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Old 12-24-2010, 08:53 PM   #1
SFTorange
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The Brown Truck

Hi All,

After spending a TON of time reading and learning on the forum, I'm finally ready to start a build thread. In October of this year I began disassembly of my 1966 C20 LWB Fleetside. The truck was a 3/4 ton with a factory 283/SM420 and Eaton HO52 rear with 4.56:1 gears. The truck was purchased new in Bozeman, MT by the parents of my dad's stepfather. My parents bought the truck from them in the mid 80's, and I have a ton of childhood memories from this truck. My mom drove it as her daily driver for a number of years until a bad clutch put it into the field at my parent's house.

Fast forward to 2002 when I was a senior in high school. I decided that I'd have a new clutch put in the brown truck and drive it to school. After that I was hooked. I spent most of a year chasing down small mechanical problems. Every time I'd fix what was broken, the next weakest link would fail.

Finally, after my Dad installed a new HEI distributor, Edelbrock intake, and Holley carb for me as a surprise, we got the truck running strong. I was in heaven as I drove the truck to work on the morning of my high school graduation. On the way home from my job as a greens keeper at the local golf course, the next weakest link failed: the 283. Needless to say, this truck has broken my heart several times.

I spent the summer mowing at the golf course to save up enough money to have a mild 350 rebuilt. I installed the engine outside in January of the following winter and drove the truck for the next year.

After that, I installed a Turbo 350 into the truck but got only a little further. The truck sat for about 5 years waiting until I finally had the time and resources to move forward. That time finally came in March of this year when we pulled the truck from Missoula, MT to Billings, MT where I now live.

I was able to get the truck running, and drove it for most of the summer. This fall, I finally decided to take the plunge and tear the truck down.

Here are some pics of what I started with (sorry, but I'm a terrible photographer):
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: The Brown Truck

I've spent the last 10 years thinking about how I wanted to build this truck. I wish I could say that I haven't changed my mind more than a few times, but I've finally settled on the following plan:

My goal is to maintain a semi-original stock height look, but with many drivetrain modifications hidden underneath. Notice the recurring theme of ideas that I've gotten from this forum. This truck will be made to drive and work.

1)Repaint the truck in its' original color scheme: Paint code 555 Saddle/Off White
2)Complete Big Back Window Conversion (thanks to jonzcustomshop for the BBW panel and glass!)
3) 12 bolt rear from a 1968 C-10 with upgraded 11 5/32" x 2 " brakes from a 1977 K-10 (thanks to Captainfab for the idea!)
4) 1 1/4" sway bar from a 1977 3/4 ton Suburban (thanks to TX Firefighter's FAQ sticky!)
5) Rebuilt 1987 700r4 with Lokar shifter.
6) Original gauge cluster to replace my idiot lights (thanks again Jon!)
7) I'll retain my mildly built 350.
8) Early Classic C20 to C10 conversion spindles with 6 lug disc brakes. (this is a very quality kit)
9) Converting to C-10 rear cab mounts thanks to Tony Smith's beautifully reproduced rear cab mount brackets)
10)New Classic Update wiring harness from American Autowire.
11) Steel wheels from a 73-87 K-10 with original-style chrome hubcaps.
12) 19 gallon aluminum underbed gas tank.
13) Bucket seats with integrated seatbelts from a 2006 GMC Sierra. These fit with almost no modifications except for drilling new holes.
14) Not to mention countless other upgrades along the way!
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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Re: The Brown Truck

Good for you there's nothing better than saving the old family truck. I will be watching your build. There's alot of things about your build and mine that are the same. My father inlaw bought my truck near new and my wife and her siblings all drove it to high school and it's the same color as yours. So keep your finger nails dirty and your nose to the grind stone. And I'm a old Golf Course Superintendent so I did my time on the links.
GET HER DONE...
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:25 AM   #4
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Re: The Brown Truck

Thanks 66farmer, that is the plan! I'm not going to set any deadlines yet, but I'm hoping to keep up good progress through the cold winter months.
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:40 AM   #5
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Re: The Brown Truck

As you can see, I had my frame, front suspension x-member, and rear control arms sandblasted. Everything was given the full Por-15 treatment including degreasing with Marine Clean and prep with Metal-Ready. Por-15 is a very picky material, so I wasn't about to take any chances.

Here are a couple of pictures of what I started out with.
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Next are a couple of shots after a trip to Industrial Coating Solutions here in Billings.


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Merry Christmas Everyone!
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:33 AM   #6
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Re: The Brown Truck

Merry Christmas from Bozeman (via Iraq)! It's good to see some more 60-66trucks from Montana showing up here. looks like you're off to a good start! Hope to see it running around when I get back!
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: The Brown Truck

How did the paint job turn out? I sand blasted my frame and used POR15 semi gloss back and the gray on some of the parts. I called POR to ask if I needed the cleaner and metal ready he said blow it off and paint it. The gray looks great the black is ok but inconsistent in color. I used a paint brush and did one coat. I would post a picture but having problems doing so.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:15 PM   #8
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Re: The Brown Truck

Thanks Pope, I'm glad to see that we have a strong MT contingent as well. Merry Christmas and stay safe.

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Merry Christmas from Bozeman (via Iraq)! It's good to see some more 60-66trucks from Montana showing up here. looks like you're off to a good start! Hope to see it running around when I get back!
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: The Brown Truck

Since I've been burned by POR-15 in the past (painted a trailer without proper cleaning and prep, and no UV protective topcoat--the coating failed miserably after about 6 months) I decided to go the whole nine yards with the frame. After sandblasting, I degreased with Marine Clean and prepped the metal with Metal Ready. I think this was overkill, but I wanted to be safe. I put one solid coat of black on the frame, and two coats on some of the smaller parts. After one coat, the black doesn't look great, but two coats look nice and shiny. The folks at POR recommend two coats. I then topcoated everything with a coat of thier Chassis Black. Since it is cold here in Montana, I was only able to heat my garage to about 55 degrees, so the paint dried very slowly, and there are some definite brush marks in the paint. I think the cold limited the paint's ability to flow.

Overall, it looks OK, but not great. I think it would have been better if I had put two very thin coats of each product on, but I did it all by myself and spent 16+ hours getting done what I did. If I could do it again, I think I would get set up to spray it. Overall, after a week of drying, I have a decent looking, very strong finish on my frame and that is the most important part.



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How did the paint job turn out? I sand blasted my frame and used POR15 semi gloss back and the gray on some of the parts. I called POR to ask if I needed the cleaner and metal ready he said blow it off and paint it. The gray looks great the black is ok but inconsistent in color. I used a paint brush and did one coat. I would post a picture but having problems doing so.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:09 PM   #10
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Re: The Brown Truck

I'm heading over to meet Jon (jonzcusstomshop) to pick up a factory gauge cluster tomorrow! I'll hopefully have more updates later this week. Ordered a bunch of new parts too!
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:43 PM   #11
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Re: The Brown Truck

Sounds like you have a great plan for the truck. It's good to see that you are moving forward and making good progress.

Keep up the good work and keep the pics coming.



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Old 12-31-2010, 08:28 PM   #12
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Re: The Brown Truck

Thanks for the post. I definitely need a lot of positive reinforcement!

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Sounds like you have a great plan for the truck. It's good to see that you are moving forward and making good progress.

Keep up the good work and keep the pics coming.



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Old 12-31-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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Re: The Brown Truck

I've managed to squeeze in some time on the truck over the holidays. First, I met up with jonzcustomshop in Missoula and pulled a few new parts from his collection. I picked up a nice factory gauge cluster and oil pressure hard line, a bed mount perch, and a new plastic piece for the bottom of the steering wheel. My dad is an amateur knife maker, so he offered to polish the gauge bezel for me. I'll post pics when he finishes it. It's nice to have someone to help me out as I go along, too bad he lives 350 miles away.
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Yesterday, I pulled the axles out of my 12 bolt so I could pull the old brake backing plates off. I was a little worried about pulling the axles, but it turned out to be an easy project. I reinstalled the axles for now so I won't risk the spider gears falling out. I also went to the local junkyard and picked up a set of 67-72 motor mount perches. I'm going to experiment with the forward holes for the engine to allow for more clearance for the 700r4 and HEI distributor.

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Today I spent a bunch of time degreasing the 12 bolt and sandblasting various other metal parts (sway bar, front suspension brackets, rear spring cups, steering linkage, motor perches) in preparation for POR-15. I ordered some of their solvent this time around and I'm going to try spraying it with a Preval aerosol spray setup.

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Old 12-31-2010, 08:47 PM   #14
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Re: The Brown Truck

Here's a picture of my seats. They came out of a 2006 GMC Sierra. I'm lucky enough to have an uncle who is an upholsterer. He offered to recover them in leather, but I'm having trouble deciding what color.

Should I go with a lighter grey color? I'm not sure how that would look with the fawn interior. Or, should I track down a set of seats that came from the factory in tan so I could match the plastic trim pieces with a tan leather. I'm wondering if that might make too monotone of a cab. I have a black carpet for the truck.

Opinions Please!!!!

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:04 AM   #15
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Re: The Brown Truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFTorange View Post
Here's a picture of my seats. They came out of a 2006 GMC Sierra. I'm lucky enough to have an uncle who is an upholsterer. He offered to recover them in leather, but I'm having trouble deciding what color.

Should I go with a lighter grey color? I'm not sure how that would look with the fawn interior. Or, should I track down a set of seats that came from the factory in tan so I could match the plastic trim pieces with a tan leather. I'm wondering if that might make too monotone of a cab. I have a black carpet for the truck.

Opinions Please!!!!

Attachment 674618
Could go with saddle with white inserts, kinda old school and like the color scheme of the truck, I don't think Grey goes with the gold too well myself.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:26 AM   #16
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Re: The Brown Truck

I managed to get a few more things done this weekend. I made a huge list of nuts and bolts to pick up in the morning, ordered a stainless body bolt kit from Totally Stainless, and disassembled prepped my vent windows for paint. I also had the old tires pulled off of the 15 inch 73-87 k10 6-lug wheels. I'm going to take them in for sandblasting in the morning.

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I talked the kid at Walmart into pulling the tires off and disposing of them for a total of $3. Not my usual tire shop, but for a simple job on a Sunday, they did the trick.
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If you look closely, you can see the vent window rebuild FAQ thread by alansclassics up on my laptop. It was a huge help and easily guided me through the process. Thanks Alan!
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:27 AM   #17
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Re: The Brown Truck

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Could go with saddle with white inserts, kinda old school and like the color scheme of the truck, I don't think Grey goes with the gold too well myself.
That's not a bad idea at all. Here's hoping the junkyard gets in a truck with a nice set of tan leather seats.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:39 AM   #18
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Re: The Brown Truck

Yesterday I finished prepping another round of parts for POR 15. Time to get the garage heated up. I also picked up a fresh set of grade 8 bolts to use when reassembling the suspension. I got them at Fasteners here in town and paid about 1/3 the of what they charge at the local hardware store, and they had everything in stock!
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:42 AM   #19
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Re: The Brown Truck

It's amazing how many times I'll tell myself "well, if I'm going to all this effort, then I'd better replace _______ while I'm at it."
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:46 AM   #20
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Re: The Brown Truck

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It's amazing how many times I'll tell myself "well, if I'm going to all this effort, then I'd better replace _______ while I'm at it."
I'm with you there. My quick, easy engine swap is in the middle of having the cab mounts replaced. It tends to snowball, huh?
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:55 AM   #21
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Re: The Brown Truck

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I'm with you there. My quick, easy engine swap is in the middle of having the cab mounts replaced. It tends to snowball, huh?
Luckily, I think I've gotten to the point where I can't tear anything else apart! Now the only direction to go is to put everything back together and get this beast on the road.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:54 AM   #22
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Re: The Brown Truck

My other favorite brown truck didn't bring my latest batch of POR-15 yesterday, so I'll get my parts painted tonight. I haven't said too much about my engine and transmission. The engine is a 350 bored .030 over with flat top pistons and an EPW performance torque cam. It was rebuilt by a local shop. My transmission is an '87 700r4 rebuilt with a kit from Monster Transmissions. I'm pretty excited to get it all together.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:58 AM   #23
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Re: The Brown Truck

Tonight I'm painting the rest of my suspension components, vent windows, and wheels. Here are the before pic's. This time around I used a Preval aerosol spray setup for the POR-15. The propellant doesn't last too long, but it sure is convenient.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #24
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Re: The Brown Truck

Hi All,

Here is the finished product. I hope the POR-15 is as durable as they say. I had a hard time getting it to look that good, but hey, these are suspension components, and the truck is made to drive. The wheels just have a base coat, and they will be primed and painted the body color.

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Also, I stumbled across this paint chart on the forum. It has both the fawn interior color, and the saddle poly exterior color that originally came with my truck. The dash will be the dark fawn color though.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:01 PM   #25
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Re: The Brown Truck

Nice work STF....I also think your seats would look good with some type of vintage color match to the interior. Best of new and old.
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