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Old 09-24-2017, 10:21 PM   #1
1957 Chief
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Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Ok folks, most of you all know that I built an 84 C10 for my son for his 16th birthday. He likes to do the auto-x thing so we put some "lefty-righty" stuff on the truck. Truck was a pristine survivor and had a stock 5.3LS with a 4l60. Everything worked, AC/cruise/windows/locks/tilt...everything. It had 4 wheel wilwood discs with the master cylinder and prop valve as well as the pro spindles with Bell tech sway bars.

Well we went to LS Fest in Bowling Green, KY, and he tore the truck up. He was unhurt, except for his ego, but the truck didn't make it. Most of the sheetmetal got bent up, as well as the front frame horns just forward of the motor mounts.

So we started looking for a truck on the way home from LS Fest. Took us a few weeks to find one. We were wanting a blue one because the first one was blue, but he started taking a liking to the red/silver two tone trucks. Well we found one in Mississippi and drove 10 hrs round trip to get it. Its a survivor as well...a 350/350 truck, with the Silverado package. Drivetrain is solid, just the interior is hammered... Will also need a front bumper and possibly a pass fender.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

First off, we had to strip "Dory." With every panel bent, it was a challenge to get the front clip off. I had to use the sawzall a few times to get access to a lot of components
Once off, I realized that the frame was bent so far, that I couldn't get the AC compressor out. After some finagling, I was able to use a strap to pull it out of the way. What did I find when I got it out of the way? Yup, you guessed it...a broke compressor. Brand new one too.....
Was also a chore to trace every wire back to the terminals and disconnect/cut them. And to separate the wire bundles was also a PITA.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

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Old 09-24-2017, 11:09 PM   #4
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

So I scoured Craigslist for a frame that I could transfer most of the goods to. I found a nice 77 frame with a 12 bolt for $150 bucks. Not too shabby, heck I'm switching to a manual trans so a 12 bolt won't hurt one bit.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:15 PM   #5
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Initial plan was to build the frame and then find a good body and transfer that over. But the wife as getting tired of having to take him everywhere, of him driving her vehicle or mine around. So we had to look for a driver....

Found a nice 84 over in Mississippi that we had to make a 10 hr road trip for. But he liked it and it was a clean truck. So we made the deal and drug it home.

Truck is a loaded up Silverado. Came with a 305, but it has been swapped to a 350 sometime along the way (I checked the numbers.) Has a few issues to mend, a nasty oil leak somewhere, pass fender has a dent, tires need replacing and will need a bumper. But overall its a good driver for my son. I told him if he breaks it, he is walking. That I'm not spending any money on it, I'm putting money on the other one
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:26 PM   #6
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

So my son wanted to switch to the 6-speed for the truck. Was originally supposed to go in the truck, but he wanted the auto. Now back to the drawing board. Switching to the manual trans, i wanted more grunt. I was looking for a stock 6.0 cause I know the 5.3 wasn't gonna cut it. Was asking my buddy if he had one squirreled away somewhere and he didn't He did say that they had a 6.2 with 50K miles that they just pulled out of a customers car. It has the stage 3 GPI heads and cam, and was on the dyno with about 550hp/600ft/lbs of torque. I knew it was gonna be high, and it was... But he wanted my stock drivetrain out of the blue truck so we made a deal

So now the truck will have a 6.2 LS3 with a T6060 trans.

Getting a custom harness from Andy at SWAP specialties and performance. He did the first harness and was so impressed that I asked him to do this one. Will have dual fan outputs, AC output, pigtail for cruise, and a switched hot pigtail for a GPS tracking unit. (more to follow on that)

Will switch to the LS3 intake instead of the high rise sheetmetal one.
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Old 09-24-2017, 11:39 PM   #7
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

So as of today, the plans are:

Install the front coil over setup from Ridetech.
Use the Wilwood pro spindles and front brakes from the blue truck.
Build the 12 bolt with a posi and 3.42 gears and a 1350 U-joint pinion
Install the rear Wilwood brakes from the blue truck to the 12 bolt
Install the rear Ridetech 4-link kit on the rear.
Install the Ridetech front steering brace.
Install the 6.2/T6060 in the frame and plumb everything
Figure out a rear gas tank setup
All new brake lines/fuel and trans cooler

Once the frame is complete, ill remove the body from Clifford and put on the 77 frame.
I will have to install the clutch pedal and run the hydraulics for that.
Install the gauge cluster from the other truck
Install the bucket seats and devise a way to mount the 4 pt seatbelts
All new window and door rubber, carpet and dash pad.

Then ill take it to my brother and we will paint the truck ruby red with a grey metallic bottom. And put all new trim on the truck.

Who knows how long this will take, but ill do my best to take pics and answer all falls questions. I think my only real issue will be the trans shifter and the driveshaft slip yoke.

And I mentioned earlier about the GPS...I own a security company and we put GPS trackers on a lot of stuff. Well we have had 2 square bodies get stolen in recent memory. I put one on the blue truck and I could see everything. So this one will have a tracker as well as a fuel pump shutoff for would be thieves. We each put a lot of time, heart and money in these trucks...we need to keep em.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Nice plan. Looking forward to the build.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:27 PM   #9
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

I'll follow along. Nice score on the drive train.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:08 PM   #10
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Awesome! Looking forward to this build!
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:35 PM   #11
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Thanks folks. I should be getting quite a few boxes this week for the suspension. Ill be sure and take a lot of pics and measurements for the folks with questions.

Bubba
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:14 PM   #12
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:14 PM   #13
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

So for the past week we have been cleaning the frame and working on fitting all the Ridetech coilover stuff. And then blew it off rear good before we started painting.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:38 PM   #14
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

So when I got ready to start working on the rear 4-link setup, I noticed some issues.

When I finally got to unpacking the boxes I noticed that I didn't have a template for drilling/cutting the rear 4-link system. A quick call to Josh/John and i had it via email. With that out of the way I put the template up on the frame and started to assess what I had to do. In the instructions it indicates to center the template on a frame hole and then go from there. Well I put the template up on the frame and centered the hole, and then I center punched through the template and removed it. I noticed the oval hole on the frame wasn't situated like in the pictures of N2TRUX and the Ridetech thread. So I switched to the other side, same issue. The two previous trucks that have been done, were an 85 and an 87, this frame is a 77. Im thinking the frame doesn't have the hole itself. So I went ahead and fired off an email to Josh and John up at Ridetech, and I knew I wouldn't get a reply back cause it was Friday night. That gave me time to work on the front end of the truck. More on that later.

Like the guys have mentioned before, make sure you have a GOOD sharp air chisel, a good cold chisel and a good punch...all that and a 4lb sledge will work. The inner 2 rivets on the front coil spring plate are the worst. They will fight you. But patience and a big hammer always wins.

After you get them off you, you put the template on there and mark around. I went ahead and set the new coilover bracket up there and marked that way. I should have used the plasma cutter but I didn't want to run and get it. So i whittled away at it. And then used a flapper wheel to clean it up.

In the one pic I am pointing to a hump. It wasn't marked to be cut out but since it was poking up, the coilover bracket wouldn't lay flat Make sure you hammer that flat. After that its smooth sailing.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:55 PM   #15
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

OK, so back on the rear....

I couldn't set around all weekend and not do something about the rear. Ive done quite a few c-notches in my time and Im not scared to get in and do something.

I knew that template wasn't working for this frame. There was a few holes in the "general vicinity" but none looked right. So I tossed the template. I also knew that a c-notch should be perfectly centered on the axle centerline. I had already pre-marked it on the frame with my scribe, just incase.
So I thought, "if I put the forward mount in for the 4-link, and put a bar on it, with the axle plate, that should tell me if the Ride tech 4-link used the same axle CL." All of the bars were the same length and I read that they come pre-set for length. So I put one up on there, and what do you know, its spot on with my mark. I knew then that I was gonna just co off the centerline and mark, and then measure x2 and then drill/cut. So I put the c-noth bracket up there and marked the inside, then I marked about 1/8th inch off those marks. I measure again, called my buddy to come lay his eyes on it just for kicks. He said he liked it, so I went to cutting. After cutting and a little clean up, I put the c-notch bracket up and it was a perfect fit. Likewise for the other side. Im sure ill get some emails/calls in the am asking me to send pics to the folks up at Ridetech. I know this is a new kit and according to Ken, they made 15 million of these trucks. So there is a chance this frame doesn't have the centering holes. I also have the measurements for my cuts and the holes I drilled. And if they need those, or anyone else for that matter, Ill send em.

So before you start this job, make sure you have the tools mentioned in the previous reply, as well as a good sharp 7/16 drill bit, cutting oil, gloves, eye-pro and a blanket or towel to lay on you when you drill upwards for the bottom holes. Don't need to spin the bit hard, jus go slow and let it eat. We averaged about 35/40 seconds per hole. And we did about 40 or so.

The two pics below are of the holes that were in the general area for the template. After securing the c-notches, they are about 3/4 inch away from the recommended holes.

Bottom line, if you don't feel right about something stop. Research pics, threads, call friends and whatever else you can think of. Trust your gut.
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:02 PM   #16
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

So tomorrow ill take some pics of the rear c-notch brackets and holes. After we fitted all the components up, we pulled em back off in order to paint the frame. I found some rustoleum flat dark grey on sale at Home Depot. So we brushed it on the frame and it looks really good. Here are a few pics of today and this evening. When it dries, its ultra flat. Will look good with the suspension components flat black I think.
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Last edited by 1957 Chief; 10-01-2017 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Adding description
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:04 PM   #17
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

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Old 10-01-2017, 11:09 PM   #18
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Need to give a shout out to Matt and Kim with Matt's Classic Bowties. From day one they have been the sole supplier for all these parts (from the brakes to the suspension) and NOBODY will beat their prices or service. By far the best experience with an online parts retailer that I have ever had.

Also can't say enough about John up at Ridetech, he has been there answering questions and sending parts to me.

More to follow. Thats all for tonight.

Bubba
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:43 AM   #19
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Cool project(s). I'll be following along.
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:39 PM   #20
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Frame looks great man! Keep it up!
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:01 PM   #21
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
Cool project(s). I'll be following along.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJ@RideTech View Post
Frame looks great man! Keep it up!
Thanks gentlemen.

So I got around to installing the front suspension tonight while my son was woking. Was pretty straightforward as well. Only issue was fitting the upper control arm slugs through the control arm bolts. Was very snug, which is good for me.

I went ahead and used grade 8 lower control arm u-bolts and I bought some grade 8 bolts for the upper arms as well as the shock mounts. The kit includes all the necessary hardware, but I went ahead and went with grade 8 stuff on the load bearing suspension components. The rear 4 link has grade 8 bolts for the shocks...wonder why the front doesn't??

When installing the lower arms I found it easy to just put the u-bolts in, and then when I got the centering pins located, tighten the u-bolts. Make sure you use the holes that are closer together. One side is 8.7 inches, and the other is over 9. They are real easy to tell apart.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:04 PM   #22
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Next up we have the upper control arms. The instructions are pretty clear in detailing which way the slugs need to be, and which way the center link should be. Since we will mainly be driving on the street, we chose to use the street settings. #2 slug with the ride tech logo out. Opposite side is the same. Like I mentioned earlier, I chose to ut grade 8 bolts for the upper control arm mounts. While the upper control arms are mainly to keep the spindle located correctly, and not load bearing, I still went ahead and upgraded.
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Last edited by 1957 Chief; 10-03-2017 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:20 PM   #23
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Now was the time to put the spindle, brakes and the coilover on. I had the wilwood spindles and brakes from the other truck, so I was able to grab the whole assy and transfer over. I also bought grade 8 bolts for the coilover mounts, because they are load bearing. In the pictures I haven't installed them yet.

Also, on the upper control arm, there is no provision to hold the brake hose. Will have to figure out what to do there.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:26 PM   #24
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

More of the front.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:01 AM   #25
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Re: Clifford the Big Red Truck~~The Build

Yall are moving right along there Bubba. Its looking good.
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