with the SM465 bellhousing having different spacings on the bolt holes. So I used a piece of tube to space the bracket back, but now the entire geometry was off. I had to move the factory bracket on the frame rail back about 6" to be in line with the pivot ball. For the z-bar I chopped the arms off and welded on new ones made from a piece of 2" steel bar. It took a bit of time to mock it up, but that's where you will be changing the length and angle of both bars to get the best leverage. Other than that, the rod from the cab was never adjusted and I used a piece of threaded rod between the clutch fork and z-bar since the factory rod didn't have enough adjustment.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:01 PM   #12
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Got in some parts over the week for the front end rebuild. Control arms, calipers, and some other hardware are piled up now. I'm planning on getting 3" drop spindles too and maybe pulling some leafs out the rear to get a proper stance.

Also ran into another truck a while back that is oddly similar. It's a 72 C30 6.0/4l80 in a bit nicer shape than mine. Dakota Digital dash, EFI, 14 bolt rear, and very slick flatbed.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:14 PM   #13
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Been a while since the last update but the truck has gotten a much needed upgrade to the front suspension. I probably went into further than necessary but I'm pretty impressed with the cool factor seeing as this is my first air ride vehicle.

I went with OE style parts from a next gen truck save for the Airlift D2600 bags in place of coil springs. A 5 gallon tank was mounted under the bed and supplied by a reworked York compressor. There's still a few things to be buttoned up (gauges, tidying hoses/wire) but its come a ways since it was drug from the barn.

Also, just after pulling it out of the garage the ignition box failed so I built a standalone harness instead of going back the not-so-reliable MSD. I went with a DBW setup out of preference and threw on a TBSS intake to boot. Plan on getting a tune lined out here eventually.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

So after hours of hacking up the factory brakes to fit behind the York compressor, both the master cylinder and booster decided to go kaput at a really inconvenient time. Naturally, this is an excuse to upgrade another part of the truck.

With the help of some threads on here I was able to convert to a Hydroboost setup off a 99 Silverado. I managed to snag lines and all off a junk truck and it made for a very simple install for the most part. Just knocked the studs out of the hyrdroboost bracket, drilled some new holes and slid it in place onto the firewall. The clevis rod needed to be extended and the hole on the firewall enlarged a bit but nothing too bad at all.

Only problem now is the lack of ABS while I get used to this new braking power
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:25 AM   #15
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

So cool. I'd drive that all day
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:15 AM   #16
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

How do the brakes feel using the silverado master cylinder?
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:02 PM   #17
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

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How do the brakes feel using the silverado master cylinder?
Much more sensitive now, just like any modern truck. Before swapping I practically had to put the pedal to the floor to stop in a decent amount of time. This was partially because of the bad booster, but I also got JB8 calipers when I redid the front end which seemed to require a bit more pressure.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:18 AM   #18
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

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Much more sensitive now, just like any modern truck. Before swapping I practically had to put the pedal to the floor to stop in a decent amount of time. This was partially because of the bad booster, but I also got JB8 calipers when I redid the front end which seemed to require a bit more pressure.
I am doing the JB8 calipers and hydroboost off an astro van. But the astro van brake master/ reservoirs looks to small for my application. So I may have to use the Silverado unit you used. It will probably be a month or so before I will be installing them. I was wondering what model Silverado did the master cylinder come out of? 2500 3500? Also on your air ride did you modify your lower control arms? I'm installing 3800 airbags on the front of mine. I think they are 1/2 wider than the D2600s you used. Are you sunning stock height spindles?

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Old 04-17-2018, 01:18 PM   #19
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

The hydroboost is from a 2500 with the iron headed 6.0. I can't really compare it to the astro master cylinder but it definitely holds a lot of fluid.

On the LCAs I cut off the bump stops to prevent rubbing on deflation put other than that they are stock '75 pieces. I bolted the bag cups to the bottom and thats about it. Spindles are 3" drop for the newer gen trucks because thats all the only thing I could find without going to a junkyard.

What bags exactly did you get because I'm looking for something real HD for the rear.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:13 PM   #20
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

Looking good! Did you end up going with drop spindles too, or just bags?
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:10 PM   #21
l_alvis
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

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Looking good! Did you end up going with drop spindles too, or just bags?
Thanks! It's got 3" Belltech drop spindles,something I was hesistant to get but turned out alright in my opinion.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:40 PM   #22
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Re: '71 C30 Flatbed Budget Restomod

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Thanks! It's got 3" Belltech drop spindles,something I was hesistant to get but turned out alright in my opinion.
Yea Id say they worked out great. Looking at bagging my 62 c20 and Ive been considering a set of drop spindles as well.
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