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Old 09-18-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
brossow
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My "new" '79 ChevMC

Wasn't in the market for another project, seeing as my current one ('72 shortbed) is stalled out at the moment, but I stumbled across this while I was cruising Craigslist for a climbing tree for our new kitten and couldn't pass it up. Advertised (and badged, mostly) as a '79 Chevy shortbed but titled as a '79 GMC instead. No matter. I'm not gonna restore it to factory specs anyway, so it'll be a Chevy to everyone but the DMV.

Kind of a Neapolitan color scheme. The bed is from Texas, VERY straight and rust-free. The driver's side fender is equally beautiful, as is the hood. Cab corners, rockers, doors and passenger fender need some attention. It did come with new rocker panels (uninstalled). It's a helluva lot nicer than the '72 I'm working on was when I bought it (although that really isn't saying much).

If you look carefully in the front passenger shot, you can see drag marks from the front passenger wheel, which locked up as we were moving it off the trailer. Caliper is probably frozen up. A minor problem and easily remedied (relatively speaking).

My thoughts on the truck are this: while I don't need another project for myself, my oldest will be 13 next month and driving in 3 years. You could do a lot worse for safety than a full-frame, full-size pickup. I don't want to build it into a show truck, but it wouldn't take much to get it into a condition he wouldn't be embarrassed to drive. But he'd have to help, and maybe even do most of the work as he gets old enough to do so. We'll see what happens. Y'all know how these things go sometimes.

Brent
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

So what's the quickest and cheapest way to drop this down (the right way)? Flip kit and spindles? Just looking for a cheap static drop, not a $5000 airbag system. Will I need to do a C-notch with a flip kit? This will be my first go-round with this generation of truck and I'm ready to learn.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

Spindles, cut 1 coil off the front springs and a flip kit. You do not need a c notch with a flip kit.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #4
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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Spindles, cut 1 coil off the front springs and a flip kit. You do not need a c notch with a flip kit.
Thanks! eBay, here I come!
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

Before I can worry about lowering it, I need to get the brakes fixed. Details here (link included for the sake of completeness in the build thread).
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

Brent,
Here are a couple of pictures of my old '79 with spindles, cut spring, and flip. I did put a C notchg in it, but mostly because I had it (it came with the Western Chassis flip kit). Throw a set of rallys at yours, and you have a clean cruiser. Jeff at CPP made a pretty sweet deal on the spindles, flip, and shock extenders. It was better (IMO) than what I was finding on Ebay. I had purchased rear shackles, but I wussed out at the last minute.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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Brent,
Here are a couple of pictures of my old '79 with spindles, cut spring, and flip. I did put a C notchg in it, but mostly because I had it (it came with the Western Chassis flip kit). Throw a set of rallys at yours, and you have a clean cruiser. Jeff at CPP made a pretty sweet deal on the spindles, flip, and shock extenders. It was better (IMO) than what I was finding on Ebay. I had purchased rear shackles, but I wussed out at the last minute.
Thanks for the pics! That is exactly the stance I'm hoping for. I emailed Jeff @ CPP yesterday about exactly what you described (spindles and flip kit, the latter of which I can't find on their site) and am waiting to hear back. I already have a set of rally wheels I wanted to use, too -- it's like you read my mind.

What size tires are (were) you running? They look perfect.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

215/70 front, and 255/70 rear. The stance on that truck was perfect. I was really happy with it. The only reason I sold it is to get a crew cab, so my daughter can ride (Mama won't let her ride in the front seat).
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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215/70 front, and 255/70 rear. The stance on that truck was perfect. I was really happy with it. The only reason I sold it is to get a crew cab, so my daughter can ride (Mama won't let her ride in the front seat).
Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

No problem. Looks like you have a pretty good start.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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Jeff at CPP made a pretty sweet deal on the spindles, flip, and shock extenders. It was better (IMO) than what I was finding on Ebay.
Do you mind if I ask what you paid for that package? I talked to Mario @ CPP last night and had a couple emails from him today and I'm having trouble getting a price from him anywhere close to what I'd consider a "pretty sweet deal." (I emailed Jeff originally, who passed me along to Mario as the square-body expert.) Jeff has always done right by me in the past, but last night Mario was actually quoting me a price on the spindles higher than both what's on their website and what Summit charges (~$209). Haven't gotten anything more out of him via email. Not complaining so much as just sayin'. If I knew what you had been charged, it would give me something to work with for comparison.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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Brent,
Here are a couple of pictures of my old '79 with spindles, cut spring, and flip. I did put a C notchg in it, but mostly because I had it (it came with the Western Chassis flip kit). Throw a set of rallys at yours, and you have a clean cruiser. Jeff at CPP made a pretty sweet deal on the spindles, flip, and shock extenders. It was better (IMO) than what I was finding on Ebay. I had purchased rear shackles, but I wussed out at the last minute.
What's the price on those Western Chassis flip kit's??
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:08 PM   #13
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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Old 09-24-2010, 08:02 PM   #14
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

Things snowball. For me it always seems to start with a brake job. Cut a deal with Mario @ CPP this afternoon for a flip kit, modular drop spindles, and shocks. Great guy with a great company -- give him a call and he'll hook you up, too.

Pics eventually. Have to get the brakes done this weekend, along with a million other things.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:03 PM   #15
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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Brent,
Here are a couple of pictures of my old '79 with spindles, cut spring, and flip. I did put a C notchg in it, but mostly because I had it (it came with the Western Chassis flip kit). Throw a set of rallys at yours, and you have a clean cruiser. Jeff at CPP made a pretty sweet deal on the spindles, flip, and shock extenders. It was better (IMO) than what I was finding on Ebay. I had purchased rear shackles, but I wussed out at the last minute.
what drop on the spindles and how much did you cut from the springs?
were your front wheels 6.5" wide?
I'm gonna run 215/75's on 6.5 rallys on the front of the crew...
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:08 PM   #16
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

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what drop on the spindles and how much did you cut from the springs?
were your front wheels 6.5" wide?
I'm gonna run 215/75's on 6.5 rallys on the front of the crew...
I think I can answer some of this: CPP spindles are 2.5" drop, and I believe he cut one full coil.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:11 PM   #17
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

thanks, I know he has told me before, but I didn't write it down so its just like it never happened
you truck looks like a nice start BTW

My 14 year old wants a square K5
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:55 AM   #18
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

Just a quick update:

Got the brakes wrapped up (more or less) a couple weeks ago. Ended up with new hard lines, hose, wheel cylinders, shoes, and hardware out back -- the only things reused were the drums, which looked to be in good [enough] condition. Up front it was new calipers, hoses, and one hard line (passenger side -- was easier to cut it off and bend a new one than to try to unscrew it from the hose end of things due to the cramped conditions there). I think the majority of the problem was that the left front hose was fubar, although it didn't help that there was literally nothing inside the right rear drum -- no shoes, no hardware, nada except the e-brake lever.

Used my new Mityvac to bleed the brakes -- great device! The power part of the power brakes doesn't seem to be doing anything, but the brakes lock up if required and for the first time since coming to my place it starts and stops under its own power. Made a deal yesterday for a different power booster, so we'll see once that arrives if it solves the no-power problem. The CPP suspension stuff arrived a couple weeks ago, but I've had to pack it away for the winter as other projects are more immediately pressing.

That's it for now. Likely won't be much more until the spring. Oh, the joy of having no usable garage!
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #19
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Re: My "new" '79 ChevMC

Been almost three years since the last update. Since then, the only things that have happened are:
  1. Some friends helped me lift the bed off last summer so I could do some suspension work that never happened.
  2. Friday I finally put the bed back on by myself, having given up on the suspension work for the time being, and even bolted it down (arrived at my house unsecured).
  3. Yesterday I got the exhaust bolted on, such as it is. The truck arrived with two intermediate pipes and mufflers in the bed. I assumed they had been on the truck previously and had been removed for some reason, but after struggling to get them reinstalled, including having to remove the tranny crossmember and jack on the driver's side intermediate pipe to the the crossmember jack into place, I now think they must have come from another donor. Bottom line is that at least temporarily it's not running straight out the exhaust manifolds, which should make for happier neighbors when I have to move it around.
Not sure what will become of it in the short term. Barely moves under its own power (tranny is either nearly empty or nearly kaput -- haven't checked the fluid yet) and smokes like crazy when it runs for more than a minute (thanks, I hope, to bad valve cover gaskets that are easily replaced), but at least now I can move it without fear of the bed sliding off or having the cops over because of a noise complaint. May not be much progress, but it's better by far than when I bought it.
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