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Old 08-08-2010, 11:40 PM   #1
Corts60
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Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Hey guys,

I spend quite a bit of time on the 60-66 board with my '60 GMC but I am now coming over to this forum with a '78 Silverado short box. This is my fourth square body Chevy. I've owned a '73, an '80, and an '86. I hope you all don't mind the long story:

This truck is kinda special because it belonged to my neighbor (Tom) since day one. In fact, Tom ordered this truck in March of 1978 and received it in August of the same year. He chose the Silverado package and the diesel. Since then he has done many modifications to it including changing out the original 5.7 diesel block with the later DX block, installing head studs and making custom gaskets to counter the weak head bolt design, he uses an early style roosa master injection pump with the later style intake set-up. If I remember right, he said he went through many 5.7's until he found a set-up that is reliable....

He lowered the truck, installed a Gear Venders overdrive unit, put 3.73's in the rear to replace the factory 2.73's, placed a sleeper cab on the bed (which I have never seen another one like it), installed a third gas tank (truck holds 90 gallons) under the sleeper cab and he did all this within the first few years he owned it. He then drove the piss out of it. He lived in San Diego and drove the truck to Victoria every year for twenty years until his health no longer let him do so. He has told me the truck probably has over 300K miles on it, although the drivetrain has only about 15-20K.

So I recently talked him out of it, because we used to spend a lot of time working on my '60 and other cars in his shop until his health recently deteriorated. So it means quite a bit to me that I was able to get this truck. Anyways, I'll shut up and you guys can enjoy the pics.

Here are some before and after pics showing the work I have done so far:





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1978 Chevy Silverado 5.7 Diesel/turbo 400/GV overdrive/3:73 posi
1993 Chevy Silverado 4.3L/Getrag MM5/3.42 gears
Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751

Last edited by Corts60; 08-09-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:42 PM   #2
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Here are some of the interior:


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1978 Chevy Silverado 5.7 Diesel/turbo 400/GV overdrive/3:73 posi
1993 Chevy Silverado 4.3L/Getrag MM5/3.42 gears
Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Very nice it cleaned up real good
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:46 PM   #4
Corts60
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

My plans for it are to restore the roof, after I pull the sleeper off, and probably just put the back window in. I am going to restore the interior after that and then I will probably just drive it for awhile. I am going to be going to college full time starting in January and won't have the money to do much more after that for awhile. The truck runs great and supposedly gets 23 MPG! I'll find out after I run the first couple tanks through. I'll post more pics as I make progress on it. I hope everyone enjoys!
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Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

very nice. I like the way it looks so far.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:38 AM   #6
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

It's a nice looking truck that is a bit unique. It's nice to have the history connection with it too.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

90 gallons that is awesome.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:21 AM   #8
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

nice looking truck what are your plans for it? i saw one one time that actually used a small camper shell (like yours) for storage from the interior there was an opening
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:24 AM   #9
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Yeah this one opens from the inside as well. When my neighbor had it and traveled a lot he would just pull over and hop in the sleeper to rest.

My plans are to basically get it driver ready again after sitting for 8 years. Most suspension components will need to be rebuilt at some point but for now I am just going to grease all the critical stuff and make sure all the safety stuff is ok like brake lines, etc. The truck runs great and I am just waiting on the time to get new tags before I can drive it around.

Future plans will probably be to change the wheel/tire combo to something a little more modern like 18" TT2 or something. I am not a huge fan of 20" wheels or their prices...and then of course do some paint/body work but I will probably keep the original color scheme. The interior and the roof are going to be the first things restored, probably in the next couple weeks.

-Cort
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1978 Chevy Silverado 5.7 Diesel/turbo 400/GV overdrive/3:73 posi
1993 Chevy Silverado 4.3L/Getrag MM5/3.42 gears
Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:46 PM   #10
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Welp, I pulled off the sleeper tonight and it was a little worse than I expected...but nothing that can't be fixed. Here are some pics:



Here is the 60 gal. gas tank that the PO owner installed...

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Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:50 PM   #11
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

The sleeper trapping all that moisture for 30 years took it's toll. I plan on patching that up this week then prepping and painting it buckskin again after I have NAPA mix me up a batch.
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Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:31 PM   #12
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Really nice looking truck, might I suggest removing those mud flaps however?
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:41 PM   #13
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwheel15 View Post
Really nice looking truck, might I suggest removing those mud flaps however?
haha. Yeah I've been meaning to pull them off.
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Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:11 PM   #14
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

OK guys, I was able to crop out the bad stuff and weld in the good stuff on the roof last week. I welded the entire seam on the back to get a smooth look and I think it turned out quite well. This week I got all the sanding and painting done. I was originally going to have NAPA mix me up a batch of the factory buckskin color but whilst in Home Depot the other day I noticed a can of spray paint that the color looked awfully familiar. So...it turns out that Rustoleum's SAND color is really, really close to the factory buckskin on the GM's....

So let me know what you think of my rattle can job:



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1978 Chevy Silverado 5.7 Diesel/turbo 400/GV overdrive/3:73 posi
1993 Chevy Silverado 4.3L/Getrag MM5/3.42 gears
Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

it looks good man
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:40 PM   #16
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

I like it.
Are you going to finish shaving the roof seam later on or? Still a 350 diesel or has a 6.2/6.5 been swapped in?
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:49 PM   #17
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

I thought about just welding in the rest of the roof seam but...for some reason I didn't. I guess next time I redo it I will.

yeah I am still running the 5.7L. The guy I bought it from ordered it from the factory and over the last 32 years has figured out all the tricks to make a reliable 5.7L (And has been through quite a few engines in the meantime). I just averaged 20 MPG on the last tank and when you stand behind the truck when it idles, you can't even tell it's a diesel.
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Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:53 AM   #18
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Wowsers, just realized I hadn't updated any progress on my 78. I guess that is because there hasn't been much going. I built a home made tonneau cover for it last fall and have a done a bit more cleaning up on the interior (pics later).

Since September I have racked up about 8,000 miles and have driven it from Astoria, OR to San Francisco to Sacramento, back up to Portland, then up to Vancouver B.C., took the ferry over to Nanaimo, up to Parksville and then down to Victoria B.C. After all that I took the ferry back to Port Angeles and then drove home to Portland and settled in.

The first half of the trip I had my '54 Aloha camper in tow and averaged about 14-16 MPG's. Without the camper, I averaged 23-24 MPG's on the highway. Ever since settling down in Portland I have been getting about 17-19 in the city. I love this little diesel. I haven't done much work to it lately except pull the fuel tank out of the bed and black out the grill. Here are some current pics and I'll take some of the interior tomorrow if I get a chance.

As she sits yesterday:

With the camper last fall (all three of my girls)

One of my home made tonneau cover
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New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:57 AM   #19
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Thanks for the update Corts60. You got a really cool story to go with your survivor. It's amazing how much better it looks with what you have done so far. BTW- One of your "three girls" is really cute.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:40 AM   #20
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

It would hurt to fill up that 60 gallon tank today. $4.19 a gallon yesterday for the cheap stuff....$251.40

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Old 04-16-2011, 05:51 PM   #21
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Thanks for updating the thread, I've been wondering how this truck has been holding up for you. Did you work the dent out of the left front fender a little also? I like the blacked out grille look too. Did the previous owner provide you with a list of upgrades to make that engine reliable? Didn't you have engine pics posted someplace, seems I recall an old Frantz TP filter in the engine compartment. We have a generator at work that has a 4.3 V6 diesel in it that looks like a baby Olds V8. Come to find out that GM made a 4.3 V6 diesel and used it in FWD cars. Looks just like a V6 version of your engine.

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Old 06-11-2011, 10:27 PM   #22
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Not much going on with the brown truck these days, but I thought I would post I pic of the 73-74 grill I installed today. Just found out the hard way about the need to swap the filler panel and hood latch assembly but I got it done. Luckily there was a '76 GMC in the parts yard that had everything I needed. Hope you guys like it.

Don't worry, I hate those wheels too. I am looking for some steelies to replace them, it's just not at the top of the list.
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1978 Chevy Silverado 5.7 Diesel/turbo 400/GV overdrive/3:73 posi
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Old threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...1978+silverado
New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:55 PM   #23
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

oh yea how bad did the old tonneau buttons hurt the bed.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:30 AM   #24
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

Looks good, man. Love the grille and those Centerlines were the wheel to have back in the day, you know.
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:25 PM   #25
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Re: Comin over to the sqaure bodies with a '78 Silverado!

That's true Mando. This truck was probably last updated in the late 80's/early 90's.

Here are the interior pics I promised. A little before and after action. I still haven't come up with the dough to get the upholstery kit for the seats, my Suburban keeps hogging the money.

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New threadhttp://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=650751
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